Town of Cottesloe asked to pay back $550,000 to Education Dept

Town of Cottesloe asked to pay back $550,000 to Education Dept

THE Town of Cottesloe has been asked to hand back $550,000 that the Education Department contributed to a car park project that failed – but the council may still profit.

The department offered the money to improve parking at North Cottesloe Primary School.

But the project ended when council decided to instead save Norfolk Island pine trees that would have been cut down to allow Railway Street to be re-aligned.

At the Town’s agenda forum last Tuesday it was revealed the Town was likely to keep any interest generated while the council held the Department’s contribution.

Cottesloe chief executive Mat Humfrey did not say how much it amounted to but added the department had not asked for it.

“The interest is very small and my understanding is that it would cause more headaches to try and hand that money back than it would be worth,” he said on the night.

A department spokeswoman said it had not discussed the topic with the Town of Cottesloe and did not say if it would be followed up.

The Town had sought to retain the $550,000 funding and develop an alternative parking option at the school.

But the money is allocated to a specific project and the department asked for it back.

“The Department of Education will continue to discuss issues around traffic safety near North Cottesloe Primary School with the Town of Cottesloe to try and find a resolution,” the department spokeswoman said.

With little room to move, councillors appear likely to endorse an officer’s recommendation to return the money.

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