Pursuing its efforts to take over the operation of the senior center, the Magdalena Village Board of Trustees considered a plan – “Proposal to operate Magdalena Senior Program Local Service Plan Narrative” – on how that would work. The seven-page document spelling out the Village’s desire and ability to take over the center is required by the state’s Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging.

While taking over from the previous provider, Socorro County, the Village proposes to provide the same services and units as Socorro County but plans to increase the number of consumers beginning on July 1.

Based on the current year’s budget and expenditures for the Magdalena center, the Village is requesting an annual budget of $110,289, which is prorated for three months at $27,572. In addition, the Village requests the right to request additional funds in Fiscal Year 2024, based on experience running the program during the next three months and the intention to increase units and consumers in FY 2024.

“The major issue with the existing program is the quality of the food,” the plan states. “Our first priority is to improve food quality and nutritional value, and thereby senior health and quality of life. We will do this by improving recipes that incorporate higher quality raw food and locally grown produce and meat from our local farmers market and other sources … to provide the highest quality services for older adults possible while innovating our program through robust community partnerships.”

This means hiring experienced staff who previously worked for the county’s senior program, specifying Rose Wilburn as Senior Program Director and Yvonne Mettinger as cook/driver.

Magdalena also looks to partner with community organizations, such as SCOPE, NM Farm to Table/NM Grown, Magdalena Farmers Market, Magdalena Community Garden, Samaritan Center, and the City of Socorro (to coordinate senior transportation with the city’s transit service.)

The plan must be submitted to and approved by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration’s Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging.

In other business, the Trustees passed a resolution requesting funds for resurfacing Kelly Road from Highway 60 all the way to Hop Canyon Road split. The project cost, per the engineer’s estimate, is $775,000. The requested funding would pay for the entire design project, including planning and design.

The Village also requested a waiver for the matching fund requirement. If the match waiver is unavailable, the Village will commit to the five percent match or $38,750 for this project.

The resolution states that once the Village receives these funds, the project would start within three months, and construction is anticipated to be completed within three months. Bohannan Huston Inc. is slated to do the work.