ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The usual fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held last night. There were present—His Worship the Mayor (presiding), Messrs. Rudolf Friedlander, George Parkin, Donald Williamson, George H. St. Hill, Weymouth Roberts, George M. Robinson, Alfred Harrison, and Thomas Bullock. MINUTES. The Mayor took occasion, on the reading of the minutes, to controvert the statement made by Councillor Williamson at last meeting regarding a discussion on the minutes, which he (the Mayor) held should take place before, and not after the minutes had been confirmed. Mr. St. Hill pointed out that the notices of motion of which he had given notice were not entered in the minutes in the order in which he had tabled them. He would move them in the order in which he had tabled them. Mr. Williamson said that, with all due deference to the Mayor’s ruling, there was on the occasion referred to no motion before the meeting. mayor’s statement. The Mayor delivered the customary statement, in the course of which ho said that, in reference to Mr. St. Hill's question regarding the necessity for butchers taking out licenses, by-law 104 explained itself as inapplicable to vendors of food. With reference to the hollow place at Mr. Williamson’s, the Mayor had been to Christchurch on the matter, and he believed if the Clerk wrote on the subject to the rail way' authorities the hole would be seen to. With regard to the motions tabled by Mr. St. Hill, one of these at least could not be brought forward, as by a minute of November last the Town Clerk had been appointed for a twelvemonth, and Mr. St. Hill’s motion could not be entertained until that resolution were An Act had been overlooked which gave tenth part of the land in Boroughs to Municipal Councils, and the Clerk had been instructed to write to the Minister on the subject, and also to Mr. Wright, the M.H.R. for the district. The balance at the bank amounted to L 268 Os. 6d.; rates collected since last meeting, L 9 145.; previously, L 990 14s. 9d.; dog fees; L 5 ; previously, Lll9 10s.—total, L 124 10s. Licenses—Cabs, L 3 ; drivers, LI 55.; carriers, L 9; hawkers, LI ; kerosene, LI. Public buildings Town Hall, LI SUBSIDIES. Mr. E. G. Wright wrote, in answer to enquiries by the Mayor, that to qualify the Borough to participate in the pound for pound subsidy for 1879, it was necessary that a rate should have been struck, and a claim sent in on or before Ist May, 1879. The Mayor said that as the rate had not been struck until after the date given above, the Borough could not participate. Mr. St. Hill complained that Councillors had not been made acquainted by the clerk or other officer with facts of this kind. There was evidently neglect somewhere of the Borough’s interests, or L 1,200 could not thus be sacrificed. THE FIRE BRIGADE. A letter was read from the Secretary, Ashburton Fire Brigade, as follows : “I am instructed by the Fire brigade to lay the following statement before you, as fiom the reports in the local papers it is evident that the Council have decided not to pay the Brigade’s subsidy until November, from a misconception of the facts of the case. “The Brigade became entitled to a payment of L 25 on each of the following dates—May ig, 1879; Nov, 20, 1879 ; and May ig, 1880 ; also, to a further grant of L 25 towards cost of uniforms, making a total of LIOO of subsidies to be paid by the Borough to the Brigade, of which sum only 1.50 has as yet been jraid, and we have, therefore, at the present time, the sum of LSO still clue. The Brigade have no wish to press the Council for the funds, but would respectfully draw their attention to the attached balance-sheet, showing an actual oebit balance of L 6 195. 2d. against the Brigade, in addition to which sum they will become liable in a week or so for further payments on account of goods ordered from England. The Brigade have, therefore, respectfully to request the payment of the subsidy, or a portion thereof, to meet existing liabilities.—l am, etc., W. Adams, Hon. Sec., Ashburton Fire Brigade.” The Mayor referred to the minute of resolution under which the Brigade was appointed an institution under the Council, subject to rules approved of by the Council. By that resolution a subsidy of LSO per annum was to be paid to the Brigade, but it was not set down at what dates this money was to be paid, so that the Council were the financiers, and not the Brigade. Mr. St, Hill thought the Brigade should not be allowed to suffer any financial embarassment, as they were a deserving and public-spirited body. He had been under a misapprehension regarding the funds of the Brigade, and he had understood them to have plenty of money. He had thus done the Brigade an injustice which he wanted now to rectify. He would do so by moving that L 25 be paid to the Brigade even though at last meeting he had moved its payment in November. The Mayor said the previous resolution would require to be rescinded first. Mr. Parkin explained the position financially in which the Council stood to the Brigade. Mr. St. Hill asked leave to move without notice, that the resolution passed on July 26 be rescinded, which being granted, the motion was passed. Mr. R. Friedlander moved—“ That L 25 be handed over to the Fire Brigade, and that they be informed that the LSO grant is payable annually.” Mr. Parkin suggested half-yearly payments, as the most convenient to the Brigade, but would second the motion.
