Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs Office Recognized For Benefits Work

With the seals of the various branches of the United States military as the backdrop, symbolizing service to our country and citizens, the Lackawanna County Commissioners recognized the staff of the Veterans Affairs Office for its efforts in helping local veterans and their families. From July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014, the department secured a record setting $3,836,656 in benefits for area service personnel. The Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs honored the staff for its commitment to helping others with the Five Star Service Award for “Outstanding Recoveries of Veterans’ Benefits.”

L-r, Commissioner Jim Wansacz, Robert Tuffy, Veterans Affairs Director; David Eisele, Veterans Service Officer; Anissa Akulonis, Veterans Affairs Coordinator/Veterans Service Officer; Steuart Bailey, Veterans Affairs Office Assistant; Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien, and Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.


The Lackawanna County Department of Human Services will hold a public hearing to obtain input on drug and alcohol related needs and services from 10:30 AM to 12 Noon on Monday, November 3, 2014 at the Lackawanna County Center for Public Safety, 30 Valley View Drive, Jessup, PA 18434. Service providers, representatives from law enforcement, education, legal and health care services and community members, including those with lived experience regarding drugs and/or alcohol and their families, are invited to give testimony that will assist the Department in developing a comprehensive plan for human services.

Those wishing to testify should email, or call 570-963-6790, no later than Wednesday, October 29, 2014.  Individuals presenting are required to provide a written outline of their testimony at the hearing.

Lackawanna County Commissioners Announce Funding For Six More Community Re- Invest Projects

Six new projects focusing on youth activities, recreation, education and the environment were approved for funding by the Lackawanna County Commissioners through their Community Re-Invest Program.

The funding for the six projects totals $103,215.

Since the Community Re-Invest Program was established in July of 2013, the Commissioners have approved grants for 53 projects totaling $804,667.  These projects have leveraged an investment of over $3.9 million in our communities.  In all of the projects, the Community Re-Invest Program has provided the “last mile” funding to help complete the initiatives.

“By approving this round of projects, we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to improving the quality of life in Lackawanna County,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.  “A vital part of our economic development program is to improve our neighborhoods and communities.”

“The Community Re-Invest Program has helped to change the landscape of Lackawanna County in a number of our communities.  The projects have been innovative and focused on serving a variety of community segments for our residents to enjoy and utilize,” said Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien.  “I am proud of this and am committed to funding additional projects this year and in 2015 to further enhance what has already been accomplished.”

“The Community Re-Invest Program has had a tremendous impact on our County as witnessed by the numerous projects that have helped to improve sports facilities, libraries, historical foundations and neighborhoods,” noted Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.  “It has been a very worthwhile incentive for us.”

The projects that were approved during this round of funding include: 

Applicant: Olyphant Little League/Lions Football

        Project Description: Phase two of this project involves the construction of a pavilion/field house at Condella Park.

        Total Project Cost: $245,000

Grant Amount: $30,000


Applicant: Moscow Borough

        Project Description: Improvements to Golden Park, including the installation of a pavilion, 10 picnic tables and 10 recycling/trash containers.

        Total Project Cost: $30,453         

Grant Amount: $15,000


Applicant: Jermyn Youth Sports

        Project Description: Renovation and enlargement of the existing concession stand, conversion of a baseball field to a softball field, and replacement of grass at Callahan Park. 

        Total Project Cost: $38,152                         

Grant Amount: $15,000


Applicant: Dunmore Missy League

        Project Description: This is a request for additional funds to complete the project previously awarded a grant of $20,000 for an ADA compliant restroom and walkways.

        Total Project Cost: $87,000                         

Grant Amount: $20,000 


Applicant: Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority

        Project Description: Development of a natural and nature-based play area that includes a community gathering place at Nay Aug Avenue. The site is adjacent to the levee and the river heritage trail. The play area includes a child bike safety track, play structures, benches and signage. The site will be designed to mimic a pond.

        Total Project Cost: $255,207       

Grant Amount: $20,000


Applicant: Abington Senior Community Center

        Project Description: Request for additional funds for the previously approved renovation project. The additional funding will be used to finish the floor tile and purchase chairs.

        Total Project Cost: $13,015                         

Grant Amount: $3,215


Projects will continue to be reviewed and funded throughout 2014.  Boroughs, municipalities, townships and nonprofit entities are encouraged to submit applications for projects that are ready to start so that the Community Re-Invest Program can help to successfully complete them.