Greater Pittston YMCA Half Marathon and 5 K Running Races May 26th! Click HERE for more information!
Effective immediately, residents may include grass clippings with yard waste put out for weekly collection by the Street Department. Yard waste must be in open containers, tree branches must be cut to 3 feet in length, and rocks and dirt cannot be collected. Collection of grass clippings is possible due to the city's participation in a multi-municipal composting facility partially funded with a state grant. Thank you!
Work is well underway on the new office building at Main and William Streets, as can be seen in the photo below. This building, and the businesses it will house are a much welcome addition to our downtown!
I am also pleased to report the city has hired two additional full-time police officers, Kyle Shumosic and Sam DeSimone, who were sworn in at the April 17th City Council meeting:
(In the photo, from left to right: Councilman Joseph McClean; District Justice Andrew Barilla, Jr., who swore in the new officers; Police Chief Robert Powers; Councilman Danny Argo; Mayor Jason C. Klush; New Police Officer Kyle Shumosic; New Police Officer Sam DeSimone; Councilman Michael Lombardo, Esq.; City Controller Christopher Latona; Councilman Joseph Chernouskas; City Administrator Joseph Moskovitz)
At the same meeting, the City Council was also pleased to honor Pittston City resident Josephine Lazzari on the occassion of her 100th birthday! A plaque was presented to Mrs. Lazzari designating April 27th as "Joseph Lazzari Day" in Pittston City:
(In the photo, left to right: Mayor Jason C. Klush, Centenarian Mrs. Josephine Lazzari, Councilman Michael Lombardo, Esq.)
The city was also recently notified that we have received a $1 million state grant from the gambling revenue program that will be used to enhance a number of our downtown revitalization projects.
I am pleased to report that in accordance with the requirements of the new Pittston City Home Rule Charter, the City Council has enacted a significant reduction in city property taxes for 2013 and subsequent years for owner-occupied residential properties in the city. This tax reduction called the "Homestead Deduction" can be seen on the 2013 city property tax bills for all owner-occupied homes in the city and will continue in future years. For more information on the tax reduction, click here.
With the onset of warmer spring weather, our Streets and Sanitation Department will be out cleaning the city streets, and have made significant progress on their project to install new street name signs at every intersection.
We significantly ramped up our property maintenance code enforcement office to enforce the property maintenance code. If you have a complaint about a run-down or cluttered-up property, please call our Code Enforcement Officer at 654-0513 extension 221. We are committed to safe and clean housing and property in our city.
I would like to encourage donations to our Police K-9 fund. Our canine is now in traning and will be a significant asset to our police department. Click on the link to the side of this message to access a form to make a contribution.
As always, thank you for your support, and please contact me with any concerns or questions.
Mayor Jason C. Klush
|From the Times Leader, November 4th 2012:
City comes alive with restaurants, shopping, entertainment and more
by Mary Terese Biebel
For the full story: click here
For downtown Pittston hair stylist Virginia DeSpirito, the bad old days are over.
The Renaissance is here.
“There’s a lot of good energy here now,” said DeSpirito, who used to be afraid to walk to her car at night. “Before, it was just all around not a good place. There was a bad element, a lot of graffiti and vandalism. Now with all the beautiful lights, people are around. We don’t see as much of the bad element. You get a lot of walk-in traffic, and I’m next in line to get a façade.”
With help from a $2.3 million in federal Transportation Enhancement grants, Pittston’s Main Street during the past two years has gained new brick crosswalks, period lighting, new sidewalks and curbs and spiffy new facades for businesses.
There’s been a lot of private investment as well, volunteer Main Street Manager and local attorney Rose Randazzo pointed out. For example, every business that received grant money for a facelift “has matched or far exceeded the contribution.”
But it’s not money alone that’s helping Pittston prosper. Also deserving credit are the commitment of newcomers, the perseverance of long-time businesses and their customers, and the creativity of artists.
“It’s a beautiful thing, what’s happening here,” musician Ryan Post, 27, said as he strummed his guitar late on a recent afternoon in front of The Coffee Table Café.
Post, a Sweet Valley native who moved to downtown Pittston a few months ago, plans to set up a series of open-mic performances at the café. “Anybody can sing and play or bring poetry and express themselves,” Post said. “This place is becoming more cultural, and I want to be a positive part of that.”
