ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The Borough Council held its usual fortnightly meeting last evening. There were present all the members except Messrs. Robinson and Bullock. Mr. Alfred Harrison, the newly elected councillor took his seat for the first time, and received the usual congratulations. fire inspector. Before the reading of the minutes, his Worship desired the appointment of Fire Inspector to be reconsidered. Personally, he was not in favor of the Fire Brigade captain being Fire Inspector, but thought the captain of the Fire Police should hold the position, as the latter was an insurance agent. Mr. St. Hill hoped the Mayor’s suggestion would not be entertained. He would oppose it in every way. Mr. Parkin said the brigade would not work under the control of the Fire Police, and as for the insurance agents none of them turned up at the last fire until nine o’clock next morning. Mr. R. Friedlander denied Mr. Parkin’s statement about the insurance agents ; and Mr. Parkin explained that they did not appear officially. Mr. Williamson having pointed out that the discussion was irregular before the minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed, the matter dropped. The minutes of the previous meeting were then read and confirmed. mayor’s statement.
His Worship, in his opening remarks, stated that the balance in the bank was L 344 9s. Cd.; dog taxes, L 5 ; total collected, L 990 14s. 9d. With reference to Mr. Crisp’s salary, that gentlaman had consented to a reduction of ten per cent. The by-laws came into force on Saturday last, and several applications for licenses had been received. One of the carriers had interviewed him regarding the hardships which they would be liable to in having to pay for their licenses now, and then again in two months. A Crown grant, at a cost of L 3 35., had been received of reserves in the Borough. Several applications had been made for these reserves. THE WATER SUPPLY. In reply to a telegram, the Town Clerk of Tiraaru wrote, informing the Council that the Timaru Borough Council had their waterworks plant on hand, but should it be found that additional pipes were required, further communications would be made. Mr. F. Mainwaring, Clerk to the County Council wrote, forwarding the following resolution re water pipes, passed by the County at its last meeting : —“ Resolved —That the County Council approves of the course proposed in the Mayor’s letter, and that from all pipes sold the proceeds bo placed to the water supply vote, to be operated upon by cheques signed by the Chairman and the Mayor.” A VERANDAH. From Mr. R. Bird, asking permission to erect a verandah in front of Mr. Harrison’s auction room, Havelock street. Referred to the Works Committee. THE BRIDGE APPROACHES. The Clerk to the County Council wrote, forwarding copy of a letter received from the Assistant-Engineer, Railway Department, referring to the very bad state of the approaches to the Ashburton bridge, and asking the Council’s immediate attention to the approaches at the northern
end. Mr. Mainwaring’s letter also informed the Council that the, gates at the commencement of the bridge were likely to be removed to the foot of the approaches. The matter was left in the hands of the Mayor. POSTS FOR HORSES. From the Clerk to the County Council, asking permission to erect two posts, with cross-rail, for the purpose of tying up horses opposite the County Council chambers. Referred to Works Committee, with the suggestion that posts be allowed, but no cross-rails. RESERVES. From Messrs. Poyntz and Co., asking what rent the Council required for that part of R.S. (1642, No. 502) abutting on T. S. 505, for a term of twenty-one years. To- be replied to, to the effect that the reserves would shortly be put up to auction. a withdrawal, i' From Mr. S. Porter, withdrawing his tender for the cottage on Reserve No. 1'689, in consequence of his being misinformed as to which cottage out of two others the Council wished to dispose of. To be laid on the table. - A complaint. i From Mr. J. Mcßae, drawing the attention of the Council to the fact that Richard Bird had applied for a license for a hansom cab, of which he was not the owner, and that such cab was the property of Charles Royle, who had been to three months’ imprisonment for vagrancy, and intimating that the said cab was used for driving about disreputable characters. Consideration deferred. PETITIONS. i, Mr. Harrison presented a petition from the carters and carriers of the township complr/ining of the hardship entailed on them through having to pay for their lie eryies at once and then again in two months. Mr. Harrison pleaded with the Council on behalf of the petitioners, as he considered their complaint was certainly one worthy of the Council’s consideration. The petition asked that the Council would not claim the fee until, the next fiscal year commenced, and would remit the fee now payable, on account of the very indifferent state of business. Mr. St. Hill questioned whether the Council had power to remit the fee. Mr. Harrison thought it would be hardly legal to charge twelve months for two months.
