Tuesday, July 9

LDC public hearing set for Monday

[JULY 9, 2002]  Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis received the following notice from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board:

Discontinuation and Closure of Lincoln Developmental Center

Legal Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity for Written Comment

In accordance with the requirements of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act and 77 Illinois Adm. Code Part 1140. Notice is given of a Public Hearing on an application for permit for a proposed construction and/or modification project (Project # 02-042) from Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Disabilities, Springfield, IL. This project proposes the discontinuation and closure of Lincoln Developmental Center, located at 861 S. State Street in Lincoln, IL. There is no project cost.

The Public Hearing is to be held by the Illinois Department of Public Health pursuant to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act. The Hearing is open to the public and will afford an opportunity for parties at interest to present written and/or verbal comment relevant to the project. All allegations or assertions should be supported with two copies of documentation or materials that are preferably printed or typed on paper size 8½" by 11".

The hearing will be held on July 15, 2002. The public hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus, Fitzpatrick Hall, located at 215 N. Limit Street, Lincoln, Il.

Persons with special needs should contact Branwyn Giberson at (217) 782-3516 (hearing impaired only, TTY (800) 547-0466)

For additional information call (217)782-3516 (hearing impaired only, TTY # 800-547-0466) or by letter no later than two days prior to the meeting date.

Patricia M. Sweitzer
State of Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board
Executive Secretary
525 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois, 62761

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July 15 date set on hearing to close LDC

[JULY 9, 2002]  A public hearing on whether to close the Lincoln Developmental Center has been set for Monday, July 15, at 9 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Mayor Beth Davis said yesterday. The city of Lincoln requested the hearing in a letter dated June 27.

Last June Gov. George Ryan and the Department of Human Services announced a decision to close the 125-year-old facility completely, after citing issues of abuse and neglect and concern for the safety of its residents.

On July 1, Logan County Circuit Judge Donald Behle ruled that the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board must issue a permit before the Lincoln facility could be closed. By law the board must hold a public hearing before making a decision, if such a hearing is requested.


[Photo by Bob Frank]
[LDC resident and father beneath the pressured gaze of Gov. George Ryan (note face in background)]

Members of the Health Facilities Planning Board do not attend the public hearings, but a hearing officer and a court reporter will be present, according to Jena Welliever, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

A transcript of the testimony given at the hearing as well as written testimony will be compiled and included in a report that will go to all board members, she said.

The board, which includes members from both the Chicago area and downstate, is tentatively scheduled to meet on Aug. 15. Before they meet they will announce a last date on which they will accept written testimony.


[to top of second column in this article]

The board may vote on a decision Aug. 15 or may continue the hearing process and ask for more information. Either the applicant for the permit or the board can request a continuance, Welliever said.

According to the statute that created the planning board, its function is to reverse trends of increasing health care costs and also guarantee availability of quality health care to the general public.

The state says all interested people attending a public hearing shall be given "reasonable opportunity to present their views or arguments in writing or verbally."

Judge Behle also issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the state from moving any residents who did not want to leave LDC. However, state-appointed representatives had already approved the movement of 51 residents who are wards of the state. They were allowed to be transferred from the Lincoln facility after being notified of the court order and given a chance to reconsider their decisions, Behle said.

According to Kathleen Muniz, assistant associate director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities, 40 of those residents have already been moved from LDC and 10 more are scheduled to leave today.

"When all is said and done, we will have moved 50 people," she said. Because of the temporary restraining order, the other 190 residents will stay at the Lincoln facility at least until the IHFPB decides whether it should be closed, she said.

All but one of the 50 residents went to other state-operated facilities. One was placed in a community home. The rest went to facilities in Jacksonville, Tinley Park, Park Forest, Dwight, Kankakee and Centralia, according to Muniz.

She said there are no plans to lay off any more LDC staff members at this time.

[Joan Crabb]

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