Peoria City Council Moves Closer to LST-325 Vote

Published 06/17 2014 10:15PM

Updated 06/18 2014 08:28AM

PEORIA - Next week, the Peoria City Council will determine if it wants to try and bring the LST-325 warship to the riverfront.

But members will have to do it without a recommendation from the Downtown Advisory Commission.

The commission was unable to vote on a contract recommendation to give to the council at its Tuesday meeting, but it did have a lengthy discussion.

The discussion ran so long, the commission ran out of time and not enough members were present to make a vote.

The city is looking to bring the warship from Evansville, Indiana, to the riverfront.

The commission debated two possible locations: In front of River Station or next to the Riverplex.

It also discussed the costs of the ship.

Mark Misselhorn of the Downtown Advisory Commission said, "We're looking at trying to consider the bigger balance, the ship's success, but also, the aesthetics, the views, of the river, and the quality of our downtown."

Members of the public also had a chance to voice their opinions tonight.

The city held a public hearing to receive input from residents.

While many are in favor of bringing the ship to Peoria,

They, too, are hung up on a possible location.

The city will use Tuesday night's hearing to help with its vote.

Scott Corsaut of he American Legion Post 1111 said, "I think it would be a great tie-in with the new museum downtown. I think that would be a tie-in to bring kids and school children from around the area to learn the history of the LST."

Peoria Assistant City Manager Chris Setti added, "We have an online survey. We have a Facebook pacge, and then we have this opportunity for people to come, learn a little bit more about the LST and this particular project, get their questions answered."

One member of the LST Board of Directors was at the meeting Tuesday night.

Ron Wolfgang says he is not 100 percent sure which city he prefers.

Although Evansville is passionate about the warship, he says the city has not been the best host.

Wolfgang said, "I have to weigh that passion and say, 'How am I going to take this away from them', but yet, my other question would be, will the ship benefit more by being in Peoria than in Evansville."

City council members will vote on a contract at next Tuesday's meeting.

If approved, it will go to the LST Board, which needs to make a decision by July 31st.

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