ASHBURTON GOUNTY COUNCIL.
The following bu-Iness was transacted after we went to press yesterday : —
THH RAKAIA IRRIGATION SOHEME. The olanoe In the En^inaer's report m referenoe to the rejection of the echsme for bringing In an additional water supply from the Bakala, was considered. Mr Grlgg said that he had Intended voting for the proposal till he had ascertained tbat his land, wbioh would derive no direct benefit from the adoption of the soheme, would be plaoad In tbe same class, and be rated exactly the same rs land whioh would derive the very greatest benefit. No classification of land In proportion to measure of benefit derived was provided for. He did not know if the Aot made any provision for tbe classification of land, but, If It did not, then only land wbioh reoelved d'reot benefit should be subject to be rated. The small benefit whioh bis laud on the western hide of the railway line wonld reoelve from tbe liberation of the water there by taking In an Increased supply In the distriot below, wonld not place him m the of deriving the same measure of benefit from the scheme ai property holders In tbe lower district. It appeared to him that the proposal was somewhat similar to the BakalaMethven railway. He bad land within a mile and a half of Dromore railway station, yet he was rated iv the same proportion for the maintenance of a railway several miles away, as property which was dlreotly benefited* It would be monstrous If there were no means of altering ■noh a state of affilrs.es this, and providing for » fair classification of the land. Mr Coster thought th<t Mr Grigg had lost slgJat of the faot that the intention was to oomplete tbe existing system, whioh so far as completed, had been constructed out of tbe general county fund, the settlers east of the line contributing m the same proportion as those west of the line for one oommon objoct, the settlers being thus practically partners m the soheme. But after a time it waa found out that while the settlers on the west side of the line bad, with the expanditare of this money, got all that they wanted, those on tho eaet aids had not, the water supply giving out before it reached them. One of the main objeo'B of the eoheme which had be9n rejected was to oomplete the system, putting the settlers on the eastern side of the line on the B»me footing as those on the other side. As this footing m the latter case had been acquired by the money of those on tho eastern side of the line equally with that of those on the west, it waß only right tbat those who were now m a good position should contribute to give something approaoh'ng an equally good supply to those who had not benefitted to a corresponding extent by the first expenditure.
Mr Grlgg said that, as far as he oould ! see, what Mr Coster had stated was only half correct ; if it waß wholly correct he would be entlre'y with him* As he understood the proposal it was not to merely provide an efficient supply for the races, but also to provide sufqoient water for irrigation purposes! If this was the case then it must be conceded tbat the value of water for irrigation was Immensely greater than for water race purposes only, and It waß not fair that the settlers on the western side of the railway should contribute to a soheme like this, m thq benefits arising from whioh they did not participate. The Chairman said that It was inadvisable atthja stage to c tor upon a general discussion of the whole soheme. They were now considering the clause of the Engineer's report whioh suggested that some amendment of the Act was neoeesary. Mr Grigg said that the report pointed out that a certain failure hid occurred. Although he did not wish to take up the time of the Counoil the thought that it was perfectly competent for theni to diacups that failure
Mr MoMillan took exception to the statement that the defeat of the proposal wab due to apathy on the part of the rateEayers. He, and a number of others m is distr'ct had abstained from voting because they thought they were unjustly treated m being rendered liable to the same rates aa those living m the distriot deriving the greatest benefit. Mr Wright said that Mr Giigg had stated the failure was m part due to an impression that the water proposed to be brought m from the Raka'a would be utillzad for Irrigation purposes. This was not the Intention of the Council, nor was tt the import of the work, but a large number of the ratepayers had jumped at the conclusion beoause the word " irrigation " was used m d ascribing the soheme. The Oounoll, however, were tied to the word " irrigation " by the Aot, and lt was doubtless Ihe use of this woid tbat had led to the misapprehension. He did not agree with the Engineer's conclusion that the Aot required amendment as regarded the majority of ratepayers necessary to oarry a proposal, but he agreed that this was Dot the t'lue to discuss the matter.
