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GMNC Board meeting via Zoom, January 25, 6:00-8:30PM


FR: Cam the Secretary

DA: 1/25/21

RE: 1/13/21 Board Meeting Minutes

The Zoom meeting, Joe Ramey, President and host, commenced at 6 p.m.

Present:  Joe Ramey, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Larry Gruel, Caryl Brown, Colleen McAllister, Dan Tille, Cameron Tyler, Winslow Robertson

Guests: Ben Graves, Jeff Miner, Shane Tulp, Ryan Fricke, Christina Stark, Martin Wiesiolek, Jim Hirschinger.

Mission Statement reviewed.

Topics of discussion or action in order presented:

Jim Hirschinger, a new Grand Valley resident from North California where he has previously volunteered.  Said he’s “not feeling the love” towards snowshoers, feels there’s a misunderstanding.  Says signs are not welcoming.  Joe responded that the website welcomes snowshoers.  Discussed snowmaking, during a low snow year can’t use the snowcat on all trails.  Anyone who walks on damages, and have had people walk on the classic tracks.  Lots of work to fix.  Jim wants us to welcome snowshoers.  Winslow noted GMNC has included snowshoers in planning and we are looking to get snowshoers on the board and to help out.  The problem is really the hikers – 2 million acres and they want to walk on the 30k of groomed trails.  Encouraged Jim to help us.  Snowshoe trail is not well marked and need help.   Caryl noted we were grateful he is here and there is potential for more snowshoe trails.  Need help putting signs up on the Skyway snowshoe trail.  Jim would be glad to help; doesn’t think the Skyway trail is very interesting.  He and his partner go with their dog and dogs now allowed there.  “Quite apparent a lot of skiers ski with dogs.”  50% of the people who take the survey go with dogs.  Suggested Jim try Ward Lakes Trail system.  Ryan stated the FS manages and no mountain bikes are allowed on the trails during ski season 15 Nov-15 Apr.  Snowmobile trails could be used for snowshoeing too.  Ryan discussed using a painted lane for hikers and bikers and wondered if that was feasible.


Christina spoke next, but declined to say anything because she is specifically not authorized to speak on behalf of the club with federal agencies (and Ryan from FS is present).  Joe said he would talk with her Saturday and get back.


Shane Tulp of Northern Vermont, new FS employee on the Mesa introduced next.  Went to Leadville Colorado Mountain College and recently graduated from Mesa in January, 2020.  Worked 4 years in Gunnison on the trail crew.  Has a place in GJ and will be working Thursday through Sunday.  He is skiing County Line and Skyway a lot.  Later in the season he’ll do some snowmobiling to check that out.  He is stocking toilets – only started two weeks ago as FS hiring took awhile.  FS is fully funding him on any winter-related work.  Mike Brown the “snow ranger” does snow removal and toilet maintenance and Shane helps him.  Shane spends time doing meet and greet and needs his full uniform.  He is also checking stickers on snowmobiles.  Does a lot of shoveling.  Will cover and help with some of the events.  Martin has invited him for lessons.  Could do a “ski with a ranger” day.  GMNC may do (hooking up membership with the FS is the goal).  Sign up needed.


Joe thanked the public members for coming.


Minutes from the prior 12/9/20 board meeting were approved unanimously.


Martin joined the meeting at this point.  He gave a status report.  He heard from the ski instructors things are going well.  Way ahead of last year in terms of number of lessons – with more clinics than lessons.  People want social experience.  For every lesson/clinic he’s taking extra time to create processes and systems that will last, that’s his big focus, and big improvements have already been made this year.  Three potential instructors and 12-15 on-call instructors, so getting there.  VA started with them and he works directly with the VA.  Instructor training is on hold, as Martin still recovering.  Last season had 51 lessons per Joe.  Martin is still working on the number of people taught this year and will update.  65+ since December at Christmas, and he is only counting individuals.  Is still working on a spreadsheet.  Joe noted GMNC has 120 skier days per trailhead.  Ryan says a skier day is “any individual anytime.”  240 skier days total per Ryan.  He said if a clinic has 9 people, that’s 9 skiers days.  Right now, our Operating Plan says we have just 7 events.  Used to have participant limits (125 max).  Per Ryan, our one permit includes 240 skier days PLUS 7 events.


