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“Three to five years” before Quincy veterans home problem will be fixed

Monday, Mar 5, 2018

* AP

Rauner announced in January that he would replace plumbing on the campus. He has since named task forces to study options and on Friday tabbed an adviser to coordinate the effort. […]

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration now says it plans to rebuild dormitories at the Quincy veterans’ home where Legionnaires’ disease continues to be a problem. […]

[Erica Jeffries, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs] told the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees that the plan now is to demolish and replace problematic residence halls on the Quincy campus during the next three to five years. And she said plumbing replacement would not be a good use of money and cause too much disruption in the meantime.

Three to five years? We’ve had four more cases this year alone and it’s not even warm yet.

* And in the meantime?…

* But at least they appear to be learning from one huge 2015 mistake…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Retired Educator - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    That timeline should only result in about 10 to 15 more deaths. I guess they just consider that collateral damage. Here is an idea. Move those people to another facility until the work is complete. Do none of these talking heads have a brain?

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    –Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration now says it plans to rebuild dormitories at the Quincy veterans’ home where Legionnaires’ disease continues to be a problem. […]–

    Fine. Let’s get the folks out of there now and find them a safe place to live in the meantime.

    This common-sense first step is not, and has not been, a heavy lift.

    Gov. Rauner, you’re in charge. Do your job. Just this one time, at the very least.

  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    You know, if you’d solve the &((&%$& problem, ‘communication’ would be easy, then unnecessary.

  4. - Henry Francis - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    How quickly did Bruce and Lady Di get going on fixing up the mansion? How many task forces and working groups did it take before they came up with that plan?

  5. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    GovJunk defense team looked especially lame at this hearing. Perhaps someone ought determine if there is criminality here?
    BTW never forget GovJunk wanted to fund the mansion himself until he learned he could put the arm on friends and everyone gets tax break

  6. - Sugar Corn - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    This alongside the spectacular mansion renovation is depressing. Mission. Priorities. Values. Revealed

  7. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    You know what would be a really good move, politically speaking?

    JB stepping up and funding moving all the vets out to a safe location.

  8. - dbk - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:29 pm:

    I suspect this issue isn’t going to go away; it will just hang around, people will get ill, the task force of the day/month will get on it, etc.

    Last week there was discussion of a nursing home 2 blocks away, for sale at under $800,000 with a 205-bed capacity. Did that idea just evaporate?

    My personal belief is that a statewide citizens’ advocacy group for these veterans needs to be created, one that will keep hounding the ILVA and ILDPH and the gov, and just not let up. Perhaps they could work with families and local VA chapters.

    Otherwise, there’s going to be another incidence, followed by a public outcry, then another task force convening, etc. etc. ad inf.

  9. - PublicServant - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    Make Rauner move back in until the vets leave. But I like RNUG’s idea even better. And it doesn’t matter who pays. They’ve got to get them out of there…yesterday.

  10. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    May, are you kidding me? Maybe we need 3 billboards.

  11. - striketoo - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    Time to shut the place down. Move the residents to private facilities and get out of the veterans business. Leave it up to the feds and save millions.

  12. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 1:11 pm:

    Give the mansion over to the veterans and make Bruce *and* Diane stay in the veterans’ home until it’s fixed.

  13. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    This issue needed to be front and center in the Ives campaign… she lost a huge opportunity and it would have resonated.

  14. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Hmmm, maybe the commenter last week who joked that Cellini optioned the nursing home 2 blocks away was right and that’s why we’re not hearing about it any more.

    Seriously, we clearly don’t have 3 to 5 years, especially when it turns out to be 5 to 7 years like most State construction projects. Hoffman needs a couple weeks to relieve Jeffries and Shah of responsibilities for moving people and come up with some out of the box solutions.

  15. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    A 3 to 5 year time line is a total and utter joke. But had the All Star’s rolled this plan into action in the fall of 2015 they would have a ribbon to cut soon…. If only they had been proactive then.

  16. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    If the state cannot turn this project out in 18 mos, then they truly need to turn this function over to private entities.

  17. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    The State is just waiting until the (cough … cough) right private sector vendor is available.

    Still think JB should get involved as a campaign action. Can just see the text over … “I can already do a better job than Rauner. Imagine what I could do as YOUR Governor.”

  18. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    I think Bruce wants the body count from this to match the amount of unpaid bills he racked up during the budget crisis.

  19. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:43 pm:

    –If the state cannot turn this project out in 18 mos, then they truly need to turn this function over to private entities.–

    Are you under the impression the private sector wouldn’t be building it? Why would you think that?

    When does your “18-month” clock start? Rauner hasn’t even requested an appropriation. There haven’t been RFPs for design.

    But maybe your experience in designing and building multiple facilities for long-term health care is just all that.

  20. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    More than I care to aknowledge

  21. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    the timeline is a joke.

  22. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:08 pm:


    You did what “yesterday?” Designed and built multiple facilities for long-term health care?

  23. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    RNUG, I can’t believe they would be that stupid as to put the fix in during an election year for a project of this visibility. I’ve been wrong before, though.

    Were I Hoffman, I would look at the design documents for the Chicago Vets’ Home and see what, if anything could be re-used, look at creative financing strategies (like IFA, other non-CDB bonds, lease-purchase, CoP) and write a broad RFP.

  24. - blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    Yes, I believe that private industry would construct. Yesterday. I believe the state should have been developing bid specs. Been involved in too many assisted and full care facilities.

  25. - Mama - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    “Maybe we need 3 billboards.”

    Norseman, what would your billboards say?

  26. - Barrington - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 6:36 pm:

    If I had a parent or grandparent in the VA home, I would be making a big racket.

  27. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 6:38 pm:


    I see this administration as the Perfect Storm of inanity, chutzpah, callousness and perfidy.

    I wouldn’t rule out any action.

  28. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 6:48 pm:

    Any major hotel chain could get something built and operating in a fairly short time. Or just bring in a cruise ship (if you can get it under that one bridge in New Orleans) as temporary housing.

    But you may be on it, -AA-. Someone should drive by that closed nursing home and see if any remodeling activity is going on there.

  29. - Power House Prowler - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 7:52 pm:

    Well. QVH needs new buildings. Every buildings the state owns needs roof repair. Mold. Mildew. Maybe some funding for preventative maintenance would have been in order for the past three years?

  30. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 7:55 pm:

    -Any major hotel chain could get something built and operating in a fairly short time-

    True that. The guy that took over the Renaissance here in town and a couple other clinkers around the state just turned farmland in Champaign into an almost-ready Holiday Inn Express in about 14 months. He doesn’t have to use CDB.

    Toward the end of my time at CMS, we addressed a critical facility need in Metro-East by using the City of Collinsville to issue bonds to fund the construction of a new regional HQ for IDOT and ISP. IDOT was in a postwar era building with a shot roof and ISP had been displaced by mine subsidence and was in an old bank building; Troopers stacked in the Vault like gold bars. A long-term (20-year) lease-purchase secured the bonds, while the City’s a/e firm oversaw construction. Completed in 24 months, on time and on budget. Think outside the box.

  31. - blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 8:04 pm:

    Its an absolute disgrace that we are even having this conversation.

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