With just days before a state-imposed deadline to remove his submerged barge and crane from a small marina on the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay, owner of the barge, Don Balcom, took a big step Monday to ending a saga that has carried on now for 6 months.

Balcom, who owns Balcom Marine Contractors of Traverse City, had left the barge and crane in the marina back in the fall.
But November winds blew in, causing damage and sinking the barge.

Monday. Balcom, along with Great Lakes Diving and Salvage, dewatered most of the barge, only to discover another leak which had to be patched.

Eventually, though, the barge floated on its own and was brought to shore.

It's not clear what Balcom wants to do with the barge now, but the state has threatened fines and possible charges if it is not out by Thursday.