Of course, there are people who saw the positives in Pittston long before the remodeling began.
“I’ve always come here,” said Pauline Albano, 53, who lives just across the river in West Pittston. “I would always shop at Sabatelle’s. Their meats are excellent. And I would get my hair done (at Virginia DeSpirito’s Hair Fashions).”
But nowadays, if you ask people who live, work or socialize on Main Street, you’ll hear about many more reasons to come, from the regional handiwork at the Arts SEEN gallery to the British-style clothing at the Boden USA outlet store to the food – and martinis – at Palazzo 53.
An air of elegance
“I love, love, love Palazzo’s,” said DeSpirito, who recommends the linguine with crab and garlic.
At 53 South Main – hence the name – co-owner Chris Barcia spent a recent few minutes before the evening onrush of customers helping his three children, Isabel, Samantha and Joey, carve pumpkins at an outdoor table while employee D.J. Lillis built a fire in a chiminea.
“We serve food like your mother would make at home,” Barcia said, explaining the philosophy he and his wife, Beth, share.
But along with that cozy sentiment, Palazzo 53 has a reputation for elegance.
“That’s where the classier people go,” musician Post said candidly.
“There’s more of a rock crowd at The Rattler,” he said, indicating a bar down the road.
New and old unite
Classic or trendy, upscale or down-home, from billiards hall to pet groomer to dry cleaner to dental office, the new mingles with the traditional throughout the downtown.
At The Coffee Table Café, one of the new businesses, manager Becky Edwards, 30, might serve you a breakfast panini, “ooey, gooey grilled cheese,” or a “cake ball,” a trendy sweet similar to a cupcake except it’s round. “We hand-ball them and dip them into a flavor coating,” Edwards said.
Across the street at Jackett’s Central Lunch, which dates to the ’40s, you’ll find bacon and eggs, hamburgers and generous slices of freshly baked pies.
“It’s country cooking,” pie baker Jessica Zelonis said with a grin from her post behind the lunch counter.
Zelonis, 29, moved north with her husband, Kris, 31, who took over the business from his mother a few years ago, and the Georgia native did experience some culture shock.
“Everything is a faster pace up here,” she noted.
But sometimes things take longer than you’d suspect.
To a casual observer, Pittston’s glorious rebirth seems to have taken place over the past 18-24 months, Randazzo, the Main Street Manager, said. However, the planning and application for grants were going on for several years in advance.
The improvements aren’t finished yet, redevelopment leader and former Mayor Mike Lombardo said. Funding from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will continue to help upgrade the downtown, where planners envision new office space and new living space.
But already, people are excited about the turn their city has taken.
“All I hear is how attractive the town is, especially at night. The streetscape is the talk of the Valley,” Sam Valenti, 61, said as he enjoyed a recent pizza lunch at Napoli’s, one of a host of popular pizza shops in the city.
“Pittston is beautiful,” owner Jane Sabatelle said as she presided over a market filled with such items as homemade pasta and sauces as well as the celebrated meats. “It’s like the whole community is beaming with pride.”
The cleaner, brighter downtown creates more foot traffic, which in turn makes the city more lively and inviting. “A lot of people have been coming in, just for that simple fact,” Kris Zelonis from Jackett’s said.
One business’ success feeds another, Maria Livrone from Arts SEEN gallery said.
“The other day some people drove all the way from Vermont to shop at the Boden outlet, and they came in here and shopped, too,” she said.
Livrone is eager to begin work on a glass mosaic for the water wall in a pocket-park of green space on Main Street and she plans to build “a full-size metal man” for the front of the Arts SEEN gallery, too.
“The momentum just keeps building,” she said.
|Pursuant to an Act of Congress, signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 5, 2012, the Pittston Post Office was formally named for the late State Police Trooper Joshua D. Miller in ceremony held on Dock Street on Wednesday October 24, 2012.
Trooper Miller died from gunshot wounds suffered in the course of a high speed pursuit and rescue of a 9 year old child who had been kidnapped in June 2009. Trooper Miller was born in Pittston and was a 1992 graduate of Pittston Area High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps prior to working as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.
