For more than eight years, the famed LST 325 has been moored in Evansville. However, the ship's future in the River City could be determined by it's location near the riverfront.
A meeting between the ship's board of directors and Mayor Lloyd Winnecke could be pivotal in whether the ship will stay in Evansville. The city's contract with the vessel will soon expire. The city of Peoria, IL has been aggressive in trying to pry the ship away from Evansville.
For the last few months, the LST Board of Directors have been involved in ongoing negotiations with the city. Board members will meet with the mayor on Thursday. Winnecke has stated several times that he wants to keep the historic ship moored in Evansville.
Chris Donahue, one of the board members, said one of the big issues both parties will have to sort through is where the ship is docked.
"Right now we need more people visiting the ship, bottom line," Donahue said. "We need more exposure. We're out here in the boondocks and we need to get closer to where the people are."
Donahue anticipates the mayor will address those concerns but he also realizes the city has some limitations because of the bend in the Ohio River.
Board members said they have been doing their due diligence in exploring any offer that might be available. It's a common practice every ten years, Donahue said.
"I'm optimistic about the way things will go on Thursday for Evansville, but at the same time, Peoria is putting up a fight," Donahue said. "We've got two good cities competing for it. That's always a good thing."