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to time, water supply, sewers, building regulation and various minor topics. After 1847 the enumeration of the usual powers is sometimes dispensed with and instead it is provided that the new borough shall have the powers of others within the state. In these cases special powers in addition to the usual ones are specifically mentioned. 60
The boroughs of Fenwick and Woodmont, summer colonies, originally organized as improvement districts, have retained some peculiar features. In Fenwick the body of freemen include besides resident freemen, all electors of the state who own real estate in and are domiciled in the borough for two months of the year.61 In Woodmont persons who are electors in the state and tax payers in the town, who are domiciled in the borough one month are made freemen. Persons owning real or personal property in the borough to the value of one hundred dollars, though not resident at all, may become freemen without the power to hold office. Citizenship and voting in either of these corporations is no bar to voting elsewhere in the state.62
The town of Naugatuck is now consolidated and made coterminous with the borough of the same name.63 All rights held by and duties imposed on towns for the support of the poor and insane, and schools, and the construction of highways are transferred to the borough. The borough meeting chooses, besides the usual officers, three selectmen elected on general ticket, who perform such of the usual functions of that office as have not been transferred to borough officers. For taxing purposes the borough is divided into two districts, one including the former limits of the borough and the other the remaining part of the old town.
At one time it seemed probable that there would develop, below the borough, a class of corporations called villages. In 1818, the
6o Private Laws, 111. 195, 197; Danielson, Laws 1903, c. 419; Groton, Laws 1905, o. 204, 340; Winsted, Laws 1905, c. 164.
Fenwick, Laws 1899, c. 271. 82 Woodmont, Laws 1903, c. 431. 6: Laws, 1895, c. 185.
“Village of Litchfield” was chartered.64 The citizens elected annually a president, clerk and collector, and were given power to lay taxes for fire protection, water supply and side-walks. Taxes were assessed by assessors appointed by the county court to make assessment "with reference to the comparative danger of destruction by fire to which such property may be exposed, and also with reference to the benefits conferred." later, the village of Weathersfield was incorporated with a board of seven trustees. The inhabitants of the First Ecclesiastical Society of Weathersfield living outside the limits of the village were given the rights of citizenship in the village.65 The village functions were restricted to providing fire protection and regulating the sale of fuel. Village incorporation ceased with these efforts. Litchfield became a borough in 1879, but as late as 1888 in the General Statutes there appears a provision “that there shall be and remain in the town of Weathersfield the village of Weathersfield.” 66
The influences which produced the boroughs of Fenwick and Woodmont have led to the creation of improvement associations.67 All owners of land or cottages are made members of the association. The right to vote is sometimes restricted to permanent residents of the state though non-residents may vote by proxy.68 In one case plural voting is allowed at the rate of one vote for each one hundred dollars of property.69 The administrative authority is vested in an “executive board," “board of managers," or "sanitary board” of from three to twelve members. Powers are granted to the associations in matters of police, lighting, street improvement, garbage removal, pier construction, sewers and licenses, and for laying taxes for these purposes.
Fire districts have been created for many years with powers,
84 Private Laws, II. 1514.
67 Grove Beach, Laws 1895, c. 88; Short Beach, Laws 1895, c. 63; Laurel Beach, Laus 1899, c. 148; Cosy Beach, Laus 1901, c. 442; Pine Orchard, Laws 1903 c. 409
68 Laws 1895, c. 63. 69 Laws 1899, c. 148.
primarily, to provide fire protection and a water supply.70 To these powers have been added one or more of these:—to sprinkle and light streets, provide sewers, sidewalks, police and to produce gas and electric light for private supply.71 The suffrage is sometimes extended to all voters,72 and sometimes restricted to taxpayers.
The inhabitants of Windham living on certain highways were, in 1814, incorporated as the “Center District of the Town of Windham”73 with the special powers suitable to a highway district. There occurs in the state one example of a district,'74 and one "water district."75 In certain cases school districts have been authorized to provide sewers, water or fire protection.76
In 1902, a general law was passed providing for the incorporation of "districts for fire, sewer and other purposes” with authority to supply fire protection, lights, sewers, walks and police.77 As they are created by the selectmen and make no return to any central authority, no means is available of securing data as to the number or activities of the corporations formed under this law.
