Another step completed for removal of derelict boat

City Council has approved three grant agreements to appropriate nearly $53,000 to remove three derelict vessels, including one in the Ortega River, from Jacksonville waterways.

Ordinance 2017-99 authorizes the Small-Scale Derelict Vessel Removal Project Agreement between the City of Jacksonville and the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) for $30,000; a grant of $11,275 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Florida Boating Improvement Program, and an FWC Derelict Vessel Removal grant of $8,625.

This last grant will help fund the removal of Class Action from the Ortega River; the City is required to match 25 percent or $2,875 to cover the $11,500 cost of removal.

Class Action sank in the Ortega River nearly a year ago after taking on water. The owner, who was purportedly on his way to a boatyard for maintenance, was unable to bail the water and raise the 51-foot motor vessel.

The other two derelict vessels are abandoned shrimp boats at the mouth of the Trout River east of U.S. 17/Main Street and south of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

The grants require the City to complete the removal projects before receiving reimbursement from FIND and the FWC. The projects are being managed by Robert Skalitzky, chief of the Natural and Marine Resources Division of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.

The next step is procurement of bids, and the chosen contractors (one for the Trout River vessels and one for the Ortega River) will be responsible for removal, salvage of parts, and destruction of the remains, which will be taken to a landfill, according to Jim Suber, Waterways Coordinator for the City of Jacksonville. With nearly 35 vessel removals under his belt, Suber will coordinate the removal activities.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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