The annual meeting of the Council was held at noon to-day. Present —His Worship the Mayor and Messrs Robinson, Fried lander.,, Williamson, Harrison, and Bullock.
His Worship said that before retiring from the Chair, he wished to thank the Councillors for the assistance Hey had given him, and for the kindly treatment they had shown him. He hoped the good feeling would continue during the incoming year. The most inportant work of the year had been the water supply carried out at a cost of L 1,500 including L2OO for pipes and engineers’ commission. The scheme adopted had been found efficient and preferable to the most costly one previously contemplated. The other extensive work had been the channelling of the streets which had been done at a cost of L(370, and by which 130 chains of channelling had been laid down. After enumerating the formation works, Ac., to be undertaken, the Mayor said the Council had reason to congratulate themselves on the state of the Borough’s finance. They now had a credit balance at the Bank of L 390, whereas when he took office the balance was on the other side to the sum of over L 470. The Mayor then gave a statement of the Borough’s income for the last year, which amounted to L3O3G 10s. 7d., which had been expended on various works. Before sitting down be paid a high compliment to the officers of the Council, especially the Engineer, and he looked with regret upon the resolution that had been passed at last meeting. That resolution would have the effect of depriving the Council of the services of Mr. Fooks, who had done a very great amount of work for the Borough, that would have to be done over again by any new man before the latter could carry on the Borough’s various works. After referring to the irregular attendance that was beginning to show itself, the Mayor again thanked the Councillors and sat down.
Mr. Bullock who suffered from a cold would not speak so long as he had intended, but he could not refrain from expressing his admiration of the manner in which the Mayor had discharged his duties. It was a difficult position to fulfill and was not in this country always so thankful as it might be. The Mayor had alluded to the water supply, and the low cost it had been carried out at. He must add his congratulations on the completion of that scheme, which was a marked success and in every way an improvement to the town. He hoped the temporary difficulty in regard to the loan would soon be got over, and that shortly the accsesion of available funds would be large. Mr. Bullock before sitting down expressed his regret at the small attendapcc, but hoped that the good feeling that had obtained during the year would continue. He moved that the Mayor take the chair for the ensuing year. This being carried, his Worship took the chair and again thanked the Council for the honor, and invited them to wine. Mr. Bullock regretted that in his remarks ho had omitted to refer to what was perhaps the greatest achievement of the Mayor’s term, the financial prosperity' of the Borough, which hi? Worship had brought about. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Harrison joined in the compliments to the Mayor, and expressed bis belief that, knowing his Worship as they did, the members of the Council would all work smoothly together, as they had beep doing recently'. He would be glad to see a man of Mr. Friedlander’s ability occupying the chair for a second or even third term. In reference to the depression that had troubled the colony in the past, ho was glad to notice the signs of improvement evidenced by the hank rate in Loudon, which he could not help looking on as a criterion, find he believed a few months of the now year would see the prosperity they had longed for returning. The Mayor’s health was then drunk with great heartiness. THE BUILDING BY-LAWS. The letter of the manager, Bank of New Zealand, referred to this meeting was then taken up. Mr. Bullock took occasion to refer to the by'-laws regaining building. He thought they were too stringent, and one especially was, he thought, premature. He referred to the law which compelled buildings in : East street to be built of brick, stone, or concrete. He believed that the town was not y'et so fully developed as to be able to bear a hard and fast law to compel stone building, and that party walls were quite sufficient. The application of the Bank to bo allowed to inako additions to their building brought on this subject. He was disinclined to interfere with the by'-laws that-had been prepared with much trouble, but the case he had in view was one of a kind that represented others, and was only an instance of how the by-law interfered with the town’s progress. Mr. Robinson thought an establishment like the Bank, that had made wealth to itself in this district, ought to be able to put up a proper building in the town. Mr. Williamson was glad to see that his old opponent for the: Mayoralty, Mr. Bullock, was coming round to his opinion re party walls at last. In a town like this it was not to be expected that, for a time at leastj so expensive buildings as vvore erected in cities like Christchurch would be put up. He hoped, however, that in discussing the question the matter of the applicant being a Bank ought to have no weight in the matter, and he would be sorry to see it introduced.
Messrs. Friedlander and Harrison having spoken in favor of party-wall, and amending the by-laws as far as needful, The Mayor said that the bank had no intention of evading the by-law, but simply Wished to build a temporary house till the business place of the town was properly defined, and then to put up a good building. The proposed alterations would supply work for many carpenters, etc., for a time. D was resolved that the bank’s letter be acknowledged, and that at next meeting the question of altering the by-laws be considered. The meeting then adjourned.
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