Ashburton Borough Council.
The usual fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held last night, in the Council Chamber. There were present his Worship the Mayor (presiding), Messrs. Roberts, St. Hill, Friedlander, Harrison, Parkin, Bullock, and Ivess. After a short squabble over the reading of the minutes in which Mr. Ivess contended that the records were not a Hansard to chronicle every individual member’s opinion, and advised the employment of a reporter to take down all the speeches, the minutes were passed, with a slight addition, explaining that, certain works were not to be undertaken at present because of the want of funds. the mayor’s statement.
His Worship stated that there was an overdraft on the bank of £67 12s. 2d. He hoped the press would take notice of the fact that certain business men in town had applied long ago for'licenses, but had neglected to take them out. It was evidently an overlook, and perhaps notice taken of the omission by the press would be sufficient. His Worship then detailed what had been done by himself and Mr. Williamson as a deputation to the County Council on the subject of the impounded land fund, their claim on which, he doubted not, would be favorably considered. Regarding the by-laws, he had given orders for the prosecution of certain parties, hut had been careful to avoid offing to any extreme measures, coutentfng himself with only such cases as it was inoperative should be dealt with. The Reserves Committee had declined the responsibility of fixing the reserve prices on the reserve land of the Borough. He would advise that the Council consider the matter in Committee. .1 THE FIRE BRIGADE. The Hon. Sec. to the Eire Brigade wrote : I have the honor, by direction of the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade, to draw vour attention to the absolute necessity there exists of a well being put down on the reserve occupied by the brigade, for the purpose of keeping the fire engine and gear in efficient working order. At present all water for this purpose has to be fetched in buckets from private property. This involves a great deal of labor, and, moreover, has been objected to by the owner of the property from which the water had been taken. As it is of paramount impoiv tauce that perfectly clean water should b« passed through the engine after use at practice or fires, 1 have to ask you to grant sufficient funds for the purpose. The estimate, including
a Nos. S Douglas pump, is L6.—lam., &c., ] \V. Adams, Hon. Sec. _ 1 The matter was referred, with powers, t to the Works Committee. i A TIMBER ACCOUNT. Messrs. Montgomery and Co., wrote asking payment of their bill for timber , supplied. Mr. St. Hill said the contract had been performed in anything but a creditable manner. The timber had been very inferior. He thought the deposit should be forfeited. It was decided to reply to the letter that the matter would be attended to after the meeting of the County Council. TUSSOCKS. Mr. A. Reynolds wrote asking permission to burn tussocks on two sections. Permission was granted. HAVELOCK STREET. Several residents in Havelock street petitioned for the laying down of a concrete channel in that street. Mr, Harrison presented the petition. He did so because he knew the work was required. He told the petitioners, however, that owing to the state of the Borough finances he was not hopeful the work would be done just yet. The petition was received, and a resolution passed to go on with the work as funds permitted. retrenchment. The Retrenchment Committee reported as follows : Your Committee beg to report having met on Thursday, October 14th) 1880, when the Mayor, Messrs. Roberts, Friedlander, St. Hill, and Ivess, were present. It was resolved that it be a recommendation to the Council that the Clo.k’s salary be reduced to L 125 per annum, and that his duties be, doing all clerical work, collecting all rates, and inspecting cabs. It was also resolved that the Council be recommended to retain the services of the Engineer, at a salary of Ll5O per annum. That his duties be, to do all work in connection with water supply, drainage, roads, and footpaths, in the Borough ; further, to prepare the rate roll and appear at the Assessment Court in support of same.— G. Sx. Hill, Convener. Mr. Harrison did not agree with the recommendations of this report. It was not, to his mind, retrenchment to take L 25 off the salary of a man like Mr. Braddell. Besides he thought the matter had been done in a hole and corner way. He fancied the Committee had been packed with the object of excluding him (Mr. Harrison). The subject of retrenchment was one that ought not to have been sent to a Committee, but should have been discussed in open Council so that the public should know what each councillor thought on the subject. It was a mean thing to do to cut down the Clerk’s salary in this way, and it was not retrenchment. It was, neither one thing nor another. It would have been better to have dispensed with the Clerk altogether than to adopt this plan. He moved—“ That the report be referred back to the Committee.” Mr. St. Hill rose three times to points of order during the delivery of this speech. He would not be called “ mean,” nor would he have it that the Committee was packed. His Worship thought an open discussion should take place on this question. It had only now occurred to him that seven out of the nine members of the Council had been on the Retrenchment ! Committee. He could sympathise with Mr. Harrison in view of that fact The Committee, however, had been appointed, . he was sure, without any object in view beyond getting men upon it who knew the ■ whole subject, and would be likely to attend its meetings. He would be careful , in future to see that no special committee comprised more than four members of the Council.
