The intent of Article 1 was to give an historical account of how the Water and Waste Water plants came to be.
Article 2 reports on events that occurred up to the time of amalgamation.
During the latter part of the 1990’s, increased pressure from the Ontario Government to reduce the number of municipal governments, prompted some consideration be given to amalgamating with neighbouring municipalities. At that time, there was some indication, that the former Village of Barry’s Bay, who was restricted to the areas available for development, was investigating the possibility of annexing some of the properties in Sherwood, Jones and Burns immediately adjacent to their boundaries. The two municipalities already shared a number of interests including library services and the then named, Sherwood-Bay Arena. Some property owners from Sherwood, Jones and Burns, that were in close proximity to the water/wastewater service lines, negotiated with the Village of Barry’s Bay to connect to their systems. That allowed denser development on reduced lot sizes. It seemed appropriate at that time, to discuss amalgamation as a preferred alternative to annexation. Municipal records indicate that amalgamation talks began between these two parties. At one of the amalgamation meetings in December, 1996, water and sewage services were discussed. The Committee was informed that there was a deficit in these services and reference in the minutes indicated “a possibility to consider was the operation of the plants by the municipality with user fees providing the revenue and hopefully realizing savings.” It was also mentioned, that the Committee had been informed that a sludge facility would be required because dumping on fields after 1998 would not likely be allowed in the near future. At another meeting of January 27, 1997, it was noted that “in an amalgamated municipality, services such as water, sewage, garbage collection and recycling pick up would be required to be area rated.” The former Reeve of Sherwood, Jones & Burns commented, “if a ratepayer did not receive the service they should not be funding this service.” In reading the records of the proceedings of these meetings, it can be assumed that there was much discussion surrounding which services would be area rated. However, at one point, it was decided to discontinue these talks and no such decisions were made at that time.
To address the pressure by the Province to reduce the overall size of municipal government in 1997, a Municipal Governance Report was introduced to County Councils offering suggestions relating to possible restructuring.
Councils were given 60 days to review and report back to the Municipal Governance Committee giving their feedback as to the contents of this report. In speaking with the then, Reeve of the former Township of Sherwood, Jones & Burns, Council discussions were initiated through an informal meeting with the Village of Killaloe, Village of Barry’s Bay, Townships of Hagarty and Richards and Sherwood, Jones and Burns, “to explore the feasibility of such a merger before comments be made.” They were scheduled to meet in October. I could not find records to substantiate that the meeting occurred.
In 1998, the Armstrong & Kitchen Report was received by the County of Renfrew which outlined the “Contents of A Restructuring Proposal.” This report recommended the amalgamation of seven municipalities; the Villages of Barry’s Bay and Killaloe; the Townships of Hagarty & Richards; Sherwood, Jones and Burns; Brudenell & Lyndoch; Raglan and Radcliffe. The records indicate that correspondence was exchanged between the would-be affected municipalities, meetings were attended and studies as to the feasibility of such a merger were considered. In the end, only three of the seven municipalities actually formed the newly amalgamated Township of Madawaska Valley.
Story continues in the March 27, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.