The usual fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held last night, in the Council Chambers. Present His Worship the Mayor (presiding), and Messrs. Parkin, St. Hill, Harrison, and R. Friedlander. mayor’s statement.
The Mayor said the bank balance amounted to L 390 19s. Bd., and the rates collected during the week had been L 33 Gs. 6d., leaving only L 37 ss. 6d. of last year’s rates to be collected. Of the latter sum L 25 or thereby was due by persons who could not be found, but the Act provided for the carrying forward of these arrears; Regarding the proposed loan of L 2,500, the opinion of the Borough’s solicitors was that the permission obtained from the ratepayers eighteen months ago to borrow L 15,000 had lapsed, and proceedings would have to bo commenced de no ro. THE FIRE BRIGADE. The captain of the Fire Brigade, Mr. James Wilkie, wrote stating that Lieut. Dolman had apologised for having made use of certain expressions in regard to the Town Hall, referred to at last meeting of the Council. Mr. Wilkie stated that the language in question had been made use of under excitement caused by what Mr. Dolman considered unfair treatment at the hands of the directors of the Town Hall Company, and had expressed his deep regret that the words had been uttered. The writer was quite sure that the Council would agree with the Brigade that Mr. Dolman’s services had been invaluable to the Borough in training and organising the men, and no one believed for a moment that, should the Town Hall take fire, Lieutenant Dohmwi would not be one of the first in the field. The Brigade took the opportunity given by this letter of jogging the Council’s memory in regard to the conditions on which the Brigade's services were accepted, and hinting at the accept ableness with which arrears of subsidy would be received..
The apology was accepted, and the latter part of the letter was referred to the Fire Brigade Committee, the appointment of which was moved for by Councillor Parkin, and consisted of Messrs. St. Hill, Harrison, and Friedlander. Mr. Wilkie waited on the Council, and explained that arrears of subsidy amounting to L 75 were still due, and that only L 25 towards LOO incurred by the Brigade fop unifonns had been paid by the Council. The men still required boots and trousers to complete their uniform, while the hose was becoming dilapidated, and the longest length the Brigade possessed had only recently burst while in practice in the Domain. The money due by the Council would supply sufficient hose. The Mayor pointed out that the Brigade was not neglected by the Council, and that the procuring of a steam fire engine, to cost LOGO, was under consideration. Leave was granted to the Brigade to discharge fireworks on the evening of the 27th instant, and the patronage of the Mayor and Corporation was granted to the demonstration, as well as a sum of L 5 towards its expenses, the grant being customary in other boroughs. Mr. A. Scott, secretary Fire Insurance Association, wrote enclosing a cheque for LSO as the Association’s contribution towards the funds of the local Fire Brigade for the current year. In another letter he stated that all the Society’s funds for fire prevention purposes had been allocated, and that no more could be given towards a steam fire engine until the cud of March next.
After some further conversation the matter dropped. BUILDING. Mr. G. Compton obtained leave to build a verandah in front of his section in Moore street. Mr. S. Revans, for the Bank of New Zealand, applied for permission to make additions and alterations in wood to the building now occupied by the bank in East street. The alterations proposed would be of a temporary character, the bank purposing to erect later on a substantial building, suitable to its requirements and ornamental to the town. After some discussion it was resolved to defer consideration of the matter until Wednesday next, when a special meeting would be called. THE MAYOR. Mr. G. S. Cooper, Under Secretary, acknowledged receipt of letter notifying the re-election of the Mayor. “ WORK IT OUT.” A tenant of one of the Borough’s cottages offered to work out arrears of rent if the Council would give him a job. Referred to the Works Committee, THE ENGINEERS’ SALARY. The following letter to the Mayor was read:— Sir, —We beg to acknowledge receipt of copy of resolutions passed at the meeting of the Borough Council, held on the 29th ultimo, relative to the payment for our services. We trust the Council will not consider us captious, and hope that they will give us credit for a sincere desire to meet their wishes, as also for
the proper and economical working of the department under our direction, although we ask the Council to re-consider the resolution referred to, on the grounds —first, that the arrangement does not appear to us to be workable; and, second, that it makes a reduction in our remuneration as compared with the former agreement, which we venture to think the Council itself, on full consideration, will acknowledge there are insufficient grounds for making. With respect to our first objection we submit that we have done, and would he likely to be called on to do, work involving a considerable expenditure of time, such as drawing reports on matters that involve no expenditure on the part of the Council, taking levels, and making estimates of works that inay not be executed, acting as Borough Engineers under the by-laws, carrying out works of small cost, but requiring perhaps as much of our time in preparation.and supervising as expensive works, and generally watching and attending to the interests of the Borough, for which we should receive no payment, or one very inadequate. We would also respectfully submit that the articles purchased of a professional man are not so much his time, but his brains, his technical ability and experience. In the second place we would respectfully state the position we have held with the Council. We were engaged as Borough Engineers two years ago, at a salary of Ll5O per annum, with the understanding that only a small proportion of the time of our Mr. Kooks, senr., say nbcut three days a week, would be employed ; and some short lime after, it was determined to carry out a water supply and drainage scheme, for the direction of which wo were to receive additionally a commission of seven pci cent. During the rear 1879 the inc >mc of the Council exceeded the estimates, and in addition a portion of the following years rates was forestalled, so that more work was done by the Council in the ) v car than we believe was anticipated on oiir engagement, and wc may staid that the forestalling necessitates the suspension of our salary i for four months. . Wc'- were also engaged, in preparing for the water supply and drainage scheme, by taking levels, making calculations, estimates, and plans. Forth's latter work wc expected to be reimbursed by the stipulated commission when the scheme was carried out, and at the time it should be recollected that the amount on which the commission would be charged was expected to be about 1.15,000 to L 20,000, Now that a much smaller amount is proposed to be expended, we cannot think that we are acting unfairly if we claim that the original agreement should be adhered to, considering that we have made all the preliminary preparations and digested and matured a plan that has been approved, and also seeing that the modification in the scheme has not lessened our preparatory work, but will considerably lessen our remuneration. With respect to our letter of the 15th ultimo, we wish it to be understood that it was not written in acquiescence with any idea that we were overpaid, but ns a compromise, and from a wish to meet the retrenchment views of the Council at a time tiicy did not expect funds sufficient to execute works to any extent, and we would further respectfully submit. that we have only received, exclusive of commission on the water supply, about LSO as payment fot the ordinary work eluting the present year, so that wc cannot see that wc have pressed, or are pressing unduly on the Borough’s funds. In conclusion, we would state that wc are going on with the rate roll in the expectation that it will be paid for at a fair rate. —We have, &c., Fooks and Son.