Mr. Parkin said, through the Council not having the By-laws in operation, the carriers had received the benefit of the roads of the Borough while it had been in existence. The ratepayers had had to pay rates, and he could not see why the petitioners should be exempted from paying the fee. His Worship said the Council had the power to inflict penalties, but he did not know whether they had the power to remit them.
Mr. St. Hill suggested that if the petition were complied with, possibly the merchants might put forth a similar plea for the remitting of the kerosene tax.
Mr. Harrison considered the cases were not parallel. Mr. Williamson was not inclined to entertain the petition, but if any individual carrier showed the Council he was in a destitute state, then it would be time enough to discuss the question. Mr. Friedlander said he thought the carriers ought to be thankful to escape paying their fee for the previous year. If the By-laws had been in force, instead of having to pay L2, they would have had to pay L 3. Mr. Orr coincided with the remarks of the last speaker. Mr. Friedlander proposed, and Mr. Parkin seconded charge the carriers and carters’ the fees laid down in the By-laws. ” Carried, Mr. Harrison being the only dissentient.| A petition was read from residents "on the West side of the town requsting that the Borough would take into consideration the advisableness of planting the reserves in that locality. His Worship thought that in the present state of the Borough’s finances the matter could not be entertained, but if the gentlemen signing the petition would consent to pay half the cost, then the matter might be referred to the Planting Committee. Mr. St. Hill, although a resident in the locality referred to, and one of the petitioners, felt that he could not urge the work to be undertaken. Mr. Parkin questioned whether, even if the residents were to pay half the amount, the Council could supply funds for the other half. Resolved—That the Council cannot, in the present state of its finances, undertake the work. engineers’ report. Water Supply. —The water was admitted into the race on Wednesday evening, and has been running since then without interruption. Finding, however, from the amount of absorption, and the large quantity of water required to fill some of the basins in the gully, that the stream admitted was not making headway beyond a certain point, we cut a channel across the Town Belt, and brought in about double the volume. This has made a considerable difference, and filled a length of about fifteen chains of the gully to a depth of from 2ft. to 3ft. The water has not, however, made any progress since Saturday, and we propose to try the effect of putting a few loads of clay in some of the thirsty-looking spots. From the experience of Messrs. Saunders, in bringing the water for the mill along the Wakanui Creek bed, we consider the filling of the reservoir in Wills Street to be only a matter of time and patience. The daily flow into the gully we now calculate at about 1,600,000 gallons. We are now completing the permanent works at the intake, deepening and strengthening the main channel, and constructing concrete dam.
Shingle Contract. —Mr. Black has completed this contract, and has picked off the large stones, and replaced them with finer shingle. We propose utilizing the boulders as a foundation for cab and carriers’ stands in East Street. It would be advisable to get a further supply of shingle to make the work 1 ! complete in East Street, and some now could be used with advantage in the Alford'Forest Road. About 250 to 300 yards would be required irrespective of Burnett Street West, if that should be shingled. Burnett Street Extension. —We expect that this work will be completed this week. The Labor Gang have been principally engaged on work connected with the water supply, also, in stacking and apleading shingle, laying culverts, etc. THE WATER SUPPLY. His Worship said he had authorised the extra work of putting down a culvert, for the quicker bringing in of the water. Resolved, that the action of the Mayor be approved. Mr. Williamson questioned the wisdom of filling in with loads of claj, and favored putting in a channel through the Domain to bring in the water to the reservoir. Mr. Roberts suggested using the torn pipes which were at the disposal of the Council. Mr. St. Hill deprecated such a course, and Mr. Harrison suggested that patience was all that was required, and before long there would be an ample supply. Mr. Friedlander cautioned the Council not to interfere with the Engineer who, up to the present, had had the entire control of the work, and the success or failure of the water supply would be on his shoulders. However, the Engineer might be referred to Mr. Williamson’s suggestion.
