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ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL.

0 _ The usual monthly meeting of the County Council was held yesterday. Present—Messrs. W. C. Walker (Chairman), John Grigg, Duncan Cameron, Julian Jackson, Thomas Bullock, and E. S. Coster. THE chairman's STATEMENT was then read. It detailed the business done by the Chairman during the month, the results of which would be laid before the Council in ordinary course. He had sent a letter to the Minister for Public Works, regarding some rotten planks that existed in the Rangitata traffic bridge, and which might lead to an accident. He had asked the Minister to give the matter his immediate attention, the bridge now being under Government control. The Chairman had ordered the painting of the south west wall of the Hospital with silicate paint to remedy leakage, and also that the joints of the underground pipes should be attended to, they being defective. He had replied to the Chairman of the Mount Hutt Road Board’s inquiry if the Council has power, or is likely to have it under their new Waterworks Bill to levy rates on land outside the district proposed to be supplied with water, and to apply such rates towards the general expenses of the scheme. This letter the Chairman had replied to to, the effect that under the proposed Bill an estimate would have to be made, and the cost of the scheme so apportioned to the district included ; that all interest, sinking fund, &c., will have to be provided by the district, and therefore no necessity could arise for a general rate. Such an estimate, besides being such as to satisfy the ratepayers who can reject it if they choose, must also satisfy the lenders of the loan, and that no possible contingency can involve a general rate, though possibly the Council would have the power to strike a general rate for that, or any purpose. Considering that the Council represents ratepayers throughout the County very sufficiently, there is no reason to fear the imposition of a general rate. The Selwyn County Council had written to Government endorsing the Ashburton Council’s application for a further grant to complete the southern approach to the Rakaia Gorge Bridge, but ha (the Chairman) had learned Government could not entertain the request. engineer’s report. The Engineer’s report was then read as follows : engineer’s report. I have the honor to report on progress of works as follows : i,—Bridge over North Ashburton River, Pudding Hill. This structure is now all but finished. The trusses are all in position, and it now only remains to lay the planking of roadway over about half the length of the bridge. Tenders for the approaches will be laid before you to-day, as also a letter from Mr. Hoaro, stating the terms on which he is willing to give the land required for the approach on south side river. For the embankment on north side, I have specified a section of stone work, which will, to a certain extent, guard against the effects of overflow which periodically takes place from the Pudding Hill stream near that point, but, with a jj view to further securing the north B approaches I would recommend that I something be done in the stream itself. I either in the shape of a bulwark for a dis- I tance of about five chains near the point I of overflow, or by letting the .Pudding I Hill stream into the main river at a point I higher up, which, on account of the great I fall would not be a difficult operation. I Should the Council sanction any protec- I tive work here, I will examine further I into the matter and report at next meet- I i ng. I

2. —Pudding Hill Dam. Operations wore during the first fortnight of July. on account of the flooded state of the-river, but since the work was resumed, good progress has been made, and the foundations have now been got in ' for the full width of the channel, except a small portion near the outlet. There are 60 barrels cement on the ground, and a considerable quantity also at Methven Station. j>. — Pound , Methven.

Messrs. Nelson and Coutts have, since the date of last meeting, satisfactorily completed this pound. 4. —South Approaches to Rakaia Gorge Bridge. The various contracts for this work are now complete, but the question of fencing No. 2 contract is still in abeyance. j,—Filter Basin, Belmont, Methven. Tenders for this work will be placed before you to-day, also letter from New. Zealand Loan and Mercantile. Agency Company as to their terms for the land which seem very reasonable.

6. —Winchmore and Methven Drainage.

With the exception of Mr. Arthur D every : s section, which will be finished in a few days, the earthwork of all the other contracts is complete, and the contractors are now getting in the fords and bridges for fields and accommodation roads which the Council deputed Mr. Cameron and myself to arrange with the various owners. Accompanying this is our report as to these crossings. In connection with this line of drainage I beg to state that it seems advisable to extend the opening up of the creek as far as the upper end of R. S. 24404, as from its present disconnected form, between that point and the commencement of No. 5 contract, all floodwater goes on to the surface, much to the injury of roads and land. To the north of point referred to near R. S. 24404 the channel is deep and well defined, and nothing further should he done to it there.

