By Lisa Capobianco
With the ongoing search for a new home, Bread for Life has withdrawn its application with the Southington Planning and Zoning Commission in order to add more time to look.
During a Planning and Zoning meeting last week, the civic group decided to reapply for a new facility, hoping to spend more time with school and town officials to find an alternate location. In October, Bread for Life requested from Planning and Zoning a 60-day continuance for its application, which would have expired December 17. Southington school and town officials decided to collaborate with the civic group after parents rejected its proposed new site across from Derynoski School on 296 Main Street, concerned for their children’s safety. Bread for Life, a non profit organization that provides hot meals to people in need five days a week, plans to expand the size of its facility to meet the growing demand of Southington’s residents in need.
Michael DelSanto, the chairman of Planning and Zoning, said reapplying for a new site was a good idea with the original deadline just around the corner. He said Planning and Zoning has waived the fee for Bread for Life’s new application.
Stephen Giudice, the owner of the engineering firm Harry E. Cole and Son, who represents Bread for Life, said the collaboration between the civic group and school and town officials has continued to run smoothly. Although he would not speak specifically about their current plans, Giudice said Bread for Life is “looking at two other viable options” in town.
“Reapplying allowed Bread for Life to buy more time in looking for other options,” Giudice said.
Southington Supt. Dr. Joseph Erardi, who plays an active role in the committee that is currently helping Bread for Life, said the teamwork between local officials and the non-profit organization has become powerful. Although he also did not go into specifics, Dr. Erardi said he feels confident that they will find the right alternative site.
“When our work is done, it will be a strong, alternative option,” Erardi said.
Bill McDougall, the chairman of Bread for Life, said he hopes to find an alternate site by the end of the first quarter next year. Although he also would not speak specifically about any alternate sites, McDougall said he feels pleased that his civic group now has more time to work with school and town officials as well as parents, emphasizing how their collaboration has progressed.
“We are doing very well,” McDougall said. “We are looking at alternate sites, and we are in the process of negotiating a few different sites.”