Civic Rulers in Council: a Long and Important Meeting

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Civic Rulers in Council: a Long and Important Meeting
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CIVIC RULERS IN COUNCIL. A Long and Important Meeting. THE DOMINION LICENSE ACT. A Report on the Winter Port Question. DISCUSSION ON THE STREETS. The Chamberlain’s Report for 1883. BILLS FOR THE LEGISLATURE. Aldermen Holding on to their Fees— Gleaning the Streets and Various Other Matters Considered. Yesterday’s mooting of the Common Council was an unusually important one. It may be called the annual meeting, for at it was read the reports of the most important of the civic departments showing the progress made during the year. Most important of all is the chamberlain’s report, which is much more lengthy than usual, but not more so than necessary, giving the citizens much valuable information that otherwise could only be obtained by a protracted search through the accounts. For the efforts he has made to meet the public demands the chamberlain is deserving of the greatest praise. Owing no doubt to the talk on the street about certain important matters to be dealt with by the Council there was a large attendance of citizens on the benches outside the rail. The result, however, was disappointing, as none of the matters under discussion by the citizens generally were finally disposed of. Mayor Jones occupied the chair and all the members of the Council were present excepting Coun. Peters and Ald. Butt, who are out of the city. The minutes were read, and after some explanations of a personal nature, made by Ald. Colwell, they were adopted. THE HAYMARKET SQUARE. Mayor Jones reported that he had visited Ottawa since the last meeting of the Council and had referred to the Government the matter of the lease of thee Haymarket Square lot, under lease by the city, from the estate of Charles Drury, The cost of this lease is $84, and he had asked the railway department to assume the rental, as it was held for railway purposes. They had promised to investigate the matter and referred it to Mr. Schrieber, chief engineer of government railways. No letter had as yet been received from Mr. Schreiber. DOMINION LIQUOR LICENSE. Mayor Jones, in calling the attention of the board to the new Dominion Government Liquor License Law of 1883, said: I think it right to inform the Council that, as mayor of this city, I have not as yet acted upon the board of commissioners under the Dominion Liquor License Act of 1883. The power to grant licenses for the sale of liquor in this city is vested, by the city charter, in the mayor, and the revenue derived from the granting of licenses is reserved for the benefit of the city corporation until further legislation is made. The revenue is not secured to the city under the Dominion statute. I have therefore deemed it to be for the protection of the civic interests that should not for the present act as one of the board of license commissioners. The Mayor further said that he had understood the Municipal Council and the city of Portland had appointed committees to deal with the matter. He suggested that the city Council also appoint a committee to act in unison with the other committees. He did not think that under the law the city was secure in the fees from licenses issued by the commissioners. Ald. Grant moved that a special committee be appointed to act with the other committees in re the Dominion Liquor License Act of 1883. Coun. Baskin expressed an opinion as to what the committees of the municipality and city of Portland were appointed for. He thought Portland was unfavorable to the act. Coun. Nowlin said that the law was either constitutional or unconstitutional. If it was constitutional the only thing the city could do was to accept the act. He suggested that the city ask the commissioners to grant no license until the Legislature fixes the license at an increased sum so that the city would not lose in revenue. Coun. Skinner suggested that the matter of the constitutionality of the act be not discussed at present but lie over until later in the day. The resolution to appoint a committee was put and carried. The Mayor appointed Alds. Grant, T. Nisbet Robertson, Reynolds, with the recorder and the common clerk, as the committee on licenses. THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE submitted a report ordering the payment of a number of accounts. Ald. Reynolds made some explanations regarding the method adopted by the finance committee in doing the city business. When bills are seat in to the finance committee they are first examined to see that they have been before the Council, and afterwards to see that they have been before the committee to which they belong. The bills are then read, one after another, and passed in one lump. This did not imply that the work is done hastily or without thought, for often bills are discussed and estimates gone into to see that the charges are not excessive. Oftentimes the bills are sent back to the committees for further consideration. He made these remarks because of certain statements made by the councillor of Queens, both indoors and out of doors, when he had referred to the finance committee as a Star Chamber, from which the bills go to the Council glossed over. Coun. Nowlin said he had referred to the finance committee as a useless body. He favored the bills after they had been read before the committees, being passed by the Council. Ald. Reynolds said the