Fixing well priority for Magdalena

........................................................................................................................................................................................

On Friday, the village of Magdalena mayor and council approved a $200,000 transfer of funds from the general fund into the enterprise fund to start the rehabilitation projects they have planned. The focus will be on rehabilitating the Benjamin Well, for starters.

“We were hoping not to have to reallocate funds for this,” said Rita Broaddus, Magdalena village clerk, “but felt we could no longer wait for additional funding.”

The $200,000 from general funds was not allocated to any other projects.

The approval was made during a special meeting held by the Village Council on Friday at 3 p.m. Notice of the meeting was made two days prior, through posts in the village post office, police department and fire department, Village Hall, the library and Winston’s gas station.

In addition to approving funding, officials hired private consultant Justin King, owner of King Industries of Ruidoso, to help them determine the best long-term solution for the village’s water shortage issues. There has been exploratory drilling, based on a preliminary plan developed by the village with the help of the New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau about a week ago. King will take that plan into the exploration phase, as well as review other options.

The Village has also embarked on a potential plan to rehabilitate the “old” MacTavish Well, near the new senior center, for use in supplying nonpotable water to residents for outdoor watering. In addition, some village residents with private wells are supplying nonpotable water to their neighbors. While private well water cannot automatically be used in the village system as potable water, it can be used for outdoor watering, laundry and flushing toilets.

While village officials continue to develop a plan, external water donations continue to pour into the community from various sources. The Socorro Knights of Columbus have taken donations and delivered them to Magdalena’s fire department twice; United Healthcare in New Mexico donated 100 cases of water delivered on June 24, and Bernalillo County delvered 40,000 gallons of water in tankers to Magdalena over the weekend. Hop Canyon continues to provide nonpotable water to the community for use in watering livestock, pets, gardens and trees.

The city of Socorro will provide water for household use to Socorro County residents who rely on water from the village of Magdalena. For household use the water is free. Individuals or businesses that need a larger quantity of water will be asked to pay for it.

Residents should take their clean personal water jugs, containers and tanks to Socorro’s water distribution location. The city’s water system is potable but the city recommends users treat the water as nonpotable. The city will not be responsible for any sickness or injury related to the use and transportation of the water.

County residents need to register at Socorro City Hall, 111 School of Mines Road. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registered individuals will be given directions to the water distribution location.