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GMNC Board meeting minutes August 9, 2022, 5:46 – 7:22 PM

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.”

Board members attending – In person: Lynea Schultz-Ela, Dan Tille, Tom Ela, John Traylor, Larry Gruel, Denise Massart, Via phone: Susie Attaway, Absent: Joe Ramey; Key employee attending: Christie Aschwanden


  1. Previous board meeting minutes Dan Tille adds clarity to the building presentation section, explaining that the 45-day approval process is divided into three 10 or 15-day stages over 3-4 months during the approval process. Dan Tille moves to accept the July 5th Minutes with added note. Tom Ela seconds. Motion passes.


  1. Financial Review Susie Attaway notes that the July financial dashboard includes the new budget approved at last month’s meeting. There is not a lot of activity now as it is a quiet time of the season. Susie Attaway asks if there are any suggestions on modifying the dashboard. The Finance Committee will review and edit the dashboard at their next meeting.


Any information on potential Skyway building donors should be sent to the Capital Campaign Committee.  Larry Gruel opened a Treasury Direct account at American National Bank for the Skyway building project and forthcoming capital campaign. Susie Attaway will purchase and donate a laptop to be used for the GMNC Treasurer position. Christie Aschwanden will meet with Beth Klein and Kris Hjelle to review transaction tracking.

  1. Executive Director – Christie Aschwanden reports that the Summit Trail Logging Project is completed as of this afternoon. The project’s widening piece should come in at or under the budgeted 3K. Some laborers may donate money back to GMNC. The Operating Committee will discuss the excavating piece of the Summit Trail Project, which has a 5K budget. Christie Aschwanden will confirm USFS’s logging project’s start date with Mike Jones. Special maps will need to be created during this project and alternative trails may need to be approved.


Christie Aschwanden is finishing up Grand Junction City, Mesa County and Delta County grants soon, and is looking into other potential Western Colorado Community Foundation grants. John Traylor will help review the grant applications. She is also finishing up the Master Development Plan which includes goals and priorities, trail updates, snowshoe trail ideas and preliminary Skyway building designs. She will pass to the board for review. MailChimp newsletter will be sent out soon and will include the September 11th trail run, a list of fall events including a note on the new Skyway building and upcoming volunteer trail work.


Slopeside Technology is creating a new GMNC website. Migration to the new website will occur within a couple of months. is currently GMNC’s website host.


  1. Events – Upcoming events include: 10K trail run on September 11th at County Line Trail, season opening event on October 1st at Cedaredge’s Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center, and GMNC talk with Paralympic cross-country skier Dan Cnossen on November 29th at Grand Junction’s Gear Junction.


  1. Building update Dan Tille met with Chamberlin Architects. Construction on the new building will happen as soon as the ground thaws in the spring of 2023. We are 6 weeks away from a getting the schematic design and cost estimate: Chamberlin Architects needs 3 more weeks to do the schematic design and afterwards Asset Engineering needs 3-4 weeks for construction cost estimating. Subsequently, we will hand in the schematic design to the USFS.


Other design considerations include fine tuning the location of propane tanks and solar arrays. The Architect advocates putting a drain system which would add 10K – 20K more to the building cost. This feature would align to USFS catchment requirements.


There’s a possibility of removing the higher windows on the building’s front to account for off season security issues and energy loss. There will be a roll down door on the front door and lower windows. We are looking at a rusted metal roof and siding for the building. We may be able to use some local rock for building materials per the USFS. Our current storage container will be moved alongside the building and incorporated into the design.


Building access is yet to be determined and possibilities will have differing cost implications. We are deciding on between 30’ – 50’ of defensible space around the building. There will be roof safety features to assist in snow management. The building will be ADA compliant.


The timeline: Around early October we will receive schematic designs and cost estimates for board review. GMNC will announce and communicate more information to the membership around September or October and will announce the capital campaign in early December. GMNC currently has 200K in the new bank account, with the second 200K to arrive in November – December and with the 400K to arrive in early 2023. Breaking ground will happen anytime May – July when the ground thaws. The Capital Campaign committee will meet to prepare for the campaign with some preliminary donor work.


  1. Investment strategy – John Traylor suggests that the Finance Committee puts an investment policy in place. This is a fairly standard approach and low risk strategy to manage short term investments and would need require minimal maintenance once the bank account is set up. GMNC’s Operating account has money from April through October that is not earning too much, and it can be moved to some higher interest accounts. It will be necessary to model any investment policy on cash flow history. Dan Tille moves that the Finance Committee meets to come up with and implement an investment policy for excess cash. Lynea Schultz-Ela seconds. Motion passes.


  1. Acknowledgment – Tonite is Lynea Schultz-Ela’s final meeting. The board and staff acknowledges and is grateful for her outstanding work.


  1. Next meetings will be at 6:00 pm, Sept. 13th and Oct 19th via Zoom.


John Traylor moves to adjourn this meeting at 7:22 p.m. Dan Tille seconds. Motion passes.