A large contingent of Pennsylvania State Troopers, including State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan attended the ceremony, along with Congressman Lou Barletta, State Senator John Yudichak, State Representatives Mike Carrol and Tarah Toohil, Pittston City officials, the late trooper's wife, daughter, family and many onlookers.
Pittston officials attending the ceremony (left to right) City Manager Joseph Moskovitz, City Controller Chris Latona, City Councilmember Michael Lombardo, Esq.
Pittston Police Department Officers at the dedication ceremony
Pennsylvania State Police Troopers at the dedication ceremony
Pennsylvania American Water Company has informed the City of Pittston that work will soon begin to replace the water main on parts of Church and Mill Streets. Specifically, the main will be replaced on Church Street from William Street to Mill Street, and Mill Street will be replaced from Church Street to Hunter Street. When the work is completed on Mill Street, the city sewer project that has been on hold pending replacement and relocation of the water main, will be scheduled for completion. When the work is completed, both sections of roadway will be repaved.
To view the actual information letters on the project provided to the city by Pennsylvania American Water Company, please click the link below.
|Written by Mike Burnside
From: IndependentNEPA June 15, 2012
see the whole article and more at http://independentnepa.com/culture/towns/1237-pittston-all-about-revitalization
|I have often thought that if I could live anywhere I wanted, I would choose a small-ish city with everything I needed within a five-minute walk. It would have to include a nice library, a good coffee shop with nice baked goods, a few quite good restaurants, a moderately exotic market, a nice pub, a branch of the bank I use, some interesting stores (small, and not chain stores), some artsy sorts of places, and a well-defined sense of history. It should be small enough that you would see some of the same (friendly) people on a regular basis. It should offer everything you need on a day-to-day basis, but shouldbe within an hour’s drive of anything you could possibly need in terms of cultural entertainment and outdoor recreation. Oh, and it should be on a river, one that was accessible. The nearest ones that come to mind are Jim Thorpe, perhaps Tunkhannock (although the pervasive gas drilling presence would eliminate it), and Pittston.
Pittston? If you’re surprised, it’s time you visited. The city, which has had its ups and downs, is getting its act together in dramatic fashion.
For about the last decade, the town fathers (and mothers) have been focused on transforming Pittston into a desirable place to live and do business. The results are bearing fruit in a big way.
In the words of City Manager Joe Moskovitz, “This is a 20-year project,” which means they are about halfway through it. As an outside observer, I am convinced that it is not the stars that have aligned to produce Pittston’s renaissance, but its leaders. And, its leaders are not just the elected or appointed officials, but the business owners, large and small, and the many people who just plain care enough to devote a significant amount of their time and energy to make it happen. It doesn’t matter whom you talk to, and in the past month or so I’ve talked to a lot of people. The city’s young mayor, Jason Klush, agrees.
“The vision is clear and there are a lot of people working together to make it happen,” he said. “It’s not about personalities, it’s about moving forward.”
Mike Lombardo, former mayor and now a leader in the Redevelopment Authority, echoed Moskovitz’s thoughts.
“We’re not ignoring our neighborhoods. We’ve spent millions of dollars to improve them,” he said. “But if you want to turn a distressed community around, you have to improve the aesthetics and the amenities. You have to begin somewhere, and the only logical place to target is the downtown.”
Rose Randazzo, a lawyer with civic pride if there ever was one, is the volunteer leader of the Main Street Project, in which the transformation is most evident. With a shot in the arm from a local share grant of casino money, new sidewalks, pedestrian street crossings, historical-style street lights, and signage and facade improvements have made Main Street the center of vibrant shopping, services, and cultural activity.
Bookending the Main Street project are two independently owned pharmacies. On the west end, Joe Albert, a lifetime resident of Jenkins Township and a Pittston High School grad, left the area long enough to attend the Temple School of Pharmacy. On his return, he worked for Thrift Drug, Eckerd, and Rite Aid before fulfilling his dream of opening his own. Connected to Albert’s is the new Pinnacle Rehabilitation Associates. It specializes in joint replacements, post-surgery therapy, arthritis, neck and back pain, and many areas related to work, home, and auto or sport injuries. Nearly at the other end of Main Street is Fino’s Pharmacy.
