Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor's Office Discounts Rumbles on LST Dock ; Foot Traffic an Issue for Talks Later This Week

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor's Office Discounts Rumbles on LST Dock ; Foot Traffic an Issue for Talks Later This Week

Article excerpt

Evansville officials are downplaying recent comments by a member of the USS LST Ship Memorial's board of directors suggesting the World War II ship is prepared to leave the city next year if it is not moved to a more accessible spot on the riverfront. This weekend, board member Chris Donahue told local television stations that LST 325 could move to Peoria, Ill., if a less-remote location cannot be found in Evansville.

"It would be unacceptable to be here in 10 more years at Marina Pointe," he said during an interview on Sunday.

Ella Johnson-Watson, a spokeswoman for Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, said the fact that board members are discussing moving with other cities is not a surprise. In December, Peoria's city council started the process of determining the cost of moving the ship there on the Illinois River. Johnson said

Peoria officials have been "courteous," during their pursuit of the ship, which has been in Evansville since 2005.

"We have known for quite some time that they were being courted by Peoria, Ill., as well as Jeffersonville, Ind., which has dropped out of the running, (but) they're continuing to talk to Peoria," she said.

A spokesman for the city of Jeffersonville confirmed the Indiana city near Louisville, Ky., was no longer pursuing bringing the ship there long term. Peoria's assistant city manager Christopher Setti said his city is still finalizing an offer to try to bring the ship there. On Monday, he told the Courier & Press that he hopes to formalize an offer for the ship by some time next month, pending the city council approval. He said Peoria officials have had talks with board members about a possible location if they decide to relocate to the Illinois city.

"It would be a really fascinating and amazing asset for either one of our communities to have," Setti said of the LST 325.

Johnson said Winnecke is hopeful the LST will remain in Evansville and renew its contract with the city. …

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