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COUNTY COUNCIL.., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 6 June 1890
The ordinary monthly meeting of the Ashburton County Council was held today. Present- W. .C. Walker, Esq., M.H.R., (Chairman), and Messrs E. Gj Wright, E. S. Coster, James Brown (Netherby), Win. McMillan, and C. J. Harper.
chairman's statement. The Chairman's statement ran as follows :—
The Assistant Engineer applies for a, further cheque of £100 towards the repairs that are being carried out at the t Rakaia Gorge bridge. He also furnishes for the Council's information' particulars'* of the sums paid and to be paid on account of these repairs.—The Mount Hutt Road Board asks for a refund of £109 5s 7d, which sum has been expended on bhe cutting and approaches to the Rakaia Gorge bridge in this county by that Board.; —The Water Supply Committee have met( and considered suggestions made by the the Selwyn County Council for a bill proposed to be prepared dealing with water races and irrigation, and the suggestionsmade by that Committee will.be c'placed• before the Council, to-day for its consideration. -The proposed clauses as agreed to by the Committee, as prepared by the Council's solicitor, are placed on the table.—The amount of £814 13s. has'been paid on account of water charges due Ist; May, 1888, \ leaving £50' 5s outstanding for water charges due Ist May, 1889, £638 16s 7d has been paid, £21910s being stilTcollectable. The sum of £1803 16s. 3d,.for rates due- 2nd January, has been-| remitted.—The answer from the-Govern-! ment, in reply, to the Council's application; for grant of money-on account of the' lands sold lately, being-enhanced in value by the water races, will be 'read'to-day. '
WATER RACE ARREARS,
In reply to Mr Wright,' the Clerk said? the £50 odd of water race arrears men-] tioned in the Chairman's statement would; not be relegated to the list of bad, debts,; but would all be collected. . '
ENGINEER'S REPORT. ; The. Engineer's report was read as follows:— '•■;-- ;
Plains Water Supply: Tffis;fservice is, being kept up as well as the present con-; dition of the races admits of,- but" it is of • much importance ■ that the half-yearly' overhauTshbuld not be further postponed.. There is a- good at the various' sources, and there will now be nodifli- : culty in charging .the races again after; clearing operations have been completed. Threshing operations for the most part are now completed, and the season is athand when more severe frosts may be ex-; pected which would prevent the work being efficiently done-^-for allJof which reasons the clearing should be commenced on Tuesday -week, giving the settlers notice by advertisement in the meantime. I met Mr Goldney Baker as to the works about which he interviewed the Council at last meeting, and arranged as to what would be done. With reference to the question of, flood water entering the race in the vicinity of the flume, it seems- to me that this may be obviated to some extent by passing it into the creek by a short shoot on the nipper side of the race, at a cost of about £6V As to the question of encroachment of creek towards the race • after it passes the flume, there, does hot seem to have been much change there for some years, Land if future floods should cause danger it might be advisable to cut through the narrow neck of land in the creek bed opposite the point referred to ; but to initiate a system of groins would be a hazardous operation.' I have prepared sections in triplicate of Chapman's creek for the purpose of djeeds of easement, and have also, wibh, the consent of the parties interested, fixed the summer and winter levels of water in concrete channel. The junction between El and E2 races at Lower Acton. has now been , completed. The settlers on Reserve 1466 near Rakaia have not yet provided the funds necessary; for the construction of this race,, which is therefore meantime in abeyance.
Races, Ashburton Forks : As requested I met the various owners, and arranged for the extension of race. '■_ from Greenstreet's school to join the race, formerly, made at Grayley's, the upper end of which, including intake, was, some time ago, cut off by encroachment of North Branch of Ashburton River. The owners are making the unfinished portions from Winchmore road downwards, and they ask the Council to make the flumes and other works from the terminus of present race at Greenstreet's school to Winchmore road. They agree to defray cost of same, which I estimate at £20. Mr Robert Anderson would receive a service from the branch now supplying Mr Oliver's property, and the extension of it beyond Mr Anderson's property would, if such extension was likely to be called for, be a matter for future arrangement.
Races near Bush—Taylor's Stream : I have marked, off the Jines of these races, to suit the consenting parties, -in Ithe. only manner which seemed feasible, in the. circumstances, and work will be commenced forthwith.
