Magdalena Village Hall, 108 N. Main Street, Magdalena
John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain

Magdalena’s “blue law” preventing restaurants from serving beer and wine may be a thing of the past if voters so agree. To that end, the Village of Magdalena Board of Trustees passed a resolution at its March 28 meeting to put the question on the ballot for the November general election.

Mayor Richard Rumpf said he and the board have been working on the wording with the village attorney.

“We needed to get it right and need to get it on the November ballot,” Rumpf said.

The resolution pointed out that the Alcohol Beverage Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department grandfathered in Magdalena as a local option district prior to the 1981 enactment of the Local Option statute.

“It states that local option districts must hold elections on whether to approve the issuance of restaurant licenses,” Rumpf said.

Such an election may be initiated by petition or by resolution of the governing body of a local option district without a petition, the statute says.

“This resolution is to get it on the ballot,” he said. “I think there is a lot of support for this in the village.”

In 2014, Magdalena voters defeated an ordinance that prevented Golden Spur Saloon from providing liquor-by-the-drink on Sundays.

“We’re just trying to straighten out everything,” he said.

Rumpf said it was his understanding that Tumbleweeds Diner would be allowed a provisional license.

At the meeting, Rumpf also gave an update on the new water well project. He said the drilling for the new Trujillo Supplemental Well east of town on Highway 60 is proceeding on schedule. “They hit some very hard rock and they’re bringing in additional equipment from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to drill through that. It’s been a challenge,” he said. “We have to spend another $100,000 to install the pump and get everything hooked up in the building.”

Rumpf said he expects the drilling to be completed by next week.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved reallocating $33,594 of the Cares Act money to remove an obsolete water storage tank. The 200,000-gallon tank is the oldest of the three tanks on the hill south of town.
  • Approved the hiring of Brian Waterman as the new Deputy Marshal.