Old Timers Reunion may be canceled due to water issue

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The 42nd annual Old Timers Reunion rodeo and events may be postponed or canceled this year, due to the Village of Magdalena’s loss of water. The village well went dry a week ago Tuesday. The board of directors for the Old Timers Reunion held a special meeting Tuesday evening at Village Hall in Magdalena to determine the fate of this year’s activities. The special meeting announcement was posted on the event’s Facebook page on Monday evening, requesting board members and other “interested members” be present. Approximately 25 people were in attendance.

No decision was made on the fate of the 42nd annual event, after much debate and bickering among the community members present. Some community residents were advocating for the cancellation of the reunion, while others suggested simply postponing the event until later this summer. Some business owners and others were passionately opposed to either idea, stating that their annual revenues would be severely hampered by the cancellation of the event, and that even postponing would do damage. Some business owners fear they would not survive the year without it.

“The village owns the arena where the rodeo is held, so we can make the call,” Mayor Sandy Julian said following the meeting. “Right now, we need to have a little more information. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to host the event as scheduled, but we just don’t know if things will go as planned.” Julian’s recommendation is to postpone the event, rather than to cancel it, or to trust the plans to fall into place that quickly.

“I know this is important for our businesses,” Julian said. “I don’t want to take this revenue away from them. It will take revenue away from us, too.”

The decision at the end of the meeting was to wait to make a determination about the reunion until next Monday, June 17, when the villageboard will hold its regularly scheduled board meeting. One board member suggested making the decision in executive session.

“It is a tough decision,” Martin Wellito, Old Timers Reunion board president, said. “I understand the concerns of the businesses, but if there isn’t even enough water for the residents of Magdalena, how can we consider bringing in thousands of outside visitors?”

Wanda Mansell of Magdalena said, “I have mixed feelings about it. If we cancel, we need to make the decision soon so we can call people who are planning to come; if not, we need to develop a good plan for it.” Monday’s board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Village Hall in Magdalena. People can also visit the Old Timers Reunion Facebook page and leave comments there.

 

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