Rauner announces $6 million partnership with Quincy for new well
A $6 million partnership between Illinois and the City of Quincy is bringing fresh water to the veterans home.
But not just the home, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who announced the deal at a press conference in Quincy.
“This will be a new well and water source for the community,” Rauner said.
In the past year, the Illinois Veterans Home has been one of the most controversial topics for the governor, who has stayed in the home to show his dedication to addressing the Legionnaires' outbreak that has killed more than a dozen people there since 2015.
“The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investing $3 million of development funds with the city of Quincy, who will be authorizing and allocating the rest of the cost,” Rauner said.
The development of the well will take one year, according to Rauner. He said along with Quincy, many communities are moving to groundwater rather than river water since it has the benefits of natural cooling, and sand and gravel filtration, which lead to fewer bacteria in the water.
“It tends to be cleaner and safer water,” Rauner said.
But the well is just the first step to protecting veterans, according to Rauner. It is also about the site meeting the needs of veterans now and in the future.
“The health needs of our veterans has changed, and we need to change with the times,” Rauner said.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said the well is already saving $600,000 this fiscal year due to planned rehab on the older system now not taking place.
But it gets better, according to the mayor.
“It allows us an opportunity to incorporate that property into a future riverfront development, which was recently identified as a key strategy in our Quincy Next Strategy Plan,” Moore said.
But bottom line, it’s all about safety, he added.
“It provides Quincy with a safer water supply that is easier to treat, less expensive to operate,” Moore said.
EPA Director Alec Messina said the well is yet another commitment Rauner has made to keep veterans safe.
“It’s really all coming together,” Messina said, adding he looks forward to working with Moore in the next year.