Grand Mesa Nordic Council
February 7, 2023
Board Members Present: Dan Tille, Joe Ramey, John Traylor, Christine Noel, Larry Gruel, Marguerite Tuthill, Tom Ela, Susie Attaway
Board Members Absent: None
GMNC Staff: Christie Aschwanden, Melissa Newell, Dave Smith, Debbie Cheeseman, Beth Klein
Dan called the meeting to order and read the GMNC mission at 6:03 pm.
I. Guest Comments. No guest comments.
II. January Meeting Minutes. Dan, Christine Seconded, all approved.
Tom motioned to approve the January minutes with the made changes, Dan seconded, all approved.
III. Financials Report. Christine provided the monthly financials report, additional details were shared in the Board packet. Highlights included:
● As of January, GMNC is now showing a net income YTD.
● Individual contributions are 76% higher than January of last year.
● Business contributions are 79% higher than January of last year.
● Restricted gifts and CERF contributions are 32% higher than January of last year.
● Government grants are 33% higher than January of last year.
● Trail box contributions continue to lag; they are 29% lower than January of last year.
● Overall for contributions, GMNC is within 95% of this fiscal year’s budget, with 3 months left. Year-to-date, GMNC is 31% higher overall than this time last year.
● Beth, GMNC bookkeeper, included a new tab for the building account.
● GMNC purchased a $120,000 13-week Treasury Bill, maturing on 5/4/23, near our fiscal year-end. The Finance Committee will decide on reinvestments at that time.
Christine is also working to get updated insurance quotes. John reviewed a need to focus on government grants, as we are currently below budget in that line item.
IV. Executive Director Report. Christie provided her written report, which was included in the Board packet. Highlights include great increases in member, individual, and business donations. Christie also shared she has been working on grants and fundraising plans for the Skyway Cabin. Please note, the Fundraising Committee did decide to name the building the “Skyway Cabin.”
New Trails – Christie is also working on grants for new trails. Christie did ask the Board to put thought to where new trails should go and provide input. Board discussed how to include snowshoe trails in this plan and to what extent. Christie and Melissa are working on a plan to solicit feedback from snowshoers on trail expansion plans. These plans will include new ski trails as well.
Forest Service Update – Christie shared she is still waiting on USFS feedback on the updated Master Development Plan. Once signed by USFS, GMNC can share the Plan with GMNC Membership. Hope is to align sharing the Master Development Plan at the same time as the building comment period launches.
Ski School – Debbie introduced herself to the Board, she is the Ski School Director. She provided an overview of participation in free and other clinics. Free clinics continue to serve as a strong feeder for paid clinics. Ski user days are included in the Executive Director report included in the Board packet. Debbie thanked the instructors she has worked with this year and applauded their effort and professionalism.
Events & Member Tables – Melissa provided a report that is included in the Board packet. She reviewed highlights. Melissa shared Square has been hooked up. She used it this past weekend at a member table and it is proving to be a useful tool. The first Women’s Meet Up was last Friday and 8 members attended. Tom asked for an update on reception on ambassadors. Melissa shared feedback on, and from, ambassadors has been very positive. Board discussed the positive effect the public messaging on trail etiquette has had on maintaining trails this year.
V. Operations Report. Joe provided his written report, which was included in the Board packet. Joe shared Dave was back in the snowcat today. Other highlights shared included the change in snow fall between mid-Dec to mid-Jan and mid-Jan to mid-Feb (a difference of 100”). Joe shared grooming wage costs are up compared to last year. John asked about using the snowcat to clear parking lots and whether that causes additional wear and tear on the cat. Joe explained how the use doesn’t harm the snowcat and does help CDOT with keeping signs and spaces clear. Christie also highlighted how Dave is responsible for ensuring the ramp onto the snow, which keeps the trails accessible. Tom asked for further details on the Webasto. Joe explained the first one was a lemon, the second is having the same problem. He believes there is an issue in the interface between the Webasto and the snowcat or a circuit. Dave provided additional details on the issue and thoughts on potential solutions. John asked about the timing on a snowcat replacement plan. Dan and Joe confirmed a 10-year lifecycle on the snowcat, GMNC is in year 5 with this snowcat. Although outdoor storage is hard on the machine, the light use of the snowcat (i.e., hours in use and the terrain it’s grooming) should help sustain the lifespan of the machine.
VI. Fundraising Committee Report. Marguerite provided an update on the Committee’s first two meetings. Committee has developed a menu of funding needs for the Skyway Cabin capital campaign, a list of businesses to focus outreach on, and will be finalizing messaging and the press release at the next meeting on Friday, February 10th. The Committee is also working on how to acknowledge donors and would appreciate Board input on this topic. The business list will be sent out to the Board for their additional input.
VII. Building Update. Dan shared an update on the building. Dan is meeting with the architects and construction company on Thursday of this week and will know whether the DD package is ready to go. Once complete, the DD will be submitted to the USFS. Once submitted, the public comment period can begin. Dan also reached out to a lawyer about the construction contract. The lawyer recommended GMNC sign off on the contract once a couple small negotiations are finalized.
Next Board meeting will be on Zoom on Tuesday, March 14th at 6pm. The Finance Committee will meet on Thursday, March 9th at 3pm.
Board then moved into an Executive Session.