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Ashburton Borough Council.

The ordinary fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held last night, when there were present—His Worship the Mayor (presiding); and Messrs. Harrison, Williamson, St. Hill and Weymouth Roberts. THE CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT. After apologising for the absence of Mr. R. Friedfander, his Worship stated that the credit balance at the bank was lilQ6 16s. sd. Last Saturday he had received an advice from the Treasury ' that the sum of L 192 4s. Bd. had been placed to the Borough’s credit; as subsidy. The 7s. 6d. in the LI was paid by the new Act on the annual value of the rateable property. The subsidy amounted in all to L 421 4s. Bd., but off this sum L 229 had been deducted for charitable aid account. He could not understand the item of L 229 as charitable aid up to the 31st March, 1881. This was calculated two months in advance of the present date, and he failed to see how it was possible this amount could be fixed. He believed the object of Government was to retain the amount in hand, and fight out the question of rate afterwards. This money was not in reality due, and he failed to see how the Government were able to get at the expenditure for the two months that were still in the future. He had taken the solicitors’ advice on the matter, and they had advised him to ascertain how the amount was- made up. He looked upon the sum as an extortionate one, and hoped the Council would approve of his course in desiring an explanation. It would fall to the Council to appoint a Fire Inspector instead of Mr. James Wilkie, who had resigned. Doubtless they had noticed the action he (the Mayor) had taken in the matter of procuring an Inspector of Nuisances for the town and suburbs, who would devote his whole attention to the work. He had raised the question in the Wakanui Road Board, and was glad to be able to say they had mot the question in an excellent spirit. The Board was willing to act in concert with the Borough on the subject. He had no doubt the present state of the public health was owing to the badly cleaned and’unhealthy state in which many of the suburban premises were. The matter would come before them in ordinary course.

NUISANCES. Mr. R. Lancaster wrote, complaining of debris having been left opposite his shop, Mr. St. Hill drew the Inspector’s attention to the accumulations that had been left opposite Mr. Lancaster’s new dwelling house. The matter was referred to the Engineer. SANITARY. The Wakanui Road Board wrote, offering to contribute LI per week for three months to aid in the payment of a permanent Inspector of Nuisances for the Borough and suburbs. The Mayor moved the following resolution on the subject: —“ That this Council appoint, in conjunction with the Wakanui and Upper Ashburton Road Boards, an Inspector of Nuisances for the .current year, at a salary of £ per annum.” He had seen Mr. Stitt, of the Upper Ashburton Board, who had hb doubt that the Board would join in the arrangement. Mr. Harrison seconded. Mr. St. Hill thought much of the disease that existed at the present moment was caused by the bad water used in the suburbs, where people objected to going down any further than 12ft.; whereas if they went down 24ft. they would get excellent water. He did not approve of disturbing the machinery of the Borough for three months. If the Boards would agree to a twelvemonths’ appointment he would have no objection, but if it was not to be permanent he would oppqse. Besides, some L4OO had been spent on roads for the belts, and not a penny had been got by the Borough from those belt houses. The Mayor thought the idea . was to make the office a permanent one. Mr. St. Hill was quite ready to support a permanent officer. But he was astonished to find that an officer of the sort was wanted now. Nobody could say' a word about the present inspector recently, l but he (Mr. St. Hill) began to think that what' waS said outside was true—that it wsaj only outside pressure that would get the Borough to mbye. It" was only .very' recently that the Borough discovered that the by-laws wanted altering, and it was l a curious thing that they only discovered it after the Bank of New Zealand found it necessary'to build contrary to the by-laws. The Mayor denied that the Bank pf

New Zealand or any other institution -or person had any influence wlth the Council in altering the by-laws. ’< iT Mr. Williamson agreed to some extent ,with Mr. ,St. Hill. The Council had been doingMte Very best: for the health of the borough by spending its money on drainage and footpathsj and other works, and people had had every chance to keep their premises clean. But the Road Boards were composed of gentlemen who resided in the comity, and had little or no interest in the borough, and it was different in that case ; for people could do as they liked on their suburban sections, and there was nobody to interfere with them. These outside districts, living under no municipal regulations, were a hardship to the borough, and it was a pity for their own sakes, as well as the municipality, that they had not gone in with it when it was first formed. He was quite sure that the majority of cases', of sickness came from outside the belts, and he’was prepared to agree to paying a third share of the cost of a permanent inspector, if the two Boards would bear an equivalent share.

