Village taps CDBG well to resolve drainage issues

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Magdalena is getting an additional $13,000 in federal funding to help them figure out how to solve drainage problems in the village.

The Magdalena Board of Trustees approved a budget adjustment that would enable the village to provide $650 in matching funds for the Community Development Block Grant at its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 26.

Clerk-Treasurer Rita Broaddus said the planning grant originally was for $35,000, with the village spending $2,500 in matching funds, but that wasn’t enough.

“With the mayor speaking to the engineers, that amount won’t cover it,” she said. “So we had asked for an additional $15,000 but got $13,000.”

“That’s short of what engineering was asking for,” Mayor James Wolfe said, “but it will help us with our drainage management plan.”

Drainage problems surface each time heavy rain falls on the village. Streets flood and large ponds form throughout town.

The grant money will be used to conduct a drainage study to identify locations where runoff tends to accumulate and how those issues can best be addressed.

• Trustee Barbara Baca asked that the village look into repairing the roof at the community center. Baca said she was alarmed by what she saw after a recent rain.

“There was about four inches of water in there. You could see holes in the roof. It looked like a disco ball in there,” she said.

Mayor Wolfe said fixing the problem could involve replacing the whole roof and might turn out to be a major expense to the village. He said it was possible that the project could qualify for CDBG funding, but it would take some time to go through the process of getting it approved.

While no action was taken, the mayor said he would ask for a price quote to get an idea of how much repairing the roof would cost.

• The board decided to revisit the possibility of vacating a portion of 12th Street. Currently, a mobile home sits on the property owned by the village.

At a meeting last month, the board failed to second a motion to vacate the property, which effectively killed the issue. But the matter was brought up again at the request of trustee Carmen Torres.

“What are we going to do with it?” she asked. “You can’t get an emergency vehicle down that road. I don’t see what use it is to the village.”

Ron Billa, owner of the mobile home, said he’s offered to buy the property. He said that part of the road hasn’t been accessible for as long as he can remember.

Baca objected to considering the action, saying it was a safety issue and set a bad precedent.

“If we have to sell a piece of land, then we’ll have to look at this piece and that piece and pretty soon you’ve got a big mess,” she said.

The mayor and trustee Dolly Dawson agreed with Torres that the property was of no use to the village.

Dawson made the motion to have the item put on the agenda at the next meeting and Torres seconded the motion. The motion passed with Baca voting “no” and trustee Jack Fairweather explaining that he voted “yes” only to get the matter resolved.

• A public hearing on first consideration of an ordinance to adjust penalty assessments for traffic violations was heard. Among the proposed changes are increases in fines for parking in a designated handicapped zone and failure to stop at a railroad-highway crossing from $10 to $150.

• The board approved an expenditure of no more than $924 for window tinting at the fire station.

• The board approved spending $993 for a new computer hard drive for the village’s Administration Office.