Marshal stays in Magdalena

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The rumor about the mayor suspending the Magdalena Marshal’s Office is just that — a rumor, said village Mayor Sandy Julian during the public input section of Monday night’s village board of trustees’ meeting.

Julian said she asked the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department for assistance while Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley is on vacation, leaving the village with only Deputy Don Lyles on duty.

“I did meet with the Socorro sheriff’s office to get some help out here while Larry (Cearley) is on vacation,” she said. “We like having them (Socorro County sheriff’s deputies) here to help Don, especially on his days off.”

Julian was puzzled by the rumor. Trustee Diane Allen said people should contact the village when questions such as these arise instead of spreading rumors.

“When you hear something like that, check it out,” Allen said.

Important policy decisions have to be put on the trustees’ meeting agenda and voted on by the trustees, Julian said. The mayor cannot decide policy questions on her own.

Judge Robert Serna and citizen Jason Otero then questioned clerk/treasurer Rita Broaddus about the lack of a backup municipal well. Serna said the New Mexico Legislature passed a bill requiring municipalities to have two working wells or face a $10,000 fine. Otero asked why the old town well couldn’t be brought back into service.

Broaddus said the old town well is inoperable.

“The (old) well is pretty much collapsed,” she said. “It would cost as much to move it over a few feet. There’s no pump and no casing.”

Broaddus said she is looking into finding funding for a second well. Mayor Julian said the matter will be put on the agenda for the next trustees’ meeting.

A search of the New Mexico Legislature website did not reveal any bills about municipal wells passed in the 2013 session.

In other business, the trustees:

  • Heard Allen report on the status of the village evacuation center to be housed at the old senior center. Allen reported the renovations are nearly complete. She has presented the village shelter survey to Socorro County Fire Marshal Fred Hollis. The facility has been repainted, re-plumbed, and rewired, and will shelter 25 to 30 people. Allen said a hands-on mock emergency drill will be held in Magdalena on June 10. Allen said four villagers, including herself, have completed emergency preparedness training. Trustee Barbara Baca’s badge has not been awarded yet, but Allen said she would look into it.
  • Approved department reports. The water department report was missing because Steve Bailey was at a Rural Water Association training session in Albuquerque.
  • Approved the Magdalena Trail Drivers’ request for $2,200 in municipal lodgers’ tax to fund advertisements for a cowboy shooting event to be held Sept. 20- 21. Organizer Heather Kresser said the annual event draws about 150 shooters and their families, filling every motel room in Magdalena. Fifteen to 20 vendors usually show up, Kresser said.
  • Unanimously approved bills presented for payment.
  • Heard Broaddus report of a payment of $7,200 from the village environment fund for new trash bins.
  • Approved a budget resolution to pay $1,239 for an increase in the water department audit contract, and $9,062 for sewer department maintenance equipment because of the sewer lagoon failure last fall.

“We had to pay to fix it,” Broaddus said.

  • Unanimously approved a resolution balancing the 2012-2013 budget. A $40,000 general fund revenue increase will be spent on village maintenance and equipment expenses, including $6,100 for repairing fixtures and electrical equipment at the old senior center, $23,875 for a new village SUV, and $3,721 for a new shed in the village yard. Broaddus said construction of the new U. S. Forest Service building probably accounted for the uptick in gross receipts revenue.

“This may not continue,” she said. “It is strictly because of the construction going on over there.”

The next Magdalena village board of trustees meeting will be held in the Village Hall at 6 p.m. on May 6.