Ladies and Gentlemen, At the close of my term of office as Mayor, it gives me pleasure to report the satisfactory condition of the business affairs of the Municipality of Dartmouth.
Since the last animal meeting, two important acts have been passed by the Legislature which affect the Town of Dartmouth in common with every other incorporated town in the province. The first of these, the Towns Incorporation Act, embodies in one general statute all the provisions of the various acts heretofore passed from time to time, incorporating the towns in the different parts of the Province, and making them applicable to all towns without distinction, leaving the towns to regulate matters of minor importance by by-laws.
Two provisions of this act are of special importance and introduces changes in the law. The first of these relates to the qualification of electors. Heretofore all rate-payers have been competent to vote for members of the Town Council. Under the new law only those rate-payers (with certain exceptions) who would be qualified to vote for members of the House of Assembly are qualified to vote for Mayor or Councillor. It is needless to say that this change was not asked for by your Council, and that like all the other provisions of the act. the sole responsibility for it rests with the Legislature of the Province. The other provision to which reference has been made relates to the constitution of a Board of School Commissioners. The design of this change is to secure more steady and conservative administration of school affairs than could be secured where the constitution of the School Committee was liable to be changed every year, and the mode in which this object has been sought to be accomplished is by the appointment of two Commissioners by the Governor in Council to co-operate with a Committee chosen by the Council. The controlling power is still preserved in the Town Council, but it has been assumed that the more permanent tenure under which the Government Commissioners hold their office, will contribute an element of permanence and continuity which will be an improvement in the Board as heretofore constituted.
The measure to which reference remains to be made is the new Assessment Act. To prevent misunderstanding it is well to explain that this act, also, is one of a general nature, applicable to the whole Province, and with reference to which the Town of Dartmouth has not been connected any more than any other town in the Province. Had it been possible for your Council to have a voice in the settlement of this matter, there are some provisions in this Act which they would have objected to, or, at least, from which they would have sought to have the Town of Dartmouth excepted. It is the opinion of the Council that the Income Tax bears with special severity upon the Town of Dartmouth owing to the fact of its proximity to the City of Halifax, to which the income clauses have not been made applicable. The Council are of the opinion that it is the duty of the Legislature either to include the City of Halifax within the provisions of the Act or to have the Town of Dartmouth exempted. The matter has engaged and is still engaging the attention of your Council, and the ratepayers may rest assured that no proper and suitable steps for the purpose of removing the inequality complained of, has been, or will be, omitted by the Council.
The Towns Incorporation Act does not provide for the usual Annual Town Meeting of the rate-payers, but in lieu thereof the Act provides that the Council, before applying to the Legislature for authority to make any extraordinary expenditure, or affording exemption from municipal taxes to any corporation, firm, or person, shall convene a public meeting of the rate-payers of the town to which such proposed expenditure or exemption shall be submitted, and the same shall be approved by a majority of such meeting. Said meeting shall be called by public notice, stating the object of the meeting, conspicuously posted in the town and inserted in one or more newspapers, if any in the town, For ten days previous to such meeting.
The estimate for this service was $7,336, and the actual expenditure $7,922.58.
During the year Miss M. McKay, a valued teacher, resigned, and her place was tilled by transferring Miss Moseley from the Common School; Miss Jessie Shute was appointed to the vacancy. Miss McCarthy, teacher of Colored School, also resigned, and her place was filled by the appointment of Mr. Harry Forrester. Miss Jessie Findlay was appointed principal’s assistant vice Miss Murray who Went to the Normal School.
Included in the expenditure is the sum of $112, expended for modern desks. which were required to replace old ones long in use.
There have been sixteen departments in operation during the year. The number of pupils registered was 996. The average attendance 63 per cent. This is smaller than last year, but can easily be accounted for by the severity of last winter; prevalence of diphtheria in the spring, and excessive wet and cold of the past summer.
There has been a small falling off in the number enrolled, but in the higher grades a marked increase has taken place, showing that the efficiency in regard to work is well maintained.
