Magdalena continues to upgrade equipment for the village’s Public Utility Department. At its last meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a new John Deere tractor.
Mayor Richard Rumpf said money for the purchase will come out of American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“We need an additional tractor to keep up on mowing the alleys and easements, and to run the brush chipper we have,” Rumpf said. “We have federal money to pay for it, so it’s not coming out of the village budget.”
Although the department already has a Kobuta tractor, he said that in the long run, the purchase will save time and man-hours.
“The Kobuta we have has a backhoe, and every time we need to do some mowing, we have to take that implement off and put on the mower,” he said. “It’s time-consuming to change implements, so this gives us one more asset. With an additional tractor, we can have one of the village workers out there mowing. Also, we can put the brush chipper on it, and we still have the backhoe available.”
He said weed control is important for fire prevention, as well as maintaining a well-kept appearance for the village.
“We need to catch up on mowing the weeds in the alleyways and easements, and especially for grass fire prevention,” he said. “We’ll be mowing around the rodeo grounds and all village properties, as well.”
Trustee Donna Dawson objected to the purchase, pointing out that the village already owns a mower at the airport. Rumpf said that although the village owns the mower for cutting weeds and grass at the airport, it could not be used for mowing in town.
“Because it was purchased through a federal aviation grant, we are not allowed to use it anywhere but at the airport,” Rumpf said.
The purchase was approved by a 3-1 vote, with Dawson casting the “no” vote.
In other business, the board passed resolution No. 2023-03, “Delegating The Mayor Authority To Secure And Manage Village Credit Cards.”
The action allows the mayor to make agreements with banks and credit card companies in order to facilitate access to credit on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
Rumpf said it was necessary because the village is having difficulty negotiating higher credit limits and generally interacting with credit card companies and banks due to the lack of the authority of any one individual.
The board also discussed a proposed expenditure of $10,328 to upgrade the HVAC system for the Magdalena Community Center at the rodeo grounds. The upgrade would include new vent connectors, connecting electrical, and new gas flex and thermostats, as well as labor costs.
The board voted to table the issue.
Rumpf mentioned that furnace work at the Magdalena Public Library will also be needed in the future.
“I’m waiting on a quote for the library work, and that’ll probably be in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $25,000,” he said. “It needs two new furnaces, and install the AC units. The Library Board has money to put towards it, and I’ll have to find additional money.”
In his mayor’s report, Rumpf informed the board that recently hired Justin Adcock has turned down the clerk/treasurer position, so that position remains vacant.