BEAUMONT, Texas — It looks like Beaumont is still in the running to become the permanent home for the historic Battleship Texas.
On Tuesday, the city council heard from the president of the Battleship Texas Foundation.
Council members originally seemed hesitant because of the cost of docking the ship and providing utilities. Tuesday's meeting seemed to sway the views of some council members, and the idea is picking up steam.
Beaumont City Council heard a presentation from Bruce Bramlett of the Battleship Texas Foundation Tuesday at City Hall.
"The state of Texas owns the Battleship Texas, will always own it, and it's really a good thing," Bramlett said.
Bramlett explained that the City of Beaumont would not be responsible for repairing and maintaining the ship.
“It gave us a different perspective,” said Mayor Robin Mouton.
Mouton and other council members were admittedly swayed by what they heard.
"It changed my view in more of the positive for promoting tourism in Beaumont, something we've wanted for a long time," Mouton said.
Getz was the first to pitch the idea.
"It would really be cool to have Battleship Texas moored in the Neches River where you could see it from the bridge," Getz told 12News previously.
But he faced hesitancy from the council because of costs. On Oct. 29, the city sent out a news release pointing to a low end of the estimate of $5.25 million to dock the ship, provide pedestrian access, and other utilities.
Those issues still concern the council.
"The only factor that I think the council members had is that we didn’t want it to be a burden on the taxpayers of Beaumont," Mouton said.
Councilman Chris Durio served in the Navy during the Cold War, and this workshop started to sway him as well.
"Like anything else, I just remember the good stuff from when I was in the Navy so it has an impact on it, and I’m interested in it,” Durio said. “I think it would be something good for people to see that have never experienced that."
Steve Hoffman comes to a lot of council meetings. He's also on board with this idea.
"I did enough research to convince me it was going to be a positive thing for our city and it would bring money to our city," Hoffman said.
He thinks the council might be, too.
"And I was always afraid council makes decisions, and I think today they pretty much looked at it with a whole change in their viewpoint, and I think they want to do this if the money is right," Hoffman said.
If approved, the city would need to hire an engineering firm to better project the cost. It's projected that permit approval could potentially take years.