HOUSTON – Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia proposed a resolution to keep the iconic Battleship Texas from being moved out of the Houston Ship Channel for repairs.
The leaky ship is the last remaining battleship to have served during D-Day.
The boat will either be moved to Mobile, Alabama, or Tampa, Florida, for major repairs to its hull, said Bruce Bramlett, with the Battleship Texas Foundation. It will then return to Texas, but not to its current San Jacinto Monument site.
Bramlett said the battleship needs to be in a location where it can draw more than 80,000 visitors a year.
Lawmakers approved $35 million in the last session for the urgently needed repairs. Bramlett said the foundation needs another $15 million in donations to complete them.
The preparations for moving the ship should begin in October.
According to the foundation, the restoration effort includes "determining sources of leaks and repairing them to prevent unwanted flow of water; reinforcing framework and structure for optimum safety on board the ship; repairs to the flooring to make it more even and accessible, and recent additions to the A/C system to provide cool air to even more sections of the ship."
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been working to dry-berth the ship to better preserve it, but has not been able to do so due to a lack of funds.
Texas voters in 2007 approved a $25 million bond issue for the dry-berth project. Officials estimated the cost could reach as much as $75 million.
About Battleship Texas
The ship was commissioned in 1914 and is the last big-gun battleship in the U.S. naval fleet.
The ship participated in some of the most significant naval battles in both World War I and World War II.
It carried soldiers home from across the Pacific following Japan's surrender in World War II.
The Battleship Texas became the first battleship memorial in the United States when it was decommissioned back in 1948.
Scares on ship?
The battleship has been a popular site for paranormal activity, where people have claimed to hear unexplained noises and witness other bizarre activity. There is also a ghost figure that has been seen moving around the vessel and hanging out on different decks. He's usually smiling at people.