Annual Report 1894

Mayor’s Report for the Year 1894

Ladies and Gentlemen, -I have the honor to submit for your information and approval, a report of the proceedings of your Council for the year ending December 31st last. I have decided for your better information to give you the detailed reports as submitted by the Chairmen of the Public Property. Water and Finance committees these being the three principal services of the Town, not only that you may see just how your money has been expended, but also to show the large amount of work gratuitously performed by the several members of these committees on your be half. I here take the opportunity of expressing my thanks to the members of the Council. His Honor the Recorder, The Town Clerk and other officials of the Town for their ever ready assistance extended to me in Carrying out the duties devolving on me as your chief magistrate. I regret very much that the adverse balance is so large against the Town, but taking into consideration the large amount expended on the streets and other causes. fully explained in the financial report. I think you will agree with me that the Town is in in a fairly good position.

Legislation

The only measures under this heading were the acts consolidating the Water and Ferry acts obtained from the Legislature last session.

Report of Finance Committee

By the report of the Auditors submitted herewith, it will be seen that the total receipts for the year in the ordinary account of the Town were $23,091.36 and the expenditure $25,586.02. On the 31st. December the current liabilities amounted to $5366.09 of this amount $3,845.43 was due the Bank and sundry accounts totaling $1,920.66 remained unpaid. To meet these sums there are due Taxes for 1894 $4053. and Poll and School Tax for the same $719.88, leaving a net deficit on 31st, December last of $1473.21, all outstanding accounts having been taken into consideration. This your committee feel is a very satisfactory state of affairs, when it is considered that by a special vote of the Council the Street Committee overdrew their account $1500, and that there was a balance against the Town due the Bank at the commencement of the year of $865.80.

The bonded debt of the Town on December 31st, amounted to $321,300 as follows:

Consolidated Debt: $17,000

School Loan: $21,300

Ferry Loan: $150,000

Water Loan: $133,000

being $10,000 more than for the year 1893, this increase being caused by the loan of $7,000 for schools and the issuing of $3,000 additional for Water and Sewerage construction.

The net debt however amounts to only $304,428 as the Ferry Commission have on hand $9,000 as a Sinking Fund and the sewer sinking fund now amounts of $7,872.

The assessed valuation of Real and Personal Property for the year within the town amounted to $1,803,367 being an increase over the previous year of $324,340. The assessed rate was $1.20 per $100, 55 cents of which was for the support of Public Schools.

The large amount of taxes owing at the end of the year was largely due to the fact that one firm owes some $1,900. The assessment was taken into court and twice decided in favor of the Town, and your committee hope that it will be settled before long. A further reason is found when it is remembered that no great pressure was put on the rate payers during the year to enforce the payment of the Taxes, this in the past has always caused more or less friction. and your committee felt that as under the Lien Law the Real Estate Tax would all have to be paid in this year, it would perhaps be better to give delinquents a further extension of time.

The year 1894 marked a new era in Town affairs, as then for the first time in its history the Lien Law for the collection of taxes was put in force, some 12 properties were sold, which all brought more than enough to pay the taxes and costs, and today there is only the very small sum of $9.30 owing from Real Estate for 1893.

A.C. Johnston, Chairman.

Report of Street and Public Property Committee

This, the most important branch of the Town service has received close attention. Owing to the introduction of the Water and sewerage, the streets were in a very bad condition, none of them being in a fit state to travel over. Your committee felt that with the limited means at their disposal, the best course to pursue would be to permanently repair the main thoroughfares and leave the less used side streets for the future. With this in view they macadamized Water Street from Portland to the top of Synott’s Hill. Ochterloney Street from Water to Canal Street. Portland Street from Water to Pleasant Street, and Pleasant Street from Portland to the foot of the hill opposite Mott’s Factory. This was all covered with broken stone and screenings from the breaker, and used up 6,873 loads or 96,292 bushels. The streets thus repaired present a smooth. hard service over which it is a pleasure to drive and should with ordinary attention last 10 or 15 years, and will, we believe prove that macadam is the cheapest material to use, when it can be obtained as at present.

A large amount of stone was obtained from the lot owned by the Town to the west of the Hawthorne street school. and your committee have thus turned a useless piece of ground into a fine field, and this without costing the Rate-payers one cent.

The amount rated for the Streets was $3000. but by a special vote of the council owing to the exceptional circumstance a further sum of $1,300 was granted. and we feel confident that when the ratepayers Consider the amount of work. they will approve of this action of the Council. The total amount spent on the Streets was $4,434,27, which includes the madadamizing, the general street repairs in the several wards and the Superintendent’s salary.

Public Property

The estimate was $174, expenditure $91.20, this being for the repairs to the Engine House Tower made in 1893, and for the introduction of the Water into the Town Hall. Under this heading it may not be out of place, if the attention of the ratepayers is called to the room, known by courtesy as the Council room, where the gentlemen they ask to do the business of the town without any renumeration, are compelled to sit often for hours in an atmosphere sometimes positively injurious, and in a room at all times in a filthy condition. Under the present circumstances, this cannot well be otherwise, but we think the time has now arrived, when the Town should have a Hall a credit to itself, and one in which it would be a pleasure to do business.