Mr Cosier said that the soheme was never intended as an irrigation eobemo proper. It was an irrigation schemo simply to the extent that there would have been sufficient water to irrigate gardens and orchards, and also to the extent that tha headworks would be available for an irrigation schemo if one at any future time wero adopted. Mr Grlgg agreod with Mr Wright that the Aot did not require amendment. The Engineer's statement that ratepayers bad abstained from voting merely through apathy was erroneous, because they had seen that two members of the Oounoll had not voted beoause they were opposed to the work.
Mr Brown moved 'o the tffeot that further consideration should bo deferred till next meeting, In order to give members time to oonsider the matter In all Its bearings; For his oa-n part he did not see any ntoesilty for the classification of land.
The Clerk BUgft^'nl that it would bo better for member c t„ abstain from discussing the matt, r <_ a! rally at present. Mrßrown'a mo i.... as then adopted.
On the motjdn oi Mr Wright, seoonded by Mr Grigg It waa resolved to plant a few tbooiind larch ! u the pliotetioa et
A damn, if there ure sufficient fanda at the A sposal of the Plantation Committee. WAKANUI OREFK Tbe report of tbe Uommi' cc appointed *? oonfar with represents yob of the Borough Oounoll, Hampstead Town Board and mill owners respeatiog the Wakanui oreek and which had been postponed from a former meeting c%me up for consideration. Tho report was as follows :— "That ! asking Into account all the Interests at stake In connection with the nse of the water from the Wakanui oreek and the money contributions received from the several bodies benefited, this conference Is of opinion tba'. tho eqalty of tbe oaae will bo met by the Oounty Oounoll paying tha Wakanui Rord B >ard the money now claimed and the one half hereafter to be expended by them In maintaining th bridges and fords over the Wakanut creek and that such payments be made a oharge upon the whole witer supply between the Ashburton and Raka'a rivers." Regarding the Hampstead Water Supply It waa resolved : " That the Oommittee after Inspecting tbe mill raoe and tall raoe, are of opinion that owing to the limited supply of water the safest method of ensarlng a supply to Hampstead Town Distriot will be to ereot a dam la the oreek alongside the railway, wbioh will secure all the water Hampstead requires without diminishing the supply to the
On the motion of Mr Brown, seconded by Mr Wright, that portion of the report referring to the Wakanui oreek was adopted, the portion having referenoe to Hampstnad water supply being referred to the Hampsteal Town Board.
BTORM WATER CHANNEL. '"~T*S? Mc Wright moved ths adoption of olauta In the Storm Water Committee's report as follows :—*« Resolved that the Committee advise tbe Oounoll to proceed with tho formation of the fl jod-water ohannel aa described by Mr Baxter In his report of 4th November, 1887, and as a preliminary to the execution of tbe work, the Timaru track from the river to the Mount Bomera railway be proclaimed a oonntry road; that the oost of the ohannel be equitably apportioned between ths Longbeaoh and Upper Ashburton ridings, after deducting tbe amount to be oon'rlirated by the Railway Department. " Mt Wright stated that tils soheme, If given effeot to, would give relief to a large tract of valuable Und whioh Is now In times of fhod subjeot to serious damage. Che work when first proposed was objeoted to on the ground that the Upper Asbburton Road Board bad not given tbelr oonsent. Tbe matttv had now, however, been before the publis for two years, and he oould not ace how anyone would be prejudicially affeoted. The road In question was praotloally named and by proclaiming It a oounty road the Oounoll would beoome responsible for It. The ad op ion of the measure wonld oonfer a benefit on a largo seotion cf tha ratepayers, who fa the past bad received less consideration at the hands of tha Council than any other portion of tha oounty.
Mr Grlgg seoonded the motion. The Upper Ashbnrton Road Board had, at he understood, opposed the soheme. because tbey thought ihay would have to nay aa amount towards oar-ylng out the work that would be out of proportion to tba benefit wbioh tbfy woa.d derive from it, but It waa exp:eialy provldea that the B>ard should only coniribuje what waa found to be its fair and just share. A large dlatrlot would ba Immensely benefited if this work were oariled out, and be thought that this was a casein which the Oounoll shou'd not allow a work whioh would do good to a great many, to ba obstructed by a few, who would soffar no hasdahlp being asked to coutribute In so far only an they derived benefit. Mr Brown supported the motion. He had been over the country affec ed, and was satisfied that this work waa required* Ha wnuld like to know, however, whether the Oounoll had power to expend tba funds of the Ashburton ridfn? m another riding.
