ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The ordinary fortnightly meeting of the Ashburton Borough Council was held last night at the Council’s office. Present— His Worship the Mayor, and Messrs. A. Orr, G. St. Hill, D. Williamson, G. Parkin, G. M. Robinson, T. Bullock, and E. Saunders; chairman’s statement. The Chairman said that since the last ordinary mooting had been held, the councillors had inspected Mr. Saunders’ scheme, which had been Mr. Fooks instructed to would bone -essary to advertise the appointment of the rate collector; and he (the Mayor) would also suggest that the Sergeant of Police be instructed to Ibf'k up all dogs which were not registered, as the borough being so much in debt, it was > incumbent on the -Oonncil to look to every source of revenue. The financial statement was then read as follows :—Balance at Bank, Dr. L69G IGs. 7d. ; rates collected since last meeting, L 7 4s. ; rates collected previously, L 1059 4s. ; rents, L 7 4s. ; dog licenses, L 26 10s. ; dog licenses previously collected, Ll 3. Total—Lilli 2s. The Mayor stated that he had been reported wrongly in the papers last ordinary meeting. He had stated that a certain amount of rates were to Mr. T. Bullock’s debit in the rate book, and ho had called attention to the fact, but not with any intention of saying what might give offence to Mr. Bullock. THE DRAINAGE QUESTION. The Mayor stated that he had written to the County Council for assistance towards the drainage of .the Borough ; and he had noticed that the subject had been deferred for a month on the motion of Mr. Bullock. Mr. Bullock, in explanation, said he was surprised to see himself reported as not having paid his rates on four-sections. Two of two sections never belonged to him. He had long ago paid his own rates, and also -rates due by his tenants. THE FIRE BRIGADE. A letter was read from the Ashburton Fire Brigade, asking payment of the L 25 voted to them by the Council, and also asking that the Council’s promise regard-. ing the finding of uniforms for the brigade may be fulfilled. The Mayor considered it absolutely necessai'y that the present quarter should bo tided over before they could pay the sum asked for. and the brigade could not look for any payment towards uniforms until the overdraft at the Bank had been paid. The Fire Insurance Association had agreed to reconsider the amount of their subscription towards the brigade. Mr. Parkin said unless any payment was made to the brigade that that body would have to resign. It was impossible for them to continue their duties without assistance. Mr. St. Hill did not think the letter should be received, knowing as the brigade did, the straits in which the Council’s funds were, and he thought the brigade should have waited until they knew the Council were in funds. Mr. Parkin said that none of the brigade received any emolument, and more than that, three members had become responsible for the cost of the bell. Mr. Bullock said ho must agree with Mr. Parkin. There had been a promise to the brigade to pay this subsidy, and the Council were duty bound to pay the money. Mr. Saunders proposed, Mr, St. Hill seconded —“ That the money be paid as soon as the Council is in funds.” He did not think it would be right to break the engagement made with the Bank not to overdraw their account after the 31st March. The resolution wqA<yj^^. THE WATER HiSStoCHEME A letter was read from the Upper Ashburton Road Board granting permission to the borough to cut a channel to bring water down Winter’s road, providing the borough will pay all damages in the future that may he incurred by such channel either to roads or private property. It was resolved to acknowledge the letter with tnanks. , COUNTY COUNCIL GRANT FOR DRAINAGE, The clerk to the County Council wrote stating that the consideration of their application for a grant to assist in the drainage of the town was! deferred till next meeting. The Mayor asked Mx% Bullock why he had moved a resolution to this effect ? Mi*. Bullock said he had asked for an adjournment, as he was not possessed of data to go on with the discussion. ; Mr. Williamson considered., that the work being a mutual one, the-;borough’s claim was not only a fair, but also a legal one. , SUNDAY TRADING. A letter was read from Christchurch Municipal Council enclosing the following resolution—“ This Council deprecates the action of those in this, city who expose their goods for sale on the Lord’s day; and that they deeply regret that the Municipal Acts do not empower the, municipalities to make a bye-law to suppress such practices; and further that this Council pledges itself to act in conjunction with other municipalities to petition the Governor in Council, or the legislature of this colony, to pass an Act to prohibit Sunday trading.” ■' His Worship was glad to observe such a resolution had been passed, and thought the Council should give all the assistance in their power to help the Chistchurch Municipality. Mr. St. Hill thought a bye-law should be passed compelling shutters to be put up on a Sunday.—(Laughter). Mr. "Parkin proposed, and Mr. Orr seconded —“ That this Council endorses the action of the Christchurch City Council-,” which was passed. DOG HOUSE FOR VaGRANT CURS. . ;