The School Banks which were inaugurated about a year ago are in successful operation, and I would recommend that the same be continued,-
|The total amount deposited up to Dec. 3, 1888||$1407.36|
|June 30, ’88, on general account||$2.94|
|Amount transferred to individual amount. of pupils in Govt. Savings and P.O. Banks||$1003.00|
|Amount withdrawn by depositors from School Bank||$90.68|
|Balance in Govt. Savings Bank||$300.00|
|In Union Bank||$16.62|
The school building at Tufts Cove is not suitable, and a new building should be erected in that vicinity in the near future.
It was found necessary to expend on repairs to buildings. cleaning and whitewashing, $408.76, which is much more than usual, but as the buildings are now in a good state of repair the expenditure under this head will probably be less for the ensuing year or two.
The grounds at the Ward one School should be enclosed with a suitable fence.
The government have appointed two Commissioners to complete the School Board under the provisions of Sec. 66 of Cap. 1 of the Acts of 1888. The Board intend to complete their organization at an early date. The Board will consist. of five members, two appointed by the government and three Councillors.
Staff of Teachers, 1888
|H.S. Congdon, (Prin)||8||B||$1000|
|Miss S. Findlay||8||C||$400|
|Miss W. Crowell||7||B||$375|
|Miss M. Moseley||6||B||$300|
|Miss M. Downey||5||C||$350|
|Miss A. Downey||5||C||$300|
|Miss H. Scarfe||4||C||$240|
|Miss K. Fletcher||3 & 4||C||$250|
|Miss K. Major||3||C||$300|
|Miss J. Shute||2||C||$200|
|Miss B. Hume||1 & 2||C||$315|
|Miss E. Hume||1||C||$335|
|Miss B. Shute||1||C||$200|
|Miss J. Finlay, (Asst).||–||C||$250|
|Miss J. Dorman, (Woodside)||Miscel.||C||$200|
|C. Power, (Tufts’ Cove)||Miscel.||D||$160|
|Hy. Forrester, (Colored)||Miscel.||C||$230|
Last summer several public spirited citizens oils-red to subscribe a sum of money for the improvement of the Common. if it were placed in commission, the matter received the careful attention of your Council, and the Council decided to recommend to the ratepayers that the Common be placed under a commission, consisting of the Mayor for the time being, and two Councillors, together with two members to be appointed by the Government, and to include in the estimate for the incoming year the sum of $500, and a Further sum not exceeding $250, to be assessed each succeeding year to be paid over to such commissioners. The foregoing to be conditional upon the citizens subscribing the sum of $1,500 to a fund for the improvement of the Common. A public meeting of the ratepayers was called on November 13th. 1888, to obtain their sanction, at which a large number of ratepayers were present, and the scheme proposed by the Council was approved of‘, and the Council was authorized to procure the necessary legislation to carry it out.
During the past year the Council was requested by a number of citizens to endeavor to have a Water Supply brought into the town. but as some years had elapsed since there had been any public expression of‘ opinion upon this subject, your Council did not. deem it prudent to incur any further expense until the ratepayers of the town were given an opportunity to express their opinion. To this end a public meeting was held on 13th November last, at which meeting a resolution was passed by a large majority, authorizing the Council to take the requisite steps to provide and appropriate such amount as would be found necessary to procure a reliable estimate of the cost of a water supply and system of sewerage lot‘ the town. Since which time your Council have taken steps to procure a plan and estimate of the proposed works. When a plan and estimate has been completetand will be laid before you in a few days, a meeting of the ratepayers will then be called for the purpose of taking action upon the report of your Council in the matter.
Under the agreement made by your Council between the Town and the County of Halifax entered into two years ago, it was provided that the Town should pay one nineteenth of the county estimate, which estimate was not to include Schools. Insane Paupers, Poor Farm. Revisers and Assessors. Draw-bridges and Ferries, nor salary of Inspector of Licenses. The amount of the county estimate of 1888 was $15,400. one nineteenth of this sum is $810.50, which amount has been paid.