Mr. Williamson hoped the Council would reconsider their position with the Brigade. The Council’s income had been reduced by one-half since the arrangement with the Brigade had been entered into, and in these times of reduction the Brigade might accept a reduction too. Mr. R. Friedlander thought the Council could not give less than L 25, as the other L 25 was given by the insurance companies. Mr. Parkin said the Council had undertaken to find uniforms for the Brigade, but they had not done so. The members of the Brigade had found the uniforms, at a cost of LIOO, and towards this L 25 only had been paid by the Council. An amendment by the Mayor, to pay the L 25 at once, was carried. THE WATER-PIPES. A memo, from the Town Clerk at Lyttelton informed the Council that the sizes of pipes which the Council had to dispose of would not suit the Lyttelton Borough. The Town Clerk, Akaroa, wrote, regretting the inability of the Borough Council of that place to avail themselves of the Council’s liberal offer to supply iron pipes. The Mayor recommended advertising the pipes in Dunedin. THE BOROUGH SOLICITORS. Messrs. Branson and Purnell wrote stating their willingness to act as solicitors for the Borough. SIGNS OF BUSINESS, i, A letter was read from Messrs. Matson, Cox, and Co., requesting permission to lay down a line of rails across West street, to give access to their new store, now in course of erection. The Clerk was instructed to procure plans, &c., of the railway crossing, the matter to be discussed at next meeting, when fuller information was before the Council. A COMPROMISE OFFERED. Mr. John Hefl'ord, carrier, applied to the Council for consideration on account of being out of work and meeting with an accident, : and offering tl.e use of his services as well as his team as an equivalent for the licensing fee.
Mr. G. M. Robinson said Mr. Hefford had done work for the last month quite sufficient to enable him to pay his fee, and he (Mr. Robinson) weuld move that the letter be not received. Mr. R. Fredlander seconded. Mr. St. Hill commiserated Mr. Hefford’s state in having suffered recently from an accident, and moved that Mr. Hefford be allowed to work out his license fee, under instructions from the foreman. Mr. Parkin seconded. Mr. Robinson said Mr. Hefford could afford to work one team and employ a a man to work another. A person in that position ought not to come to that Council to beg. Mr. Parkin denied there was any begging. After some remarks from Mr. Friedlander in reply to Mr. Parkin, who said the men employed by the Council were not ratepayers, while Hefford was, Mr. Harrison testified to the fact that Hefford had been suffering from an accident for some time. Mr. Williamson said they had no right to remit a license fee. They' could give the man work, but he must pay his fee. After some further discussion a division was taken, when Mr. Robinson’s resolution was carried by five to three. MR. QUILL’S CROSSING. Mr. Quill wrote complaining of the crossing at his hotel,.which had been left in a dangerous condition. The Clerk was instructed to reply that the matter would be attended to. THE SHANTIES. John Purcell, a resident in one of the Baring Square Reserve “ shanties ” wrote asking for a month’s grace. Mr. Parkin said he heard the shanties were to be shifted to the reserve opposite the Herald office, and that would be a greater nuisance. The Council resolved to adhere to their former resolution. RESERVES. The Reserves Committee recommended the letting of the reserve at the Hinds, the town reserves, and also to advertise that persons desiring to rent reserves could communicate with the Borough Clerk. The report of the Committee was addopted. The letting of the reserves was left in the hands of the Reserve Committee with power to act, ENGINEERS’ REPORT. Water Supply. —The concrete dam and earthwork at the intake at Mr. Williamson’s are nearly completed. It would be advisable, for better protection from cattle, &c., to fence about four chains of the race with post and wire and cap rail, and a wicket gate to give access to fhe sluice, &c. . We have had some channels cut and clay deposited in parts of the gully in the Domain, in order to prevent so much waste of water. The stream is now flowing steadily, but more rapidly than before. Concrete Kerbing and Channelling. —The contractor has made good progress with the work, which we expect will be completed befox’e the next meeting of the Council. Fencing at Reservoir. —We have arranged with Messrs. Jenkins and Choate, as authorised by the Mayor, to erect the fencing, etc., at the corner of the Domain at West and Wills streets for the sum of Ll2 14s. Lamp-post, Havelock, and West Streets. We have had this lamp-post erected and supplied with a kerosene lamp, and arranged with the foreman for its lighting. The Labor Gang have been engaged in making good footpaths necessitated by the now kerbing and channelling, and at work connected with the water supply.
