ONEHUNGA DRAINAGE SCHEME.
POLL TO BE TAKEN. A meeting of ratepayers .was held on Saturday night at Onehunga to discuss the drainage question. Mr. J. Rowe, Mayor, presided, and there was a fair attendance of ratepayers.
The Mayor stated that under the authority of the Local Bodies' Loans Act, 1908, and its amendments, it was proposed to borrow the.sum of £ 42,500 for the purpose of—(a) The drainage of certain portions : of the' borough of Onehunga, as comprised in the special drainage area shown in. the plan deposited at the borough office; (b) the proposed security of the repayment, of such loan shall bo a special annual recurring tate of 2s in the £ upon the annual rateable values of all rateable property within the special drainage area, consisting of a portion of the borough of Onehunga-; (c) it is proposed to make such loan repayable in 41 years, and to make provision for the payment thereof by establishing a sinking fund of one and- aquarter per centum per annum; (d) it is proposed to pay out of the loan the cost of raising the loan and the interest for the first year. He tlyen asked Dr. John S. Purdy (District Health Officer) to address the meeting. Dr. Purdv said Onohunga had a pure and abundant water supply, and the next work of importance should be thc adoption of a drainage scheme, especially when it had to be considered that the population of Onehunga was rapidly increasing. Onehunga should take a lesson from Devonport, when in IGO2 there were as many cases of communicable diseases as in any part of the Dominion, but since the introduction of drainage there the vital statistics were the best in New Zealand.
The Mayor explained the Council proposal for drainage in detail, and showed that for ordinary dwellings the drainage rate would be very little heavier than at presentj while the health ■ conditions would be largely improved. It had been stated that £40,000 was a large sum.to raise for the drainage of Onehunga, but he considered HE was cheap compared with the estimates submitted for Epsom (£68,700), Mt. Eden (£114,088), Mt. Roskill (£54,515), One-tree (Hill (£48,000), Pai-nelL (£45,600), and Remuera (£09,800). Referring to the rates paid by the borough* of the Dominion, the Mayor quoted from the Municipal Handbook to show that Onehunga was the lowest-rated borough in New Zealand, paying in general, charitable aid, and library rates the total of only ls 2Jd jn the £. He further stated that Onehunga had a big asset in the water supply, as the yenrly profits accruing from the sale of water paid the interest and sinking fund on a loan of £21,000, and leaving a surplus for the ratepayers. The borough finances were never in a bettor condition than at present. All accounts had been paid up to date. The Council had in hand 2000 spalls and 300 yds of broken metal—all ,paid for— to put the roads in good repair for the winter.
In answer to a ratepayer, the Mayor stated that the cost of the new connections would be £8 or under. Tho Council would drain from the boundaries of tho properties.
Speaking on this question, Mr. Warren Blythe stated that when his houses in Parnell were connected with the main drain, the average cost of each house was only £5. This included everything required. He assured the meeting that they need not be afraid to face this question, as they would find that the work would bo done very cheaply. (Applause.)
On the motion of Mr. Schnauer, it was unanimously agreed—"That this meeting of ratepayers heartily approves of the proposed drainage scheme, and that a poll be taken to decide the question." The Mayor then announced that the poll would be taken on Wednesday, 21st inst.
A vote of thanks to Dr. Piirdy for the address and to the Mayor for presiding terminated the proceedings.
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