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The Ashburton Borough Council.

:The usual fortnightly, meeting of the Borough Council was held in the Council Chamber last night. Present—the Mayor (presiding) and all the Councillors, except Mr. Williamson and Mr. Ivess, the latter having leave of absence, and the former being ill. V

THE MAYOR’S STATEMENT. The Mayor stated that he had let the sections west'of Baring square totheagent for Cole’s circus, at a rent for the day qf £4. The -site of the circus would be exactly the same as that made use of by Chiarini’s company. Since last meeting, the election for the Mayoral chair had taken place, with the result to be reported by the Clerk in due course. The credit balance at the bank was £338 16s. Bd., and £6 19s. of rates had been collected since last meeting. Since receiving the County Council’s sanction to deal with the water pipes, he had seen the manager of the Bank,of New Zealand with a view to an overdraft. Ho had applied to the Borough’s bank for the overdraft, so that interest might not be charged while the Borough’s account was in credit, which it would be shortly, but in any case the two accounts should be kept at the same bank. THE SCHOOL PRIZE FOND. Mr. Ward wrote acknowledging the Council’s donation of £5 to the School Committee’s prize fund. ’ SURVEY OF RESERVES. The Mayor said that the sum of £l3 odd had been charged by Government for the survey of reserves within the borough, the whole sum due to the borough by Government being £ls. .The matter of the legality of the charge was left in the hands of the Mayor. THE MAYORALTY. The Clerk r’ead the official announcement of the Mayor’s election. Mr, St. Hill took this opportunity of complimenting the Mayor on his re-elec-tion. At his first election Mr. Friedlander had been strongly opposed by the speaker, but during the currency of. the year, the Mayor had proved himself the right man in the right place, and he (the speaker) had to thank the Mayor for extending to him and to the other councillors the utmost courtesy. (Hear, hear). The Mayor, in thanking Mr. St. Hill for the compliment, and the councillors for acquiescing in it, referred slightly to to the last election, and to what had been done since he came into office, at a tiihe when - the Council’s debtor balance was some £6OO or £7OO. He was glad to say that that balance had been liquidated, and now the borough found itself to the good. He had succeeded in obtaining the County Council’s consent to pledge the iron water pipes, by which they would be able to raise £2,500. He might state that, if by any possibility they should not bo able to realise the price of the pipes they were to pledge, the money would require to be found in some other way, They found themselves in funds now, but there was still need for care in the spending of money, and he hoped the utmost exercise of discretion would be used. In again acknowledging the compliment that had been paid him by those who had asked him to stand for the Mayoralty, and the Council’s recognition of his services, the Mayor said the times were on the turn, and the tide of better times was setting in, but there was still need for care in attending to the expenditure. THE ENGINEERS’ SALARY.

Mr. St. Hill said that in reference to the Engineers’ reply to the Council’s proposal, instead of having only L 2,500 to spend there would he about LG,OOO within the next twelve months. When the resolutions regarding ■ the salaries were passed the Borough was very low in funds. Now, however, it was in a better position, and he thought the Engineers ought to be allowed a fair per centage oil work done out of money raised from sources other than ordinary revenue. Mr. Roberts thought that an offer of 5 per cent, on the amount of all work done within the Borough should be made to the Engineers. There would be something like L 4,000 to spend within the next twelve months, and it would be better to pay a per centage of five or even seven per cent, on this than to pay Ll5O a-year for the ordinary work and five per cent, on the extra work.

Mr. Bullock thought that an offer of a salary of Ll5O ought to be made to the Engineers, this to include the making up of a valuation roll, the standing contract regarding the water supply to remain. Mr.'Fookshad been very careful of the Borough’s interests in all the wox-k he had done, and his acquaintance with the levels, &c., of the town made him a valued servant. He thought a committee, con r sisting of Messrs. St. Hill and Harrison and himself might be appointed to consider the matter further, as it was appa-. rent the Council would not agree to Mr. Fooks’s terms.

