ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The ordinary fortnightly meeting of the' Borough Council was held last night, when there were present his Worship the Mayor (presiding), Messrs, Roberts, Robinson, Ivess, R. Friodlander, 'Williamson, Parkin, Harrison, St. Hill, and Bullock. mayoe’s statement. His Worship the Mayor, in summarising the business of the evening, stated that the credit balance at the bank was L 22 13s. 3d. Rates collected since last meeting, hi 10s.; previously L 1,027 16s. 9d. —L1,031 6s 9d. Dog fees received since last meeting, L 3 10s.: and L 127 previously, making Ll3O 10s. Refund, Ashburton Domain Board, share of fence, L 5. Deposits on application for licenses," L 4 ss. Sale of By-laws, Is.. Since the last meeting the waterworks had been opened, arid he wished to, bear testimony to the kindness which Mr. Williamson had shown in granting hia ground for the purposes of the waterworks, a matter which the Mayor regretted he had omitted to mention at the opening ceremony. His attention had been drawn to the very disgraceful manner in which the pipes had been laid from the railway station to the post-office. One matter, amongst others which the Council would have to consider, was what reserve prices were to be placed on the reserves. He concluded by asking - the Council to suspend No. 6 of the standing orders for the time being, as he wished to bring before the Council an accusation that Mr. Ivess had made against . him at last meeting. Leave was granted by the Council to suspend the standing order accordingly. A BOIL OVEE. The Mayor said it would be remembered that at last meeting Mr. Friedlander had asked a letter to be read, and as the said gentleman was his brother, it might be thought that, the matter had been pre-arranged, a suspicion which he (the Mayor) entirely ' deprecated. In the course of the evening, when a vote of thanks was proposed to himself, Mr. Ivess had made some offensive remarks, with reference to giving ® vote of thanks to those to whom it was' ; due. His Worship then .detailed the circumstances, and read letters referring to ■ obtaining the Borough’s subsidies, which plainly showed that he (the Mayor) had taken an active part in the steps for obtaining the subsidy. He certainly ob: ■ jected to sit in the chair, and be told he wassailing under false colors. He was always willing to give credit where it was due, and as it could not be denied that ho was the originator of the matter of the. subsidies, he claimed the credit of obtain-. ing them. . Mr. Ivess still adhered to his opinion that the merit did not lie at the door of the Mayor. -He would withdraw nothing, ; as he contended that Mr. Wright was person to whom the honor was due. He did not wish to deny any little honor which the Council liked to confer on the Mayor if it in any way fed his vanity. It was an empty honor at the best. Mr. Robinson thought it was the Mayor who had been the mainspring iq the matter, and the letters read by the Mayor would.show who had done the work.
Mr. Harrison designated the remarks of Mr. Ivess as “ rubbish,” and doprocate4 Mr. Ivess’s action in continually driving . at himself. He was averse to wasting the time of the Council, and contended thaji , proof was before the; Council that hm > Worship was the gentleman by whom the honor had been earned. ’ ' ■ His Worship replied, in a few .words, condemnatory of the tone of Mr. Ivess* remarks. The business was .then pro- , ceedod with. -, STREET LIGHTING. The manager of the Gas Company wrote intimating that from the 15th September 1 last a reduction of 10 per cent, would take place. .Mr. St. Hill suggested that the lighting expenses should be curtailed by not lighting the lamps four months during the summer period of the year. He also would like to see the outskirts of , the town lighted with kerosene lamps,as he did not think it was fair that the more. public street's of the town should be. lighted while others were left in totaldarkness. It was resolved to defer consideration of the question. THE council’s LEGAL ADVISERS. Messrs. Branson and Purnell wrote, explaining the terms of their agreement, which was to the effect that their agree- - mont was in the nature of a retainer for, .
