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CITY COUNCIL., Issue 8052, 31 October 1889
The fortnightly meeting of the City Council, held last night, was attended by the Mayor, Crs Carroll, Sinclair, Cratnond, Cohen, Swan, M'Gregor, Barron, Haynes, Hardy, Kimbell, and Fish, CORRESPONDENCE. An application from the Exhibition Company to have Crawford street and the approaches to the Exhibition made passable in both wet and dry weather was referred to the Works Committee to act. Cr Solomon wrote that in consequence of indisposition be could not attend the meet* ing. An application by the secretary to the Roslyn Tramway Company for permission to form a small pond at the Town Belt, in the gully at the foot of Ross street, Roslyn, for the purpose of supplying water for the engine, was referred to the Tramway Committee to report. Mr John Mitchell (Fergusson and Mitchell) wrote that he had noticed a paragraph in the papers re refusal to allow a shed to be erected on the water pipe road line. As this might lead to misconstruction, ho wished to point out that the Corporation had only a right to open up and repair their water pipe that was laid through his property to a width of 15ft; but no road for the public was allowed by the deed.—Referred to the Water Committee to act. a tenant’s grievance.
The following letter was received from Mr William Goldie (of Port Chalmers), one of the Council’s tenants :
I beg most respectfully to lay before you an extreme hardship I endure as your tenant of section 2, block 1, Lower Harbor West district.
In 1865 I became lessee of said section for a term of fourteen years, paying a yearly rental of LlO. At the expiration of said lease it was again leased for a short term of four years and eight months, so that it might fall in with the adjoining section leased to me; both leases fell in in 1884. The two sections were put up by auction in February, 1884. The valuation for improvements on section 2 was fixed at LI, 180, the yearly rental at L 45, with a reduction of land to 6a 2r; the section adjoining at L 6, for 5a Ir SOp. There was no competition at the sale, the sections being purchased by me at the upset price in each case. I demurred at the time to the high rent of section 2, without avail. I was informed that I would have to take it or forfeit all my improvements. I considered to do that would ba to leave my wife and family homeless. I have called on the gentlemen who were valuators, as I had reason to believe that there was something more than a fair annual ground rent of the said land only, without any buildings or improvements made. The valuators cannot account for the very great difference in the yearly rent of sections 2 and 3, the former being fixed at L 45 per annum, the latter (which is almost, if not quite, as good a section) at L 8 per annum, and have expressed the opinion that they must have taken into account more than the mere naked ground when making their valuation. They would like to inspect the ground before giving an opinion, I to pay the coit. In conclusion, I trust that your honorable body will give this your favorable consideration and consent to the revaluation cf the land; and if it is found that the arbitrators went beyond their strictly legal position you will grant such relief as the case may warrant.
Cr Kimbell moved, and Cr Carroll seconded, the reference of the matter to the Reserves Committee. Cr Hardy moved that the letter be referred to the Finance Committee, The gentlemen who had valued the property the second time had admitted that they had made a grave mistake. He was quite sure that the occupier of the land would not now have approached the Council had not circumstances compelled him to. Cr Cbamomd seconded the amendment, spying that the case seemed to him an exceptionally hard one. Cr Cohen, without expressing any opinion on the merits of this particular case, regarded it as one for reference to the Finance Committee. The relation of tenants to the Corporation had been before the Finance Committee for a series of years, and that body was intimately acquainted with the circumstances of many of their tenants, and therefore more qualified than the Reserves Committee to deal with the matter. The amendment was also supported by Crs M'Gbegor and Fish, and was assented to,
iiis, hansom Cab stand. The following petition was received . We, the undersigned licensed hansom owners,having heard that the Ckmnoil intend to pass p by-law to compel ns to stand in Water street, Would respectfully request you to darcfully consider oUr petition Well before doing anything so injurious to us. Wo would also point out that our position should be prominent, so that anyone wanting a hansom in a hurry could see one from any central point; henfle the request made to you for the stand in street centre. Yon are no doubt atfsre it is the only mode of speedy conveyance afforded tbs travelling public in Dunedin, and it would be Utterly useless to doctors, merchants, and others who patronise us if they bad to come down side streets and look for ns. We also consider that as we pay the same licensing fees as the four-wheelers we have fully as much right on tho main street as they have. We would touring to your notice, with regard to complaints made against ns, that all public servants are subject to a certain amount of abuse, and in our case we know that those who have moat abused us are those who never require our services. Trusting that our former petition will be granted— We are,' etc. (Signed by eight hansom cab owners.)
