Neighbors speak out against proposed nursing home for aging inmates
By WFSB Staff
ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -
State officials said a plan to open a nursing home for aging former inmates on parole could save Connecticut taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
However, that facility is slated to go into a residential Rocky Hill neighborhood and homeowners there are not happy.
Rocky Hill Mayor Anthony LaRosa said one of his main problems with the nursing home being put in a residential is the lack of communication. He said the state has not been telling the town what they are planning.
However, residents on the other side of this fence from the facility said their biggest problem is the location of it.
"It's just unbelievable," said one Rocky Hill resident. "I cannot believe it."
Families such as this one living near a now empty nursing home on West Street in said the plans coming out for it's future are unsettling.
"As a mother I'm just worried about my children and our safety," the Rocky Hill resident said. "You hear about these home invasions. Somebody could just scope out your house."
The state wants to work with a private company to house aging inmates at the vacant facility.
"They could be transitioning from a correctional facility, have criminal justice involvement and/or be individuals transitioning from a higher level of care provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services," according to notice from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
"As time goes by, turns out we have more and more inmates who are elderly and a lot of them are very sick to the point they need nursing home type care," said Governor's Criminal Justice Advisor Mike Lawlor.
The state said the plan will save taxpayers $5.6 million each year, but LaRosa said he wasn't told about the deal.
"I have to find out from the press what's going on in the town of Rocky Hill," LaRosa said.
Lawmakers said the state can override town zoning regulations and doesn't need to consult town officials before putting plans like this into place.
But, State Rep. Tony Guerrera, (D-Rocky Hill) told Eyewitness News that he is working now to learn more about the proposal.
"I'm not happy about this, of course not," Guerrera said. "I'm not happy about it at all. It raises some concerns, major concerns."
LaRosa is hoping the state will allow them to have a public hearing where residents could voice their concerns.
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