The following business was transacted at the County Council meeting yesterday afternoon, after the "Guardian" went to press.
The Public Works Department wrote stating that the engineer reports that a ferro-concrete bridge at Blowing Point, with necessary approaches and protection, would cost £4600, as against £2550 if hardwood timber was used. The road did not appear to be of sufficient importance to warrant such a large expenditure as £4600, and the Minister was of the opinion that the bridge should be erected in hardwood, as originally proposed.—Received.
The Canterbury Progress League wrote enclosing the following resolutions for endorsement: —"That, in view of the amount of present congestion and the probable increase of imports and exports, the Government be urged to provide adequate accommodation for both passenger and' goods traffic at Christchurch and Lyttelton on the lines indicated by the General Manager of Railways in 1914." "That the Minister of Public Works be strongly urged to take steps-'t'o. proceed with the construction of the Otira Tunnel at a greater rate of progress by employing more men at an adequate wage consistent with the nature of the work, so that the bine may more speedily be-1 come remunerative and save the present loss of interest in, the amount. already expended, which can best be achieved by the early linking up of East and West Coasts."—lt was decided to support both resolutions. The Anama Roafl Board wrote asking the council to remove trees opposite Mr W. J Robertson'si, on the road between Twentyman's Bridge and Anama railway station, in order to prevent the road being damaged by snow in winter.—Request agreed to. A circular letter was received from the Palmerston North Chamber of Commerce in regard to permanent roads. The Chamber painted out that the providing of permanent roads of such a nature as to carry motor traffic was_ beyond the nower of most local bodies, and should be undertaken on similar lines to railway construction. A tyre tax would enable the Government to undertake the provision of such permanent roads, and the local bodies could then be called upon to maintain them, as at present. A non-political Board of Engineers should also be appointed to decide on arterial roads and supervise the construction of same.— The chairman said they had ha<J this matter before them several times, and it had frequently been discussed at the County Council conferences, but no action had been taken.—lt was decided to receive the letter.
Tlie Milton Borough Council wrote enclosing the following resolution for endorsement: —.'ln view of the excessive cost of exporting the surplus produce of the Dominion, the Government should be urged to adopt measures to secure, at the earliest possible date, a Government mercantile- fleet of steamers, in order, that producers and others may not be entirely at the mercy of the shipping combines and kindred monopolies."—Or. Drummond said ho considered the Milton Council was on the right , lines, and the Government was to blame. If they were to keep out trusts, they should have the means of transport. The Government should have stepped in and prevented tho Union Company's fleet passing into P. and 0. hands. —Cr. Reid said the council should impress upon Parliament the seriousnessi of the shipping question. The country was isolated, and it was all the more necessary to have our own fleet of steamers. We were at the mercy of the shipping companies, who had piled up enormous profits. These companies were amalgamating to make 'their position stronger and keep out ooDosition.—lt was unanimously, decided to support the Milton Council, also to forward the decision to members of Parliament and the ActingPrime Minister.
The Minister of Public Works wrote statins: that local bodies who desired to purchase motor transport waggons used during the war would have to do so through the various motor firms in England, as arrangements had been made with the War Office to return all vehicles on demobilisation. —Received.
Five water rangers wrote asking'for an increase in salary, the reason for the request being the high cost of living, horse feed, etc.—lt was decided to grant the same bonus as last year to the whole of the Council's staff.
The South Rakaia Road Board wrote asking for 20ft of cement, pipes for a crossing on the Lauriston-Sherwood road.—To be supplied as soon as available. *
GENERAL. The engineer was instructed'to 'request Messrß D. Wright, Windermere, and J. Grigg, Longbeach, to put reserves leased by them in order in terms of their leases.
Tlie .chairman reported that he had been told that some settlers who had been trying to sell their farms in the Ruapuna district, had stated to prospective buyers that the Council would relieve them of their liability in *.e----gard to water charges. He wished to make it known that such tactics were most unfair to induce people to buy land. The Council had no power to relieve the settlers there of tho liability over the water supply. The matter of illuminating the County Council Chambers on peace nights was left in the hands of the chairman to arrange.
The question of traction engine traffic on the Ashburton Bridge came up for discussion.—Tlie Engineer expressed an opmion that the engine traffic should be stopped because, apart from the danger of accident the stopping of the other traffic would be a serious disadvantage. Without the engine traffic the bridge should be safe for another 15 years.—Cr. Reid said he was opposed to; stopping the engine traffic. The time li^d arrived when the question of thcj new bridge should receive serious coiisideration.—Cr. Drummond said it seemed to him that it was time the Council set the machinery in motion for the construction of a new bridge. By the time the Council got the plans and got the Government to agree to the grant the 15 years' life of the bridge would be nearly expired. (Laughter).—Cr. Harrison said it was highly necessary that engines should be allowed to cross the bridge. The Council should carry on until, such time as tlie bridge broke down- and then the Government would probably speed up. He favoured steps heing, taken to get the new bridge, because* • in 15 years' tinie the traffic would have increased ten-fold, more especially as big estates were likely to be cut up.— The chairman said there was not an
average bf one traction engine per week crossing the bridge, and it would be a pity to see the ordinary traffic stopped through damage caused by engines.—Cr. Reid opposed trucking the engines over as was done some years ago. —Cr. Lill said there was no ford at the bridge where tractions could cross in the summer time. He considered it would soon be necessary to build a new bridge. For the coming election a strong point should be made of this and the candidates made to promise they would support the bridge. The trucking over of mgines was unsatisfactory and often caused delay to the owners through trucks not being available. The management of the railways at the present time was about the' limit. Plenty of grain was now railed at Tinwald because haulers would not take the risk bringing their engines over the bridge. He favoured running the risk of breaking down the bridge and allowing the engines to cross.—The Clerk stated that the average engines crossing the bridge was 24 per year.—lt was decided to allow the engine traffic as usual and to review the matter every year. It was decided to arrange to hold a conference on June 14 of delegates in connection with the abolition of the Read Boards.
The question of the speed limits of motor cars will also be discussed at the Conference.
It was decided that the Works, Committee inspect Pudding Hill bridge, with a view to shortening the structure and also a small bridge in the Lauriston Road at Thompson's Corner. Accounts amounting to £358 16s 5d were passed for payment.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9600, 3 May 1919
COUNTY COUNCIL Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9600, 3 May 1919
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