Magdalena bans fireworks

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The village of Magdalena proclaimed a 30-day ban on the sale and use of missile-type fireworks at the village council meeting on Monday, which will be in place through the Fourth of July.

The ban stems from a public hearing held in June 2011 during which the council decided Magdalena could be at risk for wild fires during “extreme or severe drought conditions.”

According to the council, Magdalena is now currently under extreme drought conditions, based on information from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Magdalena Ranger District, which regulates part of Cibola National Forest, issued Stage I fire restrictions last Friday, which includes the banning of fireworks from national forests.

The drought and the fire restrictions forced the village to limit what kinds of fireworks could be used during this 30-day period. According to the proclaimation, commercial fireworks that would be used in a show or display are banned.

Prohibited fireworks also include smaller, consumer items, such as missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners and stick-type rockets, according to the proclamation. Chasers and firecrackers are also prohibited.

“(The ban is on) just something that shoots up in the air,” said Rita Broaddus, the Magdelena village clerk.

The village council also put some limits on otherwise “permissible” fireworks, according to the proclamation, including cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches, toy smoking devices and wheels, which are limited to areas within the municipal boundaries that are paved or barren, or areas that have a readily accessible source of water.

The council also made clear that burning was not allowed outside of grills or barbecue pits within city limits. A fine of $500 or up to 90 days in jail are penalties for breaking any of these proclamations during the next 30 days. The proclamation was passed unanimously.

In other action, the council:

  • Heard from Mayor Sandy Julian, who reported that Magdalena did not receive grant money for the proposed new well and telemetry system because the funding for the state of New Mexico has been cut by 35 percent for this year. The council will apply next year for the needed funds;
  • Adopted the 2012 New Mexico Uniform Traffic Code. The code was amended by the Legislature to include an amendment that a bicycle rider must use an adjacent path to a street if one is available;
  • Approved $7,500 for fire-related expenses. The remaining fire budget, which is about $6,000 to $11,000, will be used to buy self-contained breathing apparatuses. The village will only buy a couple apparatuses per year because of the cost.
  • Approved the carry-over of vacation days by municipal employees, such as the marshal. Trustee Barbara Baca opposed this measure.
  • Approved Braswell Roofing Inc. in Socorro to receive the bid to remove debris from the roof of the Magdalena Boxcar Museum and then apply a new coating to the tin roof. This bid, which was the lowest, will cost the village $641.25.