Lawrenceburg has less than a month to recover sunken tiki bar from Ohio River

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- If Lawrenceburg's city government can't recover a sunken tiki bar from the Ohio River within the next month, it could lose the right to continue developing the riverfront in the future.

The Army Corps of Engineers wants Riverwatch restaurant's buried treasure -- a once-floating bar that disappeared into the river in April -- back on dry land by Sept. 14. 

"At our point, our biggest concern is protecting the interest of the city," Mayor Kelly Molluan said. "The only way we can do that is to get this thing removed."

Hiring a marine salvage company to do so will cost tens of thousands of dollars that restaurant owner Mike Rauen can't provide up-front, meaning the city would likely foot the initial bill in an effort to keep their permit.

Replacing the sunken structure, which Rauen described as a crucial part of his business's ambiance, could cost even more. In April, when it sank beneath the waves, he estimated the price of a replacement at around $100,000.

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