Damage by Recent Flood.
PROPOSED PROTECTIVE WORKS,
Mossts C. J. Harper, chairman of County Council and Mr Hugo Friedlimder 'waited on the Borough Council last night, as a daputUbu from tho t'oanty Council with regard to tho proposed protective works to the.river above the intake,and theproportion of cost of wuw to t ©borne by the Borough. Mr liarper stated that the County Council had received a letter bearing on the sufje.;t from tho Borough Council to the oiioct that the work would not co3t ,£3CO, und that the Borough Council would contribute towards tin* work in the eaine proportion as it contributed to the traffic bridge. Mr Harper stated that the latter proposition greatly astonished him. The previous basis was fixed in 1882, and he aid not think under tho existing conditions the same basis &hould hold. He held that the proposed work affected the borough more than the County. He detailed previous operations in regard to the work which was to protect their intake. v The water-supply oi. tho Borough was threatened Tht»y were going to do the work when the late Hood cumo and if another flood came it must do an immense amount of damage to the town affecting the channel. The body of water that would come over would ba half,if not the whole of the Ashburton. The County Council was prepared^ to do what he regarded as a handsome thing in finding two-thirds of the money and only asking tha Borough for one-third. It was no use in his opinion doing the work in a temporary way, they should do it well. There was a very particular bend in the river and if the stream once got over that bend it would be difficult to get it back to its course. The work should be done immediately. There were difficulties in the way as they must get an indemnity : from the owners of the adjacent land.
Mr Friedlander said it was hardly necessary for him to say much. He thought that the executors of the late Mr Digby recognised that the work was •as much to their benefit as to the local bodies. He then dealt with the relative portions o£ cost to be borne by the local bodies concerned. If the river broke through at the spot where it threatened, sooner or later it would come into the town, as water would find its level. It had done so in the early days. The County could get its water higher up, at Winchmore, but the Borough was in a different position, as it' the present intake was washed away jt would at once stop the supply of the.town. He then instanced the danger which would ensua in the case of fire. ttpeaking as one of the largest ratepayers in the town he thought; that the Borough would be justified in making the expense asked for. He thought that the amount asked for was fair.
Cr Ferriman said that it wob the delsy of the County Council which had cost the extra money, and he thought it would have been better if the Borough had been approached, when the cost would have been smaller.
In regard to the easement on the traffic bridge, the Mayor replied to Gr Stewart that the County had given as much as the Borough.
Mr Harper explained the pro rata charge under the 1882 Act on the traffic bridge. He did not want to intimidate the Council, but he had been studying later Acts, and the County Council waa now given the power to change the rate. He again exhorted the Council, in its- own interests, to fall in with the views of the County Council.
After Mr Davison had explained the topography of the county, Cr Andrews asked if there waa not anybody else liable for the expenditure as well as the two bodies which would undertake the work. He had seen some rivers protected better than was done here, by large piles being driven, then wire netted, and blocked with brushwood.
Mr Friedlander explaiued how difficult it was to collect money from individuals however directly or indirectly affected. It; might be argued that the town of Ashburton was more benefited than the outlying districts.
Cr Silcock thought that it would be a fair thing to assess the cost on the relative values of the bodies interested.
Mr Harper said that was an abstrnee question. The districts served by the water extended from the Wakanui Creek to Seatield in one direction, and the Ashburburfcon Eiver and the Wakanui Creek in tho other. The County could be watered from Winchmore, and if the present intake wus washed away where would the Borough be ? There was a fall of 35ft., and from that they could gauge the manner in which the water would come into the town. If the Borough was not alive to the matter that was its concern, but perhaps the Borough would wake up some morning and find that it had to requisition any spare boats in the township. He considered the County Council whs acting very reasonably.
Mr Morrison, the County Banger, who accompanied Messrs Harper and Friedlander, placed a sketch plan before the Coun* cil showing the nature of the work to be done and the number of groins to be pat in. Cr Silcock said that he supposed every Councillor had a different idea of the manner that the work should be done, and he asked if the Council agreed to the deputation's terms, would they have to follow the sketch plan produced* The members of the deputation said that that would not be so, the main desire being to make a permanent work.
Mr Harper stated that the County had appointed a committee of three, and the Borough would be allowed representation according to the amount voted.
The Mayor said that the Borough water supply was most important, and he wished the Council would be unanimous.
On the motion of Or Clark, seconded by Cr Davison, it was decided to accede to the County Council's wishes, and the Mayor and Cr Stewart were appointed a committee toact with the County's representatives, aa amendment that the districts most likoly to be affected by an overflow should bo assessed being lost.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6624, 18 July 1905
Damage by Recent Flood. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6624, 18 July 1905
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