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The ordinary monthly meeting of the County Council took place to-day. Present— Mr W. 0. Walker (chairman), McFarlane, Bullock, Lambie. chairman’s statement. The Chairman reported as follows ;—I received since last meeting the resignation of Mr H. Friedlander, one of the Councillors in the Ashburton riding, and of Mr D. Cameron, one of the Councillors for the Mount Somers riding, and on receipt of the above I instructed the Returning Officer to hold elections to supply the vacancies. The Returning Officer reports to you that Mr Thos. Taylor has been elected in the place of Mr H. Friedlander, and Mr Andrew McFarlane in Mr Cameron’s place. I have received several anwers to the circular issued to the County Councils in this island re collection of grain statistics, and the Selwyn and Akaroa County Councils are the only ones up to the present time who have stated their willingness to co-operate with you in this matter. The Bruce County Council informs us that they will take no action, as the returns would be too late to be of any practical value for that part of the colony. While on this subject I may say that a letter from the Colonial Secretary will be placed before you, asking you to explain more clearly how you propose to get statistics, especially from persons who have private threshing machines. The circular from the Government re the improvement of the position of local governing bodies, a copy of which you have been furnished with, will be under your consideration to-day. The Government, as you will see, state that they do not consider it advisable to take any action in altering the present Licensing Act, so as to avoid the great present expense incurred, to which you drew the Government’s attention. A letter from from the Commissioner of Crown Lands will bo laid before you, advising me that Mr Rolleston will consider the proposal re contribution for water-races going through Crown lands, in any fresh legislation on the subject of the disposal of lands ; and in the meantime asks you to point out any blocks of land likely to be effected thereby, and steps will bo taken to have them dealt with as lands of special value. The Planting Committee is called together today, and will report to you during the sitting.—The report was approved. engineer’s retort

This report was read as follows:

Ashburton and Rakaia Plains Water Supply: The water-races over the entire district are continuing to act efficiently, and the service in each of the races is now reaching to the lower end next the sea, with the exception of a short distance at the lower end of forks of E line, which is not yet fully charged, but very considerable improvement has taken place in the supply of that district since last meeting of Council. The mileage of these forked lines (including the additions which were latest formed) is of such extent that the main from Mount Harding to Barrhili may have to be somewhat enlarged in order to supply the branches below the main line of railway as fully as might be desirable, but this need not be undertaken so long as the service in these lines continues to improve as at present. A portion of the original creek in Pudding Hill district should, however, lie enlarged without delay, as some . overflow is,

taking place on Mr Henderson’s rural section 25,109, doing damage. The extension of storm channel forming line of Chapman’s creek, about whi ;h I reported some months ago, is also a work which should be put in hand now, as the races there are more or less liable to injury from this source during every period of rainy weather. The cleaning out of this channel would be less than a mile in length, and the expenses would not exceed L4O. There is already a suitable ford at the road crossing, and the improvement would be a boon to the district as well as a safeguard to the water-races. In several instances owners are ploughing up too close to the races, thus not only causing considerable loss of water by filtration through the sides in the fresh soil turned up, but doing considerable damage also ■to the flood banks and sides of the races by the operation of turning the horses and implements at the edge of the channel It would

be well to fix a limit for cultivation at about three yards clear of the race, if, indeed, the Council do not stipulate for the full width of half a chain being left intact in all cases. The works of the auxilliary supply from north Ashburton river to Methven are progressing satisfactorily, Mr John De Dergin, who took up No. 1 contract, having already completed two-thirds of his work. Mr De very is about to start on the other sections of earthwork, and no time will be lost in pushing on to completion the works of this main channel. As requested by the Council, I will prepare plans, etc., for the proposed race for Messrs Power, Saville, and others, and will call tenders for next meeting, so that this branch may be made available as soorr as the main works near the river and Devery’s contract are completed. The owners below the contemplated terminal point of this branch are looking forward to its completion to that point, with the view of extending it themselves after passing through Springfield property as arranged. The fencing of road culverts has been completed, as has also the shingling of most of them, I have also had sluices placed at junctions for the better regulation of branch races.—Wakanul Flat Water Supply : The works for this scheme a re now on the point of completion, and wout d have been opened ere this had it not been for the unfavorable weather during last week, which interfered especially with the finishing of the necessary works at the inlet. The races are almost ready, and the water will be turned on in a few days.—Ashburtoa-Rangitala Water Supply : The fluming over the north and south banches of Hinds river has been completed,

