STRATFORD, Conn. -- State Reps. Laura Hoydick (R-120), Ben McGorty (R-122), Joe Gresko (D-121) and state Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21) recently voiced their collective opposition to the plan announced by State Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Morna Murray to close the residential operations at Ella Grasso Regional Center.
The center, which serves clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, would be required to send those residing there to one of the three remaining state-operated facilities in Norwalk, Newington or Torrington.
“The announcement from Commissioner Murray today comes as a disappointing shock,” Hoydick said. “I toured this facility, most recently in January, and I am personally aware of the tremendous efforts being made by those at EGRC to achieve needed cost reductions. This campus is well-maintained, and the clients and staff are happy."
“The clients served by EGRC are the very people our precious ‘safety net’ is constructed to save,” McGorty said.
"Both EGRC workers and families served voiced their concerns during my campaign and although workers will keep their jobs, the population they serve does not adapt to change well," Gresko said.
Hoydick said the Ella Grasso Center is one of the only state-operated sites that has a pool and she worked throughout the course of a year with agency officials to ensure its proper repair and return to service after it had been closed for nearly a year.
In her memorandum, Murray cited the need to “adjust to the new economic reality” as the numbers of those eligible for services climbs each year. The administration will be closing all residential operations at the Stratford location, as well as the Meriden Regional Center, by June 30. The commissioner said permanent employees working at those facilities will be redeployed “in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement.”