j. — lVillmvs. The contractor for willow planting has finished his work, and has also put in an additional 964 plants at same rate. The planting has been confined entirely to those portions of the river near which the works recently executed by the Council are situated, but there are many other portions of the river bed where willow planting would be very serviceable, and as the cost would be small, a few thousand willows might be put in during this month, while the season is suitable, if the Council should so determine. S.—Forks Protective Works. With your authority, I have ordered the addition of some sheet planking for two of the groins recently erected on Mr. Sutherland’s No. 2 contract, where the current is setting in with great violence. The expense of this, together with some stonework required further up, will not exceed L4O. At the upper end of Messrs. Weldon’s land, there is a length of about 10 chains of the river bank in a very precarious condition. This part of the river has, as yet, not had any protective work. The river bed is there at a high level, and the current is setting in against the low banks in such a manner, that, unless its direction changes, an outbreak at that place seems almost inevitable. The protection would necessarily be a work of considerable magnitude. g.—Timuald Drainage. The contractors have now executed about half the quantity of the earthwork, but the ground has been so saturated with water, that they have not been able to make such progress as will allow them to finish in the specified time, and they ask for an extension of six weeks. 70. - Drasnagt near Wheelers, The owners along the line having now given a free right-of-way, this drainage is being proceeded with, but on a somewhat modified line, so as better to suit the requirements of the district generally. 70. —Drainage near Bell’s and Davison’s roads . The crossings and floodgates required for this line of drainage have now been completed. With reference to the claim by Mr. McQuilkin for compensation, lie has now named an arbiter to act for him in the matter, and it now rests with the Council to appoint one on their behalf. 77. —Bridge over South Ashburton River, Mount Somers. This bridge has now been completed at the reduced length ordered by the Council— The proportionate amount of contract for this length is ... ,£3,879 9 6 Extras ordeied ... ... ... 4 1 12 3 Total Z3)9 21 i 9 Showing a saving on contract price of ... 1,019 12 O The value of such portion of the material as the contractor had on hand for the portion abandoned, previous to his obtaining notice as to the shortening, and which is now surplus, amounts, at cost price, to L 403 16s. Bd. Part of the material is at the bridge, part at the upper end of Mount Somers Branch Line, and part at Tinwald.

As yet I have not certified any payment for this surplus material, as the Council will have an opportunity of considering the whole question fully to-day. The contractor some time ago called my attention to a grave omission in his tender, which would involve him in a loss of nearly L7OO. This consists in his leaving out of his calculatioi s the transverse or supporting beams over the entire length of the bridge. He is, I believe, to represent the matter to the Council today. Meantime, I may say it is patent from the quantities in his tender, that this is a hona fide omission. The contractors for the approaches to this bridge not being in a position to take up the work, I should recommend that it be put into the hands of Mr. Fergus, the next lowest tenderer, who is prepared to commence at once. 12.—Wheatstone Drainage Extension. This work is now far advanced, and is likely to be finished within a fortnight. jg. — Approach , Hinds River Bridge, Surveyors road. Tenders for this work, which includes the straightening and widening of channel adjoining the bridge, will be placed before you to-day. ij. — Certificates. I have granted certicates for all work done under my charge during the month of July. William Baxter, County Engineer. willows. It was resolved that the Engineer’s suggestion re planting willows he carried out. protective works. The part of the Engineer’s report referring to the protective works at the Ashburton Forks was approved. The Engineer was instructed to report fully, with estimate of cost, on Weldon’s protective works. tinwald drainage. An extension of time was granted to contractor for the Tinwald drainage works. an omission. The following letter wag read

i After a long discussion, Mr. Grigg ' moved, and Mr. Bullock seconded—“ That Mr. Butt be allowed L 422 in satisfaction of any claim he may have on account of the alleged omission in his tender.” An amendment moved by Mr. Cameron, and seconded by Mr. Coster, was carried reducing the sum to L 372. The consideration was postponed of the question of allowing to Mr, Butt the sums of Ll 6 16s. 6d. and L 9 14s. as applied for by him. For the surplus timber, etc., on Mr. Butt’s contract referred to by the Engineer in his report, an allowance of L 403 16s. Bd. was made. THE SOUTH ASHBURTON BRIDGE APPROACH. This matter was left in the hands of the Chairman to arrange. “terms cash.” Mr. D. Hoare, dating from Timaru, wrote acceding to the Council's request for an acre of his land to form an approach to the Pudding Hill Bridge. He would allow an acre on R.S. 30520 to be taken for Ll 5, conditionally on the boundaries of the land being securely fenced where the acre was cut, costs of transfers, etc. being borne by the Council. “Terms cash.” (Laughter). The oiler of Mr. Hoare was accepted—terms and all. PUDDING HILL. The Engineer was instructed to report on the protective works at Padding Hill Bridge, with estimates of cost. THE METHVEN FILTER BASIN. The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company wrote offering five acres of land on R. S. 26756 at LlO an acre, for the purpose of a filter basin, the Council to bear costs of transfer and the erection of a sheep and cattle proof fence. FLOODWATER CROSSINGS, WINCHMORE AND METHVEN. The Committee appointed to consider this question reported as follows : I “ Ashburton, August 3, 1880. In accordance with a resolution passed at last meeting,' we have gone into the question of crossings required on the main line of floodwater drainage between Methven and Winchmore. We have arranged for two timber bridges and ten fords over the entire length, one of the bridges and five of the fords being situated in the Upper Ashburton Road District, the others being in the Mount Somers Road District, two of the fords in the latter district being required for roads which are now about to be formed and used as public roads. The fords for field crossings are at nearly equal distances apart, and will, in our opinion, be sufficient accommodation for the district. The cost of bridges and fords will be about L 330 in aIL Those in the Mount Somers Road District are nearly finished, and others are in hand. Annexed is a tracing, showing the method we propose for giving David Morris access to the road, from which he is cut oft by the new drain along the upper side of Lyndhurst road. This would necessitate the purchase of only two perches of land from the extreme corner of one of Mr. Anthony Thompson’s fields, which, from its position can hardly be cultivated, and the intrinsic value is therefore very small. Mr. Thompson, however, declines to sell this piece at all, and, as the line proposed seems t® us the only feasible one, we would suggest that the waste corner referred to be acquired ifnder the provisions of the Public Works Act. A bridge over the new drain there would cost about L4O. —We are, etc., Duncan Cameron, Councillor; William Baxter, County Engineer.”

