Naval vessel could come to Peoria's riverfront permanently

By Beau Ebenezer

December 11, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria city council agreed Tuesday night to begin exploring the option of bringing a World War II naval vessel to Peoria's riverfront as a tourist attraction.

The LST 325 is now docked as a tourist attraction in Evansville, Indiana but its contract with the city is up in 2015.

City officials think bringing the ship to the Peoria riverfront will serve as a great tourist attraction.

While moving the ship to Peoria permanently could cost a few extra dollars, city leaders said the historical attraction may be worth it.

"There could be some costs with putting in a dock and some other facilities for this ship," said City Manager Patrick Urich. "It is something that we are exploring right now, conceptually, to see what we can do. We'll take a look at it and see. What we really wanted to do tonight was just get council's feedback."

City leaders said Peoria was a candidate for the ship back in 2003, but they were not chosen to be the ship's home.

Since then, the ship has made it to Peoria a few times for viewing by the public.

City leaders said they will begin negotiations with owners of the ship in the coming months.

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