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The ordinary monthly meeting of the Ashburton County Council was held today. Present—Mr W. 0. Walker (Chairman), and Messrs Julian Jackson, H. T. Winter, E. S. Coster, E. G. Wright, T, Bullock, Duncan Cameron, and John Grigg. ENGINEERS REPORT Was read as follows: — Rakaia and Ashburton Plains Water Supply. —The various contracts of earthwork and the concrete tanks for E line of water race next Rakaia river are now complete. The culverts on that line, as also the fluming over the D Creek, and several smaller flumes at different places, will be finished within a fortnight, so that the Council’s scheme of water supply for the portion of the plains situated between the Ashburton and Rakaia rivers will then be practically complete, so far as the main races are concerned. Some of the fords and outlets for culverts require to be overhauled, but a short time will suffice to put all these to rights. I would beg to suggest that the subsidiary channel marked B on plan be now put in hand. It seems more necessary than the others, as the main lines bounding the district which this

line would serve are four miles apart at the widest point. The works of the other branch

lines might follow, if it is found that the supply for the different races will stand out during the next few months, which period may be taken to represent the driest time of the year. The present supply is no criterion for a period of drought, but there is as much flow in the channels now as would supply some extra mileage seawards in each of the races for the time being, at least. I find the loss by percolation in the various channels from Methven downs is generally about 50 gallons per mile per month, and in the lower end of the Dromore race about one-half more than this, but that race is not yet in thorough working order. I will take the earliest opportunity of going into the question of proposed auxiliary supply from Gunn’s creek, in the Mount Hutt district.

Ashburton-Rangitata Water Supply,—Of the 145 miles of water races authorised by the Council for this portion of the plains, I have marked off the lines in detail over a distance of 80 miles. . Some of the contractors are now at work on that scheme, and others will start within a week. I have taken levels near Mr Twentyman’s, and at several other places where minor alterations were required, and the different works will now go forward without intermission. I have made an examination of the Westerfield district, which the Council has decided to supply with an additional race, and have marked on the map the general line on which I should propose that this race be formed. I shall have to take levels over a great part of it before fixing the precise route. With reference to the line north of the Hinds river, I beg to submit for the Council’s approval an alteration of that line which seems to be desirable, in order to give a service which would extend to some of the more central sections. This route is shown by dotted blue lines on plan. I have prepared plans, etc., of the head works at the South Ashburton river, also flumes required for Hinds river, and tenders for these works will be placed before you to-day. 1 have also obai ned all the necessary data for preparing the plans of head-works, fluming, &c., at the proposed source of Limestone Creek branch race, but as the works in the river and over the first half mile of race would be somewhat expensive for the mileage to be served (costing probably about L 400), it has occurred to me that I this portion of the scheme might be left in abeyance till the head-work and races in connection with the authorised Montalt scheme are finished. You will observe that a branch of the Montalt scheme is shewn to connect with the Limestone Creek branch, and it is just possible that the Montalt supply may suffer for both, though of the two the yield at Limestone Creek is much the larger. The latter, however, cannot be made available for supplying that portion of the plains situated between Mr Twentyman’s and the hills. I should therefore propose to form the Limestone Creek branch race as contracted for, but not enter into 'any contract at present for headworks at Limestone creek. Dawson’s Creek. —Having gone over the route of this creek between Dawson’s road and the sea, it appears that the damage which takes place in the vicinity of the road during periods of flood is mainly caused by the insufficient water-way of bridge at Waterton road, and the want of proper inlets and outlets there, with wider floodgates. On either side of road for some distance the general course of the creek is almost parallel with the line of road, and the side drains of road, being almost on a level with the creek, the floodwater has great facility for flowing on to the road and adjoining property. If a capacious ford were formed in line of bridge, the floodwater prevented from entering the side drains, and a new outlet cut for ten or twelve chains, with sufficient fall, I am of opinion that but little more requires to be done. The present creek bed is somewhat too tortuous, but it is tolerably capacious and well defined throughout, and Mr Dawson, the owner, through whose land the creek passses, nearly all the way from Dawson’s road to the sea, asserts that the floodwater is troublesome to him only for a day or two during very high floods, but it very soon subsides, and does no permanent I am of opinion that it would.- be advantageous also to substitute a ford for the bridge on the line of that creek at Beach road. This seems to be a matter to be dealt with by the Road Board, and not by the County Council, unless an entirely new cut is to be made from near Mr Dawson’s house to the sea,- for which, I think, there is at present no great necessity. Hinds River Improvement.—The contractors are making fair progress with Nos, I and 3 contracts, about 80,000 cubic yards of the former, and 4,000 cubic yards of the latter having been excavated at the end of the month, Methven and Winchmore Drainage. — The bridge at Thomson’s track, over floodwater channel will be finished to-morrow.

