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District wants to hire ski hill project manager

Dan McDonald
Managing Editor

Construction on the new chair lift at Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl is well underway. And it’s still scheduled to open for the 2015-16 season.

But there is still a lot of work to be done.

The ski hill committee said last week it wants to hire a manager to see the project through to its completion.

“This is actually like a coordination job,” committee member Bob Hickman said.

Hickman’s comments came during the Aug. 20 Eastern Plumas Recreation District board meeting in Blairsden.

The EPRD board approved spending $8,000 for a project manager. Hickman said the district hoped to hire someone soon — ideally someone from the area.

When asked about the relatively low amount budgeted for the job, Hickman told the board there was only about three months’ worth of work left to be done.

“We have an engineer. We have a plan that’s been approved. We just need to follow that plan,” Hickman said of the need for a project manager.

The work on the hill began in earnest last fall when the first terminal of the lift was installed. Hickman said there will be eight towers in all. He said, from a construction standpoint, the job is similar to building a big fence.

“I think this is a really easy project. All things considered, really, really easy,” Hickman said.

Hickman said ground under the lifts is being cleared and that the water system was “more or less done.” He said installing the electrical system will involve digging about a mile of trench and putting conduit in the ground.

“There are a lot of loose ends and it sounds really big. But it’s not that bad,” Hickman said.

EPRD board chairman Don Fregulia said anyone interested in the project manager job should contact him or ski hill committee chairman Dan Gallagher.

Budget talk

The EPRD board also reviewed its 2014-15 budget during the meeting. The most glaring number was a projected $267,944 deficit.

The deficit directly reflects the expected $300,000 in ski hill construction costs.

Last year the district had $54,035 in revenue. More than half of the money came from fundraising events and direct donations.

The district projected more than $76,000 in revenue for this fiscal year. Fregulia told board members he is well aware the district will need to explore more funding sources to pay for the ski hill work.


In addition to several planned fundraising events, the district welcomes donations of any size, which are tax deductible.

Anyone who donates $1,000 will have his or her name placed on a ski lift chair. The district will also put a donating person’s or organization’s name on one of the chair lift towers.

New board member

John Rowden was recently appointed to the EPRD board, replacing Gallagher, who stepped down to concentrate on his ski hill committee duties.

Rowden will head the district’s strategic planning committee. He brings extensive grant-writing experience to the district.

Marketing committee

The district is looking for volunteers to help establish a marketing plan for both the EPRD and ski hill.

Volunteers are needed to help with news releases, website management, social media and other projects.

The marketing committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month at the Sierra Adventures office at 8905 Highway 89, across the highway from the White Barn. The meetings are held at 5:30 p.m.

EPRD meetings are held the same day at 6:30 p.m. at the Mohawk Resources Center.

A lot of hard working people have volunteered their time and money to make this a reality. To them I say thank you. On so many levels this will benefit both residents and visitors of Plumas county. It would be nice to see our board of supervisors take an interest in opening this up. I spend thousands of dollars to take my family out of county to enjoy a snowy mountain. When can I start spending that money here?
because its an ant hill
Not every river is the Mississippi. Not every mountain is Everest. It serves a purpose that seems lost on you. I believe it will benefit this community and might draw in families to help revitalize this area. It could provide jobs for our residents and recreation for visitors. Older folks say that's where my kids learned to ski, younger folks talk about the wonderful memories of learning to ski there. We are headed in the right direction to want that again.
People might want to look at recent, say since 1952, snowfall records, because there is a rather obvious trend that does not favor a ski hill, not only in Plumas County, but not anywhere along the Sierra Nevada. This is not a "field of dreams" deal. Ski hills don't work without snow, and the cost, both in money and water usage, of manufactured snow is out of the question. I know where I learned to ski. That ski hill is gone, along with the snow. Forget where people say they learned to ski. Now one must go where there is snow.
It's either wishful thinking or climate denial to think that there will be consistent snow here in the future.
Hike up the mountain and ski down that would save the cost and waste of a chair lift! No GHG's too!
There has been a lot of time and energy spent on the ski hill. The BOS has given only a few pennies toward the ski hill project. So do they support it? If the hill is to become a reality, it needs community support in donations to build it and sustain it -- since the government is not going to build it for a few. Small businesses need to get on board if they want it. People should attend the Eastern Plumas Recreation District meetings held on 3rd Sunday of month at 6:30pm at the Mohawk Resources Center and express their opinions. Next meeting is Wednesday, September 17th. Build it and they will come? And, What about the snow? Lot's of good questions.



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