Deep cuts in the state budget will result in the closing of the Enfield Correctional Institution, the Enfield branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Enfield Superior Court.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy plans to eliminate more than 1,000 positions in the Department of Correction in an effort to trim more than $60 million from that agency's budget. About 400 employees will be laid off, while another 600 positions are currently vacant and will not be filled, according to therepublic.com.
The state will close the Bergin Correctional Institution in Mansfield in August, and the Enfield facility is scheduled to follow suit by October.
The Enfield prison building, a level 3 medium-security prison on Shaker Road, houses 723 inmates as of July 1, 2011, according to the Department of Correction Web site. Nearly half will be transferred to a long-vacant block at the Cheshire Correctional Institution, while the remainder will be dispersed to other prisons in the state.
Meanwhile, the Enfield branch of the DMV, located on Pearson Way, will be one of five offices to be shut down shortly. DMV officials visited the affected branches Wednesday and told employees to expect layoff notices in the coming weeks, according to the Connecticut Post.
Other DMV offices facing extinction are located in Danbury, New Britain, Old Saybrook and Putnam, as well as the license renewal center in Middletown.
State Sen. John Kissel says the Enfield Superior Court is among the state facilities added to the list of pending closures to help reduce the $1.6 billion budget deficit.
In an e-mail to Enfield Patch, Kissel wrote, “In less than a week, the Malloy administration has announced the closing of three of our major state facilities: Enfield Correctional Institution, the Enfield DMV, and the Enfield Courthouse. The shuttering of these facilities comes as a one, two, three punch to our part of the state and will no doubt have a negative impact on our local economy. I trust that Enfield is not the only area of the state taking these multiple targeted hits, but these closures will certainly make taxpayers’ lives even more difficult here in north central Connecticut.”
The closures are part of a plan to balance the two-year, $40.1 billion state budget. The governor has said the failure of state employee unions to ratify a $1.6 billion concessions package necessitates the spending cuts.
Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman issued a joint statement Friday: "We are entirely aware of the impact this plan will have on the lives of thousands of our fellow state employees and their families, and people across Connecticut who have become used to a certain level of services provided by state government. We will do our best to mitigate that impact. As everyone knows, this was not the path we chose, but at this juncture, it is the only path we can take. Connecticut is in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis it's faced in many, many years. Without an agreement, the only way out of it requires us to make the tough, painful decisions we've made. We know there are legislators of both parties who will find many things in this plan they don't like. To reiterate: we don't like most of what's in here, either. But we would remind everyone that if the Legislature would like to remove a cut we've made from the budget, they have to replace it with another cut of the same value, and there aren't a lot of good options out there."
Manchester will also be affected by the cuts, as Malloy's plan would close the Manchester Armory and transfer any units stationed there to a newly constructed readiness center in Middletown. The closing is estimated to save the state $32,560.