Upper Rangitata Bridge.—The workmen were employed for some time in re-erecting the temporary gangway, which is now available for traffic, but the pile driving has again been resumed, and is progressing satisfactorily. Fifty piles have now been driven. Plantation Blocks.—The fencing of these has been satisfactorily completed, but the process of ploughing is going on in a rather fitful fashion, some of the contractors not sticking to their work regularly on account of the stony nature of the ground. The blocks already prepared are being laid down in gum and wattle seed, and all those between Ashburton and Hinds rivets will be finished by the 20th of this month.

Wakanui Water Supply.—l hope shortly to go into the details of this scheme, meantime the ratepayers seem desirous that the races should not be taken within theit fence lines, but along the roads.

Tinwald Creeks.—With reference to the complaint of Messrs Graham, Smith, Gudsell, and others as to scarcity of water in creeks Nos. I and 2, the Upper Ashburton Road Board are now putting in boxes for the purpose of equalising the summer supply over the three creeks nearest to Tinwald, and these works, when finished, should have the effect of keeping such a supply in all of the creeks as would give a constant service to all the owners situated towards the lower end of the creeks. With regard to the Rakaia plains water supply and the loop line (B 1), it was moved by Mr Coster, seconded by Mr Bullock, and carried—“ That the Council proceed with the extension of the main lines towards the sea, and that a committee, consisting of Messrs Wright, Winter, and the Chairman be appointed to fix the lines, so that tenders may be called for the next meeting. It was also resolved that tenders be invited for subsidiary lines, B 1, D 1, E 1, and D 2. It was also resolved that the water be diverted from the test channel, so as to run through part of rural sections 28276, 282, 77, and be returned again to the original channel, provided .the owners interested pay half the cost of crossings, road and railway lino. ” RANGITATA AND ASHBURTON PLAINS WATER SUPPLY. Be Mr Harper’s land. The Engineer’s proposed line was approved of. Resolved that the route be as recommended by the Engineer, north of the Hinds passing “ ring pole ” H, indicated by dotted line. HEAD-WORKS. A letter received from Mr J. C. Bell, re the Hon. Mr Peter’s land, was read, and it was resolved that Mr Peter be asked what consideration he will convey to the Council the land required for the water and head-works. The Council will proceed, failing an agreement is arrived at, to acquire the land under the Public Works Act. RANGITATA AND ASHBURTON WATER SUPPLY. It was resolved that the Engineer’s recommendation re head-works, Limestone creek, be approved of. Dawson’s creek. —lt was resolved that a copy of the paragraph re the above bo sent to the Longbeach Road Board. NOTICE OP MOTION. The consideration of Mr Grigg’s notice of motion re reserves was postponed, UNIFORM VALUATION. Mr Jackson proposed, Mr Walker seconded, and it was carried—“ That, in the opinion of this Council, it is desirable to have a uniform valuation of rateable property in the County, and the various Road Boards be asked to pay the cost, and use the valuation for their respective districts.” RANGITATA TRAFFIC BRIDGE. ' A letter was read from the Public Works Office, Wellington, re a letter from Mr Wakefield, M.H.R., relative to the Rangitata Traffic Bridge, and stating that I the Minister would be glad to receive any

remarks the Council might think right te make. . In reply to this a letter from the Chairman of the County Council was _ read* stating that the letter of the Minister would be laid before the next meeting of the Council The Council had every con-* fidonce in their Engineer, and from his reports understood that the piles were going down very satisfactorily. With regard to Mr Wakefield’s letter, the writer thought the same had been written in a strain of exaggeration, and he was somewhat surprised that the Government should request the Council to reply to statements made during the excitement of a general election. A. letter from Mr Baxter, County Engineer, addressed to the Chairman of the Council, with reference to Mr Wakefield’s letter of Oct. 7 last to the Minister for Public Works re the Upper Rangitata Bridge was then read. Mr Baxter, in criticising Mr Wakefield’s letter, said that out of 50 piles driven 39 were successfully driven, that the 12 piles which broke are driven beyond the reach of the scour. The proportion of piles broken was getting less as the work proceeded. Mr Wakefield’s statement that the river bed is strewn with broken piles (loud laughter) might be taken therefore as a figure of speech merely. In about six weeks time the pile-driving would be finished, and in the meantime the temporary gangway having been re-erected was available for public traffic. It was then resolved, on the motion of Mr , Wright, seconded by Mr Winter—- “ That a copy of the Council’s Engineer’s report be sent to the Minister for Public Works.”

