Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

A new Army Reserve Center is going up on Olyphant Avenue in Scranton, near the Throop line, just off Interstate 81.  That's fantastic.  That piece of land has been empty for an eternity.  The powers that be hope the Army Reserve Center triggers development in that part of the city.  I drove it all the time when I attended Marywood.  Olyphant Avenue was always a neglected, pothole filled mess that floods any time we get a few drops of rain.  It's about time that section gets some attention.  That's a photo of the site above.

The new Army Reserve Center replaces two-- one in Plains, just off Route 315 and the North Cross Valley Expressway.  The Scranton Times says Plains officials want to turn that building into a facility for police and fire operations.

So, what becomes of the current Army Reserve Center, pictured below, on Colfax Avenue in Scranton?  If you're not from the area, it's in a rather quiet area near Nay Aug Park.  The mayor wants to turn it into a back up city hall and emergency operations center.


Are you kidding me?

Is Scranton that vital of a metropolis, one in constant danger, that it needs those things?   Isn't there already ample space at a variety of current city owned properties, like fire stations, the DPW building, Weston Field, Nay Aug Park, not to mentions the schools, churches, county owned property, etc.

Throop, Dickson City, and Dunmore all have community centers.  There are available buildings in Taylor and Old Forge.  I'm sure they'd offer space, and if there's ever a disaster big enough to require a back up city hall, I'm positive more than just Scranton would be affected.  We'd all have to work together, anyway.

Heck, Boscov's at the Mall At Steamtown has a community room-- and plenty of free parking-- and it's near the food court.

Don't forget about the Red Cross and Salvation Army buildings.

It sounds like a big waste of money to me.  Lackawanna County already has space that would be pressed into service in an emergency, like the communications center at the top of the hill in Jessup.  It has everything the city would need.

Scranton City Hall, Police HQ, and Fire HQ are all out of the flood plain.

As stated earlier, the Colfax Ave. building is in the middle of a very quiet residential area.  The options are severely limited, but there has to be something better than a back up city hall.

Ground for the new Army Reserve Center will be broken tomorrow, even though site prep has been underway for quite a while.  It won't be ready until the summer of next year.  That leaves plenty of time for common sense to make a rare appearance.

I have one other note before I move on for the day.  Someone at one of the sites, not the one you'd expect, decided to play "20 Questions" with me the other day.  After I declined assistance, you should have moved on.  I was on a public street, photographing what is essentially a hole in the ground.  Thousands of people see it every day, whether they're on Olyphant Avenue or Interstate 81 above.  No laws were being broken, and the inquisition was inappropriate.  I've been an amateur photographer and professional pest for years.  You'd be amazed at how the appearance of a little man with a camera can draw such attention.