Shickshinny Officials Announce Long-term Recovery Plan

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The borough of Shickshinny still faces an uphill battle nearly six months after the September floods.

The old Wells Fargo Bank building is scheduled to come down later this week. The post office is still closed and the grocery store is not coming back at all.

Shickshinny officials vow their borough nestled in the shadows of the Five Mountains will return.

Borough Councilman Barry Noss said the long-term plans include helping people and business owners get federal dollars and clean up recreation areas.

“The hope is to rebuild our town, get people to come into town to shop and bring more stores in. We want to try to visualize our aspect of what we can do in the near future for our children,” said Noss.

Plans call for the downtown areas of Shickshinny to change with most of the business district relocating farther up West Union Street and away from the flood plain.

“Yes there’s hope. There’s always hope. You can’t give up hope. There’s always hope and hopefully it will turn around. The more businesses in town and getting a bank will help. All we need now is a grocery store,” said Theda Belles, owner of the Shickshinny Floral shop.

According to borough officials, FEMA representatives have said there will not be a levee system built in Shickshinny which means some will still be vulnerable to future floods. Because of that, some residents said that will impact the recovery plan there.

“I think it’s dumb. We should put it down here where we need it. Every time the river comes up we get it too. Last time we had four to eight feet of water in here and that’s a heck of a lot of water to be mucking around with,” said Shickshinny resident Eve Malishchak.

Borough officials said the recovery plans span the next 10 years.

The goal now is to get people to apply for federal relief money, stay in the community, and help rebuild Shickshinny.