Tha Chairman was aorry that Mr PriedUnder who represented tbe Upper Ashburton riding waa absent, but being a member of tbe Upper Ashburton Boad Board ha could state their views. He thonght that before proceeding further It would ba nooessary to find out what tha railway department were prepared to contribute. He was aorry that Mr Grlgg waa not one of those who Inspected this road, beosuan lt was obvious to several of those who did so that «he relltf afforded would only afloot two oreeks, the third creek, whioh was the wor B t one not being touched at all. Besides it was a dangerous thine to out a deep channel through a ■and* loam to a river Hke the Ashburton, and he oould assure them that tho Upper Ashburton Road Board wonld oppose the ooneme m every way on acoount of tha danger which they anticipated from lta adoption. Jf the owner of Lagmhor were to keep oleau the creeks on his estate nothing further would bo suffered from storm water.
Mr Wright thonght that the Chairman opposed the proposal under a misconception as to the possible danger. The drain would be very level, and having a slow flow tbere would be no danger of aoonr. Ai to the Chairman's statement that If the owner of LBgmhor oleared out his oreeks the distriot would no longer bet ooded.he (Mc Wright) maintained that the floode would be worse, beoause tbe oleanlnff would lead to a more rapid flow, and a muoh larger body of water would be praolpltated npon the lower distriot In less time than at present. He was sorry that any mtioonooption should arise to delay a work of so muoh Importance and necessity. There was no necessity for fear In reforenoe to the question raised by Mr Brown. The representatives of the dl«---trlot uflected would aooept the responsibility, and the people there would hall the work as a wise and jast measure of relief. whioh he trusted the Oouncil would allow to be hung up no longer. Mr Wright's motion was then pnt to the meeting and oarried, the voting being as follows :— For ; Messrs Wright; Grlae. Brown and McMillan; against :' The Chairman and Messrs Ooater and Jaek■on. VILLAGE SBTTLBBS. . Pursuant to notioe Mr Brown moved " Tbat the Engineer be Instructed to lay off one or mora branoh raoes to afford a supply to tb© village settlors between Rakaia and Ashburton." Be proposed the motion with a certain amount of dlffidenc, beoause when ho gave notice of hia Intention to move he believed that the Bakala toheme would be oarried. It web lost howeve-, and tbe Engineer advised them th.tt tbey could not grant auy additional supplies without depriving some of the settlers below, of tbe water they now had. Unless this supply oonld be granted without Injury he wonld not press his motion. He thonght the position that had been taken up by some of thoia who had now got all the water tbey wanted was most Bolfhh. They wrre In .tbe majority, and they Bald In cfTVct that having got all they requited, they would not agree to tho minority being placed on an equal footing unless the minority paid a larger proportion of the expense, by meana of a classification of lands.
