Auburn's village council
Amalgamation brings end to Auburn village council
Situated at the corners of the former Townships of Colborne, Hullett, East and West Wawanosh, Auburn has always been in a difficult position for governing itself, given that it never grew large enough to become an incorporated village.
From 1895 through 2000, Auburn had some measure of control over its affairs through the “Police Village” status under the Municipal Act.
Though they had no power to levy taxes, a council of three trustees would deal with such issues as public safety, including fire protection and street lighting. They had to deal with the municipal councils of the township that made up the portion of the village where the service was needed. In 1904, for instance, the council paid a grant of $7.10 to the Twp. of Hullett for building a cement sidewalk.
In 1896 the council had paid $262.72 to purchase a fire engine, $75 to buy land for a fire hall and $102.70 to build the hall.
In 1919 the council forbade livestock running at large and banned bicycles from the sidewalks.
In 1936 the trustees agreed to rent part of the fire hall to the Auburn Public Library for $30 a year. The trustees could also use the library for meetings.
By the 1990s the winds of change were blowing in Ontario with the provincial government pressuring municipalities to amalgamate so there would be fewer, larger governments. The government also eliminated the police village provision. While many of the seven police villages in Huron were located entirely within one municipality and the change wouldn’t be noticed, Auburn, even after the consolidation of surrounding municipalities, is still split among Central Huron (the former Hullett section), Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (the West Wawanosh and Colborne portions) and North Huron (the East Wawanosh portion.) It can mean residents must apply to three different councils if they wish to get something accomplished in their village.