Mr. Ivess spoke for a long time. The chief part of his speech was abuse of Mr. Harrison, whom he accused of being ignorant of the usual mode of conducting public meetings. He also held that for all the Clerk did he was well paid, and if any one suffered by the adoption of the report, it was the Engineer. Mr. St. Hill said there was a great deal more behind this £25 than appeared. It cost the Council for every £1 spent 6s. Bd. to spend it. These were not times to spend that amount on officials. Altogether a large sum would be saved by the retrenchment proposed to be carried out. Mr. Bullock seconded Mr. Harrison’s amendment. When the Clerk was first engaged he received a salary of £IOO a year. It was quite true that it had since been raised to £l5O, but for this Mr. Braddell had been asked to give his private business and remove to new offices. The money paid to Mr. Braddell had been increased to £l5O, but it really was not an increase of salary, as there had been added to his duties the collection of rates and dog tax. The Council, Mr. Bullock thought, could not better their position by cutting down Mr. Braddell’s salary. If that was the only saving they were to effect it was a very small one. Mr. Braddell had been a faithful, painstaking, and punctual servant, who never faltered in his devotion to his work. He (Mr. Bull oak) did not wish to injure the feelings of any gentleman present; they had all doubtless don their best for the Borough ; but he would like them to reconsider their decision, whether it was fair to reduce the salary of a man who had given up everything to undertake the Council’s work. He hoped the amount would be allowed to remain at what it. now stood. It was imperative that the Council’s office should be kept open during the day, and this was a great call on the Clerk’s time. The Mayor did not undervalue tliq Clerk’s work, hut in Committee he had voted for the reduction as preferential to adopting Mr. Ivess’ motion to amalgamate the offices of Clerk and Engineer. Had that course been adopted, Sir. Braddell would have been sacrificed altogether, as ho could not have discharged the duties required of an engineer. The Mayor believed Mr. St. Hill was innocent of any feeling beyond the best when he moved the appointment of the Committee. After a few affectionate remarks from Mr. Ivess in compliment to the Mayor, Mr. St. Hill explained that Mr. Bullock had not been'at the Committee meeting, though it had been put off twice to suit his convenience.
Mr. Bullock had been one day at the opening of the kaleyards, and a second day in Christchurch.