Amalgamation of the Town and Ferry Office

This matter is still in the hands of a committee. the only practical solution of the difficulty appears to be the erection of a Town Hall at or in close proximity to the ferry. and there in no doubt the large saving that could be made in salaries would go along way in paying the interest upon a sum sufficient for the construction of a building which would be a credit to the Town and fill a long felt want, as the rate payers cannot expect the gentlemen whom they elect to transact their public affairs to continue to do so much longer in that disreputable building called by courtesy The Town Hall.

Railway

During the past year the Branch has been carefully surveyed, tenders called for, and the contracts for its construction awarded. The plans and profiles show that the road will be first class in every respect. At no point is the grade heavier than 1 font in 100 feet. The curves are not excessive. although at two or three points they are rather too pronounced. it is possible some improvements will be made in this respect during construction. The structural parts will be thoroughly built. The road will tap Waverley. and a siding will be put in at Portobello. The traffic which will accrue to Dartmouth from the former point will be consider- able. The contract is let in two sections. Messrs Cook and McGregor, who are the contractors, announce their intention of pushing the work as rapidly as possible. Their agreement calls for its completion by the 31st of August next.

Terminal Facilities

The question of terminal facilities is a matter for the serious consideration of the incoming Council. So far the accommodation has been very inadequate to the requirements of the large business of the road. Shippers by water are completely handicapped as everything has to be trucked to the railway station. which would be obviated by utilizing the water front at the disposal of the government. No business other than that of a purely local character can be accomplished until this is done. Proper terminal facilities would undoubtedly attract a large volume of traffic in due course. The advantages of this road when completed. -have been fully dealt with in previous reports.

Dominion Atlantic H.R. Co.

Realizing the fact that this enterprising road is seeking better terminal facilities. your council hastened to lay the advantages and claims of Dartmouth before their representatives. The better to accomplish this. your council deemed it wise to send a delegation to interview them in person. Mayor Stern: and Councillor Johnston were appointed. They proceeded to Kentville and laid the facts which they had gathered before the resident manager. The delegates were advised to transmit their information in full to the Head Office in London, G B. This has been done, but sufficient time has not elapsed to receive a reply. The delegates. it may be stated, were well received, and felt that their statements had made a good impression. This matter is of too much importance to the town of Dartmouth to be lightly passed over. Every effort should be made to induce the Dominion Atlantic to locate on this side of the‘ harbor.

The Musquodobit Road

The Construction of the Branch to Windsor Junction, connecting with Waverley. will be an important link in the construction of the Musquodoboit Road. and makes that project so much the easier of accomplishment. The time appears opportune for the joint committee, which was appointed at the public meeting held early last spring in Middle Musquodoboit, to present the information they have gathered to the government and press the matter to an issue. This town stands ready to heartily assist any practical move which this committee decides upon in furtherance of the undertaking. In closing my report 1 again thank you Ladies and Gentlemen tor the honor you have conferred on me by electing me your Chief Magistrate.

I remain, your obedient servant,

WM. H. Sterns, Mayor

Statement of the Receipts and Expenditures of the Town of Dartmouth for the year ended December 31st, 1894

Licenses Granted & Dog tax paid, 1894

Dartmouth Municipal Court

Park Commissioner’s Report

…I am pleased to note the very small amount of damage received by the trees and shrubs from children who are almost continuously congregating in the Park in large numbers…

Board of School Commissioners

The past year was the second in which the compulsory attendance act was in force in the Dartmouth School Section. It was the first year in the history of the town in which parents have been prosecuted for the non-attendance of their children. A fine was imposed upon seven heads of families for neglecting to send their children the required number of days. About twenty-seven were summoned before the Board to account for neglect in this respect.

High School

The high school was opened in Dartmouth in Nov. 1892. The registration was then 30. The number has increased to 55 pupils at the present time. It will probably reach 80, or nearly so, judging from present indications, after next grading… About 54 per cent of Dartmouth High school pupils passed the provincial examination in July last.

Kindergarten

The certificate of Honorable Mention from the Board of Lady Managers of the “Worlds Columbian Exhibition” for skill in the collection and preparation of the display of work from the Dartmouth Kindergarten ranks our little institution among the Kindergartens of the world and is no small honor to Miss Hamilton.

Miss Hamilton has called my attention to the gift of four large wall pictures representing the swan, the fox, the hare and the flying squirrel, presented through Mrs. Hinkle Congdon by the firm of Messrs Philip & Son, London. These she considered very valuable to the school.

The Colored School

The compulsory attendance Act still continues to affect very favorably the colored school. In 1890 for example 30 children were enrolled and the average daily attendance was 11. Last year (1894) 48 children were enrolled and the average daily attendance was 29.

Attendance

The schools were open 208 days during the year. The total number of pupils registered was 1259. The total days attendance for the year was 182,052. The average daily attendance was 880.79.

Board of School Commissioners, Dartmouth, Statement of Accounts; Staff of Teachers