PITTSTON — A big loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be used to pay for an overdue construction project at Pittston city hall.
A lot of people are looking forward to the installation of an elevator.
Joe Mollick’s visit to Pittston city hall can be a challenge. There’s no elevator to the second floor.
Mollick chooses to hand off his walker and carefully go down the stairs from the first floor lobby and out the front door instead of going outside in the cold to use a ramp.
“There’s a lot of steps here, I’m rather disabled, so I would love to see an elevator put in,” Mollick said.
Pittston councilman Michael Lombardo says the city recently secured a $1.2 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for an overhaul project to help make things easier for people like Mollick.
“We’re trying to make use of the existing space. Basically we’re going to take out the existing stairwell, the old stairwell, and the elevator is going to go here,” Lombardo said.
Some of the money will be used to move the police department from the first floor to the basement so they have more room. But most of the funds will be used for the elevator.
“Because of the expense attended to putting the elevator in, it’s a project that has been delayed over the course of the years. We’re just trying to attack it once and for all and get it over with,” Lombardo added.
Built back in the 1930s, city hall will eventually meet the American’s with Disabilities Act once the elevator is installed.
Until then, recently elected District Justice Alexandra Kokura will continue leaving her courtroom walking down the stairs and holding hearings in a shared meeting room on the first floor with people who can’t make it upstairs.
Pittston officials say they’re still looking for grant money to help pay for this $1.5 million renovation project, but they hope to have that elevator finished and running by this summer.