The usual monthly meeting of the Ashburton County Council was held at the Counoil Chambers this morning. Present— Crs C. J. Harper (chairman), H. Friedlander, W. Morgan, S. S. Chapman, and W. Dickie.
The Chairman read hia uaual statement of business to come before the meeting, and transacted since last meeting. The telephone service at the Wakanui Creek intake had been completed and was in operation. Ihe Council had received £27 towards the coat of erecting a bridge over the Hinds at Barford. The Chairman then distributed to members copies of the North Canterbury Charitable Aid Board's list of cases assisted. WORKS COMMITTEE'S REPORT. The Works Committee reported as follows :— Ashburton-Eaknia Water Supply—During the early part of June the supply was regular throughout the upper part of the district. On the 23rd the rivers were heavily flooded, which caused a good deal of blockage at Pudding Hill dam, and intake of auxiliary channel, but no particular damage was done to any of the headworks. Men and teams were put to work as speedily as possible, nnd the supplies were restored within three days. Chapman'a Creek, in Broome Park, was blocked with
Bhingle for a length of six chains, which has been cleared. The flood water in this creek at present is more than sufficient for the supply of E races. In the lower pirt of the district the supply was fall throughout until the 23rd. A considerable amount of blockage at the head works was caused by the flood on that date, which has been cleared away, and the supply is now restored. Several footbridges have been erected throughout the district, and fords are being attended to as necessity requires. Ashburton-tlangitata Water Supply.— The water supply frora all sources has been regular, with the exception of that from the Rangitata Gorge. The water from this source was shub off for cleaning purposes tot the beginning of the month. After the recent heavy rains, several small slips of ■hingle and boulders blocked the race to
some extent, and thi3 is now being cleared,
and the supply will be turned on again in a few days. Owing to the illness of the race cleaning contractor, a large chainage of races has still to be cleaned. Several races have been cleaned at occupier's expense, and the work will be continued where necessary when men are available.
Ashburton Forks Water Supply.—ln this district the blockage has all been removed from the head works and supplies have been restored thronghout.
Bridges.—The protection near Pudding Hill will require tc be extended four chains, through the encroachment of the river last flood. The work is now in hand, and will be completed in about a fortnight. The greater portion of the material for renewal of Taylor's Stream bridge is to band. The ford for passage for traction engines was Bcoured out to some extent, bat is now open to traffic. No damage is done to any of the county bridges, but a good deal of drift timber, gorse, and broom will require to be removed from the piles. The erection of the footbridge at Barford is a far more expensive undertaking than waa at first anticipated, the cost of which (iJSOO about) will far exceed any benefit that the district will derive from it. The renewal of the stock bridge from Mayfield crossing, 220 feet in length, to Toner's crossing, would cost approximately .£ll2. Toner's crossing at road line was 540 feet in width, and during Ja3t flood the river encroached on to north side some $ of a chain, so that the 220 feet of bridge proposed to be erected would only be a piece of patchwork, and would not serve the purpose for which it wa? intended. Mayfield Traffic Bridge,—The greater portion of material is now on the ground and the work of erection is in hand.
Ashburton Traffic Bridge.—The work of re-decking has been completed as far as is intended. In the meantime, until the dack planking is seasoned and weather more suitable for the completion of the whole, any additional work will be suspended.
Tenders for Protective Workß near Digby's have not been called, as intended, as the river has encroached a good deil further afc this point, and the protection would require to be extended, and made considerably stronger than what was formerly proposed, the cost of which would be about .£3OO.
The Co3t of repairing damage to all works throughout the county done by recent flood will not exceed ,£SO, which may be considered very satisfactory, considering the magnitude of the flood.
Plantations.— The plantations between Ohertsey and Rakaia have beon grubbed and are now in good order. Several plantations under lease in the Eakaia district require gorse grubbed and fences repaired. "Wire netting ha 3 been placed round plantations at Buccleuch and Alford, and gorse has been grubbed in the adjoining plantation.
The Council will regret to learn that Mr Craighead has met with an accident while he was at work on the Ashbnrton Traffic Bridge, which will incapacitate him from work for some time to come.
During discussion on the report Mr Morgan brought up the matter of placing a foot bridge over a flood water race in his distriot.—The work was duly authorised.
Cr Friedlander brought up the matter of willow encroachment on the riverbed near the ABhburton bridge.
The Chairman was of opinion that the root out of the willows would do more harm than good. It would be as well to cut the willows down to some extent.
Ifc waa resolved that in view of the large£6Bß of the Works Committee's estimate of the cost of the bridge at the Hinds at Barford, and the small benefit to be derived therefrom, the Council could not see its way to undertake two-thirds of the cost of each bridge as previously suggested, and that the amount received on this account by tke Council up to date be returned to contributors.
In the ease of a bridge at Toner's Crossing, it was resolved that the Council did not consider the work was necessary, and that it should not be proceeded with.
