IL Gov. on Vets Home: "I do not support closing this facility"

IL Gov. Bruce Rauner accepts a IL Veterans Home t-shirt from staff at his press conference on Wednesday (KHQA/Marcus Espinoza).

After wrapping up his week long stay at the IL Veterans Home in Quincy, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wanted to send a message.

"Let me be crystal clear, I do not support closing this facility. Period." said Gov. Rauner.

The Governor flanked by residents at the IL Veterans Home said repeatedly he enjoyed his stay there.

"I've taken all my showers everyday in the showers here, I've drank the water from the sinks and other sources, and I've had a great time with our veterans and staff," said Gov. Rauner.

But after a special joint hearing in Chicago on Tuesday regarding the deadly 2015 Legionnaires outbreak, many lawmakers are asking the Governor to provide a concrete, detailed plan for the facility going forward.

"We have challenges, these facilities are old, they need to be invested in, they have not been invested in for decades, we need to take action," said Gov. Rauner.

So what does that action involve?

"I personally think one of the things we should look at is building a major new home, brand new building here that has the latest tech," said Gov. Rauner.

He's forming a committee in the next few days to determine appropriate funding for such a proposal that would include state, federal and private donations.

In the meantime, while improvements have been made to the treatment process, like the construction of this treatment plant in 2016, Gov. Rauner said he wants to figure out a way to replace the piping system.

"Do you rip out existing plumbing and replace it with new, or do you build a system that does not connect at all to the existing system and then turn that on building by building," said Gov. Rauner.
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