LST Committee Seeking Dock And Museum

Reporter: Ben Fisher

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

The people who brought LST 325 to the Evansville riverfront over the summer, are promoting another big project.

The LST committee wants a permanent, floating dock, and a museum.

The committee hopes Evansville will become known as a city that honors veterans and the people on the homefront who supported the war efforts.

More than 35,000 people visited LST 325, while it was docked in Evansville.

A local group believes if the ship was docked here permanently, even more people would visit. And that would mean more money for area businesses.

To make that money, a multi-million dollar dock will have to be built.

George Rehnquist of LST-River Heritage, Inc. says, "If we ever hope to have the LST come here permanently, we know we have to have the dock in place. They probably won't even talk to us if we don't have the dock there."

The project is expected to cost more than $3 million, and the local LST committee wants the city to pitch-in around $2 million.

Is there any concern that the city will build this thing, and the LST won't come?"

Inland Marina Owner Ron Riecken says, "There's a possibility of that, but we can justify it by having the Queens. the Mississippi, the American, and the Delta Queens will bring approximately 20,000 people, just those three boats."

The dock is just the beginning of what the LST committee sees in the riverfront's future.

Riecken says, "The next phase is a museum, dedicated to the war effort, and to veterans. We would like to honor our veterans 365-days a year, instead of one."

Committee members are passionate about this project, and believe the public is too.

Rehnquist says, "Evansville's known as River City, and yet River City does not have a dock that can handle an LST, or any other ship that size. We think that's something that needs to be remedied. It's sad."

LST committee members say if everything falls into place, they could have this dock ready to use by next spring.

You can order your own copy of Newswatch's coverage of the LST's visit to Evansville. To get your commemorative LST tape, send a $40.00 check, made out to WFIE-LST, to:
P.O. Box 1414
Evansville, IN 47701
Deadline: Thursday, December 4, 2003