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HAMILTON BOROUGH LOAN PROPOSALS.

The Mayor (Mr J. S, Bond) submits the following summary of the Loan Proposals for the information and consideration of ratepayers:— No. I. — Gasworks, .£12,000. The Hamilton Borough Council is empowered, under ‘‘The Hamilton Gasworks Act, 1895,” section 46, at any time after twelve years from the coming into operation of the Act, to purchase the Hamilton gasworks and plant at a price to be determined by arbitration. The Council’s right to purchase will come into force on 15th August, 1907Although the Borough cannot exercise its right of purchase until the date named, it has been thought desirable to take the vote now and get on with the preliminary work. For the year ended 31st December, 1901, the profit made by the Hamilton Gas Company was .£748 4s Bd., out of which was paid a dividend of 10 per cent., absorbing £6OO, and £l4B 4« 8d was carried forward to increase the Cnmpany’s credit balance, which now stands at £914 12s 7d, The advantages of municipal ownership of the gasworks are so apparent and real that it seems unnecessary to enlarge upon them. Given good management, the gasworks under Borough control should prove very satisfactory indeed, and lead to a reduction in price of gas, and a profit sufficient to pay interest on the money to be borrowed, and a substantial sum for transfer to Borough funds. On the present basis of expenditure the Borough will pay the Gas Company £2BO this year for gas, this sum being equal to about one-sixth of the total receipts by the Gas Company for gas sold for year ending 30th December, 1904. Although the proposed special rate to be struck covers the amount to be borrowed for gasworks, it will not require to be collected so far as this proposal is concerned.

No. 11. Hamilton Traffic Bridge, £12,000.

The design adopted by the Council consists of a main arch span of 340 ft, together with eight 20ft side spans, making a total length of 500 ft. The material used in the superstructure will be steel, with the exception of wooden decking. Provision will be made for a sft footway on the down stream side, and the width of the roadway between the handrails will be 18ft. The deck level will be the same as the present bridge. With a view to minimising the interruption of traffic, it is proposed to build up the arches on each side of the present bridge and remove the old bridge piecemeal. The Government have promised .£IOOO towards this bridge, leaving ill 1,000 to be raised by the local bodies concerned. Of this amount it is expected the interest and sinking fund on the half, viz., .£5,500, will be contributed by the Waipa and Waikato County Councils, leaving the interest and sinking fund on .£5,500 to be provided by the Hamilton Borough, which at 4J per cent, would equal £247 10s. The rate required on the basis of the unimproved value will be 12-32 of a penny in the £. No. lll.—Street Imtuovrments, £113,000. This sum provides for street improvements throughout the borough, and practically every street will receive attention. Works agitated for for many years are included in the scheme. The rapid growth of Hamilton calls for a forward policy in this direction. It is impossible to do the work required out of ordinary income. Private persona have shown their faith in the future of Hamilton by the buildings they have erected and the general improvements they have made. It is quite time the corporation backed up the enterprise of the people of the town by providing hotter thoroughfares and by the formation of streets and footpaths, which, outside the main arteries of traffic are almost in a state of nature, This is the largest item of expenditure on the list, and although the work cannot be considered directly remunerative, yet indirectly the borough will receive many compensating advantages. Out of a total area of IGOO acres in the borough, 409 acres are domain lands and 132 acres are borough endownments and reserves. These borough properties will be greatly enhanced in value by the carrying out of the proposed works, and a corresponding increase in rateable value and rents will accrue. It should also be remembered that when our streets are made as proposed a considerable sum will be saved annually in maintenance charges. The expenditure has been allocated as follows : Hamilton East, £4000; Hamilton West, £IBOOO ; engineering and contingencies, £IOOO. The interest and sinking fund to be provided at 4J per cent, amounts to £585. and the rate required to meet the same 28-32 ef a penny in the £.

No IV. —Sewerage : Drainage of Portion of Hamilton West.

This scheme provides for a sewerage drainage system for the business portion of Hamilton West, and also the low-lying district from Garden Place and Collingwood-street southward, at the same time making provision for future extensions. Victoria-street being a watershed it has been decided to deal with the area on each aide of it separately by adopting the septic tank system.

No. I area embraces the properties on the east side of Victoria-street from the railway line to the traffic bridge, with a septic tank at the foot of Granthamstreet, the effluent to discharge into the Waikato River below lowest summer level. No. 2 area embraces the watershed west of Victoria-street and from Garden Place southwards with a septic tank on section 313, Palmerston - street; the effluent to be discharged (through sealed pipes) into the Waikato River below the lowest summer level.

