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ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL.

» The ordinary monthly meeting of tho Ashburton County Council was held this morning. Present : Messrs W. O. Walker (chairman), E. G. Wright, Jas. Brown, B. S. Coster, 0. J. Harper, <L Grigg, H. Friedlander. chairman's statement, Tbe Chairman said : — The Commissioner of Property Tax has pa : d to the Council's credit the euro of £187 10s on account of subsidies for tho current year. The Rangitta and South Bakaia Road Boar.la state that they have not struck a rate '.his year. Tho Secretary Charitable Aid Board forwards for the Council's information a list of pereontj receding Charitable Aid m the County and Borough. The Secretary Lyttelton Harbor Board writes to say that a meeting of this Council will have to be held on Moaday, the 11th inst. to eleot a member to represent this Counoil on tha Harbor Board. The Returning Officer reports tbat Licensing Committee elections bave been held m the Ashburton, Upper ] Ashborton, and Mount Somers districts. Tbe election of a Oommittee for the Mount Hutt district will take place this month A deputation from tbe Mouat Bomerß Boad Board intend to wait on the Council ( respecting the vote granted by the Council J as a final aettlemeot for repnirß Booth's cutting. Tbe case of trespass by Dalgetty < m Plantation Reserve, near Chertsey, ' came again before the Court during last month, and this time resulted m Dalgetty ' being heavily fined The amount of rates < paid to date is £7,583 8« id, leaving J £343 17s 3d outstanding, fhe Secretary ' for the Executive Committee Canterbury ' Branch Jubilee Exhibition forwards a j ■übscription list, and asks if the Council ' will kindly undertake to collect eubgorip- , tions. lir Allan writes to say tha*; he is ' willing to withdraw his letter re Dolan'B < race read at the hat meeting of the ! Council, and states bis objections to tho J race remain' ng as at present Tbe Tinwald Town Bo rd asks what are the conditione ' attached to the taking over of the gravel 1 reserve near tbe saleyards which the J Council asks the Board to do. Mr Toner ' •eks authority to impound stray cattle ( found m the Hinds riverbed as they 1 destroy bis crop. . EKSnrHBRs' KSPOBT, The Engineer reported as follows :— « Upper Rangitata Traffic Bridge : The re- « decking of the southern end of this bridge to c the extent of 800 lineal feet has now been i aatisfaetorily completed at a cost of £688 t Is 9d. Qereater part of the old timber is now t availabls for sale by tender. Tbe cutting , leading down to the) bridge requires to be B cleared and lbs fencing on embankment made t good. Tbsse works will b 8 execotod at a cost j. not exceeding £5. Ashburton-Rangitata Water Supply: The distriot supplied by the main from South o Ashborton mer has been fairly well served a during last month, with the exception of the r lower end of the Coldstream district, whioh c wfjl not have an adequate supply during the fc dry part of the season until the main is t enlarged to some extent tbe Limestone creek and Hinds gorge souroes being of no servioe whatever for tbe lower districts during the dry season. Ths supply from theße sources Is so low at present that only about a fifth lJ part of the 35,000 acres dependent on them is ■ acrvad- Recently the-Hinds gorge was yield- « m;- only 300 gallons per minute and Limestone eteak 150 gallons per minute not muoh n mors m the aggregate than the flow of a six h inch pipe.— Se far as my investigations ex- I tend at present there is no method of inoreas- j, ing the supply for tbis upper distriot short of T tapping the Rangitata m the rocky gorge a where it is confined Jto a width o( about a , { chain. I should say that with 2£ miles of channeling along the terraces the water oould Im led on to the plain about the south-weet comer ot R.S: 83,141, m volume about 12,000 ' gallons per minute, at a cost, inoluding head- t works, of £6000. An equal supply could be r led ont at Oraaroft for half the amount, say f £3000, but though the latter would be of c great benefit for the lower portion of the i Hinde-Rangitata plain it would of course bo j of no service whatever for the upper portion. t In the meantime thejenlargemont of the main from the South Ashburton river and same * portions o! the Bub mainß would provide a . better supply jfor the districts both north and Booth of tha Hinds river and Coldstream dis- l triets, though it is not probable that is a ' psrmaneoey the distriot alongside the Rangi- * lata river is to bs served from the Ashburton c river. The enlargement of the main and enb « mains would, I estimate, cost about £120, J extending over a distance of 12 mile. _ Mount Somers Water Supply ; Tha oreek m ( Ashburton gorge, the source of this supply is very low, and the water is barely reaching the lower end of the races. Tbe same remark applies to Alfor<Lßtation supply, but the raoes * from Taylor's stream and m Ashburton Forks c am abundantly supplied. Plains Water Supply : The small protective i work authorised by the Counoil near the inlet Oi auxiliary ohannel haß been completed, and i the supply is being kept up m all the races i fetiafaotorily. < Bridge, Terrace Boad Wheatstone: Tne j timber for this haa been ordered and .the , aeeessary works wiil be executed shortly. Stoddart's Oreek : Mr Stoddart will be present to day to state his requirements for ' •reek improvement. Beon Exempt from Rates : Annexed is list ] of races, with dates on whioh eaoh race will < be liable fcr rates, under the conditions ' Originally fixed by tbe Council. i BAKBITIKEI TRAFFI BRIDGE Mr Harper moved that the approach to this bridge he securely fencee. At present wqen aheep were being driven across they got throngh the wires and into the riverbed. For a fence of th'B sort wires were neeleea and he would suggest that battens be need. In regard to the Engineer recommendation that tbe wood taken ont of thr bridge be sold by tender, he (Mr Harper) though a better price would be realised of the timber were sold by auotion on the spot. It was decided to (ell tbe timber Referred to by auction. it was also resolved that tho approach at the northern end of the bridge should fee securely fenced. KAKOITATA WATEB SUPPLY. In reference to the Engineer's propoe*ls IK contained m his report, for pro Tiding a water supply for the Rangitata district, Mr Harper considered that the matter should be referred to a Committee. It was too large a quesiion for the Council to decide without baying all information before them. To his mind there was no donbt that ihe district could never properly be served from the Ashburton or Hinds rivers, and ibat it would be necessary sooner or later to tap the Rangitata The onestion was a large one, and to oarry ont tne work a loan would be necessary, therefore the matter w*s one which fiboold not be referred to a Committee. Mr Wright thonght it was premature for the Council to move m the matter, till the settlers asked them to take aotion. ' Mr Grigg entirely agreed with Mr Wright's remarks. Mr Harper said tbat hs had nothing to do with the Engineer's report m this matter, but he was very glad to see what was therein stated. He had intended to have moved himself, had tho I* ngineer aot drawn attention to the necessity of the work. He might stale that people m tbe distriot referred to were complaining very much of the lack of water, -Mr Coster presumed that the ratepayers had not yet tbe Information contained m the Engineer's report before them— that the wcrk would ooit £6000 The Chairman said that there were two questions In tbe olause, one entailing the expenditure of £6000, and the other paoviding for a temporary supply at a oost of £120. In reply to questions, the Engineer said that the enlargement of the mains at * ooit of £120 wonld furnish sufficient water to meet present requirements, and would also provide a supply for the I Westerfield distriot, that bad been asked I for, for a long time, j Mr Grlgg said there was one matter, which the Council, before undertaking the proposed work, would do' well to goQifctt, Owners of Jowlyiog lied is

