North Branford mayor responds in food pantry controversy

NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Imagine investing thousands of dollars of your own money into something you hoped would help you’re community, only to find out its not going to happen.

It’s a story that Lynn Riordan knows all to well, she and an estimated 100 volunteers spent countless hours fixing up the old North Branford Hall, a town owned building, so it could serve as a food pantry. Riordan says town councilors gave her the green light to move forward on the project back in June but this week they apparently had a change of heart because her proposal to lease the facility was denied.

Original Story: Town outraged after lease shut down for food pantry

But if you ask Anthony Candelora, the Mayor of North Branford, the situation is more complicated than one person trying to open up a food pantry. He tells News 8 that because the building they want to use is owned by the town there are certain expenses they too would have to incur.

“You really need the town to maintain the buildings and we did not budget for any of those costs,” said Candelora, “It has a lot of merit its a great idea and I think I know myself I lead with my heart and not my head in some of the areas and hopefully its something we can still maybe salvage down the road.”

Candelora says he sympathizes with Riordan and its his hope the town can find money in the budget in the months ahead to make the food pantry vision a reality. Candelora estimates however the move could cost the town as much as $75,000.

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