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DANVILLE — Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. was one of a handful of city workers remaining in the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building late Tuesday afternoon. Most of the others had been ordered to work from home — a result of a non-functioning air-conditioning system.

Williams issued an emergency declaration due to the system’s failure. A few, like him, remained on the scene.

“Having a very, very hot day,” he said. “It’s 83 degrees in the office, even with the blinds closed.”

Williams said he would continue to work there “until I can’t take it anymore.”

Twenty-five municipal employees and four from the Vermilion Advantage office were affected by the problem.

“If we have to replace it, I’m suing someone. It’s brand new,” Williams responded when asked if the HVAC system would have to be replaced.

Actually, it’s four years old.

Williams estimated that since he’s been mayor, the system has been worked on at least 15 times.

“Yesterday, (a crew) allegedly did some work on it and got part of it working,” Williams said. “When they put the other part in it today, it caused the other circuits to stop working.”

He said a service tech is coming from Indianapolis to work on the system Wednesday.

Williams predicted staff would continue to work at home Wednesday and possibly Thursday if the system can’t be repaired. He said the heat index is forecast to be above 100 degrees both days.

As a result of the system failure, the city’s public service committee meeting Tuesday night at the municipal building instead will be held remotely and streamed via YouTube. The link for the meeting will be provided on the city’s website home page

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at

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