twelve mon)hs ; but it would not prohibit the Council from obtaining other legal assistance should the Council see fit. The letter intimated the fees which would bo charged, and concluded by stating that no charge would be made for any legal advice which they might give to the Council. Mr. Ivess thought the Council now understood their, position with Messrs. Branson and Purnell, and he would move that the services of those gentlemen bo retained in terms of the agreement. Mr. Robinson seconded, and the motion was carried. BURNING TUSSOCKS. Edward Reddin wished for permission to burn tussocks on his sections. Mr. St. Hill said he thought, in granting such permission, applicants should only be granted leave on condition that a certain amount of discretion be shown in the burning. He thought it was very dangerous to burn tussocks on such a day as it had been that day. His Worship reminded Mr. St. Hill that at last meetirg he had moved a resolution to the effect that permission be given to burn tussocks during a certain period, without any proviso as to from what quarter the wind might blow. Mr. St. Hill wished to add the words—- “ Except when a N.W. wind was blowing,” to the end of the resolution passed at last meeting, but this his Worship would not allow, as it was out of order. Mr. Dess, after a “ breeze ” with his Worship, moved—“ That the permission be allowed to the applicant, except when a N. W. wind is blowing. ” Mr. Parkin seconded the motion. Mr. Harrison considered that frequently the S.E. wind wss as dangerous as the N.W. wind.
Mr. Robinson objected to tussocks being burned while standing, and applicants should guarantee to have the tussocks pulled up and burnt in heaps. Me. Bullock considered, after the motion passed at last meeting, there was no necessity for any person to ask permission from the Council. He was opposed to "the resolution passed at that meeting, as tussocks were now exceedingly dry, and he thought permission should only be granted during the months prior to October, and after the end of February. The Mayor moved that the motion passed at last meeting be rescinded. Mr. Harrison seconded the amendment. Mr. St. Hill reminded the Council that a contractor had taken up the work of clearing and burning the tussocks on the understanding that he could do so at once. It was also a very hard matter to burn tussocks during the winter months on account of the undergrowth. On the amendment being put,
Mr. Ivess ridiculed the idea of rescinding a resolution that had been passed at a previous meeting, and confirmed at its present. He thought such conduct would bring the Council into contempt, and trusted that intelligent Councillors would pause before they voted for such a course of conduct.
Mr. Williamson thought it would be inconsistent to rescind the motion after giving the permission to citizens, and a number of them taking advantage of it. His Worship then obtained permission to withdraw his amendment. engineers’ report. The Engineers’ report was then read and passed without discussion, with the exception of that portion which referred to the desirableness of putting in sumps for fire prevention purposes, when Mr. Bullock advocated the construction of large concrete reservoirs' in different parts of the business portion of the }own, as a preventative of fire. Mr. St. Hill objected to going in for any wild, visionary, or imaginary schemes, such as the construction of concrete tanks. He was in favor of brick tanks put at the corners of streets with a cast iron top ; and when a fire occurred the cover could be lifted and the water turned into the tanks. If such a course were taken he thought that even two fire engines at work would fail to empty them with the snpply of water now running. Mr. Robinson thought that what was now considered an advantage, namely, the dirty muddy water coming down, would soon silt up the tanks. Mr. St. Hill explained that the iron top would only he removed, and the water let in when a fire toon place. The clause was eventually approved. THE INSPECTOR’S REPORT
was then read, winch stated that a number of persons had been served with notices regarding nuisances. The Inspector stated that the scavenger had informed him that' the reason he had neglected to clear away rubbish was that a number of persons had neglected to pay him, and he could not get the money. Several Councillors spoke strongly on the action of citizens in neglecting to pay the scavenger, and the Mayor added that such persons should be informed that the amounts could be recovered under the by-laws. ■ The Inspector also asked the Council to take action to prevent boys from throwing stones into the reservoir. LIGHTING COMMITTEE. Mr. St. Hill moved —“ That a Committees consisting of Messrs. Williamson, Roberts, Parkin, and the mover be a Righting Committee, to consider the question of lighting the streets and to report at next meeting.” Mr. Harrison seconded, and the motion was carried. POINTING THE GUN. Mr. Ivess moved the following resolution, of which he had given notice : fi That the services of the Town Clerk be dispensed with at the expiry of his present engagement, and that the offices of Town Clerk be amalgamated,- at