Thumb down: Cost of barge removal from Fort Pierce Inlet may fall on taxpayers

COSTLY PROJECT: Taxpayers may get stuck with the tab to remove the 110-foot barge that sank in the Fort Pierce Inlet in February.

Cost: $2.6 million.

It took several weeks for the Army Corps of Engineers, working with contractors, to remove the vessel.

Rodney Grambo, 54, of Middleburg, was towing the barge when it sank. He was issued a citation related to not having a proper lookout and reckless operation of a vessel, according to a final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

John Tellam, 56, of Miami, owns the barge and “made no effort to recover the vessel … from the inlet,” the report states.

Both Grambo and Tellam have been sent formal letters demanding payment for removal costs.

If they don’t pay, taxpayers likely will get stuck with the bill.

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