From Illinois Public Radio - News Local/State -

Peoria Looks At Acquiring WWII Vessel

The LST 325, a World War II-era ship that ferried troops to the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, moves up the Allegheny River, preparing to dock in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. The craft is crewed by volunteers and veterans who want to te

The LST 325, a World War II-era ship that ferried troops to the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, moves up the Allegheny River, preparing to dock in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. The craft is crewed by volunteers and veterans who want to tell the vessel's story and pay homage to the dwindling numbers of World War II soldiers and sailors. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

The City of Peoria is gauging support for the idea of acquiring a decommissioned World War II tank landing ship known as the LST 325.

The ship is currently based in Evansville Ind., and the move would cost Peoria about $1.5 million and about $50,000 annually to operate.

Assistant City Manager Chris Setti said the navy vessel would integrate well into Peoria’s riverfront.

“It draws a different group of folks who may also be interested in what our downtown has to offer,” Setti said. “So we think there is a real spillover effect to things like the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Caterpillar Visitor’s center. And the relationship goes both ways.”

Conceptual drawings show possible docking places including directly behind The River Station, utilizing part of the existing facility for the ticket office and museum. The second is between the Riverplex and the I-74 bridge, but would require more construction.

Some say the World War II vessel has no historical ties to Peoria and focus on it could impede the progress of re-developing the Warehouse District.

The Peoria City council is slated to vote on the matter next week. A survey is available to gage the public interest in having the LST in Peoria.

Categories: Government, History