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The ordinary monthly rnoetiug of the Aahburton County Council was heM this morning. Present—CounuitLrs C. J. Hurpor (ohairman), W. Morg»n, W. J. Dickie, •f.O. N. Grigg, Wm. Nosworthy, and S, S. Chapman. The chairman extended a hearty reception to Messrs Dickie and Nosworthy, the two newly elected members. Tbe chairman reported that tha sum of £'S1 4s 6d had been realised by the sale of oid decking at the Rangitata traffic bridge, making in all a total of £209 18s. WOEKS COMMITTEE'S REPOKT. The Works Committee reported as follows : — Ashburton-Eakaia Water Supply.—During the month of May the race 3 throughout the upper district have been turned off in rotation for the purpose of cleaning., and generally speaking the work has been done in a creditable manner. In regard to those who have not cleaned their races sufficiently or not at all, the work will be undertaken by the Council at owner's expense, unless done to the satisfaction of the Council immediately. Mains and flumes have been thoroughly overhauled, and are now in fair state of repair. In the lower portion of this district the mains are now capable of supplying a full supply, and with exception the cleaning of the distributing races has been fair. Some fords have been repaired and sheep bridges placed where required. Ashburton-Forks Water Supply.—ln the Forks district the mains have been cleaned throughout, and the work of cleaning distributing races satisfactory. At intake of Taylor's Stream the river has a tendency to work in behind the headworks, and would therefore cut off the supply. To prevent this, two small groins, the cost of which would be about .£35 are necessary, and the work has been authorised. Ashburton-Eaugirata Water Supply.— Flumes North and South Hinds and Toner's Creek have received a good overhaul, and the leakages are now practically stopped, and with attention these flumes will be serviceable for years to come. Though much more could have been done towards the clearance of the main races by the contractor, still, taking into account the limited time at his disposal, the work done is fairly satisfactory, and the mains will now easily carry what will be required of them for the ensuing twelve months. Flumes at Limestone Creek has been cleaned and the main cleared to its original width and depth. Various other small flumes throughout the district have been concreted at the ends and otherwise repaired. A good deal has been done towards the cleaning of distributing races, and the work is still progressing satisfactory, especially by those using the race plough. Foot bridges have been placed over races in the vicinity of Carew school. In the Hinds and Coldstream Districts the above remarks apply to the distributing races. The flume on Graham's road will be erected shortly. The culvert in Maronan road requires to be taken out and a ford substituted. The connection between the north and south Ashburton has been opened, and the extra supply ot water is now available. Bridges.—Some repairs have been effected at the Eakaia Gorge Bridge, and material for renewal of 120 feet Taylor's Stream Bridge has bean ordered The additional groin at Hood's Crossing Bridge, sanctioned some time ago, can now be put in. The re-decking of the Ashburton Traffic Bridge will commence on 31st instant, and a good ford at present is available for the public use. Plantations.—The plantation blocks at Buccleuch and Alford have been ploughed and fenced and a>e now ready for planting. The gorse on frontage of two blocks at Alford has been ploughed. At the HindsEaling blocks the fencing is on point of completion, and ploughing is in hand. Arrangements for putting in the cattle stops have been made. The repairs to the bridge applied for by Mr Overton can only be of a temporary nature, and liable to be washed away any time. A &p*n of .'SO feet in length, laid down temporarily to provide access over the stream, would cost about £15.

WATER RACES. It was reported that the various water races throughout; the county had been fairly well cleaned. The races in the Wakanui district had been short of a full supply of late owing to the scarcity of water in the north branch of the river. A supply had been let into the north branch, and a full supply was now available. PLANTATIONS. The Chairman reported that hares were proving very destructive to young plantations. Hares had always destroyed larches, but till a few days ago, he was not aware that they would attack the pinus insignis. Several recently planted plantations had been practically destroyed by harea, and hare proof netting would have to be erected; otherwise planting would be a waste of money. Had it not been for fencing at Ananv\. the Council would not ba in a position to boast of its excellent plantations there. Or Nosworthy said he was not sure whether the time was not opportune for the Council to take steps to reduce the hares in the County. They were fast becoming a grevious annoyance to farmers. He considered he would be able to keep 500 more sheep, were it not for the hares. Cr Grigg supported the remarks made by Cr Nosworthy. Cr Nosworthy said that hares were more destructive afc the present time than

rabbits. The chairman said ho was convinced that the hares were doing a great deal of mischief to farmers, especially to pastoralists. Some little time ago export buyers were offering lOd per hare while now the price is only 6d. The inducement to destroy hares was therefore not so great. The Council paid for the destruction of small birds, and he felt assured that the time was not far distant when the Council would have to offer an inducement to destroy hares. As far as he knew, no local body had taken action in this direction. Nothing definite was done in the matter, but it was thought advisable to offer a small price per hare It was decided to procure wire netting to fence in plantations recently planted. BRIDGE REPAIRS It was decided to vote a sum of .£lO to wards repairing a bridge at May field, as applied for by Mr Overton. The Works Committee's report wrb adopted as rend. PETITION. A largely signed petition was lodged by the fitayfield School Committee asking; that a footbridge be erected at Mayfield, over the Hinda—at Toner's crossing. The Chairman said that the Council had on. various occasions proposed to erect a bridge similar to that applied for. There was no reason why the bridge should not now be erected at a cost of about .£SO. Cr. Noswortby also agreed that the bridge was required, He would be in favour of a heavier general rate being struck to give more facilities to ratepayer?, who were alive to the fact that to carry out works funds would have to be forthcoming. It was decided to grant the petition.

