ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The usual fortnightly meeting of the Borough Council was held yesterday evening, in the Council Chamber. There were present—The Mayor in the chair, and Crs Friedlander, Harrison, Ivess, St. Hill, Parkin, Robinson, and Roberts. THE MAYOR’S STATEMENT. The Mayor stated that the present amount of the Bank overdraft was L 777 14s 7d. The rates collected since last meeting had been L 172 2s 6d. The total amount collected to date was L 836 6s 3d. An amount of L 230 remained uncollected. THE NEW RAILWAY STATION. A telegram from Mr B. G. Wright, M.H.R/, was read, stating that the petition for the new railway station should be at once forwarded to the Minister of Public Works, if it was to be of any use. The Mayor stated that the petition had been already drawn up, had been numerously signed, and had been forwarded to Wellington. THE BOROUGH RESERVES. A letter was read from Mr E. G. Wright, M.H.R., stating that he had seen the Surveyor-General, and that the additional Borough reserves would be gazetted immediately. The Mayor mentioned that when he saw Mr Wright and the Surveyor-General in Wellington he had pointed out that these sections, sixteen acres in all, were originally reserved by the Provincial Council. He suggested that they should record a vote of thanks to Mr Wright for the trouble he had taken. On the motion of Cr Parkin, seconded by Cr Roberts, a unanimous vote of thanks to Mr Wright was carried. A vote of thanks to the Mayor for his exertions in the matter was also carried. THAT INSULTING LETTER. A letter from Messrs Matson, Cox and Co., referring to former correspondence, was read, but was not received, on the ground that it was an insult to one of the councillors. PETITION RETURNED. A letter was read from the Upper Ashburton Road Board, returning a petition, and stating that their Board had entered into arrangements for some works on the Main road. It was resolved that the letter should be acknowledged with thanks. OBSTRUCTING THE THOROUGHFARE.
A letter was read from Sergeant Felton respecting the obstruction caused to the street traffic by the loading and unloading of trucks near the railway station. The writer said that the police had no right to interfere, and suggested that the Traffic Manager should be communicated with. Cr. St. Hill moved that the parties obstructing the traffic on the road should be summoned at once. It was not fair that some of the merchants should take the course they were now following. The motion was carried. AN OFFER DECLINED.
A letter was read from Stephen Hutchinson, Dunedin suburban gaa works, stating that he had heard the Council’s Water Committee had more mains than they required, and offering to buy them at the rates in M‘Ewan’a list, with freight added. The Town Clerk read the answer he had sent by direction of the Mayor, declining the offer made, and requesting that a nett cash offer for the pipes, delivered either at Lyttleton or Dunedin, should be made.
On the motion of Cr. Ivess, the action of the Mayor was approved of.
A NUISANCE. A letter was read from R. W. Shearmr n, calling attention to the state of the Courthouse reserve, and complaining that his stables were inundated by the water flowin'" into them from the place mentioned. Cr St. Hill thought that the Council’s men might be employed in putting the place in temporary order until such time as the Government had been communicated with.
Cr Ivess said that there was always a great deal of red tapeism before the Government could be got to do anything. Ho moved—“ That the Surveyor be instructed to fill in the hollow on the Courthouse reserve, and that a demand be made upon the Government to recoup the expenditure upon the same. ” - Cr St. Hill seconded the motion, though he said he was aware that L4O would not do the work.
Cr Parkin said that if tliey-epent money on a Government reserve they would never get it back. They might cut an open drain to cany off the water into a side channel, or perhaps Mr Shearman might hack the water on to the reserve. Cr Harrison remarked that he did not think the Council had any right to interfere in the matter. He believed that, if they wrote to the Government, it would remove the nuisance, and, perhaps, besides that plant some trees in front of the reserves as well. He moved—“ That the Town Clerk write to state that this Council has no power to grant Mr Shearman’s request. ” If the Council did this sort of thing once, they might be called upon to do it in the case of other Government reserves. They had no right to expend the ratepayers’ money in that way. It must be borne in mind that they got no subsidies from the Government now.
The Mayor said that they had no power to interfere, nor would they be justified in doing so if they had. He would move an amendment - “ That the Council regrets it has no power to comply with Mr Shearman’s request, but recommends lie should represent the case to the Police Magistrate. ” Cr Roberts seconded the Mayor’s amendment. There were plenty of other sections overflowed as well as Mr Shearman’s.