Sergeant Pratt wrote, calling attention to the regulation by which all dogs, not having the badge of registration on them were liable to be at once seized, and within 24 hours destroyed. He pointed out the necessity of the borough erecting a house for the safe custody of the dogs. The or* dinance stated t£ that all unregistered dogs or any dogs at large without the badge of registration wheresoever found may be destroyed.” * The Mayor said he agreed with the principal (embodied in the letter, but not with the time allowed. It would be unfair to imprison and destroy a dog in 24 hours’ notice. The difficulty might be got over by making the time 48 hours and advertising the description of dogs imprisoned ; but: it would be necessary for the borough to erect the house, and as it would be in the borough perhaps the county would object to pay part of the cost. , Mr. St. Hill could not see why the borough should erect a dog lock-up more' than a lock-up for drunkards. Mr. Saunders moved—“ That the police be asked the probable cost of the establishment, also the practice of other boroughs in such cases.” Mr. St. Hill seconded, and the motion was passed. THE SIX-SHIIiXJNG LETTEH. Mr. B. G. Crisp wrote as follows : “With reference to the letter of Miss Callaghan as to the rate collector having no legal claim upon her for 65., handed me by the Town Olerk for my explanation, I now ' have : to ■■ that as this matter has been before a legaltribunal, I doubt not will see the propriety: of leaving it to,that tribunal. As a matter of common fair-play, as -well as a matter of common courtesy, might I submit to you that when, on any future occasion the conduct of any person employed by you is to be brought into question, and under discussion, that person may reasonably be considered to be entitled to a notice, informing him of the
matter to be discussed, and time of discussion. “ Had this course been adopted in my case, the present unpleasant position of this matter had never been reached. —I remain, Ac., Edwd, G. Crisp.” Mr. Robinscn was of opinion that Mr. Crisp thought the Council were wizards, as he appeared to consider the matter should have been laid before him some days previous to the meeting of the Council. Mr. Crisp’s letter was a preposterous one. Mr. St Hill said the R.M. had ruled the Borough Solicitor could not claim his expenses ; he _to do the borough’s work, and ;he question was, had Mr. Crisp a right to'charge for such work as private work-? He would move “ That this Council disapproves of the Borough Solicitor’s charging this amount.” A lively discussion then took place as to the correctness of the resolution as stated in the minute book, Councillor St. Hill making a strong attack on the Borough Solicitor in reference to the alleged overcharge of 6s. His Worship said he would decline receiving any resolutions in future unless they were handed to him in writing. Mr. G. M. Robinson seconded the resolution, and could not see the fairness of of the Solicitor drawing pay from both the Council and the ratepayers. Mr. Bullock thought it was necessary before passing this resolution to define the duties of the Solicitor. Mr. Parkin said it was evident that the Solicitor’s duties were to have at once taken out summonses, and not to have written letters and charged for them. • Mr. Williamson said he did not attend this Council to listen to the eloquence of Mr. St. Hill all night. He would call the attention of the Mayor to clause 39 of the bye-laws, and it was not in accordance with that condition that Mr. Hill should arrogate to himself the right to answer every Councillor on every possible occasion ; and he for one would not attend the Council unless it was conducted in accordance with the customs of other public bodies, and the rules laid down. Mr. Saunders fully agreed with Mr. Williamson’s remarks. Unless the work of the Council were carried on in accordance with the