Friday, January 22, 1904 The Newmarket Era Page 1, col. 4

Another industry for Newmarket.

>The Davis Tanning Co. to erect a $40,000 plant and employ from 75 to 100 men.

An enthusiastic meeting endorses a bonus.

The public meeting in the Town Hall on Saturday evening, the 9th of January was one of the best attended of its character for many a day.

Mayor Cane was voted to the chair and explained that 9 months ago, when the Davis Tannery at King was burnt down, the business men of Newmarket met together for the purpose of considering what inducement might be offered to induce the firm to rebuild in Newmarket. A committee was appointed to wait upon Mr. Davis and he promised to consider any proposition that might be offered before deciding to rebuild. A tannery in Kingston being put on the market it was purchased by the firm for the purpose of keeping in touch with the trade and now it was proposed to either enlarge the tannery there or rebuild elsewhere. The committee passed a resolution favoring.

  1. A bonus of $10,000.
  2. Ample fire protection.
  3. Exemption from taxation for a period of ten years—except school taxes.
  4. The Co. to erect a $40,000 building and plant, employ as many men inside of there years as were employed at King previous to the fire and continue operations for at least 15 years.

A copy of the resolution was sent to Mr. Davis and the Davis Tanning Co. has accepted the proposal. The meeting is now held to see if the ratepayers endorse the action of the Committee.

Mr. Danford Roche was called to the platform. He was strongly in favor of the proposition. The question he asked was "Will it pay?" Six or seven years ago a property on Victoria Ave. could not be sold at half its value, but last year it sold for its full value. A vacant lot on Niagara street could not get a purchaser four years ago—now the owner refused $400 for it. What has caused this change? The large number of men employed in our two large factories. We want more of that sort of thing. The proposal bonus means 14¢ on the $100 assessment, or $1.07 a year for the average ratepayer, and he considered that a cheap insurance to retain an upward evaluation on the real estate of the town. He was sure the people of Newmarket would stand in their own light if they did not vote for the bonus and secure this new industry. Mr. T. H. Brunton believed it would be in the interest of the town generally to have the tannery here, and that it would be with double the bonus. More houses will be required, there will be increased property to tax and under proper safeguards the bonus will be a profitable investment. The chairman remarked that Penetang, a town about the same size as Newmarket, gave a bonus of $25,000 to a company to employ 50 men and the people consider that it paid the town. In order that there might be something definite before the meeting, Mr. J. D. McKay moved that the Council be asked to submit a By-law to the property owners of the Town of Newmarket, asking them to grant a bonus of $10,000 to A. David & Son to establish their tannery within the limits of the town, or on such property as may be taken into the town; and to exempt such tannery from taxes, except school taxes, for ten years. And that the Council be further authorized to draft an agreement to be entered into between the town and A. David & Son specifying the terms of payment of such bonus and of the amount of money to be expended in buildings, etc., by the firm, and also the number of hands to be employed by the said firm and any other details which may be necessary to safeguard the interest of the town. T. H. Brunton seconded the motion.

Mr. Woodcock called attention to the necessity of extending the limits of the corporation at the north end.

Mr. A. B. Davidson said all the speakers so far had dwelt upon the question, "Will it pay?" In his opinion the first question should be, "Is it right?" He then attached the bonus system generally, pointing out that it taxed one industry to place another in a more favorable position than its fellows and destroyed the principle of equality and fair dealing which underlies all good government, and hence was wrong. He could not support anything that rested upon a foundation of injustice.

Mr. Roche considered we had as much right to look after Newmarket as other places had to look after themselves.

Mr. John Currey was not so sure that the raise in the value of the real estate in Newmarket was due to the industries of the town. 19 years ago property sold as high here as it did today. He thought there were times that are quite proper to extend a helping hand such as less by fire, etc., when it produced straightened circumstances. In this instance the firm is well able, financially, to carry on business. If stock is sold in the new company which is to be formed, and you buy $500 stock you would receive as a bonus $125 under the conditions proposed, which he thought was a pretty big thing. The bonus assumes the shape of a donation and he did not believe in it under the circumstances.

Mr. Brunton had no objection to Mr. Davidson's theory if it was applied on this earth we would have a perfect utopia; but under the present conditions of things the town must look out for itself it does not want to be left behind.

Mr. L. G. Jackson spoke of the practice of other towns in securing industries for their mutual progress; that in dealing with this firm we were not running the risk of a venture with some unknown business; that the bonus to the Wm. Cane & Sons would all be paid off this fall, and hence the taxes will not be materially increased, and that the people of Newmarket should be glad to have the chance of securing such an industry on such favorable conditions when other towns are ready to offer large sums for it.

Barrister Lloyd called attention to the remarks to Mr. Currey. That the firm was able financially, to carry on an extensive business here was a very good reason why we should encourage them to locate here. They do not only propose to spend $40,000 in buildings and plant but will put $150,000 in the business. The bonus will not recoup for the loss of value in real estate and buildings in removing from the previous location at King.

The motion was then put to the meeting and practically carried unanimously.

It now rests with the people to say by their ballots on Monday, the 8th of February, whether they want this industry located here or not. We hope that there will be practically a unanimous vote. Only freeholders and those holding life leases will be allowed to vote, and those who have a vote and fail to cast it will practically count against the by-law, as the law requires two-thirds of the possible vote to carry the bonus.