Rocky Hill lab funding looks to move forward

Enough bond commission votes appear to be available to provide funding for a controversial public health laboratory in Rocky Hill, Conn., despite the objections of two local legislators and area residents.

Funding for the lab was stalled last month by Democrats and a local union but chances for the project succeeding grew after Governor M. Jodi Rell brought it up again for a vote this week.

The release of $69.4 million for the lab, which will test for anthrax, influenza, West Nile Virus and rabies, was blocked last month by Democrats on the State Bond Commission.

Last month's vote on funds for the laboratory stalled at a five to five tie. Gov. Rell needs one additional Bond Commission vote to release the funds.

A letter was sent to Gov. Rell's office this week from Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, and Sen. Paul R. Doyle, D-Wethersfield, along with a petition with more than 300 Rocky Hill residents' signatures seeking an alternative location for the lab.

"We object to the Rocky Hill location for many reasons," Doyle and Guerrera  said in the letter according to The CT Mirror. The letter continued that the potential lab's location on 22 acres located near the state's Veterans Home and Hospital and a residential neighborhood was "an unacceptable public safety and health risk.