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3/18/2015 - City to Help Rebuild Community Room at Neighborhood Farm

“We’re committed to rebuilding. This is such an important community asset. This garden knits people together and makes a stronger community, and we will do everything we can to support residents to make the neighborhood farm better than ever.” – Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (March 17, 2015) – The city will help rebuild a community building damaged by a fire Monday at the Reservoir Avenue Community Farm. The building was significantly damaged Monday night.

“I believe in Green Village Initiative and its mission. We’re committed to rebuilding. This is such an important community asset,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “This garden knits people together and makes a stronger community, and we will do everything we can to support residents to make the neighborhood farm better than ever.”

Jorge Garcia, the city’s director of Public Facilities, said the damaged one-story building will be razed. The city will work with GVI to rebuild.

“I’m blown away by the amount of support from the community, from the mayor’s office and from the schools,” said Monique Bosch, the co-founder of GVI.

“The silver lining is the size of a rainbow,” said co-founder Dan Levinson. “We will be ready in two months for the thousands of kids who come through here every summer. We’re here for the long haul.”

The fire was reported at 9:38 p.m. Witnesses identified a suspect to police and, when police went to his house, the suspect made spontaneous statements. Jimmy Gantt, of 163 Yaremich Drive, was charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and interfering with an officer. He was jailed in $25,000 bond.

“This is a priority for us and I know it is a priority for residents who have worked so hard,” Garcia said. “Whatever the setback, we will work together to make sure the community comes out stronger.”