the district, sooth of the Ashburton to the Hinds, were orylog out that their properties were seriously affected by the existing Ruppiy. If this was bo, and he wan satisfied that It was, tie Ooauoll should h«iltato bofore It brought a greater b .dy of fiood water on to the iand. Mr Harper moved that the sum of £120 bo spont iv enlarging the miins Ho whs aa'l'fijd that iha races had do effect lv swelling the volumo of water on thi> ' swamp lands. From nhservu'lon ho had B?orrlainod that suriugs had no c:>unoctiou with tha rnooa, and that there was no percolation from the lntter. A. tunnel oonld be driven within • foot of iha bottom of the race, and it would be found that the water did Dot penetrate thnt fsr. If paroolatlou went on to the extent supposed the water woald only run a very ahr rt way down the raoen, and would certainly never p«t as far as the sea, Mr Brown seoondad Mr Harper's motion. If it was foand that the supply affected the settlers prejudicially then the raoas on that sldo would have to be atoppadt Mr Wfi^ht moved as an amendment to Mr Harper's motion that ooosideratlon of the matter be postponed. He mcvnd m this dlreotion so that the members of the 0 mnall might have time to give thiuqaetition the consideration It deserved. I was very well fop Councillor.! who had no swamp land to say thit there was no danger caused by water spreading from the water raoos. That damage was no caused they hid the testimony of 73 owners of swamp land to show. Ihase owners protested against Irrigation work* la the Hlnda-Rangltata district being carried out on the ground that they had suffered damige m the past by the percolation from tho water races, and they viewed with alarm a proposal to on largely augment the existing supply. Since ihe construction of the water raoos the permanent level of the water In the swampland was nearer the surface than It had ever been before. If there was no percolation, as Mr Harper had averted, than the races would run from the hills to the sea without any apparent diminution m volume, but as they all knew, snoh was not the oase. The fact wai that a groat deal of percolation took place, though there might be spots where there was no percolation. There might be plaoen where a tunnel could be driven coder the race as stated by Mr Harp?r. but there were others whero the water went through tho surface shingle m large quantity. Ho had thirteen wolle at Wiudermore, and tinco the races had been made the height of the water m th ite wells had beon increased by six or seven feat. The percolation from tho water r ces overcharged the waterbearing btrata, and when rains came thero was no absorption m the ground. It had josl him about £300 to deepen hie draino, md all through the district property holders had • been put to expense for the sarno object. As yet no complaint had been mide to the Council about this matter, but if ruoro injury were caused to these landowners there was no doubt tho Uooncil would have claims for compen sation to meet. The same thing was reclining m the Loeaton district, where iwatnp land had been injurio ely affected jincrt the races had been made Mr Grigg etoon od Mr Wright's auiendnent. He hoped the Council would lesitato before going on with this work. [t was just as rcnsonable to say that if nto a glass half full of watir more water Tore poured the lavel would not be raise i is to sny that the water races had not an DJurious ttteot opoo the swamp land. Iv ho Longbeach district there were a lumber of gravel pita whloh m past years c irtre always clear of water very early In he summer, but slnoe the races had been node they remained co full of water that or the greater part of the year not an mro i of gravel o >uld be taken from them. Although he sympathised with the settlers lolding dry land yet he o mid not see ;hst the Ccunoil would be justified In ;ivtng them na advantage to the detriment )f the as .tiers lower down. If the Council eft the matter aa it now la there might sot be any aotion taktn, bat if this £120 were spent m lnoreasing the supply it ffould be a serious consideration to the settlers m tfcat distriot whether they ibould not obuln an Injunction of the Supreme G >urt to pat a stop to the kmage that was balng oaasej them. The 3ouncil were not justified In Increasing ;he supply In this offhand manner. An inquiry should be held, at which th» ividence of the settlers themselves, and )f experts should be taken, and then if hey foand the settlers were mistaken the irork ooold bo carried