Chattanooga waterfront barge remains half-submerged near Ross's Landing

Chattanooga waterfront barge remains half-submerged near Ross's Landing

January 21st, 2012 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

A former barge restaurant lists as it takes on water while docked across from the Tennessee River pier Friday afternoon.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

A downtown Chattanooga waterfront barge remains about half-submerged across from Ross's Landing as its owner waits for the river level to drop.

"We'll have to have it so it gets two feet down from where it is now," said businessman Allen Casey.

Casey of River City Resort Inc. said plans are to start pumping out water when the Tennessee River level subsides.

"A week without rain would do it," he said.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers, which originally gave a permit for the barge, said that after having earlier notified Casey of his being in noncompliance, it is staying in close contact with him.

"We continue to communicate with the permittee regarding the logistics and technical details of securing and raising the barge," said Lee Roberts, a corps spokesman.

He said it's premature to speculate on any potential enforcement issues, adding that Casey has been responsive.

Casey said he's still planning a restaurant and bar on a structure that sits atop the barge, which is moored to a vacant 12-acre riverfront parcel off Manufacturers Road.

He said that in late November, something caused the barge to shift to one side and water started pouring in while the river level rose.

Meanwhile, Casey declined comment on a lawsuit filed last week in Hamilton County Chancery Court by a former employee. Casey said he had not seen the papers yet.

Paul Frankenberg alleged that part of the Manufacturers Road property was fraudulently sold in 2008. He said that the $2.9 million paid to S. Jackson Wingfield III was far below its fair valuation at the time.

He also said he's owed by Casey and River City Resort over $437,000 related to two notes.