PUBLIC MEETING AT PORT CHALMERS.
A public meeting was held yesterday evening in the Port Chalmers Town Hall to consider a requisition from the residents of Mansforcl Town for annexation to the borough. The Mayor stated that the requisition had been signed by some fifty-eight persons, who had already petitioned the Governor to join Mansford to Port Chalmers. Mr Throi’ said for a number of years the people of Mansford had been paying their rates to tho Waikouaiti Council, but had found they received very little in return. They therefore came to tho conclusion that Waikouaiti was not treating them with that spirit of fairness to which they were entitled. They had also seen tho beneficial effects of municipal government in Port Chalmers, as during the last few years very great improvements had bees made both iu the streets and roads. About ten years since the then Provincial Government had made considerable improvements in Mansford Town by means of prison labor. Roads were cut and formed, footpaths were made and oven some of them kerbed, but since the place had been handed over to the Waikouaiti County Council nothing had been done, not even a load of gravel being laid down by it, and they had found that the Council were inclined to treat them as a country district, and not as a township; hence their desire to ho annexed. They were not coming before the Port Chalmers people as beggars, but simply asking to be taken over as willing to pay their fair share of taxes for what they received. At present they were paying to Waikouaiti what they considered equivalent to tho 9d rate at Port Chalmers, made up as follows: Property tax, L 46; license (hotel), L 25; dog tax, LlO ; total, LSI. They thought that amount would represent a fair revenue. As there was no debt on the County of Waikouaiti, if they were taken over they brought no liability with them. They had no postal delivery in Mansford, but if annexed this boon would be granted to them. No extra expense would be entailed on Port Chalmers, as its present staff of officers could do all that was necessary. The Mayor pointed out that if Mansford Town were annexed they could only charge a rate of 3d in tho £; and although the Mansford people might be willing to pay the same general rates as the Port people did, there was no power given the Corporation to enforce such rates.
Cr M'Kenzie said the people of Mansford Town wished to bo annexed, in order that they might have roads, streets, and paths equal to those of the Port. It was only a few years since tho rate at Port Chalmers was Is 6d, instead of 9d as at present, and it was from that source that the asphalt paths and other improvements were made. Then they had a water loan of L 25,000, and a special loan of L 5,000, known as Dench’s loan, without which they would have been very little better off than Mansford Town was at present. He opined the Mansford Town people were not prepared to pay a share of these loans. If I hey did annex them, tho first thing that would have to be done would be to put men on and make more than a mile of roads and streets. The cost of keeping up the town of Port Chalmers amounted to L 790 per annum, and not one of the items could they ask the Monsford people to pay. He did not consider that the present officers would he sufficient if Mansford Town were taken over. Even if the people there could pay onc-cighth of the cost of the borough expenses, about LIOO, where was the cost of making the improvements to come from. Mr Throp had told them that Port Chalmers was paying some LSOO in taxes, and that Mansford with its LSI was not far behind them ; but lie could inform that gentleman that if there were no rates at all in Port Chalmers they could still exist and still keep up their footpaths from the revenue of their endowed property. The Governor’s proclamation sent to them was to the effect that if no action were taken ho should annex Mansford to Port Chalmers, and he (Mr M'Kenzie) was of opinion that the proper course to be adopted was at once to petition the Governor against such a procedure.
Cr Murray could not agree with Cr M'Kenzie, and would move that the prayer of tho petitioners bn granted. He did so on the ground that they could do good to Mansford Town and some little to themselves, It was very reasonable ou the part of these people to seek annexation. They earned their living iu the town, and lie thought it was the bounden duty of Port Chalmers to take them over; always considering that the amount of reveuuo raised by them, and no more, he spent on them. LSO would go a long way in paying for day labor. He moved—“ That the prayer of the petition be granted.” Cr Inn es seconded, and Cr Schumacher supported the motion. Cr M'Kenzie moved, and Cr Perry seconded—“ That in the opinion of this meeting a counter petition should be prepared against the annexation.” The motion was carried by 21 votes to 5.
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PUBLIC MEETING AT PORT CHALMERS., Evening Star, Issue 8033, 9 October 1889
PUBLIC MEETING AT PORT CHALMERS. Evening Star, Issue 8033, 9 October 1889
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