statements he had referred to as made by the councillor for Queens and of which he had spoken, were untrue. That gentleman had never before raised the question as to the uselessness of the finance committee. Coun. Nowlin replied that there was no audit of the bills passed by the finance committee, only that they were marked correct by the chairman of the different departments. The report passed. THE FERRY COMMITTEE report that they have made an arrangement with the New Brunswick Railway Co. by which they will continue to have the use of the offices in the ferry toll house and in their occupation until the 1st of November next for the sum of $550 for the term or else to continue until 1st May next at the present rate, namely, $770 per annum. The report was adopted. THE MARKET COMMITTEE report that since Messrs. Green Bros, gave notice of intention to quit and deliver up on the first day of May next the store occupied by them in the Market building, they have received an offer from them to lease the store at the same rent, $550 per annum, for a term of one or five years. The committee recommend that a lease issue to them for five years. The committee recommend that the Plasterers’ Union be allowed to occupy the room in the Market building, and used for their meeting, for one year on the same terms as before. The committee recommend that room No. 29 in the Market building be leased to the Natural History Society, for one year from May 1st, at $30 per annum. Coun. Nowlin thought the store should have been put up at public tender. He moved that the report be referred back to the Market committee. The amendment was lost and the report passed. FIRE AND WATER COMMITTEE The fire committee reported that they had under consideration the charge made by Ald. T. N. Robertson at the last meeting of the Council, with reference to the furious driving of a driver of the fire department, and after investigating the charge they are of opinion that due caution was not exercised by Fleming and Hiram Webb in driving to the fire on the 30th inst. They, therefore, recommend that the fire department drivers be warned that reckless driving will be visited by immediate dismissal from the service. They recommended that the Chamberlain be instructed to again notify the Provincial Government that the covers belonging to the Salvage corps, used at the late Exhibition, have not been returned, and to request that payment be made for the same. They submitted the report of Gilbert Murdoch, engineer of the commissioners of sewerage and water supply, with reference to the nuisance from the gas works with the city sewers. They further recommend that the Council consider the desirability of allowing the committee the use of the rooms in the City Hall originally provided for their meeting. MINORITY FIRE REPORT. The committee report that they have inquired into the whole matter of the alleged furious driving by a driver of the fire department, and from the evidence before them (here-with annexed) cannot find that the driver was going any faster than was absolutely necessary, and that there is any ground for any charge against him. Geo V. Nowlin. Ald. C. A. Robertson moved that the report be received and adopted. Coun. Skinner moved that the report be taken up section by section. Carried. When the first section of the report was moved for adoption, Coun. Nowlin, who had submitted a minority report, said there was not a tittle of evidence to show careless driving on the part of the drivers. They were simply doing their duty. The men had been heard, also Ald. T. N. Robertson, but the latter had produced no witnesses to prove his own statement. Ald. Burpee said that in driving to a fire the men should be allowed a great deal of latitude. They could not be expected to stop at every corner before turning it, as apparently suggested. Ald. T. N. Robertson said he did not appear before the committee as a prosecutor. He had seen what he considered reckless driving and had reported the matter to the Council. He had appeared before the committee and made a statement. It was not his place to bring witnesses. Coun. Skinner thought that the matter was not a very serious one, either did he think that the censure, if any, would hurt anybody. Firemen in going to fires had to have a certain amount of latitude but they should exercise due caution. Ald. Jordan said that Mr. A. C. Smith had stated that the driving was reckless, as also did the chief engineer of the department. Therefore there was a “tittle” of evidence in favor of the charge. Ald. Grant said it was to his own interest that the firemen should get to fires with all necessary speed, but he did not think it right that the men should drive recklessly. Ald. C. A. Robertson said that he was as jealous of the interests of the firemen as anyone, but he thought it was in the interest of the department that the men should know that the Council kept an eye over them. It was only a mild censure for careless driving, Coun. Nowlin—There is no evidence of careless driving. The resolution passed, also the second section. The third section was read and its adoption moved. Ald. Jordan said he had not felt the smell so bad in his own house, but it still prevailed in the neighborhood. He would move in the matter at a later date. The section passed, and the last section was read in reference to the committee room. Coun. Skinner said that in taking back the room now occupied by the water commissioners the city would lose a certain revenue. Indeed it placed a charge