rules, it would impossible for the clerk to take proper minutes. Mr. St. Hill persisted in making remarks in an interjectional manner. He agreed so far with the terms of the resolution, but he was of opinion that consideration should be deferred. Mr. Orr would like to know if the Collector was instructed to obtain the assistance of the solicitor, in collecting the rates. The Collector said he had showed Mr. Crisp the defaulters list, and asked him the best means of getting the rates in. Mr. Crisp said the simplest way would be to advise them by letter. The resolution was then put and carried. Mr. Bullock suggested that the overdue rates should be tacked on to the next rate due, so as to prevent expenses. A minute of a meeting held on January 12th was produced, showing that tho instructions were to sue at once. THE WESLEYAN PARSONAGE RATE. Rev. W. Keall again wrote, drawing the attention of the Council to the unfairness of charging the Wesleyan Church trustees with rates on the parsonage when it was a custom all over the colony not to tax any church property ; also asking that a x-ate already paid be refunded. Mr. Bullock said he had been informed that in other boroughs no church property was rated. He was aware the borough was fully entitled to the rate,.but he would suggest the Clerk write to other boroughs to know what the custom was. The Mayor contended that under clause 115 they had no p jaucAo remit the rates. Mr. Williamson—lf we can’t pay the L 25 due to the Fire Brigade we cannot remit these rates. Mr. Orr—-It is the custom, lam told, from Auckland to the Bluff, not to collect these rates. moTedi and Mr. Parkin seconded—" That the letter be acknowledged, and a reply forwarded that the Borough could not move in the matter. ” The resolution'was carried. It was resolved to correspond with other municipalities as to the custom with regard to property held by religious bodies. BYE-LAWS. The Mayor said it was time these byelaws were completed, and he hoped the committee would exercise more diligence. The Town Clerk said He believed the Borough Solicitor wanted to see the Borough Engineer once more before they would be ready. THE RESERVE COMMITTEE. The Maj’or said the Reserve Committee had resolved to sell the lease of some of the reserves by auction. the water supply scheme. Mr. C. E. Fooks reported on the proposed water supply. He had taken all the necessary levels, and explained the plans of the proposed work as prepared by him. The scheme provided for an alternative course in the Domain. Mr. Saunders said both Dr. Trevor and himself, as members of the Domain Board, would agree to the scheme in any direction, and firm of Saunders Bros, would offer any facility towards the prosecution of the work so far as their race was concerned. Mr. Bullock reminded Mr. Fooks that in January, 1879, this same scheme was brought before the Council, and was reported by him as impracticable as a temporary scheme, and was in consequence abandoned for the permanent one. Mr. Fooks would point out that it would he necessary to provide the needful crossings on Winter’s road to private property. Mr. Saunders would propose that the engineer be requested to prepare working plans and specifications for the work, and the clerk be instructed tn call for tenders to be sent in by Monday, March 22nd. He thought the work done by the Council in discussing the water scheme last year had been well spent, as it had led to a speculation on' the part Of the Council which would prove a most profitable one. The LSOOO invested in pipes was spent when iron was at its cheapest, and iron had since risen in value 50 per cent. Tho Council did not want these pipes, and they could sell them and do without taxes for some years. Mr. St. Hill seconded, and the motion was carried. SIGNING THE RATE BOOK. The Mayor, and Messrs. Saunders and Orr were appointed to sign the rate book. the late golleotor. Mr. Harry Friedlander wished to know his locus standi, as his term of office had now expired, and summonses had been issued for overdue rates. Mr. Bullock said he considered the late collector had done his work well, and deserved every credit for the manner he had worked. Only L 73 remained uncollected, the major portions of which was for rates due on sections charged twice over, and for reserves wrongly placed on the roll. He moved a vote of thanks to the late collector for the energy he had displayed in collecting the. rates.—Carried. THE RAY SHEET. Sundry small amounts were passed for payment, and the Council adjourned.
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