First Posted: 7/11/2009
U.S. Rep. , D-Dimock Township, has voted in support of the 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that would fund a new National Guard facility built in Wyoming County, replacing an existing facility in West Pittston.
According to Vincent Rongione, Carney’s spokesman, the exact location of the new facility has not yet been determined, but he said Wyoming County is being considered.
West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy said he has heard the rumors but has not spoken to Carney about it. West Pittston is in U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s district.
“I’ve heard that Carney wants to build a huge facility in his district and close the one in West Pittston,” Goldsworthy said.
Calls and e-mails to the Washington, D.C. , office of Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, were not returned Friday.
“(Carney) is supporting the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility to better serve the service members who currently use the West Pittston facility, as per their stated ‘critical need,’ ” Rongione said. “The West Pittston facility has flooded on numerous occasions due largely to its current location. Again, the location for the new facility has not yet been determined.”
Carney said the proposed facility would support Company D 1st Battalion, 109th. The unit is composed of soldiers almost exclusively from Northeastern Pennsylvania, many of whom have served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We greatly appreciate Congressman Carney’s efforts on behalf of the Pennsylvania National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, commander of the 19,000-member Pennsylvania National Guard, in a prepared release. “We have a critical need for a modern Army Guard readiness center in this region since we have outgrown the existing facility in West Pittston. A new readiness center would not only enhance our capabilities to accomplish our mission, but would be a great community asset as well.”
Goldsworthy said the borough has maintained a solid working relationship with the National Guard personnel through the years.
“I would hate to see the one in West Pittston close,” Goldsworthy said. “It’s a great building, a great facility. I would hope they would find a way to keep it open. We help each other in times of need, such as flooding. Many different community groups rent it out and use it mostly for fundraisers. In fact, there is one scheduled at the end of this month.”
Carney is chairman of the Sub-Committee on Management, Investigations and Oversight for the Homeland Security Committee.