It took more than a couple of meetings and public hearings, but the Magdalena Village Board of Trustees has finally adopted Ordinance No. 2022-03, which allows the operation of off-highway and all-terrain vehicles in town.

The ordinance is in compliance with the New Mexico Uniform Traffic Ordinance, which allows the operation of said vehicles “on a paved street owned and controlled by the authorizing authority, subject to certain conditions … “

The ordinance says an OHV or ATV may be operated on a paved street owned and controlled by the Village of Magdalena, if:

  • The vehicle has one or more headlights and one or more taillights.
  • The vehicle has brakes, a mirror and mufflers.
  • The operator has valid driver’s licenses or permits as required under the Motor Vehicle Code and off-highway motor vehicle safety permits as required under the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.
  • The operator is insured in compliance with provisions of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act.
  • All operators and passengers are wearing eye protection and a safety helmet that complies with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.

Except for sections of the Motor Vehicle Code that conflict with the licensing and equipment requirements of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act, any operator using an off-highway motor vehicle on a paved street or highway shall be subject to the requirements and penalties for operators of moving and parked vehicles under the Motor Vehicle Code.

Off-highway motor vehicles may cross streets or highways, except limited access highways or freeways, if the crossing is made after coming to a complete stop prior to entering the street.

Off-highway motor vehicles shall yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and shall begin a crossing only when it can be executed safely and then crossing in the most direct manner, as close to a perpendicular angle as possible.

The speed limit for all-terrain vehicles operated within the village shall be 10 mph or the posted speed limit, whichever is less. If the posted speed limit is higher than 30 mph, the operator shall operate the all-terrain vehicle on the extreme right-hand side of the roadway.

Each offense under this Ordinance shall be punished by a fine of $94 that shall not be suspended or deferred. Each subsequent offense shall be punished by an additional $94 fine.

In other business, the Magdalena Board of Trustees met for a special meeting Friday night to take care of last-minute 2022 resolutions.

At that meeting, the board OK’ed a legislative grant of $281,250 for law enforcement. The grant will be meted over three years and does not require matching funds, Mayor Richard Rumpf said.

“It’s an outright grant from the legislators as part of a legislative bill. HB 68,” Rumpf said. “These funds will go toward salaries, moving expenses, and bonuses. Things like that.”

According to the resolution, “The allocated funds will be disbursed 100 percent up to $112,500 the first year, 50 percent up to $112,500 the second year, and 25 percent up to $56,250 the third year.”

The Department of Finance & Administration dictates that funds for the first disbursement must be expended by June 30, 2023; the second disbursement will be made in July 2023 to be expended by June 30, 2024; and the third disbursement will be made in July 2024 to be expended by June 30, 2025.

Rumpf said any amount the village does not use in each of the three years will be reclaimed by the DFA.

“All expenditures must occur prior to the end of each fiscal year,” Rumpf said. “Marshal’s office salaries and bonuses be doled out through resolutions. As soon as we get it signed and sent in, within five days we’ll get the first installment and it will go into the general fund for law enforcement.”

He pointed out that in 2025 the salaries will start dropping back to what they’re getting paid now. “Unless the village has a lot of extra money,” Rumpf said.

The board also:

  • Approved the transfer of a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado from the Marshal’s office to the Magdalena Volunteer Fire Department. The vehicle will replace the current command vehicle that is in need of extensive repair.
  • Approved the purchase of two new Ford Rangers for the Joint Utility Department using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. “We’re going to put the old ones up for bids. One has motor issues,” Rumpf said.