Although New Hampshire has provided a uniform method of incorporating villages, the narrowness of the powers conferred and the infrequency of its use have caused it to have little effect on the municipal life of the state. The beginnings of a genera law for minor municipal corporations is found in an act of 1849 providing for “Village Fire Districts.'78 By special act there were incorporated, from time to time, "village fire
70 In some cases these have been given the name “Fire Associations.” Norwich, Priv. Laws V. 257; New Hartford, Priv. Laws, 1889, No. 216; Kent, Priv. Laws 1885, No. 143.
71 Priv. Laws 1887, No. 135; Laws 1897, c. 129; Laws 1899, c. 41, 493; Laws 1903 c. 40, 301.
72 Laws 1899, c. 128; Laws 1887, No. 135.
precincts" and "village districts.” In 1891 the name "village district" was substituted for all such areas created under general law. Originally restricted to furnishing means of fire protection, the powers of the village district have extended to include as well, street lighting and sprinkling, water supply, sewers, police, sidewalks and shade trees.79 The officers are a moderator, clerk, treasurer, and three commissioners, all elected for one year.
Taxes levied by the district are assessed and collected by the town officers. Incorporation is by petition to the selectmen followed by acceptance by the voters.
At the same time village districts have been incorporated by special law,80 and other areas, already in existence, with narrower authority have been given, by the same method, one or more of the powers enumerated in the general law.81 To these have been added authority to establish a reading room,
1,82 furnish music on public occasions,83 the powers of mayor and aldermen in cities concerning sidewalks and sewers, 84 the powers of selectmen concerning poles and wires, 85 authority to establish water works and lighting plant.86 The number of commissioners is usually three,87 and the term one year, though there is a tendency to a three year term with one commissioner retiring each year.88
In addition to the authorities already described, there are to be found single instances of the following kinds of corporations: -A “sewer precinct” to be created by the vote of the town with power to build sewers;89 a “water precinct”;90 a “san79 Statutes 1901, c. 53.
Littleton, Laws 1893, c. 176. 81 Hanover, Laws 1881, c. 239; Rochester, Laws 1881, c. 250; Woodsville, Laws 1899, c. 196; Lisbon, Laws 1903, c. 224.
82 Littleton, Laws 1893, c. 176; Conway, Laws 1907, c. 200.
Lisbon, Laws 1903, c. 224. 56 Plymouth, Laws 1893, c. 228; Goffstown, Laws 1891, c. 269, 1895, c. 261; Meredith, Laws 1893, c. 231; Wolfeborough, Laws 1897, c. 183.
B7 In Woodsville, Laws 1887, the number is five.
itary district” with a sanitary inspector appointed by the selectmen;91 a "highway precinct” with the powers of a city or town over highways, sidewalks and sewers and administered by a bi-partisan board of commissioners three in number, one being chosen each year,92 and a “lighting precinct.':93 Each of these corporations is a special taxing authority.
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the two most densely populated of the United States, where, in most respects, conditions are quite similar, one important difference exists. In Massachusetts the development of a new center of population in a town has led commonly to a prompt division of the town, but in Rhode Island there is less inclination to allow political lines to adjust themselves to economic and social boundaries and towns are not readily divided. One result is that Massachusetts towns, with their greater unity, have been more ready to assume the functions of urban municipalities. In neither of these states is there a tendency to early incorporation of cities. Of the thirty-three cities in Massachusetts, in 1910, none fell below 14,000 population, while eight towns exceeded this size, and twenty-one bad a population of more than 10,000. In Rhode Island the smallest city had over 21,000 inhabitants and the largest town over 26,000. It must be remembered that because of the custom of incorporating the whole area of a town as a city, some cities include large rural areas or are made up of several small but distinct urban centers, no one of which would aspire to become a city by itself. Likewise some towns are of a very large area and are made up, also, of distinct urban centers. In both these states, then, the distinction between city and town is political rather than social one.
The reluctance of Massachusetts towns to provide protection from fire in the more densely populated places led to the creation by special acts of fire districts, and as early as 1844 the framing of a general law on the subject.94 This law as amended from
91 Newbury, Laws 1897, c.11.