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The usual monthly meeting of th County Council was held to-day, Thor were present—Mr Walker (Chairman), and Messrs Jackson, Cameron, Bullock, and Coster. chairman’s statement. The Chairman made a statement showing what tenders were in for various small works. He mentioned that, in consequence of some of the members being absent on legislative business in Wellington, he had requested the present contractors for the Hospital to continue to supply at the present rates until August next. He had accepted Watkins’ contract for carting piles to the Rangitata traffic bridge. The pile driving for this work will commence immediately. The Government have agreed to refund the Council’s expense of L 167 5s 6d paid towards the approach of the Rakaia Gorge bridge. In consequence of damage done by rain to the Hospital, he had authorised repairs, the cost of which ho estimated at LIBO. The Chairman then referred to the published report respecting the Rangitata bridge, which was incorrect. No such report as published had reached the Council. In conclusion, the Chairman congratulated the Council .on the carrying of Mr Wright’s motion in Parliament respecting the representation of the Ashburton Council on the Lyttelton Harbor Board. engineer’s report.

The Engineer’s report was read, and was as follows : Water Race, Ashburton and Rnkaia Plains. —The contractor has now in hand the earthworks of contracts No. I and 2 of the Fairfield line, and the former will be completed about ten days hence. On the Dromore line the earthworks of contracts No. I and 2 will be completed in a few days. These should have been finished now, but the detention is due entirely to the stormy weather which prevailed during the middle of last month. The earthworks of contracts No. 3 and 4 on this line have been very satisfactorily completed, within the contract period, by Mr Maugham and Mr Silcock respectively. The total length of the Dromore race is twenty-nine miles twenty chains. The contractors for the box culverts on the various races are now getting the timbers fitted, and no time will be lost in conveying them to the ground and fixing them on the required sites. The contracts for fords on the different races will also be taken up and the works commenced immediately. Of these there are thirteen on the Fairfield line and eight on the Dromore line, and eleven bn the Chertsey line, all situated between the Lyndhurst road and the termination of the respective races. The fords to the north of Lyndhurst road, on the different lines, have been already executed by day labor. The present contractor for the small concrete tanks seems quite unable to carry out his contract. In the beginning of June he undertook to construct 30 tanks by the 20th of this month. As yet he has only laid the floor of one tank, and carted three barrels of cement. I beg to annex letter from him, asking three weeks’ extension of time ; but of course, under the circumstances, I could not recommend this. I would suggest that, in order to prevent further waste of time, his contract be at once cancelled, and the work given to Rattray and Co., the next lowest tenderers, whose price is only 3s 4d a tank above Sullivan's tender, and who are likely to execute the work with some degree of despatch. The damage occasioned to the works of water supply from the flood which occuirel about the nth of June is very slight indeed, and is confined almost entirely to a few points in the bed of the Creek above