Vince Peck’s roots in the pharmacy business go back several generations, and his business has always been known for excellent and friendly customer service. It’s no
surprise that Fino’s Pharmacy is celebrating its 61st year in business.
At a brisk pace, you could walk from Albert’s to Fino’s in five minutes, but I’ll bet you can’t do it because there are so many attractions along the way. The Pet Zone, just behind the new pharmacy and rehab building, for example, is no ordinary pet store, for it houses The Cave, which is a reptile zoo. The landmark Gramercy Ballroom and Restaurant, a fixture in Pittston, has been helping families in the Wyoming Valley commemorate events for more than 70 years. Its menu includes mostly Italian dishes, steaks, and seafood. Gramercy also features a full bar and two private dining rooms. As you continue down Main Street, you might be tempted to stop in at New York Pizza Cucina, and you would not be disappointed if you did. Nearby is Sabatelle’s Market, which is unlike any market you’ve ever seen. So, even if you’re full of New York Pizza, go in to Sabatelle’s and take a look around. Chuck, Jane and Jason Sabatelle offer up the finest in homemade italian meats and cheeses and friendly service. I guarantee you’ll come back.
Take a few minutes to check out the Main Street Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center. This is a gorgeous, state-of-the-art facility that offers a wide range of physical therapy services. The highlight of the facility is the Greater Pittston’s first and only Aquatic Therapy Center.
Aquatic therapy provides relief for arthritis, muscle pain, and pre- and post-surgical orthopedic conditions. The physical therapist, Candice Bukevics, has more than 20 years of experience and is a Pittston native.
Now, you’re nearing the center of the Main Street Project. Stop in at the Arts Seen Gallery. Newly renovated, the gallery offers an eclectic array of works by some of the finest artists, photographers, and craftspeople in the region and offers a wide range of workshops. Next door is the friendly Coffee Table cafe, which I can personally attest offers a scrumptious array of baked goods (Try its very own “cake balls!”) and a full breakfast and lunch menu. Next in line is Rooney’s Irish Pub, a popular local gathering place and where important business gets done. Gene Rooney is an incomparable host.
Speaking of incomparable hosts, if you want to take some friends for a special dinner, Palazzo 53 is an elegant dining restaurant that has already garnered a reputation as one of the region’s finest. Across the street is Napoli’s Pizza, newly renovated with the help of some grant money and soon to include an outdoor garden eating area.
Continuing on this side of the street, check out the collection of chess sets at Shooters Billiards and Arcade before stopping in at the Yore Antique Shop. Talk to Ryan or Mark about the pump organ in the window, as well as the wide-ranging collection of ephemera offered for sale, including many items of local historical interest. Just behind Yore Antiques is Vintage Variety, where I learned from the affable Dorie Walters that she and the guys at Yore came to Pittston a few years back and have never regretted their decision.
Across the street, the Reilly Building is a wonderful example of adaptive re-use of an old historical building, the Dime Bank. Now filled with professional offices, the building highlights an interesting advantage for businesses that have clients or customers in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton – Pittston is right in-between. They also appreciate the wide array of nearby places to “do lunch” or have an after-hours cocktail.
Not to be forgotten is the The Open Space, next to the Arts Seen Gallery. According to Jennifer McDowell, Quad3 Group’s Interior Design Business Unit Leader, The Open Space name is very fitting – it represents an elegant renovation of a former dress factory, which now provides an everyday space for a wide variety of community events, corporate meetings, and social and nonprofit fundraising events. Open Space doubles as a weekend outlet store for Boden, a British clothier with a call center and warehouse in the Center Pointe Commerce and Trade Center in nearby Jenkins Township. It is the first retail outlet for the high-end apparel company, and the place fills up with enthusiasm for its weekend hours.
In a way, Open Space/Boden is emblematic of what’s happening in Pittston. The renovation itself was carried on in a very hands-on fashion by Mike Lombardo, Jason Klush, and others who donated time, labor, and materials to make it happen. The space itself is coordinated by Sharon Cafora, who also works at Palazzo 53. Arts Seen Gallery takes advantage of the crowds who visit Boden’s, especially on Second Fridays. Scranton has its First Fridays, Wilkes-Barre has its Third Fridays, and now Pittston, being in the middle, as it were, now has its Second Fridays.