Ashburton-Rangitata Water Supply : This service is pretty satisfactory, but the necessity for an early overhaul of the races applies here, as well as to the Rakaia Plains., As to the race authorised by the Hon. W. S." Peter, 1 I have taken snch levels as are nece,ssary, arjd will call tenders for same as soon as sections and plan of flume over river is prepared. Having examined the? riverbed, above the headworkg at South Ashburton river, I find it would be advisable to supplement the willow planting there to some extent, by putting in about 2500 stakes at such points as they r would be likely to .grow. The present.plantation extends,, more or less, to about 50 chains above the. dam, but an area of about two acres further up might in parts be profitably planted also with say 5000 willows, and I have written to the Commissioner of Crown Lands to inquire whether that place is available f.gr purposes' of river protection, $he re-' arrangement; of fencing w.ould simply be an additional .length of about 20" chains, 'and the total 'cost of- planting and fencing would probably be about £50,
County vPlantationSj-^As requested I have prepared for the information of the Blanting Committee, a report on the present condition of these plantations. Upper Rangitata Bridge.—The fencing and clearing of cutting South approach have now been finished.
Auxiliary Water Supply for Plains.— As requested by the Council, I have carefully examined the AshburfsQH Forks district for the purpose of suggesthig the safest and cheapest method of securing an auxiliary supply of 'water from South Branch for benefit of district, north of As,hbiirtiQn in dry seasons.. I now beg to submit the accompanying plan which will tend to elucidate my views on this subject. The temporary connection which has been available during the last three months extends from point A; in South Ashburton River to H at North Branch, a distance of 4| miles. With the exception of a short cutting at B, and the widening of- an ai'tificial cu.t between E W<JF (tog^hej? extending to about 30 chains in length), the whole distance may be described as an ; old natural .water, course, varying in, width from half chain to two chains, the depth qf channel in river-bed from. B to, I? being about 3 fee,t, while frorft P to 3 the depths vary from 4 to 8 f eeb'. Having taken levels over the greater part of this water course, I find the declivity is fairly uniform, the grade being about 1 in 200 or 26 feet per mile. The volume of water brought down it this season has averaged J.B,QOQ gallons per minute, and with this flow there is no sign whatever of instability on any part of the course. There is therefore, already, an almost entirely natural channel o itablished between the two rivers, and *o no other connection can compete with this on the score of cheapness so far a«
/egards cost of construction. A comparatively ismall expenditure, and some modifications at the inlet, would suffice to rendor ia reasonably safe during the dry portions of the season, when, only, it would require to be in operation. At present, by a temporary dam and embank- . ment, the water is trained down the river bank from A to B, and nb small cost - could bo lob to I, where I should prefer to have the water led our, near S.W. corner of R.S. 21077. This' would diminish the length on which river encroachment could affect the initial portion of ,•. channel, and this is the element of-danger there, though it would be at least, equally, great on any other'portion of the. river bed in that," lbcalitjrPfWH*. inlet sluices at I, and regulating sluices at ".. E,' where the main High -terrace, is wet, and with-,, judicious willow .planting aV' these points, I.consider.theidamagewnidii has been takiilg 1 place for yearn, from ' this point downwards . through R.S. 21039 (where much .good land has been swept away), - would be lessened ratKer .than increased; bfecause, as "the river works inwards ■ Jnr the, low shingly liver . bed. and above' this poinfc^it would,-sif guarded; near E, ehoot outwards more towards'the centre of the sriv'er.;;''Near>F the creek- is now in somewhat dangerous proximity to the ' river^,-;but j a short deviation therje woUld'suffice to-'-'place -it. on a more' permanent line. The works which would be required -in-the place, supposing the supply to be kept up temporarily on.the.present footing, would be the introduction, of'sluices, at B and E, the securirig the ford,(!and; erection of a sheep bridge for .public .road..at.,Gr, and . bhe strengtheriing^and jbxtending* of some embankments between C arid'F, the. cost of these being about "£^., and ..If a nejr charuiel Were made, from I to C Sand sluice placed at* I instead of B^the^iffarther cost would be about £20:~ t should estimate the annuial cost^ of maintenance: for-the . ' period' this service would' be likely f fee required (say three.m^nths.every;year)-8t £25, the greater'part df which would be for temporary works in training chailnfljin river bed. -SV as to keep jup a, suppjp at _ the point of intake, and this would be required whether the" works at inlet are of a temporary or a more permanent character. I may also state that an expendittir€fßf about £10 woiilii suffice to rcurtail sfcne widtftti^of , water way in many~"places in Q'Shea^s creek where the water spreads "considerably. : lam therefore of t opinion thaj; bo "•. far as' construction' 'is. concerned '■< an expenditure of-£BO would^TendirMihe work- • ing of the proposed connection reasonably safe' The annual expense foi* 'maintenance might from one year-to another according, to the action