and the water is now turned on to the district between the Hinds and Rangitata. The two main races nearest the Hinds are being charged in the first instance, after which the third race will be opened. The water, which is now down about seven miles, is running so far, very freely, and I do not anticipate any stoppage from leakage or otherwise till it passes Maronan. The loop-line from Mayfield downwards is in course of construction, and will be opened when the contributions from owners are all received. Meantime there is only a small balance outstanding. Messrs Dunlop and Furneaux have been making good progress with the headworks at Limestone creek, and these, as well as the branch race to connect with main scheme, should be finished in about three weeks. Messrs Cooper Bros, have been making good progress with the dam and head works in the gorge of South Hinds. Ten days more of working weather would finish the dam, and the works along the terrace are also being prosecuted with fair speed. From the base of the hills at Mount Alto downwards Mr Devery has completed the water races, extending in all to upwards of 30 miles. Messrs Forbes and M‘Gregor are getting on with the fords, but must attain greater speed in order to be ready as soon as the head works in gorge are completed. With reference to the races which were previously in operation between the Ashburton and Hinds rivers, that nearest the Hinds is now running splendidly to the lower end of race, where it terminates in a big gully about three miles short of main line of railway. From this point to the railway it is apparent that a small race must be cut, as the gully referred to will not answer as a carrying medium; and I now beg to ask the Council’s authority to call tenders for this, and also the proposed branch from this channel, to supply the extension asked for by Messrs Aicken. Chatmoss proprietors, and others, and agreed to by the Council on condition of there being water enough. That condition now being fulfilled at the required point, the way seems open for granting the services required. Mr Silcock is more than half finished with the Willowby extension races, but the worst feature of this case is that the water is not likely soon to come down from the Westerfield district to fill them, running as it does over miles of naked shingle. The water in that race has not advanced more than three miles during last month, but, even at the present rate, may be expected at Winslow in about three months, and there is always the alternative of connecting the Willowby extension race with the creek passing Winslow, as originally proposed. Regarding the Branch line between Lismore and Maronan, I have arranged with nearly all the owners as to the route. They are to meet shortly to settle the question of expense, after which a short time would suffice to execute the loop line.—Rangitata Traffic Bridge : I have had some iron caps and a wooden capsill fixed in position, to show the method of attachment of superstructure, and the remaining work can now be carried out by contract so soon as the Council are in a position to authorise it being proceeded with. I have had a few of the worst pieces of the old decking repaired, pending the arrival of 8,000 sucerficial feet of new decking ordered from Oxford, which had to be cut specially, as the required lengths were not procurable otherwise.—Tinwald Creeks : With reference to the representations of Mr Graham and others, I have, as requested by the Council, attended to the matter, and everything is now done which equity could suggest to distribute the supply, short of clearing out the existing creeks, more or less, from beginning to end, and as this is an operation which would

seem to rest with the owners themselves, they should be jointly responsible for the expense of it. Several portions are much overgrown with weeds and watercress, the piece through the Tinwald Domain being amongst the worst. Where the creek passes through Mr Houston’s land, below the railway, it requires, for the purpose of flood drainage, to be enlarged from the Great South road for abou: 15 chains or so, and an auxiliary straight channel made for half a mile further alongside the field fence. There is a drain already there, which only requires enlargement, but the old creek bed would also be available in time of flood, while the natural supply of the creek would be carried in the new straight cut with much less loss than at present. But considering the somewhat limited summer supply from this creek, it seems to me that a better and more reliable service would be obtained by cutting a new race of small capacity along fence lines parallel to the general direction of the creek, thus substituting a small channel as a straight course for the present tortuous creek bed, which is a very unsuitable vehicle for carrying a very small body of water toils lower end, more especially through fields which are ploughed, in which cases the creek bed is ploughed up as well. —Ashburton Bridge Approaches : As instructed by the Council, I have prepared plans and sections of proposed alterations, which I now beg to submit for the consideration of the Council. The general proposal is the widening and shortening of north approach, and having the roadway further removed from the railway, and shifting the gates, etc., from the end of the bridge to the bottom of the approach, With the exception of providing new shingle for roadway, this can all be effected by utilizing the present material in the embankment of roadway, so as to give a width of 37ft. instead of 17ft., as at present. Having referred the proposed scheme to the assistant Railway Engineer, he quite concurs with my views, and I understand the railway department would consent to bear the expense of putting in the necessary cattle stops, shifting gates, fencing, signal boxes, etc., in fact, all except the earthwork, which would therefore fall to be defrayed by the Council, or other public bodies interested in this improvement. 'ldle cost of the earthwork should not exceed LSo. SOOTH RXKAIA WATER SOiTLY.

