ASHBURTON" BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The usual fortnightly meeting of the Ashburton Borough Council was held last night in the Council Chambers. Present —His.Worship the Mayor (in the chair), Messrs. Bullock, Priedlandcr, St. Hill, and Williamson. The minutes of previous meeting were read and confirmed. chairman's statement. The Mayor said a special meeting had been called of members of the Council to sign the burgess list, but, through want of a quorum, the meeting had to be adjourned until the close of the ordinary meeting of the Council that night. The balance sheet for the year ending 31st March, 1880, would be laid before them, and a special meeting would have to be called for the purpose of considering the same, and the annual report. The question of selling the water-pipes would be laid, before the Council during the evening, and also the report of the Corn mittee appointed to interview the Railway Commissioners. There was an amount of L 325 still due from the .allocated land fund. The overdraft at the bank had been reduced to L 97 odd. On this subject the Mayor said the banker was very unwilling to cash their cheques whilst this amount remained to the Council’s debit, and had only consented to do so on the understanding that the- account was squared by the end of the current month. Since last meeting, Ll2O 4s. lOd. had been paid in for rates. CORRESPONDENCE. From W. C. Walker, Esq., Chairman of the County Council, requesting that the Council would defer the question of selling the waterpipes for the present. Ordered to lie on the table. . From Saunders Bros., intimating that the alterations made in their lease with the Council by the Borough Solicitor were objected to by their legal adviser. Referred to Borough Solicitor. From the Town Clerk of the Borough of Lyttelton, requesting information re the Council's iron water-pipes ; also a letter from the Town Clerk of Oamaru, with reference to the same subject. Ordered to lie on the table. From Mr. George Cates, offering to lease from the Borough Council one of their cottages. This letter contained several items of interesting work which Mr. Cates had executed on the premises in question, showing that ho had been renovating the Council’s property to no little extent, tor doing which he suggested that for the first twelve months he should bq allowed the cottage rent free. From Weeks and Dixon, submitting a price for which they were willing to complete the printing of the by-laws, and requesting further information on the subject. . Mr St. Hill thought that tenders should he called for the completion of this work, or that Messrs Weeks and Dixon should send in the amount for which they would print the extra clauses which had been added, and the amount of corapeasation they required for keeping the type standing. He admitted that some compensation was only right, but objected to the. large amount which had been submitted to them. Mr. Bullock suggested that the matter should be left in the hands of the By-Law Committee, which was agreed to. MISCELLANEOUS. The Mayor reported, on behalf of the Finance Committee, that,they had arranged to pay off the overdraft at the Bank by the end of the present month. On behalf of the committee appointed to interview the Railway Commissioners. His Worship said that the committee had brought before the Commission the unsatisfactory state of the railway crossings, and had suggested that the gates of the bridge be removed from their present position to the commencement of the approaches to the bridge. The question;of the accommodation at the railway station was also brought prominently before the Commissioners.
Mr. Bullock said tlie Mayor had alluded to the question of clearing off the overdraft by the end of tile month. He wished to know in what position they now stood with the bank, as there were accounts before them which would have to be paid. The Mayor stated that he had received a promise from the banker to the effect that accommodation would be granted until the end of the month.
Mr. St. Hil stated that he had inspected one of the best of the Council’s cottages a few days ago, and found that the windows had been broken, the doors smashed, and the whole building in a scandalous condition. He ; suggested that the cottages should be let at a very low rental, and thus be cared for, rather than be allowed to go to ruin as they were now doing. Mr. Williamson suggested that when the cottages were empty the overseer should bo instructed to board up the windows, and thus secure them from damage. On the AVorks Committee’s report being called on, Mr. St. Hill reiterated his statement at last meeting, that the thing was a farce. Mr. Bullock wished to draw the attention of the Council to the question of planting, as the present was the time of the year when it was necessary such work should be done. He also wished the AVorks Committee, when they could get a meeting, to direct their attention to the state of the Tancred street crossing, suggesting that a few loads of gravel be laid there. It was also necessary that the trees which had been planted last year should receive some attention, as the weeds were growing luxuriously around them, and interfering with their growth. Mr. St. Hill said that as the County Council’s property was benefitted by the trees planted in Baring Square, it was only right that they should attend to the trees in that locality. Mr, Bullock said he had a matter to bring before the Council which was rather a vexed question, but nevertheless an important one—namely, that of drainage. He thought that something might be done to clear the side drains in Tancred and Burnett streets. He was in favor of putting concrete channelling in Tancred, Burnett, and Peter streets, and thought that money would be well spent if so devoted, and the ratepayers would not be displeased with such necessary and useful expenditure of their funds. The Mayor was pleased to see that some of the Councillors were coming round to his way of thinking in the matter of drainage. AVhen he brought the matter of concrete channelling on some time ago he was opposed by Messrs. Saunders and Williamson, who argued that, with good clay bottom to be obtained, the concrete channelling was not necessary. Mr. Williamson thought the Mayor was in error in referring to Mr. Saunders and himself as being opposed to the channelling. AVhat they said was that it would be better to have the clay alone rather than nothing at all. The Mayor was of opinion that if the matter were laid before the Chairman of the County Council, he would have no objection to allow the balance of the water supply grant to be used for channelling purposes.
Mr. St. Hill thought it was time they had gas as a means of illuminating the Council Chamber. The present method of street lighting was very unsatisfactory ; and he was under the impression that, by utilising the workmen employed by the Council, the cost would not be great. He moved that an application be made to the Gas Company for the gas to be laid on to Chambers ; and the cost of fittings, &c., not to .exceed Ll2. ,
Mr. Williamson seconded the motion, which was carriedMr. Friedlander brought before the Council the state of IJast street and a por-
tion of Tancred street, and trusted that when the Works Committee were able .to get a quorum, they would call for tenders for the same. i
In consequence.r of the absence of Mr. Saunders, the disposal of'the water pipes question was postponed till the next meeting. " ! . The Mayor stated the amount of rates now outstanding was L 154, and he thought it was but fair to those ratepayers who had been prompt in their payments that the defaulters should be subjected to some pressure. However he would like an expression of opinion from members as to the advisableness of appointing a collector, or at once taking proceedings against those who had neglected to pay up. Mr. Bullock thought with the Mayor that ratepayers should pay, but would prefer to see a collector appointed at 2\ per cent, rather than subject the ratepayers to law expenses. Mr. St. Hill coincided with the last speaker, but suggested that 5 per cent. - would be little enough to offer, seeing that the cream of the work had been taken by the majority of the ratepayers having paid their arrears. Mr. Williamson was in favor of adhering to the Council’s resolution on the subject. There were some people who would not pay until they were forced, and as sufficient notice had been given, he thought summonses should at once bo issued to defaulters. . , ■ It was resolved that the Clerk give effect to the resolution on the subject, and sue at once for unpaid rates. The Mayor also requested the reporters to draw attention to this resolution..
Several accounts and the pay-sheet were passed for payment, and the . Council then held its .
■ SPECIAL MEETING, which had been adjourned from last week, for the purpose of signing the burgess list. - . .
Messrs Bullock and St. Hill, with the Mayor, were appointed to sign this list, which was done, there being no objection thereto.
This concluded the business, and the Council then went into Committee on works, finance, &c.
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