Our Mission Statement: “Grand Mesa Nordic Council is a community-supported, nonprofit organization of people who love to cross-country ski on the Grand Mesa in western Colorado. We are dedicated to promoting fun, safe, cross-country skiing experiences for skiers of all ages and abilities.”
Attending: Board members: Lynea Schultz-Ela, Joe Ramey, Dan Tille, Larry Gruel, Tom Ela, Denise Massart; absent Cameron Tyler. Key employees attending: Christie Aschwanden, Dave Smith
Lynea Schultz-Ela will keep track of time during meeting. Denise Massart will record this meeting.
- Previous board meeting minutes – Tom Ela moves to accept the November board meeting minutes. Lynea Schultz-Ela seconded. Motion passes.
- Treasurer report – Larry Gruel will provide Financial Report by 12/9. Christie Aschwanden says we have double the amount of donations than at this point last year. Grooming expenditures includes unanticipated expenses to the Snowcat - approx. 1100 for parts. LGL numbers last year at this time were 27,500. LGL numbers this year are 52,697 not including 39 new donations that still need to be processed. Today is CO Gives Day. Donations are at 11,300 compared to 9,000 last year. There are 68 brand new donors for this fiscal year which brought in almost 13K. Lynea Schultz-Ela will pick up the cash at trailhead boxes on 12/9 and get the deposit to the bookkeeper.
- Race – Tom Ela reviewed the Dec 4th Winterstart race at Skyway. Online race fees total 2080 less expenses. Funds include 1590 raised online and 490 raised at the race from the 56 classic and 52 skate racers. Traffic on the out and back course was manageable though more challenging for the skaters. Racer comments were very positive in regards to the course. The next race is the Skyway Shuffle on Jan 2nd, and there are already volunteers signed up. The Eagle Valley Jr team will return for the race. Tom Ela discussed his conversation with the Mesa County Health Department. It is not necessary to fill out an application to serve food. The Race Committee will discuss using a commercial kitchen for soup preparation.
- Community Events/Membership report – Christie Aschwanden said November’s Grand Junction Monumental Beer Works event was a success, with similar attendance to the Cedaredge event. Membership table schedule: 12/11 County Line - Christie; 12/12 Skyway - Tom; 12/19 tbd; 12/23 tbd – Tom; 12/26 tbd. Christie Aschwanden is looking for ambassadors to help at the membership tables. The Events Committee will work out where the membership tables will be located. The Firken event is booked at Grand Junction’s Kannah Creek on Monday, Feb 7th.
- Operations Committee – Joe Ramey says it’s been a great month and commends Dave Smith for optimized conditions for skiers with very little snow. Christie Aschwanden says Dave Smith has been doing a phenomenal job grooming. He’s forward thinking with planned snow management, working on brush cutting and prepacking for upcoming storms. There’s been great feedback on the grooming - one FB post says “World Class Grooming”. Dave Smith says it’s so important to do summer work so we’re able to open on minimal snow conditions. He’s pleased with compliments on crew’s work so far in season.
- Permanent Building Committee – Joe Ramey says the Forest Service is unlikely to approve more than one building, so any equipment shelter must be built into this design. Dan Tille, Joe Ramey and Larry Gruel discussed designing a building on stilts and on a slope where the back of the building would be a semi shelter for equipment. The front of the building would be 5’ above the parking lot. This design was brought to the donor’s attention. The donor would like to have the building done by next summer, which is unlikely. Frontier log homes quoted a price per square foot. The potential building location N of the parking lot is in an area that has already been assessed in an EA so a new EA shouldn’t be necessary.
Yearly weather protection maintenance on a 30x50 building could take approximately 80 hrs. The Building Committee will come up with a design, submit to the board for approval and then submit to the Forest Service. The Building Committee will reach out to specific people within the membership base who have other expertise to expand the committee. Another donor promised 10K for initial work on the project but needs to see a proposal first. Dan Tille will give Ed Chamberlin a sketch to see what next steps would be. A potential capital campaign was discussed as well as the determining point where the project can be started before all funds are raised. A construction loan could be secured in order to begin the project.
- Forest Service update – Christie Aschwanden said the Annual Operating Plan is signed, so the Master Development Plan on the warming hut can be started. The Forest Service Committee is meeting within the next week.
- Newsletter update – Tom Ela said the weekly MailChimp emails are covering most of bases in terms of getting information out to the membership. He is now gathering content for the newsletter, which is a longer format than the emails. Topics for the newsletter include the annual financial report, any major changes within the year like the Executive Director hire. Ongoing topics go into the weekly emails and forward-thinking topics go into the newsletter like the annual retreat, ambassador program, trail work for next year, etc. Larry Gruel and Lynea Schultz-Ela will meet to discuss financials to finalize the annual financial report. Lynea Schultz-Ela will contribute brief reports for newsletter. Dan Tille will get a topic list to Tom Ela for creation of the newsletter, which will be sent out before Christmas.
- Executive Director report - Christie Aschwanden is pleased with CO Gives Day donations. She clarified that the Mesa County grant was for 30K. On Dec 8th, the Rotary Club is discussing our proposal, which supports supplies (like rewards) and grooming for the Mar 5th kids event. The Rotary club will bring volunteers to the event. Other partners include The Nature Connection and Grand Valley Nordic Ski club. She should hear from Delta County regarding our proposal soon.
Christie Aschwanden is discussing having picnic tables with the Forest Service. Tom Ela says picnic tables require a lot of maintenance because of the need to uncover snow. The Forest Service sent some links for corrugated steel tables. The picnic tables would require offsite storage in the off season. Christie Aschwanden and Dave Smith will discuss the picnic tables further.
- Miscellaneous items – Dan Tille says the sit ski invoice was paid and is being built, which takes about 4 weeks. Dan Tille reviews etiquette video being made. Dog and snowshoe specific videos are next. Tom Ela questions if only one comprehensive video would be more useful. Dan Tille says previous FaceBook video is watched a lot and a good resource. It is hosted on youTube and viewed and shared frequently. Dan Tille will gather more comments for the etiquette video. Dan Tille and Christie Aschwanden will talk about additional content for movies. Christie Aschwanden will work on where these videos will be used for GMNC.
Larry Gruel is stepping down as Treasurer. A new Treasurer description is posted on the website and included within the weekly email. Christie Aschwanden will post new Treasurer description on FaceBook.
- Executive Session
Next meeting via Zoom moved to Wednesday, January 19th.
Joe Ramey moves to end this meeting at 8:26 p.m. Dan Tille seconds the motion. Motion passes.