of $500 on the city revenues. THE STREET COMMITTEE REPORTED recommending that they be authorized to have the stone breaker removed from the present site and the building taken down. They also recommend that they be authorized to call for tenders for the supply of 13X10 tons of broken stone for the streets for the ensuing year. Coun. Skinner, in moving the adoption of the port, explained why it was necessary to have the crusher brought back from the quarry. It had been taken there at considerable cost, but he thought it would cost the city something to move it back again, he thought it was in the interest of the city that the work should be done. If it was contemplated to set any broken stone this year it would be necessary to ask for tenders at once. The report passed. THAT BROKEN STONE. The special committee to inquire into the broken stone matter reported as follows:— Your committee have for some time past been investigating the matter of the contract made last year for street purposes. They find that a contract was made with Timothy Cusack and John Corr to furnish 5,000 tons of broken stone for the sum of $2,250, or 45c per ton, which was to be made upon the certificate of the city engineer, and which sum has been paid on said certificate. Your committee now find from the return furnished by Mr. Lawler. superintendent of streets, of the number of loads actually hauled and used by the corporation, such quantity of stone has never been received by the city. According to the return made by Mr. Lawler only 2,267 loads of stone were hauled, and the average weight per load would be one ton, making a total of 2,267 tons actually received by the city; in round numbers 2,700 tons of stone to be accounted for. Your committee, in order to get at the way in which account was kept of the loads hauled, had before them the foremen of the different wards and had their statements taken down in the presence of the committee and the city engineer. After these statements had been made the city engineer said that he would produce witnesses to prove that the quantity of stone for which he made certificates had been actually broken, and your committee accordingly adjourned in order to let him have an opportunity to produce his witnesses. Your committee have met twice since then for the purpose of finishing the investigation, but in consequence of there not being a full meeting of the committee present at either of these meetings, the city engineer declined to bring in his witnesses, although he had them in the building at the time. Your committee therefore think it best, under all the circumstances, to report the facts as they find them, leaving it to the Council to act in the matter as they may deem advisable. Coun. Skinner explained the special report much in the same way as has already been done by the Telegraph. The fullest inquiry had been made and every load hauled accounted for by the superintendent of streets and his foramen, and it was discovered that the amount was a long way short of the amount certified to by the city having been broken. The city engineer had given every opportunity to make his statement, but had not yet done so. At the last meeting of the committee there were two-thirds of the committee (four members) present. One member when he heard that the committee intended to go on with the investigation, said he would retire and did retire. By this action the committee was powerless to act, consequently no statement had yet been made by Mr. Peters. The committee made no recommendations but simply submitted the report of the foots before them. Ald. Burpee moved that Mr. Peters be given until the next meeting to make his statement before final action is taken. Ald. Reynolds said there were grave charges in the report, and in the interest of the city and the city engineer they should not be allowed to drop; but, as the committee had given the Council nothing to work on, he seconded Ald. Burpee’s resolution. Coun. Pengilly said that he had retired from the committee because the first portion of the evidence had been heard by five members, and he thought that the remainder should be heard by those members in order to arrive at an intelligent decision. He had moved for an adjournment and been over-ruled, and then he retired from the committee. He, too, was anxious that the whole matter should be fully considered. Coun. Skinner explained that the matter had been standing over for four months and the committee felt that the case should be submitted to the Board without further delay. He was anxious to have the difficulty cleared up, and do justice to everybody. Coun. Nowlin said there was no disposition to push the matter, but as it had been standing over for so long the committee did not wish to have it standing over for six months more. Ald. Smith asked how the stone was weighed by the superintendent of streets. Coun. Skinner made the explanation. He said a cart was weighed and a mark put upon it so that it could be filled up to the mark every time. Every cart load was not weighed, the remainder being estimated. Coun. Pengilly said that only eight cartloads had been weighed for the King Street work, and all of these were light. The motion to defer judgment until the next meeting was carried. THE POLICE COMMITTEE reported that they have ordered a coat for police officer Collins to cost $24. The report was adopted. THE WESTERN LANDS committee report that they have received from the administrators of the estate of John Harrigan the surrender of