Mr. St. Hill declined to go 911 any such committee. He would not agree to Ll5O salary being paid, which simply meant giving so much .salary for. doing nothing, and then paying a per centage on tho work done out of this loan,

After the Mayor had explained that Mr. Fooks’s terms were Ll5O for all work done out of the ordinary and permanent revenue of the Borough and a per centage for work done out of any extraordinary loan. Mr. St. Hill said he thought the proper plan to adopt would be to employ a practical working foreman to oversee all the work, and only employ an engineer for such engineering as was required. The levels were now all taken, and a man with a knowledge of work could lay those concrete channels without difficulty. Besides, the Borough possessed a map for which it had paid Ll5O, and all the levels were supposed to be marked upon it. Mr. Parkin said that for the past few months there was no work of importance done that actually required engineering oversight. There had been some shingling and concrete done, and that was all.

Mr. Friedlander then moved that Messrs. Fooks and Son be engaged as Borough. Engineers, and to be paid at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum on all work undertaken by. the Borough up to the amount of L 3,000, and 3|- per cent, whenthe work rose above that sum. Mr. St. Hill seconded.

Mr. Bullock thought there were many little things in which an engineer’s services were required, and" if this motion ■were passed it would deprive the Borough of such services. Levels for sites were required to be given, and rails perhaps to be taken .across streets, and so forth.

Messrs. ! St. Hill arid' Parkin both thought this sort of work, when required to be done for private individuals should be paid for by them as iri. other places. Mr; Harrison moved to Tescind’tlie resolution rif 18th ‘ October,’ regarding . the Town Clerk’s and Engineer’s services, and ; Mr. Parkin having seconded, the motion 1 hraa carried. 1 Mr. Friedlander’s ifiotipri to pay. the engineer’s by commissipn was then put aid carried. ' | THE TOWN CLERK, i Mr; St; Hill thought it-was ungraceful io keep thri screw down ori a man -who iiad : " accepted the situation of affairs in Hie bad times without any growling, and io lift it from another because, he had rer to be screwed? )ioyn.-:JDhe Town Clerk’s salary was less actually than that of their lovely foreman, ana im ; wouia ratve that it . be. raised to, Llop, in eoiiisideration of a’ very’’greateramount of work being required to be • done this year When a time of scarcity of funds .came again, Mr St- Hill Wfluld’ foagitate forrecluction of llie low sums were quite right, iu bad, times, bit When there' were plenty ’of funds there was no need for screwing down

Mr. Parkin supported the proposal on the understanding that the sum only should be altered, and not the duties required of the clerk. Mr Robinson then proposed and Mr. Harrison seconded “ That the Town Clerk’s salary be Ll5O as formerly, his duties to be as recommended by the Retrenchment Committee. ” The motion was carried. engineers’ report. The Engineers reported as follows : ICerbin" and Channelling, —Three tenders have been received for labor and shingle on the work in West street. The Works Committee recommend the acceptance of the lowest-—that • of Mr. W. C. Davis, at Li 16s. per chain for kerbing and channelling, and 16s 3d. for channelling.only.. With respect to the channels in Havelock street, on which we were directed to report, we recommend that both sides of the street be channelled from East street to Cass street, which is already kerbed, and then kerhed and channelled along to the north-east side to the Town Belt, also that the portion of Cass street near Butler’s Hotel that is kerbed be channelled. If ihis be done, an additional supply of cement will be required. Footpath, South East Town Belt.—ln forming the footpath 10ft. wide on the south-east side of the belt, a strip of land wifi be left about'23ft. wide between the footpath and the formed road. It would be advisable that the strip be levelled at the same time, and the Works Commmittce are of opinion that the matter should be represented to the Road Board, accompanied with estimates of cost. Ailken Street. —We have taken the levels of Aitken street, but find on account of the inequalities, gullies, etc., in this quarter of the down it will be necessary to take into consideration the formation of the streets adjacent before de'ermining permencntly the working levels. The footpaths fronting the premises of Mr. Tucker and others in the neighborhood of the gully will, in any case be lowered. A-sum of'Lio or Ll2 expended in lowering the footpaths and filling up the gidly might meet the views of the residents at present. ,; Clearing Tussocks. — The contractor is progressing satisfactorily. In consideration of the quantity of scrub and the stoney character of the greater part of the ground, the Works Committee recommend that the contractor be allowed 2s. per acre in addition to the contract price. Peter Street. —lt is recommended to the Council to make application to the Government to reserve a portion of sections 1083-4-5 as a road to connect Peter street with Winter Street. As will be seen by the map the corner peg of section 1085 is in the gully and within the Domain as fenced.

