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ARPD seeks $200,000 grant

The ARPD board of directors convened for its regular meeting Feb. 10 to cover agenda items concerning upcoming contract negotiations with Chester Little League and also to discuss in further detail how to spend $200,000 in California State Per Capita Grant funds toward new recreational facilities, if the state qualifies the district for the grant after engineering plans and a budget are submitted to the state for review and approval.

Per Capita Grant

ARPD volunteer Carlos Espana, who has taken the lead in applying for the Per Capita Grant, conducted public outreach meetings earlier in the year at the district headquarters on Meadowbrook Loop in Chester to seek community feedback on a number of recreational proposals.

Carlos Espana, Susan Espana, board treasurer; and board member Shane Bergmann spent several hours prior to the meeting finalizing the concept plans, Susan Espana said, which was originally created specifically for the district by two students at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Bergmann suggested at the board meeting additional modifications that would be incorporated into the Draft Master Plan, with input from field maintenance supervisor Dan Smith.

The board reviewed the conceptual drawing depicting the final Draft Master Plan showing the location of various recreational facilities that ARPD hopes to develop over the long term in order of priority, including a small children’s play area and landscaping, concrete tables and benches, a community garden, new expanded parking for both vehicles and bicycles, and the eventual construction of a covered picnic pavilion, skate park, pump track and pickle ball courts, and other facilities if additional future financing is obtained.

The need for a tax base through a ballot initiative to support future recreational developments and programs planned by the ARPD was discussed as well.

Football camp funds administrators

Susan Espana said a discussion had been undertaken with Chester High School football coach T.J. Ragan about the ARPD taking over the administration of registration and sponsorship funds to be held in a separate account for the football team during the upcoming six-week youth football camp planned for the spring season.

As the administrative arm, the nonprofit ARPD would receive a 1 percent fee while acting in partnership as the responsible public entity overseeing the financial aspects of the program, and allowing contributors donating to the program tax deductions.

Financials report

Susan Espana went over the financial report with board members, reading from the Statement of Revenues and Expenses, listing figures for January 2020 and year-to-date (YTD).

She said the bottom line is that the revenue for the month of January was just $321; with operating funds for the July 1-June 30 current fiscal year so far (seven months) coming in at $28,124.17.

Expenses for January were recorded at $1,831.32 for a net loss of $1,510.32; and for the fiscal year a total of $32,342.98 for a net negative cash flow of $4,218.81 after expenses for the year.

The Statement of Cash Flows for Operating Funds ending Jan. 31, indicated cash-on-hand in the Cash Reconciliation Report in the amount of $53,713.11; reserves from which monies can be pulled out to make up for the YTD deficit until ARPD programs get underway and start bringing in more revenue to replenish the cash reserve account.

A motion was made to approve the report, which was passed by the board without further discussion.

Little League contract

Susan Espana said she and director Charlie Plopper met with Chester Little League President Ryan Burnett the previous week to discuss the need for a new contract for the upcoming Little League baseball/softball season.

Burnett was handed a new draft of the contract, she said, which he will present to the league board members at their next meeting at the end of February.

“We’re trying to move forward and find productive ways” that ARPD “can offer its support to Little League,” not only through a mutually agreed upon contract, but also in terms of an agreement that addresses the maintenance of the Chester Park sports field as well as finding funding sources in partnership with Little League to rehabilitate the field, which is not currently as safe as it should be.

Smith noted that the field is pockmarked with a number of depressions that need to be filled and leveled to avoid accidents when players are running around during active play.

Plopper said he believed it would be easy to find funds toward fixing the field through a grant request process given that we live in a “disadvantaged” community.

It’s also possible the county maintenance crew in Quincy might be available to help restore the field, but then again there would be severe time constraints on how much work they are allowed to do in the sports field in Chester — if at all, noted Susan Espana.

Another possibility would be to recruit volunteers to do much of the needed work, and/or to sponsor fundraising events to generate funds for field repair.

Memorandum of understanding

A MOU with Plumas County Unified School District that allows for a barter arrangement that was agreed to in 2015 for the use of Chester High School’s football field for ARPD-sponsored soccer games, in exchange for the school’s girls softball games to be played at the Chester sports field was terminated per board approval.

A new joint agreement approach, perhaps involving fees paid instead for mutual sports field use may be instituted instead between the two parties.

Espana said she would contact Chester High coach Paul Hardig to discuss the matter in more detail.

The next ARPD regular monthly meeting is scheduled Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m., in the Almanor Recreation and Park District headquarters building located at 101 Meadowbrook Loop in Chester.

For information on programs and other questions, call 258-2562 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office is closed every third Thursday of the month. Email address is [email protected].

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