Bill Nesbitt was appointed to the UGRWCD Board of Directors in June 2008 representing Division 8, the City of Gunnison. Bill currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board, a position he has held since 2014. His current term expires in 2024.
“Serving on the UGRWCD board for the past 13 years has been a challenging and rewarding effort. The board meetings have never been boring because of the myriad of interests dealing with water quality/quantity issues and the diverse make-up of the board members” said Director Bill Nesbitt.
During his tenure, he has seen the board change from managing irrigation water needs to leadership in the development of programs which benefit the community and the basin as a whole and becoming a multi-jurisdictional force on state-wide water issues. Through board members’ and staff’ involvement in Colorado Water Congress, Gunnison Basin Roundtable, and the Colorado River District, the words “transmountain diversion”, although still talked about, do not create heated discussions as once was the case. “It has been fulfilling to see the Board’s continued interest in community education and outreach. One of the great programs is the annual Grant Program. In 2009, we funded two projects in the District totaling $45,000. At the conclusion of the 2021 grant cycle, the board has now funded 118 projects in the basin to the tune of just over $1.64 million. That is taxpayer money being returned to the taxpayers.”
“I am really gratified to have been active in the growth of our financial position at the District,” said Nesbitt. “I take the Board’s fiscal responsibility very seriously and am proud to note that while we have been able to successfully grow our reserves, the District has also increased its support of programming that has enhanced our water supply, improved our water quality or protected our water resources.”
“In addition to the Grant Program, the District is also providing matching funds and other resources for other private and public entities in our District who are collaborating with us on assessments, engineering and water projects that will help us meet our mission,” said Bill.
“The District Board deals with such a wide variety of subject matter that affects our leadership and decisions,” said Bill, “including everything from water rights to scientific research and data about our watershed, to climate change, to agricultural needs, to land development, to legislation, to mill levies, all of which we must do our best to understand in order to make the best decisions for the District.”
As Chair of the Outreach/Education and Finance Committees, Bill has been active in promoting the District’s mission in the community through the many other civic and governmental organizations he is involved in, as well as to school children in the valley.
“For many years now, I have enjoyed delivering copies of the book called Water, by Frank Asch to help educate the first graders in the Gunnison Watershed School District about the water cycle and the importance of conservation,” said Bill.
After graduating from Western State College (now Western Colorado University) in 1974, Bill started a construction and remodeling business with partner Bill Yanaki and in 1985 became a real estate broker. During his many years in Gunnison, Bill has been active in numerous city, county and state organizations. He served the City of Gunnison for 21 years on the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and was Gunnison’s Mayor from 1989 to 1991. He has also been active in Region 10 serving as its Chairman in 1989 and spending nearly 20 years as a member of its Revolving Loan Fund. Bill has also served on the Gunnison Valley’s Tourism Association and the Gunnison Area Chamber of Commerce. From 1990 to 2000, he was appointed by Governor Romer to the Small Business Council, one of 23 members statewide, lobbying and working with legislators to create legislation to assist small business in Colorado. He presently serves as a Governor appointee to the Gunnison Basin Roundtable. Bill is owner of Nesbitt & Company LLC, a property management and real estate brokerage firm serving the Gunnison Valley.
In his rare spare time, Bill enjoys hunting, fishing and gardening and spending time with his family, including his wife, Betsy and his grown children, Billy, Matt and Catherine.
“I think that my 50+ year involvement in the valley as a business owner, parent, and elected and appointed official has been helpful tothe UGRWCD. The board make-up has lots of diversity, and depth. The Board as a whole has a continuing commitment to the legacy of ranching and management of the most precious resource in the basin, in my opinion, — WATER!” said Bill.