Covertly Peoria City Councilwoman Beth Akeson drove five hours to see the WWII vessel first hand and get a look at Evansville's riverfront. "Evansville's waterfront is very impressive. The continuity, the attention to detail, it was beautifully maintained," said Akeson.
"She was really complimentary of our riverfront down here. I was a little oblivious. I take it for granted because I live here," said Donahue.
Akeson was not only singing Evansville's praises, but also questioning the ability Peoria to house an attraction with the size and cost of the L-S-T 3-25. "I am not convinced that the boat anchored where it's currently being discussed would be ideal," said Akeson.
Two weeks ago Peoria's city council delayed a vote on whether to pursue the LST 325 until June 24th. Donahue responded by telling council members to quote "step their game up." After visiting the ship and Evansville's riverfront Akeson agrees. "I would come back to our city council and say we need to step up our game if we're going to commit to another feature on our riverfront," said Akeson.
Donahue says Akeson's visit does not sway him one way or the other, but he likes to see the initiative. "We feel like we're being taken pretty serious now."
Akeson says she would rather see taxpayer dollars used towards improving the existing riverfront before adding another attraction. "In general I'm leaning towards lets spend our money to improve the lives of people who live in Peoria and down the road we can perhaps look to bring in more attractions to our city," said Akeson.