It takes a village to make a Main Street work — or in Pittston’s case, a coordinated team.
After the departure of Rose Randazzo, the city’s former volunteer Main Street manager, a group of residents and officials have picked up the torch to keep Main Street glowing and growing.
Greater Pittston Historical Society President Ron Faraday has assumed the role of facilities manager, contributing ideas and projects but also keeping lights and facilities running in the city, he said.
“I’m responsible for overseeing the maintenance, upkeep and improvements to all city-owned property, which includes, City Hall, the building that houses the Pittston Memorial Library, the garage and yard of the Department of Public Works, the city’s eight parks, the streetscape, various parking lots around the city including the Tomato Festival lots,” he said. “Parking enforcement and the responsibilities of our Main Street manager now fall under my responsibility. We need to maintain a clean, fresh look at all times on Main Street.”
Joleen Lazecki and Mary Kroptavich have taken on the city’s Second Friday Art Walks with the first one of the year scheduled for May 11. Lazecki said she and Kroptavich have been able to add two more Art Walk events for 2018 — one in August before the Tomato Festival and another in October to extend the Art Walk season beyond its previous end in September.
“Its been very exciting,” she said. “It’s just exciting to have art be a focal point.”
In tandem with Lazecki and Faraday, city mayor Mike Lombardo has continued the work he did with Rose Randazzo before his election to bring new businesses to Main Street and improve the city’s existing streetscape.
“We’ve been interfacing with anyone looking to develop and working with the design and review committee,” he said.
Lombardo said the city is considering entering the state’s formal Main Street program with the possibility of creating a true Main Street Manager position.
“Rose did it for nothing,” he said. “We believe it’s a position that’s important.”
In the meantime, Lombardo looks forward to the Art Walks as a chance to get people downtown and showcase the work on Main Street that has already happened.
The first Art Walk on May 11 will kick off the season at 5 p.m. that night. Lazecki said the remaining walks are planned for June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.
The two additional walks won’t be the only changes people notice, Lazecki said.
“The area is mapped out differently,” she said. “It’s going to be more centralized and centrally located to the Tomato Festival lot area and downtown area.”
While several details are still in the works, Lazecki said this year’s art walks will feature a children’s section and a new education tent which will feature art from students from at least one of the area’s high schools.
“This will allow young, inspiring artists and opportunity to share their talent with the community,” she said.
Lombardo spoke highly of what both Faraday and Lazecki have already accomplished in their roles.
“(Faraday), I could not be more please with what he’s done through a horrid winter,” Lombardo said.
Lazecki said the art walks have been exciting to plan with Kroptavich’s immense assistance.
“We have all these ideas and different things we want to try and we’re making it bigger and better,” she said. “(Kroptavich) ... has done amazing, she’s really taken the helm and a big role in doing a lot of the work.”
While the art walks and the development of Main Street started well before 2018, Lazecki expressed gratitude for the work that came before her.
“There’s a great foundation to work with,” she said. “It is wonderful to build upon what they have started.”