It was resolved that the Engineer’s lecoramendation re enlargement of race through Mr Henderson’s land be adopted, and the Engineer was instructed to see to same. It was resolved that the extension of storm-water channel (referred to in the foregoing Engineer’s report), should bo granted. PLOUGHING NEAR THE RACES. It was resolved that the Ranger be requested to report as to persons ploughing too near to the water-races. WAKANUI FLAT WATER SUPPLY. It was resolved that the Wakanui Road Board be. applied to for the balance of guarantee by residents in the district due on the above race, and that as soon as the request is . complied with the _water

will be turned on, and all deed of the agree- a ment signed. ' ASHBURTON-RANOITATA WATER SUPPLY. It was resolved with regard to the Ashburton- Raagitata water-race (Mayfield i line), that the water should not be turned I on until the total amount of cost be paid. 1 DEFERRED. It was resolved that the application from Chatmoss proprietors for water be deferred until their promised contribution towards the Hinds river improvement is paid. RANQITATA TRAFFIC BRIDGE. Resolved that the Engineer should be requested to prepare plans for the superstructure of the bridge, and that tenders be called for same as soon as possible. AN OVERFLOW. Mr W. Prebble, Woodland Farm, Wheatstone, wrote complaining of the Wheatstone drain not being able to carry off the flood water, owing to the choked up condition of the drain. Refered to Longbeach Road Board. WIDENING THE BRIDGE APPROACHES. It was resolved that the paragraph of the Engineer’s report refering of the widening of the bridge approacqos should be forwarded to the Borough Council, Upper Ashburton, and Longbeach Road Boards, asking them to contribute a fourth each of the cost of this important undertaking, the Council to find the other fourth and carry out the necessary work. CATTLE YARDS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE. It was resolved'that Mr Bullock be a member of the Cattle Yards Conference Committee, vice Mr H. Friedlander, resigned.

PLANTING COMMITTEE. A meeting of the panting committee was held at two o’clock this afternoon, and their report was laid upon the table. It ran as follows : The committee recommend’that in view of the difficulty of procuring suitable reserves, that proprietors be invited to plant along the lines of water-races, such land being virtually vested in the Council, the Council to grani trees and the proprietors bound to fence to the satisfaction of the Council. In the event o this proposal being carried, the committee would ask for power to invite tenders fo supply of trees, and fix conditions for fencing etc. The committee also ask far continuanc of authority to proceed with planting and con serving blocks already granted, and obtainin] other blocks suitable for the purpose. The report was adopted as read. ASHBURTON DOMAIN.

The Chairman of the Ashburton Domain Board wrote, enclosing a “ Plan for carrying on the Ashburton Domain,” drawn up by Mr Charlton, caretaker. After giving an idea of the assets and lia bilities, the report went on to say tha *' if the County Council could see thei way to give a grant of Ll2O (the balanc being made up by rent of paddock), I tho roughly believe the Domain could be made self supporting, as three four times the quantity of trees could easily be reared that have been reared this year, viz., 6,000, as the ground will be in far better condition and more conveniences at hand, as the seeds last year had to be sown in trended ground, which has no nourishment at all. There are about 600 2 year old trees which can he parted with now, and if the Domain Board do not part with any seedlings this year, there will be SOO or 600 2 year old trees to start with next season. The largest grant was expended in fencing in new nursery, digging ground, seeds, palings, scrim, etc., and" if the above amount were obtained, I thought of making the nurseiy both windproof and dog-proof by paling till the hedge grows up. If time and labor would alosv, I could also rear plenty of shrubs, which might help to defray incidental expenses. I could guarantee to grow 20,000 trees, or more, if necessary, providing I am put on regular wages, and a man to assist allowed me in the busy times, also plant shrubberies about the Domain, clear the trees and keep the grass cut, which would give the Domain quite a showy appearance.—[We have abbreviated this report somewhat, but these are its principal features.) — It was resolved that the Domain should be supported as proposed in the Chairman of Domain Board’s letter, and that the details of the planting bo left with the Planting Committee. OATTLE SALE YAUD3. An extension of a month was granted to the committee of the above to bring up their report on same. PAY-SHEET. The ordinary accounts were passed for payment. PLANTING. The Wakanui Road Board wrote soliciting a grant in aid of planting in the Board’s district. The letter added—- “ The Board, while deploring the fact that its predecessor, the Ashburton Road Board, did not think fit, during the time it was receiving large subsidies, to set aside a sum for this beneficial purpose, cannot, for want of means, take steps in the matter themselves.”—The application was referred to the Planting Committee, as was the matter of planting gravel reserves. GOVERNMENT CIRCULAR.