GMNC originally had an “outfitter” permit, now a “ski trail” permit.  At beginning of season develop annual operating plan and ask to modify the permit.  Permit not have limits; it’s in the Operating Plan.  Ryan says Odin and another group are out there with permits.  Odin and Nature Connection’s territories do not overlap GMNC.  Delta County is also doing events.


Martin said Colorado Special Olympics got ahold of him.  Other adaptive programs are possible.  Equipment from VA is gathering dust and he is going to use it for CSO.


Martin was asked how to collect on gift lessons.  He says contact him.  A raffle winner and Volunteer of the Year (Kevin Pape) got free lessons.  Martin noted he is not offering a 3 pack right now due to COVID.


Larry and Lynea went over the Financial Statement.  Lynea thanked Larry for his major efforts getting his arms around the project and putting it in a useable format.  Larry says he’s almost 100% up to speed now.  He noted that there’s $20,000 of local government funding not included in the books yet.  GMNC will probably meet its budget.  Maintenance is over-budget because level of maintenance for the CAT was not foreseen.  We are at $52,000 used out of a $63,210 budget.  Grooming payroll is low, $1,400 under budget.  Need to figure out what the $1,800 item was for – signage, grader?


Joe said donation boxes were almost double compared to last season.  Caryl noted the parking lots were jam packed.  Joe and Lynea empty the donation boxes at Skyway and County Line, Lynea gets Ward.


There was a discussion of pulling up the dashboard on the website to check the P&L and balance sheet.  Larry talked about converting the dashboard to something more generic like a Google format and making it work with current and older excel programs.


Tom Ela noted race income was not broken out as part of contributions.  Larry just got access to Paypal and says race fees from December and January will be entered and made identifiable.  Lynea noted it would be good to see race and lesson income separately.  Wages for the bookkeeper were $5,700 for the year and that budget will be used by the end of the year even though her work was only Sept-Dec.  We need to see what Kris has done and what the budget should be – she had to learn the system and help Larry.


Larry is going to check on the GMNC tax return, including determining if one needs to be filed.  He would prefer a CPA do and discussed how a CPA could donate their fees back instead of waiving them – he will look into that.


Larry noted there was no audit or review of the budget this year, but should next year.  With all the new board members, etcetera, it would help to know no financial concerns.  Also, donors (corporate) may want an audit to donate.  Need to decide this when next budget is done.


Board then went over their old business lists from prior meeting:


Joe said we are assigned 240 skier days at Skyway and County Line.  We have never counted, but we need to see what the limits are and get more days.  Kannah Creek said “no” to another event this year.  Sarah of GM Outdoors in Cedaredge is interested in sponsorships.  Additional cost for 1,300 feet of snow fence is $1,817 and 50 hours of volunteer work to install (assuming $50/roll price).  Amazingly, with under three feet of snow, the trails are fully open.  Joe suggested we wait on getting additional snow fence.


Larry reported he accomplished all items on his list except the address for Colorado Gives – he will check with Kris.


Dan said Larry has his Paypal and Kris is getting access to LGL to Martin.  He’s fixing the too many clicks issues and will talk with Martin to take the clunkiness out of the billing.  He got the Waiver-signing mechanism figured out.  There’s a $500 sponsorship from Odin and he is cleaning up logos on the sponsorship page on the website.  All the clinics are COVID compliant, including 9 students and one instructor (Martin is doing this).  Payments for lesson versus clinics sorted out.


There were 20 racers for the virtual race.  New registration is open with no age divisions.  Tom put out cones for the course.  Dan heard a lot of positives from the public about the virtual race.  He mentioned doing a reduced entry fee. Caryl asked about races in person and Dan will check if can next race on 2/20.  He is going to wait until 2/1 to set it up.  There was discussion of how the Alley Loop was doing the race, but agreed Mesa County Public Health says 10 people max is the limit and a 1 minute start interval doesn’t matter.


