Tazewell Co. Wants to Add Above-Ground Storm Shelters

By Audrey Williams

January 17, 2012 Updated Jan 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM CDT

TAZEWELL CO., Ill -- The Tazewell County Health Department is one step closer to keeping its handicapped employees and visitors safe in the event of a storm.

Between 2002 and 2005, the department had five underground units installed.

But two of those units failed, and they were not accessible by handicapped individuals.

Instead of replacing the two units, a committee unanimously recommend installing two above-ground units.

The manufacturer will give the county the shelters, even though it was the installation company that caused the units to fail.

Board Member John Ackerman says it's a win-win. The project has come in well under budget, and it will ensure safety to county employees.

"The manufacturer says he feels he could have it manufactured and ready to install early spring so we would have it in place ahead of storm season. The safety of our employees is of utmost importance," added Board Member Carroll Emig.

The units hold about 40 people each.

The issue goes to the full board for approval next week.

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