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R.M. of Reciprocity No. 32 History

The first form of municipal government in Saskatchewan, which was the North West Territories at the time, came about in 1883 when the federal government gave the legislative council of the NWT the authority to make laws on local government. Under this authority Local Improvement Districts (LID’s) were created with the first ones being a single township in size and later being altered by the government as they saw fit. The LID’s had the power of taxation and their main concerns included roads, noxious weeds, gopher control, and a wolf bounty. In this area the first LID was formed in 1899 with Allan O. Pringle as the overseer and was designated No. 182. It included Township 4 Ranges 33 & 34. The year 1901 saw the creation of LID No. 484 which was overseen by John Campbell, as well as a change of the overseer of LID No. 182 to Thomas Timmons. By 1904 the LID’s were larger in size and District 2-B-1 including Townships 3 & 4 Ranges 32, 33, & 34 and District 3-B-1 including Townships 4 & 5 Ranges 32, 33, & 34 were formed. In 1907 townships became divisions with an overseer for each division. December 13, 1909 saw the government disorganize the LID’s and form rural municipalities nine townships in size with six divisions. Each division was a township and a half in size and had an elected representative. The years 1910 and 1911 saw the local area petition the provincial government to form their district into a rural municipality. The first petition was made in July 1910 by J.A. Lemay, the secretary of the municipal committee. Other members of the committee who signed the petition application were A. Goettler, A. Fleming, T.R. Timmons, James McCrindle, and Edward Kyle. The names they suggested for the rural municipality were Wallas, Ellise, Cantal, New Home, Rosebank, Huron, Arbor Vitae, Oakley, and Perth. The name Reciprocity was suggested on a later petition. The population of the proposed area was 826. The district was awarded a municipality which came into existence on December 11, 1911.

The first meeting of the R.M. of Reciprocity No. 32 was held January 8, 1912 at Mr. Spencer’s house on NE 16-5-33 W1. The new municipalities first orders of business included appointing health officers, providing financial assistance to school districts and setting the tax rate. The first R.M. tax levy was $7.00 per quarter section of which one dollar was required to be paid in cash and the other six could be worked off. With a government assistance grant the first major road building occurred in 1913. Construction began east of 4-4-32 at the very southern end of the municipality, and was built right through to the north end of the municipality. This road is now known as the Hull Road in Division 1 and the Nottingham or Redvers road in Division 4. In March 1913 the R.M. joined the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and the reeve at the time, Andrew Fleming, attended the annual convention in Prince Albert. The R.M. played an instrumental part in procuring services for the hamlet of Alida such as petitioning C.P.R. for a station agent and supporting a bid to establish a branch of the Union Bank of Canada. In 1918 council purchased a lot and built an office building on the property. This building was used until 1935 at which time the bank building was purchased and used as an office and residence. In 1975 it was decided that a new office and residence was needed. The house on Lot 1, Block 5 in Alida was purchased and used as the secretary-treasurer’s residence for a year until the convent building was purchased and used as a combination office and residence. June 29, 1982 saw the grand opening of a new office building at the end of Main Street. This is the office that is still in use today. 

In 1926 Alida was incorporated into a village thus removing the responsibility of governing from the R.M. This returned the focus of the rural municipality to agriculture. Over the years the area has seen many natural disasters like the drought of the 1930’s and the major flooding occurring in recent years. The municipality often administrates government programs to help residents in these situations. The municipality has also administrated livestock testing programs, livestock aid programs, and has been vital in maintaining veterinary clinics in the area. Health care has been a priority over the years seeing the municipality involved in several projects including being part of the founding body of the Redvers and District Community Health Foundation Inc., supporting long term care facilities in the area, and being a supporter of doctor recruitment activities. The municipality has actively collaborated with surrounding municipalities in such ventures as an emergency measures organization called the Red Coat Mutual Aid Area and the commissioning of a joint water well for ratepayer use. A large function of the municipality has been and continues to be the construction and maintenance of roads. The coming of the oil industry in the mid-fifties made this an even greater priority and a bigger challenge. The paving of Primary Grid 601 is the municipalities most recent major road construction. Paving began in 1997 with the stretch from Alida to the Enbridge terminal and continued over the following years until it was completed with upgrades being done as needed. The demographics of the area continue to evolve leading to a more diverse population with more diverse needs. The expansion of the oil industry allows for greater prosperity but also creates a greater demand for roads and services. Agriculture is moving from the small family farm to bigger corporate farms which present unique needs as well.

The Rural Municipality of Reciprocity No. 32 celebrated its 100th anniversary December 11, 2011. The municipality celebrated the occasion on June 20th, 2012 with supper and a program followed by reminiscing and socializing.

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