Senator Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, has introduced legislation in the Missouri Senate that would urge the United States Congress to support US Senate Bill S. 89, restoring an exemption for the Delta Queen Steamboat in order for it to operate once again.
The Delta Queen Steamboat has operated for many years as a top of the line luxury cruise, and at one point allowed overnight cruise passengers. The rich history of the Delta Queen includes three United States Presidents and delegates of 51 other nations during the founding conference of the United Nations as passengers.
The Delta Queen is headquartered in Kimmswick, Mo., where it established a home port and restaurant and employs more than 170 in the local area. It has been estimated the Delta Queen can generate more than 36.4 million for the region if it returns to service.
The purpose of Sen. Wieland’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 is to urge Congress to enact United States Senate Bill S 89. This bill exempts historic vessels that operate within inland waterways from federal fire retardant materials requirements if the owners of the vessel make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessel that are not constructed of fire- retardant materials. If Congress were to do so, the Delta Queen would be allowed to operate on a larger scale and create more revenue for the Kimmswick area.
“The Delta Queen has been designated as a National Treasure and placed on the National Register of Historic Places,” Sen. Wieland said. “This is a beautiful vessel that creates jobs and generates tourism in Missouri. By relaxing some of the federal regulations on vessels, this steamboat can continue to operate in Missouri and safely carry passengers for many years to come.”
The proposed resolution has been referred to the Senate Committee on Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics and is awaiting a public hearing.