Board OKs new location for Goodwill drop-off

The former Goodwill drop-off location on Water Street in Naugatuck closed last year after the borough sold the property. Borough officials have approved a new drop-off location on Parcel B downtown. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — More than a year and half after a Goodwill Industries donation station on Water Street was removed, the borough has found another location for it.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month approved allowing Goodwill Industries to place a donation station on Parcel B off of Water Street.

The nonprofit organization’s previous donation station was in the train station parking lot, which the borough owned, at 195 Water St. The drop-off location benefited Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut.

The donation station was moved in February 2016 after the borough sold the former train station building and the land to Jim Perzhilla and Carlos Santos, who have since turned it into The Station Restaurant.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said many people have asked for a new donation station in Naugatuck.

“The request isn’t coming from Goodwill to come back, it is coming from residents who want to have Goodwill come back. And they are willing to come back,” Hess said.

Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that provides employment and supportive services to people with disabilities and other challenges to employment. It raises money for its programs through the sale of donated goods, such as clothing and household items.

Burgess Michael Bronko said Goodwill always kept its location on Water Street clean from items being left around.

“They have always been responsible, keeping the place neat and clean and taking care of the stuff. It seems like it is producing a good service to the people,” Bronko said.

The new drop-off location will be on Parcel B, the parking lot of the former General DataComm building, about quarter of a mile from the previous location. People will access it off of Water Street.

Hess said the new location would ultimately be a temporary one since there are plans to develop Parcel B. However, it is likely those plans will not come to fruition for years, so Goodwill will be able to collect donations until that time.

Hess said the construction equipment currently stored on Parcel B is supposed to be removed by the end of November. The donation station will be dropped off after the equipment is moved, he said.

Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut Inc. Vice President of Marketing Melissa Cwiertniewicz said she had not spoken with the borough as of Monday, but that once the borough and Goodwill reach an agreement a donation drop-off could be placed fairly quickly.

Cwiertniewicz said the sites around the state are important to the organization.

“It is the number one way to fuel Goodwill’s mission of helping people find jobs,” Cwiertniewicz said. “I know lots of folks know Goodwill from our stores and donation stations, but that’s not our mission. Our mission is to serve Connecticut residents.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated from the version that appears in the Nov. 24 print edition to include comments form Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut Inc. Vice President of Marketing Melissa Cwiertniewicz that were received after press time.