ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The usual monthly meeting of the Borough Council was held in the Council Chambers last night. Present His Worship the Mayor (presiding), Messrs. Roberts, Robinson, Friedlander, Parkin, Ivess, Williamson, St. Hill, and Harrison. HIGHER ASHBURTON. A petition from twenty-nine ratepayers in Wills, Peter, and Cox streets was presented, praying for immediate steps being taken for the drainage of those streets. Owing to the filthy state of the side channels the locality had become unhealthy. The footpaths in Cox street, too, it was pointed out, had not yet been formed. Messrs. Leggett, Pavitt, Duncan, Wood, and Cookson waited upon the Council as a deputation from those who had signed the petition to urge its prayer upon the members. Mr. Joseph Leggett desired more especially to call the Council’s attention to Peter street, which, through the refuse that flowed from Quill’s Hotel, was in a very had state. It was so bad at times that he could scarcely live in his own house, and jieople very often avoided the street altogether. Mr. Wood could support all that had been said by Mr. Leggett. There was no outlet for the offensive matter in Cox street, where it collected from Peter street. Mr. Fred Duncan also spoke in favor of the petition ; and Mr. Cookson spoke strongly against the state of the street behind Saunders’ Buildings. He had drawn the attention of the Inspector and of the Mayor, and of several Councillors to the nuisance. His Worship said his attention had been called to it, as Mr. Cookson stated, and the Council had had the matter of nuisances generally under their consideration. The By-laws would now be put in force against all those owners who allowed nuisances on their premises. Mr. Duncan said that all the work that had been done in the quarter the deputation came from had been done by the Road Board, and nothing had been done by the Council, except the filling up of a small gully. Mr. Cookson said that he attributed the recent death of a child of his to the unhealthy state of the locality in which he lived. He was a large ratepayer, and he thought that even one year’s rates he paid would be sufficient to remedy the evil ho complained of. Mr. Ivess, in a lengthy speech, spoke strongly against the apathy displayed by the head of the Council in this matter. He hoped the Council would not be content to see a body of gentlemen who had taken the trouble to attend personally put aside in this manner by a simple assurance that the by-laws would be enenforced. He was not so well acquainted with the borough’s finances as he hoped to be, but. he recollected that it was intended to remedy nuisances existing in the township as soon as the funds were available. The crying nuisance at that time was Burnett street, and now that that was put right, he hoped the others would be undertaken. The question of nuisances had now become an alarming one, and he was saddened to see the apathy displayed, especially when pestilence and death were stalking over the town. He for one would take every opportunity to advocate the removal of these nuisances. Mr. St. Hill defended the Council against the accusation of being apathetic in the cause of sanitary reform. He would remind Mr. Ivess that at a recent meeting of the Council it had been decided to take the worst streets first. Burnett street had been completed, Peter street would follow, and then the next worst street to that. , His Worship was sorry to see personal matter introduced into the Council discussion, especially by anew member, and on his first attendance. He would assure the deputation that their remarks would have the fullest consideration, and the Council would clo their best to meet tbeir wishes. The deputation then withdrew. mayor’s statement. His Worship, in his opening remarks, said that the credit balance at the bank was L 69 Is. lOd. ; the rates collected since last meeting amounted to L2 4s.— previously, L 1,025 12s. 9d—making in all L 1,027 16s. 9cl. Rents had been paid amounting to LG 4s. ; dog licenses Ll—previously, LI2G ; while a refund for repairs to streets liad been received from the Gas Company of L 4 15s. Bd. He had arranged with the Borough’s banker for an overdraft of L 750 to tho 31st March 1881, by which time the new roll would be struck, and the Council would then probably be in a position to pay it off. In regard to the subsidy he hoped to be able to secure a certain proportion of the subsidy which was supposed to be lost. He had explained to Government the reason why it was impossible to have made the application for tho subsidy at the proper time, and he had a hope that the application now made for a proportion of the subsidy would be received. His Worship then referred to the water supply, which had been successfully tasted, and in the course of his remarks highly eulogised the care and attention Mr. Fooka the engineer had bestowed upon the work, and also the close application of Mr. Brown to the works at a critical time when they wanted much looking to. After a reference had been made to the letting of tho reserves, his Worship took occasion ■ to remark upon the speech of Mr, John Orr, one of the defeated candidates, in the recent elections, regard to the latter’s statere ent that he had spoken to councillors, on the subject of sanitary matters, but had been put off with a reply that they could do nothing. He took this occasion of giving tho councillors an opportunity of stating what conversation they had had with Mr. Orr on the subject. Messrs. Parkin, Robinson, and others denied having had any talk with Mr. Orr. Mr. St. Hill could not say definitely that he had had a conversation with Mr. Orr on the subject, but he did not recollect. Ho had had, however, many conversations with ratepayers on this and other subjects, and had often said that the want of funds stood in the way of doing work. THE RAILWAY RESERVES. The assistant engineer wrote in reply to a letter of of the Council, dated 13th inst., to say that he did not accuse the Council of interfering with the railway reserve near the bridge, bub only meant to say that the formation of the street interrupting the natural outlet caused the vvaterhole. The railway department did not therefore feel qualified in filling up the hole, but had no objection to the Council’s workmen doing it, . Letter acknowledged. THE RESERVES. The Under-Secretary, Crown Lands
