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South Rakaia Road Board.

The annual meeting of ratepayers was held at the Board Office, South Rakaia, on Monday, for the purpose of electing three members to serve on the Board, in the place of Messrs. C. N. Mackie, E. S. Coster, and W. L. Allan. There was not a large attendance, and Messrs. C. N. Mackie, E, S. Coster, and W. L. Allan, being, the only gentlemen nominated, were declared duly elected. After the election, there was a somewhat increased attendance. CHAIRMAN’S B-BPOIIT FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31sT DECEMBER, 1880. The Chairman read as follows : “ To the ratepayers of the South Rakaia Road District; Gentlemen, —I have much pleasure, at the close of another year, in submitting a statement of accounts, showing receipts and expenditure fur the year 1880, and also the balance-sheet, which, I venture to hope, will prove satisfactory. You will observe, gentlemen, by examining the balance-sheet, that the Board has a considerable amount of money to its credit in the bank on fixed deposit. This may be looked upon by some as a mistake ; bpt, in the opinion of the Board, the conservation of its funds is a matter of the utmost importance, and one of the objects it has always aimed at without, of course, neglecting necessary works in the district. There are several very strong reasons for this policy of conservation, one of which is that the road districts of Canterbury have received their lasc penny from the public purse, which will compel them, when the funds now in their possession are expended, to levy rates in order to carry out any works required to bo done There can be no doubt that had a rate been struck it must have pressed somewhat heavily upon the fanners of this district, during the late very depressed state of the country, and oven now would do so, but supposing tho funds had been expended, and tliis might very easily have been dune, what sort of position would the disti ict be in at the present time ! I mav state that the Government issued circulars to the several Road Boards, intimating that there wore a g.oat number of unemployed, and hoping that employment could be given, Some Boards, I daresay wore putting in baud largo works and could respond by taking on extra men, but the Board Board of this district could not sec its way to give employment to outsiders, when a number of men residing in the district were out of work. Any ease of this kind occurring in the district the Board has always boon willing to moot, and bus done so in every case brought to it's notice. The idea, to my mi ml, of expending largo sums of money in doing unnecessary work for the sake of giving employipent to outsiders is most impolitic in the case of a Road Board. Tho only source of revenue for tho future, as I stated before, will bo by means of rates, and I venture to hope, that when that time comes the people will be in a position to meet all demands upon them without much difficulty. I may state that the interest accruing upon the fixed deposits has boon very considerable, amounting to upwards of Laoo per annum. A summary of all works executed and in hand at the present time will be laid bcf. re you. I have to report that the Board applied to the Government for the throe chain old railway reserve, for planting purposes, which has been conceded, subject to an act of Parliament being passed vesting it in the Board. This reserve has been ploughed, sown with gums, and fenced, and should prove a great boon to tho district in a few years. Two sections have also been granted for planting purposes, between tho township and Sodtown, and the Board has bad them sown with grass and fenced in. I have to report also that the old plantation has been thinned, and also gaps missed charing first sowing have been filled up, the Board having had upwards of two thousand holes dug and gam seeds sown. This jn a few years will be a magnificent plantation. J may here state that the Road Board lias recommended the Government to vest this plantation, as being contiguous to the recreation ground, in tho South Rakaia Domain Board, believing that Board to be the proper body to have the management of jt. The Board is erecting a powerful windmill and pump on the site of the old pump in the yard, which should prove of great advantage to the farmers in the grain season, and also (by means of a supply of water contained in tanks to be erected for the purpose) to the township in case of fire. I now wish to state, gentlemen, that tho Road Board has always acceded to any request for roads in any portion of the district where really required, of course taking into con- | sideratiou the amount of traffic, and | the number of people who are likely to be i benefited, and is always ready to consider : any petition or tetter sent iii , wifh this object in view ; and I would suggest , again, as J did last year, the advisability |

of the residents in any portion of the district making known to the Board, by petitions or otherwise, any work required to be done, and should it be a necessary work, and a benefit to a majority of residents in that part of the district, it will be done. In conclusion, gentlemen, 1 have to congratulate you upon the prospect of better times, which we may safely presume are in store for this district as as well as for the colony of New Zealand as a whole, and, on behalf of the Road Board, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year.—-I have, &c., C. N. Maoeie, Chairman South Rakaia Road Board.”

Length of road formed only, 81 miles 45 i chains ; length of roads formed and shingled, 49 miles 49| chains. Statement of Receipts and Expenditure of the South Rakaia Road Board for the year ending 31st December, 1880. Keuch’TS. £ $. d. £ s . d. To credit of current account Ist January, iSSo 4,150 17 II ~ Deposit fixed 8,000 o o — 12,105 17 II ~ Interest ... 645 6 4 ~ Ren’ 109 3 o ~ Incidental receipts... ... 27 17 5 ~ General Government ... 2,241 iS 6 ~ Plantation ... 159 15 9 ~ Mount Hull Road board ... 64 5 4 *5,399 4 3 Extendi tore. By new roads and works 1,258 5 5 ~ Maintenance 492 o 9 ~ Expenses, general ... 200 2 7 ~ Rakaia township 78 19 II ~ Clerk’s salary 250 o o „ Plant 17 13 4 ~ Advcr t i s i n g and printing ... 58 II 8 , Cottages, repairs to ... 6 17 o ~ Land account 87 11 6 ~ Plantations ... 370 9 o ~ Fixed uepo.dts 3,500 o o ~ Balance in Bank, Ist Jan., 1881 9,075 19 2 15,402 10 4 Less cheque outstanding ... 361 , IS-399 4 3 It was resolved that the chairman’s report and the balance sheet be received and adopted. Mr. 1C B. Passmore said there was one matter which he wished to bring before the meeting, and that was that the Board did not seem to take any interest in his part of the district. He felt quite confident that not one of the members knew anything of its wants. Ho was strongly in favor of the district being divided into wards. Ho would be sorry to see the district split up, but he wished ■to see justice done to all parts of the district. He would move—“ That the South Rakaia Road District be divided into wards, so that each part should have its fair share in the distribution of funds ” There being no seconder, the motion lapsed. After passing the usual votes of thanks the meeting terminated.

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South Rakaia Road Board. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 233, 4 January 1881

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