a salary of L2OO per year. Applications from gentlemen willing to discharge the duties to be invited by advertisement in the Christchurch and Ashburton papers, to be considered by the Council on October 18.” In doing so. he felt that opposition and ill-will would be entailed upon any person who went in for economizing from those persons against whom -that resolution might be directed. However, he hoped the members of the Council would see the necessity for reduction. After referring to the loss of the subsidies as a reason for economizing, the speaker referred to the very unpleasant duty it was when a public body had to dispense with servants who had served that body faithfully and well. But Government, and other bodies similar to the Council, had had to reduce their expenses, and he felt that the staff of the Borough of Ashburton was too cumbersome. The speaker then compared the receipts and expenses of the Boroughs of Ashburton and Sydenham. After paying departmental and other expenses, the sum of L 670 was all that was left the Council to work on for the year. He was confident a ' competent man could he obtained to perform the* duties of Surveyor and Clerk for the sum of L2OO. Mr. Ivess, in concluding a lengthy speech, hoped in the discussion that might follow, there would be a cordial and amicable feeling exist, and that some members of the Council who were young to the work would not be over sensitive. Mr. Parkin seconded. Mr. St. Hill moved an amendment that a committee, consisting of Messrs. Williamson, Bullock, Parkin, Roberts, Friedlander, Ivess, and the mo ver, be appointed to consider the question of retrenchment, and to report at next meeting. Mr. Robinson would rather the Council considered the question at once. Mr. Friedlander thought a committee would be better able to go into the question calmly and deliberately, and if such were appointed, it would be better than remaining talking over the matter till a ii hours of the night. The Mayor questioned the desirableness
of employing one officer to do the work of two. The amendment was then put and carried, there being six for and four against. THE WATER PIPES. Mr. Ivess’ motion regarding the water pipes lapsed. THE PETRIFIED KIDNEYS. The same gentleman then moved his resolution regarding the heavy shingle on the footpaths in the Borough, and characterised the footpaths as being a disgrace to the Borough. In many portions of the streets the road was to be preferred to the footpaths for pedestrians. Mr. Parkin seconded the resolution, and said that the labor gang was supposed to have cleared the boulders off the footpaths in Moore street twelve months since. Mr. St. Hill was in favor of the work being done, but hoped Burnett street west would be attended to. Mr. Williamson said they all wished to mend their ways, but there was no necessit} 7 for a special motion on the subject, and as Mr. Parkin had been on the Works Committee, it only required him to have kept the matter before them until it was done. The motion was unanimously carried. FINANCE. Mr. Ivess moved his motion to the effect that a statement of receipts and expenditure of the Council he prepared for the Retrenchment Committee. Carried. COX STREET. The same gentleman moved that tenders be invited for the formation and kerbing of the footpaths in Cox street. The residents had contributed largely to the funds of the Borough, and they deserved +he attention of the Council. Mr. Parkin seconded. Mr. St. Hill opposed the motion, and' considered the work of the channels should be completed before any other work was undertaken. For the present temporary repairs might be made on the street named. Mr. Williamson cautioned the Council to be careful in view of the present state of the funds. With Mr. St. Hill he was surprised at Mr. Parkin seconding the motion, as the latter gentleman was well acquainted with the difficulty which the Works Committee found in obtaining funds for necessary works. The Mayor wanted to know where the money was to come from for such work as that proposed. Ever since he took office he had been averse to spending money when there was little money to bo had, and while he would like to see the work done, yet he felt that now was the time for retrenchment, aud not for increased expenditure. After Mr. Ivess had replied, the motion was put and lost, Messrs. Williamson and St. Hill remarking that the reason they had voted against the work being done was simply to delay it till funds were available, and not because they were adverse to the work itself.
MINOR BY-LAW BKEACHCS. Police reports were read, and after discussion, it was resolved, on the motion of Mr. Ivess, seconded by Mr. St. Hill, that the police reports be referred to his Worship to decide whether it is desirable to prosecute the parties mentioned, Mr. Ivess trusting that the Mayor would exercise a wise discretion in the matter. LICENSES. A number of licenses were applied for and granted. ACCOUNTS. Accounts were then passed for payment, Mr. Ivess raising his voice to vote against items in the accounts which had bee:’, in the waterworks ceremony. The proceedings then terminated.
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