Alton Illinois aldermen will meet at 6 PM on Monday (July 20) as a committee of the whole for a teleconference to consider an ordinance authorizing amendments to the lease agreement of the port city with ACL-American Cruise Lines.
The ordinance, which is the only resolution on the agenda of the meeting, is crucial to the line’s plans to port 3 of its riverboats in Alton IL starting in August 2020.
In order for the US Army Corps of Engineers to approve the agreement, the corps listed a number of changes to the agreement in a letter to the Director of Alton Planning and Development, Greg Caffey, earlier this year.
The letter read that the sublease provided could not be approved as it currently stood because it was not in compliance with the lease. The following items had to be revised and addressed in the "sublease document with American Cruise Lines in order to receive approval from the district engineer.”
An issue listed was that the “Exclusive Lease Area” noted in the sublease appeared to be on federal property, although the sublease said it was not and any exclusive use is not permitted on federal land.
In summer 2019, ACL signed a 5-year agreement with the port city to use Alton as the mid-river hub for its 4 riverboats. The agreement has an estimated economic impact of ~USD 2,38 million.
Last week ACL announced that its first Mississippi River cruise this year - 8-day itinerary to Saint Paul, Minnesota - will leave Alton IL on August 20. The company is planning 10 voyages on Upper Mississippi River through October 2020. Due to the pandemic, ACL ships' passenger capacities will be limited to 75% and medical staff will be available on each ship.