Friday, 28 February 2014 10:41
SPRINGFIELD – When an underground cable at the Illinois State Fairgrounds failed in early 2008, state officials quickly learned that the entire system supplying power to the sprawling campus on Springfield’s north end was in dire need of replacement.
The repair work cost taxpayers nearly $3 million and the work shutdown the Fairgrounds for months, forcing annual events like boat shows to either cancel or scramble to find new locations. Local media reports pegged the economic loss to the city and businesses in the millions of dollars.
All along, it had been no secret that the power system was on its last legs. But the cash-strapped state simply never budgeted or never had the resources to make the repairs and upgrades until there was an emergency.