A preliminary report released yesterday suggests that a substantial upgrade of the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy is the best route for resolving the Legionella issues there. This makeover, however, is estimated to cost as much as $278 million. The report describes a brand new residence with new plumbing and a well to serve as a separate water source. This report by the task forces which the governor had organized says the new facility would not only include Legionnaires’-resistant piping, but could be built to adapt to the changing needs of veterans moving forward. A final report is expected on May 1.
Clearly the outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy has been a long running tragedy including the deaths of 13 residents and with dozens more becoming ill at the facilities. The administration has so far installed a $6.4 million water treatment plant along with regular disinfection, flushing and filtering, however cases of Legionnaires’ disease continue to regularly come forward.
The price tag of nearly $300 million includes features like new plumbing, which could cost up to $15.6 million, or drilling a well to use as that alternative water source could be close to $5.5 million. The other issue is temporary housing for the current residents, which would involve buying and renovating a nursing home which could be around $6.8 million.
While the prices are steep, as it stands currently, experts are stating that portions of the home’s plumbing are now ideal for the growth of Legionella bacteria. Including a well in the new remodel would also allow the home to eliminate their dependence on the city supply which currently comes from the Mississippi River; a river who’s warmer temperatures allow it to be more bacteria-friendly.
While the prices projected by the renovations may sound high, the report is also quick to note that there was a total of $119 million worth of deferred maintenance at Quincy as well as other veteran homes like LaSalle, Manteno, and Anna. This is all on top of the additional expenses involved with the construction of the new home in Chicago which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.