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GMNC Board meeting minutes March 9, 2022, 6:00 – 7:47 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, Dave Smith. Guests: Alie Wilson.

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

  1. Guest Introduction – Alie Wilson, who is taking a course through the Unicorn Grant Writing Collective, met with Christie Aschwanden regarding grant research assistance. Fees for 6-8 weeks of building a funding strategy and identifying grants is $1500 – $2000.


  1. Previous board meeting minutes – Denise Massart moves to accept the Feb 9th Tom Ela seconds. Motion passes. Dan Tille will post on the website within the next week or so.


  1. Treasurer report – Susie Attaway discusses the February financial dashboard. Financials are very strong. Ordinary income is up 91K from last year and +69K over budget. Individual memberships are up 45% or 34K from the previous year and 25K over budget. Grants are up 99% or 30K from last year and 34K over budget. Operating revenue is at 71K, up 15K from last year and with a +122K variance from the budget.


Ordinary expense is 75K over last year’s expense and 53K under budget. Trail grooming and maintenance is the largest expense and is 27K over last year’s expense and 9K under budget.  Fuel expense will be more costly for the rest of the season. Discussed possible season extension and corresponding grooming costs.


  1. Executive Director report – Christie Aschwanden reports as of March 6th, we’re at 998 donations totaling $125,520.90. That’s compared to 783 donations totaling $90,086.57 at this time last season. More than $34,000 of this money is from first-time donors.


Christie Aschwanden says the grooming team continues to work well together. Visitor comments on grooming are phenomenal – they are thrilled with the trails. Christie Aschwanden & Joe Ramey met with Forest Service’s Bill Edwards and Montrose Forest Service Products to discuss plowing Scales Lake Road during the logging project. There is a good potential connector trail between Kannah and Tower trails we could use when Scales Lake Road will be closed after next February 15th. The Forest Service gave positive feedback for the “#2” warming hut design option and liked the potential site location. They will provide site survey information.


Christie Aschwanden will provide a revised Master Development Plan version to the Forest Service.


Christie Aschwanden mentioned to Bill Edwards that we will add the possibility of grooming East Ward to the Annual Operating plan. Forest Service is open to us encouraging folks to use ungroomed snowshoe trails.


Christie Aschwanden talked to Bill Edwards about the possibility of expanding County Line’s parking lot as we are nearing capacity. Often, County Line has over 90 cars; Skyway has a full parking lot at times. We do have to manage capacity, so trails aren’t too crowded. The Forest Service doesn’t want to provide poop bags (even compostable ones) and advises folks to bury poop off trail. GMNC’s messaging to users will be to pack in and pack it out, with the second option to scoop it off the trail. Perhaps GMNC can supply a few garden shovels to scoop dog poop off the trails.


A 2500 grant from an individual donor will be used for free introductory clinics next season. Christie Aschwanden will work with Lessons Program Committee to revamp how we deal with free clinics.


  1. Race & Events Committee – Dan Tille reports that the Mesa Meltdown race will occur on the spring equinox, Sunday, March 20th. Registration is now open. The season wrap up party will be Saturday, April 2nd at the Palisade Distillery from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Christie Aschwanden will put party details into the next newsletter. Follow-up with Dave Aschwanden needed regarding the collegiate race funds.


  1. Operations – Joe Ramey reports we will sell the 2013 snowmobile once we know that we’ve secured the two ordered snowmobiles. Plus, there’s a better chance of selling it next fall rather than this spring. Dave Smith brings up selling one of our two rollers (valued at approx. $500) to a smaller CO Nordic center. We also may sell an unused grader worth approximately $500. The $5000 Delta County grant arriving soon will go towards the snowmobile purchase at Hotchkiss Weekender Sports. Financial committee will discuss potential sale or donation of roller and grader and make a recommendation to board. Ops Committee will meet before next board meeting to discuss end of the season grooming.


  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. Permanent Building Committee – Dan Tille explains that since Christie Aschwanden just met with the Forest Service, the Building Committee needs to meet in the next week. Building design #2 is the design we will move  


  1. Election of the Board: Lynea discusses board election process and early thoughts. Lynea will contact all board and ask for any nominations for officers. Will present a slate for officers and a slate of board directors at large to the board in May during annual nomination process.


  1. Lessons Program update: Effective February 25th, Martin Wiesiolek stepped down as volunteer ski school coordinator. The GMNC Board thanks him for all his time and effort. Christie Aschwanden is working on lesson coordination while Tina Wilson is out of town.


  1. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 13th at Delta Chamber of Commerce. Enter through the back door. Susie Attaway will bring a check for the rental fee.

Dan Tille moves that we adjourn and go into Executive Session. Lynea Schultz-Ela seconds. Dan Tille moves to end this meeting at 7:47 p.m. Lynea Schultz-Ela seconds. Motion passes.