Magdalena Village Hall, 108 N. Main St.

The Magdalena Village Board of Trustees took another step at its last meeting to improve and renovate the municipal wastewater system by approving an application for funding.

Mayor Richard Rumpf said the action would enable the Village to seek a planning grant from the Local Government Planning Fund of the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.

“It’s a grant that will fund the needed engineering to look at our entire wastewater system and make recommendations and upgrading the sewer lines feeding the lagoons,” Rumpf said.

Of primary concern is the condition of the antiquated sewer pipes.

“Ours are the old clay type,” he said. “With the grant funding, the company we contract will come in and send a video camera into the lines and then make a cost projection based on the images. There is a new system where the lining of the old terracotta pipes can be strengthened or replaced from the inside without digging up the trench.”

One alternate technique is to run a felt liner coated with a special epoxy resin into the sewer line, which is then inflated to form a new pipe within the old structure.

He said one reason to use a newer technique is that Magdalena alleys are too narrow to use digging equipment.

Regarding a related project, Rumpf said he expects the new Trujillo Well #2 to go online in August.

“After that, we’ll start on the Benjamin Well project,” he said. “That’ll be the addition of a storage tank and booster pumps at that location.”

Also at the meeting, Rumpf updated the Board on the reopening of the Magdalena Senior Center.

“We’re probably out a month or more from opening,” he said. “We’re looking at the end of June right now.

“We had long discussions over two-and-a-half days in Belen with officials from the state’s Non-Metro Area on Aging,” Rumpf said. “I also talked with other site directors and came back with new ideas and a new vision for the senior center.”

He said discussions included healthy menus and new programs and activities for seniors.

“We’re working up a budget for the coming year,” Rumpf said. “From what I learned from other site directors, we’re very fortunate we have a good senior center, a good building.”

The proposed budget plans for a paid staff of two.

“We’re looking for volunteers to help things get started, assisting the cook and assist elsewhere,” he said. “If half the people who we have already talked to show up, we’ll be OK,” he said.

In the meantime, the individual food shipments to seniors are continuing.

In other village business:

The Board approved the purchase of a new fully equipped Ford F-150 Police Responder 4WD for the Magdalena Marshal’s office at a cost of $79,358.85, which is covered by the Law Enforcement Protection Fund of the DFA.

The Village agreed to the burial of the remains of 19 indigent people in the Magdalena Cemetery. The internment was necessitated by a state law that mandates county governments to be responsible for deceased indigent persons. This is the second such burial at the Village’s public cemetery. The first was in March 2021.

The Socorro County government, which has no official cemetery, turned to Magdalena for help with the interment of the remains. County Commissioner Ray Martinez pointed out that a Memorandum of Understanding between the Village and county was an excellent example of two governmental entities working together “for the betterment of our county citizens.” The MOU states that Magdalena will provide the county with designated burial plots on an as-needed basis and ensure the plots are appropriately laid out.