There was a big setback for people in Rocky Hill that have been trying to block what essentially would be a nursing home for prison inmates.
A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the town, but neighbors are vowing to continue the fight.
For now, the ruling removes a large legal hurdle, helping pave the way for the 95-bed facility on West Street. Homeowners and the town said they are disappointed but do plan on filing an appeal.
"We're really close as you can see," Rocky Hill resident Tony Coco said. "I've got two little kids and obviously the governor doesn't care."
For Coco and his family, it's literally a stone's throw away. Just behind his child's swingset and their fence sits the empty nursing home that the state wants to turn into a facility for elderly inmates.
Other neighbors share the same concerns.
"I'm scared," resident Fatbardha Kami said. "It's not good for us. It's not good for the children."
The state said the number of older prisoners in Connecticut is growing, and added that many of them are sick and need nursing home-type care.
The state was hoping to open the facility on West Street in February, so the town filed a lawsuit against the management company to prevent that from happening.
Now a judge dismissed that lawsuit.
"Everyone was stunned," Coco said.
The state said moving these inmates into a private facility with full-time care would save taxpayers $5.6 million a year since it would now be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
For now the facility sits empty, but activity has been spotted. There is a guard there greeting traffic at the top of the driveway and landscapers are cleaning up the grounds.
Rocky Hill will host a town meeting to discuss the issue on Friday.
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