COTTESLOE council will seek private donations to pay for repairs originally budgeted up to $243,500 to its well-known pylon on Cottesloe Beach.
“If private donations are able to be obtained, the overall project cost may be less than originally thought,” a staff report said at last night’s meeting.
Since last Wednesday, contractors on a semi-submersible barge have taken advantage of unseasonal good weather to do the first of council-approved repairs for erosion and damage to the pylon.
The structure was also restored with $117,000 from the Federal Government and Lotterywest after it was toppled in a storm in 2009, and its upper part lay on the seabed for several months after it broke off in 1995.
In April, the 2009 project and costs of the latest repairs prompted councillors to agree to ask the public if a commissioned sculpture or a diving or recreation platform should replace the pylon, or if it should be removed.
The structure is the last of three built to support a shark net after an attack in 1925 and has become a symbol of Perth beach life, in addition to rivalry when it is painted in the colours of rival surf clubs during late night raids .
The report said publicity following the decision to seek an alternative to the pylon prompted offers from the community to contribute to fixing its lower part and free engineering to keep it in its current form.
The National Trust has offered to create a public appeal of tax-deductible donations to pay for any additional work, before councillors agreed to the offer last night.
This morning, the barge had left after a forecast change in the weather for tomorrow, when it had initially been planned to have the work started during good conditions in November.