The Labor Gang have been opening channels on the south-east belt, laying culverts and pipes in the Wakanui road and Peter street, completing alteration of out-take at the reservoir, and clearing side channels, etc. We had commenced having the loose stones broken in East street, but the Works Committee consider it more advisable to have them raked in heaps at the side of the road and afterwards broken.

After a lengthy discussion on the question of channelling Cass street, in the coarse of which Mr. St. Hill said there was only one house in the street, and it had no right to have a channel laid round it for its special convenience, the report on the subject was agreed to on a division by, 5 to 2. The other portions of the Engineers’ report were adopted. The recommendation of a previous report, that the intake of the waterworks at the millrace be improved, by cutting a by-wash and raising the sluice-gate, was considered.

The Engineer said the floor at the gate wanted fe-making. About LG would do it, and L 3 more, would make the by-wash. The water was liable in any fresh to do damage. He thought the work was not absolutely pressing. The matter was further postponed. SANITARY. , The Inspector of Nuisances was instructed to proceed against sanitary defaulters. The Clerk said he had given seven days’ notice to parties to clear tussocks. THE FIRE BRIGADE. Mr. Friedlander desired to know if the Council had any control over the Fire Brigade; His purpose in asking this was not for information, hut to state to the Council that a remark had been riiade by a leading officer of the Brigade that, in the event of a fire in the Town'Hall, he would see the place burnt to the ground before he would stir.

The Mayor explained that the language had been made use of by the Lieutenant of the Brigade after a decision had been Come to by the Town Hall directors in favor of the Dramatic Club having the hall on a certain night, in virtue of having made an application for jt prior to the one made by the Fire Brigade. He was exceedingly sorry to hear the remark made by the Lieutenant, which w r as of tile most impertinent character. Mr. St. Hill denounced the officer, who had made use of the most uncalled-for remarks. Mr. Dolman should be a model to the other members of the Brigade, and for the language of which he had been guilty he should be se merely censured. Mr. Robinson defended Mr. Dolman, believing that the words had been made use of in the heat of the moment. It was , ultimately decided to write' to the Brigade, arid ask that an investigation be made by the Captain. , - ’ . THE ASPHALTS MOTION. Mr. Harrison moved the motion standing in his name—“ To asphalte the footpath in East street; for a width of five feet from the kerb, from Peter street to South street.” He had not heard the least objection to the proposition made by any one in town, and he believed the project was quite popular. He had spoken to most of the owners of property fronting the streets, and he had ascertained that nearly all were prepared to bear half expense. He calculated that the cost to thq borough would be about £l2l.

Mr. Bullock seconded the motion with great pleasure. It was a proposal he had made in September, 1878, but the work was then thought premature.. Everybody —both residents in the centre of the town and those ori the outskirts—used East street, and came into town i o do business. He thought, however, that the footpaths should be asphalted to the full width, except where there were reserves. Mr. Parkin was not in favor of doing the whole width. The half was as much as ought to be undertaken, and all that was done in Christchurch, private individuals doing the inside portion if they wished.

Mr. Roberts favored asphalting the full width.

