Magdalena Village Hall.

Magdalena’s historical rodeo grounds may be getting an upgrade if plans by Mayor Richard Rumpf and the village Board of Trustees come to fruition.

“There’s a bunch of money available,” Rumpf said following the July 25 board meeting. “There’s a federal ‘healthy living’ grant and if we get it we’re looking at upgrading the lighting for the arena and the water system.

“There are breaks in the water line, so if you leave the water on, it loses about 2,000 gallons a day down there.”

He said the water line runs through fractured rock and the leak hasn’t been located.

The entire lighting project for the arena would be probably $20,000, he said.

Besides all new lighting, Rumpf said there was funding available to add structures to the grounds.

“There’s also money to build shelters. Maybe a storage barn and a garage,” he said. “It would be a 30-by-40 (foot) building with a 10-foot ceiling for equipment storage. We’re also looking at a 30-by-50 (foot) roof over the existing concrete slab.

“We’ve got $80,000 to refurbish the community center building and kitchen. That’s already in the works,” he said. “And then I’m getting a quote on a tractor. I’ve talked to the John Deere dealer about getting a tractor for discing the arena, and then a mower for mowing around it. Any equipment needed to keep the arena up to date.”

As for the grandstand, “we just put lighting in there,” Rumpf said. “The wind took the roof off and insurance paid for a new roof, so it’s in good shape.”

Rodeos have been a part of Magdalena’s history, dating back to the 1880s. “They go back forever,” he said. “And horse racing, too.”

Rumpf believes the improved rodeo grounds would help preserve Magdalena’s heritage, and an upgraded facility would be crucial in attracting a good-quality rodeo.

“The finance authority has been really good at giving me a heads-up on this stuff,” Rumpf said. “That tells me they want me to apply. It’s all one grant. It could be given that we get it.”

In other business, the board of trustees approved the $100,000 in fire funds for the purchase of 14 sets of improved self-contained breathing apparatus for the Magdalena Fire Department.