Mr. Harrison thought no steps taken would be any good unless they reached the suburbs, but he was quite satisfied there was as much sickness within the borough as in the suburbs. He thought a permanent Inspector was absolutely necessary. The Mayor explained that he had taken the initiative in this matter purely from a desire to prevent sickness, and he denied that any outside influence had been brought to bear upon him at all. He hoped the members would look at this subject in the light he had done. Mr. Williamson thought the borough was being made a convenience of by the Boards. He did not object to working with them, but he objected to engaging a man for any given time, la the belief that the Boards would help to pay him. He would move an amendment to the Mayor’s motion, “That the co-operation be entered into, if the Boards agree to give the Council three months notice before withdrawing from this arrangement. ” The Mayor explained that if the Board did not concur in the resolution he had proposed, the Borough would not be in any'way bound. Mr. Williamson’s ammendment was carried. fire brigade. Mr. St. Hill said that he had received a letter, as Chairman of the Fire Committee, asking for power to the Brigade to accept tenders for trousers, boots, etc. The Mayor complained that a letter from him on the subject had not been noticed by the Brigade, but, instead, they wrote to the Fire Committee. He thought the Council should see all tenders they had to pay for. Mr. St. Hill did not think any discourtesy was intended, but that the Brigade had thought that the Fire Committee were the proper persona to apply to. Mr. Harrison expressed a like opinion, and bn his motion Mr, J. C. Dolman was appointed Fire Inspector, the Mayor to take steps to have the appointment gazetted. PILLAR BOX. A letter from the chief post office stated that the Borough’s application, for a pillar box at Moore street corner would be favorably received. APPLICATION FOR WORK. Henry Baldwin wrote, asking employment under the Council, pleading that he had been for a lengthened period out of ■work, and that owing to illness from rheumatism he was unable to camp out. The matter was referred to the Engineer. ! -

stray cows. Mr. John Hepburn wrote complaining of the malicious prosecution of himself by Foreman Brown. The writer owned a few cows, and said Brown laid himself out to annoy him by laying informations against him for cows straying. It was impossible to drive out the cows at all without Brown laying an information. The Mayor explained that he had been interviewed about this case, and on an explanation being made to him that the boys in charge of the cows had been negligent, he had caused an information to be withdrawn. Mr. Williamson thought it was injudicious to interfere with the action of the by-laws.: It was ultimately'docided that the letter lie on the table. EXTENSION OF TIME. Griffin and Smithel obtained an extension of time for their shingling contract, to allow them to go harvesting —the work of shingling to be finished not later than 31st March. engineers’ report. The Engineers reported as follows : /. 'Kerbing and Channelling. —Mr. Davis has completed his contract satisfactorily, and we have certified his account. 2. Footpaths on South East Belt. - -The contractors have .nearly completed the formation, and request three weeks leave on account of the harvest, before commencing the shingling. We see no objection ; on the contrary, it would be better that the filling should be more consolidated.

g. The Labor Gang have been engaged in forming and making good in Cass street and Havelock street, and removing superfluous soil from footpaths in West street. A considerable amount of material has been requ ired for making up some of the streets and footpaths on the East side of the line, and we have been enabled to get a quantity of shingle and clay free of cost from a section in West street. The extra amounts of the pay sheet on this and the last Council meeting have been caused by the carting. This is now nearly completed, and the labor gang will be principally engaged for the next few days at the head works of the water supply. , The Inspector of Nuisances has called our attention to the stagnant water in the old gravel pit near the old Post Office, into which the channel water from East street empties itself. It has lately become very offensive, and some means must be devised of draining the pool or otherwise abating the nuisance. 4. In consequence of the remarks made at the'■•last Council meeting as to alleged obstructions placed by the Engineer in the way of the contractor for asphalting the footpaths, we asked Mr. Bradley if and in what manner he had beg so obstructed. We beg to enclose that gentleman’s reply for the information of the Council.—We are, &c., Fooks& Son, Engineers. Park street, Ashburton, February 7th, 1881. —Mr, Fooks —Sir, —In answer to yours of the sth instant, I am very sorry to see that any impression should exist in the Council as to you being an obstruction to me in getting on with the work. I can only say there is no foundation for the same ; but you have.rendered me every assistance in any work I have done under you. As I explained in my letter to the Council, the same was written without prejudice, and I am, sorry to think the same should have been mis-construed in any way to bring your name into the matter.—l am, &c., J. Bradi.ey. C. E. Fooks, Esq.