leases of lots 471 to 478 inclusive in Brook’s ward. That a renewal of the lease of lot 469 in St. John street be granted to Robert Gordon. That a renewal of the lease of lot 848. Albert ward, be granted to the trustees of Granite Rock Division for 14 years from the date of the expiration of the lease now held by them. That Medley Belyea be paid for boarding up the Harrigan house and material furnished, $3.60. That George F. Harding be paid for expenses of getting surrender of the Harrigan lease $3. That the committee be empowered to offer for sale such lots in Carleton as they may select, sale to be held on Thursday, the 13th March next, at 2 o’clock, or such other day and hour as may be most convenient. That Andrew Forbes not having acted on the recommendation of committee in reference to a part of the mill pond that the order relating thereto be now cancelled and annulled. The adoption of the report was moved. Ald. Burpee said that when he signed the report he did not know there was anything in it about the Forbes matter. He thought this matter should stand over for a time. Coun. Baskin opposed this being done. The report was adopted, the amendment being lost. WINTER PORT. Ald. Colwell submitted his report on his trip to Ottawa in re the winter port question. To His Worship the Mayor of the City of St. John:— The delegates appointed by this Council to confer with the delegation from the Councils of Quebec and Halifax, at the city of Quebec, in the matter of the summer terminus and winter termini of the C. P. R., respectfully make report:— Leaving St. John on the 4th instant, your delegation proceeded to Quebec and there met the Quebec delegation on the 6th instant; the delegation from Halifax not having arrived, your delegation, with delegation from Quebec, thought best to adjourn to Ottawa on Friday, the 8th. Leaving Quebec on the evening of the 6th, for Montreal, we were joined by the Halifax delegation, and together proceeded to Ottawa, where we were met by the Quebec delegation and want into conference. After along and exhaustive discussion of the whole question referred to them, lasting from 4 p. m. to 12 midnight, they mutually agreed upon a line of action as shown in the resolutions herewith annexed, which they submitted to the Federal Government on Saturday, the 9th inst, through the Mayor of Quebec, the Mayor of St. John, and Alderman McCoy, chairman of the Halifax delegation, who were appointed by the Conference to submit the same, setting forth the claims of the respective cities. After hearing the remarks of the different speakers the Government did admit the fairness and importance of the claims submitted, and promised to give the matter the serious consideration it deserved. Accompanying the report is the following: PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS. OTTAWA, Feb, 9,1884. At a meeting of delegates from the cities of Quebec, Halifax and St. John held at Ottawa on 8th and 9th of February, the following resolutions were adopted:— 1st Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting of delegates of the cities of Quebec, Halifax and St. John that the Federal Government should secure direct railway communication, independent of the Grand Trunk Railway, between Quebec and the Canadian Pacific Railway and that improved railway communication be made with the Intercolonial Railway at Quebec. If the Federal Government consider that a bridge will be the best means of communication the necessary steps be taken to protect the public interest so that the bridge should not be under the control of any one railway corporation. 2nd. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting that the Atlantic winter port of the Canada Pacific Railway should be located in the Maritime Provinces, and that the Federal Government be requested to assist with subsidies, and otherwise any line or lines of railway that will shorten the route to and make the said winter port in the Maritime Provinces. Ald. Colwell, who was one of the delegation who went to Ottawa, submitted a verbal report in addition to the above. He said he was glad that some person was there to represent St. John, as he feared that otherwise the tone of the resolutions would have been different. Quebec wanted a separate line built to that City and a bridge thrown across the St. Lawrence, to cost $4,000,000. The Halifax people wanted the Snow line around by Houlton. He felt that the Megantic line was the one for St John and advocated it. He spoke of the evident preference shown for Portland, Me. over Maritime Province ports, which he said was due to its being nearer Montreal and felt that St. John could not compete with Portland, Me., until it could got a shorter line from Montreal than the distance between Montreal and Portland. He claimed that it was not the Government but the shipper that controlled the trade and therefore the latter would ship by the shortest route irrespective of what the Government desired. He felt that having thus expressed himself and done all that he could for St. John he would move the adoption of the report. Carried. THE BILLS FOR THE LEGISLATURE. The bill giving authority to place the names of all persons assessed on $400 personal property on the Revisor’s list of names was read and passed. The bill giving the superintendent, gate keepers and collectors of the ferry the same power as policemen also passed; the captains now have that power. The bill relating to the placing of the appointment of the recorder in the hands of the Common