After much desultory talk the resolution of last meeting was adhered to, on the motion of Mr, St. Hill. TUSSOCKS. Owing to the cost of carting tussocks, Messrs. Jameson and Roberts asked for permission to burn heaps of tussocks that they had had cut and piled on 21 sections. The application was refused, as advantage had not been taken of the time allowed by the Council. THE LOAN. Messrs. Branson and Purnell wrote, in answer to a question submitted to them as to the power of the Council to borrow on the authority of a resolution to raise L 15.000, confirmed by the ratepayers in June, 1879, that 18 months had elapsed withoutaction being taken; two regular elections to the Council had occurred since then ; a new Act had passed materially afieciiig the law relating to the issue of municipal loans, and that therefore the resolution of June, 1879, must ho cousideredto have lapsed, and if the Council desires to borrow money for a water supply, it must begin de, novo. The matter was left in the hands of the Mayor. THE RAILWAY CATTLE YARDS. The County Council wrote, asking the co-operation of the Council in pressing the matter of the removal of the railway cattle yards from their present site, to one beyond the influence of the borough bylaws, which prevented their use at other than excessively inconvenient hours. The members were unanimous in favor of the removal of the yards, and gave the Mayor full power to act with the County. ENGINEERS’ REPORT. ICetbing and Channelling IVest street. —The contractor has commenced this work. We had intended making the channelling to the timber ke bing between Barnett and Havelock streets first ; but have set the men on at Wills street, as it has been suggested by a member of the Works Committee that it would be advisable to remove the wooden kerbing and substitute concrete. We have thought it right to submit the question to the Council. Footpaths, Cox street. —We have taken detail levels of all the streets north-east of and including Cox street, for the purpose of grading them in a systematic manner, and ascertaining the quantity of cutting and filling in the several streets. As we have before represented and recommended to the Council to reform Cox street before making the footpaths, we now find it would be much more advisable and economical to carry out the plan. At a cost we estimate that hire-forming Cox street, it would supply sufficient material to make up several of the adjacent streets that requre it. The present shingle could be utilised with little waste.
IVaU’r Supply. —lt has been suggested that a supply that would include the whole of the north-west portion of the Borough may be obtained by tapping the supply channel in Winter’s road, and by making use of one of the cross roads, the water couid be brought into the Alford Forest road, and thence to the Town Belt. From this point the north-west Belt, and all the streets north-west of the railway could be supplied. We have not yet made any examination so as to recommend any particular route fiom Winter’s road, but we submt the idea as worth the consideration of the Council.
■ The Labor Gang have been engaged in cleaving sde channels, making and fixing culverts and bridges, putting in 'timber kerbing at reservoir, raking and carting stones off streets, making cutting in Aitken street, &c. One of the men, who is engaged in keeping the concrele channels dear, and attending to the supply channels, &c., has been removed, by order of the Works Committee, from the control or supervision of the overseer. As we do not concur in this, being necessarily unable to certify to the accuracy, &c., of his time table, we respectfully request the Council’s decision on the matter. We have passed his full time on the pay sheet on this occasion, as wc believe it to be correct, but it is not vouched for, as it ought to be, and as the other men’s time is, by the overseer. We have handed to the Town Clerk a reply received from Mr. Marshman in respect of the road reserve applied for to connect Winter street and Peter s' reel. Fooks & Son.
It was resolved to take up the wooden kerhing between Havelock and Burnet streets, and replace with concrete ; also, to reform Cox street at a cost of about LBO. Regarding the suggestion made in the Engineers’ report as to a water supply for the north-western side of the town, the Engineers were instructed to report at next meeting. The matter of one of the workmen, having been withdrawn from the control of the overseer was referred to the Works Committee. ASPHALTING. The ratepayers in Bast street having, with one or two exceptions, consented to bear part of the cost of asphalting, it was resolved to call for tenders, so that a reliable knowledge of cost may be obtained before the next meeting, and the work could go on. Mr. Harrison moved for a statement of the. proposed works, to be laid before next meeting. Carried. ; Accounts were passed for payment, and the Board adjourned,
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