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Dump Discussed at Potluck Dinner

Mayor Anthony LaRosa, Sen. Paul Doyle and Rep. Antonio Guerrera were the guest speakers at the Rocky Hill Riverfront Preservation event.

The Rocky Hill Riverfront Preservation Society held a on Oct. 27 where several topics affecting the town were discussed, including the old town dump and economic development.

According to their website, the Rocky Hill Riverfront Preservation Society is a "group of concerned property owners committed to protecting Rocky Hill's riverfront for generations to come."

Mayor Anthony LaRosa gave a "State of Rocky Hill" address and answered questions from Riverfront Preservation members. He discussed the , the dump and the .

LaRosa, who was attending his second potluck dinner with the society, told the crowd that three companies were interested in moving their businesses into town. The three companies are from Germany, Canada and the United States. The American company had looked at two other towns, but "liked Rocky Hill best," LaRosa said.

The town now has 19,070 residents, which is up from about 18,500, according to LaRosa.

One of the main topics of the discussion was the old town dump. According to the society's website, Meadow Properties LLC signed a Stewardship Permit in October that would allow them to reopen and cap the dump.

Many of the members of the society oppose the dump being reopened and feel it will create additional dust and noise as well as lower the property values and the quality of life in the area.

"Personally, I am disappointed that they came down this road," said Sen. Paul Doyle. "I really think the whole thing is a transparent attempt to make money off the dump."

Meadow Properties LLC is buying the dump to reopen it, cap it and make money off of it, Doyle stated. The dump has been dormant since the 1970's and there is no evidence of any contamination on the site, Doyle added.

"It is a mechanism to make money and that is not really what the environmental statutes were created for. Who would ever think someone would want to buy a dump?"

Officials with the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Doyle said, have told him that they can not reject a request from someone who wants to buy a dump and cap it.

"The truth is we have some input, but I cannot call the DEEP and say reverse it," Doyle said. "Sometimes, there is frustration by the society. We can get more access, but we cannot change their opinion. We can find out what is going on."

The permits are not final and the public will be able to comment on the plans before they are approved. Following the hearings, the plans must by approved by DEEP.

"It is a long, slow battle, but it is continuous battle," said Charlie Wisnioski, Rocky Hill Riverfront Preservation member. 

Rep Antonio Guerrera, who represents Rocky Hill and a portion of Wethersfield and Newington, said he was excited about the , which he said would create jobs and bring in more businesses to the state. The state is already receiving calls from other businesses outside of Connecticut, he added.

"They determine how to prevent diseases, folks. That's what this is all about. Maybe not today, but 10 years from now as a legislative body this government under [Gov.] Dannel Malloy will go down in history for bringing this type of business to the state of Connecticut."

Riverfront Preservation Member also performed his newest song about the town titled

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