Annual Report 1952
Citizens of Dartmouth,
Ladies and Gentlemen: I have the honor to submit my report and comments on the civic events of 1952.
Dartmouth continued to march forward during 1952 but it is difficult to single out any particular event as the main highlight of the year.
We saw the completion and taking over of the new additions to the water system, i. e., new pump house, reservoir and new water main which were finished within the original estimate of $700,000. The benefits in an improved water system were immediately evident and there was an early reduction in insurance rates of 17% which is worth many dollars to Dartmouth citizens.
Taxable Assessments rose to $20,965,395, as a result of the reassessment survey, making possible a reduction in the Tax rate from $4.40 to $2.58. It is evident that a rate of $5.00 would have been necessary under the old system of assessment. The benefits will be increasingly evident as new properties are added under the new system. Plans were made to relieve householders of the household personal property assessment effective in 1954.
It is worthy of note that in the total budget of $894,743, $300,712 was applied to either capital expenditure from revenue or repayment of capital debt. Our capital debt is high due to large expenditures in the post war years but provision has been made for a very rapid retirement of same and the bulk of it will be retired during the next ten years. It is also worthy of note that revenue from sources other than real property have shown a large increase and $305,900 were received from these sources.
The street program was the best in many years, patching was started early, the street sweeping program was continued, a substantial amount of seal coating was done and in addition a considerable amount of permanent paving was done during the year.
Traffic lights were installed in Dartmouth for the first time in history and have done much to help out with our traffic problems.
Improvements in the Dartmouth Park came in for considerable favorable comment and it is hoped to continue further with this program.
The sale of prefabricated houses was completed during the year resulting in a net profit to the Town of $232,685 which is represented by a 2/5 interest held by the Town in the mortgage on the various properties. These net proceeds will accrue to the Town annually for fourteen years at the rate of approximately $19,000.00 per year.
Construction of the Harbour Bridge is well under way and as came to a close the concrete work on the Dartmouth side was approximately completed and we may look forward to using the Bridge in late 1954.
We were honored during the year by a visit from His Excellency Governor General Vincent Massey, who signed the register book at the Town Hall and was presented with a scroll on behalf of the Town. We were also honored by visits from the Minister of National Defence, the Chairman of the National Research Council and other dignitaries on the occasion of the opening of the Naval Research establishment in October.
The facilities of the Dartmouth Rink continue to be very widely used, the summer operation being of particular value. The Rink Commission were able to show a small surplus on operating account before providing for debenture debt charges.
Revenue at the Dartmouth Ferry was the highest in its history and the reserve account which has been built up in recent years, plus the current cash assets. now exceeds the total debenture debt charges. New pedestrian commutation tickets introduced during the year were received with favor by the traveling public.
The Town took over all rights held by the Starr Manufacturing Company in Sullivan’s Pond and the locks at Lake Banook for the sum of $1.00. This made it possible for the Town to make certain repairs necessary and to effect some improvements in the area.
I should like to express my thanks to the members of Council and the various Committees and Commissions and also to Town employees and citizens generally for the co-operation afforded me during the year.
I have the honour to be, Yours faithfully,
C.H. Morris, Mayor.
Dartmouth’s Financial Review: Finance Committee
First effects of the general reassessment survey which was undertaken in Dartmouth in 1951, and which was anticipated to have a far reaching influence on the Town’s financial structure in future years was felt in 1952 when a tax rate of $2.58 was struck, the lowest rate to be set by the Town since 1918 when it was $2.00.
In 1951 the tax rate was $4.40, as compared with $2.58 per $100. of assessment in 1952. Based on 1951 assessment figures and maintaining the same expenditures and revenues the tax rate this year would have been $5.76. However, with a more equitable distribution of the tax burden, and with a number of new additions to the tax rolls, the ratepayer in 1952 in general paid less in actual taxes to the Town than in 1951, a situation which is very creditable after taking due consideration of the steadily increasing cost of living index.
The total revenues for the year 1952 amounted to $860,859.65, the highest in the history of Dartmouth. Total revenues for the year prior, 1951, amounted to $670,558.
In addition to other high expenses during the past twelve months, the Town Council in 1952 provided an amount of $17,723. to be paid over to the Halifax County Vocational School in Halifax. This amount was in excess of the previous year’s payment by more than $4,000.
One of the big changes resulting from the reassessment survey which went into effect this year, was the total assessment figure for the Town. In 1951 the Town’s total assessment was $12,000,175. while in 1952 it had increased by more than one hundred percent to $28,521,345. Of this amount $20,965,395 was subject to taxation.
Changes at Town Hall
The rapid growth of the Harbour Town, steadily increasing population, and influx of additional business at Town Hall resulted in some necessary changes being made during the year at Town Clerk Clifford A. Moir’s office in order to facilitate this boom.
The rapid growth is strongly accentuating the need within the immediate future for a new Town Hall building to replace the inadequate and obsolete facilities of the old structure now in use. Even such changes as were made in 1952, the tearing out of a section of the wall and making an arched counter in the centre of the hall- way to handle bill payments and other transient business is only a temporary solution to a problem which must soon be faced.
Expenditures for 1952 out of current revenue were the high- est ever undertaken by the Town. Increased operational costs were prime factors accounting for the budget of $849,743. Heaviest expenditures were accounted for by education where $192,510 was accounted for with the School Board taking approximately $163,000. General government amounted to $48,581, while protection costs, including fire, police and civil defence cost $137,360.
Revenues in the main came from general taxation with $539,- 851 out of the budgeted $849,743 being raised in this manner. Other revenue included $15,000 from poll tax payments, $12,000 from licenses and permits, and $28,989 from service charges.
Revenue for the year 1952 in the Water Department from Water rates amounted to $145,223.80 with a total of 3,238 metered properties now being serviced in the Town. The gross surplus from the operation of water utility was $54,279.87, prior to the payment of debenture debt charges of $50,078.50 leaving a net surplus of $4,279.87.
During the year the construction of a $700,000 improvement to the Town’s water system was completed at a total cost of $699,- 724.75, or only about $273 under the estimated amount of money needed for the big project. The new pumping station is now in full time operation and open to inspection by Town ratepayers at any time.
Appointment of a full time Building Inspector, operating out of the Town Clerk’s office was one of the big changes made in the personnel at Town Hall in 1952. This was the appointment of Welsford Symonds to the Building Inspector’s post, on the recommendation of the Town Planning Board. His appointment provides for a central checking point for all building applications and permits and a close check is now being kept on all construction in the Town.
Outstanding taxes to the end of December 1952, amounted to $90,752.90, out of $630,473.59, Town Clerk C. A. Moir said. This included all outstanding taxes over the past three year period, in addition to the 1952 tax assessment. In the tax arrears over the past three years, approximately 12 percent has not been collected to date. The Town Clerk’s office urged payment of any taxes as soon as possible by the ratepayer, so as to provide a better civic operation and in the longrun save the ratepayer money.
Debentures sold during the year 1952 by the Town, included an issue of $27,000 for sewer extensions bearing 4% percent interest, which was sold at par to the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. Another issue of debentures for water purposes, amounting to $19,000 and bearing 4 and 4% percent interest brought a yield of 99.261 when placed on the market. Another issue of $325,000 covering a phase of the water project was also sold along with $350,000 more of debentures for school purposes (Bi-Centennial Junior High School), bearing 4% percent interest which brought the price of 100.323 on the open market at a time when the general bond market was very low. The Town recorded the best prices of any municipality in the Province, a credit to its sound financial position.
During 1952 the Town of Dartmouth made capital expenditures from revenue totalling $81,121-79, covering such items as a new police patrol, traffic lights which were inserted at three intersections, a Fire Department Utility truck, and payment of $5,000. to the Junior High School capital fund. This last payment saved the issuing of an additional $5,000 in debentures. The total cost of the Junior High School was $450,000 of which the Town issued debentures covering $350,000. The remaining $100,000 was made up of the cash payment of $5,000 by the Town and the $95,000 grant by the Provincial government.
Capital payments from revenue amounting to $63,000 for paving were also made, and an additional grant of $2,000. was paid over to the Park Commission.
During the year the Town retired serial debentures totalling $124,000. Interest on the debenture debt and payments on sinking fund requirements faced by the Town in 1952 amounted to $95,590.- 32, with Temporary debt charges amounting to an additional $8,576.62- Discounts on the current years taxes amounted to a further $7,627.67.
During the year 1952, the following debentures were paid off from the sinking fund: Schools, $40,000.: Sidewalks, $15,000: Permanent streets, $21,000.: Water, $25,000: Permanent streets, $19,000, making a total of $120,000.
This represented retirement of approximately a Quarter of a million dollars of Town indebtedness in 1952. By the year 1956 all of the Town of Dartmouth‘s current sinking fund will be retired, and at present the Town has no debentures outstanding beyond the year 1982.
The Total debenture debts of the Town, including general, schools, water, and ferry, amounts to $2,665,600 at the end of 1952, of which an amount of $143,122.34 is set up in sinking fund reserves. In the Town general account the credit bank balance to the end of 1952 amounted to $36,705.61.
The Dartmouth Memorial Rink
Although sufficient revenue has not been forthcoming to date from the operation of the Dartmouth Memorial Rink to provide for the debenture debt charges, the Rink Commission, and the Commission Chairman, Mayor Claude H. Morris have hopes that with continued careful management in future years the operating surplus of the rink may be made to equal the interest payments.
An operating surplus of $2,749.41, before providing for debenture debt requirements, has been achieved by the Rink Commission’s operation of the Rink during 1952.
In his annual report on the Rink operation, Mayor Morris outlines the activities undertaken at the Rink during the year, pointing out that a partial wooden floor constructed to place over the brine pipes, in order to permit a summer operation was very profitable, showing a revenue for the summer operation of $5,700.45, thus paying the $2,000 cost for the wooden floor in one year and still showing a profit. It also shows promise for future years as attractions at the Rink during the Summer months build up into a full time operation.
Last winters program at the Dartmouth Memorial Rink was featured by many skating sessions, and considerable hockey all of a local nature. Very wide use has been made of the facilities by the youth of Dartmouth. Skating sessions have been made available three afternoons per week at a nominal charge of fifteen cents, and also on Saturday mornings for a two hour period.
In addition to this, the Minor Hockey Association is using a total of nine hours per week for practice sessions for younger boys, and also for organized minor hockey league games.
Much credit must also be given to the Bluenose Skating Club which holds a two hour skating session every Saturday afternoon, and has done a great deal towards instructing the younger skaters.
The evening hours have been devoted in the main to adult skating sessions, and for the Suburban and Halifax-Dartmouth Senior Hockey leagues. During the past year also the Halifax-Dartmouth St. Mary’s Juniors played out of the rink and provided some top notch hockey for local fans. They played the famous Montreal Junior Canadiens here in one match.
In his annual report on the finances of the Rink, Mayor Morris, the Chairman of the Commission, points out that in addition to the operating surplus of $2,749.41, the Commission has paid to the Town in 1952 taxes and water rates. a total of $5,505.28.
After providing for taxes, and for debenture debt charges to the Town of Dartmouth over the year, the Rink is faced with a deficit amounting to $15,95?.59. An increased summer operation and steadily increasing winter revenue is hoped to cut this amount down as the operation of the Rink continues.
Public Works Department
Much credit from ratepayers and motorists in the Town of Dartmouth was handed out during the year 1952 to the Town Works Department and the Public Works Committee for the unusually fine job done in repairing and maintaining the Town’s streets after they suffered considerable damage as the result of an unusually bad winter.
The money provided for the Public Works Department general street maintenance and repair budget was unchanged from 1951 at $75,000.
Considerable additional work was handled during the period however out of the amount totalling $46,476 provided by Council for permanent paving under capital expenditures from revenue. It is unusual when a Town can go ahead with such capital expenditures out of the current revenues.
The paving work done last year (1951), on the Lake Road was to have been covered 50 percent by the Provincial government, but since this payment was not forthcoming by the end of the financial year, an amount of $5,000 had to be provided, contributing partially to the Town’s deficit of $25,000 on the 1951 operation of the Town in general.
Under Town Engineer Walter Lahey’s direction the street repairing and maintenance program carried on speedily from the first of the season.
First step was a general checkover of all Town streets, with all holes or breaks in pavement being filled in or covered with hot patch mixtures so as- to provide a permanent type repair to the damage.
Primer coats and penetration asphalt were provided for a large number of streets, following up the Work’s Department program of putting some new sections in good repair each year. thus keeping up partially at least with the current demands for new streets in the many rapidly opening sub-divisions.
The winter program was quite light excepting for the usual sandings and saltings of streets and hills. Very little sand is in use now with virtually all salt being used to cut down the glassy skim ice surfaces which form over the streets. A relatively mild winter kept the operational costs down fairly low with little heavy plowing or trucking of snow having to be provided for.
One of the biggest jobs of the year, which was provided for under the capital expenditure from revenue was the widening and paving of the entire length of Windmill Road from the Tufts Cove highway intersection at Albro Lake Road down through to Jamie- son street. Cost of this project is being borne jointly by the Pro- vincial government and the Town since the use of Windmill Road as part of Route number ?, a trunk highway extending down the Eastern shore from Bedford has now become official.
The work on Windmill Road in addition to the paving pro- gram also involved considerable curb and gutter work along sections of this route, now making it the Town’s most attractive entrance. The widening and paving program is eventually planned to carry on down over the incline past Jamieson street and across the Jamieson street storm sewer, which has been covered over with a large amount of fill left over from various Town projects. This work, however, is being delayed pending the removal of Teasdale’s grocery store from the straightened road site.
The year 1952 saw a number of new subdivisions opening up, including further additions to the Crichton Park subdivision, and the huge new Wyndholme subdivision on Silver’s Hill. New streets are being rough graded in these subdivisions and gradually being taken over by the Town, thus continuing to increase the program each year to be followed by the Works Department.
The Dartmouth Ferry Service
Keeping a cautious eye on its financial structure. the Dart- mouth Ferry Commission. headed by Mayor Claude H. Morris, achieved a highly Successful year in 1952 for the Dartmouth Ferry service, despite some unusually high maintenance and repair costs.
This Town owned service, which is operated through a Commission, last year paid a net profit to the Town of Dartmouth of $8,710.21, in addition to paying out other large sums of money to the Town coffers through tax assessment, and in water rate charges.
The Ferry service provides employment for a large number of Harbour Town residents, and in addition continues to provide a low cost transportation service between Halifax and Dartmouth, the purpose of which it was originally set up by ratepayers of this Town.
Ferriage revenue reached an all time high in 1952 of $587,000. but expenses were also high due to the unexpected repair and maintenance bills covering ferries, and also due to increased salaries. The operating profit shown over the 12 months period of 1952 was $57,000. out of which the Commission replaced in the reserve fund for unforseen contingencies an amount of $28,000. which was withdrawn in 1951 to meet unforseen repairs. Also an additional $20,000 was placed in this fund leaving a net profit to the Town of nearly $9,000 as previously mentioned.
The reserve now stands at $186,800. in investments and cash, and the current account stands at $62,000., making a total in cash and investments of $249,000.
The debenture debt of the Dartmouth Ferry service now stands at $231,000., which places the Ferry in a very strong liquid condition. This is a situation for which the Ferry Commission has been striving to achieve before the completion of the Harbour Bridge. which is scheduled for August 1954. As a result this gives the Ferry Commission an additional year and one-half to further strengthen the Ferry’s financial position.
During the year 1952, a new agreement was negotiated with the unlicensed personnel of the Ferry service, calling for increases on a graduated scale ranging from $10.00 to $33.00 per month. These benefits were also extended to the licensed personnel of the Ferry.
Possibly one of the most important changes to be noted by the Ferry during 1952 took place on October 1st when a change was made in the pedestrian monthly books. This change resulted in the replacing of three books then in use with one monthly book and introducing a new book of transferable tickets good at any time. This action. which greatly simplified the handling of pedestrian tickets, appeared to be very well received by the general public, and both classes of tickets are being widely used.
In 1952 the Dartmouth Ferry service observed its 200th anniversary, and an interesting paper on this subject was read before the Nova Scotia Historical Society by Mr. John P. Martin, who has done much to preserve the history of Dartmouth and this vicinity.
A move, which was financially sound for both the Ferry and the Town of Dartmouth, which was undertaken in 1952 was the purchase during the year by the Commission of Town of Dartmouth debentures, including $30,000 in March, and a complete issue of $46,000 in December. This move keeps the Town debt in Town hands and still provides the Ferry with a good rate of interest on its investment, to the benefit of the ratepayers of the Town. Since the Town owns the Ferry, it means essentially that the Town is only paying itself interest rather than outsiders.
During the year a general appraisal was made on all ferry property, including ferries. and it was all found in good repair. An increase on the real estate insurance carried, from $25,000 to $40,000 to keep the value based on increased real estate values, was authorized.
Possibly one of the highlights of the Ferry was that one of the most distinguished passengers ever carried by this service, His Excellency Governor General Vincent Massey was taken to and from Halifax during the official visit to Dartmouth of the Governor General, on the Ferry steamer Scotian.
The Water Department
Many years from now ancestors of present Dartmouth ratepayers will point with pride to the foresight of their forefathers in providing the Town of Dartmouth with one of the most up to date and well planned water systems in the Maritime Provinces.
Completion of the $700,000 expansion of the Harbour Town’s water system to service increased Town needs and to fill requests for the purchase of water by both the Provincial and Federal governments was announced in the latter part of 1952. after almost one and one-half years of extensive construction work.
The new water system will eventually pay for itself over a period of years, and revenue from this source in the future will place the Town in a very favourable financial situation in this regard.
The water system project was guided very capably by the Engineering Services Company, which handled all phases in the construction of the system. This included the laying of 16 inch mains through the Town, also the construction of a five million gallon capacity reservoir. one of the most impressive engineering feats ever seen in this area. It also included the laying of a 24 inch water main from the reservoir to a point in the Town near Rodney Road a total of three and one-half miles of pipe. The construction and equipping of a modern new pumping station at Westphal was the final step in the three quarters of a million dollar development, designed to completely replace old. Town water mains which have become obsolete.
Considerable public criticism has been made concerning the time of completion and breaks in the pipe during work on this project. The facts are that that except for some delay in connection with the pump house, due largely to difficulties in delivery of equipment the job was finished in good time. It was in the main timed to meet the requirements of Federal and Provincial developments, and every demand for service has been met with very little interruption to Town services.
The design of the new system called for concrete lined pipes to be used so that the building up of material within the pipes with consequent loss of capacity, would be avoided, and also to do away with the necessity of scraping mains in years to come, thus lowering maintenance costs. This pipe was not readily available in Canada at the time, although prices were obtained from both Canadian and English manufacturers. The actual price for the English pipe landed on the job was $201,300, and an approximate price from the Canadian manufacturers was $213,000 f.o.b. cars. It was estimated that it would cost an additional $12,000 to deliver the pipe from the cars to the job. On this basis the special water committee decided to order the English pipe which represented an 11 percent saving.
After laying of 1,025 lengths of pipe, 26 sections had to be replaced during the test periods at a cost of pipe and labour of $22,149. This represents 2.5 percent of the pipe laid, and is not considered excessive in work of this nature. Some pipe was damaged in shipment from England, but this was checked closely and any damaged pipe discovered was not paid for. After a final tabulation of the cost of this project at the office of the Town Clerk, it was announced that the final expenditure out of the estimated $700,000 for the project was $699,724.75. Its completion brings to a culmination the efforts of the Town Council to provide the proposed additions and improvements in the water system as recommended in an inspection and survey of the Town’s water system made by the Engineering Service Company in 1950. Its results include an improved high pressure water service to Town and area water customers, it has already resulted in a sizeable drop in the Town’s fire insurance rates, and in addition provides this area with two separate water mains bringing water into the Town, in case of any type of disaster striking the area. It also provides the Federal government and Provincial government projects in this district with needed water, which eventually will give the Town valuable water customers and providing a sound investment for the Town in future years.
In addition to completion of the new water system, the routine operation of the Water Department during 1952 showed a successful year with the revenue for the year being the highest ever recorded in the Town’s history.
Revenue from water sales during 1952 amounted to $145,223.80 as compared with $132,438.49 the previous year and $128.978.10 in 1950.
This increase was resultant mainly from consumption in the Commercial areas with $26,000 being realized from this source in 1951 as compared to $37,000 in 1952, an $11,000 increase.
There was an increase during the year 1952 in the number of metered establishments being provided with water in the Town. The total number of meters was raised to 3,238 during the year as compared to 3,062 the previous year.
The Water Department showed a gross surplus of $54,279.87 on the sale of water during the year prior to the payment of debenture debt charges amounting to $50,078.50, leaving a net surplus of $4,279.87.
Pre-Fab Housing Report
Proving false the old adage that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, Dartmouth Town Council culminated the purchase and resale in 1952 of 214 prefab houses in Notting Park in a double pronged effort which in addition to providing permanent homes for more than 200 Dartmouth residents, also will net the Town government a profit of over $200,000.
Chairman of a special committee on Pre-Fab housing set up by Town Council, was Mayor Claude H. Morris who led the negotiations between the Town of Dartmouth and the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation which led to the eventual purchase of the wartime housing units.
After approval of Harbour Town ratepayers had been received, Town Council borrowed by means of temporary borrowing from the Royal Bank of Canada the sum of $214,000 with which they purchased at a cost of $1,000 each, 214 prefab houses from the Central Mortgage and Housing corporation.
An agreement was entered into between the Town of Dartmouth on one hand and the Eastern Canada Savings and Loan Company and the Nova Scotia Savings, Loan and Building Society on the other hand, and under the terms of this agreement a schedule of prices for the houses was setup. It was arranged that following the down payment the balance of the purchase price was to be realized from a mortgage under the terms of which the company paid over to the Town three-fifths of the mortgage and the Town retained a two-fifths interest in same.
Tenders were called and contracts let for the permanentizing of the houses, which involved the placing of concrete foundations under the buildings, replacing of any timbers necessary, the ex- tension of chimneys previously hung, to a sound footing, exterior painting of the woodwork and other minor repairs necessary. Of the 214 houses sold, three were paid for outright, the remainder being carried on the mortgage arrangements.
The total sale price of the houses was $672,671.12 The cost to the Town was the purchase price of $214,000, plus the cost of permanentizing $250,199.75, making a total of $464,199.75. The net Profit to the Town of Dartmouth will amount to $208,471.37.
The Pre Fab Housing committee reported that the cost of the permanentizing was fully paid in 1952. The temporary borrow- ing of $214,000 was also fully- retired, and there is now a small credit to the Town which will be increased each month during the term of the mortgages, most of which do not mature until 1966.
It has been estimated by the Pre Fab Housing committee that the Town may expect to receive annually from this source about $20,000. This totals more than the $208,471.37 profit mentioned earlier, and is explained by the fact that the money is bearing interest at six percent out of which is paid administrative costs of one and one-half percent, leaving the net interest to the Town of four and one-half percent.
Legislation provides that the proceeds are to be paid into a special fund which can only be dispersed by Council with the con- sent of the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
The Dartmouth Park
Located in the heart of Dartmouth, the Town Park showed tremendous advancement during the twelve months of 1952 under the guidance of Park Commission Chairman F. D. Ross.
Work was commenced early in the year under the funds provided in the regular Town budget and by mid—surnmer the lower section of the Park, facing on the corners of Park Avenue and Synott’s Hill was taking on the appearance of a beautiful rock garden.
his work was started in 1951, but only the groundwork could be started at this time due to a shortage of necessary funds. In 1952, beautiful paths and walks were cut through, built into the sides of the craggy bluff overlooking the swimming pool, and the whole setup “was attractively set out with shrubs, rock garden flowers and many forms of wildlife.
Some Harbour Town citizens joined in the program to beautify this most obvious section of the park and donated some plants for use here. More of these are needed when ever someone has them available according to Park officials.
As much as possible the natural lay of the land was utilized in the construction of the rock garden setup. Its naturally rough appearance blended in perfectly with the Park Commission’s scheme.
As the year progressed the Town Council voted a further $2,000 to the Park Commission and another flurry of activity was commenced by the Park Commission which has long been curtailed in its work by a lack of necessary funds.
Biggest job commenced in the Park in 1952 was along the ex- tension of Thistle street. south of the Bicentennial Junior High school. Here workmen were engaged in rooting out hundreds of old shrubs and undergrowth. long an eye-sore to this area. Special equipment was rented to facilitate this work and much was achieved on both sides of this new street in clearing up the Park.
Plans were also laid for further clearing out and levelling of this Park area and planting of grass and flowers in the coming Spring.
The general maintenance work of other paths and walks at the Park was continued, so as to keep the whole area as generally presentable as possible, while special efforts were made to spruce up the districts most visible to newcomers and tourists visiting the Town.
No definite action was taken at Birch Cove because sufficient funds to commence a full scale program here were not available However, Park Commission authorities opened negotiations with the Dartmouth Junior Board of Trade with a view to that civic minded organization commencing the clearing out of matted growth and other debris as soon as weather permits in the Spring.
Public Health And Welfare
The costs of hospital and medical care continued on the up-trend in 1952, and the Welfare Department in Dartmouth reflected this rise in their operations over the 12 month period.
The total costs of hospital and medical debts incurred by Dartmouth residents in 1952 amounted to $36,514.14, in hospitals throughout the Halifax area, and of this amount only $5,625.95 was recovered during the period.
Because of this fact the total net expenses of the Welfare Department in 1952 were $30,888.22, being an over expenditure of $3,038.22, over the amount estimated at the first of the year.
Under Provincial law in Nova Scotia, person admitted to the hospital, from the Town of Dartmouth becomes the responsibility of that Town. Any debts incurred by these persons are charged to the Town and it is the responsibility of the Town where persons do not have the necessary funds, to receive depositions from the individuals and to arrange collection.
In recent years the Town has become responsible for a number of persons whose settlement may be outside the Province of Nova Scotia and the Town is at present endeavouring to take some action to collect these outstanding accounts.
Grants made by the Town to charity organizations through 1952 did not change from the previous year with $3,950, being distributed as follows: Victorian Order of Nurses, $3,000, Halifax Visiting Dispensary, $200.00, Canadian National Institute of the Blind, $200.00, Children’s Hospital, $250.00, and Salvation Army, $300.00.
Maintenance of inmates in charitable institutions during the year cost the Town of Dartmouth $4,733.51. during 1952 a considerable drop from the amount of $6,266, spent for this purpose in 1951. This expenditure was in the main made at the Halifax County Home.
Charity expenses, food, fuel and burial charges for indigents cost the Town of Dartmouth $1,426.93 in 1952.
Under the direction of the Town’s Medical Health Officer Dr. L. A. Rosere, who was newly appointed to succeed the late Dr. H. A. Payzant in 1952, the Town’s medical health was closely watched. The Dartmouth branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses also played an important role in this watchdog post.
Dr. Rosere as the Medical Health officer, directed regular checks of Town Lakes, water supply, and every other source where possible contagion could develop to harm Dartmouth resident’s health.
Both the Medical Health Officer and members of the V.O.N. made regular calls at all the Dartmouth schools, examined the hundreds of students in the public schools, and conducted dozens of well baby clinics, school nursing, immunization clinics and general health supervision.
An important part of the Victorian Order of Nurses work during the year was the Child Health clinics with 1,045 babies and pre-school children attending a total of 92 of these clinics.
The school program consists of rapid classroom inspections done three times during the year, physical examinations on all students in Grades one, three. and five, which are done by the nurses, medical examinations by Dr. Rosere on all new admissions and follow up visits to the home whenever necessary.
A total of 1,643 children were given a physical examination by the Nurses during 1952 and 161 were given a medical examination by Dr. Rosere.
During the year five dental clinics were held treating a total of 56 children. Dentists of the Town gave their time voluntarily to make these clinics a success.
With the co-operation of the Medical Health Officer and the V.O.N. a series of 23 Immunization clinics for Infants, Preschool and school children were held throughout 1952 with 300 children being vaccinated against smallpox. 924 children received booster doses of toxoid, and 1,069 were immunized against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.
A total of 482 children were given the Tuberculin Patch test and of these ten were found to have positive reactions. These ten children and all the students at the Junior High School were X-rayed by the Mobile chest X-ray unit and not one active case of Tuberculosis was found.
There were some changes made on the V.O.N. staff during the year with Miss M. Adams resigning in August and Miss MacKenzie in September. These two were replaced by Miss Daphne Harriett and Miss Louise Gillis, both of whom took over duty in September. Miss Marion MacKaracher is the Nurse in charge of the Dartmouth office of the V.O.N.
Harbour Bridge Progress Report
Construction work on the Dartmouth approaches to the Halifax-Dartmouth Harbour Bridge, got well underway in 1952 and by the end of the year the stretch of land running down to the Harbour front from Windmill Road to Shore Road was liberally sprinkled with huge concrete arches which will eventually bear the road bed for the Harbour span.
Since Dartmouth ratepayers will eventually be hearing a portion of the financial responsibility for the construction of the Harbour Bridge, it is only fitting that an outline of the progress on the project should be carried in this annual report of the Town.
In addition to completion of the concrete arches, Bridge work- men finished the huge concrete abuttment at the upper end of Lyle Street, just off Wyse Road. This huge “V” shaped concrete bowl was filled in with earth, and topped with gravel and will eventually provide the Harbour Town exit for the Bridge with six to eight exit routes radiating out from the Bridge mouth.
Down closer to the waterfront, a tiny footbridge eased its way out into the Harbour, permitting workmen access to the site of one of the main under water supports for the Bridge on the Dartmouth side of the Harbour.
Final negotiations for Bridge land were ironed out in 1952 and tentative plans were being laid by the Town to widen and improve streets in the Bridge area to provide adequate exit ways for the influx of traffic expected to come from the span which is to be completed about August of 1954.
Public Safety Committee
The uniting of the Police and Fire Departments under the direction of the Public Safety committee was again successfully accomplished during 1952.
Highlight of the year was the installation of traffic lights at two busy downtown intersections, the Commercial and Ochterloney Street corner first. and later a traffic actuated set of lights at the King and Portland intersection.
Plans were also finalized for installation of a set of lights at the very hazardous Five Corners intersection. School safety was studied carefully during the year and every effort was made to provide good traffic markers, warning signals and street crossing patrols as a protection to school students.
Two new Police Patrolmen were added to the regular Police Force and one new Fireman to the Fire Department.
Plans were laid during the year for the construction of a Safety Island to be constructed at the intersection of Prince Albert Road and Ochterloney street, and this work will be completed in 1953.
Special equipment in the form of white gloves and belts were obtained during the year and provided for Police, patrol-men and traffic officers.
Provision was made at the first of this season for funds for the Civil Defence committee to provide for stenographic services, training, buildings and the like. Arrangements were made for some quarters for the committee’s various branches.
Addition of several officers to the regular Police Force, brought the Dartmouth Department up to a better size to handle the steadily increasing needs for law enforcement in the fast expanding Harbour Town.