Council was passed. It provides that the recorder shall be a barrister of ten years’ standing. The bill providing for the election of two Aldermen in each ward of the city was read and it contains the usual provisions abolishing the office of Counsellor. All of these bills were ordered to be engrossed and forwarded to the Legislature for enactment. CLEANING THE STREETS. The special committee appointed to report on the present organization of the street department and suggest such means as they may deem desirable to secure a more economical and efficient administration of that department, beg to report that they had been giving their attention to the whole matter and they would recommend that the committee be authorized to call for tenders from persons willing to undertake the work of cleaning and watering the streets for a term of one or three years, according to the specifications submitted herewith. Accompanying the report was the following specifications, showing what the committee proposed to have done:— 1. The streets colored red and yellow on the plan shows the streets that are to be cleansed and watered (i. e., all the streets in the business section and principal thoroughfares leading out of the city). 2. The streets colored red (business streets) shall be cleaned weekly, that is to say, no creator length of time than seven days shall pass before any such streets must be again cleaned by the contractor. The streets colored yellow (out-skirts of business district) shall be cleaned in the same manner once in each 14 days, and those colored blue (residence streets only) shall be cleaned once in thirty days. 3. The contractor shall scrape, sweep with brooms and gather into heaps all the dust, mud and refuse upon the streets which are to be cleaned and shall be removed on the same day on which they are gathered in light vehicles in such a manner that the contents shall not be dropped, scattered or blown about the streets during removal. 4. The contractor shall collect all loose stones from the streets or gutters and deposit or spread them in the nearest depressions, ruts or hollows that may exist. 5. The contractor should clean the entire roadway including the gutters, and shall remove all grass from the same. He shall lift and clean below all bridges on the cutters and shall replace them free of damage. He shall immediately report to the superintendent of the streets any dangerous places he say find in the streets, gutters or sidewalks, he shall be responsible for any accidents or damage that may in any way occur in his work or that may be occasioned by his agents or servants. He shall make weekly returns to the superintendent of streets of the number and names of the streets cleaned and dates of cleaning. WATERING THE STREET. 6. The streets colored red must be watered twice daily except on wet days. The first watering to take place between the hours of 6 o’clock and 11 o'clock a. m. and the second watering between noon and 4 o’clock, or if salt water from the harbor is used, one watering between 6 o’clock and 11 o'clock a. m. will suffice. 7. All the streets colored yellow or blue are to be watered once daily, except on wet days, between the hours of 6 o’clock a. m. and 12 o’clock noon. 8. The watering must in all instances be efficiently and properly done by careful persons and must extend across the roadway. The horses must not go at a creator pace than a walk. 9. Should the contractor fail to clean or water any of the street or part of the street in a satisfactory manner, or should he fail to comply with any of the provisions of this specification the Chairman of the street committee may cause the work to be done as he at the time may deem fitting and best, and the whole cost thereof shall deducted from any monies that are due or may income due to the contractor. 10. The contractor shall provide at his own expense all water carts, carts, horses, tools, labor, and all other things whatsoever that may be required to carry out the provisions of this specification in a satisfactory manner. He or his agent shall visit the office of the superintendent of streets once a day if required, for the purpose of receiving instructions and making reports. 11. For the purposes of this specification the contractor will be allowed the free use of the water from the city hydrants, and also space for the erection of a sea water tank and pump upon one of the corporation wharves, and also the right of way to and from said tank and pump by night and day for horses, vehicles and persons. The contractor shall be responsible for any damage caused the hydrants or any or either of them by himself, his servants or agents. 12. The contractor shall commence cleaning on the first day of April and shall cease on the first day of November in each year, and the watering shall begin on the first day of May and shall cease on the first day of November in each, provided at ways that the city corporation shall have the right to have the work commenced before or continued after these dates in each year, upon giving the contractor sufficient notice thereof in writing, and upon paying such an amount for the extra work as may be agreed upon by the contractor and the city corporation. 13. It is understood that the whole work must be done to the entire satisfaction of the chairman of the street committee. 