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Grand Lake bids farewell to longtime town clerk

New Clerk starts Sept. 24

The Town of Grand Lake will welcome a new Town Clerk later this month.

Katie Nicholls will begin her first day as the new Town Clerk for Grand Lake on Thursday, Sept. 24. Nicholls will replace longtime Town Clerk Ronda Kolinske who is retiring.

Originally from Concord, Mass., Nicholls was a U.S. Air Force brat and grew up in many different places, though she has spent most of her life in Colorado. Before moving to Grand County she lived in Denver.

Nicholls and her husband have two small boys and own the Roadhouse Bar and Grill, located on Highway 34 just outside of Grand Lake. Prior to taking her new position in Grand Lake, Nicholls worked for a title and guarantee company out of Winter Park. She has previously worked for the Columbine Lake Country Club HOA and was a real estate researcher as well.

Sept. 18 will mark the end of an era for Grand Lake when longtime Town Clerk Ronda Kolinske steps down for retirement.

When Kolinske leaves she will have worked as the Grand Lake Town Clerk for two decades, to the day; her first day as town clerk was Sept. 18, 1995. She is Grand Lake’s 21st town clerk.

Originally from Cheyenne, Wyo., Kolinske moved to the Grand Lake area in 1984.

“Like a lot of other people I came up here snowmobiling and fishing and fell in love with the area,” she said. “I eventually ended up with an opportunity to move here and took it.”

Kolinske spent nearly a decade in Grand Lake before being appointed as clerk pro-tem in 1995. She was appointed to the position permanently in November 1998. During her tenure in Grand Lake, Kolinske has twice served as interim town manager, first in 2004 for a short period and then again at the end of 2011 when she served in that capacity for four months.

Over the last 20 years Kolinske has seen significant change in the Grand Lake area, she highlighted some of the more memorable projects that have been undertaken in her time with the town including the annexation and development of the Grand Lake Lodge and surrounding property. She also highlighted the construction of the Grand Lake Fire House as a major project in the community’s history.

As town clerk for Grand Lake Kolinske oversees several aspects of municipal government.

“I wear a lot of hats in this position,” she said. “In a small municipality I think all clerks do.”

She has been responsible for municipal elections, including the hiring of election judges and operation of polling places. As town clerk she also formally issued liquor licenses for the town and was the administrator for the Grand Lake Cemetery, a unique roll as the Town of Grand Lake has one of the few operational cemeteries located within a National Park. As town clerk she also serves as the record keeper for meeting minutes and ordinances and resolutions.

Kolinske is excited to begin the next chapter in her life. She and her husband Richard plan to remain in the area though they are looking forward to spending more time with family and friends including their two grandsons and Ronda’s parents, still living in Cheyenne, Wyo.


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