The Mayor thought no one could enjoy a good smooth path hotter than himself, but they ought to be careful as to how they spent their money, and. confine 1 themselves ‘to the business part of the town only, in this asphalting matter. Mr. St. Hill pointed out that the consent of the owners of East street would: have to be obtained before the work could be undertaken. : HP would-move that the consent of the : owners f of property in East street be obtained to paying one-half cost of the work before : Mr. Harrison’s resolution is enforced. A Mr. Harrison’s, motion was passed, and Mr. St. Hill’s was also agreed to. THri FOREMAN. Mi’. St. Hill moved his niption to discharge Mr. W. ! Brown; foreriian of works, and obtain a practical man. The motion did not want .explanation. r The-work done by the Borough's men was not scientifically overlooked by the foreman. Had it not been for a member of the Works Committee gravehat the post office would have been-: laid; oil eight’ inches deep, and the gravel on the streets had i.iou been looked after when being put down, j other wise-the six by six rocks would riot have appeared. ’■ - . ~ Mr. Parkin seconded the motion.

Mr. Harrison thought the better plan would' be to lay a charge against thp man, and appoint-a c o inmillee to inquire. If ,he were a dismiss him, if he were a good" man retain him. ' *'• Mr. Bullock thought that it was un-

called for to move a motion like this,? and unless there was something against a man more than what had been proved, they ought not to take any steps in the direction indicated by Mr. St. Hill’s, motion. Mr. Brown had been ..only , recently awarded a bonus of L 5 for painstaking work in connection with the waterworks, and now it was proposed to ‘‘ kick him out,” which meant that he would have to wander possibly 100 miles before he got another situation.

Mr. Robinson thought it was scarcely consistent to give a-man L 5 bonus at one meeting and the sack at the next. He believed the bonus was moved by Mr. St. Hill. , ,

Mr. St; Hill—-I must deny that, so that the denial get into the papers. Several other Councillors having spoken, Mr. St. Hill said he found fault with the want of brain capability for the work which Brown displayed. He. was a hardworking man perhaps, but he was not qualified for the position. He would appeal to the Councillor most qualified to judge—Mr. Roberts—if this man was qualified for the position he held. The Engineer desired .to make a statement, but Mr. St. Hill objected. The motion was then put and lost— Messrs. St. Hill, Roberts and Parkin voted for it, and Messrs. Bullock, Robinson, Fi’iedlandor, and Harrison and the Mayor against it. THE FIRE ENGINE. Mr. Weymouth Roberts stated in connection with the motion he had moved regarding procuring a steam fire engine that the Insurance Association had not given the information he desiderated. Ho quoted the prices at Home of a steam fire ■ engine suitable • for Ashburton,; and he believed a sum of LSOO would cover the introduction of such an one to the .township. Mr. Bullock thought the prices of American firms ought to be quoted. Mr. Harrison had seen the Canadian, American, and English engines all at work at one time, and none could equal the English Merry weather. The matter was left in the hands of Mr. Weymouth Roberts and the Mayor. THE WESLEYAN PARSONAGE EARTH. Mr. Harrison thought the question of the Wesleyan parsonage earth ought to be reconsidered. The Wesleyans simply wished to form the road and fill up a gully in their property—it would cost the Borough nothing. Several applications of one kind or another had been coldly i-eceived by the Council, and the people would begin to think that it was from a Reeling against the Church. He knew no such feeling existed, Init if the.iequest for earth wore now granted, any belief in its existence would be removed. He made a motion on the subject, but it was not seconded. ' cox street footpaths. On the motion of Mr. Bullock, seconded by Mr. Parkin, it was resolved to form the footpats in Cox street. WAKANUX ROAD WEST. A motion to proceed with the,footpaths on Wakanui road west was held over till the levels were taken. - - ACCOUNTS. Several accounts were passed, and the Council rose after a sitting of hours.

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The Ashburton Borough Council. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 204, 30 November 1880

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