It was resolved that the recommendations of the Committee be adopted, provided that Mr. Morris is satisfied with tlie approach suggested ; also, that the necessary steps be taken to _ acquire the land, and that the Committee’s report in general be adopted. The Engineer was instructed to forward the estimate of connecting drain with the Winchmore drainage. WILLOW'S AT DIGBY’s. The Engineer was empowered to fence the willow plantation at Digby’s, as he suggested, with barb wire. THANKS. The Secretary, Agricultural and Pastoral Association, wrote, conveying the Association’s thanks for the Council’s action in the matter of the erection of cattle yards, etc., on the cattle market reserve. HOSPITAL AND CHARITABLE AID BOARD. Mr. J. E. March forwarded a printed statement of the receipts and oapeuditure ol tho charitable - institutions under tho control of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. ARBITRATION. Mr. J. M'Quilkin wrote, appointing Mr. Cullen his arbitrator in the matter in dispute between himself and the Council. The Council appointed Mr. Cox as their arbitrator. ROAD —digby’s BRIDGE TO THE FORKS. The Upper Ashburton • Road Board wrote, forwarding a tracing of a line of road approved by the Board, for the Council’s consideration. The line ran through reserve No. 1122, and ten chains of a road not much used now would be available by the adoption of the line. It was resolved to inform the Road Board that the Council considered the most preferable course to follow would be that the Board should negotiate and acquire the land required for the proposed road under the Public Works Act, 1876, as the Council has no intention to exercise any control over roads. The Council approved of the proposed line of road. taylor’s stream bridge. Mr. C. J. Wentworth Cookson, Surveyor to the Mount Somers Road Board, wrote, acknowledging receipt of the Council’s account for L 27 10s., half cost of construction of approaches to Taylor's Stream bridge. He forwarded a suggestion from his Board that the Council should connect the bridge on the south side with the main road, and then apply to the Board for half coat of the whole work. The Council agreed to this, but referred to the Engineer, for explanation to the Board, another suggestion, the Board made in Mr. Cookson’s letter, viz.—that a space of one-third of an inch be left between the planks on tho Taylor’s Stream bridge, with a view to allowing the dirt to fall through, instead of close planking, as in the bridge over the South Ashburton. By this space being left, the decking was less liable to rot, and a better foot-hold in frosty weather was obtained. A saving of L2O or L3O would also be made. RAKAIA GORGE BRIDGE —SOUTH APPROACH. A letter was read from the Selwyn County Council, enclosing copy of one sent by them to the Minister for Public Works, supporting the Ashburton County Council’s application to Government for)