The .£2OOO scheme previously adopted was found, on further examination, to be unsatisfactory, inasmuch that it did not include the worst portion of the area requiring drainage. The scheme now proposed will answer the requirements of the borough for many years to come ; .£225 per annum will be required to provide interest and sinking fund at -Ij per cent, and the rate required will be 11-32nds of a penny in the .£•

No. V. —Steam Motor Tram Service

The proposal is to put down a tram line from Frankton Junction to the Town Hall, Hamilton, Iff miles. The total cost of putting down the rails, purchase of two motor trams and one trailer, and erection of shed is estimated at £6500. The working expenses of the service is estimated at £l4lß per annum. The takings, to earn this amount, would require to average .fit 10s Gd per day for each working day in the year ; 362 fares at 3d, 513 fares af 2d, or 108G fares at Id per day would bring in the amount required. It is a matter of opinion whether the service would earn the amount required to pay its way. The committee of the Council specially set up to deal with this question are of opinion that the service would pay, and in a few years show a handsome profit. Their estimate is based on the number of passengers who now travel by train, coach and motor bus, and the extra number who would be induced to travel in the trams on account of smoothness of running, cheapness and frequent service. It is calculated that one car running 15 hours a day at quarter-hour intervals would need to carry an average of six passengers per trip in order to make the service profitable. Auckland carries its population 250 times per annum. Basing the population to be served bore at 2000, and assuming that number is carried 100 times per annum at an average fare of 2d, the income would bo £X6GG 10s, leaving a margin of £24S over estimated working expenses. No. Vl.—Purchase of Land for ReCKEATTOV PuBI'OBES Allotments Gl, G3 and G3, Hamilton West, which it is proposed to purchase for .£350, comprise the triangular piece of ground between Hillsborough-ter-raco, the brewery, and the road which passes the police station to the river. It has often beep urged that the council should acquire these properties for recreation purposes, and when two (1 f these sections were recently placed under oiler to the council, it was decided to let the ratepayers decide the question. The rate required to find interest and sinking fund is 1-32 of a penny in the £. No. l ll.— Town Hall, Additional Loan, .£472. This money ig required to pay off the deficiency on the Town Hall building account. The original loan was iu-

sufficient, and it is expedient to borrow this sum in order to repay the amount to the general fund. It is not necessary to collect a rate on this account, as it may be considered that the Town Hall will bo self-supporting. No. Vlll.— Waterworks Extension, £5119. This proposal applies to Hamilton West only. It is proposed to extend the waterworks to the whole of Hamilton West, at a cost of £SOOO, and £ll9 is to repay to the general account the amount overdrawn on construction under the original scheme. It is proposed to expend £730 in duplicating the plant at the pumping station and additions to engine house ; in laying 6in. mains and 4in, mains on south side of railway line, £2004 ; 4in. mains on the north side of railway line, £1192; 2in. pipes on north side of railway, £228 ; hydrants, valves and service pipes, £550 ; contingencies and engineering, £296. The amount of rate required to provide interest and sinking fund is Jd in the £ on the unimproved value. Ratepayers will be specially interested in the question of the amount of the increase of the rates these various proposals will involve. Summarised the amounts are as follows : Bridge, 12-32 of a penny in the £on the unimproved value; streets, 28-32 of a penny ; sewerage, 11-32 of a penny; recreation ground, 1-32 of a penny; total rate required, 1-20-32 of a penny in the £, or a fraction over lsd. It is proposed to pay the first year’s interest and cost of raising the loan out of the loan money. It is also intended to borrow the money from time to time as required and when the conditions are favourable. The works will extend over several years, and consequently the increase in the amount of rates will be gradual. It should be borne in mind that the estimate is based on the last borough valuation. It is absolutely certain that the next valuation will show a decided increase in values and a consequent decrease of the amount of rate in the £ to bring in the sum required. Likewise it must not he forgotten that the carrying out of the works named will considerably lessen the calls on the general account f>r street works, and the general rate should certainly not be increased. The works proposed will increase the value of property in the borough ; the prosperity of the borough will be promoted, and a further step taken to place Hamilton in the position it should occupy ns the chief commercial town in the province outside of Auckland.

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Bibliographic details

HAMILTON BOROUGH LOAN PROPOSALS., Waikato Argus, Volume XX, Issue 3090, 25 January 1906

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HAMILTON BOROUGH LOAN PROPOSALS. Waikato Argus, Volume XX, Issue 3090, 25 January 1906

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