Both Messrs. St. Hill and Parkin were
of opinion that the sump required raising to cause a greater flow of water. The Mayor thought it Was hot dewable the water should be in the town'■for the present, as he questioned who the£ they were prepared for it. SHINGLING. It was resolved that tenders be called for the supply of the shingle, as referred to in the Engineers’ report. LICENSES. Mr. Parkin wished to know whether butchers were compelled by the by-laws to take out licenses. His Worship said he was not sufficiently acquainted with the law to answer such a question, but if, on reference to the solicitor, butchers were required to take out licenses, then the latter would have notice given them. THE BOROUGH MAP. Mr. Roberts wished to know when the map of the Borough would be completed. The incomplete map had been hanging up for a considerable time past, . and he believed the work had been paid for. The clerk was instructed to request the Borough Engineer to get the map completed without delay. ADVERTISING. Mr. Williamson moved the resolution of which he had given notice at last meeting, namely—“ That one of the newspapers in the Borough be the official paper of the Council for a term of three months, and that the Ashburton Mail be appointed for the next three months, being the oldest established paper in the county. Mr. St. Hill seconded the motion. Mr. Parkin wished to know whether in case of emergency, advertisements could be put in the evening paper. The Mayor explained that the Council would not be prohibited by the motion from giving an advertisement to any of the papers,- but the idea principally was to give the public to understand that a particular paper was the official paper of the Borough for a given term. MAIN ROADS WITHIN THE BOROUGH. The Mayor said he had decided not to bring forward his motion re the control of roads within the Borough, and requested permission to postpone the consideration of the matter for a month, when ho hoped that some members of the County Council, who would be energetic in the interests of the Borough, would have returned from Parliament. (Hear, Hear.) The matter was accordingly held over for a month. A BROKEN LAMP-POST. It was resolved that the account for the re-erection of the lamp-post and lamp at the corner of Tancred street be sent in to Messrs. Marsh and Groves.
EYESORES. Mr. St. Hill said that if they could not have the reserve on the west side of the railway beautified, he certainly thought the whares in that locality could he dispensed with. The place was becoming a sort of canvas-town. If the people were in distress he would not move in the matter, but he thought it was merely avarice which prompted them to erect such dwellings. He would move—“ That the owners of the tents and whares on the Borough Reserves be ordered to remove them at once.”
Mr. Parkin seconded, and the motion was carried.
Mr. St. Hill moved—“ That Messrs. Jameson and Roberts be instructed to at once clear the merchandise, etc., off the reserves belonging to the Borough which they were using.” It was not fair that one merchant should have the use of reserves gratuitously, while other persons had to pay for them. Mr. Roberts seconded, and the motion was carried. FENCING THE DOMAIN. The Mayor said he had seen Dr. Trevor with reference to erecting a post and rail fence at the portion of the Domain where the fencing had been taken down while the waterworks were being carried on, and Dr. Trevor offered L 5 towards the cost. The Mayor said that he had accepted the offer on behalf of the Council. The Mayor’s action was approved. A DUCK-POND. Mr. Williamson complained of the existence of a sort of duck-pond on the Railway Reserve, nearly opposite his premises, in East street. He thought his Worship might be able to get the railway authorities to attend to the matter. His Worship consented to see the Manager of Railways regarding the work. REPAIRING FOOTPATHS. Resolved —“ That the repairing of footpaths in Cameron street, on the west side of the railway, and the footpath between William street and the East Belt be referred to the Works Committee, LAMPS, ETC. It was decided to obtain three or four lamps, and Mr. Williamson suggested erecting a lamp at the corner of West and Havelock streets. A kerosene lamp might be put there, and, in addition to being a convenience to the public, would also be a means of ascertaining which was cheaper —gas or kerosene. The suggestion was adopted. THE BOROUGH’S LEGAL ADVISER.
