The board meeting began with the announcement by board President Colleen Garrett that she is tendering her resignation from the board effective 30 days from Feb. 11. Garrett will work with the remaining board members and Office Manager Heather Patchen to ensure a smooth transition.
Along with the previous resignation of Michelle Gosney last October, the board found itself with two openings and the need to recruit volunteers interested in filling the vacancies.
Fortunately, one individual has already stepped up in the person of Gage Wade. Gage has enthusiastically taken on the role left by Michelle Gosney as the coordinator for the Street Rod Extravaganza, now in its 33rd year.
Having met with Gosney and the remaining board members, Gage has already begun the process of planning the logistics of the car show.
Said board member David Slusher, “We are excited to have a new member who is connected to the community and we feel certain that Gage will do a great job with this wonderful event.”
New Fun Run route
Discussions turned next to the 40th annual Chester Classic 4th of July Fun Run & Walk, and progress on finding a new route for the race.
A fire that destroyed the Mill Bridge last year also eliminated the regular course for the Fun Run, as the bridge linked Warner Valley Road to the Collins Pine Trail for runners to follow through the forest and back to Collins Pine Park.
After much consideration about finding a new route at the January meeting, Shane Bergmann, race coordinator, sent out an online survey to past runners, asking if they would prefer to keep a 5K run or move to a fast, one mile course from the meadow to the Collins Pine Park.
The overwhelming response (85 percent) was to keep the race as a 5K. That said, the board considered several routes and finally decided on a route from the Collins Pine lawn along Highway 36 to Stover Mountain and back.
Bergmann said, “There is plenty of space to stage the event, a paved road to accommodate runners and participants with strollers, and plenty of parking is available.”
With the right ambience — discussions include live music added to the event — “a run through the trees could be really fun and beautiful,” Bergmann added.
Bergmann noted that there would be a slight uphill near the turn-around. But overall, the feeling was that this is best of the routes considered.
Little league/Street Rod volunteers
Discussion of the 2019 contract with Chester Little League centered on the possibility of having Little League parents volunteer hours to work the Street Rod event as well, to reduce the field use fee.
Both parties seem receptive to the idea and the exact terms are under further discussion.
ARPD treasurer Susan Espana reported that she would be heading the task of applying for Prop. 68 grant funding for developing new recreation facilities in Chester, such as the development of a pump track, on land adjacent to the ARPD office. However, the grant funding requires opportunities for the public to offer input on the plans.
A series of community forums will be held over the next several months to get community input on preferences for recreation activities.
Three meetings will be held: Monday, March 11; Monday, April 8; and Monday, May 13, each from 6 to 7 p.m., at the ARPD office. Additional meetings may also be held.
For more information, the public can check out the ARPD website at www.yourarpd.org.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting at 102 Meadowbrook Loop will be March 11, at 7 p.m., following the 6 p.m. community forum. The public is encouraged to attend, and accommodations can be made for those with disabilities by calling 258-2562.