14. Payments will be made on the 15th and 30th days of each month, on the certificate of the chairman of the street committee and the chairman of the finance committee, during the continuance of the contract, at the rate of 90 per cent on the contract charge for the work done, the balance to be retained as security until the completion of work. Ald. Gnat, in submitting the report stated that the committee, while they did not feel that the present system was unsatisfactory, yet they would not recommend any change at present. He moved that tenders he asked for to do this work. Coun. Coxetter was satisfied that the work would not be done as satisfactorily as at present if it were put under contract. Ald. Grant said his idea of getting tenders was to know what the work would cost if done by contract. They knew what it costs at present. The resolution passed. THE CHAMBERLAIN’S REPORT. The following annual report from the chamberlain was read: OFFICE OF THE CHAMBERLAIN CITY HALL, Feb. 13. V To His Worship the Mayor and members of the Common Council: I have the honor herewith to submit to your honorable Board my accounts for the city corporation, showing the receipts and disbursements of said corporation for the period and year ending Dec. 31, 1883. Attached at close of report, marked is submitted, showing at sight the balance due from or favoring the respective departmental and other accounts. Abstracts marked B and C, are also respectfully submitted, the former expressing on its face the immediate liabilities of interest due funded debt and order remaining unpaid on C C order book. The latter marked C is a list of salaries of employees of the corporation, prepared by the office under the instruction of your accounts committee, and here, in submitting such salary list, your chamberlain desires to express that your honorable body in perusing the same will remember that the list, as submitted, is a liability sheet only and as charged on the respective accounts and difference can only be met with explanation by saying that the loss time or extra for substitutes during the vacations in summer season, is allowed by the Board to employees of the police force and other departments. The total receipts for all moneys for the east and west side of the harbor, including old balances from last report, aggregate the sum of $959,587.99, while the expenditures are represented by the figures $919,026.97, showing a credit balance to the city on the 31st December, 1883, in the sum of $40,561.02. The funded debt of the city and which is the issue of debentures of the corporation only and issued under the common seal of the city was, on the 31st December, 1883, say:— The sinking funds for the various issues of debentures on review present a favorable showing, the appropriation for such being regularly referred to the issue of debentures of $50,000 on pier account, together with an issue of $23,690 on Pettingell property account, both of which are redeemable in May 1890, while at date the sinking funds’ accounts respectively show assets adequate to the issue. On order of your honorable board made, date as specified, temporary loans were effected, say: January 17, 1883, $6,256.84, payable quarterly, October; to meet payment, $1,750 in favor of contract for stone from Messrs. Corr and Cusack for street department; May 9; $24.93, payable quarterly; October, to meet payment of $1,000 awarded by the Board for Centennial Loyalist celebration purposes l8th May, 1853, which Amounts have been regularly met and paid from the respective assessments enacted therefor in the year 1883. A further loan of $2,000 on date, 20th December, 1883, was executed for commission of sewerage and water supply (east side of harbor) for monies borrowed on account of purchase of property on Union street (No. 3 Engine house) per order C C, 19th December, 1883; amount repayable 21st December, 1887, with interest at 5 per cent, payable half yearly. On review of the abstract A it will be observed that the departmental accounts, excepting ferry steamers and street departments, have all been exercised within the estimates. The fire department, while showing an indebtedness at the close of the year; an offset to it is offered in the expenditure made on account of purchase of engine house purposes, to the completing of which the department asked payment of $1,500. In the ferry steamers, while the account is overdrawn in the sum of $2,873.95, your knowledge of the extensive repairs and improvement to ferry properties will accord the ferry committee just credit in carrying out the proposed changes for improvements made since August last, to the undertaking of which your honorable board made provision, authorizing a loan of $5,000, which, up to date, has never been used. Your chamberlain feels that, with the continued zeal of the committee in preventing the work of sub-officials as ordered by the board, there will be no necessity of executing any loan on his account, and that at the close of April the account will show favorably. Owing to the influx of strangers to our city during the Centennial celebration and Exhibition, the work of the street department was more than ordinarily exercised in the matter of cleaning streets, etc., thus increasing the expenditure beyond the estimate as furnished for assessments at the beginning of the year. The account at the close of the year shows as overdrawn in the sum of $2,650.87, to which should be added a further sum of $1,065, being the amount of the cartmen’s pay roll on streets in the summer of 1883, and which amount will appear in the accounts for the year 1884. I have great pleasure in announcing to your honorable body that the city