Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mayor Wants To Cut Library Hours In Magdalena

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Mayor Sandy Julian is wanting to cut the hours of operation for the Magdalena Public Library beginning in the fall. She made the announcement at Monday night’s Village Board meeting.
“I’m sure a lot of people will not be happy about the hours and the days, but these utility bills are killing us,” Julian said. “In the wintertime, I want to cut back on the library hours because of the expense to keep the library warm.”
She said that since Village Hall has moved into a new building and the library has taken over the entire Santa Fe depot there are more rooms to heat.
“We need to do this to save fuel,” Julian said. “We will talk with (librarian) Lucy (Pino) about how to go about it. It will be on the next meeting’s agenda.”
According to Lucy Pino, the library is open 40 hours a week that vary through the week.
“We have scheduled the hours to when people are most likely to use it,” Pino told the Mountain Mail. “We’re open in the evening on Wednesdays and Thursdays to accommodate the school children.”
She said the mayor has not spoken to her about the issue of heating expenses, but hopes something can be worked out to keep operating on the same schedule through the winter months.
“We have a lot support from the community, and have a good library board,” Pino said. “Our volunteers have been very good at working on the upkeep of the library, but it can get cold in here on some days.”
She said a reduction in hours may affect support or funding from the New Mexico State Library and other sources.
Mayor Julian will bring the matter before the Village Board at the next meeting, Sept. 13.

Deputy hired

On the advice of the mayor, the board approved the hiring of Jesse L. White of Datil for full time Deputy Marshal. Julian said all three applicants for the job were qualified, but White had the edge because he was already a certified law enforcement officer. Trustee Barbara Baca said she was very impressed with all of the applicants. “Any one of these people could fill this position,” Baca said. “But the other two are not certified and the village would have to pay for them to attend the Police Academy.”
The board voted unanimously to hire White, but not before the first motion to approve his hiring died for lack of a second. Clerk Rita Broaddus reminded the board that the advertisement for the opening stated that law enforcement certification was preferred, and after another motion was made, White was approved.
White has 13 years experience in law enforcement in Deming and Luna County and told the Mountain Mail said he was looking forward to working in the Marshal’s office.
“It is a good opportunity for me,” White said. He relocated from Datil to Magdalena Wednesday.
In other action:
• The board approved the installation of a street light in the alley between Winston’s service station on First Street. Other side of Richard Torres’ building.
• The board voted spend $500 to renew the village’s annual membership with the South Central Council of Governments, and approved a professional services contract with the SCCOG to administer the Pine Street project for a fee of $13,500. The fee will come out of the Community Development Block Grant, Broaddus said. “They will be involved with the Pine Street project from beginning to end,” she said. “But the timetable for the actual paving of Pine may be affected by the weather.”
• The board approved the final draft of the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2012-2016. The top three most important projects in the ICIP are well improvements ($140,000), development of a recreation facility ($250,000), and expansion of the health clinic building ($100,000). The ICIP will be submitted for consideration by the legislature in January.
• In her mayor’s report, Julian said she attended a meeting at Village Hall with Tim Hagaman from the state’s Economic Development Department about the opening of Family Dollar. According to Julian, the meeting was called by several community members to express their concern over the future of the locally owned grocery store. “Some people were upset about [Family Dollar] being here, but all we did was just talk,” Julian said. “We didn’t have any decision making on it. Some were concerned that [Trail’s End] would be closing down, and they just talked about how they felt about it.”
• Magdalena High School student Martin Harris gave a report on his presentation at the Socorro County Commission to use the former Senior Citizen’s Center building for youth activities. “We were told we would have to come up with a grant or something for utilities and things like that,” Martin said. “I will talk to Terry James, the school’s grant writer about it.” Julian and Trustee Diane Allen also appeared that the Aug. 10 commission meeting. Martin also said he has prepared a survey questionnaire for 8th through 12th graders, to further define the needs of Magdalena’s youth. Trustee Diane Allen said that the Senate Memorial Bill (SM-34) passed in the last legislative session specified that the purpose of a youth council was for students to learn how to self govern. “That’s the primary purpose for this youth council. Teaching them leadership,” Allen said. “I want to emphasize that it’s to be run by them, for them. We are here to assist but they will make decisions on how to run it.”
• The board approved the spending of $250 to support Alamo’s Red Ribbon runners. The 19th Annual Multi-Cultural Red Ribbon Relay Run will be Sept. 14-17. According to organizers, runners from Alamo will begin their run at sunrise on Sept. 14 and be joined by Magdalena and Socorro runners, arriving at the Socorro plaza by the end of the day. On Sept. 15, they will run to Bernardo. On Sept. 16 runners will join others from Isleta Pueblo, ending up in Albuquerque at Bataan Park. On Sept. 17 they will run from Bataan Park to the New Mexico State Fair. Magdalena’s contribution will go toward serving lunch to the runners on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

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