ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The usual fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held last night hi the Council Chambers. Present —His Worship the Mayor (presiding), Messrs. Bullock, Friedlander, Saunders, Parkin, Williamson, Robinson, Orr, and St. Hill. mayor’s statement. His Worship the Mayor, in a brief speech, reviewed the matters which would come before the Council that evening, and remarked that it was a great pleasure for him, for the first time during his term of office, to report a credit balance at the bank. The Council had now to its credit the sum of L 343 2s. lid. The amount which had been received from . the Wakanui Road Board was on the distinct understanding that if the grant were found to be illegal the amount should be refunded, but such a contingency was not contemplated. PLANTING. A letter was read from Mr. Rowney, offering to do the work of planting required by the Borough at current rates. Referred to the Planting Committee. A NUISANCE. Messrs. Mutch and M'Kenzie wrote, drawing attention to an offensive nuisance which existed near their premises in East street, and trusting, as the cost would be trifling, that the Council would see its way to remove the cause of offence. Referred to the Foreman of Works. FOOTBRIDGE. Mr. Geo. West, asked permission to erect a footbridge in Burnett street. Granted, subject to the approval of the Engineeis. THE SCAVENGER. Messrs. Edmiston, Gundry, and Co. wrote, complaining of the neglect of the Borough Scavenger to remove night soil from their premises. With reference to this complaint, Mr. Gale, the scavenger, also wrote, defending himself from any blame which might attach to him on this account. Through the conduct of one of his employees and his horse bolting, breaking the dray, and doing other damage, some -work had been neglected ; but it was unavoidable, through the causes stated. The Clerk was instructed to write to the scavenger, informing him that comp’aints had been made, and trusting that the Council would hear no more of a like nature. THE FIRE BRIGADE DEPUTATION. A deputation from the Fire Brigade, consisting of Messrs Wilkie, Dolman, and Bradley, interviewed the Council with reference to a promise which the Council had made to pay for uniforms for the Brigade. Mr. Wilkie read a statement of the accounts of the Brigade since February, 1879, which showed the expenditure to have been L 135 11s. 5d., and the receipts L 165 15s. The actual balance in hand was Ll 4 15s. 4d., against which they had a liability for L3B. Mr. Wilkie drew the attention of the Council to a resolution which had been passed by that body in November, 1878, accepting the services of the Brigade, and at the same time granting a subsidy of LSO a year, and appointa committee to procure uniforms for the Brigade’s members. On the strength of this resolution the Brigade had ordered uniforms from England, and out of consideration for the impecunious state of the Borough’s finances, had hitherto refrained from putting in their claim for the cost of uniforms, but now that the Council were in funds, they felt more confidence in interviewing them. Mr. St. Hill wished to know whether 355. per man was not a large figure for a helmet, which might be burnt to a cinder at the first fire. Mr. Dolman replied that the reason such an apparently exorbitant price was being paid, was to obtain what was needed, namely, fire-proof helmets. His Worship said that certainly the amount of L 25 was due to the Brigade for the uniforms, but he thought the Brigade might have seen the Council before sending Home for them. Mr. Wilkie replied that the Brigade was a long-suffering body, and had waited patiently for action on the part of the committee which had been appointed by the Council to procure the uniforms ; but as no assistance came from that committee they had had to enter into negotiations themselves. His Worship thought the deputation would be wise in leaving the matter in the hands of the Council, and although nothing coaid be decided just now, there was little fear but that the Council would deal liberally with the Brigade. The deputation then withdrew. THE GAS FITTINGS. The Mayor referred to the question of gas fittings for the Council Chamber, and it was decided that the Clerk write to the local gas fitters inviting tenders for the work, and that Messrs. St. Hill and Friedlander be appointed to accept tern ders. NUISANCES, The Inspector of Nuisances reported that he had visited the back premises of several of the places of business in the borough. They were in a most filthy condition through the neglect of the Scavenger, and the Inspector asked for instructions if this state of things continued. The Clerk was ordered to make the scavenger acquainted with the complaints referred to. . THE L 5,000 GRANT. His Worship stated that in a private conversation with the Chairman of the County Council, Mr. Walker had expressed his opinion that the balance of the L 5,000 grant could be utilized for purposes of channelling. engineers’ report. The Engineers reported as follows : Water Supply. —The contractor has exceeded the time stated in the specification for the completion of this contract, but as the time (one month) was specified on the probability of tho three several contracts being carried on by separate contractors at tho same time, we consider that Mr, Wilkie having taken the whole work, may fairly be allowed a reasonable extension of time. The greater portion of the work has been done and satisfactorily. We have had several culverts made and fixed, and the side channel in West street altered and deepened to the necessary levels for the overflow, and for this purpose obtained the necessary timber and have taken on one carpenter and two labourers. Shingling East and Tailored streets. — Before depositing the shingle on East and Tancred streets, we recommend that the present surface to the width of 16 feet to 20 feet be picked up or scored. Gully, N.W. Town Belt. —According to instructions we have examined the gully crossing Cox street, and estimate that a crossing may be made at a cost of about five pounds. Immigration Cottages. —The Qverseer has requested us to report that one of the pottages on the N. W'. Town Belt is in a yery dilapidated condition. The whole pf the glass in the windows is brpken. The paling roof is very defective 5 the chimney requires pointing apd repairing, and there are no fastenings on the doors. Several of the chimneys to other houses on this block are defective, Mr. Saunders said that the Engineers’ had neglected to state why Mr. Wilkie required the extension of time to complete the contract. Mr. Fooks understood that Mr. Wilkie would have been there himself to make the application for the extension of time, but he thought that perhaps Mr. Wilkie had not put as many men on the work as were necessary. Mr. Saunders had been given to under-