Melhven. These ate -being protected now The injury to the water-race proper is hardly perceptible, except where temporary obstructions have been caused through the fords and culverts not having been executed, and the small deposits of earth at these places will be cleared out at a trivial cost. The dam and headworks remain quite intact. The Methven and Winchmore flood-water drain has suffered a little in a few places, and one of the fords on that line wants some repair. A small part of }he spoil bank at Belmont filter basin was carried away, but this can be restored and strengthened at a cost of about L 4. With reference to the proposed auxilliary waterrace marked Da on plan, it appears that Mr Alington and other owners would prefer a deviation, which would be somewhat more servicable for their properties than the line authorised by the Council, which represents the general line only. The owners seem to be agreeable to’ give a right-of-way, and to waive questions of severance on the line, and I beg to ask the Council’s authority to adopting it in lieu of the othei. It would be somewhat shorter- and less subject to the influence of floodwater. As regards the line of water-race marked E on plan, I have carefully staked out the first fourteen miles at the upper end, having first taken sections and cross sections to arrive at the choice of a line with safe declivity, and in such position as to avoid, as much as possible, the effects of floodwater. The line shewn in blue is staked out as far as Barrhill, but from R.S. 15548 down to the main line of railway no change whatever has been made or seems desirable. It appears some of the owners below the railway line wish a small deviation near the lower end of the channel the nature of which you will probably become acquainted with through their deputy to-duy. Having put myself in communication with several of the owners along this E line, I find that while they are willing to agree to give a right-of-way, and bear the cost of maintenance, they are not disposed to have their properties included in the district, which is constituted a rateable district under the provisions of the Water Supply Act, and meantime they propose to appoint delegates to confer with the Council on this question before any works of water supply are undertaken on that line. I may al-;o state that the owners above Barrhill have initiated a water supply from Mount Hutt district near the line now proposed. This, however, they regard as a temporary measure only. It would appear also that most of the owners below the railway, between Chertsey and Rakaia, have been taking it for granted that the said E line is already within the rateable district, and they are now urging for another supplementary line, proceeding from the direction of Barrhill and passing down to Rakaia, a distance of twelve miles, through the comparatively narrow strip of land between the E line and the Rakaia river. After crossing the railway they propose to divide the supply by running two lines, each about fourteen miles in length, from that junction point to the sea. One of these lines would be above the terrace tire other below, as shown on plan. The owners below the railway say they would bear the cost, both of construction and maintenance, if the Council would provide an adequate supply of water at the railway. The expense of the formation of the race would, no doubt, be small, in comparison with the cost of headworks in the Rakaia river, necessary to give such supply, whether these works are undertaken along the terraces near Barrhill, or lower down near the Rakaia township. At all events, if the Council should entertain this new proposal, it is evident that this length of forty miles of channel additional to the E line must be supplied from some source independent of Pudding Hill stream, the supply from which, I fear, will be barely sufficient during the dry season to meet the requirements of the already authorised channels, especially when these are extended further towards the sea. I beg also to state that the proposed deviation of the E line near Barrhill seems to render another line by the. river side there all the less necessary. The works of water supply on the Ashburton and Rakaia plains are now sufficiently advanced to admit of fresh work being undertaken, either in the formation of the authorised loop lines, in the extension of main races within the rateable district, or in the formation of part of the E line next Rakaia as the Council may decide. Planting.—The planting of blocks surrounding the County sale yards has just been completed by Sealy Brothers. Waterton Drainage.—The floodgates on line of main drain have now been fixed, and the) bridge at Waterton and Beach road will be raised in order to facilitate the passage of floodwater.

Foot Bridge Hinds River.—As requested by you I have met the Assistant Railway Engineer at the site of this bridge, and he is prepared to recommend to the General Manager that the Council be authorised to carry out the work as they contemplate, viz., by making the proposed footbridge an attachment to the present railway bridge as shewn in accompanying plan. Tne total length will be 483 feet, and the expense probably a little in excess of the sum voted by the Council. I shall be prepared with a detailed estimate in a day or two. Rangitata Traffic Bridge Extension.—Operations will be started at this work forthwith. Men and materials are now on the ground, and I expect the pile driving'will be commenced to-morrow.

Respecting the granting of an extension of time to P. Sullivan, contractor for the water tanks, after a letter had been read asking for an extension of time, on the ground of bad weather and the poor gravel in the nearer pits, it was resolved —“ That the contract be cancelled, and the work given to Rattray and Co. ” It was resolved —“ That in the case of extraordinary damage done to any of the water races constructed by the Council, nothing contained in the deed of agreement shall be held to bind landowners to repair the said extraordinary damage at their own cost.”

Resolved that a certified copy of this resolution be attached to the deed and carried round.

Respecting the Methven drainage it was resolved that the Engineer be instructed to repair fords, &c. It was resolved that as no persons interested are injured by so doing, the Council will approve of the alteration in D2.