A circular similar to those addressed to Road Boards and County Councils throughout the colony, asking replies to certain questions affecting the management of the above local bodies, was received from the Government, The Council in its replies to the questions asked said that County chairmans should not be elected as Mayors are; counties should not be enabled to split up, or alter their boundaries without the consent of Parliament, as now required ; one kind of the councillors should retire annually in rotation ; County Councils should be able to make by-laws or any matter subject to their control; counties should not be enabled to create new mad districts, or alter existing ones of their own motion without the consent of

a majority of the ratepayers ; to the question, “ It is desirable to allow of Road Board elections being held in open public meetings, like those of school committees, in districts where the Road Board, by special order, adopts this plan 1” The reply was, “No; no method could possibly be worse than that embodied in the Education Act.” These were the principal queries and answers. GRANT WANTED. The Mount Somers Road Board wrote asking for a grant to the Gorge road. Consideration deferred to next meeting. HOW DOES THE MONEY GO 1 It was resolved, on the motion of Mr McFarlane, seconded by Mr Larabio “ That a return bo made of all county money expended on the various Road Boards of the county.” MORE WATER MANTED. Mr J. Whitelaw, Christchurch, wrote on behalf of Mr D. Scott, owner of R.S. 42453, Upper Ashburton, asking for connection of said reserve into water-race.— Consideration deferred. A RISE WANTED. Mr Hugh Mnirhead, Alford Forest, who is in charge of the water races, wrote, asking that h’s pay might be raised to the old standard—ls per hour—in consequence of the privations endured on the race in the Hinds district. Last week, the applicant said, he had to shift camp no less than live times, and could not even then got as much as a little straw to sleep on.—Referred to Engineer. PETITION. Mr J. G. Cox and a number of others wrote asking for water-race to supply water to twenty-two holdings.—Referred toEngineer to redort. BOUNDARY ROAD.

A letter was read from Mount Hutt Road Board, informing the Council that it wished to have the boundary roads’ management placed in the hands of one of the three Boards, on whom the cosl of its maintenance falls. . The Secretary was instructed . to request the South Rakaia tihtt' Mount Hutt Boards to

.ttend at next meeting of [Council, with a dew to the settlement of the matter. CROWN LANDS. In reply to a request from Mr Marsh* man, the Secretary was instructed to in* form the Minister of Lands what Crown lands are benefited by water-races. ■SET ANOTHER ! Mr Morris’ application for a water-race through his property was deferred. SLAUGHTERING LICENSE. A slaughtering license was granted to Mr Joseph Hunt. GRAIN STATISTICS. The Colonial Secretary wrote asking Council to forward further suggestions as to how the agricultural statistics should be collected. On the motion of the Chairman it was resolved that the Clerk should answer the letter. THE NEW FIRE BRIGADE. From the Hospital Committee, suggesting grant in aid of the new Brigade station on west side of Borough.—Resolved that the sum of L 5 be granted towards the formation of the Brigade. RESERVES COMMITTEE. It was resolved that the the old Reserves Committee be dissolved and the matter of reserves placed in the hands of the Planting Committee. LEAVE OP ABSENCE. Leave of absence was granted to Mr E. G. Wright during the Parliamentary session. m'lban’s deposit. It was resolved that Mr M‘Lean’s deposit be refunded. gould and cameron’s water-race. The Chairman was authorised to affix the County seal to the deed in connection with the above. ADJOUNMENT. The Council then adjourned to July the sth.

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Bibliographic details

COUNTY COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 656, 7 June 1882

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COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 656, 7 June 1882

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