MONTICELLO — On a hot June day in 2017, the Piatt County Nursing Home in Monticello lost power.
“They almost had to evacuate because (it was) 80 degrees, they almost had to evacuate Alzheimer’s residents,” Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) said outside the county-owned nursing home on Wednesday.
Scott Porter realized then as the nursing home’s social service director that they needed support in case of an emergency. Porter, who’s now the center’s executive director, said power outages can be “catastrophic” for his patients.
“I realized how antiquated our emergency power system was, it was not able to run our air conditioning, it was only able to run a small number of red outlets, and none of the lights in the residents’ rooms,” Porter said.
Porter worked with Congressman Davis’s office to secure $215,000 in Community Project Funding (CPF) for the nursing home’s emergency power system. The funding was officially approved in March of 2022 through a federal appropriations bill.
“You think, well, this is little Piatt County, I don’t know if this project will be picked,” said Porter. “But we had about seven days…and in seven days, I wrote a proposal for it. And we were ultimately picked, and I was really humbled by it.”
By early next fall, the generator should be up and running. Porter is now looking for other ways to improve the lives of his residents.
“It was really inspiring to be picked,” Porter went on to say. “Because it kind of inspired me now to look at other ways that I can improve the facility and reach out to other assets, potentially. So you know, he (Davis) inspired us.”
13th congressional district Republican candidate Regan Deering joined Davis at the Piatt County Nursing Home. Davis currently represents the old 13th district.
Deering joined Congressman Davis in three areas of Illinois, as he announced additional Community Project Funding.
Davis said he’s known Deering for a long time and believes she’ll be an advocate in Washington for the district, which has new boundary lines for the 2022 election.
“I don’t live in the new 13th district,” Davis, who lost a 15th district Republican primary election to Mary Miller in June, said. “So Regan is going to take the mantle in this gerrymandered district, she’s going to beat the Democrats’ chosen candidate…She’s got a great governing style. And also she’s a great person. Somebody who’s worked hard, somebody who’s an advocate for kids in our communities.”
Deering is running against Democrat Nikki Budzinski. Budzinski was the national political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and has worked in the administrations of Governor JB Pritzker and President Joe Biden.
Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin