Second City, Second Metro: No Changes Please, Things Are Already (Almost) Perfect in Stittsville

After having formally become a Village in 1961 (as opposed to a Police Village), things seemed to be firing on all cylinders for Stittsville. Pictured here are Brenda and Debby Ann Bradley with their prize-winning heifer, Duchess, in 1958. Image: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. 1972-047 NPC Box 06271 Item 604.

When the Village of Stittsville’s Council submitted its Brief to Murray Jones, it painted a picture of blue skies and staunch independence and it had no interest in losing.

When the Village of Stittsville’s Council appeared before Murray Jones in the Carleton County chambers, detail was added to that impression. In the near-decade since it had become a Police Village1Stittsville became a Police Village on May 1, 1956. See “Stittsville Full-Fledged Police Village on May 1,” Ottawa Journal, March 24, 1956, 15. and the four years since it had become an incorporated Village,2”Stittsville, Petawawa Become Villages January 1,” Ottawa Journal, December 30, 1960, 5. Stittsville managed reach its debt ceiling. As independence was the value most cherished, Stittsville Council limited its requests for change to those that would see some of its financial burdens uploaded.

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COUNCIL
THE VILLAGE OF STITTSVILLE

BRIEF

  Residents of Stittsville are satisfied with the current incorporation of the Village and want to retain their local government. In contrast to a comparable area outside the Village the tax rate decreased after incorporation. For several years the mill rate for general purposes was reduced to compensate for increases in school rates, yet in spite of this, badly needed improvements in streets and drainage were made, and a street lighting program was started. Better health services were also obtained from the Gloucester-Nepean Health Unit, leading to the formation of the Carleton Health Unit. The Stittsville Planning Board has greatly assisted proper development of the Village and should be retained; it would gladly cooperate with any neighbouring County Board which might be established. 

  Before incorporation, Goulbourn advised inclusion of a larger area, and the Village believes it would benefit all concerned if Union School Section No. 12 were now added to Stittsville.

  The cost of education in the Village is the highest comparatively in the review area because the Village, predominantly residential, is attractive for raising children. Since education benefits all, and local government now has very little authority in its administration, it is suggested its entire cost be taken over by the Province. 

  The Village would also support a hospital in the County, County assessment, and police and fire protection under the County or some district body.

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HEARING

  Reeve Silas C. Bradley, Councillor Albert A. Black, and Mr. E.W. Thompson, Clerk-Treasurer, made the submission.

  In clarification of the brief, it was noted that the reduction in the tax rate after incorporation was nominal, only a fraction of one mill. A reduction in the mill rate for the union school section last year was more significant, and reflects a downturn in elementary enrolment which if continued may permit discontinuance of a basement classroom in another building, and render a school addition unnecessary. This would avoid a need for debenture borrowing which it is felt the Ontario Municipal Board would probably refuse, as the Village's present ratio of debt to assessment is 25%. 

  Lack of borrowing power is also preventing needed blacktopping of village roads and extension of street lighting but it was stated that the Village would prefer to defer such works rater than give up its autonomy. Easing of school enrolment may permit some increase in general expenditures, and there are indications that ratepayers could afford some increase in taxes, but the discussion made it clear that Stittsville could not bear any significant increase in expenditures for services. However, council is not concerned over possible cost to the village for inclusion in the March-Nepean-Goulbourn sewer scheme.

  Thus while noting that Stittsville would welcome action at the County, regional or provincial level which would lower hydro rates, help bear school costs and permit capital borrowing, the Councillors felt capable of remaining independent even without such assistance, and want to preserve local autonomy. 

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Notes   [ + ]

1. Stittsville became a Police Village on May 1, 1956. See “Stittsville Full-Fledged Police Village on May 1,” Ottawa Journal, March 24, 1956, 15.
2. ”Stittsville, Petawawa Become Villages January 1,” Ottawa Journal, December 30, 1960, 5.

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