Village of Magdalena preparing for emergencies, disasters


You never know when a community emergency or catastrophic disaster might strike. The village of Magdalena wants to be ready if and when it does.

The village is hosting a meeting at 10 a.m. today (April 18) at Village Hall for people interested in serving as volunteers in the event of a community crisis. Volunteers must be 18 or over and will eventually have to go through eight hours of training, but won’t have to pay for any of it.

At Monday’s board of trustees meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Allen shared what was learned when she and Mayor Sandy Julian attended an American Red Cross shelter startup workshop in Socorro last week. She said in the event of an emergency the Red Cross would bring a trailer to town, which would serve as the shelter.

“We need volunteers,” she said.

The volunteers would help run the shelter and tend to the needs of people who had to evacuate their home. The eight hours of training would include two hours of online training, she said, and three hours of training at the fire academy in Socorro, which would involve going through a mock drill.

“I feel this would take a lot off (Fire Chief) Donna (Dawson) and a lot off the marshal,” Allen said.

Someone to take over as shelter manager, to oversee the emergency operation, would also have to be identified, she said.

Allen said the shelter would have to be stocked with supplies, including food and water, and other items she did not specify. In addition, equipment she said EMS and the fire department “need desperately” would also need to be procured.

The village would need to purchase some of the supplies, but grant money available to the Department of Homeland Security could pay for the bulk of it.

Fire Chief Dawson said one thing definitely needed was a generator large enough to power oxygen machines.

Allen said the community center could be used as a shelter for pets and other animals. She said that Socorro County Emergency Services Administrator Fred Hollis also told her an additional trailer could be hauled in to accommodate animals.

The purchase of necessary items for the emergency shelter was on the meeting’s agenda as an action item, but the item was tabled until Allen could come up with a list of items needed and costs.

Other Business

  • The board approved the purchase of three Automated External Defibrillators for the fire department at a total cost of $6,725.07.
  • Mayor Julian said she had been notified of a meeting in Albuquerque on April 24 at which the village will make its case for Community Development Block Grants to help pay for a second well and telemetry system.

“We were put on the list. It doesn’t mean we’ll get it,” she said.

  • Village resident Z.W. Farnsworth reported on last Saturday’s village cleanup day, which he deemed a great success.

“We got a lot accomplished,” he said.

Farnsworth said 110 cubic yards of trash was disposed of. Nineteen volunteers participated, most of whom were from outside the village, he said.

Farnsworth thanked volunteer Gilbert Torres for doing a lot of mowing, the M&M Grill for providing hot dogs and a crew Socorro County for bringing in and hauling away garbage dispensers.

“They really did an outstanding job,” he said.

Farnsworth said next month volunteers planned to do some cleanup around the cemetery.

  • Farnsworth also reported that the Masonic Lodge had donated three bicycles for the summer reading program at the library.
  • Trustee Barbara Baca said she noticed a greater police presence at Magdalena School, which she said she appreciated and would serve to stem some of the problems that have occurred at the school.
  • Baca requested that a proposal to bring a flea market to Magdalena be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. Mayor Julian said the village would have to look into the village’s ordinances that relate to flea markets before then.
  • During the public comment period, resident Marguerite Sweeney, who also heads the Grizz Project, a group that works to find homes for stray and abandon animals, reminded the board that it’s almost “puppy season.”

“There are going to be a lot of dogs abandon, especially puppies. Perhaps the board can come up with a plan to do something about it,” she said.

Sweeney related incidents last year that occurred during last July’s Old Timers Reunion when about a half dozen puppies were left in dumpsters or abandon on the streets. She said the Grizz Project likely won’t have the resources to deal with it this year and urged the board to be prepared for similar occurrences.

  • Joint Utility Director Steve Bailey was asked to replace three stop signs around town, including one at Magdalena School.
  • Village Clerk/Treasurer Rita Broaddus said that Karen Wagner will fill in at village hall this week while she and Deputy Clerk Carleen Gomez attend a clerk’s association meeting.


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