Magdalena interested in solar plant; buys police equipment

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Discussion of a possible solar panel manufacturing facility in the village of Magdalena was put on hold Monday evening, because representative of the company were not present.

Donna Dawson, a local real estate broker, said the company was interested in purchasing the empty property west of the post office. The proposed facility would manufacture solar panels and the electronic equipment that goes along with them, Dawson told the board of trustees.

However, representatives of the California company thought the meeting was Thursday, May 10, Dawson said, so they were not present at the Monday, May 7 meeting.

Dawson said she hadn't discussed many details of the project with them, such as estimated water use for the facility.

Trustee Barbara Baca made a motion to table discussion of the project until the next meeting, so that representatives from the company could attend.

Mayor Pro-Tem L. Diane Allen said she would like to see a written plan of the proposed facility.

"Especially when we are talking about water," Allen said.

Trustee Dolly Dawson said she would need to abstain from the matter, because if could be a financial conflict of interest for her. Donna Dawson is her daughter.

Mayor Sandy Julian said she would stay out of the discussion as well.

Allen seconded Baca's motion to table the item, which passed 4-0.

Under the joint utility purchase agenda item, Village Clerk/Treasurer Rita Broaddus reported the village had been offered a cardboard compactor for $2,400, but it was a very old piece of machinery.

"We felt that was too high," she said. "We would like to do our own research and see if that is a reasonable price." Julian said doing an Internet search shows that the company that made the compactor doesn't exist anymore.

Broaddus suggested the board table the purchase until further research could be done. It was tabled on a 4-0 vote.

The board also unanimously approved an $11,000 purchase for in-car video and radar system for the marshal's two fleet SUVs. The money came out of the state allocated Law Enforcement Protection Fund. The board also voted to allow the marshal's department to begin advertising for a deputy to fill a soon-to-be-vacant position.

The board tabled the library purchases on Broaddus's suggestion, because the librarian didn't have the list of purchases prepared in time for the meeting.

The board also approved three budget adjustment requests presented by Broaddus. The first one totaled a $19,000 increase to the administrative and police department line items. The administration increase of $4,000 was for the board approved expenditure to help with the operation of the transit van that runs a route between the village and the city of Socorro.

The remainder was for two police department vehicles the village recently received, that needed to be gotten "up to par," Broaddus said.

The second adjustment was in the joint utility account. The water department received a $9,000 increase and sewer increased by $8,000. The water department increase was to cover the electrical work at the well to install generators and the sewer was for the re-mediation work needed at the lagoon.

The final budget adjustment was for $2,064 in the recreation budget. Broaddus said the village doesn't take in any recreation revenue, but it does need to spend the money budgeted. The trustees voted to spend the money to maintain the grounds around the village hall and to add a picnic table to the area they were developing for community space.

Mayor Julian informed the board that she had made a trip to Albuquerque to present a grant application for a well and telemetry equipment for the village. She said the village should have an answer on whether it got the grant by the end of the month.

Broaddus reported that the Southern Council of Governments would inform the village by May 31 of what, if any, allocations the village would receive for the upcoming fiscal year.

In other action, the board also unanimously adopted the uniform traffic code, with minor changes by the state regarding bicyclists and approved the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.