WAKANUI RIVER DISTRICT.
A meeting of the ratepayers In the Wakanui River District w*a held m the aohoolroom, Wakanat, on Monday even* Ing, to consider the question of raising a loan for protective purposes. Mr Jab Brown waß voted to the ohalr. He stated that as Chairman of the Board he had do oplalon to express on the question. The Board had resolved, on the motion of Mr Thomas, to hold this meeting. Personally he would prefer borrowing money at 5 per cent nnder the "Government Loaus to Looal Bodlpj Aot, to paying a heavy annual rate. He presumed that Mr Thomas would have some proposition to lay before the meeting. Mr E. Thomas said that from close obnervation of the river he had come to the conclusion that the annual raie would be insufficient to do any effectual good— in faot It would be little short of throwing money away. The land at the present time was washing away at a fearful rate, riuob. banks as the Board were going to ereot would last but a ahort time. He had no motion to propose and would like 10 hear what others had to say, Mr dole said that he ezpeoted the Board would have had something definite to lay before the meeting. Since they hed not, he would venture to propose " That this meeting strongly objeot to borrowing money for protective works." He was not opposed to borrowing money on the favorable terms mentioned by the Chairman, if he was sure thai It would be economically expended, but he was not sure about that ; besides, he thought the olasslfioatloa was not all that it ought to be He would oppose borrowing money until he knew how it was to be expended, and In what proportion the parties benefited would have to be rated to baok the loan. The motion was seconded by Mr Maxwell, who tt ought that the Board should attend to the overflow only, sad let every one protect his own land from being washed away. «. Mr Leatham was muoh of the flame opinion as the last speaker. He was one of the earliest settlers m the district. The river- had been making continual en* croaobment m the direction of Mr S, Brown's. In times past it enproached on tuaaook land, but the, owner did not live m the district, and m oonsequeoca not so much notloe was taken of it. But when It came Into oaltlvated paddocks and washed away the land, In spite of the effort q of the owner to prevent It, muoh qolbb wa.B made. He thought a bank to stop the overflow was all that was wanted, for It the? protected Mr S. Brown's land fro'^H^nff washed away, he oould see no reason why settlers farther flown the river — whose land was washing away just as quickly as Mr Sam Brown's— should not be protected as well. Mr Olephane was also opposed to borrowing money ; he bellbved it would be squandered. When they had to put their hands m their pockets and poll the money oat at once, it awakened the vigilance of the ratepayers, and made them keen orltioa of all that went on about the river j but if they got the money easily, es a loan, they would quietly go to sleep and awaken up and have a good growl after it would be too late 60 remedy their own Impr'ovldenoe, Mr Hill oould not understand the last speaker. Mr Olephane was a member of the Board, and if he did his duty he (Mr Hill) did not think there was any more fear of the loan being badly spent than the rates. He would support a loan, be* cause it appeared to him to be sound economy to do so. Why should they burden themselves to the last straw for a few years, with .the coat of what he thought, and hoped would be for the benefit uf the next generation I He thought the supporters of the motion were standing to their own light He would oppose the motion. Mr Da*ld Wilson wou ia oppose the motion, and sal* '.hat If [the Board were going to *- 0 an ythlng they should borrow "Ziotej and do something substantial at once. He would advooate borrowing about £1000 to be expanded In some substantial groins. Nothing else, m his optnlon, wonld ever save the district, Mr McDowell said groins were of no übb, and to bnild groins would be only throwing money a^ay. He asked why did the Board not proteot the banks Tie bad 3een works on the Orarl superior to groins and thought if suoh proteotlve works were elected here they would rave the baoka and be muoh better than groins, Mr M. Wilson would oppose the motion. He thought it was of no uee to build banks alone. The Board would have to pay Mr 8. Brown for his land. The continual purchasing of land — at least giving compensation — would, he thought, be more expensive than putting m a groin or two. In replying to questions the Chairman stated the amount that had been expended on the river. He did not know what compensation the Board would have to give Mr S, Brown. That was a very important question. Public bodies were looked upon as fair game, and had generally to pay sweetly for interfering with private property. He thought a loan would be the best, and that it would be just as carefully expended as the rates. The whole matter rested on what was proposed to be done with the money — the nature of the works— and the classification of lands. Mr Cole'i motion was then put to the met ting and carried by one rote. Mr Thomas said the Chairman had a vote, and also a casting vote, , The Chairman declined to exercise his vote under the circumstances, and declared the motion carried. On the motion of Mr Thomas, seconded by Mr Wilson, a vote of thanks was passed to the Chairman, and the meeting adjourned.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1978, 24 October 1888
WAKANUI RIVER DISTRICT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1978, 24 October 1888
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