There were no Licenses applied for or granted during the year save an application from Messrs. Oland for a brewers license, for which the usual fee of ten dollars was deposited. The balance on hand January 1st. 1883, was $159.21), and the expenditure including Inspector-‘s salary of $60 amounted to $69, leaving :1 balance to the credit. of this fund of $107.20.
The estimate for this service was $560 and the amount expended $622.04. Two new lamps have been put up. making a total now in the Town of 54. It was found necessary to repair a large number of the old lamps, and fit up several new posts, which will explain the over expenditure in this part of the Public Service.
The estimated expenditure for this service was $2,400 $400 of which was for watering the streets. There was spent in labor $1,401.03. In grading Newcastle and Albert streets $96.49. There was used during the year 2142 bushels of broken stone, 442 loads of shore gravel, and 75 tons of paving stones.
A “Watering Cart was purchased at a cost of $35.00, which was used 40 days during the Summer at a cost of $119.25. Arrangements were made with Mr. Robert Moseley to fill the cart with salt water, to be used in the North end of the Town, which proved very satisfactory, the cost for this was $122.50. I would take this opportunity of calling your attention to the generosity of‘ the Starr Manufacturing Co., who notwithstanding the fact that they were put to some inconvenience, allowed the watering cart to be filled on their premises without charge, thereby saving the town quite a large amount.
There was sold during the year material amounting to $45.43, making the net expenditure on streets during the year $2,381.15
The streets in the central part of the Town are new in very good repair, but it has been found very difficult to keep those in the out-lying districts in proper condition on account of the great scarcity of suitable material For street making. I trust that the in-coining Council will see their way clear to take the necessary steps to procure a proper stone crusher, as the one now owned by the Town is quite unfit for the purpose. I think it is beyond dispute that broken stone is the best as well as the most economical material that we can [procure for making and repairing our streets.
A New Fence has been erected around the Cemetery, New Gates at the main entrance, and a new and wider Road made along the South Side, at a nett expenditure of $114.00.
For this service the estimate was $1,077, and the expenditure $1346.77. There was 300 feet of New Rubber Hose purchased at a cost of $348.79. A new Ladder Wagon costing $92. The steam Fire Engine has been examined and put in thorough order by competent workmen, thus I think putting the department in efficient condition to cope with any ordinary fire.
During the year the Store Room on the second floor of the Engine House has been converted into a dwelling house and a janitor placed in charge, there has also been a new meeting room fitted up for the Axe Company, the expenditure thus far on this work has been $439.44, and with a small additional amount to make a few necessary improvements outside the building, will then make it a very comfortable residence and as it is let at a rental of nearly 10 per cent on its cost, will prove a good investment for the Town. The total amount of those improvements were not assessed for last year, it being the intention to pay for them in two years, but owing to the accounts of the Town generally making such a good showing, the whole amount was paid, and this will explain why the expenditure exceeded the estimate. There has only been two fires during the year, and one alarm.
The apparatus of the Department now consists of:
1 Steam Fire Engine, 1 Large Hand Engine, 1 Small Hand Engine, 1500 ft. of Rubber Hose, 700 ft. of Leather Hose, 4 Hose Heels, 1 Water Cart, 9 Torches, 6 Lanterns, and 9 Fire Buckets.
For the year 1888, the estimated expenditure was $19,080, and the actual expenditure was $18,229.73. At the beginning of the year there was cash on hand $678.21, and at the end of’ the year there was on hand $95.97. The fine, widows, and other exemptions, amounted to $629.90.
The amount assessed for all purposes was $13,996.21, and the amount thereof collected was $12,804.94. The assessed valuation of all property within the Town for ,the year was $1221.84, and the amount levied was $12,951.50, at a rate of $1.06 per $100 on said valuation. The incidental revenue received was $5198.26.
