"OK...any questions?" By simply putting a hat on Mayor Winnecke declares victory for the city of Evansville in the battle with Peoria over the LST.
"We've won. It's a nice win for a community. Let's show our appreciation to the LST Board by coming out with your scout group, your church group, your neighborhood association, whomever, and come out for a tour," said Mayor Winnecke.
LST 325 Board Member Chris Donahue says in January it was a coin flip whether the ship would stay in Evansville or sail to Peoria.
But the game changed when the Tropicana boat slip became a bargaining chip if land based gambling became legalized. Something Doanhue would jump at. "In a heartbeat. As soon as they pull out we're going to be pulling in. I'm hoping anyway."
The LST 325 is already rich in history, but it could truly become a floating museum with a new partnership with Freedom Heritage Museum.
The EVSC has also partnered with the LST by agreeing to tour the ship as part of student curriculum.
"It's a tour that will really enlighten you and make you feel good about the city of Evansville's past and certainly it's future," said Mayor Winnecke.
Part of the new agreement is to improve signage and paving leading up to the ship. Donahue says there will be at least two billboards, but the locations are not yet determined. He is also working with INDOT to increase signage entering Evansville. Mayor Winnecke says the city is already working on these improvements and noticeable results will be seen in the near future.
The new five year contract will start in May of next year with an additional mutual five year option at the end of that.