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$6 million water plan in the works for Quincy

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announces a multi-million dollar water plan for the city of Quincy.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced a multi-million dollar water plan for the city of Quincy Wednesday.

Quincy currently uses the Mississippi River as a water source and according to Utilities Director Jeffrey Conte, has done so for 150 years.

The $6 million plan includes an underground well source.

Half of the project will be funded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and half will be funded by the city, Rauner said during a press conference at Quincy's riverfront.

While groundwater will provide better quality water for the city, it will also greatly benefit the Illinois Veterans Home.

The issue arose in 2015 when several residents contracted Legionnaires'.

Since then, 13 veterans have died from the disease.

Rauner also stated that a $230 million appropriation bill was proposed to rebuild the Illinois Veterans Home campus.

"The bill should pass. There is no reason that we can't make our veterans our priority and get the appropriation for 230 million dollars," said Gov. Rauner. "What we need is all new plumbing and all new homes so we can get away from the challenge."
"Switching to a groundwater supply provides us with a safer water source, one that's less expensive to operate on a yearly basis so it gives us the opportunity to redevelop our water treatment plant that's on our riverfront right now," said Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore.
"We've been pumping river water for almost 150 years. The well water itself is already pre-treated. The water has gone through 60-80 feet of sand and gravel," Conte explained.

Conte said the city of Galesburg currently uses a similar underground water system.

According to Conte, a water system upgrade has been in the works for the city since the 1970's but was never completed due to lack of funding.

If all goes as planned, construction will begin this summer and will take one year to complete.

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