Clauses 1, and 2 were approved of. The Mayor stated that the section referred to in clause 3 was his, and that ho had given Mr. Fooks liberty to remove the stuff referred to. Clause ;3 was approved of, and the engineer iftm instructed ,tq. report on tfie, best means of getting rid of the stagnant water; Mr. St. Hill, in reply to clause 4 and . the letter enclosed, stated that it was three months 1 shice the contract had been accepted, and legal expenses were being incurred by both the Council and the contractor over the drawing up of/ the agreeiment. When the law bill oapp paying, . ho would want to know how some'of the items came about. It was a-fact that Mr. Bradley was asked to yisiL Mr. Branson abbrif the'ipeCificationf ,‘ and this ;Would be charged fob, whereas the document pjjghfc to have lain in the Borough Engineers’ office, where it cquld have beep, seen by Bradley Without a visit to the lawyers. The matter of the agreement

was a piece of foplfshness that no man in ordinary business ijrbuld have been guilty of for the small sum of LlO2. Mr. St. .Bill spoke very strongly on the subject, and was interrupted by the Mayor, who pointed out that the contract was accepted only a ihohth ago, and not three months ago,, so that no very great delay had taken plaice. After some further talk the matter dropped. INSPECTOR OF NUISANCES’ REPORT. The following is the Inspector of Nuisances report:— I beg to report as follows I have served.a notice on Mr. Joseph Baldwin, of the Central Hotel, tor having a cesspit on his premises 27ft. deep, so that it is down to the water that the inhabitants arc drinking, as I am sure .there .is no well in the vicinity more than 27ft. deep. Me had failed to comply with the notice, and I beg to ask what steps I am to take in the matter. The Scavenger has neglected his duty on several occasions this week.— William Brown, Inspector of Nuisances. It was resolved ..that the,question of dealing with the matter of tlae cesspit at the Central Hotel should be loft in the Mayor’s hands. TUSSOCKS. Mr. Harrison drew attention to the fact that large heaps of tussock were still standing about the township, and some sections had not yet had the growing tussocks and " Irishmen ” cut down. In one case a tussock heap near his own section had taken fire, and it had been discovered that a swagger had slept in it all night. This sort of thing , would be especially dangerous near carpenters’ shops, and such like buildings. Ho would move—“ That owners of sections be proceeded against who have neglected to clear away tussock.” This was carried. SIX SHILLINGS AND COSTS.

Mr. St. Hill stated that he had seen Mr. Crisp, who was willing to reimburse the Council if they paid the' 6s. Mr. Crisp had charged when writing for arrears -of rates, to any ratepayer who had paid the money and desired it to be refunded. THE SCAVENGERING RATE. Mr. Harrison reminded ;the Council that at last meeting a resolution had been passed to impose a special rate for scavengering purposes. He desired the Council to take action in the matter. The Mayor explained that a vote of the burgesses had to be taken bn the subject, and some expense would be entailed. Nothing could be done without the Council were moved by the receipt of a petition signed by a majority of the ratepayers. Mr. Harrison had spent much time over this matter, and was willing to spend more, but before he undertook a canvass like what this petition affair pointed to he would hold a last great sale , of his own auction room, and then bid farewell to the place. Anyhow they ought to advertise for a scavenger. PAYMENTS. Mr. St. Hill desired to know who examined the bills of Mr. Fooks for percentage or commision on work done in connection with the water works and drainage scheme. The payments never appeared on the pay-sheet, and it would be as well if the Council-in the future should be placed in possession of all information in regard to these payments. The Mayor said he understood the payments were always put on the pay-sheet. THE OUT-FALL DRAIN. : ‘ - After some talk on the best means of raising money to do the out-fall :drain work, it was resolved to cover in the drain with wood, and at once call for tenders for the work. BY-LAWS-. It was resolved to hold a special meeting on Monday week to consider the bylaws alterations. THE SCAVENGER. . . _ Mr. Williamson moved—“ That, as it had been found that Cr. Harrison’s motion was inoperative re scavenging, the Council should call for tenders at per pan as before.” Seconded by Mr. St.' Hill and carried. ACCOUNTS. Payments amounting to LB7 were passed, and the Council adjourned.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810208.2.11

Bibliographic details

Ashburton Borough Council., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 263, 8 February 1881

Word Count
2,739

Ashburton Borough Council. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 263, 8 February 1881

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