Headed by Police Chief john Lawlor, the Department recorded the busiest year in the history of the Town in 1952 handling some very difficult problems, including a series of breaks which were solved when the responsible parties were apprehended, through Police detection.
Lodged in the Police Departrnent’s lockup during the year were 645 male and 21 female guests, with 78 men being sent to the County jail, while 2 women were also sent to the County jail. Six convicted prisoners left Dartmouth for Dorchester Penitentiary. A total of $5,701.50 were collected by the Department in Town Police court with court costs amounting to $2,374.72. Making a total of $8,076.22.
In police court there were 219 cases of intoxication under the Liquor Control Act, four persons were charged with disturbing the peace. while 41 persons were charged with driving motor vehicles while their ability was impaired. Other minor traffic violations amounted to 142, plus a further 222 parking meter violations. 26 Pr‘-‘0P1€ operated radios in the Town without licenses. and a total of 17 vagrants, one female, were picked up by Police. Twenty- nine Criminal Code violations were tried with three being sent to Dorchester.
With completion of the new high pressure water system the Fire Department operation at the end of 1952 was entering a new era. Now there is plenty of pressure in the Town water mains to provide adequate water for fire fighting purposes in any area of the Town.
This was one of the recommendations of the Board of Fire Underwriters in a survey made in the Town some years ago, and backed up by the Engineering Service Company, and has already resulted in a drop in Town fire insurance rates.
Total fire loss during the twelve months of 1952 amounted to $31,442, according to the annual report of Fire Chief George Patterson.
Of this amount insurance companies covered a total of $26,013. while the uninsured loss amounted to $5,429. and had to be borne by the persons owning the property. There were no serious conflagrations in the year.
A total of five general alarms were responded to during the year, out of a total number of alarms amounting to 216. The good record of the Dartmouth Fire Department and its group of forty volunteer firemen plus the 11 regular men, including the Fire Chief, have received warm praise from Provincial fire authorities.
Board of School Commissioners
The official opening of the magnificent new addition to Netting Park school in North Dartmouth was the highlight of the educational year in Dartmouth in 1952.
The steady increase in population in the Dartmouth district since the end of the War and the resultant jump in the number of the younger school children had forced the Town to provide ad- ditional school accommodations for the younger grades with the result that a new school building in itself costing approximately $100,000 was constructed next to the old Notting Park school building, being connected to it with a breezeway.
Gone from the school lineup in Dartmouth is the obsolete old Victoria School on Wyse Road which was razed in 1952 to make way for the modern new school.
Notting Park’s newest addition is worthy of a visit by any ratepayer. Its modern design, well planned and lighted interior, and special equipment aimed to attract and suit the younger pupils is something which is unexcelled anywhere in the Maritimes.
Even with this new school building completed however, the School Board finds itself faced with even more problems, and on the recommendation of the Supervisor of Schools Ian K. Forsyth, and following a thorough investigation by their own committee, the Board recommended at its closing meeting in December of 1952. that immediate action be taken to procure a suitable site in the Prince Arthur Park subdivision in Dartmouth’s south end on which to start the immediate construction of a new “bungalow type” school to provide for the overflow of younger students in this section of the Town, which will be an actuality in 1953.
Use of the Bicentennial Junior High school, almost as a community center at times, continued through 1952 and its spacious design is proving over and over again the need that Dartmouth had for such a building, especially in its beautiful auditorium which has a capacity of more than 1,000 persons.
Home and School Associations, private groups. school groups, sports meets and virtually all musical programs are now being conducted in this school’s auditorium and the school shows promise throughout of being one of the best investments the Town made in the educational field in many years.
Expenditures by the Dartmouth Board of School Commissioners in 1952 to cover the operation of the continually expanding Dartmouth school system were the highest ever recorded by the Town.
The total budget called for an amount of $267,081, or an in- crease of approximately $60,000 over last year’s total expenditure of $207,417.45.
Accounting for the biggest amount of the increase in the budget was the provision for increased teacher’s salaries which jumped from $129,291. in 1951 to about $171,000. in 1952. Increase in fuel costs as accounted for some of the increase in the School Board expenditures. and also the fact that additional staff members were needed at the Junior High School helped send the budget higher. This was actually the first year that the Junior High was operating at about a full capacity for its number of classrooms.
Besides the regular school expenditures in the Town, a further amount of $17.700. had to be provided by the Town to cover Dart- mouth‘s proportionate share of the cost of operation of the Halifax County Vocational High School in Halifax. This amount covers only until the end of 1952.
Again in 1952 the schools were very capably directed by the Supervisor of Schools. Ian K. Forsyth. and a very competent staff of teachers which have been described as some of the most capable in the Province.
The addition of Jens Thorup to the Physical Education staff of the schools proved to be a tremendous advantage to the Town, and his efforts in establishing a well-planned training program are meeting with favourable comment all over Nova Scotia.
The high standard of Dartmouth’s public school teaching is also evident in the large number of graduates from Dartmouth students participating in the Provincial Matriculations. Dart- mouth rates well above the average in this field it was indicated.
Very efficient Household Science and Industrial Arts classes were conducted during 1952, and the new setup at the Bicentennial Junior High also added much to this program with National mention coming of the setup of machinery and its use in the Industrial Arts section.
Again this year under the joint sponsorship of the Vocational Guidance Department of the Department of Education, and the Dartmouth Board of School Commissioners. a very comprehensive program of adults’ home sewing classes was conducted. and plans are now underway to expand these home classes into several other fields if there are sufficient interested adults.
