ARPD plans Fun Run

Still has vacant board seat

The Almanor Recreation and Park District board of directors attended the June 10 regular board meeting with one seat on the board currently open.

Notification has been given to the public asking that individuals registered to vote in the district who are interested in filling the vacant position should contact the rec district’s main office for information or dropping by to apply during the district’s normal hours of business Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Director David Slusher remarked that he had received some feedback from a few community members attending a prior meeting on the topic of new recreational activities in the rec district. He said they thought there were better projects to consider funding than a skate park.

Financials report

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Treasurer Susan Espana reported that the Cash Reconciliation Report (CRR) for the district for the month ending May 31 showed that the operating account was currently at $27,773.76; Capital Improvement account was listed at $9,472.23; Reserve Fund line item was pegged at $10,767.13 plus a few hundred more in a separate account for a total of $48,082.42 cash-on-hand (after subtracting $430.70 for one reimbursement payment and the cost of a permit).

A motion was made by Slusher to approve the CRR, which was officially ratified by all the board members present.

Rec district conference

Espana shared with the board members a summery of her recent attendance at the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts Statewide Conference held on multiple days at the Lake Tahoe Resort and Hotel, where keynote speakers addressed various topics serving the interests of recreational districts.

In all, “There were 36 attendees,” at the conference she said, comprising mostly funded districts and one unfunded district, that being ARPD.

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She said that, “From the get-go, that put us in a whole different league as far as how they do things and how we do things,” adding that, “I tried to specifically address issues” that were “relevant to us.”

She said, “The networking was good and the people I met — from the attendees to the conference presenters — were amazingly supportive. … They made several suggestions and were open to trying to answer the questions I put to them,” such as asking how the ARPD could extend its financial resources, find additional grant funding and attract more volunteers.

Furthermore, she said she received information on how to contact state legislators to “get their ear” for a portion of state funds that are available to rec districts before the legislation is written.

“The reality,” she continued, “is that state parks have to run programs using the criteria that the legislators put into writing.”

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Unfortunately, she said it’s very much weighted in favor of districts located in coastal regions and large agencies, for example the Sierra Club where “the bulk of the monies go.”

Toward that end, “There’s a third round of funding coming up with a $23 million pot for rural counties,” but she noted that “the way they wrote the criteria, the rural county cannot have a populace over 500,000. That means 41 of our 56 counties in the State of California qualify for those funds,” and with the maximum grant being $3 million, and because many counties will write a grant request for that amount, only a relatively few projects can be funded statewide, she said.

“It makes it really difficult and frustrating,” getting any significant grant money from that source of funds, Espana lamented, but believed that, “Our best shot is the letter we signed for a grant of $200,000 in matching funds. That’s pretty well assured.”

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In conclusion, Espana mentioned that she had heard from a number of attendees at the conference the role many park and rec districts played in providing secure staging centers for evacuees afflicted by the massive fires last year through use of available facilities.

Mile High 100 logistics

Slusher said planning for the Mile High 100 bike ride event (which was held June 15) was on track, with further discussion by board members on determining the final logistics before the commencement of the fundraiser.

Fun Run Update

The 40th annual Classic Fourth of July Fun Run & Walk lands on a Thursday with registration starting at 7 a.m., and the starting gun going off at 8:30 a.m. The Fun Run has a new 5K (3.25-mile) route this year, said event organizer Shane Bergmann, assisted by wife Dolores Bergmann.

Bergmann anticipated a lot of parking would be available at the new site for most of the estimated 600-plus runners who typically participate in the run, but said he wanted to emphasize to the runners the need to carpool from downtown Chester as a factor in finding sufficient parking space at the location.

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He noted that people have started to register online, and many more typically register the day before at Bodfish Bicycles, 149 Main St., in Chester, and the morning of the event at the ARPD headquarters located at 101 Meadowbrook Loop.

Newly designed white custom-made Tec-inspired T-shirts have been ordered with a patch of the American flag on the right shoulder, sponsors of the event printed in red on the back of the shirts and a modified ARPD emblem over the heart.

Those who register online (recommended) at www.chesterfunrun.org are guaranteed an official T-shirt; otherwise those who wait too long to register on the day of the event could find the shirts sold out. The registration fee is $30.

The two-man band Rickety Bridge will provide live music for the fundraiser, along with battery-operated boom boxes delivering additional music along the route.

Under The Sun Events, a full service race management company, will time the racers.

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The CHP is already aware of the upcoming Fun Run event and will be present to provide attendees with safety and security, he added.

Bergmann said he expects a tight squeeze between the foot-racers along Stover Mountain Road where the race begins, spreading out as those in the lead create more space.

Proceeds from the Fun Run support various local ARPD programs mostly benefitting community youth.

For additional information or to register, visit www.chesterfunrun.org or for questions, email [email protected]

Soccer goal posts

The board considered ways to replace one of the broken goal posts used in soccer play, looking to repair it with a weld or possibly purchase a new one.

The soccer teams had indicated they wanted to start in early August, so the directors had to make a decision soon.

Registration forms for soccer are currently available online to print out or pick up at the Coffee Station in downtown Chester and at local schools, to be mailed to the ARPD office at P.O. Box 325, Chester 96137, or drop them off at the main office at 101 Meadowbrook Loop or the Coffee Station location.

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Soccer fees are $50 per child or $125 max for a family of three or more. Coaches will get in touch with registrants by the end of July.

Improvised adult softball

The board members undertook a sober discussion on the impromptu formation of adult softball teams using the sports fields without permission, the payment of fees or liability waivers.

Serious concerns were raised regarding the use of alcohol on the fields, which is illegal, the directors noted.

Also mentioned was the issue of cleaning up after the games, with trash, plastic bottles and cigarette butts left on the ground and the shells of sunflower seeds scattered about the bleachers.

The sports fields and surrounding infrastructure are also tobacco-free zones, which is often ignored by players.

The board recognized they haven’t the policing or manpower needed to prevent public members from coming onto the field to play softball without charge, but still wanted to find ways to make them responsible when they did, including enforcing the signing of waivers and cleaning up after themselves.

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The only action presented at the meeting was to call the sheriff if alcohol usage was observed.

Little League cleanup

To the issue of cleaning up the fields and bleachers after official Little League games, Espana said the board needed to communicate with coaches to find a way to maintain the fields without having to ask others not associated with baseball to do the job.

The next ARPD board of directors meeting is scheduled Monday, July 8, at 6 p.m. Office hours are Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office phone number is 258-2562.