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Annual Meeting. The third annual meeting of this Board was held this morning at Moffat’s Mill, Wakanui. Mr Hugo Friedlander, Chairman of the Board, presided. There were about twenty-five ratepayers present. The Chairman read the following report of work done, etc., by the Board during the past year : —ln laying before you our third annual report there is but little for me to say. The annual statement of receipts and expenditure, etc., published

in the papers gives an explanation showing in what parts of the district the money has been spent. No. 1 Division (the suburbs) has a balance in hand of L 258 Is lid. No. 2 Division, representing the district between the River Ashburton and Butterick’s road, has had most of its year’s revenue expended, and has a balance in hand of LlO7 15s 6d in its favor. No. 3 Division, being the northeast portion of the district between Butterick’s road and the Chertsey Boundary road, has a balance in its favor of L 485 3s lid, which will be absorbed by contracts that are in hand. Making in all a

balance of Xjßsl Is lid to tbe Beard s credit, of which LSOO is at fixed deposit and the balance at current account. You will see by this that the revenue has been expended in accordance with the rateable value of the several Divisions. With regard to the cost of management, such as salary for Clerk, Surveyor, Valuator, and Collector, this comes to 13 per cent on amount expended, and by including! with this general expenses, such as advertising, printing, insurance, etc., it reaches about 19 per cent, which I think is satisfactory, as showing that the money well spent at a reasonabls cost. Referring to out-

standing rates, the collector informs me that they will all be collecte.l, and would have been so before, but being mostly properties that have been changing hands and owners difficult to find, has consequently prevented them from being in before the close of the year. I may state that we have now 69 miles 21 chains metalled—39 miles 57 chains formed only, and 3 miles 74 chains of footpaths made in the district. At the meeting of the Board held in September, an application

for part of shingle reserve 1420, for educational purposes, was received from the Wakanui School Committee. The Board at that time declined to comply with the request, but on second consideration it was resolved that the part of the reserve applied for would be of more public service as a school ground than as a shingle reserve, ami has recommended that it be dedicated in compliance with the request. You will be called on to-day to elect two members in the room of Messrs James Brown and David Wilson, who retire by rotation. The balance-sheet was also read. Mr Megson asked whether the liabilities stated included the contracts in hand? The Clerk replied that they did. The Chairman alluded to the econorpical way in which the Board had worked, and also to the way in which the rates had been paid, only a very small amount being new outstanding, most of which was collectable.

Mr Beckett asked the reason why a certain cutting in the road leading to his property had not been made yet ? He said he could not get at his gate in consequence.—The Clerk said that he had told Mr Beckett that if he made the cutting good, he could keep the crop on the Board’s land, which was occupied by him, as an equivalent. Mr Beckett said that he had paid his rates twice last year, and he would like to know what he would do this year, as he believed the Board intended to sue him. ’"he Clerk said that Mr Beckett had paid his rates only once to the Board, and they were not responsible for rates paid to anyone else. —Mr Beckett said he paid the former Clerk to the Board (Mr Wilkie),

and Messrs Friedlander Bros, had paid them also on his (Beckett’s) account. The Chairman said that Mr Beckett had his remedy if the case was as stated. Mr Megson proposed the adoption of the report and balance-sheet. He thought that something ought to be done to have the district formed into wards, or have a separate district declared. This was owing to the unfair way in which the Board’s meeting place was situated at present, viz., at the extreme end of the district. He would recommend a rate of 3d in the L, instead of Is, which would meet the exigences of the district. He should recommend the sale of the Road Board office, and to practise every economy in respect to the management of the Board. Mr David Wilson said he agreed with Mr Megson. He thought that it was rather unfair to have the meetings held as at present He thought that a special rate should be struck when any expensive work was required, and any future rates struck tobe one-half as much as was at presentthe case. [Hear, hear.] He would second the adoption of the report and balancesheet. —Mr Murdock Bruce agreed with the last speaker, and considered a 3d or 6d rate was quite sufficient. He thought that Seafield was not fully represented on the Board. —The Chairman said that the matter of removing the Board’s premises to some other spot was an old complaint of Mr Megson’s. He considered that the offices of the Board could not be sold to advantage at present, and he he thought

that as moat farmers had to cpme into Ashburton to transact their business, the present position of the Board’s premises could not be bettered. He alluded to the fact of the rate of Is last year which was found to be necessary. The proportion of the funds of the Board was made as fairly as could be. He was surprised at the remark made by Mr D. Wilson, because as a member of the Board ho should have brought the matter of the removal of the Board’s office before the Board’s meetings, if the ratepayers desired it.— Mr Wilson said that he did not cast any reflection on the Board, but merely to endorse the remarks made by Mr Megson. The report and balance-sheet was then read and adopted. The election of members in the place of Messrs David Wilson and James Brown then took place. Mr Joseph Megson "was proposed by Mr M. Bruce, seconded by Mr Hardwick.

Mr David Wilson was proposed by Mr Megson, seconded by Mr D. Margetts. Mr Thomas Walsh was proposed by Mr A. Leatham, seconded by Mr B. Connor. Mr James Brown was proposed by Mr Meredith Wilson, seconded by Mr Leatham. Mr Megson and Mr Walsh briefly stated their views on Road Board matters. Mr Wilson said he would go in as an independent member, and would do his best to economise in the working of the Board, but unless the ratepayers generally wished it he should not be in favor of having the district divided into wards. Mr Brown said that as there was some dissatisfaction on the plains he should be in favor of having the district divided into wards, still, under the present circumstances, the rates were not heavy, and if a petition or resolution had been sent in asking the ratepayers at this meeting to get the Board to divide the district he should support it to the best of his ability. He thought that a 3d rate would be sufficient for the plains, and a Is rate would be fair for this part. He would do his best if returned to serve the interests of the district. The Chairman said that the plains people seemed dissatisfied with the way in which the money had been expended. If the Seafield people would return a member to look after their interests, they should do so now. Messrs Bruce and Megson said that they did not find fault with the present Board. What they wanted was for the money standing to the credit of the Seafield division to be spent in that portion of the district, and not kept in hand, in order that the roads might be made good. The Returning Officer (Mr Charles Fooks) then called for a show of hands, and the following was the result : Joseph Megson ... ... 17 James Brown ... ... 10 James Walsh ... ... 8 David Wilson ... ... 5 A poll was demanded on behalf of Mr Walsh, but as the result would not be known before 5.30 p.m., we are unable to state who are the successful candidates until to-morrow.

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Bibliographic details

WAKANUI ROAD BOARD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 526, 5 January 1882

Word Count

WAKANUI ROAD BOARD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 526, 5 January 1882

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