a further sum of Ll5O, to bo spent on the southern approach to the Rakaia 1 Gorge’ bridge. , “ The Under-Secretary fpr Public Works . also wrote, saying that the‘ whole of the money voted had already been placed at 'the disposal of the Board for , approaches, and and as no vote existed out of which the Ll5O asked for could be paid, the Minister must decline the request. WATERTON DRAINAGE. A letter was read from the Longbeach Road Board Secretary, enclosing part of Mr. Cuthbert’s report on Waterton drainage (which is embodied in our report of the Longbeach Road Board’s last ing)The copy of the report was referred to the Engineer for his consideration' A petition from sixteen settlers in the Waterton district was read, praying for the widening and deepening of the “ gorse fence drain ” from the Toi-toi paddock to the .out-let near the sea. The work prayed for would aid the drainage of the district, and relieve Waterton village of the floodwater in wet seasons. Mr. Thomas Taylor, Waterton, wrote bn the same subject. 1- The whole matter was referred to the [Engineer. I RAKAIA GORGE BRIDGE APPROACH. I The Chairman was empowered to aceept la tender for fencing Rakaia Gorge bridge [approach. j RACECOURSE. I The Secretary of tli 6 Ashburton Racing asking for a grant of money for the Blub. The racecourse was gazetted as a recreation ground, and as the Council could not grant to the Club a longer lease than from year to year, the Club was precluded from granting a lease to any person willing to lay it down in grass or crop it. Up to the present date the Club had spent L 389 in permanent improvements, and a further suin was still necessary for urgent works to make the course equal to other country racecourses. Mr. Coster was opposed to any further grant. Mr. Grigg thought this was a recreation ground used by more people than all the others put together. He .contended that a sura of LSO should be given to the Club for fencing and planting purposes. To enable the Club to let the ground for grazing. The Club would be able to obtain LSO or so a year from this source. He did not by this proposal desire to commit the Council to any support or recognition of racing, but simply to put this recreation ground, as such, in a position to realise a rent. He would move that L6O be granted to the Racing Club, to be devoted to completing fencing, ploughing and planting with blue gums a strip of the north-west aide of the racecourse. The money to be paid on the production of vouchers that the work has been done. Mr. Bullock seconded, and the motion was carried. MOUNT SOMERS RAILWAY. The Under-Secretary for Public Works forwarded a tracing, as asked for, showing the original and alternative routes of the Mount Somers Railway. This tracing had been sent to the Mount Somers Road Board, who returned it along with a copy of a resolution passed at their last meeting on 2nd August, as follows : —“ That j: the tracing of the Mount Somers Railway sent by the Resident Engineer he forwarded to the Count}'' Council, with a request that they will use their influence in having the lino carried out according to Mr. Triphook’s survey.” After a lengthy discussion, in which some members thought it was' advisable to say nothing about the alteration in the route, as Government only wanted a very slight reason for delaying construction for an indefinite length of time. Mr. Bullock moved that Government bo requested to carry the lino as laid down in Triphook’s survey. This was not seconded. It was ultimately decided to write to the Mount Somers Road Board, stating that the Council does not think it wise to express an opinion on the subject. THE LIBRARIES. The report of the Committee appointed to consider the question of grants to public libraries was read as follows :—“ Your Committee have carefully looked at the matter from every point of view, and admit the desirableness of such institutions being properly established, and adequately supported. At the same time the Committee felt bound to take into consideration that this is the first occasion that the County fund has been asked to contribute to this purpose. Under the present aspect of colonial and County finance your Committee feel themselves unable to recommend any grant for the above purpose.—W. 0. Walker, Chairman.” The report was adopted. AN “ ALLOWANCE” REFUSED.

Mr. John Boyle wrote, applying for an allowance on three fords constructed by him on the Methven drainage race, No. 3 section. He had fixed his price when tendering in the belief that he would be able to obtain the necessary boulders from the river-bed within forty chains of the bank ; but he found that the contractors for the protective works on the south bank of the river hadappropriated them all. This necessitated a journey of five miles to Mr. Boyle, and entailed a heavy loss upon him, as he was able to cart only two loads per day, in place of twenty, as he had expected. He estimated his loss at LB4, and asked for a concession. • The Council refused to entertain the request. THE HOSPITAL RESERVE. The Chief Surveyor wrote, saying that he was powerless to alter the size and shape of the Ashburton Hospital Reserve, but advised an application by the Council and the Domain Board to the Government. The matter was referred to the Hospital Committee. ACCOUNTS. Accounts to the amount of L 4,924 ss. 2d. were passed for payment. TENDERS. Tenders were accepted for works as under:— Cattle yards—Nelson and Coutts ,£487 o O Sheep yards—Page and Hodder... 169 9 10 House—Muir and Reed ... ... 177 o o Shingling—J. Griffin ... ... 49 14 8 Filtering basin—Victoi Soland ... 310 o o Hinds bridge approach—Trevurza 67 10 o Pudding Hill bridge approrch— John Boyle 104 5 6 Painting ferry-house—James Hughes 8 10 o RESERVES. Messrs. Grigg, Coster, and the Chairman wore appointed a Committee to report on the County Reserves. THE CATTLE YARDS. Messrs. Grigg and the Chairman were appointed a committee to pass the work of the cattle yards when finished. SPECIAL MEETING. A special meeting was held to confirm the resolution of the Council regarding Methven Pound, the by-laws to come in force the day after the next meeting of Council. HOSPITAL COMMITTEE. The next meeting of the Hospital Committee would take place on Monday first. The Council then adjourned.

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ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 135, 5 August 1880

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