The fortnightly meeting of the Dunedin City Council was held last night, when there were present—Hia Worship the Mayor (Mr H. Gourley), Crs G. L. Denniston, H. F. Hardy, R. Chisholm, P. Miller, W. Swan, Charles Haynes, C. M. Mouat, J. Carroll, J. A. Park, and A. Solomon. CORRESPON DENCE. Mr Francis Henderson applied for the right to mine for gold on a portion of the Silverstream water race. He was willing to pay a royalty of 5s per ounce or consider any other offer the Council desired to make.— Referred to the Water Committee to act. Mr M. J. S. Mackenzie, M.H.R., wrote acknowledging the letter of the Council setting forth objections which might reasonably be urged against the Municipal Franchise Enlargement Bill of Mr Tanner. The Council would notice that the writer had moved an amendment against the Bill in the direction indicated by the Council. Apart from all consideration of the principle, it was quite absurd that a private member should be supported in a fragmentary Bill of the kind while the whole question of local government as a subject for the consideration of the House was pending. There was not the smallest chance of the Bill passing either House.—Received. Letters were received from the Green Island, North-east Valley, Oamaru, and Port Chalmers Councils offering their assistance and co-operation in opposition to the provisions of the Municipal Franchise Enlargement Bill. The Timaru Council wrote stating that consideration of the matter had been deferred.—The letters were received. RECREATION GROUND FOR THE FLAT. Messrs Ruaton, Culling, and Fisher, representing the Boroughs of Caversham, St. Hilda, and South Dunedin respectively, waited upon the Council for the purpoae of ascertaining if the ten-acre section in Cargill road belonging to the Council could be procured as a recreation ground for the Flat. _ Mr Ruston explained that the deputation had been appointed to wait upon the Council with regard to handing over a reserve between Cargill road and Macandrew road for recreation purposes for the three Flat boroughs. He understood that the reserve in question was handed over to the Council by the Provincial Government at a time when there was no Flat boroughs in existence. Mr Fisher said the Flat was greatly in Want of a reserve. Of course, there were reserves there, but they all belonged to societies, and the majority of the youths were entirely excluded from them. He thought the best way would be for the City Council to join the Flat boroughs in their efforts to acqu ; re the reserve. He was afraid the City Council, if willing, could not part with the reserve, and that was why he suggested they should join the borough councils to obtain the reserve, which would be of use to the City as well as the Flat. Mr Culling said the population of the Flat was 12,000, and was rapidly increasing. The Government should be approached with a view of giving the City Council another piece of land of equal value to this reserve so that the Council's finances might not auffer. The Mayor explained that the matter would be considered by the Reserves Committee. THE NORTH GROUND. Mr Chisholm, in moving the adoption of the Reserves Committee's report (already published), said the matter referred to in the first recommendation of the report had been before the Committee and the Council on more than one occasion. He would like to say that the Committee their decision after very carefufjeonsideration of the matter. They had visited the Northern Recreation Ground, and, indeed, one member of the Committee had ventured to enter the ground on two Saturday afternoons while the clubs were playing cricket. It was a veritable charge of cricket' on all sides of him, but it was gratifyingVto think that he had escaped without any bodily injury. Apart from joking, however, cricket on that ground was positively dangerous, and consequently the Committee recommended that the clubs should not be "allowed to play on the ground after the present season expired. The Committee also saw that the reserve, instead of being a recreation ground in the sense it wa3 Intended, was practically being made a Siort cut from one street to another, and they were unanimous in the opinion that all the openings with the exception of the two mentioned in the report should be closed. In short, the Committee thought that no reserve in the City should be let to any club or clubs for the purpose of playing cricket, and thus deprive the citiasns of what they bad a psrfect right to—free access to the reserves. Or Denniston scoonded the motion, Cr Haynes said that prior to the last meeting of the Council a fairly represented meeting of the ratepayers was held, and they virtually came to the conclusion that the request made by the cricketers Bhould be acceded to. Having visited the ground, he was sure that the chairman of the Reserves Committee was now in a position to say that the place was in a most disgraceful condition. The object of the cricketers was to improve the ground by spending every shilling taken at the gates. He had no objection to the recommendations in the report, provided he was assured that the Committee would go a little further in the direction of recommending the Council to do something by way of improving the reserve. Cr Chisholm said no effort would be lacking on the Committee's part to improve the reserve and make it, along with all other reserves in the City, as attractive as posnible. Cr Mouat was surprised at the Committee's report after what had taken place in the past. Last year he was a member of the Reserves Committee, and they presented a report which recommended the right to the cricketers to charge for admission on ten days in the year, provided that the admission mouey was spent for the ganeral improvement of the ground. That report was held over expressly"! for the'purp jse of obtaining the opinion of the ratepayers at that end of the town on the subject, and since then there had been a meeting of ratepayers, who, to his surprise, were in f.ivor of the grant instead of being hostile to it. In the face of that they had a recommendation from the Committee which was of a right-about nature altogether. They refused to grant what the ratepayers now said should be granted. The Committee had discovered a new consideration ii that the game as carried out on the ground was extremely dangerous. He might tell the Council that cricket had b-eu played there for fully twenty years, and during that time there had only been one accident, which, however, was not.of a serious nature. They were now told that the Council were going to improve the ground, while last year it was stated that tne Council had no money for such purposes. Every year thev were granting rights to cricket elub3 to" play on reserves all over the town. Cr Chisholm : Outs ; dc the town. Cr Mouat: What about the southern reserve ? Cr Dknniston : There is uo danger there. Cr Mouat: But that is a public reserve. If it applies to one place it must apply to others. Cr Solomon thought the Committee had arrived at a very sensible and proper conelusion in every respect. It was dangerous for children to be about the ground on a Saturday afternoon, and as to charging for admission on a public reserve he had opposed that all along. Cr Miller said, like the last speaker, he was opposed to allowing anybody to charge for admission to a public reserve. He had visited the ground, and was strongly of opinion that it waß too small for cricket, especially when there were so many clubs playing on it. Cr Chisholm, in reply, said the question of improving the reserve did not necessarily mean a great outlay of money. • The exercise of care in protecting the reserve would go a long way towards its improvement. The report was adopted. ■ -,- ' other reports. " '' ' The Works Committee's report was adopted.- Cr Swan expressed the hope that when tho contract for street cleaning was let again it would be stipulated that the main streets should be cleaned and the dust removed before eight o'clock in the morning. : The Water Committee's report having
been read, Cr Miller moved aa an amendment—" That the proposal to lay a 4in main at the tongue wharf be referred back to the •Committee for further conßideration."--Tho amendment was seconded by Cr Mouat and carried, and the report was then adopted as amended. The Gas and General Committees' reports were adopted as published. The Finance Committee (besides the increase of rates dealt with elsewhere) reported having received intimatipn from the Dunedin and Kaikorai Tram Company, Limited, that the Council's claim of £350 for part of allotment 16 and allotments 17, 42, 43, and 44; subdivision of sections 1 and 2, block 4, Upper Kaikorai district, taken for the purpose of the tramway, had been agreed to in full. Accounts as follows had been passed for payment:—Municipal, £O4O I4s 5d ; water, £ll2 Os 8d ; gas, £463 3j 7d; public abattoir account, £500; total, £2,015 18a Bd.—The report was adopted. dog tax. The dog tax for the year was fixed at 103. Cr Hardy expressed his readiness to move that it be increased to £l, but it was pointed out that the tax now stood at the limit permitted by the Act.
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CITY COUNCIL., Evening Star, Issue 10462, 4 November 1897