market floating debt is removed, which fact must present itself favorably to your view when remembering that at the close of the year 1882 the balance brought down was $7,859.87, which amount was gradually reduced in succeeding years, leaving the sum of $1,651.53 as a balance at the close of last year. Notwithstanding the extensive repairs which the committee, in order to keep the rentals in good condition, were compelled to make on the building during the past year—such repairs aggregating $2,155.37—the account shows a balance liability at the close of the year in the sum of $420.75, and as the asset for which rentals due in November in the sum of $495.25, the greater part of which has been received by me since entering on 1884. In the west side accounts I have to express that the careful scrutiny exercised by the various committees is commendable; in that of the common lands the balances to credit exhibiting in the sum of $3,027.95, as against $2,532.34 in the year 1882. In the police department the amount of $544.65, as against $59.35, showing an increased amount at the close of the year in the sum of $485.30, such increase being mainly gains in revenue from police court. The fire and street departments are overdrawn, in the former (fire department) the expenditure in increase is mainly attributable to repairs made on engine houses, etc., with a further expenditure in the sum of $150, being amount voted by your boards towards celebrating the Loyalist Centennial, 18th May, 1883; while those of the street department are, like the expenditure of the east side, attributable to the more than ordinary services rendered in summer during Centennial times. A grant of $800 from the common lands funds, under Common Council order dated November 22nd, 1883, materially assisted the department in meeting liabilities for the more than ordinary labor required in said street department. In the month of June, 1883, the funded debt on public hall account was reduced by the retiring of $8,000 of debentures—the balance $2,000, under the instruction and arrangement of the accounts committee having been re-funded payable in two years, with interest at 5 per cent. I have pleasure, as supplementary to other remarks, in reporting that every claim for interest, as well as other regular demands of payment have been met regularly by my office. All fees, etc., with the usual affidavits from the office of Common Clerk, Police Magistrate and Harbor Master have been regularly made by their particular officers and the amounts duly credited to the respective accounts. The returns from the police court for the year 1883 am as follows, say— Returns of civic indebtedness, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Assembly of New Brunswick, 41 Vic , chap. 20 and amending act 45 Vic., chap. 31, have been duly filed by me with the Provincial Secretary at Fredericton, N. B. together with the statement of the commissioners of water and sewerage supply, etc. I have the honor to be, gentlemen. Your obedient servant, F. SANDALL, Chamberlain. As supplementary to his report, the chamberlain furnishes a statement showing the total debt on account of civic institutions;— the showing made in the city accounts. He gave a summary of the various accounts. Had it not been for extensive repairs made in the Market building that account would have shown nearly $3,000 to its credit. The fire department, had it not been for the purchase of No. 3 Engine house, would have had $1,500 to its credit. The contingent account shows $3,600 to its credit, an increase on last year. Authority had been given the ferry committee to borrow $5,000 but they had not found it necessary to do so. He complimented the chamberlain on his accounts and moved that the accounts be referred to the finance committee; also, that Mr. R. Whiteside M appointed auditor of the accounts. OTHER REPORTS. The reports of the slaughter house commissioners; General Public Hospital, all of which had been published, were presented and ordered to be printed in the city accounts. NEW BUILDINGS. Mr. M. W. Maher; inspector of buildings, in his seventh annual report, says 72 building permits were issued last year—56 for wood and brick cased, and 16 for brick and stone houses. The wood and brick cased buildings cost $42,805; the stone and brick $178,600—total, $22l,405, which is $36,106 less than in 1882. The buildings are classed as follows:— Purpose. Twelve hot air furnaces were inspected during erection and granted certificates; a large number of other furnaces were inspected, during and after erection, and made safe as directed. Ten dangerous structures were removed or made safe on due legal notice being given; in a large number of cases verbal notice was sufficient. The number of buildings damaged by fire, and examined as required by law, was 31; damage, $18,310. In 1882 the loss was $6,500; in 1881, $12,000; in 1878 it was but $3,095. The report was ordered to be published. SEWERAGE COMMISSION REPORT. To His Worship the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of St. John: Gentlemen,—In accordance with your authority we have audited the books and accounts of the Commissioners of Sewerage and Water Supply for the City of St. John, (east side), and City of Portland for the year ending 31st Dec., 1883, and beg to report that the initial statements filed with the Common Clerk are exhibits of the positions of the departments and accurate copies of the books and accounts of the commissioners which we have carefully inspected and