Owing to the promptitude with which your rates are paid and the energy of the Town officials, the small sum of $275.39 of the taxes of 1887 or 2.14 per cent thereof is now uncollected. At the end of that year there was uncollectecl $774.76, and on the 31st December, 1888, of the assessment of 1888, the very small sum of $526.62 or 4.06 per cent. was uncollected.
The only current liabilities of the Town on 31st December were Mrs. Lamont $300.00, held on account of disputed title; $379.83 for accrued interest on debentures not yet payable, and accounts amounting to $433.97. All other accounts to that date, of every kind, have been paid.
I have caused a detailed statement of expenditure to be printed herewith for your information.
Pumps And Wells
For this service the estimated expenditure was $100, and the amount expended was $88.86, which included the cost of two new Bickford Force Pumps, one put in the well on Portland street, near Chitticks, and the other in the well on Maitland street. There are now in the Town fifteen public wells, all of which are in fair repair.
The amount estimated for this service was $620, and the expenditure was $329.72, with outstanding accounts of $273, which were not filed in time to be included in the year’s expenditure.
It was found that the paupers chargeable to the Town could be maintained at a less expense at the County Poors Farm than at the City Asylum, and so arrangements were made to remove them to the County Institution last spring. There are now five persons at this institution chargeable to the Town. The Committee on Poor have visited the Poor Farm on several occasions, and found that the wards of the Town were as comfortable as could be expected, and had no complaints to make. The Committee reported the Institution to he kept in a clean and tidy condition.
he amount assessed for this service was $1200; the net expenditure was $1295.08. There are accounts due on this service amounting to $43.37 which will be collected. The number of lunatics at the beginning of the year was ten; during the year two were discharged; one died; one re-admitted; one admitted leaving nine at present charged to the Town.
I had hoped before retiring from office to have had the pleasure of congratulating the citizens of Dartmouth upon obtaining a new Post Ofiice, or at least that the Government had taken the necessary steps to provide us with a suitable building for a Post Office and Savings Bank at an early date, but there appears to have been no move made in that direction as yet. The Government has been Frequently urged to provide us with better accommodations, as the present arrangements, are alike unsuitable for the work. inconvenient for the public, and of little credit to the Government.
Fire Proof Vault
I would strongly urge upon the in-coming Council the necessity of providing the office of the Town Clerk and Treasurer, with a suitable fire-proof vault. as there is now a large accumulation of valuable books and papers belonging to the Town, that would almost certainly be destroyed should a fire occur in the Town Hall.
In now retiring from office I have to thank you for having done me the honor of electing me to the Chief Magistracy of your Town. I also thank the Council and Officers of the Town, for the hearty aid and co-operation they have accorded me, toward the carrying out of those duties which devolved upon us. To the Town Clerk, and also to the Recorder my thanks, as well as those of the citizens are especially due, for their faithful and untiring industry, and the ability with which they have served the Town.
With my sincere wishes for the future prosperity of the municipality of Dartmouth, I have the honor to be, ladies and gentlemen.
Your obedient servant, JAS. SIMMONDS, Mayor.
To His honor the Warden and Councillors of the Town of Dartmouth:
We beg to report having audited the books, vouchers and accounts of the Town Clerk and Treasurer, for the year ended December 31st, 1888. We find them correct.
Herewith is a list of current liabilities of the Town, and a statement of the Bonded Debt, as shown by the Ledger Accounts and sundry documents placed in our hands for inspection.
By the accompanying statement it will be seen that the receipts for the year amounted to $17,646.44, and the expenditure to $18,229.18, leaving a balance to the credit of the town of $95.47. All of which is respectfully submitted.
Geo. Foote, Walter Creighton, } Auditors
Dartmouth, N.S., January 10th, 1889.
Statement of Receipts and Expenditures of the Town of Dartmouth, for Year ended December 31st, 1888
Vouchers Paid during the Financial Year ended Dec. 31st 1888
Auction, Hackney & Truck Licenses; Dog Taxes for Year Ended Dec 31st 1888