out. The Chairman thought that it was rather a pUy that auoh extravagant state nents bad been m«de regarding the effect )f the water supply ou the lower part of ihe distriot, It was hard to believe that the water races had any suob effect as that attributed to them, biciuoe along the sea joaut a number of streams made their way out, which were muoh target m volume than the body of watee broaght Into the rases. Hla experience had been the same as that of ftjc Harper. Of Bourse the irrigation By stem was different, because the very essence of that system was to provide for pwcolaiion, and not have a. hard pan bottom saoh as the water uoeshad. With Irrigation it wai provided that every drop of the water should, if possible, be absorbed, and they knew that m California Irrigation had affected the land m a way the promoters did not expect. The water races were not all tho cause of the Increase of water In the swamp land, whloh was due to tho heavy rainfall of the past two seasons. Tho water races had only proved a nnlonce m one or two instance, when they h»d been led along nataral oraeks and the settlers bad neglected to clean them ont. It might not make muoh difference if the matter were postponed for a month, but be trusted the Council would not be afraid to give relief to the settlers ou the dry lands. Mr Coster would be sorry to give me lot of Bottlers an advantage at tho expense of others, but he oouli not believe ibje porcolutiou from tho races wua bo great that it would raise tho wato- to any appreciable extent over such a large area as the swamp lands comprised. Ah however no hnrm would result if tho matter were postponed till next meeting, hu would vote for tho amendment. Mr Friedlander was sorry to hear the remarks which had fallen from Mr Wright and Mr Grigg, because these wore courting opposition from outside. This opposition might hold good against irrigation, but it wou'd be a pity if it were urged ngainat the water races, because ho was satisfied ! no h^rm reenlted from these. Ho did not put hirafiolf forward as an expert m this matter, but he wouid a«k if the races did so much damage on the south side of tho river, why was it no damage was apparent on tho north ? Mr Wiight and Mr Grigg »aid tho formation of tho strata was different Mr Fiiedlandf-r said that if an increased supply would do any hnrm to tho lower district, ho did not eoe why tbo extra water Bhould not be led back to tho river above Iha railway line. Mr Horper was sorry at the romarki which bad bom made. It waa simply throffing down the gaunt'ot between the dry land and tho swampy land. Ho hid no ido* wben bo moved for the roliof of a few Rettlers high up the plains that there would be such a determined opposition. The fact of tho gravol pits remaining fall of water he attributed t> the heavy raio fall and not to any Influence of tho water races. If there was all this fuai now what would there be when the irrigatk a toheme came up ? • Mr Wright ; The Supreme Coart will st p it ; that's what the f u«a will be. Mr Wright Bail that he had. foreseen this trouble for eomo time past, a'jd tho sooner the settlers took action tho bettor Faiiiog the. Couucil the/ would, hnve to

ro to the Snpremo Qourt. lie askod tho Council to postpone the rnntier for^ a month bo that those who would V-e preju diced Mould have an opportunity of making th- nuelves hoard. Tho amondtnont was then put to the mooting and lost, Me is 3 Wright, Grigg and Ooster being m i b favor Mr Harper' h motion w s then carried. NOTICE OF MOTI <N, Mr Harper obtained pernilailon to withdraw hla notice of motion to rescind the motion refusing to confirm a Bpiotal order redaclnß the ront of 8 renervooooupled by Mr E M. G odwln. Tho solicitor to tho Oounoll gavo it as hla oplni< n that tho motion ocu'd not legiil'y be rescinded, PAYMENTfI Aoooanta were passed for pajment. ' BLKOnON It was reaolvad that a spoolai mooting of the Oounoll be held on EVb II to elect • meenbar to repronent the Oounoll on the Lyttelton Harbor B >srd, IKroUNDINQ Mr J. Toner applied for permission to impound stock straying In the south Hinds river-bed. The Oounoll ooald not s?e lti way to giro the permlanlon aoked for. [Left Sitting.]

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890201.2.16

Bibliographic details

ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2052, 1 February 1889

Word Count
3,055

ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2052, 1 February 1889

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