2016 Report Puts Quincy Plumbing Fix At 8 Million Dollars

February 16, 2018

A report obtained by The Associated Press shows engineers told Governor Bruce Rauner's administration in 2016 that replacing problematic plumbing at a veterans' home beset by Legionnaires' disease would cost $8 million, much lower than the estimate provided by state officials. 

The report from Belleville-based BRiC Partnership said the changes 'should be carefully considered.' But the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs took no action on the August 2016 recommendation for the Quincy home. Legionnaires' disease, borne by infected water vapor, has led to 13 deaths there since 2015.

Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Jeffries has said the report estimated replacement at up to $30 million. 

Jeffries' spokesman Dave MacDonna says officials have followed experts' advice at Quincy. 

Emails obtained by the AP show the agency made an "emergency'' request last month to replace plumbing.

UPDATE: Dave MacDonna from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs emailed the WILL Newsroom with the following statement:

The AP article fails to note that the 2016 report provided an estimate for partial piping replacement to 12 buildings on the campus. The 2018 report includes replacing piping for 32 buildings, at an estimate of about $25 million. Price points are adjusted for inflation. The two reports were NOT estimating the same project.

Story source: AP