West Pittston Tomorrow at the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival
It seems like yesterday that the Susquehanna River rushed through West Pittston on September 9, 2011, destroying our homes and changing our community forever. For months we shoveled mud and began rebuilding our houses with the help of family, friends and kind strangers. But getting back into our homes, no matter how difficult it has been, is not our only goal.
West Pittston has been a special place for those of us who live here, many for generations. We treasure its past and enjoy the small town life it provides us. We don’t want to lose that. We are determined to bring our town back better than ever.
With the help of a FEMA long-term recovery team, hundreds of West Pittston residents from school children to senior citizens met for four months in early 2012 to map out a recovery plan. We faced our problems, analyzed our assets, and set goals for West Pittston over the next ten years. Our vision is a clean safe and progressive community rooted in family values and historic tradition.
We are excited about our projects and plans we gave made. The projects range from emergency information packets for all households and a community calendar to flood protection, improving infrastructure and building on West Pittston’s 150-year history. They include a new library and community center, a river overlook,, community gardens, and the designation of an historic district.
We have begun some projects such as the Safety Committee’s block captain program, gone door-to-door to inform residents about flood map changes and flood insurance, and help workshops on flood mitigation opportunities.
Please see the plans outlined on this website as a road-map to the recovery of our beloved town and to a West Pittston that will “blossom better than ever.” It is a living document that captures a moment in time when the community came together. Over time the projects will change to address emerging needs.
Most importantly, see this as a commitment and pledge from West Pittston residents to use our energy, abilities and efforts to work in whatever way we can to make these projects a reality -- from fundraising and grant writing to planting flowers and watering gardens.
West Pittston Tomorrow was incorporated in January 2013 to address, provide services and support, and pursue grant applications to meet recovery needs in the wake of the September 2011 flooding. The organization is currently applying to the IRS for 501(c) 3 tax exempt status
Last updated May 2013
Annual Meeting Held March 6, 2014
West Pittston Tomorrow held its annual meeting Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in the community room of the West Pittston Borough Building.
203 projects were reviewed and priorities for 2014 discussed The levee campaign petition was one of the main items on the agenda.
Also on the agenda is the election of five residents to fill the open seats on the 11-member Board of Directors. Board members were elected for a 2-year term.
The WPT nominating committee recommended the following for two-year terms: Judy Aita, Walter Grabowski, Linda Judge, John Kearns and Ellen Quinn.
Board members currently serving a two-year term are: Mike Branley, Jane Firestine, Pat Sammon, Mary Terese Russin and David Todd.
Ray Judge was the chairman of the nominating committee which included Jim Butera, Sandy Major, Judy Stevenson, and Rev. Jim Thyren.
The West Pittston Tomorrow Board of Directors has been working hard since the organization’s first meeting as a non-profit corporation in January 2013. WPT has maintained contact with the FEMA long-term recovery staff who helped us get started as well as other Federal, State and local officials, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; researched, reviewed and pushed ahead with the projects West Pittston residents developed in 2012; and have launched two of those major projects.
Our #1 project is getting flood protection for West Pittston: Protecting the town from future floods was the unanimous choice of residents at our first town meeting in March 2012. And that will remain our first goal . The Levee Campaign is off to a great start. The support we have received from people all over Wyoming Valley – and even former residents who still hold dear their hometown -- has been amazing. But it is only the beginning of a long, long journey that will take determination, stubborn commitment, a positive attitude and tremendous effort from every West Pittston resident for years to come.
West Pittston Historic District: With the unfortunate need for the FEMA buyout of flooded homes came a stroke of luck in that the Pennsylvania and Historical Museum Commission determined West Pittston is eligible for historic district designation. (We always knew that! Right?) This, too, is going to take a lot of work researching, writing, and documenting every structure in the district. That means, for example, walking the blocks of the district filling out forms. Now that our terrible winter is over, we can get out and enjoy the spring, summer and fall while completing our application. And, if we do it right, we should have that official designation within a year.
But there’s More To Do to get involved in our community: developing a community garden; helping with the annual Christmas Tree lighting; recommending changes to strengthen the borough’s housing ordinances, and raising funds, to name a few. We also need to review our original plans to make sure they are still relevant to our flood recovery and also come up with new projects – big and small – to improve life in West Pittston.
So, as you see, we need more than your $5 per person membership fee. We need you!!!
Please download and fill out the membership form indicating the programs you’re interested in and mail with your membership fee to:
West Pittston Tomorrow
555 Exeter Avenue, Suite 100
West Pittston, PA 18643
We guarantee you’ll get a call or e-mail asking for your help.
_____ GARDENS _____ HISTORIC DISTRICT _____ LEVEE _____ OUTREACH _____ HOUSING ISSUES _____ MEDIA/COMM. _____ BUSINESS _____ INFRASTUCTURE _____ CULTURAL
DUES__________ ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTION ____________________
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Serious, effective flood protection for all of West Pittston isn’t a luxury or a gift to be bestowed by political authorities. It is a necessity if our borough is to survive.
Flood protection was the #1 priority at our 2012 Town Meetings and West Pittston Tomorrow Board of Directors see no option but to make that our first task. In the past year and a half, we have had the benefit of Bob Russin’s exhaustive research and have engaged public officials, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the media. We now have begun a major public relations campaign with a petition to public officials.
We are making inroads, but this is going to be a long haul. Be assured that we will not stop until until we secure our right to the flood protection enjoyed by the rest of the Wyoming Valley. But we need your help to pay the expenses of such an extensive levee campaign.
As a resident, you are essential to the ongoing life of this campaign. We are asking you to be an active part of this effort with a financial contribution. We are asking everyone in the borough to give at least $5.00 or any amount you can comfortably afford. Please send your donation today to West Pittston Tomorrow c/o Jane Firestine, Treasurer, 555 Exeter Avenue, Suite 100, West Pittston, PA 18643.
Your donation will help West Pittston Tomorrow continue the fight for a levee.
West Pittston Tomorrow Board of Directors
WEST PITTSTON TOMORROW LEVEE CAMPAIGN
I want to become a member of West Pittston Tomorrow _____
WES PITTSTON TOMORROW LEVEE CAMPAIGN
Our first Spill Basin Crawl was great fun!
Thanks for your support
ELLEN QUINN ELECTED WPT PRESIDENT
Ellen Quinn, one of the first members of the steering committee that evolved into West Pittston Tomorrow, was elected president of the board of directors February 25, 2015. According to WPT Bylaws, officers are elected annually by the board of directors. Quinn is also chairman of the infrastructure committee.
John Kearns was elected Vice-president; Linda Judge, secretary; and Jane Firestine, treasurer.
Directors are: Judy Aita, Charles Bell,* Michael Branley, Marilyn Jacobs,* Walter Grabowski, Mary Terese Russin, and Pat Sammon
*Welcome, new members!
Click here for a review of 2014