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GMNC Board meeting minutes February 9, 2022, 6:00 – 8:03 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.”

Attending: Board members: Lynea Schultz-Ela, Joe Ramey, Dan Tille, Larry Gruel, Tom Ela, Denise Massart, Susie Attaway; absent Cameron Tyler. Key employees attending: Christie Aschwanden, Kris Hjelle. Guests: Jane McGarry, Steph Mayer, Wanda Dufrene, Laura Lenihan.

Lynea Schultz-Ela will keep track of time during meeting.

  1. Guest Introduction

*Steph Mayer, from Cedaredge, is interested in possibly joining the Board; has an interest in grants. This is her second year of skiing, and it has been a big impact for her.

*Ski Instructor Jane McGarry wanted to share info on the weekly women’s clinic. Callie West started the women’s clinics 6 or 7 years ago for beginner and timid skiers and Jane McGarry has helped in restarting them. Clinics help women get over their fears, promote confidence in driving on winter roads and being in the outdoors, create friendships in addition to skill improvement. She would like to see more promotion for women’s clinics.

*Laura Lenihan is in her second year of membership and would like to volunteer for GMNC.

*Wanda Dufrene is a snowshoer from Palisade. She is a new member and is very pleased with our trails.


  1. Previous board meeting minutes – Denise Massart moves to accept the Feb 9th Lynea Schultz-Ela seconds. Motion passes.


  1. Treasurer report – Susie Attaway discusses the January financial dashboard. Income is significantly better than the previous January. Operating revenue is at 55K, up 24K from last year and with a +56K variance from the budget. Ordinary income is almost double what it was the previous year and 41K over budget. Individual memberships are up by 33% compared to the previous year and 24K over budget. Grants are up 28K from last year and 38K over budget. Ordinary expense is 54K over last year’s expense and 15K under budget. Trail grooming and maintenance is the largest expense and is 30% over in expenses with a -2K variance from the budget.  Lynea Schultz-Ela & Susie Attaway will meet to go over some budget questions.


  1. Executive Director report – Christie Aschwanden reports that we’ve had some good events last month. She receives positive comments daily and receives calls from out-of-town visitors coming to ski. Dave Smith put a snowmobile order in at Weekender Sports with a 5K deposit covered by a grant. Christie Aschwanden has scouted a connector trail between Kannah and Tower trails, since Scales Lake Road will be closed next year for the logging project. A route from Dog Loop to Skyway trails will also be scouted. Christie Aschwanden asked Mike Jones to meet regarding a safety plan for next year’s logging trucks. We have approval to widen Summit trail for future snowcat grooming. Trail work will need to be done this summer in preparation for the new connector trail and for widening Summit trail.


The consensus is that the existing Ward trailhead is already located at the most feasible place, though the trailhead parking area shared with the sledder parking is dangerous. Christie Aschwanden received over 80 survey responses from Ward skiers. There was not a lot of desire for programs at Ward. A lot of Ward users want to keep it the same and some would like to add a groomed loop. She will bring all Ward data to the Forest Service. Could there be a possibility of a Ward snowshoe trail to protect the groomed trail and provide more safety? There’s an upcoming snowshoe event at County Line. Perhaps we will try to get permission to groom a snowshoe trail at some point.


Christie Aschwanden had a meeting with CDOT & the Forest Service to discuss plowing, which is the Forest Service’s responsibility, but which CDOT does as a favor. It’s been helpful to let CDOT know of scheduled events so they can maintain the parking lots. Alpine Bank’s 7K grant for picnic tables has arrived. Christie Aschwanden met with a WCCF board member who may be able to fund some learn to ski clinics next year. Dan Tille and Christie Aschwanden will talk about Dave Smith’s plowing hours.


  1. Forest Service update – Joe Ramey talked to Ryan Fricke from the Forest Service about the Search & Rescue issues and what can we do to make our trails safer. Perhaps we can add some directional signs on longer trails, and at each trailhead pointing towards trailhead.


  1. Race & Events Committee – Dan Tille notes the double event this coming weekend – Saturday’s Heart Throb race and Sunday’s bonfire and moonlight ski. The Collegiate race very well attended, and the vintage race was great. Tom Ela did a fantastic job.


Grand Junction Lion’s Club parade is on Sat Feb 19th. We are obligated to participate since we received a grant last year. Dave Smith will drive the parade vehicle with banner carriers and roller skiers. We also need volunteers to make 10 homemade decorated cakes, which are sold to fund their grants. Suggestion to use Mailchimp to get more interest in attending the parade. Joe Ramey, Christie Aschwanden, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Dan Tille, Susie Attaway and Jane McGarry will make cakes. Joe Ramey will send out parade and cake details soon.


  1. Operations – Joe Ramey reports 268.5 January grooming hours which are more than last year due to the Collegiate race. Dave Smith has 10 hours of CDOT/plowing work. There is $113 left on the Dino Mart fuel donation for snowmobiles. Christie Aschwanden will make sure that Dino Mart receives copies of Mailchimp acknowledgements.


Joe Ramey explains that we need to get rid of our oldest snowmobile and purchase a second snowmobile. The new system is pair grooming at each trailhead which is safer and increases grooming efficiency. We will sell the 2013 snowmobile and should get a good price (approximately 3K – 5K), and possibly we can sell an unused grader. Currently we have 47K in operations and grooming grants. Suggestions include purchasing a snowmobile in Grand Junction (Mesa County). Lynea Schultz-Ela & Susie Attaway will do a budget analysis on a second snowmobile purchase, will pass to Joe Ramey, and follow with a board review and email vote.


  1. Permanent Building Committee – Dan Tille discusses concept drawings from GJ Architect Ed Chamberlin, who has a lot of experience building on snow and on government-owned land. The board needs to decide on the concept drawings. Do we want one or two bays or a workshop area in the garage? The concept drawing version 1.6 is the most economical with an upstairs community room and a single garage below. Ed Chamberlin will do final concept drawings and then eventually schematic drawings. Joe Ramey suggests the 50’ wide building oriented towards the south and the parking lot, with changing room located in the back and windows on the west side. Building Committee will work out the details regarding building orientation.


  1. Lesson Program Committee: Dan Tille asks if there are questions regarding the lesson program materials. Dan Tille reminds us that Steve Bennett wants his entire lesson program grant spent. Dan Tille will confirm with Martin Wiesiolek that he’s bought all sit ski accessories and will give info to Steve Bennett who will donate funds.


Dan Tille moves that we adjourn and go into Executive Session.  Next meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, March 9th.  Dan Tille moves to end this meeting at 8:03 p.m. Susie seconds. Motion passes.

2/14 Email vote: Joe Ramey wrote: As discussed in the February board meeting, the finance team has reviewed the budget and determined we can afford a second snowmobile for next season. Total Invoice $15,807.21 including tax-title-license. Joe makes a motion to purchase a snowmobile from All-Terrain Motorsports in Grand Junction including the accessory package. Lynea seconds the motion. Motion passes via unanimous board vote.