Pittston mayor Mike Lombardo has to remind himself how much has happened in the city in 2019.
“I was just sitting here thinking ‘wow I didn’t do anything,’ … but it has been a very busy year,” he said.
The year set the stage for the completion of several projects, the opening of new businesses, and the introduction of new faces to city committees and positions.
In the culmination of years of work, the city was able to open the amphitheater behind the Pittston Memorial Library and incorporate it into the city’s Art Walk and Tomato Festival on top of events unique to the amphitheater space.
“We had a bunch of different events,” Lombardo said. “We’re still figuring that facility out.”
The city also held a rededication of City Hall following renovations that included the installation of an elevator and an energy efficiency upgrade for the entire building.
Inside City Hall, Lombardo said the code enforcement and facilities have both grown in staff and Mary Kroptavich officially stepped into the role of Main Street coordinator. Kroptavich spent the year not only running Pittston’s downtown events, but also pursuing a certificate to rise to the title of Main Street coordinator, Lombardo said.
For Kroptavich, 2019 was also a year of change for the city’s many events.
“The never-ending list of job duties and responsibilities that are associated with the position is always evolving and changing,” she said. “Just like the city.”
One of her major projects was the opening of Art E Fekts Gallery on Main Street.
“The art gallery for one has far surpassed our expectations,” she said.
The gallery was not the only business joining the downtown picture this year. Lombardo noted that GypsyAngelRow opened on Main Street the Cooper’s Co-Op building continues to welcome new businesses into its space, most recently, the Salt Bar.
Two events of the year stand out in Kroptavich’s mind – the first of which being Small Business Saturday, celebrated the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
“Working hand in hand with the businesses and the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Small Business Saturday was exciting,” she said. “We will continue to partner together to bring more awareness to the businesses on Main Street.”
The year closed with Christmas in Pittston for Kroptavich and the city, where the committee lit a brand new, artificial tree that has stood in the Tomato Festival lot ever since.
The city also collected toys during the event for Geisinger Children’s Hospital in Danville and the Pittston Santa Squad to distribute to children.
“The amount of toys donated was well over 1,200,” she said. “That’s truly what the holidays are all about.”
Both Lombardo and Kroptavich looked forward to starting new projects and completing ongoing ones in the coming year.
“All in all it’s been a good year,” Lombardo said. “We’re going to keep moving forward.”