This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

Cornwall Borough Council opted to table action on a proposed A/V Professional Services update, estimated at approximately $49,000, until its next meeting on Feb. 13.

The upgrade of the meeting hall, which has not been in use of late due to ongoing renovations, would include cameras, microphones, and a projector. The cost of this upgrade was included in the 2023 budget.

The ARPA-funded upgrade would include Zoom compatibility to stream and take input from the public remotely during routine meetings. It would also amplify speakers of both the council and the audience.

“This is something that’s needed,” said councilman John Karinch, who coincidentally attended Monday’s meeting via Zoom.

If passed, the upgrade may enable the meeting room to be rented out and used more extensively.

Public opinion was mixed, with some liking the concept but questioning whether all features – and the expense – were necessary.

The cost breakdown separates audio — microphones, audio — speakers and amps, AV controls, video — cameras, video — TVs, video — switching and processing, and AV — rack and accessories. These categories cost respectively $4,073.60, $2,572, $5,930.40, $3,733, $6,843, $2,769, and $2,428, along with a $19,120 labor cost from the provider, Illuminated Integration.

Budget line-itemBudget cost
Audio — microphones$4,073.60
Audio — speakers and amps$2,572.00
AV controls$5,930.40
Video — cameras$3,733
Video — TVs$6,843
Video — switching and processing$2,769
AV — rack and accessories$2,428
Labor cost$19,120
Shipping and travel$1,588.78

Mayor Mark Thomas expressed concern that some of the features would go unused, including whether Cornwall’s residents would choose to attend meetings remotely.

Ultimately, a decision was tabled until next month. In the meantime, township manager Cody Rhoads will work to arrange a demonstration of the proposed upgrades for the council and the public to inform their opinions.

In addition, the council unanimously agreed to authorize a bid for professional services to review and update the zoning ordinance. They expect the bids to come in around $25,000.

Once selected, the review and update will be a half-year-long process, and the selected provider will work alongside the zoning hearing board and take input from the public along the way.

This comes as the borough’s zoning has come under scrutiny due to planned construction at the Byler Holdings property.

Read More: Cornwall Borough Council hears concept plans from Byler Holdings, one including a nearly 800,000-square-foot warehouse

While an updated zoning ordinance would likely grandfather in existing or already planned uses, it would lay out uses more clearly and specifically for future developments.

Following Frank Ryan’s appearance at last month’s meeting to discuss the Comcast franchise agreement, the council asked Rhoads to reach out to Verizon regarding a potential second franchise agreement.

Read More: Former Rep. Frank Ryan airs concerns about Comcast franchise pact in Cornwall

Rhoads also agreed to look into the costs for auditing Comcast to see if Cornwall has been compensated fairly based on the franchise agreement.

In other news, the council:

  • Unanimously approved Resolution 2023, selecting EIT representatives.
  • Unanimously authorized an agreement with CivicPlus for Emergency Notification as its current product will be defunct within a few months. This product would help in the event of a missing person or other local emergency.
  • Unanimously appointed Ron Lauderman as Zoning Hearing Board alternate.
  • Unanimously authorized Resolution 2023-4 applying for a grant to pay for part of Cornwall’s contribution to the Regional Comprehensive Plan.
  • Unanimously authorized forgiveness of Cornwall Manor’s sewer balance totalling $15,025 following a major leak of around 2.5 million gallons. Cornwall Manor did pay the water balance.
  • Unanimously authorized a request for quote for a hydrogeologist concerning potential well drilling around the open pit.
  • Unanimously approved Ordinance 2023-1 passing on a City of Lebanon Authority price increase for water and sewer.
  • Unanimously authorized sewer forgiveness for a $49.55 balance at 1023 Stanford Drive.
  • Unanimously approved reports and the Jan. 9 minutes (PDF).

Cornwall Borough Council meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. These meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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