The Almanor Recreation and Park District held its regular board meeting April 8, with one board seat still currently open after the recent resignation of Colleen Garrett, who served as president of the board for a number of years.
Before the board tackled a number of agenda items covering upcoming district business, the directors first provided an opportunity for a discussion between district members and over two-dozen Chester Little League and high school team members and their coach, along with parent volunteers to address concerns regarding the removal of snow that has accumulated on the Truman-Collins Sports Complex field. The high school softball team has had to reschedule all home games to date to play as away games.
Dan Smith, field maintenance supervisor, was on hand at the meeting to address their concerns.
It was stated that he has been steadily working every Sunday for the past few weeks trying to remove as much snow as he can using a modest-sized commercial snowplow, further noting how the past winter storms had dumped a large amount of snowfall on the fields.
Trying to find a solution to clear the fields faster is difficult because Smith is concerned about the potential for damage to the field if it isn’t done properly. No heavy power equipment can be safely used at this time, which limits the process to using hand tools.
After some give and take, it was agreed that many of the team members would volunteer their time and energy to help the process along, using hand tools and even stomping down the snow to help it melt faster.
Where to place the removed snow was also a point of contention, with one parent saying they would contact the county about using the county road right-of-way across the street from the ARPD headquarters to dump the snow.
Smith cautioned everyone about taking care not to damage the sports fields in the course of removing the snow.
A motion was made by Susan Espana, board treasurer, to allow the Chester High School team members and parents to volunteer to help remove snow from the field of play and parking area, adding that waivers would need to be signed by the volunteers as well.
It was also recognized at the end of the discussion that a few more days of rain — and warmer, sunnier days — could largely solve the problem in the next couple of weeks without a lot of extra labor involved.
The board heard from secretary Heather Patchen that the contract for Chester Little League had been signed, with opening ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, April 27.
Espana asked board member David Slusher, who has been in contact with Ryan Burnett, president and organizer for the Chester Little League program, if he was satisfied with the arrangement, agreed to with ARPD to provide parent volunteers for the upcoming 33rd annual Street Rod Extravaganza car show scheduled Sept. 14, in exchange for a discount in the Chester Little League rental fees paid to the rec district for use of the field in Chester Park.
Slusher said that Burnett was fully onboard. “I think it’s a good partnership,” he conceded regarding the amended contract between the rec district and Little League.
Slusher mentioned receiving an email from Bennie Johnson, who had previously shown an interest in coordinating the spring soccer program.
However, it was still up in the air whether or not the program will be implemented this year, as Johnson indicated that she is trying to work out all the details and line up volunteer coaches and coordinators.
Slusher said he emailed her back that he was willing to meet with her at anytime to discuss how he could assist her with the program if she wanted to move forward, and that the board would nevertheless support her in whatever decision she made.
New softball fence
Smith brought a brochure to the meeting depicting a variety of outdoor softball fencing from different companies from which he identified one in particular that he thought would make an ideal purchase to replace the old, worn-out fence currently in use for softball.
Together with donations already raised, the board approved additional funds for the purchase of a new green mesh softball fence, along with replacement parts.
The fence is a significant expense, Slusher pointed out, but he noted that ARPD’s mission is providing community recreation that necessitates quality facilities.
The board voted to approve the expenditure, and Patchen said she would order the fence promptly to realize a 25 percent discount.
The district maintains a special account with approximately $10,000 that is left over from an earlier push for a community pool, that is currently earmarked for eligible recreational projects, like a new playground near the ARPD headquarters building as one possible example.
How the money will ultimately be spent was not determined at the board meeting, and would be a topic of discussion at a later date.
Mile High 100
Randy Robbins, an avid cyclist and president of the nonprofit Susanville Area Bicycle Association, was hired on again this year as event director for the upcoming ARPD-sponsored 37th annual Mile High 100 riding event, scheduled June 15 (always the Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend).
ARPD continues to enlist sponsorships for the bike ride.
Additional posters of the event are being placed around town and will be mailed out to distant sites or delivered to places like the Truckee/Lake Tahoe Recreation and Park District and other locations announcing the planned bike ride. Slusher said he would distribute additional posters in Reno.
Riders can choose from three separate courses, including the 108-mile Century Ride, consisting of bicyclists enjoying spectacular views of Mt. Lassen as they ride around Lake Almanor and through Indian Valley, with an elevation gain of 3,200 FEET; the 56-mile long Metric Century has riders with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet as they take in the entire Lake Almanor Basin; and finally the Half Metric, providing a more leisurely 33-mile trek around the blue jewel of Lake Almanor, with picturesque mountain vistas and forested scenes with an easy climb of no more than 600 feet.
Registration for the Mile High 100 bike ride can be made online at milehigh100.com or bikereg.com/mile-high-100 .
Espana announced to the board that she would be attending the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts statewide conference this year, May 22 – 24, at the Lake Tahoe Resort and Hotel.
“I wrote a letter and submitted it to the CARPD scholarship program” that would pay for her expenses to the conference including room and board, “And I got it!”
She said she would be listening to keynote speakers on several topics at the conference, including how other rec districts have dealt with recent disasters and the roads they are forging toward recovery, general obligation bond financing and the process of getting a park and recreation district on the ballot for a bond measure, among many other topics.
Espana said she would bring back information to share with the other board members on what she learned at the conference event.
Sober Grad Night
The ARPD board of directors voted to donate $100 for Chester High Sober Grad Night.
New concession shed
After comparing other sheds by a number of manufacturers, Smith recommended a new 10-foot by 14-foot concessions shed by Sturdy Built Structures of Alturas as it included many of the necessary features sought by the ARPD, but was also less expensive than the competition for an equivalent structure.
The older shed would be relocated elsewhere on the property for storage use, he suggested.
Painted and including two windows and a door with some modifications, Smith said the shed would cost around $6,000 delivered.
Espana made a motion to approve the purchase of the shed; all board members present voting aye.
The next regularly scheduled ARPD board meeting at 101 Meadowbrook Loop will be Monday, May 13, at 7 p.m., following a 6 p.m. community forum to discuss recreational options in Chester. The public is encouraged to attend, and accommodations can be made for those with disabilities by calling 258-2562.