The ARPD regular meeting Aug. 12 included three guests: Mile High 100 event coordinator Randy Robbins, ARPD fall soccer volunteer organizer Bennie Johnson and Charlie Plopper of the Lake Almanor Watershed Group, who was interested in listening in on the board of directors performing their duties and perhaps consider the possibility of joining the board to fill the one remaining vacant seat.
After the board members approved the July 15 and July 24 meeting minutes, Susan Espana, board treasurer, reviewed the Cash Reconciliation Report draft and the ARPD Profit & Loss Budget vs. Actual sheet for the month ending July 31, showing cash-on-hand in the amount of $68,054.69 after July expenses of $7,056.11.
Espana said some community members have questioned the amount of money ARPD holds in its account, not realizing that the rec district is unfunded and has a number of expenses during the year.
“The cash balance is always healthiest at the end of the summer as it is our main season for generating revenue,” explained Espana. “As we go through the winter, the cost of running the district draws down the cash reserve significantly,” adding that, “We have to keep a cash reserve in order to pay our expenses and to operate while being fiscally responsible,” noting that come January the district would likely have just half the money held in its reserve account.
Bennie Johnson, ARPD fall soccer organizer, reminded the board that she’s been involved in the soccer program since 2015, learning the task of coaching the soccer teams and eventually replacing long-term soccer coach and organizer Eric O’Kelly.
Johnson said she started registration earlier than in years prior because it was more difficult to form teams and recruit coaches at the beginning of the school year.
“So this year we began registration at the end of the school year instead,” she said, and hopefully that would lead to a smoother recruitment process.
She suggested that starting next soccer season, in addition to distributing flyers, banners could be designed and reused each year that would be placed at each end of town announcing that registration was open, as an inexpensive marketing option.
Johnson wanted to create a database of people who have registered for soccer that would be used to help streamline and simplify the recruitment process each season.
She told the board what equipment she needed for the soccer players before games start sometime in the fall, listing items like additional jerseys, several cases of field paint and soccer balls.
Johnson said she would look into finding more reasonably priced game uniforms to save the district money.
Espana said if the rec district needed to allocate more resources for needed soccer equipment and uniforms it would be budgeted for.
There was discussion on a Live Scan requirement for coaches with the possibility of having Live Scan personnel come to the ARPD office in Chester instead of having coaches drive to Susanville to make it more convenient for them. The rec district pays for the scans.
Live Scan is a way to take inkless fingerprints, which are then digitized and transmitted directly to the Department of Justice, which then checks the fingerprints against known criminal history records.
Last day to register for soccer for 4- to 8-year-olds (U6 & U9) is Aug. 30. The exact date when soccer games would commence is yet to be determined, said Johnson, but would be announced in the near future.
Mile High 100 results
Randy Robbins, event coordinator for the Mile High 100 bike ride fundraiser, shared the fiscal numbers with the board members, which saw 202 riders participate this year.
Robbins, president of the nonprofit Susanville Area Bicycle Association noted that the district had raised the price of registration for the Mile High, with higher expenses, more sponsorships, but with a lower numbers of riders participating than in 2017; but revenues still came in roughly the same as last year’s event, he noted.
The Mile High 100 bike ride brought in $17,200 gross with a net of $7,200 in revenue after expenses, Robbins reported.
The only glitch was that they had run out of beer, which he vowed, “would not happen again.”
Robbins said he planned on advertising the ride earlier next year with more marketing done online.
Robbins expected more riders would participate in 2020 with more advertising and a push for early registration.
He also said he would explore ways to reduce the costs of official T-shirts for riders by reaching out to more vendors to see who might provide shirts at a lower cost to the district.
Board member Shane Bergmann brought up the possibility of adding a relay circuit next year employing teams, in addition to the Century Ride, Metric Century and Half Metric bike riding routes, as a way to attract more competitive riders to the event.
There would be an added cost to having teams competing in a separate relay leg primarily for insurance and for food, Robbins acknowledged.
Poker Paddle review Espana shared that the Poker Paddle event, held at Plumas Pines Resort, saw an increase in participants from 46 last year to 80 this year.
“Last year the event grossed $2,445, but increased this year to $4,300,” she said, noting that expenses between last year and this year were $1,300 and $3,180, respectively.
The increase in expenses was due to the cost of a Bloody Mary bar at Plumas Pines and the purchase of water bottles for the paddlers.
Rusty Roof Coffee Roasters of Chester partially underwrote the cost of the stainless steel water bottles that were handed out to the paddlers.
Espana remarked that Plumas Pines was generous enough to knock off $2 per lunch meal, saving the district more than $600.
“Our net after expenses for the Poker Paddle came out to be $1,018, which is decent for an event of this size.”
Many of the paddlers came up to Espana to tell her that they loved having the anchored boats offshore where they picked up their poker hands, rather than having to paddle to shore.
“The set up was awesome and everything went really well,” she said. “The volunteers and the board members did a great job,” including Bergmann, Gage Wade, and ARPD secretary Heather Patchen, also mentioning volunteer Mary Austin and Wendy Scott in particular for organizing the Poker Paddle event so efficiently.
The ARPD directors discussed a scholarship fund for students involved in judo classes held at the Almanor Recreation Center on Thursday evenings taught by sensei Harry Burleson, who in 2016 moved to Greenville where he opened The Dojo.
Espana said Burleson had contacted her about the rec district offering three or four scholarships to kids who would greatly benefit from the program, but don’t have the funding to pay for it.
“Since the district’s mission is to offer recreation — and especially for the youth in our community — I am leaning toward the idea of making scholarships available” to deserving students she said.
A motion to approve a scholarship fund not to exceed $800 was voted on and passed by the directors, leaving who would receive the scholarships to the discretion of Burleson.
ARPD had previously covered the cost of new practice mats used for martial arts classes.
The rec district is always looking for more donors to provide scholarship funding for judo and other programs, Espana added.
New mower purchase
Field Maintenance Supervisor Dan Smith brought a number of brochures to the meeting listing a variety of lawn mower options for the board members to consider for purchase, since the current commercial mower being used now will no longer go into reverse, and stops functioning altogether after moving forward just a few feet.
The cost of fixing the old mower would be exorbitant, Smith estimated, making the purchase of a new mower desirable.
Commercial mowers cost a few thousand dollars up to $10,000 or more, he said. But he expected that a mower in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 would be adequate.
Smith advocated for a mower that was available for sale locally at Intermountain Hardware in Chester, since if anything went wrong with the equipment he could have it fixed more easily, plus replacement parts like the mower blade would be readily available.
The board of directors decided to review the options and to make a purchase by the next board meeting scheduled Monday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m.
ARPD is headquartered at 101 Meadowbrook Loop in Chester. For information on programs and other questions, call 258-2562 Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office is closed every third Thursday of the month. Their email address is [email protected]