The Arabia Steamboat Museum doesn’t plan on renewing its lease with Kansas City when it runs out in 2026 and Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, wants to see its contents moved to a new facility in his district.
Bernskoetter filed SB 322, which would both create the Steamboat Legacy Fund, and fill it through a $1 increase to the gaming commission’s current $2 entry fee for Missouri’s riverboat casinos.
The text of the bill says:
“Moneys in the Steamboat Legacy Fund shall be used solely for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a facility to be located in Jefferson City that shall house books, maps, artifacts, and other material related to the significance of the steamboat era in the history of Missouri. Moneys in the fund shall also be used for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a facility that shall be a part of the Missouri State Museum.”
Bernskoetter said the museum would be great for Jefferson City tourism and an important effort to retain the Missouri artifacts in the state.
“There’s a group from Pittsburgh that actually wants to buy the contents and move it to Pittsburgh and we want to keep it in Missouri,” he said.
According to the Jefferson City senator, the Steamboat Arabia Museum is in support of the bill.
The Kansas City attraction has seen more than 2 milliion visitors since it’s November 1991 opening, according to the museum’s website.