Thursday, December 15, 2005

Progress in Wilkes-Barre

I just heard on channel 16 that the new state office building is now open where the hole used to be. It's relocating over 200 jobs to downtown
W-B. The theater project is behind schedule but will be completed soon. The new firehouse in North End (left) is coming along. Thanks to Markie for the pic. And Coal Street Park is getting a makeover. I know all these government sponsored projects are important but the most promising thing to me is the opening of the new Schiel's Supermarket in Parsons.

A new business in the city done without tax breaks or government funding is the best news the city can get. How many properties have been given a tax break to the well connected owners that never produced a job? This is the first major business to open in the city in a long time. The place is great, brand new building, wide aisles, lots of parking and all the latest gizmos at the check-out. They opened their first store in the old Giant store on Hanover Street and created over 100 jobs. There were tax incentives that lured them to that location and it has been a hit but it was not the most important reason. Mayor Tom Leighton is trying to get everyone to buy into his "I believe" campaign and he may even get an old cynic like me to buy into it if we see more success like this.

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