Town Planning Report
For the first time in the history of the Town, a permanent building inspector was appointed by the Town Planning Board in 1952.
In view of the rapid growth of the Town, tremendous residential development, and prospects for an enormous potential in future years, the 1952 Planning Board decided to recommend to Council that Welsford Symonds, the Town’s Chief Assessor, be appointed as Building Inspector.
As a result of this action. which was approved by Council, all building permits are now first examined and either approved or rejected by the Building Inspector. If they meet with the Building By-law requirements and are recommended by the Inspector they are then given official approval by the Planning Board and Council.
This new system has been working out exceptionally well, providing the Planning Board with opportunity to study more fully other problems faced by the fastest growing Town in the Mari- times, such as Zoning.
The up-to-date building code, passed in 1951, came into full force in 1952, and as a result, a greatly improved building program existed in the Harbour Town during that period. The Planning Board passed on a large number of smaller sub-divisions in 1952 permitting commencement of further private construction of dwellings.
In addition to these, approval was given to the sub-division of the Wyndholme sub-division on Silver’s Hill, one of the largest to be developed in 1952. Construction work is proceeding apace in this sub-division with half a dozen houses well underway and some already occupied.
Further sections of the enormous Crichton Park sub-division were also approved for development and continual construction work is evident in here as new proposed streets are being bull- dozed out to make way for construction equipment waiting to commence erection of new homes. Construction of single home units, and private dwellings of all kinds broke all records ever established for this type of development in a 12 month period. During 1952, the Planning Board gave the o.k. to a total of 125 applications for new buildings, as compared to 73 building permits issued in 1931, an increase of over 50.
Very little commercial or industrial work was commenced in 1952 although work was progressing on establishments for which permits were issued the year previous. Preliminary negotiations were also being opened for new projects which did not receive final approval by December of 1952. Total value of building permits issued in 1952 amounted to $1,153,875, as compared to $949,963 the previous year.
Recreation and Community Services
Further development of baseball diamonds in scattered areas all over the Town in order to promote junior sports and pee wee baseball was undertaken by the Recreation and Community services in 1952.
With a budget increase of approximately $1,000 the committee was able to go ahead with some of the clearing of property for these small midget diamonds. This work is rated as one of the most important items on the list for the committee in an effort to promote the development of the younger children in the various sports.
Further work was undertaken at the Commons field during the year with general levelling of the grounds and repairs to the new bleachers.
Corning under the classification of community services, the committee operated in very close conjunction with the Dartmouth Tourist Bureau, and its sponsors the Dartmouth Junior Board of Trade.
Through arrangements with this committee it was possible for special markers to be erected throughout the Town, directing visitors to the Ferry or other exit points, or also showing them the route to the Tourist Bureau.
A beautifully coloured welcome sign was erected at the main Dartmouth Ferry entrance on Ferry Hill and here the hospitality of the Town was extended to all visitors.
Considerable work was also done in the Tourist promotion field with special cards being distributed to Townspeople to place on tourists cars, extending them a welcome to the Town and pointing out some of the attractions The total registration of tourists through the year as a result climbed to almost 1,400, and this does not touch whatsoever the large numbers of tourists from outside the Province who did not visit the Tourist bureau.
At Victoria Park considerable work was commenced with some extra funds made available for this purpose. The grounds were plowed up and levelled and will be eventually seeded and laid out with suitable walks and gardens to make it an attractive play and rest sport for residents of the North end.
Operation of the Dartmouth swimming pool at the corner of Synott’s Hill and Park Avenue continued as in other years with hundreds of boys and girls participating in the planned Water Safety and Red Cross Swimming competitions arranged through the competent swimming instructors provided by the Town.
The Town grant to the Dartmouth Public Library was increased to $2,000. in 1952 in keeping with the hope of the Committee to add further good reading material to the shelves of the busy library. and also for the provision of other services which have been lacking in the past. Attendance at the library continues to show an upward trend with many persons now availing themselves of the opportunity to visit and read right at the Library rather then taking their books home.
The Cemetary Committee
Working with limited finances the Cemetery Committee continued its long range program of improving Dartmouth cemeteries during 1952 by clearing out of a further large section of the old Public cemetery.
This work has now been underway on the Public cemetery for several years. with each year an additional section being taken in hand, cleared out of old bushes and debris. loamed and seeded with grass to put it in a presentable condition. There still remains two sections of this cemetery go be done and the Cemetery committee hopes to have this completed on the similar basis. of one section a year. Insufficient funds are available to do both sections in one season.
The usual maintenance and repair work was done around Mount Hermon cemetery in 1952. One of the important improvements was the installation of two sections of water pipe, which are now connected with two stand pipes and provides Town water for use in the cemetery, rather then having to rely upon an old spring on the cemetery grounds for this purpose.
A new power mower was purchased during the year and the use of this new equipment has greatly facilitated work at the cemetery and improved the appearance of the grounds. The Cemetery Committee also arranged to have the road and walk edges leading into the cemetery trimmed during the past year and this operation in itself improved very greatly the general appearance of the cemetery.
Although the Committee does not have too much in the way of funds for its operation it has been found that with the newly established lot and grave opening rates as set in 1951 the cemetery is now operating on a self-sustaining basis which is very desirable.