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HARBOR BOARD

The monthly meeting of the Otago Harbor Board was attended last night by the chairman (Mr 11. E. Moller), Messrs W. Wilkinson, Russell, Platts, Bdchcr, Walker, Dickson, Hazlett, Bridget, Loudon, Hamel, and Scollay.

The bank balance certificate showed a net credit of £4,844 15s sd.

—Deep-water Berths.—

A letter was received fom the Gencal Manager of Railways advising that instructions had been issued for the ordering of piles for the wharf at the deepwater berth, Port Chalmers, delivery to be made as soon as possible after March 31.

This letter was ‘'received," Mr Platts remarking that the first-fruits of this deepwater berth wore that the Pakeha, drawing 27ft Sin, was laden at. the berth, and left in safety. —The Leith Wall Relief Works.— The city engineer {Mr M'Curdio) was present to, explain the plan under which the engineers of the Harbor Board. Drainage Board, and City Council have come to an agreement respecting the construction of the walling of Leith Stream, towards which the Patriotic Committee contribute £3.000 for the provision of relief work.

The Chairman explained briefly that the wall would bo carried to the Harbor Board’s wall at Harbor terrace. The board would he responsible for the part from Forth street to the harbor, in case of flood. But the engineers were agreed that this was not possible.

Mr Walker moved that the hoard approve of the plan laid on tho fable, and that it bo submitted to tho solicitor to draw tip a clause dealing with the Harbor Board’s liability in the matter.

Mr Bridger seconded. Mr Loudon said that apparently the three engineers wore satisfied that the channel would carry all the storm water, and it did not seem necessary to do more than approve, leaving any case to be decided on its merits. There was no doubt that this would be one of the finest works undertaken for the City, and it would he a pity to hang it up. Mr Hamel supported this view. Three engineers had affirmed that, the capacity of tho canal wji,s sufficient for all demands. The board should be satisfied to accept responsibility to Forth street.

Mr Dickson pointed out that the Harbor Board were in a worse position now in the way of responsibility than they would be when the wall was completed. Mr Platts said that if the Harbor Board were merely to ratify the plan, all right: but if they were to give an indemnity, they should submit the matter first to their advisers.

The Chairman, putting questions to the city engineer, elicited the statement that if there was any flooding through negligence or tho like during the construction the council would bo responsible, but after the wall was properly constructed the Harbor Board would ho responsible from Forth sf'-eet downwards. Mr Wilkinson said that they were merely racing a bogy. ■ The engineers were agreed that the channel would carry anv floods, and if this proposed wall bad been built the old flood would never have occurred. The resolution finally carried, and accepted by Mr Walker, was—-“ That the plans submitted hv !’.i engineers ov the City Council. Drainage Board, and Harbor Board re the walling of the Water of Leith he adopted, and (hat a clause in rnnnfction •vvit'h linTnlitv attorned to same by the Harbor Board be referred to a committee consisting of the chairman, deputy-chairman. Messrs Walker and Loudon, with power to act.’*

—Anderson Bay Inlet.— Th© Standing Committee recommended that th© letter from the Bay Town Board re provision of a road along the boundary of 10 acres referred to in the Vesting Bill, and r© the walling of the same, he received, and a reply sent in accordance with the engineer’s report. The engineer’s report was to the effect that he was of opinion that it was very necessary that provision should be made for the formation of a road 99ft wide outside the area proposed to be handed to the Bay Town Board, provided that tho Bay Town Board took over the responsibility for laving out and forming the same as provided for in section 3 of tho Band Vesting Act, 1910. With reference To the construction of a retaining wall, the board would, on completion of the south endowment wall and before dismantling tho quarry works, be in a position to offer to construct a retaining wall for the Bay Town Beard at a minimum cost to that body. The estimated cost of the wall was £1,200. The recommendation was agreed to. —Old Office Site.—

The Standing Committee recommended that the letter from the District Engineer. New Zealand Railways, asking on what terms the board would be prepared to relinquish the site leased in Cumberland street, bo received, and that the secretory'© minute thereon be adopted.

