News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 31, 2014
Town seeks donations for Warmer Brooklin

A clean-up of the Brooklin ball field?

Trees and bushes have grown around and through the old bleachers at the former ball field in Brooklin, Maine.

Photo by Rich Hewitt Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Rich Hewitt

The town’s board of selectmen is looking to townspeople to help beef up the Warmer Brooklin Fund.

The fund was created six years ago to make sure that no resident would have to go through a winter without heat. The last appeal effort in 2011 raised nearly $18,000 for the fund, and Chairman Albie Smith said people came in throughout the past winter with checks to help out the account.

Even so, the long, harsh winter last year depleted the heating fund.

“Last winter hit us hard—both the Warmer Brooklin Fund and General Assistance,” Smith said. “General Assistance has a fixed amount, but with Warmer Brooklin, we have the capability of getting more income.”

Smith noted that the fund now has less than half the amount it had at the start of last winter.

The board has drafted an appeal letter that will be sent to residents asking them to consider a tax deductible donation to the fund. The letter notes that in the six years since it was created, there have been 39 requests for assistance from the fund; about half of those came during this past winter.

“It is time to rebuild our fund in anticipation of next winter and beyond,” the appeal letter states.

That letter will be mailed to residents within the next few weeks. Checks made out to the Warmer Brooklin Fund can be sent to the town (P.O. Box 219, Brooklin 04616).

In other action at its July 22 meeting, the board discussed plans to remove the dugouts and bleachers at the former Reggie Sherman Field. Board members had raised concerns about the safety of those structures after a group of residents began using the abandoned field as a dog park. The field fell into disuse after the new school was built and most of the town and school athletic activities moved to that field, which was named the Reggie Sherman Field.

Since its last meeting, the board has had three separate assessments of the bleachers and dugouts, all of which determined that they all were unsafe. In light of that, the board decided to have them removed.

“Once we had these opinions, along with the fact that there are people up there using the field, we had to move, and we moved,” Smith said.

The work could be done this week, he said.

Road Commissioner Neil Allen and the town crew will work with Kendal Hodgdon who will use his equipment to dismantle the structures. The wooden debris will be taken to Allen’s burn pile.

Smith said the town did not have an estimate on the cost involved, but said it would not be very expensive.