office, wrote, forwarding Gazette with notice of reserves that had been vested in the Council. Mr. St. Hill facetiously remarked that these reserves would give the Council a far greater extent of frontage to the river bed. ■ THE TUSSOCK-CLEARING CONTRACT. Sullivan, the laborer, who undertook the contract for clearing tussocks at such an absurdly low figure, wrote, acknowledging his mistake, and asking for an increase. Ho thought 14s, per acre all round was not too low. Af er some discussion, it was resolved to defer consideration of the matter till the Engineers’ report had been read. THE FIRE BRIGADE. The Hon. Sec. Ashburton Fire Rrigade wrote, asking the Council to communicate with the Fire Insurance Association, with a view to an increased grant from that Association in aid of the Brigade’s funds. The Association's Secretary had written for a statement of the brigade’s expenditure for the past twelvemonths, which he had supplied, and now enclosed a copy for the Council’s information. The expenditure amounted to L 222 18s, The Mayor said that he had put the claim of the Borough’s Brigade before the Association, but he had no hope that the grant would be increased. Mr. Friedlander moved that the Association be written to as requested by the Brigade, urging the Brigade’s claims for an increased grant. Mr. Williamson seconded, and the motion was carried, as also a further motion by the Mayor that the agents of the various companies be asked to represent the matter to their principals. THE NEW MEMBERS. The Clerk reported the election of Messrs. St. Hill, Ivess, and Roberts, and these gentlemen signed the usual declarations. THE ENGINEER. A letter was read from the Engineer on the subject of his allowance. His engagement terminated by notice on the Dtli of August, but he had continued to supervise the general work since then. No charge had been made for his services on the o;d nary work, but Mr. Fooks was willing to act until the Council had come to a decision as to future arrangements at a reasonable commission on work that may be carried out. Work on the water supply was carried out by a separate arrangement. Mr. Ivess moved that the Engineer’s letter be not considered till next meeting. He (Mr. Ivess) had a motion to give notice of that night which would materially affect the Engineer’s engagement with the Council. That motion would come on for discussion next meeting night. Mr. Parkin seconded. Mr. St. Hill moved as an amendment that the thanks of the Council be given to Mr. Fooks for his able services in connection with the water supply, and that his services for the carrying out of that work be retained at the rate per cent he was at present paid. Mr. Harrison seconded the amendment, thinking that it would be a great loss to the Council if they should let go their hold of the services of such a man as Mr. Fooks. Mr. Williamson paid a high tribute to Mr Fooks’ abilities. Councillors might smile as they liked, but it was a fad notwithstanding that lie was an excellent engineer. Mr. Fooks had been patient with the Council at a time when the Council was short of funds, and had submitted to his services being dispensed with for four months. After some further remarks by members, Mr. Ivess disclaimed all intention of standing in the way of a vote of thanks to the Engineer. No member of the Council would be more ready to accord it than he would. He would withdraw his motion with the consent of his seconder, if there was a belief in the minds of the Council that he was standing in the way of a vote of thanks to the Engineer. The motion was withdrawn, and Mr. St. Hill’s motion was passed. BURNING TUSSOCKS. Several residents obtained leave to burn tussocks upon their sections, subject to the condition of being held responsible for all damage done, and the work to be completed by the Ist of November. THE BOROUGH SOLICITORS. An agreement drawn up by Messrs. Branson and Purnell, embodying the terms on which they were engaged as solicitors for the Borough was presented for sign and seal by the Council, but as the members were not wholly satisfied with the wording of the document, a deputation consisting of the Mayor, Mr. St. Hill, and Mr. Ivess, was appointed to interview the lawyers on the subject of their agreement, and to report at next meeting. THE INSPECTOR OF NUISANCES. Mr. St. Hill said he had been complained to against the Inspector of Nuisances, who never seemed to be where ho was wanted. There were a good many places such as the Triangle, and the boardinghouse locality in Tancred street that had been complained against to the Inspector, but nothing had been done on the matter. There ought to have been a report before the Council. His Worship explained that the Inspector had taken action and those who caused the nuisances would be proceeded against. The delay had arisen through the agreement between the Council and their solicitors not being complete. THE BOROUGH SUBSIDY. At the request of Mr. Friedlander, the Clerk read the letter written by the Mayor to the Colonial Treasurer on the subject of the subsidies, in which the claim of the Borough to a share of the subsidies, notwithstanding its inability to comply with all the technicalities of the Act, was strongly urged, .In it the difficulties of a young borough were strongly set forth. Mr. Harrison moved a vote of thanks to the Mayor for his action in the matter. Mr. Robinson seconded. Mr. Ivess would give the motion what support he could, but honor should be given where honor was due. It was a little premature to give honor for a work before the work had been brought to a successful issue, but it was a fact that the member for the