Plan to bring LST warship to Peoria has sunk

By Audrey Wise

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 1, 2014 at 6:46 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- A plan to bring a historic World War II ship to Peoria has sunk.

Last week the city made a final offer to the LST 325 board to lure the ship from Evansville, Indiana to the Peoria Riverfront.

The city wanted the historic ship to help draw tourists to downtown Peoria.

Council members pledged a half million dollars and planned to raise the other $1 million needed to dock the ship, but it seems that wasn't enough.

City officials got word Tuesday morning that the ship would not set sail to Peoria.

The LST Board has decided to keep the ship docked in Evansville for the next five years.

Assistant Peoria City manager Chris Setti said the city made a strong offer, especially with an economy that's still struggling.

While he's not sure all of the reasons, Setti thinks Evansville's offer was just more compelling.

"I think we made a good effort and we certainly gave them something to think about and we certainly gave some good competition to Evansville to have them step up their game. It's unfortunate we didn't get it, but we wish them the best of luck," said Setti.

An LST Board member tells our NBC affiliate in Evansville that seven of the nine members voted in favor of Evansville. The board member adds that Peoria's offer wasn't as good as they had hoped.

Meanwhile, Peoria city officials say they are committed to look for more ways to improve the downtown and riverfront area.

"I don't think we'll be out shopping for another ship necessarily, but we will always be investigating other ways to make our community to work, live and visit," said Setti.

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