Coltsville Vote on Larson bill a delay but not a defeat.
Hartford Courant editorial
September 25, 2010
The defeat of the Coltsville National Park bill in the U.S. House of Representatives this week is more a speed bump than a brick wall.
U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, a staunch supporter of the park proposal, attempted to get the bill passed on what is called the suspension calendar, which requires a two-thirds vote for approval. Not a single Republican was willing to support the measure, perhaps not surprisingly in the weeks before the pivotal mid-term elections.
Mr. Larson has vowed to reintroduce the bill after the election, when it will need a simple majority to pass. The debate this week was actually helpful, a staff member reported, because one Republican lawmaker attacked the bill as costing $10 million a year, when the real cost is about $700,000.
The bill is supported by a broad and bipartisan coalition in the state, including Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell. It will preserve one of the country's seminal and iconic 19th century manufacturing sites and aid its renaissance as a major urban mixed-use development.
As Mr. Larson prepares to reintroduce his legislation, it is imperative that developers, investors and public officials move as quickly as possible on environmental clean-up and redevelopment, particularly of the East and South armory buildings. The further along the project is, the less objection there can be.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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