The Works Committee make the following recommendations : 1. That no horse posts should be allowed at the edge of the footpaths in East street, and that the present ones be removed. 2. To form and shingle the footpaths in the, following streets : —Cameron street west, from West street to Park street, both sides ; Cameron street west, from Park street to Winter street, S.W., side ; Wills street west, from West street to Park street, N.E. side ; Tancred street east, from Williams street to Town Belt ; Cox and Peter streets. Books and Son, Borough Engineers. FENCING. It was resolved to have the fluming and upper part of the water race fenced, as suggested by the Engineers, and the action of the Engineers in regard to the fencing was approved of. THAT DAMP. It having been asked of the Engineer why the West street reserve lamp had not been lit, Mr. • Fooks stated Tutty, one of the Borough workmen, said Cr. St. Hill had ordered him to light it only on Sundays. Mr. St. Hill denied this in toto. It was ultimately decided that the lamp be lit regularly in future. HOUSE POSTS. The Works Committee’s recommendation that horse posts be forbidden where concrete channelling is laid down, was discussed. Mr. Bullock said this would be a hardship in many cases, and the Mayor coincided. Mr. Robinson said the posts in front of his office were used by everybody, and a horse-tail looking in at his office door was nothing unusual. Mr. Bullock moved that the posts already standing in East street be permitted to remain. Mr. Friedlander seconded. A division was taken on Mr. Bullock’s motion, which was carried by five to four. SHINGLING. The recommendation as to shingling certain streets on the west side of the railway was recommended by the Mayor to be held over till next meeting, when Mr. Parkin’s motion for a fnll statement of the Borough’s finance would be considered. Mr. St. Hill protested, as nothing had been spent on the west side of the railway, and the matter had been fully considered by the Works Committee. If the recommendation were not attended to the Works Committee would be made look childish. The Mayor moved in accordance with his suggestion, and Mr. Robinson seconded. Mr. St. Hill said that seconding was a specimen of how some members came to the meetings once a month, and undid what the working members had spent in doing. Ultimately the Mayor withdrew his motion, and the Committee’s recommendation was adopted. RUT CHINING OFFICER. Mr. St. Hill asked on what authority the Mayor appointed a returning officer, as by the Local Elections Act the proper authority for appointing a returning officer was the local body. The Mayor in reply said the Act did not give him any special power to appoint a returning officer. Mr. St. Hill said that last meeting a bill of three guineas had been paid to the clerk, and when the sum had been questioned it had been put forward that the appointment had been made by the Mayor. The Council had a voice in these appointments, and they should he made annually. The Mayor said the Clerk had been appointed by the Council, and such fee as had been paid to him had been under the Council’s consideration. It was not righ that these matters should be brought up after the accounts were passed. They should be brought up at the time.
Mr. St. Hill said these accounts were smuggled into the Council. Mr. R. Friodlander took exception to the attacks which were continually being made by Mr. St. Hill upon Mr. Braddell. He had no right to accuse an officer whose
mouth was shut of “ smuggling in” an account. Mi’. St. Hill denied having any animosity to Mr. Braddell, or to any one, and withdrew the expression “smuggled.” FINANCE. Mr. Parkin moved the motions of which ho had given notice - For (1) a statement of the probable income and expenditure of the Borough up to the end of the present financial year ; (2) such statement to show in what manner the Committee propose to reduce the present heavy departmental expenditure ; and (3) that the said Committee report at the next usual meeting of the Council, and if necessary fresh members be appointed on the Finance Committee at this meeting. The first two motions were agreed to, and Mr. Williamson’s name was added to the Finance Committee. The Committee, as constituted with this change, to report at the next meeting of the Council. MR. ST. HILL’S MOTIONS. Mr. Williamson recommended to Mr. St. Hill that he should defer his) motions until the Finance Committee had reported, Mr. ; St.' Hill agreed, but thought l there was nothing, to. prevent, the motion regard,- 4 ing the ‘ Borqu^h’;s ! printing being mdnsiderod, which whs "that tenders be asked ; for all printing, these to be opened by the Council. ■ A Mr. Parkin seconded the motion, and, after a somewhat sharp discussion, it was carried without opposition. THE SEPTEMBER ELECTION. The Clerk was instructed to advertise the nominations for Councillors in the official paper not later than the 24th hist. The Clerk was also appointed to the office of Returning Officer for the Borough, and after some discussion, a motion by Mr. St. Hill, seconded 4 by Mr. Parkin — “ That the remuneration of the Returning Officer be one guinea”—was lost, and one by the Mayor passed—“ That the remuneration be two guineas.” COMMITTEES. Mr. Harrison, who took the seat of Mr. Saunders, was added to the Committees on which Mr. Saunders hold a seat. SMALL ACCOUNTS. : The clerk was authorised to pay small accounts from the petty cash, these bills to be brought before the Council at the meeting following the payments. LICENSES. Cab licenses were granted to Edward Oughten and Thomas Stevenson ; a kerosene license 'was granted to Montgomery and Co.; and a hawker’s license to John Gordon. ACCOUNTS. Accounts to the amount of L 64 6s. were passed for payment, and the meeting adjourned.
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