It waa also resolved, on the motion of Mr Grigg, seconded by Mr Jackson—- “ That the Council see no grounds for submitting the principle of construction of the Bangitata traffic bridge to any more engineers, as about two-thirds of the piles are already driven, and that the Chairman forward to Government a letter of explanation with the Engineer’s report.” EXTENSION OP TIME. David Ross wrote asking for extension of time to finish contract No. 2 for culverts, owing to delay in getting proper timber. Granted. WAKANUI WATER SUPPLY. Mr James Brown wrote, forwarding a resolution passed at a public meeting held at Wakanui re water supply, and which pledged the leaidenta to pay half cost of same. The writer <idded that he had been requested to urge the prosecution of the necessary works as soon as possible. COMPLIMENTARY. Mr J. H. Twentyman wrote from Christchurch thanking the Council for their kindly and favorable consideration of hia several letters re water supply on the Shepherd’s Bush district. The works decided on and the deviations consented to would be of infinite service to the district, and would, be trusted, largely increase its stock-carrying capacity. In conclusion, he ventured to congratulate the Council on the far-sightedness, public spirit, and liberality of the works undertaken by them. ASHBURTON DOMAIN BOARD. A letter was read from the Secretary to the above, requesting that the Council would, pay to the credit of the Board into the Bank of New Zealand the sum granted by the Council some time since for planting purposes in the Domain grounds and about the Hospital. The matter was left in the hands of the Chairman. HONORARIUM. Resolved, on the motion of Mr Wright, seconded by Mr Coster—“ That the usual honorarium be granted to the Chairman.” REPRESENTATION. Resolved, on the motion of Mi Grigg, seconded by Mr Bullock—" That, having regard to the re-construction of the Lyttelton Harbor Board, this Council take the necessary steps to again urge the claims of this Council to be represented on the Board.” It was resolved —“ That a memorial be forwarded to Government setting forth the grounds of the claim, same to be accompanied with a schedule showing quantity of grain and wool shipped at the port of Lyttelton from the County of Ashbin ton during the past year. : RAKAIA-METHVBN RAILWAY. A letter was read from the Public Works Office, Wellington, stating the proportion of the cost of the line to be raised by the County of Ashburton, for the year, would be L 2,611 10s sd, to meet which the levying of a special rate, in terms of District Railways Act, would be necessary. It was resolved that the matter stand over for the present, and also that the Government be asked how the expenses of collecting this rate are to be provided for.

COMPENSATION WANTED. From T. Bourke, claiming compensation for alleged loss of time while carrying out a contract, through the non-deli-very of timber. The matter was left to the Engineer to see to. COUNTY SUBSIDY. It was resolved that application be made to Government for the subsidy payable to the County under clause 11 of the Appropriation Act, 1881. TENDERS. The following tenders were accepted : Dam and Headworks Ashburton—Cooper ■Bros., L 174 lls. Fluming, North Hinds —Machon,L37d 16s Bd. Fluming, South Hinds—Machon, L 759 13s 4d- Mr Halestine’s (Tinwald) contract for dog collars was accepted at 6d, and for re-badging same at 2£d. Accounts. The usual accounts were passed for payment. An account of Ll 4of Messrs Montgomery’s for cement was held over until next meeting. WATER-RACES AND PRIVATE LAND. Moved by Mr Jackson, seconded by Mr Coster, and carried—“ That persona whose land the County Council’s waterraces ran through may be permitted to utilise the same for driving water wheels, whenever the same can be done without altering position or efficiency of channels or loss of water, subject to the approval of the Engineer. POLLING BOOTHS For the general election were fixed as follows : Ashburton Riding, County Sale-yards and Longbeach Road Board Office; Upper Ashburton Riding, Greenstreet Schoolroom, Maronan Homestead; South Rakaia Riding, South Rakaia and Chertsey Road Board Office; Mount Hutt Riding, Barr Hill, Mount Hutt Road Board Office, Methven; Mount Somers Riding, Road Board Office and Alford Forest Main School. NOTICE OF MOTION. Mr Jackson tabled the following notice of motion for next meeting—“ That the County Council undertakes and contributes a sum of money towards the work of diverting the storm-water at Highbank, as proposed by Mr Hall, of South Rakaia Road Board, provided such scheme is approved by the Engineer to the Council, and provided that the Road Boards of South Rakam and Mount Hutt will agree to pay the balance in proportion to the area of land benefited in each district, such proportion to be ascertained by the Chairman m such Boards and the Chairman of the County Council.’’ The Council then adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

COUNTY COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 491, 2 November 1881

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COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 491, 2 November 1881

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