Veterans committee approves Rep. Mitchell's plan for former Lincoln
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10-bed homes to be put to use
[February 24, 2007]
SRINGFIELD -- The Veterans
Affairs Committee unanimously approved
House Bill 954 on Friday. The bill authorizes a facility at
Lincoln Developmental Center for veterans with Alzheimer's disease.
This facility will consist of four new 10-bed homes that are on the
grounds and currently vacant.
"The Lincoln Developmental facility is currently not being used, and
I can't think of a more worthwhile project to be put there than a
facility that helps veterans with Alzheimer's," Rep. Bill Mitchell
said. "The state of Illinois spent $4.6 million to construct the
four buildings on the former Lincoln Developmental Center land and
continues to spend $82,500 a month to maintain the buildings that
are going unused. This is a waste of state funds. My proposal will
make this facility function up to its potential and help the
veterans of central Illinois that are suffering the debilitating
effects of Alzheimer's."
The center was originally intended for
community independent living arrangements for developmentally
disabled residents. This plan fell through because of organized
complaints from advocates for developmentally disabled people.
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"This place is simply not being used, while we have up to 1,000
Illinois veterans on waiting lists to be accepted into Illinois
Veterans Homes," Mitchell said. "This facility will help to provide
acute care for veterans with Alzheimer's.
"As America is graying, the incidence of Alzheimer's and early
onset Alzheimer's is growing. Our veterans population reflects that
trend, and they deserve the best care available.
"This is a win-win situation for the people of Illinois. We are
providing a place for veterans with Alzheimer's to live and receive
the proper care, while also making use [of] a facility that is
already being paid for by the state."
[Text from news release received from
Rep. Bill Mitchell]