Public Aid Office May Close

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An office thousands depend on for help could be shut down by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Right now the state is looking at closing 13 public aid offices in Illinois and one of them is located in Belvidere.

As part of the constant battle to save money, the State of Illinois is looking at shutting down the Boone County Public Aid office, but this is an agency that about 2,400 people rely on being in close proximity to them. The lease is almost up for the building on Pearl Street in Belvidere. If the office closes that would mean people would have to travel to the Rockford office on the far west side.

But with such a growing population and no bus system getting help that sometimes has to be face-to-face is going to be tough.

Sixty ninth District Rep. Ron Wait says, “These are people who are in desperate need of help. I got a price from a Taxi company from Rockford since Belvidere does not even have a taxi service. They told me that Rockford to Belvidere would cost the customer almost $100.

Those in Boone County can expect to see a petition circulating soon. Many in the area are concerned about the possibility of the office closing. They are trying to rally together to show the governor how much putting it would hurt the community is a closed sign is posted.