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Vallejo Battles To Bring Historic Battleship To Mare Island

VALLEJO (KCBS) - The cash-strapped city of Vallejo has set its sights on bringing an historic battleship to Mare Island, with hopes of then turning it into a museum and tourist attraction.

Vallejo has some competition, though, for the USS Iowa. The Port of San Pedro in Southern California is also reportedly making a bid for the 900 ft. battleship.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

Currently, the USS Iowa sits just a few miles from Mare Island, as a part of the "Mothball Fleet" in Suisun Bay.

"That's the thing that's frustrating, when you can just drive right over and see it sitting there but just not being able to go aboard or really see everything," lamented Jim Kern, executive director of the Vallejo Naval Historical Museum. "The potential that's there, I just can't wait to have it berthed over here at the Mare Island waterfront."

The Navy is expected to make a decision about the fate of the USS Iowa in Spring 2011.

"It's completely up to the Navy but of course the group that's been working to bring the ship to Vallejo has been working for a long time, they're very well organized and they're really putting a real effort behind it," said Kern. "So I think they've got a very strong change of getting it here."

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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