In a further petition the drivers pointed out that if ono hansom was allowed to standi at the corner of Princes and High streets, by the Colonial Mutual Insurance Company's building, and the rest in the centre of Princes street, it would suit the public convenience, and put a stop to all rushing and galloping from the rank. Gr Kimbell moved that the letters be held over till the Council were dealing with the by-laws on the matter. Gr Frsff seconded, and would just like to remark that these hansom cab-drivers must ; not consider that the Council sat for the purpose of legislating for them, and to make by-laws to salt their convenience. Gr Sinclair ' Nonsense.
Cr Fish: My friend, Gr Sinclair, is in the trade, and sometimes a fellow feeling; makes us wondrous kind.—(Laughter.) Her (Cr Fish), speaking in the interests of the public, would say that the hansom cab drivers In their present position were a great nuisance to the public. They should be put in the middle of some street —the most suitable that conld b(( found—pvhere they would be prevented from lounging up against buildings where they stood, and where they wonld be no to the public. Every man should be in his cab or at the side of it, and not on the street spitting and otherwise annoying passers-by. If One cab was at the corner of Princes and Water streets, as he believed it was proposed, that would suit the public convenience very well. The remainder conld be either in Water street, or perhaps southwards in the centre of Princes street, the cabs for Gaversham being moved further forward. The present practice of cabs rushing about pell mell when a customer Called was a very dangerous one, and should not be tolerated.
Cr Sinclair would not oppose the motion, but be held that Gr Fish had placed the matter before the Council in an unfair light. Perhaps these men were not a well educated class—not quite so educated or so learned as Cr Fish—but they certainly _ did not think the Counoil was there to legislate for them alone, and to ignore the public convenience. Their proposal was a very reasonable one, and one to which the Council should give attention.
Cr M'Geeook was of opinion that Water street was the most handy and convenient stand for the public. Cr Carroll held that the men were interested in the question of cabstands, and for that reason they should be consulted before any cabstands were fixed. The motion was carried, and it was snbsequently resolved that the Council hold a special meeting on Wednesday, 13th November, at the close of the ordinary meeting, for tie purpose of considering proposed by' laws Nos, 23 and 24. REPORTS. The various reports published in our issue of Tuesday were adopted. When the Gas Committee’s report was read it was explained that the heating burners, a supply of which was recommended, would cause more gas to be consumed for domestic purposes, and one or two councillors congratulated the Gas Committee on their departure in the direction of running the department on commercial lines. When the Works Committee’s report was read Cr Kimbell moved the deletion of the clause providing for concrete channelling and asphalt edging to the footpaths in Clyde avenue at a cost of L 24 3?. He did not see why this work should be done at the expense of the ratepayers when previous works of the same sort had been done at the expense of those whom it immediately benefited.—Cr Habdv seconded the amendment.—Cr Kimbell wanted to know how this new departure in the matter of kerbing and channelling bad been brought about Z Why were the property-owners interested being relieved of their share of the cost? It seemed that exceptional treatment was being dealt ont to a favored locality, when the finances of the City were very straitened. He moved the deletion of the clause in the report referring to Clyde avenue. Cr Cohen said the last speaker knew very little about the matter when he spoke of a favored locality. The ratepayers in Clyde avenue had been long-suffering and very meek. There had been a promise by the Council that the steepness of the hill should be reduced, so that they might obtain reasonable access to their homes, but through some unaccountable reason the work was stopped after a few yards of it had been done, and those higher up were left in a worse position than before. The proposal of the Works Committee was, after all, only a temporary expedient, and gave a modicum of justice to a number of people who had waited patiently for over eight years for their wants to be attended to.— Cr Fish said he, as chairman of the Works Committee, had visited the avenues, and he at once saw that the work was urgently required. The Committee, he might say, had LI,OOO which they could use for contingencies, and a sum of L 24 would never be missed.—Cr Sinclair was very much pleasd and surprised to bear that the Committee had such a large sum at their command, but he would say that when he gave up the chairmanship of the Committee a short time ago he asked Mr Gibson the amount of money available for contingencies, and he said LllO, but Cr Fish now said it was LI,OOO. He doubted very much whether it was LI,OOO, and if it was he would like to know where it had all come from—what bequest had in short been left to the Committee.