In the course of the minute referred to the secretary stated that it was not desirable that the board should relinquish th© lease at present in existence unless the Railway Department could offer an equally satisfactory site. Tho principal desire of th© department, was to nave the exclusive use cf the land within the railway fences iu the vicinity of tho site leased to the hoard. To secure this a triangular portion would require to he cut off the board's site. If the department could not offer another site he recommended : That Mr Mason be requested to prepare a plan showing how the proposed offices could be erected on the reduced area and an additional area to be acquired ; that the Railway Department be requested to secure the consent of the Art Gallery Society to the proposed acquirement of the adjoining area; that subject to a readjustment on the lines indicated the board agree to an amended leas© with the Railway Department. Th© recommendation of the committee was adopted. —Questions and Answers.— Tho following answers to questions asked by Mr Belcher were furnished : 1. What position does Mr Robertson occupy in the board’s employ ? Is he still tho superintending engineer, or has h© been reinstated as chief engineer of Dredge 222 ?—Answer : Superintending engineer and chief dredge master. 2. What wage-s were paid per month to Robertson prior to being appointed superintending engineer, and what arc his present wages ? —Answer ; As dredge, master Mr Robertson received £3O per month. As chief dredge master and superintending engineer Mr Robertson received £3O per month to 51st December, 1912, when the board increased his salary to £34 per month, which h© still receives. 3. What was the original cost of Dredge 404? What amount "-as spent on her in subsequent alterations after being purchased by the hoard.' -A.i s'ver : Ori-rinal cost of Dredge 404 (formerly Timaru) £17,500. Cost of alterations, moulding supply of cutter, gear, new suction pipe, gantry, winch, etc., £2.4^/> 4. What was the gross cost of lengthening lander and other alterations to Di ed go 222.—Answer ; £2.292. 5. What is the age of the N©w Era, ou which it is propes'd to erect a considerable amount of machinery ? What

is the probable cost of any contemplated additions or alterations? —Answer : The New Era pontoon was built in 1878. The estimated cost of converting the New Era into an up-to-date modern suction dredge, complete, ready for work, is £7,200.

In reply to a further question by Mr Bolchcr, the chairman stated that dredge 404 originally cost the Timaru Board £17,500. Ho had not the information at present as to her cost to the Otago hoard, but he would endeavor to obtain it.

—Consignees' Responsibilities.—

In accordance with notice of motion, Mr Belcher moved—

That this board intend to act strictly in accordance with their by-laws so far as the collection of dues is concerned. That any privileges already granted to any shipping company or shipping agents releasing them from the collection of dues be and is hereby rescinded, and that all dues be collected in accordance. with the by-laws. Mr Belcher said that the idea he had in bringing the motion forward was to put a stop to the requests which wer£ constantly being made upon the board with regard to a reduction of dues or somethin? else. Hardly a meeting took place without requests coming in for reductions on dues or something in the direction of decreasing the board’s revenue. In his opinion reductions had been given to people who had no right to receive them. He admitted that the board had the right at times, when they thought that certain charges had been hurtful or harmful, to make the. “amende honorable,” hut there were too many requests being made upon the board at the present time for a reduction of dues on certain goods, and the board had been too generous. His object in moving in the matter was to see that the by-laws of the board should he observed and adhered to. If the by-laws were good, it was quite right. ; and if they were bad, then by all means have them amended. It was obvious to him that whoever held the manifest of the goods imported should be responsible for the payment, and the board should not have to hunt for the persons responsible,. Everv consignee should have to pay. This should bo a. hard-and-fast rule, with no privilege accorded to anyone. Mr Hamel, in seconding, said that nevertheless the board should reserve the right where from transhipment or other reasons a rebate was due, to make such a rebate. If concessions were made to the Union Steam Shin Company and others, still others would demand the same concession, and this entailed not only nnremunerative extra work for the staff, but also the possibility of final evasion of responsibility. If this proposition proved too drastic ho would favor amendment.

Mr Tapley moved an amendment—

“ That the resolution be referred to a special committee, consisting of Messrs Loudon, Hazle.it, Dickson, Platts, and Belcher, to report to next meeting.”

Mr Platts seconded. It was clear that a hard-and-fast rule could not bo made. Allowances had to be made for “empties” and transhipments. It was eminently a matter for report from a committee.