Mr. Weymouth Roberts thought quite enough money was paid for the work done. Rangiora paid LBO in all for clerk and engineer, while Ashburton paid L 275. He was not holding Ashburton cheap by comparing jt with Rangiora, which collected as large an amount of rates as Ashburton did. He was not the least ashamed to say that in Committee it was he who moved the resolution reducing the Clerk’s salary. The motion to adopt the report was then put and carried—Messrs. Bullock and Harrison being the minority of 2. LIGHTING COMMITTEE. The report of the Lighting Committee was read. It was as follows ;
That it be a recommendation to the Council that the lamps be lit half an hour after sundown to twelve at night, and not lighted two months before the longest day and two months after it, and not lighted six nights at the full moon. 2nd. That the Council ask the ratepayers to cement to a lighting rate of twopence in the pound. 3rd. That in view of the ratepayers consenting to the lighting rate the Council take into consideration the advisability of calling for tenders for twenty or more lampposts, and that the Council call for tenders for lighting a portion or the whole of them with oil, the Council finding lamps, and the contractor to find oil, wick, cleaning and lighting, and replace all breakage and repairs. 4th. That the Clerk write to the Gas Company to state the price at which they can supply gas at the new rate of time the lamps are proposed to be lit. Geo. St. Hill, Chairman, Mr. St. Hill said some parts of the town were well lighted, while others were in darkness. There had been great complaint about this state of affairs, but the rate-
payers now liad tlie matter in their own hands. If they were willing to consent to a two-penny lighting rate there would be no difficulty in lighting the whole town very fairly, but if they were not willing to have this rate the lighting could not be done. The Lighting Committee proposed to erect wooden posts and use kerosene lamps in places where the Gas Company’s mains had nst yet reached. They proposed also to reduce the lighting time from nine to eight months in the year. The Mayor did not agree with the report of the Committee, which with the information before the Committee was right enough ; but that night there had been received a letter from the Christchurch City Council which gave the cost per lamp for lighting,(cleaning, and|furnishing with wicks at sd. per night. This would amount to L 3 12s. Gd. per lamp for the 173 nights the lamps were lit in the yesr. The sum did not allow for oil ; when the cost for that was ascertained they would bo able to say which was cheapest—gas or kerosene. He had no doubt that when the Committee took the Christchurch letter into consideration it would greatly modify their report. After some further discussion, Mr. St. Hill said if kerosene oil lamps were used over the town they would bo able to give light in forty places, where now only twenty were lit. The engineer’s report was then read as follows and adopted : LCerbing and Channelling. —The contractor has made a good start with the channelling. About ten chains in Wills-strcet is completed. The whole of the cement (150 casks), and the greater portion of the timber have been delivered. Owing to the illness of Mr. Fooks, senr.. the matter of the proposed sumps is unavoidably postponed. The Labor Gang have been employed ■■inclearing some of the side channels, raking large stones off footpaths, making cutting in Grey street, stacking cement in store, and at the water-race. deal ing Tussocks on streets. —Tenders have been received for this work, and the Works Committee recommend that of Mr. M‘Mahon, at 10s. per acre, being accepted. The Works Committee also recommend the foreman’s salary be reduced by is. per day. — Fooks and Son, Borough Engineers. INSPECTOR OE NUISANCES. The following report of the Inspector of Nuisances was read ; I have the honor to report that I find the town in a satisfactory state, except where the scavenger will not go because the householders do not pay him, and I wish to know what steps to adopt in such a case. I wish to know if I am to take proceedings against those that I have served notice on for allowing offensive water to flow into the street. I wish to know if I am to enforce the by-law on those who ' have trees and shrubs hanging over the footpaths within the Borough ; and also, if I am to enforce the by-law on owners of dogs running at large with the Borough without collars. —William Brown, Inspector of Nuisances. It was resolved to prosecute those who refused to pay the scavenger, and to leave in the Mayor’s hands the matter of dealing , with those who allowed offensive matter to , flow into the channels. The Council would not at present trouble parties whose trees and shrubs overhung the footpaths, but would inform the police against owners . of unregistered dogs. ' THE FIRE SUMPS. Mr. Parkin asked if the Council in- ’ tended to authorise the Works Committed , to call for tenders for the sumps required for the Eire Brigade. Permission was . granted. , STEAM FIRE ENGINE. | Mr. Roberts moved—“ That the Clerk [ write to the Secretary of fthe Insurance , Association asking what sum the Associa- ’ tion are willing to contribute towards the cost of a steam fire engine for Ashburton, the cost of which is not to exceed L 525.” Agreed to. ACCOUNTS. Accounts amountingto Ll9B ss. Gd. were passed for payment. HALF-YEARLY BALANCE-SHEET. The half-yearly balance-sheet, duly audited, was laid before the Council. The Council then went into Committee on the question of the sum at which the reserves were to be let.
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