The North Eastern Ensign, Benalla
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(From our Own Correspondent.)
If I have shown any reticence about matters here it is because I found others not only willing but anxious to give prominence to such an unimportant (in some people's ideas) place as Euroa. Tony Veller and his son Samivel occupied a considerable portion of your space weekly, and others have been at the trouble of reporting items of intelligence - meagre it is true - but sufficient to indicate that if Euroa as a township is not extensive it has residents who are "wanting to know you know." I candidly confess l am a member of this order, and I now want to know how it is that the Benalla Shire Council prepare specifications and invite tenders for certain work, which specifications are most egregiously departed from.
We poor isolated ratepayers when we were told that we were to have paths formed, with a beautiful slope of 6 inches to enable us to walk dry footed at all seasons of the year, absolutely believed it to be true. We understood that all stumps, &., were to be burned off, that so many yards of gravel (save the mark) were to be laid down, that a culvert was to be constructed opposite the Pilgrim Inn to carry off water which hitherto had flooded the house and caused over £160 worth of damage to the landlord, that both paths and culverts wore to be on a level with the crown of the road, and that the water table was to be formed and of course cleared of thistles, &o. Our anticipations, however, have been "nipped in the bud.", True, the stumps have been grubbed and burned, and this is a boon to us, but it might have been done for £7 or £8 at the most. The paths are perfectly useless, no one ever thinks of walking on them, and are constructed as follows :- The width being marked out the pickaze went to work and the earth was thrown on to the contemplated path, over which has been thrown a considerable number of loads of drift sand from the creek. This sand will never bind and only when it is well soaked will it be possible for us to use our pathways.
The thistles are not all removed from the water table, and as the first heavy rains must wash two-thirds of the sand off, the next job will be clearing the water table. The culvert is (the upper part) made from timber from the old bridge, one plank of which gave way shortly after it was put down and a drain in connection with this culvert is now being constructed, which, if not covered over will only serve as a man trap, and cause some serious accidents. It appears to me that if specifications are drawn out they should be rigidly adhered to, as those who tender in accordance with them have no chance with those who know they are not in tended to be carried out. I know one tenderer who would have placed screened gravel where now we have only drift sand, and who would have- given us a path we could have and should have availed ourselves of.
The new Education Act is working well here. In one week after the opening of the school on January 13th, 20 new scholars were enrolled, and an average of 46 which was with difficulty kept up last year has increased to 48, with a certainty of a considerable increase. The trustees intend immediately to make the school over to the State, the wisest thing they can do, as an enlargement is absolutely necessary.
For once the farmers don't growl. The wheat harvest has been a good one, and got in with little difficulty. Wages ruled rather high, but still they will reap a reward. It is a pity the new mill is not finished, but it is progressing rapidly.
I must reserve further items till next week, fearing I have already taken up too much space. The long interval which has elapsed since Iwrote last will perhaps induce you to allow this insertion.
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