Colleen discussed her items, including a question about join versus renew on the dashboard and figuring out individual versus business.  Callie was doing work on LGL and just added a little yellow box to distinguish.  Colleen asked for people to let her know what we want for information so she can send it before the next meeting.  Joe said he would want to know membership numbers.  Lynea would like to know how many individuals versus businesses donated.  Can’t tell from the mailbox.  Should be able to get from LGL.  Who volunteers are would also be good to know. Lynea asked about an independent contractor form (not sure on that).


New business discussed next:


Donations/grants included $500 from Delta for general operating received.  $2,500 from Lyons Club for the new grader built by All-Metals in Grand Junction.  Mesa County $20,000 needs to be confirmed and Callie will be checking on that.


Snowshoe signs were discussed.  Need the sign 100′ down where turn onto the trail.  Super happy with the new trail.  Would like to get the signs up.  Need volunteers.  Trail is a trench.  Will be buried.  Can’t groom the snowshoe trails.  Jeff Miner has basic guide group that can help put up signs.  Put blue pole and move trail to where people go.  Winslow will help with this.  Caryl is going Saturday.  Need long nails and put signs as high as can reach.  Need board volunteers on Saturday for this.


Lynea had two questions for Winslow.  Do groomers have employment agreements?  Winslow sent them in October.  Last years were OK except wage changed and travel compensation too.  Winslow will get them back.  Callie only has one for Eric Jensen.


Joe said we decided not to have two people in the CAT (COVID).  Joe coordinating without being in so he can see what need to work on next summer.  Kellen not getting training because of this.


Meet and greet at Skyway with board members present to talk with people for 1/23.  Name tags, maps, literature discussed.  Colleen will get and the plan is 11-noon.  Set up at 10.  GMNC has tables, banners and rack cards and maps.  Tom and Colleen will bring cookies and hot chocolate and race schedules.  Caryl bringing greeting cards.  (Note this event was delayed to 7 February due to weather)


Sign up for the meet and greets discussed, including another on President’s Day weekend (2/13 and 2/14).  Dan wants to promote that weekend as a Sweetheart Ski (at County Line) and have 2 tables there at that time.


Jeff Miner talked about doing either snowmobile or PistenBully grooming on 1/25 and 2/4.  Jeff then left the meeting.


Tom Ela asked about getting a snowmobile to pick up race cones (they are heavy) – a real drag.


Caryl asked about selling art including really nice winter scenes on the mesa.  Dan suggested Facebook page promotion from the GMNC for this (sharing).  Joe is going to check the Bylaws to see if we can promote.


Dan mentioned that Martin is learning how much Callie did with regard to lessons.  Steve Bennett is interested in ski instruction and wants to donate money to the board to purchase data management software.  He has moved to GJ because of the GMNC trails.  He will be an instructor.  Martin has talked with him a lot.  Steve will fund $3,000.  Martin polled a lot of ski schools and none of them liked what they had.  Martin is ready to order because it has lots of filters, exports data, does lesson status, email notification, etcetera.  E.G., Lynea could be notified of each person who signs up.  Joe noted we thought GMNC had bought this before.  The money will buy 30-40 hours programmer time.


Board then discussed having a budget for the website including maintenance (Martin fixes the little things now for free).  Tom Ela moved we approve Martin’s purchase and Steve’s donation therefor.  Approved by unanimous vote.


Martin wants to put a “day use” button on the website for people to donate.  It would take about 30 minutes of work to do.  Question was asked about how we would manage this data?  Can do automatically or manually – anyone with access to the website can get the information.  Kris could do a monthly dump out and figure out this data.  If automated, could send emails to Larry, Colleen and Kris.  Tom said we would have to differentiate between donations versus membership (Dan is going to check and see if we can do this automatically).  Call it a “day pass.”   Lynea proposed calling it a “Non-Member Day Use Donation” – this label was moved, voted on and approved unanimously.


Dan said he would check the website re:  a privacy agreement.  Hope is that the Non-Member Day Use Donation will result in additional donations versus a decrease in cash donations.


In advance of the meeting, Joe asked that people try to abbreviate their presentations to keep the meeting under 2 hours.  The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.