Or Friedlander referred to the unevenness in size of many of the deck timbers recently placed upon the traffic bridge.
The Chairman said that many of the deck timbers were not yet fastened down.
Cr Grigg advocated that a supply of sand be procured, and that the bridge flooring be covered with a layer of sand, similar to that put on during recent frosty weather. The sand would make a nice easy surface to drive on, would permit water to drain through, and would act as a buffer between the deck timbers aud the wheels of vehicles. A layer of tar first might help to keep the sand in position.
Cr Friedlander thought an estimate might be procured ns to the cost of tarring and sanding the bridge.
The Chairman said that in other countieß steel bridge deckings were coming rapidly into use and seemed to give eatisfaction.
The matter then dropped
In reference to the encroachments in the Ash burton riverbed, the Chairman said that in his opinion the Borough Council had an equal responsibility in this matter with the County Council. The Borough Council had replied to this Board's letter, forwarding a copy of the Works Committee's report, which stated that the work of clearing the river need not cost more than £100. The Borough Council would contribute to the cost of the proposed clearing at the same rate as that adopted in respect of contributions to the traffic bridge account (14 per cent, of total cost). Specifications were drawn out for this protective work before Mr Baxter (County Engineer) went to England, and the speaker was satisfied thut the present plan of works was the only one which would produce permanent results. Cr. Friedlander suggested that a small deputation wait upon the Borough Council to explain the position of affairs. Cr Dickie said the Borough did not contribute fairly to any County work. The Borough Council should pay at least half of the proposed work. It was eventually decided to proceed with the work of protection, provided the Borough Council contribute one-third of the cost, and that the Upper Ashburton Eoad Board and the proprietor of R.S. 25962 be asked to contribute to the cost, the matter to be left in the hands of a committee consisting of the Chairman and Crs Grigg and Friedlander, with power to aofc. The report as a whole was adopted. INCREASE OP HAREB. The Chairman, in accordance with a tabled notice of motion, moved that this Council consider the best means of checking the inbrease of the number of bares in the district. He thought the best method of effecting tbja would bo I y adopting a suggestion made afc last meeting pf the (Council that hares killed in this county a subsidy of 3d each b« paid to the conpigner on] all sent to Fairfield for
freezing purposes for the next two months. This would give the young fellows of the county encouragement to go hare shooting/
Or Grigrg seconded the motion and spoke in support of it. At present prices were not sufficient to lead to the effective destruotinn of hares in the county. Cr Chapman could no", support the motion as he thought it wa3 unnecessary. He could not soothat there was any marked increase in tho nunibor of hares, at least iv his own district, Many farmers far preferred to shook rabbits and hares for themselves, and did not like ptrangei'3 coming on their land to shoot. Under this proposal the Southern districts would hnw to pay largely for the destruction of rabbits in the North.
Cr Dickie endorsed Cr Orapman'a remarks, nnd moved as an auiendm«tiD " that ihis Council ask the Government to include hares in the "Rabbit Act."
Seconded by Cr Chapman. Cr Friedlander said that he did not think hares were so numerous in the Northern as in the Southern parts of the county. He thought that if the experiment were limited to two months, no harm could be done by trying it.
CrGrigg deprecated a narrow parochial view of county affairs. He thought that one district should help another as muchjas possible.
The Chairman said that if a large number of ratepayers were suffering from the depredations of hares, they were entitled to assistance from th;s Council.
The proposal he had stabled wa3 only a very small matter after all, as the experiment was limited to two months. The amendment was put and lost. Ths original motion was carried, and a resolution wa3 made carrying into effect the Chairman's proposal as to subsidising a'l hares killed within the county, and handed in at Fairfield Freezing Works in a condition fit for export, at the rate of 3d per bead, Cm Chapman and Dickie dissenting. WATER RATES REDUCTION. The Chairman, in acoordince with a tabled notice of motion, moved th-it the water race charge in the Ashbnrton-Kakaia and Ashburton Porks districts be reduced from 7d and 6d per chain respectively to a uniform charge of 5d per chain. Seconded by Cr Morgx n.
Cr Grigg said that this proposal seemed to him hardy consistent with the recent agitation for water rating on an area basis, the reason for which was alleged to be the necessity for raising more revenue to cope with the cost of maintaining the water race system. He would like some assurance that the proposed uniform charge would produce enough revenue for practical purposes. The Chairman said that 5d per chain would pay bare costs of maintenance. Any new work would have to be provided for in some other way.
Cr Friedlander said that 6d per chain would, he thought, more than cover the cost of maintenance of water races.
Cr Grigg said that the Chairman's explanation was satisfactory, provided that in cases of emergency the chainage rate would be raised to provide the necessary funds.
The Chairman gave his assurance that this would be effected.
Cr Chapman said he would support the motion, which seemed to provide for a fair arrangement. The motion was put and carried. Ihe Council then adjourned for lunch.
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County Council., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6615, 7 July 1905
County Council. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6615, 7 July 1905
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