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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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The motion was made in council by Alderman Astbury the latter part of April, 1945, and was unanimously passed.
1948 began a period of time which is referred to as "The Henderson Era", for after displacing J. C. Preece as Mayor, Rev. H. L. Henderson held that position for 20 years, longer than any Mayor previous to that time.
He, with the assistance of a co-operative Council, can be credited with making many improvements in Portage Ia Prairie in
Dust posed quite a problem, at that time, on streets that were not paved. Automatic dryers were something people just dreamed of owning some day, and clothing was often cleaner before it was washed than after it was washed and hung outside to dry! An oil treatment was given all such streets in 1951.
121 building permits had been issued in 1950, valued at $707,260.00. Two of these permits were for $298,000.00, a Hydro building and a Safeway store. During the year 1951, a total of 152 building permits were issued at a value of $441,625.00.
Mr. Dave Hunt, in The \Vinnipeg Tribune, January 29, 1955, said, "In 1951, on a per capita basis Portage residents had the top incomes in Manitoba - $1,413.00. Retail sales per person averaged $1,805.00, twice the provincial average. Difference in the two figures is made by influx of shoppers from outlying districts to Portage."
Along the line of Industrial Development in 1951, there was the Canadian Dutch Building Panels Ltd. Heavy machinery was used in the manufacturing of the panels, and reeds from the Delta Marsh were used as the basic rna terial.
The manufacturers did not foresee the danger of the reeds gen~ crating heat, and a fire in 1953 was followed by another one in 1955. The Portage Fire Department capably coped with both of them. However, on May 8th, 1958, an uncontrollable fire completely destroyed this manufacturing plant. "Portage Concrete" is now locat ed on the same site.
I t was in the 1950s that the Council of the City of Portage la Prairie began modernization of the whole city, which included the extension of water and sewer facilities, a street paving program and . a storm sewer program, all of which added greatly to the appearance of our city, the convenience of residents in the improved areas and the increased value of their properties if they ever wished to sell.