Mr Dowding waited on the Council re signing the deed for line E. The Chairman told Mr Dowding that the matter would be considered later on in the day. Mr Coster read a petition from certain ratepayers re alteration of E line. The matter was adjourned until the petition was presented. Resolved that E line be next undertaken, provided the deed of agreement is signed by the ratepayers. HINDS FOOT BRIDGE. It was resolved—“ That the Engineer be authorised to call for tenders for the Hinds foot bridge on the plan proposed ; tenders to be in by next meeting of the Council.” RANGITATA TRAFFIC BRIDGE. Mr Higgenson’s report of 10th April and replies, and a letter from Mr E. G. Wright, M.H.R., on the same subject, were read. HOSPITAL. The report of Mr Fooks, artchitect, on the repairs needed at the Hospital, was read. It showed that inter alia the whole of the roofs would need to be stripped, and replaced in a substantial manner. slates previously used were American, of very inferior quality, they did not sufficiently overlap, and zinc instead of copper nails had been made use of.—lt was resolved to sanction an expenditure of LIBO for roofing and L 25 for other repairs, and also for the doors ; also, that copies of all the reports be sent to Mr Bruce, in order that he may furnish an explanation. Mr Bruce’s report re work done was read. It was resolved with regard to the planting along the water-race, referred to in Mr Bell’s report—“ That the Council wishes to make no restrictions as to planting along the water-race, but would warn landowners that in the event of damage by tree roots they would bo requested tp remove them. ” PETITIONS. Mr Coster read a petition from Mr Allan and others, respecting water supply at Rakaia. It was resolved on the motion of Mr Coster, seconded by Mr Bullock-** 1 That

the divergence be granted as far as wbjsgg 28046.” TENDERS. Moved by Mr Coster, seconded by Mr Bullock—“ That tenders be called for E. Line. Tenders to be accepted when the necessary document is signed. ’’—Carried. It was agreed that in the opinion of the Council the deed required from the residents, within the rateable district will meet the resolution of April 6, 1881. ACCOUNTS. Accounts amounting to about L 450 were passed for payment. CORRESPONDENCE. I The following correspondence was read I and dealt with as under : From Murdoch Bruce and others, Seafield, stating that the settlers living near the sea have great difficulty in getting water for their stock, and asking that the water-race on the Seafield road be continued to the sea.—Agreed that the prayer of the Seafield. petitioners be granted as soon as possible. An opinion was read from Messrs Branson and Purnell, stating that it is not obligatory on the Council to take bonds from poundkeepers. From David Jackson, offering to continue to act as ferryman at the Lower Rangitata ferry, Ealing, on the same terms as before.—lt was resolved that the Geraldine Council be asked if they are willing to assent to Jackson’s re-appoint-ment, and if they be so, that he be reappointed. From S. E. Poyntz, hon. sec. of the Industrial Association, asking for grant in aid for building a museum in the public Domain—Resolved that this Council regret that they have no funds available for he purpose. . From 0. R. Mackie, South Rakaia, objecting to sign the deed required for the Rakaia water supply, and stating that though the owners of land on the Rakaia river strongly object to be included in the rateable area, they are willing to pay rates for maintenance of water races when constructed by the Council. —Resolved that Mr Mackie be informed of the Council’s resolution already passed. From the County Engineer of Westland, respecting the tolls levied on the Christchurch road.—lt was resolved that the Government be asked if this road is maintained by Government subsidy, and if so that this Council protest against any subsidy being paid so long as any tolls are charged by the Westland County County Council. LEVELS. The Engineer was instructed to take preliminary levels for the Hinds-Rangi-tata Water Supply, and take other necessary steps towards commencing the work. ASHBURTON BRIDGE. It was resolved, on the motion of Mr Bullock, seconded by Mr Cameron—- “ That the Government be asked to erect i several escape ways on the Ashburton railway bridge. ” PLANTING RESERVES. Resolved —“ That the Government be ; asked to make 15 chain reserves for planning pu.poses between the Ashburton r and Rangitata, across the plains, on Crown lands, not further apart than 5 . miles. ” . Resolved —“ That the Chairman be re- : quested to see the Chairman of the ; Domain Board re the recommendation of i the Planting Committee, requesting a • grant in aid.” : [Left sitting.]

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ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 388, 6 July 1881

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ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 388, 6 July 1881

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