of, the riv«r during . freshets,; but I should^ reckon £25^, as aboyej a fair.. estimate. ,So far then t I have gone .on the assumption that-the present permits from the owners along "tihe line of water would be available from time to time as occasion required, and so far as I can ascertain,, there would not be much difficulty in making such;an arrangement,-.: especially,, ;asf- the y owners after seeing the working; of theKScheme ;. this season seem to be satisfied that jw bad effects on property would .ensue. - rif * however, ; 'the should-: desire/ to acquire the freehold of this water-course the question would assume a totally different aspect, as the land would,have to be purr chased under 'Public -WorksJ Act and* it a cosi ; of ' not ■ less., ;prob^ibly! then $500, while a further expenditure of £500 would have to incurred in accommodation bridges and other works, and the coursewater of that portion of river bed neat the intake would have to be systematically undertaken. • If'- the. question"..resolves itself into one of land purchase,, it might be worth considering the route' indicatifctT by red pencil line as ah alternative oiie,' though taking into account ithe cost Jof construction of an entirely new "channel, and. most awkward .severances/on ,'thlat .line I could not recommend it.,' . As'jtothe utilizing the supply which is discharged 1 from O'Shea's creek into, th« river, there is no suitable ground'in that "locality for fliuning the north, branch,, but'a* portion of the supply" might be led out again on the north bank near Winchmore for the purpose of an auxiliary supply^ for the plains, the larger part remaining to supply the Wakanui creek, the borough and mill, the auxiliary channel to Seafield, and the Wakanui Flat district, "or in other words the same districts it served this season. The percolation in the river-bed this autumn has been very great indeed, being abut 35 per cent from O'Shea's to inlet at Wakanui creek, a distance, of 8. miles. This is hot surprising, seeing that wells 40ffc deep near the, river bank have this season become quite dry, andthis circumstance of riyer-bed percolation could only be obviated by the construction "of a new channel or channels .removed from th@ river-bed, but these would be costly, and would somehow, have to connect with Wakanui" creek in; prder: to (Conserve the' existing interests' on that water" course, This objection, .so far as lengths of channels'^and-cost was concerned, would apply in-sgreater measure for; auxiliaries' led out' froin'i'the natiftal^ volume of, the : North Branch' fiat^ soW point higher up the .pUtos,/. >;Thtel*e',!are several miportant^ interests' attached ;,to the Wakanui creek supply, and.unless these, are left out'of the calculation'l'can'not' see' that the supply ifor that creek in dry seasons can bo kept up, except very 'partially, otherwise than from the South . Branch, • The proposed auxiliary supply from Winchmore might be mwie ,of ivery considerable benefit'-for all the lower portion of the plains* and the' ordinary ~ supply in the North ...Branch- would be, . sufficient (^lotig with; present 1 requirements) to feed it for at least eight months every year, that is: to say during the time' the supply from the South Branch was shut off, and the existing > race, supplies above Winchmore could, theti be dis- \ tributedto better purpose fdr "the uppe^ districts. In connection with fch|s mattef I m^| stake also that the supply available, from the South Branch In sudh'a" season as this is a somewhat limited quantity. If another volume equal to that proposed to be taken from it for the" auxQiary; supply of the Rakaia plains were to be drawn from the. same.'-souroe. for the* supply of the Ashburton-Rangitata. districts, there would be barely sufficient leftto reach the sea, and ,unless/ripariana rights are to be entirely extinguished, it ':, becomes a serious question as to how far these rivers which shrink so very much in _'■ dry seasons can be drawn .upon for increased summer supplies, ;aa their ; minimqin. yields (except) an 1' lntormeetingf system is esfeab|isfye4) ( mQs,fc «lwaj« repre-, •-■- ---sent something more than thVmwamuni supply for the water races. Springs and Wells : As requested by '. you, I have, for some time" past"|l>een^ collecting information with reaped "to I;h'e varying levels of under-ground supplies fpr wells, etc., in Various portions of county, and"will make further investiga"tions and report next month, \ THE QALF-THiAKiY OVBRaAUii,
\ It was decided to CQiauwnoe. the usual . half-yearly overhaul of the races on the - 17th inst., the water tQ ho turned off on that dace, starting on the Rakaia side of the county, • ', •; "- j MR GOIiDNEY BAKER'S" REQUESTS. - , I Mi' McMillan objected to the making 6t the short shoot referred;.- to -py> ~ the ".;■ Engineer, to relieve Mr Gdldnej Baker of a certain proportion of flood water h t-. iiow had .to receive* and which he thoughtr in fairness should be, .sent intio the *Hjacent dry. creek.- Mr McMillan claimed Itliafc the property* adjoining Mr, Baker^*; should not be swamped with flood waterT torelieve Mr Baker.. .'-^, ,', ,',., i,, 1 ,->|f/j '-\ The Engineer did not think that tfig small amount. of .floodwater to ', ,h£ js**%^ into the diy creek shouJ4 J raise ]■■ tKeT general question of .ftoodwater, ,afc • thia . juncture. ' The : flume, - iin* |l<irttinary seasons, carried the race supply only, bvA in flood seasons it wag filled to oYvdtovipg ;
The matter was held over, Mr Baxter, the Engineer, and Mr McMillan .to go, over the land and report to the Council.