Me Wright seoonded the motion, whioh w«s praotloal- y his cwn. He had given notfoa In this direotion sometime ago, not only beoauee he bolleved the Bskaia scheme would be oarried, but because he waa oonvlnoed that the village settlers were entitled to consideration; The settlers were entitled to be p'aoed In a bitter position as regards a water BUpply than they wore at present. Ha was aware that tho difficulty of supplying thoseUlera hd boon co- eid-jreb'y ag^>avai«d by the rej ot ion of ;ho R.vkaiu sohetne but he hoped ih^t the Council-, if It could not see its way to givo tbe te tilers all they wanted, would at least place them In V better position, thao the* now wer.o, *
Mr Grlgg said that Mr Brown misunderstood his argument. He did not ( for a moment think of obj aoting to the minority being plaoed on an equal fooling #ith the majority, but he objected to balng taxed at the same rate as those who enjoyed It for a supply of five times greater Value than his supply. As to tbe matter now before the Oounoll, the Engineer bad distinctly advised them that they were not In the position to grant any further applications, and a grave responsl blllty won'd rest od tbem If they went m tba face of his ad vie . Mr Ooster would support the mctlon if he could only see where the water wag to come from. He had been informed by Mr Allan, the nnnsger cf Acton, that a supply of water c uld be brought In about two miles below the Acton homestead, which wonld fully oharge all tba E races. Tee additional Bupply won'd, he was informed, oost only from £50 to £ICO, and be would suggest that Mr Brown's motion rlnuld be referred to the Water Supply Committee and the Engineer instructed to leport on the matter he had mentioned. Mr Jackson and Mr McMillan regretted having to oppose the motion, on the ground that there was no water available for the purpose. The Chairman agreed with Mr Grlgg th'»t the question was whether they shou id be guided by their Engineer or not. The Kngineer bad plainly told th«m tbat they could not grart an additional supply to anyone without depriving eomsone of the water he now enj jyed He was therefore compelled to oppose the motion. Acting on Mr Coster's suggestion Mr Brown obtained leave to refer his motion to the Water Supply Oommittee Mr Ooet-r then moved "That the Engineer examine the Bakaia at a point indicated by Mr Allan with a view to obtaining a modified additional supply, and to report at tbe next meeting." Mr G'igg seoonded the motion which was carried. Mr Wright moved '« That the Engineer be instructed to furnish at the next meeting a list of all the deviations and loop lines forming portions of the water race system, which were granted provisionally and subject to the supply of water being sufficient to meet the wants of other claimants." Mr Brown Eeconded the motion whioh was carried. BATES. Ik was resolved, on the motion of Mr Wright, seoonded by Mr Brown, " Tbat the water rate due May 1- 1889, be now levied In accordance witn the resolution ef the Oounoll psssed on Maroh 7, 1884." .Notice of motion was given for next meeting as follows : — That the Oounoll at Its next meeting, to be held In October next, take Into consideration the advlseableneu of etiiklng a general rate for eaoh riding* PAYMENTS. Aooounts were passed for payment. UffATJTHOBIBED WOBK. An account, amounting to £10, was sent m for work done on a reserve taken charge of by the Council. It appeared thst the work had been done at tbe instanoe of a road board, and upon it beooroing known that the Council would In fntnre look after the malntenanoa of certain gravel reserves tbe acoonnt for work was thereupon sent m to the Oounoll. It was deolded to reply that as the Conn, effi had not authorised the work, lt was dot responsible for the payment of the acoount. WATJSB WANTED. Thirteen ratepayers residing near Obertsey asked for a water race to supply tbelr holdings. Consideration was postponed. HUMOJI's CBXIK. Messrs Wilson and Tlppett wrote .agreeing to the Oouncil taking a width of three feet of land, through tfielr property. for the purpose of widening Huston's creek, provided that proper flood gates be erected, and a gcrse fence along the bank be cot. The matter was agreed to. eto ING BOAD. The Mount Hutt Boad Board wrote m referenoe to the dosing and exchange of roads. The matter was referred to a committee consisting of Messrs Coster, Brown and Harper. MOTJKT SOMERS TRAMWAY, The Secretary to tbe RallwayJOommlsaloners wrote stating tbet the extended time allowed to the oonnty for payment of £935 doe on account of old rails bad expired. However, by arrangement with tbe Treasury subsidies to tbe amonnt of ' £430 had been withheld, but there still remained a balsnoe of £50E, payment of wbioh wss requested. The matter was allowed to stand over till next meeting, CHARITABLE AID. The Charitable Aid Board wrote with referenoe to contribution due from the Oounoll. The letter was allowed to He on tbe Üblf. BAl'B COLLXOTOS. Mr Bartholomew Hughes was appointed to collect outstanding rates. OOMPKHSATIOW.' With reference to a claim made by Mr . John Holmes fo- compensation for damage earned to his land at Methven by a storm water ohannel, lt was now resolved, after a letter from the Council's solicitor hsd been considered, " Tbat tbe Oounoll resolves to pay Mr Holmes £250 for compensation and erect a substantial wire and standard fenos between Isnde taken and adjoining lands In accordance with the Fenolng Aot, tbe fence to be ereoted on ihe land being gazetted." MISOBLIAKBOUB. Some miscellaneous business wss transited and the Council adjourned.
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