stand from Mr. Wilkie that he had really too many men on the job, but that he could not keep them going through not receiving the necessary plans from the Engineer. Mr. Fooks denied this in toto, and said that all the plans had been supplied with the exception of those for the intake ; and the drawings for this portion could be given at two hours’ notice if required, but they were useless to Mr. Wilkie until he could get cement to go on with the job Several Councillors corroborated what had fallen from Mr. Saunders, and a lively scene was approaching when His Worship drew the attention of members to the business in band, remarking that it was only right to take the report of their own officer. Mr. Saunders said the only reason he had for mentioning the matter was, that “ someone had blundered,” and it was only right that when blame was to be given, the person who deserved it should receive it. An extension of time was granted to the contractor. The portion of the Engineers’ report relating to the gully on the N.W. Town Belt "and the immigration cottages, was referred to the Works Committee. the bye-laws. It was resolved to hold a special meeting, in compliance with the requirements of the Municipal Corporations Act, to consider and adopt the bye-laws which had been advertised ; the meeting to be held on Tuesday, 25th inst. THE WATER PIPES. Mr. Saunders, in accordance with his notice of motion, thought it would be well to refer this matter to a committee. The matter had been fully discussed, both by the County Council and the Borough Council, and it was not necessary to go into the matter at any length. There was a deal of money lying idle in these pipes, and it would be far better to have the money in use. The pipes could be sold at a great profit now, and there was a possibility of the price of iron getting low at a future time, when, if they felt disposed to enter into a more extensive scheme of water supply than that now in course of construction, it would be quite competent for the Council to again negotiate for a further supply. He would propose that the Mayor, and Messrs. St. Hill, Bullock, and the mover, be a Committee to consider the advisableness of disposing of the the water pipes, and to report at next meeting. Mr. Parkin seconded the motion. Mr. Bullock did not wish to oppose the appointment of the Committee, but thought there was little use in such an appointment. The water supply scheme Which they were now entering into had yet to be tested, and it would be unwise to dispose of the pipes until it was certain they could be done without. It was also an undecided question whether the money realised from the sale could be used for any other purpose than that for which it was first intended. Mr. St. Hill said that the Council was not pledged to any particular scheme, and he had very little doubt in his own mind as to the success of the present undertaking; and if it was a cheaper scheme than was at first contemplated, surely if anyone reaped any pecuniary benefit from it the Council should. The Mayor said that the Chairman of the County Council and himself were not agreed as to the disposal of the profit which might accrue from the sale of the pipes, but it would be a matter upon which the Committee would have to report. The motion was carried. THE DISPUTED DEED. A letter from Saunders Bros., held over from last meeting, referring to the deed of of easement, the conditions of which did not meet with the approval of their solicitor, was read. Mr. Saunders said the letter required a little explanation. All that the firm of Saunders Bros. required was that in case of a scarcity of water in the mill race, they should have a preferential claim to it. Mr. Robinson did not see the use of cutting drains and going to the expense they were doing if Saunders Bros, could at any time divert the water to their own use, to the exclusion of what was required by the Council. Mr. St. Hill thought that all the firm wanted was that if there should be at any time not sufficient water botlx to drive the mill and flood the side channels, Saunders Bros, were to have a preferential claim to the water. His Worship thought the claim of Saunders Bros, was very reasonable. It was resolved that the Borough Solicitor be instructed to prepai'e a deed to be approved of by the solicitor of Messrs. Saunders Bros. THE FIRE BRIGADE GRANT. Mr. Bullock moved, and Mr. St. Hill seconded—“ That the sum of L 25 bo voted to the Fire Brigade for the purchase of uniforms.” Carried, HONORAKIDJI TO THE AUDITORS. On the motion of Mr. Bullock, seconded by Mp. Friedlander, it was decided the auditors receive remuneration at |the rate of two guineas each for each balance-sheet. An amendment by Mr. St. Hill that the anxonnt.be one guinea, failed to find a seconder, and the motion was carried. SIDE CHANNELLING. His Worship thought it was necessary that tenders should be called for at once for the concrete channelling. The contractor would finish his work at bringing the water into the township in a very short time, and for this reason he thought there should be no delay in getting the side channels in preparation. After a lengthened conversation, it was proposed by Mr. Bullock, seconded by Mr Williamson, that the Council call for tenders for 100 to 200 casks cement, to be delivered at the Ashburton railway station. —Carried. On the mention of Mr. St. Hill, seconded by Mr. Bullock, the Engineer was instructed to call for tenders for channelling East street and Burnett street East —labor only. It was also decided that the Engineer be instructed to call for tenders for the timber required for the drainage. PRINTING. It was resolved—“ That the annual balance-sheet be printed and circulated amongst the various Borough Councils in Canterbury. ” TENDERS. There being only one tender sent on for the supply of timber it was resolved to call for fresh tenders. There were only two tenders for the formation of Burnett street, W. J. Silcock, L2l; James Wilkie, Ll 5 Is. The latter tender was accepted. ACCOUNTS to the amount of L 33 18s. 3d. were passed for payment, as also the pay-sheet L2O 17s. 6d., after which the Council adjourned.
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