As mentioned, Pittston is about halfway through this two-decade revitalization program, and there is more to come. Recently, the development of a space next to the venerable Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant into a high-end condo complex overlooking the Susquehanna and West Pittston on the opposite shore has been announced. Downtown Arts of Wilkes-Barre will be opening a new location in a recently acquired church in Pittston, and we have it on good authority that this year’s Tomato Festival will be bigger and better than ever.
You might say they’re riding a wave.
We are pleased to announce that Broad Street and Union Street have been repaved. Broad Street is a state highway and was repaved under direction of PENNDOT following an extensive city sanitary and stormwater sewer improvement project. Union Street was repaved by the city following certain storm sewer repairs and installation of curbramps at various intersections required by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Pittston lies in the Wyoming Valley on the east side of the Susquehanna River, and on the south side of the Lackawanna River. It is approximately midway between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Named after the famous British statesman William Pitt the Elder, the city was settled around 1770 by the Susquehanna Company of Connecticut. It was originally called "Pittstown".
Pittston City officials greet Governor Tom Corbett on a stop in the City of Pittston during his recent three-day kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River promoting tourism and Pennsylvania's natural resources.
Photo from left to right: City Councilmen Joe Chernouskas and Joe McLean, Governor Tom Corbett, Mayor Jason Klush, Councilman Mike Lombardo and City Manager Joe Moskovitz.
The Pittston City Home Rule Study Commission Members receive their Oath of Office at the organizational meeting held Monday November 21, 2011 in City Council Chambers in Pittston City Hall.
Pictured from left to right: Mayor Jason Klush (Study Commission Chair), Fred Stuccio, Former Mayor Michael Lombardo, Ginger Murphy (Study Commission Vice-Chair), Arthur Bobbouine, City Councilman Joseph Chernouskas and Ben Tielle. Also pictured is Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni who presided over the swearing-in of the Commission Members.
View from Kennedy Boulevard of the flooding in the area of the Water Street Bridge between the City of Pittston and West Pittston Borough.
3½ m tall marble statue of a young (20's) Columbus with page boy style hair and period costume. He stands with his right hand resting on an anchor and he holds rolled up papers at his side in his left hand. He stands atop a multi-tiered granite or limestone pedestal.
Pittston City Hall >> News
The 28th annual Pittston Tomato Festival will grace the pages of this week’s nationally published Parade Magazine, an insert in the Sunday Times Leader, in the feature story “Eat Your Way Across America, 50 States, 50 Fabulous Food Festivals.”
By Jim Murdoch
5:47 p.m. EST, January 9, 2012
Downtown Pittston was spared the wrath of the September floods, but it has undergone a major renovation project.
The mild winter helped crews get the work done early, and helped the city save thousands of dollars.
If you haven't been in downtown Pittston lately, you may not recognize it. Gone are the construction crews prying apart sidewalks, the lane restrictions on Main Street and the overall traffic congestion.
Instead, cobblestone-like sidewalks and crosswalks line Main Street, along with new signs, lamps and businesses.
"I think it looks lovely and it adds to Pittston. I am a volunteer on Meals on Wheels and seen the work in progress and they`ve done a really nice job," said Lynne Dente of West Pittston.
Pittston City Manager Joe Moskovitz said the recent mild weather saved the city from paying overtime to work crews and the lack of snow helped keep road maintenance at a minimum.
"Because of the more than cooperative weather that we have had, it`s been a mild season, as we all know. It extended the construction period of both projects on Main Street which allowed us to complete these projects," Moskovitz said.
Many of the new businesses had to deal with all the construction on the main roads in downtown Pittston and now that it`s all done the owners said they are capitalizing on the new and improved look of downtown Pittston.
"In the end it`s a tremendous improvement for the city and for our business. I think it gives us a better visual look and the promise of Pittston city is very good, I think," said Frank Husband of Coffee Table Cafe.
Copyright © 2012, WNEP-TV
It is hard to believe it has been over a year since the series of tropical storms and hurricane remnants led to some of the worst flooding this area has ever seen.
These images recall some of the challenges the city faced in the aftermath of the storms:
Mayor Jason Klush (operating bucket loader) and Department of Public Works operator Bruce Widdick work to clear a fallen tree from East Frothingham Street in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.