Mr Hazlett said that the suggestion that holders of manifests should be responsible meant that, the ships. ggt the consignees’, should he responsible. He would vote against the motion. Mr Belcher, in reply, said that importers were trying to evade their responsibilities. Mr Hazlett rose to a point of order, remarking that he was an importer, and to tYi.e ATYP.iIIVia.iAOIA.

Mr Belcher rejoined that privileges had been given to certain people which they had no right to get. He said that thev were taking advantage of it. and pe.nple were not going to get such privileges while he could prevent it. Mr Tapley’s amendment was carried. —Claims of the Lower Harbor.—

Mr Platts moved in accordance with notice of motion : That the resolution of the board passed on Monday (sth October, 1914). adopting a Special Committee’s report as to certain works to be completed out of loan moneys, he rescinded. That the matter be referred to the

Special Committee for further considera

tion. Mr Platts stated that when the question of tho allocation of tho loan had been considered the necessary works at the lower harbor had been entirely overlooked, the explanation being that tho engineer had placed before tho committee a report, which related entirely to works in tho upper harbor, so that the commi —inadvertently, no doubt—did not any attention to works other than those mentioned by the engineer. Not being in th" upper harbor, two very important work.; in the lower harbor—the dock wharf and the Mussel Bay endowment—had been overlooked. There was much room for expansion at the Port, and the Mussel Bay reclamation work should he gone on with. The dredge was now working at Port Chalmers, and at the present had to take spoil away outside the Heads—the very material which would serve for carrying out the work ot reclamation. nits would have been an excellent opportunity for commencing the work, even if it could not bo completed. In bringing forward the motion he could only rely upon the fair-mindedness of tho members of tho board. The hoard, as a whole, had expressed the determination to take an impartial view of the whole of tho works from the Hoads to Dunedin. Mr Scollav, in seconding the motion, stated that the construction of the wharf at the new docks was indispensable to the despatch and safe working of vessels using it. 'lTie timber had been on the ground for four years, and only labor was now required to complete that portion of the wharf to be constructed apart from the sheerlegs and from any removal of rock that might be required. Mr Hamel, as a member of the committee that considered the report, said that tho recommendation before them was the completion of certain works, which were started, and it was extremely inadvisable for the board to go in for any new commitments. Mussel Bay was an absolutely new work, therefore it must be done out of fresh loan money, and for the Port members to bring forward such a proposal, sandwiched in with the wharf proposal, was very improper indeed. If the proposal had merely been with regard to the wharf there might have been a possibility of the board entertaining it. He took exception to the suggestion that tho committee had ignored the requirements of Port Chalmers. They had done nothing of the kind. They had a reasonable report put before them, and the commute© never differentiated between the claims of Port Chalmers and Dunedin. It was a very unfair statement to make. The work at Mussel Bay involved a very large expenditure indeed, Mr Dickson moved that, the question be now put Mr Hazlett seconded, but th© suggestion was lost.

Air Belcher supported Mr Platts, if for no other reason than that contained in th© deposit of spoil at Mussel Bay evading loss of time. Facilities for the reclamation of th© bay would also be of advantage to Port Chalmers in reclaiming land that would be very valuable as a manufacturing or residential area. At present dredge 222 had to deposit her spoil at the Heads, which was a dead loss, Mr Walker said that lie- was not aware that 22? was going to the Heads at present. As foe Muss.-I Bay. the work suggested would involve I,looit of wall and

a channel of 3,000 ft from deep water —a most costly proceeding. The board could not undertake it at present, and they were quite properly deciding to complete the works in process. Mussel Bay reclamation must be earned out on future loan money. Tire wharfage at Port Chalmers, as suggested by Mr Scollay, was infinitely more urgently important than the reclamation of Mussel Bav.

Mr Platts said, in reply, that all he suggested was that the valuable sped deposited at the Heads might have been deposited at Mussel Bay The allocation for works showed that the board had spent £95.000 in the Upper Harbor, and £7.600 in the lower Harbor—the most important part of the Harbor

The motion was lost, only Messrs Belcher. Platts, and Scollay supporting.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

HARBOR BOARD, Evening Star, Issue 15638, 31 October 1914

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2,527

HARBOR BOARD Evening Star, Issue 15638, 31 October 1914

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