Gov. Rauner says vets home not closing - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Gov. Rauner says vets home not closing

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Rauner talking to the media in the vets home. Rauner talking to the media in the vets home.
Vets taking down the flag. Vets taking down the flag.
Vets eating in the lunch room. Vets eating in the lunch room.
Rauner talking about his plan. Rauner talking about his plan.
Vets sitting in on the speech. Vets sitting in on the speech.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

After talks about a potential shut down at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy, Governor Bruce Rauner spoke out Wednesday, saying he's committed to fix up and maybe even rebuild the home. 

The governor said the home is here to stay.

After wrapping up a week-long stay, the governor gave a speech about his Strategic Long Term Plan to fix the home.

Residents believe it can be done and the city also has a plan to make it happen

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

The governor made a speech at the veterans home Wednesday. He wants to invest in a new water system, a new water source, and plan for a new layout of the campus.

He said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and state representatives have verbally committed money to fix the water problem and prevent Legionnaires' from killing veterans. 

"Obviously building a brand new facility, that takes some time," Rauner said. "The journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step, we have got it right now and we have to figure out what is best for our veterans, lay out that plan, and implement it." 

Ivan Jackson moved from a VA home in California to the Quincy veterans home because he was born in Springfield.

"We are here, we need help, and this is my home," Jackson said. 

Vietnam Veteran Ernest Sudderfield lives in the home and says it starts in the rooms. 

"There needs to be replacement for each faucet around the home," Sudderfield said. 

The city is also playing a role in it.

Mayor Kyle Moore and veterans home staff make up a steering committee that will make future decisions on the home.

He said Vietnam and Gulf War veterans will make up the next wave of residents and they need to make sure they are getting things right. 

"We are going to continue to meet on a weekly basis to make sure we are here for the Quincy veterans home to respond and that the politics is taken out of the discussion," Moore said.

Jackson said it's now or never. 

"Ladies and gentleman, that was four years ago. Let's go forward and get things taken care of," Jackson said.

The governor said new filters have been put on all the water sources at the home.

He also said a task force will be created to implement the changes.

The group will be made of veteran advocates, health care professionals, legislators, and community leaders.

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