It was decided to give consent to the work in connection with the Greenstreet race if settlers were prepared to defray the cost.
The Engineer was instructed to interview Hon W.S. Peter, with a view to obtaining his consent to plant willows on his land for protection purposes. THE NORTH AND SOUTH BRANCHES.
The report of the Engineer on the question of a permanent supply for dry seasons for the district north of Ashburton, was ordered to be circulated among members, and considered at next meeting. THE IRRIGATION FARM,
Mr Bro .vn moved the motion of which ■ he had given rotice to wind up the affairs of the experimental farm, near Elgin on the 31st of July. It had now been fully proved to the settlers that irrigation was a great advantage, so that the mission of the farm was fulfilled. The area was too limited, and the supply of water was too uncertain 4gr> the the farm to be carried on at a profit. Mr Wright seconded the motion. He said the farm had been carried on for four years at a cost to the County of £400, representing a very considerable portion ! of thie water rate for the Rakaia district. The farm was established to prove that grass would grow if it were watered, and it had proved that, but the experiments in that direction should now cease.
Mr Harper said the Committee would have reported upon the farm some time ago t but, for the motion, of which Mr Brown had given notice. The Committee had arranged with a tenant to feed lambs during the winter at 2£d a week, and it would be a pity to hamper the. Committee until all the fodder they had in hand was consumed. The farm had not been a loss of £400. but of only £200—if that muchrlt was never intended to make a profit on the farm, nor even hoped for. The land was in perhaps the poorest condition that could have been found in the district, and its letting value was merely nominal. He was, quite sure that, if water-facilities, such as the Committee had enjoyed during their time were given to a tenant, 12s per acre rent could be obtained. The farm ought certainly to be wound up. After some further discussion the time for,, closing- the farm was extended to 31st August,, on the motion of the Chairman, Mr Wright taking occasion to quote the exact figures of revenue and expenditure of the farm supplied to the Council. Expenditure, £727 15s 9d ; receipts, £91 10a lld, r leaving a deficiency of £630. The" fodder on the faam was estimated at £200, leaving a deficiency of £430 SMALL BIRDS' NUISANCE
Mr Coster moved, as given notice of, " That £150 be voted for the purchase of poisoned grain." i Mr Harper seconded. Mr Brown was of opinion that poisoned grain was a failure for the destruction of small birds, and he opposed the expenditure of any further funds in this direction. He gave a list of fully four-fifths of the Road Boards of the county from which reports adverse" to poisoned gi-aiib as a meaus of destruction had been published. The grain, it appeared to him, was not prepared in a way to attract the birds, and it yet' remained for some one to discover a better means for destroying them. He advocated the. payment of |d per head for smaD birds and the £150 proposed to be voted for grain would pay for 72,000 birds. Mr Wright did not oppose the grant of £150, but thought that Mr Brown's suggestion should be adopted, and work concurrently with poisoning. He would move to add to Air Coster's motion the Words " and that the Council pay 4|d per 100 for heads of full-grown small birds up to 31st July next." The motions were finally passed—Mr Coster's for a vote of £150 for poisoned grain, and Mr Wright's restricting any expenditure on poisoned grain before the 31st of July, and meanwhile the payment of 4|d per hundred for heads of full-grown small birds. [Left sitting.]
COUNTY COUNCIL.., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 6 June 1890
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