Monday, October 4, 2010

No FEMA Funding For Mag Flooding

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – The Village Board voted to accept a conceptual drainage management plan at its meeting Monday night. Pat Stovall, a flood control engineer from Smith Engineering presented the plan and offered several options for drainage, ranging in cost from $20,000 to $2 million.
The most problematic areas included water crossing First Street and water collecting on Magdalena Schools property.
He said the flooding in Magdalena was not severe enough for serious federal funding.
“FEMA will not even consider any flooding less than a foot. They won’t even look at it,” Stovall said. “The worst Magdalena has measured is only .6 feet. That is considered only a nuisance flow.”
The trustees discussed several areas of town that presented the worse cases from heavy rainfall, and Stovall suggested solutions to each problem, but added that “until the streets are paved you will normally see sediment building up [across First Street].”
He said even if relevant roads are paved there may still be a problem with homes that are lower than street level.
Trustee Barbara Baca said she felt the plan favored certain neighborhoods, and that some homes in her part of town experienced water coming into the residences.
“If something is not done my house is going to end up by my cousin’s,” Baca said.
The board thanked Stovall for his work, and Mayor Sandy Julian said it was good that the village now has a current plan to work with. The village could move forward on trying obtain funding through a federal Community Development Block Grant or state legislative grant.
In other business:

•    A request by Marshal Larry Cearley for 500 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition was tabled until board members could question Cearley directly on the need for the extra ammo. Cearley could not attend Monday night’s meeting due to his required presence at Magdalena Municipal Court. According to a note on the requisition form, the ammunition is required to enable the four officers to retain their firearms qualification. “Each officer will need 100 rounds for the testing,” Cearley told the Mountain Mail. “It will take an average of six weeks for the order to come back. Qualification sessions conducted by Socorro Assistant Chief of Police Mike Winders must be completed by the end of the year.”

•    The board tabled a request by Marshal Cearley to purchase 288 “glow sticks” for trick-or-treating children to carry on Halloween. The price quoted was 79 cents each. Trustee Diane Allen said she wanted to make sure the 79 cent items could be found elsewhere at a cheaper price.

•    The board considered options for installing bathroom facilities at the transfer station. Allen said she was concerned about the transfer station’s manager, Josephine Torres, having to use a portable toilet and not having a faucet or running water in her office. “I would like to see something like a holding tank be put down there with enough  pressure to flush a toilet and hand washing,” Allen said. Mayor Julian suggested a separate water line be installed directly from the water tank on the east end of town. “Maybe go straight off the tank to the transfer station,” she said. “It’s something that could be done by our employees. The only cost would be for the pipe.” The board voted to consider both options.

•    The board tabled a franchise agreement with the electric co-op until Village Clerk Rita Broaddus could contact acting manager Richard Lopez, who she said has not returned her calls. “They pay us a percentage of receipts for the privilege of putting light poles on our streets,” Clerk Rita Broaddus said. “It translates to $9,000 to $10,000 a year for the village.”

•    Acting librarian Don Wiltshire reported that operation of the library is running smoothly “thanks to the help of Annie Danielson, who is covering Saturday hours. She is also working on the technical grant proposal.” He requested that Danielson and he share in the 40 hour a week salary, which was approved by the board.

•    Margie Sweeney, president of the Grizz Project in Magdalena, asked for, and received, permission to use the rodeo grounds for a “Blessing of the Animals,” on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2:30 p.m.

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