Wilkes-Barre, PA — November 28, 2017 — Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne County) and City of Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George announced today that the City of Wilkes-Barre will receive over $2.3 million in funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)’s CDBG-Disaster Recovery Fund. The announcement will boost total state funding for the complete reconstruction of the Solomon Creek flood control system to $4.6 million. An additional $4 million in city funds have been made available through debt refinancing, bringing the total overall state and local financial commitment to the project to more than $8.6 million.
“The residents of the Solomon Creek section of Wilkes-Barre have long been promised comprehensive restoration of the flood protection system, and today’s announcement of $2.3 million in DCED Disaster Recover Funds brings us one giant step closer to its delivery and implementation,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “Homeowners and business owners have endured three floods in the last decade, and they watched helplessly last year as a forty-foot section of the flood wall collapsed at their feet,” noted Senator Yudichak. “In the past year, state and city officials have aggressively collaborated to develop a Solomon Creek flood control restoration plan that has secured more than $8.6 million to invest in flood protection. We greatly appreciate the work of DCED Secretary Dennis Davin and the Wolf Administration for recognizing the critical public safety importance of the Solomon Creek project and for their continued efforts to work with us to obtain additional funding to fully execute our plan,” added Senator Yudichak.
“The Solomon Creek retaining walls provide flood protection for over 700 homes and businesses in the South Wilkes-Barre area,” Representative Pashinski said. “These walls were built in the 1930s and have sustained considerable wear and tear over time. The recent high waters damaged portions of this system and now need immediate attention. Working cooperatively with Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Tony George, State Senator John Yudichak, Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Matt Cartwright we have all devoted great efforts to acquire sufficient dollars to complete the renovation of the areas in distress. I’m pleased to announce that we have been granted $2.3 million toward this multi-million-dollar project,” said Representative Pashinski.
“I am grateful to Governor Wolf, Senator Yudichak, and Representative Pashinski and their respective staffs for their commitment and diligence to the residents of Wilkes-Barre. The lives and livelihood of many citizens depend on the fortitude of the Solomon Creek wall. The city would not have been able to repair the retaining walls without the leadership of our legislators, as we were in dire need of financial assistance. The wall has been in disrepair since 1998. Twenty years later, it is finally beginning to be restored thanks to our partners in Harrisburg,” said Mayor Tony George.
In 2011, the Solomon Creek retaining wall was severely damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and in November 2016, a 40-foot section of the retaining wall collapsed into the creek. With today’s announcement, the City of Wilkes-Barre has received $4.6 million in state funds for Solomon Creek.
The $4.6 million in improvements to the Solomon Creek flood protection system will include reconstruction of retaining walls and improvements of pumping stations from Waller Street to Regent Street in Wilkes-Barre.