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Letters

Letters to the Editor

Leaving veterans’ benefits on the table

To the Editor:

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how to support our veterans, but there’s been less talk about how veterans can support themselves.

Military families know the value of hard work, and they aren’t looking for a handout. Yet, so many veterans who prepaid for benefits with their military service now are leaving them on the table. As a veteran, I work for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help my brothers and sisters in arms get their benefits.

If you are a veteran or a veteran’s family member, I’d hate to think you aren’t taking advantage of what you’ve earned. If you would like to contact me to discuss benefits or to set an appointment to meet with me, contact me at my Joliet office at 815-730-4334. You also may email me at Kenneth.bonner@illinois.gov. You also can go to www.illinois.gov/veterans to locate one of our other locations.

If you are worried about taking away from someone you believe deserves the benefit more than you, rest assured: The benefits you receive do not take away from anyone else, nor will anyone else receive anything that takes away from you.

So please accept the gratitude our nation wants to give you. You prepaid for these benefits with your service, now let our grateful nation pay you back.

Kenneth Bonner

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Joliet office

A common-sense water plan

To the Editor:

Joliet has embarked on a course to replace the existing water source based on an Illinois State Water Survey report that says the deep wells likely will not be able to meet increased demands by 2040. The report also states that in order for the aquifer to be viable long term, withdrawals must be reduced by at least 40%.

Nowhere does it say Joliet should scrap this system that has served the area so well for more than 100 years. Yet that is what is proposed.

Current plans would be very costly to implement, could negatively impact Joliet’s bond rating and significantly raise water rates. Let’s not be swayed by outrageous claims that the aquifer is doomed and that the only option is to triple our rates. We should look to Aurora for a great example of prudent water stewardship.

Over the past 25 years Aurora has reduced its aquifer use by more than 50% by doing two things: adding the Fox River to its water mix and developing a conservation plan to reduce consumption per person from 126 gallons a day to 80.

Coincidentally, Joliet’s average usage is the same as Aurora’s pre-conservation: 126. If Joliet embarked on a similar plan to Aurora’s and combined that with efforts to reduce the water loss from 28% to less than 10%, its current needs would drop by more than 34%. Future needs could then be met by supplementing the current wells.

We have plenty of time to plan for our future water sourcing, but let’s do it in a manner that values our current source, includes conservation efforts, plugs the exorbitant water loss and supplements it with the Kankakee River. This can be done to meet our goal of readily available clean water at an affordable price.

Damon Zdunich

Joliet

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