Cr Ivess said that it must not be forgotten that this was a public reserve, and that the Council received a large amount of rates from Mr Shearman and other ratepayers in the immediate vicinity. When he moved his resolution, however, as to the Council doing the work, ho did not think it would cost L4O. He thought it would be only a matter of two days’ work. The amendment was carried, Crs Ivess and St. Hill voting against it. Cr St. Hill moved as a further amendment that a small drain be cut to carry off the water. It would not cost much, and if they waited for a fortnight Mr Shearman’s building might be undermined. The amendment, not being seconded, lapsed. Cr Ivess moved a further amendment —“ That Sergt. Felton be -requested to employ prison labor to cut a drain behind the Courthouse to carry off the water from the reserve.” This was a nuisance within Government property, and might be legitimately removed in the way mentioned. Cr St. Hill seconded the motion. The Mayor thought they were wrong in losing so much time over the matter, which was entirely a private one. The Council had no right to spend even 5s
over it. The amendment was lost, only the mover and seconder voting for it. The original motion was then put and carried. PETITION. A petition was read from W. Collins and others, respecting the impassable state of the footpath on the north side of Peter street, between Cass and William streets, requesting that the tussocks should be removed and shingle put down. Mr Collins, who was present, said that his neighbors and he could only get into their premises by going into the street. The footpath was worn down in the centre, and was now only a receptacle of mud and water. On the motion of Cr St Hill, seconded by Cr Parkin, the matter was referred to the Public Works Committee, with power to act. FIRE BRIGADE. Mr Dolman, captain of the Fire Brigade, waited on the Council to know what was to be done in future with regard to pumping ; whether the Brigade were to engage men, or whether the Council would do it. Cr St Hill said that as the Council had appointed a Fire Committee, the application should have been made to them. Mr Dolman said the Brigade had applied to the Fire Committee, but they did not seem to have decidedfon anything. The Mayor read the resolution previously passed on the subject. Mr Dolman said the Brigade were told they could pay the money out of their own funds. He should like to know what their funds were. The Council had promised to pay them LSO, and had only paid L 25. As for getting men to pump at Is per hour, they could not do it. Cr St Hill said it was never promised to pay LSO in advance. The other L 25 would be paid id due time. The subsidy was only for the purpose of relieving the Brigade, because it was hard up and in debt. The Mayor remarked that the rest of the money was not due until September or October. In reply to the Mayor, Mr Dolman said that what the Brigade wanted was for the Council to pay the account it had sent in, and also the L 25, which they considered due in May. Cr Friedlander said that the account sent in was, to say the least, a most extravagant one. In the case of the fire at Peter street, the water did not come until it was too late to be of any use. He thought the management of the Brigade had been very careless. The Council had already paid the Brigade more than he and some other members thought necessary.
Mr Dolman said that the Brigade wanted a schedule for them to work upon.
Cr St. Hill denied that the Council agreed to pay what he might call the beer bill. He did not blame the Brigade for not having the water, but it was the fact that the water was not there until the building was down. He was aware of his own knowledge that the proprietor of the hotel had handed some bottles of whisky to them, and he thought that was quite enough for those at work. Cr Ivess characterised the demand as outrageous in the extreme. The fire lasted only an hour. The Council were not called upon to give the Brigade a night’s spree. The firemen were protecting not merely their neighbor’s properties, but also their own. He could not believe that a crowd would stand by idly, when their neighbor’s property was being destroyed. And there were plenty of people there, for it took place at quite an early hour in the evening. The Council had always shown itself willing to assist the Brigade liberally. Cr Harrison said he believed in the utility of volunteers generally, but judging from his own experience, people would not work as volunteers at a fire. On the occasion mentioned, he almost went on his knees, whilst asking men to work. They came from curiosity to see the fire, and not to work ; they had told him so. The Fire Committee had acted all in a muddle, and he thought they had made a mistake in allowing only Is instead of 2s for pumping. He did say that he thought the bill should bo paid, and that the Council should lay down a definite rule for the future.
■ " mmmmmmmmmaammmmmmmmmmmmm:.. Cr St. Hill strongly censured the action of Cr Harrison in taking so much upon himself. He button-holed . the firemen and gave them to understand that-he was the only man to be consulted in the matter. He was evidently looking forward to next 13th September. (Some altercation here ensued, between Crs Harrison and St. Hill, in the course of which Cr Harrrison referred to Cr St. Hill as quarrelling and swearing at a meeting of the Fire Committee, and Or St. Hill exclaimed. “That’s a lie.” Cr Harrison rose to order.
The Mayor expressed his regret at the turn the discussion had taken. It had been stated at the time the grant of LSO was made, that it was to be paid in two instalments. Mr Dolman, as Inspector of the Fire Brigade, must not squander the ratepayers money. The subject then dropped. engineers’ report.
The following report was read: — i. Outfall Drain.—The late rainy weather has delayed the completion of this work. Only a few of the pipe connections and silt pits remain to be done, and this ought not to take more than a day or two. The contract should be completed this week.—2. The Labor Gang have finished levelling the margin of Mona Square, which is now ready for planting. The ■ re-formation of Tancred street has been commenced. The men have been further engaged in letting off water during the late flood,. attending to water supply and fencing gravel pit on N.E. Town Belt. —3. The Works Committee have fixed the price at sixpence per yard for the surplus clay at the outfall drain, to be removed by the parties requiring it. We find that a reason for the large accumulation of' water in West street on Wednesday last, was _ the stoppage of an outlet for the surface drainage of the Alford Forest road in the Upper Ashburton district, so that it was all diverted into the township. This can be remedied, but it would be as well to provide another channel for storm-water as we suggested before, on the S. W. side of West street.
The report was adopted, with the exception of clause 3, which was referred to the Public Works Committee. INSPECTOR OF NUISANCES’ REPORT. The report of the Inspector of Nuisances was read an adopted, FINANCE. Cr Harrison said that it was necessary that a letter should be written to the Union Bank, engaging, on behalf of the Council, to mortgage the pipes as security for the advance of a second LI,OOO. The Mayor said that something would have to be done that night. Already their banking account was more than L7OO overdrawn, and they had that evening accounts to pass for more than L4OO. There was only about L3OO yet to come in from rates to the end of the year. They would want an additional LI ,000 overdraft. _He had proposed one of LI,OOO some time ago, but it had been made a party question as to whether they should deal with the Union Bank or the Bank of New Zealand. Cr Harrison said that the matter referred to by the Mayor had been already arranged. Cr Ivess denied the statement of the Mayor that their bank arrangements had been made a party question. The Union Bank had given them without demur the accommodation they required, and even now had not insisted on a mortgage of the pipes, but only that the Council should agree to do so if called upon. He moved that a letter be written to the Union Bank, agreeing to the terms verbally arranged. Cr St Hill seconded the motion. The Mayor said he withdrew nothing of what he had stated. He saw no liberality in the Bank granting a LI,OOO mortgage on security worth L 5,000. The Council had, in his opinion, acted in an unbusinesslike manner. The motion was put and carried. , SUNDRY REPAIRS AND SMALL WORKS.
Cr St. Hill moved—“ That a few loads of shingle be put on the footpath at the end of Burnett street.” The place was almost impassable at present. Cr Parkin seconded the motion. The matter was left to the Engineer to attend to. Cr Harrison called attention to the fact that a good many of the trees on the north-west Belt, about a hundred of them, had been seriously affected by the late gales, and were out of the perpendicular. He had not called the Planting Committee together, because they had so little money in their hands. The Mayor said that for so small an amount as that- required, it would be better for the Chairman of the Planting Committee to expend the money, and then ask
the Council to endorse his notion. Or St. Hill said Cr Harrison was not Chairman of the Planting Committee. He had never been appointed. Cr Harrison said he took the place of Cr Saunders. The Mayor said that it had been resolved some time back that William street should be shingled, and also that a lamp should be placed at the corner of Moore street and William street. It was stated that William street was in course of repair, and agreed upon that the lamp should be erected. CULVERTS.
It was agreed that the claims of those who had made culverts before the Borough was constituted, should be considered. THE ENGINEER.
The Mayor referred to the need of coming to an understanding as to their engagement with the Engineer. Cr St Hill said that an account had been sent in by him claiming about LBO. He believed that was all that was owing to date. FIRE ENGINE. The Mayor stated that he had not yet called the proposed public meeting to consider the purchase of a steam fire engine. After some discussion (in the course of which Cr Ivess estimated the cost of a new steam fire engine at L4OO, Mr Dolman at L7OO, and Cr St Hill at LSQO) Cr Friedlander moved—“-That a committee, consisting of Crs Ivess, Parkin, Harrison, and the mover be appointed to canvass the town and see what subscriptions towards a fire engine could be collected, said committee to report at next meeting." This was seconded by Gr Robinson and carried. HOUSE FEED. It was agreed that fresh tenders bo Invited for horse feed. FIRE BRIGADE. Cr Roberts moved —“That the Firo Brigade Committee meet the Fire Brigade Officers, and report at next meeting re wages for men and other expenditure.” This was seconded by Cr Harrison. A second altercation took place between Crs St Hill and Harrison, in the course of which the former charged the latter with mist ©presentation, and handed in his own resignation as a member of the Fire Committee. Cr Harrison moved the acceptance of the resignation, stating that he had been treated by Cr St Hill in a manner unworthy of a gentleman and a man, and he defied Cr St Hill to ask for an enquiry into his assertion as to the language that councillor had used. Cr St. Hill said he did not consider' the remarks of Cr Harrison worth answering, Cr Ivess thought Or Harrison had provoked the undignified exchange of courtesies which tney had witnessed that evening. He thought Councillors should avoid these unpleasantnesses, which only brought the Council into ridicule outside. The resignation was accepted, and Cr Roberts was'appointed a member of the Fire Committee in place of Cr St, Hillj resigned. ACCOUNTS. Accounts amounting to L4OB 8s Id were passed for payment. THE GAS WORKS. The Mayor then read the following notice of motion to be brought forward by himself ;—“That at the meeting of
«j 4 “ i ibil Council on Monday, the Bth pros., Ky- ft hr« Council taks into consideration the E. | advisability of purchasing the gasworks fe :©f the Ashburton Gas, Coal, and Coke p' ' ■ Company, with a view of lessening the p>. j expenditure in connection with lighting the streets.” I The Council then adjourned.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 405, 26 July 1881
ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 405, 26 July 1881
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