WATER BATING. The Chairman moved the motion standing in his name regarding the proposed I alteration in the system of rating for I water—" That the Water Supply Commit- | tee'a report adopted on November 23rd, 1904, and the resolution carried on March 24th, 1905, relating to the taking of a referendum re water charges, be rescinded." Cr. Gri«fg seconded the motion. The Chairman and the Council generally «were of opinion that not sufficient interest had been evinced in the question by the ratepayers to warrant a referendum being tsken, or the Council proceeding any further in the matter. No matter what had b^en said against the new proposal, it must be admitted that the chainage system was most defective. He desirod that the matter be expunged from the Council's books, as the whole question had given rise to much discussion, both in and out of the Council, together with a great deal of misunderstanding. The motion was carried unanimously. ACCOUNTS. Accounts amounting to £1782 were passed for payment. The Chairman explained that the total monthly expenditure was somewhat larger than usual owing to the supply of bridge timber that had been procured. ASHBUBTON TEAFPIC BRIDGE. The Chairman said that the timber recently procured for redecking the ABhburton traffio bridge was not sufficiently seasoned to put down. Some 300 planks of the old stock were on hand. If the unseasoned timber was put down, the Council's foreman (Mr Norman) had explained that the shrinkage that must follow would necessitate battens being put between the planks to fill up 1£ inches or so.

Discussion as fco the advisability of proceeding with the redeckiner of the bridge was deferred till the Council had inspected the liuiher. GENERAL. Mr P. Grace was triv^n au extension of time in which to complete a contract for creek cleaning at Tinwald, PROPOSED NEW BRIDGES. The Upper Ashburlon and Rangitata Road Boards wrote asfreain.Gr to contribute not less than one sixth of the cost of erectinjjf a bridge over the Hinds at Marouan. Both Boards, however, were in favour of the bridge being erected at the Winslow road crossing. The chairman said that the local bodies would have to determine definitely on the sitf, before anything could be done by this Council. A petition was also before the Council for a stock bridge over the Hinds at Barford, to which both the Kangitata and Upper Abhburcon Koad Boards weie willing to contribute. It was a difficult matter to satisfy everyone concerned, and it was the duty of the Council to obtain the greatest benefit for the greatest number. Cr Chapman said that a peti ion was m circulation praying that the bridge be erected at the Hind 3 township crossing. Nothing should be done till this petition was placed before the Council, Correspondence was read stating that £64----had been arranged for towards erecting a stock bridge at Barford over the Hinds. — It was decided to call for tenders for the erection of the bridga.

TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT. William Fergus, jr, was appointed eg assistant ranker in theMethvenand Mount Somers districts. IRRIGATION RESERVK The Acting Engineer reported that the conditions of lease of the irrigation farm at El;>iu had been complied with, and tl f transfer of lease from Mr Forsytb, Senr. to Mr A. Forsyth. Junr., was granted on the usual conditions. INSURANCE. The question of insuring the Council's properties in the Government office was left in the hands of. the Chairman. SUPERANNUATION FUND A letter was read from the Levels County Counoil, with resolutions appended, in favour of the establishment of the Superannuation Fund for the benefit of officials and employees of 'County Councils and Road Boards—lt was decided that the question was for the Councils' conference to discuss. RESERVE. The transfer of a Council reserve at Hackthorne from Mr T. Harrison to Mr W. Harrison was agreed to. MtSCKIiIiANIDOUS. A letter from the Wakanui Road Board bearing on the water rating question, and another from the Upper Ashburton Road Board agreeing to assist in counting the heads and e*gs of small birds, were received.

The Mount Hutt Road Board wrote, respecting the condition of a water race crossing on the Chertsey road near Mr T. Nee's property.—lt was decided that consideration be deferred until members for thi Mount Hutt Riding had made certain arrangements with interested landowners. Mr H. Davis wrote, making application for the lease of a small portion of the Ashburton riverbed opposite his property at Tiuwald, and agreeing to keep same clean, and also to eretjc a fence and pay ,£1 per annum for the lease.—Granted subject to the approval of the Chairman. I It whs decided to grant Mr Lock, Methven, £?> towards repairing a reserve fence. Tho chairman was authorised to aign an agreement respecting the overdraft at the Bark. Th« Clurk reported that up to date there had beon 1,303 dog collars fold this year. This did not represent the full number of dogs in the County. Last year the number raHiFterfd was over 1,700.—1t wa3 decided that the present dog tax collectors carry on their duties, and the question of takinglegal steps to compel the registration of dogs was left in the hands of the Chairman. It was decided to call for tenders for the erection of a washhouse to the caretaker's house, at the Wakanai Creek intake. Small water race deviation were granted to the trustees of the Methven parsonage, Messrs A. Harvey, A. Irvine, and D. Morrow, Ruapuna. The Chairman said that the Ashburton Traffic Bridge would be opened for the Winter Show at the request of the Committee of the Winter Show. The tender of John Downie, .£59 10s, was accepted for construction of storm water drain at Tinwald. Several small matters were transacted, and the meeting then adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

COUNTY COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6586, 2 June 1905

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COUNTY COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6586, 2 June 1905

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