district, Mr. E. G. Wright, had been the moving spring in the matter. Mr. Harrison—Question. Mr. Ivess —I have it on the best authority. The Mayor—l wrote first to Mr. Wright about it. Mr. Ivess still held to his words, and after some farther discussion, and a passage-at-arms between Mr. Harrison and Mr. Ivess, the motion was passed. The Mayor replied in a few words, deprecating the attacks that had been made upon him by Mr. Ivess on the first appearance of that gentleman at the Council. engineers’ report. Water Supply, — The quantity of water in the reservoir is steadily ir creasing. We have taken advantage of the late freshes in the river to admit as much of the muddy water as the supply channels will carry, in order to obtain as much silt as possible to stop the percolation in the bottom of the gully. There is now a height of inches at the reservoir above the delivery in Cameron street, the height of the overflow being about S inches above the present level. It is to be hoped and expected that a smaller quantity of water than is now running in the supply channels will soon be found to keep the reservoir full, as the volume we have found necessary to pour in to exceed the amount absorbed in the shingly bottom is larger than the channels ought to carry; they therefore require constant inspection and occasional strengthening. The upper part of the gully, where the water has been running longest, shows there is now comparatively little absorption, it is therefore to be concluded that in a few weeks the lower partior reservoir will have 1
become sufficiently watertight to render a third of the present head supply equal to keeping the reservoir at a proper level. The late freshes in the river have silted up the mouth on two occasions. On the first the supply was stopped, but on the second we were in time, by scooping, to keep the channel open. At this season of the year the mouth of the mill race will require to be constantly watched and re-opened. On Friday last we mnde a trial of the work with respect to the delivery and levels of the channels. Then there was only a head of three and a half inches, but the result was quite satisfactory, both as to the flow of the water and trueness of the work. We would here venture to urge the continuation of the concrete channelling in the side streets as early as practicable, as some of the side channels are in a filthy state. As there is now plenty of water, we intend to try duriug the week what can be done with respect to them. Ike Labor Gang have been employed in completing the formation of Burnett street west, putting lamp-post at South and East streets, and guard posts at the corners of the principal streets, claying arid shingling carriers’ stand, also at works connected with the water supply, and have commenced the cutting as directed in the gully crossing Grey street. According to your instructions three of the hands have been discharged. About eighty yards of fine shingle are required in East street footpaths, and three hundred and fifty yards for Burnett si reet west extension. As directed by i he Works Committee, arrangements have been made with Ibell for the supply as and when required, at is. 3d. per yard. Mr. St. Hill moved that the first clause of the report he referred to the Works Committee, as lie had a motion to move on the matter. Mr. Ivess called the Mayor to a point of order. The report had not been received. It was customary to have it received before it was considered. He would move the report be received. The motion was not seconded, and the consideration of the report went on. Mr. St. Hill’s motion was carried, and the remaining clauses of the report were adopted. The contract of Sullivan, the tussockclearer, was then taken into consideration, and the Engineer explained that the man was under a misapprehension as to the “letting” of the reserves. The heavy work had been done, and Sullivan was under the belief that he was to be deprived of the lighter work. It was ultimately decided that Sullivan be written to to carry. out his original contract, and if he desired, he could have more reserves at the same price. ■ TIMBER. The Akaroa Town Clerk wrote, offering for sale 5,000 feet of totara heart timber, suitable for footway kerbing. The letter was received. Mr. Sri Hill moved and Mr, Harrison Seconded —That the kerbing and chan- ( a ling of the three streets to which the Co ncil’s attention had been called by the j 3, putation that night be decided on, and in L tenders called for at once. Another point of order was raised here "$y Mr. Ivess, who interrupted the Mayor when his Worship was asking a question as to the cost of the work. Mr. Ivess having been sat upon, the Engineer gave an estimate of the cost of the work, and it was ultimately decided to invite tenders for kerbing and channelling Peter street to the East Belt, and part of Wills street, and also for material —tenders to be in by ten o’clock on the 28th, and to be opened by the Works Committee. Mr. Ivess took occasion, now that the Engineer was present, to ask how the Engineer was paid for his work on the drainage and water supply. He was informed that Mr. Fooks was paid a per centage on his work from the water supply fund. THE INAUGURATION OP THE WATERWORKS. The Mayor announced that on Monday next, at twelve o’clock noon, the ceremony of inaugurating the waterworks would take place, and a banquet would be given in the afternoon, to which he invited the members. COMMITTEES. Messrs. Roberts and St. Hill were reappointed on the Committees of which they were previously members, and Mr. Ivess took those Committeeships held by Mr, Orr. RESERVES. On the motion of Mr. Williamson it was resolved—That this Council let by public tender any reserves applied for, always provided that the price be not less than a reserve fixed by the Council. The Council at a late hour went into Committee on this subject, a motion to that effect having been passed. Our reporter left them to their deliberations.
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