PORTLAND – The group that has proposed bringing the USS John F. Kennedy to Portland Harbor says it is still determined to find a suitable location for the decommissioned aircraft carrier.

Local officials say that’s not likely to happen.

The Navy informed the group last week that it has another six months to secure a site for the ship, which would serve as a floating museum and tourist attraction. The group would need to get the permission of the property owner and conduct an analysis of the ship’s environmental impact on the area to satisfy the Navy’s requirements.

The Portland City Council voted unanimously in January against endorsing the city-owned Ocean Gateway as a home for the ship.

Despite that vote, the group submitted an application to the Navy in February, naming several other potential sites in the harbor, including one in South Portland, said Julie Rabinowitz, vice president of the USS John F. Kennedy Memorial Museum, the group behind the effort.

Portland Mayor Nicholas Mavodones said Monday that most of the concerns cited by the council and residents, including increased traffic and a weak business plan, would apply no matter where in the harbor the ship was berthed. “I think perhaps they read the council vote too narrowly,” he said.

Also, Mavodones said, he couldn’t imagine another location along the waterfront that could accommodate the 1,050-foot-long ship. Rabinowitz declined to identify the other proposed sites because the group hasn’t yet told local officials.

“I’m disappointed the organizers are continuing to pursue this,” Mavodones said.

The South Portland waterfront is also an inappropriate home for the aircraft carrier, said City Manager James Gailey.

“It’s a beautiful ship, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I think it would take over our harbor here in Casco Bay.”

Gailey said if the group comes to him with a proposal, he will pass it on to South Portland Mayor Rosemarie De Angelis, who would decide whether to bring it to the council.

Gailey said that several years ago the council considered a proposal to bring a Liberty cargo ship, which was made in South Portland, to the city’s waterfront. After learning about the cost of keeping a large vessel in the harbor, he said, “the councilors weren’t that interested in it.”

The USS John F. Kennedy group first approached Portland officials in 2010 and got the council’s unanimous support at that time.

The group has said the ship would employ 50 to 100 people and would draw 225,000 visitors a year. The group has a website with programming descriptions and hours of operation for the museum, which it says would open in 2015.

Rabinowitz said the group created the site to strengthen its application.

Since the Navy put out requests for proposals in 2009, the Portland group has been competing with a group out of Rhode Island that wants to keep the ship near Newport on Narragansett Bay.

The Navy is still considering that site, too, Rabinowitz said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at [email protected]