DCC bent on fixing leaky pontoon

Port Otago workboat Kapu tows the Portobello jetty pontoon to Birch St wharf yesterday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.The Dunedin City Council is set to spend almost $20,000 on the leaky Portobello jetty pontoon before it knows what is causing the problem.

The listing pontoon was towed into the Birch St wharf in Dunedin by Port Otago workboat Kapu yesterday as part of an attempt to get to the bottom of the problem. This is after holes began appearing in the $382,000 jetty soon after it was opened in 2012 and the failure of underwater repair attempts.

Council parks operations officer Richard Dahlenburg said transportation of the pontoon to and from Portobello, consultancy work, advice and cleaning and testing of the pontoon were expected to cost the council $19,650.

This figure did not include the cost of repairing the pontoon, as the extent of the problem was not yet known.

Otago Peninsula Community Board chairwoman Christine Garey said the amount being spent on the pontoon was alarming, given the initial cost of the asset.

However, she acknowledged council staff had done all they could to keep repair costs down and initially to ensure the pontoon was well built.

''These things do happen in the marine environment,'' she said. She hoped the work would be covered by insurance.

It was pleasing the council planned to have a fixed pontoon back at the jetty by the beginning of October, in time for the busy summer boating season.

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