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St. Vital Lance - January 28, 1932, Vol. 1, No. 7 - by H.G.W.

Building in the past four years led the Province, except for Winnipeg, with permits totaling $2,000,000 - is progressive in matters of Public Services - sidewalks, sewer, water mains and their financing.

How many residents of St. Vital realize the remarkable growth that has taken place around them? How many are there that know that the district in which they live has led the whole Province of Manitoba in home building for the past five years, excepting of course, the City of Winnipeg?

Building permits for the past four years have totaled $2,000,000, notwithstanding the fact that we are passing through depressing times. Had the last four years been normal seasons, there is no doubt the figure would have been doubled.

In the year 1929, the firm of Gibbs and McCrae was responsible for one third of all the building in St. Vital, most of which took place in Elm Park. This particular district has been the scene of great building activity, and is the direct result of the courage and foresight of the two representatives of the municipality under the Suburban Board who made the arrangements.

Practically the whole of Elm Park was owned by the municipality, secured through tax sale proceedings, and was a heavy drag on the districtís finances, as the pavement, sewer and water costs had to be met. It was imperative that this property be made revenue bearing, consequently 120 lots were sold to Gibbs and McCrea at a nominal sum per foot, with the understanding that they would build five houses each year for five years.

This understanding has been more than carried out, with the result that we are not only getting taxes from the land, but also have a perpetual income from dwellings that pay their own way - that is, the revenue received is sufficient to cover all services, including that of education.

We have dwelt on our building program; however, this part of our development, although being the most obvious, is not the most important. Let us consider the enormous amount of improvements that have been made by the installation of sewer and water, the laying of concrete sidewalks and gravel roads without going into one cent of debt.

Within the last five years, sewer and water has been installed on every street from Roux Avenue to Hull Avenue, also Clonard Avenue, Elm Park Road and Crystal Avenue West, the latter street built up by Reeve Seagrhn.

Cement sidewalks have been provided on Fifth, Guay, Vivian, Essex, Imperial, Cunnington, Crystal West, and Blenheim Avenues, all paid for in cash by the residents on the streets, with the exception of the last two, these being paid for by B. Scott and C.H. Seagrim, who developed the properties.

These public improvements involving an expenditure of $100,000 were made possible by a plan of council, which was levied against those properties unable to pay cash.

We should be proud of our municipality, nature has played her part, which fact, together with capable management has placed St. Vital in the forefront of Manitoba.