Groundwater initiative to improve water quality at Vets’ Home

The governor of Illinois thinks he has the solution to get rid of Legionnaires’ at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. 

Governor Bruce Rauner visited the vets home Wednesday and is calling for the city to invest in an underground well source. 

Rauner says groundwater is cooler in temperature and filters through sand. He says cooler temperatures keep organisms from being able to grow and it tends to be cleaner, safer water. 

"This has become a priority for us at the state, given the challenges of making sure we have clean, safe water for our veterans at the Quincy veterans home," said Rauner.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin weighed in on this issue Wednesday and says he applauds Rauner’s decision, but says it’s just the first step in many that still need to be made.

"I still believe, and I think Senator Duckworth agrees with me, that we still have to look at the infrastructure at the veterans home," said Durbin. "Some of those buildings and the plumbing in those buildings is unacceptable, whatever the water source may be."

Mike Hoffman, a senior advisor to Rauner on the Illinois Veterans’ Home, said plumbing will be addressed, along with buying and rehabilitating the Sycamore Healthcare Building to provide a temporary home for veterans while construction on the new $230 million facility is underway. 

"Senator Jil Tracy yesterday introduced Senate Bill 3611 which is a stand-alone, capital appropriate bill, for up to $230 million dollars to support the building of the new world-class facility," said Hoffman.

Senator Durbin says he echos the governor need for swift and immediate action on this. 

"Senator Duckworth and I have volunteered to the governor, put politics aside, we want to help you through the veterans administration in Washington to fund any new infrastructure at the veterans home," said Durbin. "We want to make sure this problem is solved as quickly as possible."

The plan for a new water source will go in front of the council and it needs to be approved before the project can start. The hope is that it starts this summer. It’s expected to take a year to complete. 



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