First Posted: 3/21/2013
Pittston go bragh?
The city, know all over the region for its fabulous Tomato Festival Parade, is considering adding a St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 2014.
An exploratory meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesady, March 27, in City Hall.
Neighboring towns Wilkes-Barre and Scranton hold elaborate yearly parades, but Pittston hasn’t had the marching of the green down Main Street since the 1950s. President Harry S. Truman attended the city’s parade in 1956.
Spearheading the effort is Councilman Michael Lombardo and Paul Reedy, who is responsible for the Irish banners — flags of Ireland with a shamrock below it — that adorn poles along Main Street. Reedy created a Facebook page called “Irish Flags for Downtown Pittston” and solicited donations to buy 40 banners at a cost of $2,000. Within 48 hours, the money was donated.
Mayor Jason Klush and Lombardo installed the banners.
Council honored Reedy with a “City of Pittston Pride in Place” plaque before its regular council meeting on March 20. It’s inscribed with a quote from noted cultural anthropoligist Margaret Meade which reads, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Reedy credited Mayor Jason Klush, former Mayor Michael Lombardo and Downtown Manager Rose Randazzo for helping the project along.
“This was a community effort, it wasn’t an effort of mine alone,” Reedy said.
“The nice thing is it wasn’t about being Irish,” he said. “It wasn’t about residing in the city. It was about the downtown and that’s the sole purpose of doing what we did,” Reedy said. “And now we’re talking about a St. Patrick’s Day Parade to go with our new flags.”
Reedy said he’d like to see the parade encompass the Greater Pittston area, not just Pittston City.
Reedy, 50, has said he’s 100 percent Irish and has a long line of prominent Pittstonians in his family.
In other business, a new “administrator’s report,” which was put in place because of the new Home Rule measure, was read. Items formerly handled by council, such as operating and organizational issues, are now handled by City Administrator Joe Moskovitz.
Moskovitz told council two important building permits have been issued regarding downtown development. Demolition is nearly complete on the William and Main office/retail project, known as the Gilbro Project, and construction is ready to commense. Additially, the Riverfront Condominium project was issued a building permit to developer Rob Grimm.
The city will also begin major repairs to the Riverfront Park in late Spring. Repairs will be funded by FEMA and PEMA because of the 2011 flooding.
He also told council two new DPW workers were hired. Greg Murray, of Kingston, and Andrew Lake, of Pittston, were hired to replace staff members who have resigned.
Councilman Michael Lombardo announced the purchase of a Ford Interceptor to be used as a command vehicle by the city’s fire department. The price tag of $34,000 plus $6,000 in special equipment was paid for by federal and state grants.
Council authorized the city to obtain a loan for $1,263,700 to be paid over 40 years at 3 percent interest. The loan is being made available by the Rural Development sector of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Plans call for an elevator in City Hall and relocating the police department to the basement. The building would then be fully handicapped accessible.