His Worship thought it necessary for the Council to appoint a legal gentleman to whom matters might be referred in cases where the Borough was concerned. Mr. Parkin proposed, and Mr. St. Hill seconded —“ That Mr. Crisp be asked to undertake the duties of Solicitor to the Borough. ” Mr. Orr suggested that Messrs. Branson and Purnell should be appointed, and remarked that if Mr. Crisp wore to take up actions against the Council, ho would not be able to pull the By-laws to pieces, seeing he had compiled them. Mr. Williamson reminded the Council that Messrs. Branson and Purnell had somewhat slighted the Council on a previous occasion by not making application for the position. Mr. Orr proposed the amendment — “ That Messrs. Branson and Purnell be asked to act as Solicitors to the Borough.” The amendment was carried. THE SIX-ANO-EIGHTPENCB COSTS. Mr. St. Hill wished to know whether a letter written by Miss O’Gallaghan, asking for a refund of Gs. Bd. had been answered? His Worship said that such applications could not be entertained by the Council. ACCOUNTS. On the accounts and pay-sheet being presented for approval, Mr. St. Hill wished to know on what ground the Clerk charged L3s. 3s. as Returning Officer. Footpaths and other necessary works were required, and while people were walking up to their necks in mud, and the Council was powerless to alter the state of things on account of the condition of its finances, the Clerk was charging L 3 3s. for a day’s work, in addition to which he was receiving his salary as an officer of the Council.
Mr. Friedlander asked his Worship whether L 3 3s. was the usual amount charged by a returning officer. The Mayor said he was of opinion that the amount was not too much when the responsibilities of the office were taken into consideration. He understood that L 3 3s. was the amount usually paid. Mr. St. Hill moved, and Mr. Parkin seconded, that the amount be reduced by L2 2s. Mr. Friedlander said that if no arrangement had been come to with the Returning Officer, the Council should pay the same as other bodies. He moved an amendment that the sum of L 3 3s. be paid. Mr. Orr seconded, remarking that it was not only a usual thing in the colony, but also at Horae for Returning Officers to receive L 3 3s.
Mr. Williamson would oppose the motion, as the clerk had not had the power of refusing to do the work at the reduced amount. The Council might take action for the future, but they should'certainly pay the present account.
.. Mr. Parkin rose to speak, when Mr. Friedlander, who had previously been called to order for;atterapting to address the Council after having once spoken, wished to know why other members were not likewise prohibited from frequent speaking. His Worship stated that Mr. Parkin was quite at liberty to address the Council, as he had not yet spoken to the amendment. Mr. Parkin intimated his intention of retiring from the Chamber, if he were to be treated in the manner adopted by Mr. Friedlander ; and after a few remarks the amendment was put and carried. NOTICES OF MOTION. “ That this Council at its next meeting inform the clerk that his services are no longer required at the expiration of the usual three months.— (Mr. St. Mill.) “ That this Council advertise in the Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin papers for a competent person to undertake the duties of overseer of Borough Council’s works, and the duties of the Council offices at present undertaken by the present clerk at a salary of L 225 per annum, said duties to bo terminable at three months’ notice.—(Mr. St. Mill.) “That in all cases when printing is required, sealed tenders shall be called for, and be opened by the Council, or in cases of emergency by some two members of the Council appointed at the previous' meeting.”— (Mr. St. Mill.) Mr. Parkin also gave notice of a motion to the effect that the Finance Committee draw up a statement of profitable receipts and expenditure for the ensuing year, with a view to curtailing the departmental expenses. Then Council then went into Committee on the question of licenses, the reporters being requested by the Mayor to retire.
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