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Concession stand coming to Shope Gardens Park, proceeds should generate revenue for LSTAA

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/27/18

A concession stand will be installed at Shope Gardens Park either by the end of this baseball season or next season.

The Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Lower Swatara …

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Concession stand coming to Shope Gardens Park, proceeds should generate revenue for LSTAA

Lower Swatara Township Athletic Association players enjoy a celebration of the organization’s 50th year on April 22, 2017.
Lower Swatara Township Athletic Association players enjoy a celebration of the organization’s 50th year on April 22, 2017.
Posted

A concession stand will be installed at Shope Gardens Park either by the end of this baseball season or next season.

The Lower Swatara Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Lower Swatara Township Athletic Association’s plan to move a shed from Glad Tidings church to Shope Gardens and convert it to a concession stand.

Association president Jason Wagner told the commissioners that Shope Gardens Park was one of the oldest and heavily used parks in the township.

“We have a lot of games over there. It’s a nice park for our baseball teams mainly. But we don’t have a concession stand over there currently,” Wagner said.

Wagner said the Lions Club used to run a concession stand for years, but they stopped several years ago.

“Parents have said in our meetings, ‘Gee, it would be nice to get a concession stand over there,’” Wagner said in an interview.

LSTAA agreed, he said.

The athletic association purchased a shed for the Glad Tidings church. The shed, Wagner said, was used in part for storage and in part for concessions that did not have to be refrigerated.

According to Wagner, the plan is to move the shed from Glad Tidings to Shope Gardens and convert it to a concession stand.

“The structure is sound. It’s just not being put to good use,” Wagner told the board.

Once the shed is moved, Wagner said they hoped to connect the shed to a meter box near the outfield. The stand may be put there, but Wagner added that they were open to putting the stand anywhere to make it possible.

“If we can get electricity to that stand, we can take it from there in terms of outfitting that to be a usable stand very similar to what we do at Woodridge,” Wagner said.

During the meeting on March 7, Wagner said they would have to meet with PPL officials to see if it would be possible to relocate the shed to Shope Gardens. In an interview on March 19, Wagner said PPL and township officials went to the field today to see if the project was possible.

PPL, Wagner said, told the township that the plan would be possible.

“PPL wants us to put an electric pole in proximity to where we’ll put the building,” Wagner said.

He added that the association wasn’t expecting to have to put a pole in, but they were willing to do it and plan to meet with the township to discuss getting the work done and how much it would cost.

Commissioner Ron Paul asked if the stand needed to be connected to public water. Wagner responded that the athletic association would like to have the stand connected to public water, but he added that it was “probably not feasible.”

He said that public water was not connected to the concession stand at Woodridge, but the association did purchase a portable sink that can be used to wash utensils and hands.

“We don’t envision this concession stand to be a fast food type of thing,” Wagner said.

The athletic association, Wagner told the board, was missing out on a revenue opportunity by not having concessions. He said there are concession stands at other Lower Swatara fields.

“One of the biggest ways we make money is through concessions,” Wagner said.

In an interview, Wagner said concessions brought in 40 percent of the association’s revenue. The stand would include a hot dog roller and a cooler. He said the additional revenue would allow the association to keep its registration fees as low as possible.

“We don’t want the basic registration fees to prevent people from playing,” Wagner said.

Vice President Todd Truntz voiced his support for the association’s plan during the meeting.

“All of that money goes back into programs. It helps make it all work. It’s definitely a worthy cause,” Truntz said.