found correct. The expenditures are properly vouched; the sinking funds securities were examined and are as stated; and the income from sewerage for SL John and hydrants for Portland we have had certified by the respective Chamberlains. During the fiscal year additional sewerage debentures have been issued to the value of $5,000, duly accounted for and registered with the chamberlain. The increment to sinking funds since last report and outside of accrued interests thereon is $7,500 in debentures. The gross income for the year, including $34,169.84 balance from 1882, was $147,211.44, and the expenditures $119,215.37, leaving $27,996.07 balance, all in banks and properly certified. We notice that the suggestions of previous auditors to institute a check on the arrears has not been acted on; and as no auditors can be held responsible for their correctness, or otherwise, and as comparatively little extra labor would be necessary, we again respectfully recommend that it be carried out. We would also recommend that payments for contract engagements be kept out of wages book and be paid at head office on Superintendent's certificate, and that all work performed or sale of material from stocks to private concerns be in future paid for in cash and not be held in open account for lengthened credit; and, fourth, that the balance St. John Sewerage and Portland hydrants, $21,888.81, is shown in analysis ledger, not collectable by commissioners, and for which figures they are not responsible but presumably arrears, and which have no existences to near that amount, be amended to correct value by proper and regular returns being had, of reductions made and uncollected accounts marked off by respective chamberlains. The clerical work of the office is well and carefully performed, and during our work the chairman and staff afforded us every facility for inspection. JOHN P. MACINTYRE, J. S. BOIES DEVEBER, F. S. SHARP, St. John, Feb. 12, 1884. Auditors. Comparative statement of receipts and expenditures for the years 1882 and 1883:— CARLETON BRANCH. The chamberlain reported that no dividend had been paid by the Carleton Branch Railway on the stock held by the city. There is $3,700 to the credit of this fund in the west side common lands account. Referred to that committee. SALVAGE CORPS. A petition was read from the members of the Salvage Corps. They ask that they be separated from the fire department and have their own officers in future. Referred to the fire committee. MORE LIGHT WANTED. A number of residents ask that a street lamp be placed on the railway crossing on Brunswick and Albion streets. Referred to the lamp committee. The Cartmen’s Protective Union ask that they be granted a lease of a room in the Market building, for which they offer an annual rental of $26. Referred to the market committee. Charles Willis, John K. McFarlane. Geo. Milvey, Edward Hamilton, G. H. Colwell, Thos. Appleby petitioned to be relieved from taxes. Referred to appeals committee. CLEANING CHIMNEYS. A. McAndrews suggested that necessary authority be granted him to clean flues and thus prevent fires from dirty chimneys. Referred to the fire committee. A communication was read from S. H. Beatty, stating that the Grand Southern Railway had removed the bridge leading to his premises in Carleton. He asked the city to replace it. Referred to west side lands committee. WANTING POSITIONS. J. G. Hopkins asked to be appointed care-taker of the old burial ground. Referred to the public grounds committee. Wm. Buchanan asked to be appointed a collector on the ferry should there be a vacancy. Referred to the ferry committee. Capt. Ferris, master of the steam tug St. George, asked to have a fine of $40, imposed on him for placing ashes on Duff’s wharf, remitted. Referred to harbor committee. A number of bills were read and referred. THE MAIN STREET SEWER. Ald. Jordan moved that the commissioners of water and sewerage be instructed to have the sand and stones removed at once from the mouth of the Main and Charlotte street sewers. THE CITY COURT. Ald. Burpee moved that a bill be framed to go before the Legislature to relief aldermen from attendance at the city court, the portion of the fees going to the aldermen to go to the public library. Ald. Grant was with Ald. Burpee, so far as the fees were concerned but thought there should be an alderman on the bench with the common clerk. The court was an old one and should not be changed. Alds. T. N. Robertson and Reynolds were of the same opinion. Conn. Nowlin said that originally the court was limited to $8, its limit was now $80. The motion was lost. THE ELECTIONS AND THE ESTIMATES. Ald. Reynolds moved that the assessors prepare lists of electors entitled to vote at the forthcoming elections. Carried. Ald. Reynolds moved that the finance committee be instructed to prepare the estimates for the current year. Ald. Jordan moved that the superintendent of streets make an inventory of all material and plant held by the street department. Ald. C. A. Robertson moved that the fire department committee be instructed to hold an investigation into the charges preferred against a member of the fire department in the Daily Telegraph. Carried. Coun. Coxettor moved that the Sydney market wharves be repaired. Referred to the harbor committee. LICENSING DANCE HALLS. Ald. Jordan moved that a bill be framed to license dance halls in this city. He said that were these places licensed they could be put under the control of the police. Carried. The Council adjourned.