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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Palmerston North Borough Council

Palmerston North Borough Council, Palmerston North has a municipal area of 4,595 acres. The Rating Act of 1882 was adopted in 1887, and the property tax valuation was accepted as the basis for rating. In that year the total valuation of the borough, exclusive of Crown Lands and unrateable properties was £250,156. In 1906 this had increased to £1,873,900 capital value and £1,081,351 unimproved value. The Unimproved Value Act of 1896 was adopted by a poll of the ratepayers, and rates have since been levied on that basis. For the year 1906–07 there was a rate of 27/8d in the £, for general, special, and library purposes, but exclusive of water rate, the total number of rateable properties was 3,400, and there were 1,400 ratepayers. The cash assets of the borough are £18,361, and the liabilities (including loans), £135,853. Part of the loans included in this sum were raised in London: namely, £50,000 at five per cent., for which there is an accrued sinking fund of £7,461. The balance was obtained locally, namely, £10,500 at five per cent., £69,850 at four and a half per cent, (for which £411 sinking fund has accrued), and there is a Government inscribed loan of £20,357, which is to be liquidated by an annual payment of three and a half per cent, for forty-one years. In 1902 it was decided to carry out a system of drainage, at a cost of £36,000, and this was ultimately further extended, at an additional cost of £20,000. The system adopted was the septic tank principle; a large tank was built at Awapuni, three miles out of the town, and the outfall is into the Manawatu river. The water supply is drawn from the Tiritea stream; it was extended in 1906, at a cost of £26,000, by increasing the size of the mains and erecting a large dam. The original reservoir held 300,000 gallons; now the enlarged mains tap the new dam, and the reservoir is kept as a reserve. In relation to abattoirs the Council has delegated its power to the Manawatu Meat and Cold Storage Company, Limited, a company formed for the purpose of providing slaughter house accommodation and facilities for the inspection of meat. In 1900 the corporation bought the old Colonial Bank building in the Square for municipal offices, at a cost of £2,400. A substantial municipal opera house was erected in 1904 near the Square, at a cost of about £10,500, and has accommodation for 1,300 persons. The building, besides the opera house proper, contains a municipal hall, capable of seating 700 persons, and a smaller hall with accommodation for 200 persons. The Council holds its ordinary meetings on the first and third Tuesdays in each month at 7.30 p.m. The members are: Messrs. R. Essex (mayor), A. E. Bennett, C. N. Clausen, E. J. Armstrong, H. Haydon, E. R. B. Holben, S. W. Luxford, W. A. Stubbs, D. Matheson, and J. A. Nash (councillors). The leading officers are Messrs. R. N. Keeling (treasurer), W. H. Cullingwood (town clerk and returning officer), F. H. Cooke (borough solicitor), S. Jickell, A.M.I.C.E. (borough engineer), and J. Perry (sanitary inspector).