Broome County Council of Churches director Dr. Joe Sellepack is on this week's edition of the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up and goes into detail about the development of a new grocery store for Binghamton's North Side.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Broome Council of Churches Dr. Joe Sellepack

Sellepack says it was a serious and much-thought out decision for the Council of Churches to undertake such a non-traditional project as developing a grocery store to serve the so-called 'food desert' area.  He says the final decision hinged on meeting the mission of serving the health and nutritional needs of that community at affordable prices while being able to apply any proceeds from the store back to the community through programs like CHOW, Faith in Action Volunteers and the Ramp It Up program.

Dr. Sellepack also takes on questions about the progress of the project on a Brownfield location (former dump), the quality of food that will be offered, the prices of merchandise and the impact of a low-cost, non-traditional store on other stores in the region.

Sellepack says he's been assured by the developer that ground will be broken in the upcoming weeks with the new store in the new Canal Plaza to open in the spring of 2020.

Southern Tier Close Up airs Saturdays at 6 am on 98.1 The Hawk.