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The Commission continued its sitting at the Courthouse on Tuesday last, and concluded on Wednesday afternoon. Very little interest was taken in the proceedings, and there were only' one or two present outside those actually engaged in the case.

Mr Haggitt continued his opening on behal|_ of the County, and maintained that very little, if any, sewerage found its way into the Park drain, and that the County had a perfect right to carry their surface water through the artificial works which took the place of the natural course. Only for the Park drain Northend would have been a swamp area. He thought that Avenal should also contribute something, although he did not say that the amount should be a large one. After the Avenal valuation had Tpeen put in Mr Haggitt, called his only' witness, Mr 13. C. Ilasstian, engineer for the County, who had the -disadvantage in this case of being too young —being under 80 years of age—to deal with matters that affected the early' drainage outlets, but handled existing conditions in a clever manner. It is worthy of note that Mr Basstian is an Invercargill boy, and to have secured the responsible position of engineer .to perhaps the largest county in N.’Zt at such an early age is sufficient proof of his ability' as an engineer. He thought, if funds permitted, it would be better to provide one large Sewer,

Mr T. M. Macdonald then commenced on behalf of the Borough of Invercargill, and clearly and deliberately set forth their case. He recited the various facts for or against the bodies interested, and stated that the Borough could do with a nine or 12 inch drain for Northend, and do without the present drain, and that it would be much cheaper. There were only about 50 houses in Northend, and that was the smallest number of houses in any of the Boroughs interested draining sewerage into the Park drain, except A venal, which did not drain sewerage that way. It was not necessary for Northend to drain that way. They could cut a drain down their own street. Ho asked the Commissioner to hold over his recommendation to the Governor, because if he allocated a proportion like the present, it would be a manifest injustice, and the Borough would move for a re-adjustment, and he considered North Invercargill should pay the largest proportion.

Mr W. B. Scandrett (Mayor of Invercargill) was the first witness, a n d related a chapter of early Invercargill history, and scouted the idea that the Queen’s Park could ever have been termed a swamp. Invercargill Borough considered they were paying too much toward the drain, and when asked why all the parties to the award were dissatisfied, said that it probably went to prove that Mr McCarthy’s award was right. Mr Sharp, Engineer for the Borough, was on his mettle and spoke of drains and drainage with the knowledge gained from many years of engineering, experience, but declined to answer any questions other than those referring to engineering work, and would not make any rash statement. In reply to Mr Macalister ho did not agree with the putting down of a permanent sewer in Northend, because in a few years the borough would have to construct a main sewer probably 20ft. deep, and that the sewage would have to be pumped out at some convenient point.

Mr R. B. McKay, a Borough Councillor, who spent a couple of months in A venal, spoke of the snowstorm oflß'7B, and stated that the water came up round his house, and, it might bo added, numbers of others in various parts of other districts were compelled to take to house-tops during that memorable storm. Another old identity, Mr George Froggalt, was very emphatic about the lay of the land, and would not admit that Northend benefitted more from the use of the Park drain than A venal, and still maintained that Avenal benefitted most, although the drain was the only one Northend had for sewerage and surface water. Mr T. W, Walker produced the Corporation books, and answered questions in connection with the Park drain in Northend. The revenue from the Park was £l2O, and it contains 195 acres ; the unimproved value of Northend was £ll, 900 ; there are between forty and fifty houses built there ; and the general rates from Northend amount to £l3O 10s 5d ; the total amount expended on the Park drain since 1901 was £Bl 9s 2d. This closed the evidence, and Mr Haggitt led off with his closing ap-

peed o:i behalf of the County', and made out a very good case on their behalf. Mr Macalistcr followed with North Invcrc ! rgiii under one arm and East Invercargill under the other, and was particularly careful of both, while laying stress on the fact that Northend benefited most.

After the luncheon adjournment Mr T. M. Macdonald took exception to some remarks made by Messrs Macalister and Haggitt. Mr Macalister’s explanation he accepted, but sailed into Mr Haggitt, and made things particularly warm for a time. Then he entered on the case with considerable energy', and made it clear that ,n him the borough has a fighter. He adduced argument after argument in favour of the Invercargill Borough, and it may sa.ely be said that he did not miss a point. Mr Russell followed for the Borough of Avenal, and in a speech of about forty minutes duration he traversed the whole of the evidence, and spoke clearly and decisively on behalf of his little put lamb —Avenal. Mr McCarthy' pointed out that oy refusing to allow the drain to go down Fox st., Avenal had caused two outletsl to lie constructed instead of one, and said that was a point for Mr Russell to consider, and he did consider it too, laying stress upon the fact that Avenal constructed its own sewer in Fox street. Of course it should be borne in mind that if Avenal had given the right to run the water down Fox street in the early days it would not have been .sufficient to drain the lowest part of St Andrew st., and the evidence pointed’ to the Park drain as the natural wateroutlet, and no doubt it does H' best fall in its present position. Mr Haggitt was allowed to make a personal explanation and Mr Macdonald replied, and the business ran to a close as placidly as the water flowing down through the Park drain, irrespective of its being County, North, or East Invercargill water. The question of cost was heir. - er, and no doubt Mr McCarthy' will give his decision in the course of a week or two. One thing is certain. Mr McCarthy will probably' alter the proportions, as circumstances undoubtedly warrant it. In the meantime he has taken charge of documents, drainage plans, maps, and other exhibits, and the onlv thing we trust is that he won’t let “Park drain” disturb his slumbers.

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Bibliographic details

UNKNOWN, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

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UNKNOWN Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

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