Council working with group to revive Delta Queen steamboat
The important role of the St. Louis Port Council giving maritime workers and those employed in allied industries an effective grass roots presence in Missouri politics and community efforts was highlighted at a recent luncheon featuring Maritime Trades Department Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dan Duncan.
Duncan swore-in new officers – President Jack Martorelli (former business manager, Operating Engineers Local 513 and president of Jack Martorelli Consulting Services), and Vice President John Stiffler (veteran business manager, Insulators Local 1) – and Port Agent Becky Sleeper.
Martorelli, takes the helm left vacant by the death of Dick Mantia, the respected building trades leader who passed away in June and was the Council’s long-time president.
WORKING TO REVIVE DELTA QUEEN
The Port Council is currently working with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, a group of previous employees working to revive the majestic vessel as a working river steamboat to be headquartered in St. Louis and operated by a union crew. The project has the potential to provide a $10 million annual economic impact for St. Louis.
The Queen, the only remaining authentic overnight river steamboat still in operable condition, plied the inland waterways for 85 years until ending operations in 2008. A bankruptcy forced the boat into new ownership, which turned the vessel into a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, TN. That only lasted a few years.
Sleeper said the goal is to have the Delta Queen once again provide overnight cruise services on the Mississippi River and its inland waterways, providing jobs for St. Louisans and a substantial economic boost for the region’s economy – an estimated $94 – $100 million over the next 10 years.
The group is trying to raise $4.1million locally towards a $10 million budget that would allow acquisition and a total refurbishing of the 176-passenger steamboat.
For more information on the project and other activities of the Port Council, call 314-752-6500.