—Cr Carroll would also like an explanation of the matter. He had been of opinion that the Committee’s funds were short, and had for that reason refrained from bringing before the Council one or two small works.—After further discussion, the Mavor said he agreed with Cr Fish that, if there was any real necessity for the work, it should be done, and such was the case in this instance. Then, if the Connoil wanted to know all abont the position financially of the Works Committee, he would advise them to go into committee, as there were one or two matters it would be out of place to ventilate in public.—The amendment was lost, and the motion was carried. THE BOTANICAL GARDENS. On the Reserves Committee’s report being read, Cr M'Gregor objected to the proposal to tar and sand the principal walks in the gardens, as there were other things on which money conld be better spent. He would like to know by whose instruction so much native bush had been cut off the area. Cr Fish said that a mistake had been made' by the Council in taking over the Botanical Gardens. He was anxious to know what the Reserves Cdramittoo were really doing with them. It was a matter of public comment that they were not being carried on as they should be if the public were to benefit by them. The native bush, for one thing, was being ruthlessly and recklessly out down, and the gardens were being made more botanic than ornamental. In speaking in this way he was simply reechoing what he believed was the strong opinion of people who professed to know what should be done with the gardens. He was not blaming the curator or anyone else, but Amply asked that the Committee should inquire into the whole management of the gardens andlsee if things on property, Then, another quest a was: How far were the Council justified m j aying L4OO or LSOO a year towards the n intenanoe of the gardens, when the Govern ment contributed so much to similar reserves in other cities ?—(Hear, hear.) Cr Barron was of opinion that by the way the gardens were now being kept the Conn-
bii were losing a lot of money, anti werb fetting very little for What they spent, eople ih the City, ho held, could got as nmon pleasure by walking round the Town Belt as by going to the gardens, At present they were a disgrace to the City, and he hoped the Reserves Committee would take the matter into their serious consideration, and decide whether it was wise to con-
tinue the present state of things, or wiser to shut the gardens up altogether. Cr Cohen agreed with Cr Pish that the Council had made a very great mistake in taking over the control of the gardens i but the thing was done, and had to be put up with. He dissented from the statement that the gardens were in such a disgraceful state as had been implied by one of the speakers. The Council’s finances were so short that the Reserves Committee could not spend much money on the gardens. The curator lived in a house that was unfit for habitation. That part of the bill from which the native bush was being cleared was tho most suitable site for the gardens, and he (Cr Cohen) hoped to see walks made through them, with a broad walk with flower bods on either side extending from the hill to the entrance to the Northern Cemetery. The work at the gardens was being carried on in conformity with the plans of Improvement that had received tho approval of successive reserves committees, The Mayor had no doubt, a mistake was made in taking over the gardens, but he believed they were taken in the belief that Government were going to continue the subsidy. He hoped such a stand would now be taken on the question as would either compel tho Government to take over the gardens or pay the subsidy. The motion for the adoption of the report was carried. cr m'gkegor’s motion. Cr M'Gregor’s motion—“ That asphalt channels be put down in (1) Russell street, south side, from Arthur street to a little above Adam street; (2) Upper 5 ork place, about 50ft; (3) Young street, about one chain” —was referred to the Works Committee to act. THE TRIANGLE FOUNTAIN. Tenders were received for the erection of the fountain on the Triangle, the lowest being L 65. Cr Barron : Who is to pay for it ? Cr Fish : Mr Woli Harris. Cr Barron ; Then what have we got to do with it ? Cr Kimbell said he might be allowed to explain that Mr Wolf Harris, through the Amenities Society, had offered to pay the expenses incidental to the erecting of the fountain, provided tho Council had supervision of the work. Cr Barron : Has it been stated in open Council that this work is to be carried on as stated now by Cr Kimbell ? If so, this is the first I have beard of it. The Mayor said that Cr Kimbell was correct in his statement. The tenders were referred to the Reserves Committee to accept the lowest and most eligible. TENDERS. Tenders for the supply of ironmongery and stores, timber, oils, paints, cement, sewerage pipes, removing house dust, and labor and material were referred to the committees interested to deal with.
CITY COUNCIL., Issue 8052, 31 October 1889
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