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

Cornwall Borough Council agreed on Monday to apply for a grant for $250,000 from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and match that amount for phase one of Snitz Creek Park development.

Phase one of the site’s development includes additional walking trails, a restroom and sewer connection, pickleball courts, ballfield improvements, and more.

Phase plans for Snitz Creek Park (left), Miner’s Sports Park (upper right), and Rexmont/Goosetown Park (lower right). Phase one of each plan is shown in red, phase two in green, and phase three in blue.

Council vice president Bruce Conrad explained that the grant match would be provided through a no-interest loan from the borough’s rainy day fund of around $800,000, and would be repaid once additional funding could be obtained. Said funding could come from additional grants or donations.

“We’re gonna pay that back as quickly as we can,” Conrad explained. “Can we put a date on that? No.”

After some back and forth, all were in favor except Councilman Alfred Brandt Jr., who expressed concerns that the borough would be unable to find additional funding to match the grant.

Mayor Mark Thomas also expressed his disapproval of the project, including the fee already paid to develop the master site plan.

“I was always taught that when you find yourself in a ditch, you lay down your shovel,” said Thomas.

Attendee Reynolds Ferrante, who was unanimously hired as a consultant for $15,000 for his work with water and sewer to obtain grants (which he was previously doing at no charge), is retired from working full-time assisting governments obtaining grants. Council president Bruce Harris asked his opinion on whether additional grant funding was realistic.

Ferrante said he trusted Karla Farrell, who developed the plan and is in charge of sending grant applications, to effectively make the case for additional funding.

“As a consultant, I would have to say that she knows enough and she’s presented enough that you stand a reasonable chance of getting the support you need,” Ferrante said.

Farrell, who was hired for $69,840 in August to develop the master site plan, also presented the completed plans for Snitz Creek Park, Rexmont/Goosetown Park, and Miners Village Sports Park.

Read more: Cornwall Borough Council authorizes work on parks & rec master site plan

Plans for each park were developed in a multi-stage process including feedback from Cornwall residents. More information on proposed plans is available on the master plan website.

Below are plans for each park as presented, text copied from presentation for easier reading.

Miner’s Sports Park Master Site Plan ($1,228,000)

  • Pavilion with tables & grills for groups
  • Bike park-skills park/pump track for mountain bikes
  • Perimeter walking paths with shortcuts
  • Native trees, shrubs and wildflowers
  • Playground with climbing web & wall and restroom
  • Pickleball courts
  • Skate park
  • Improved walkway connection to Miner’s Village
  • Future trail connection to Spring Hill Acres
  • Scoreboard, batting cages, dugouts for existing baseball/softball field
  • Benches

Rexmont/Goosetown Park Master Site Plan ($2,301,000)

  • Individual picnic pavilions with tables and grills
  • Climbing web and musical instruments at playground
  • Multi-generational exercise areas
  • Pavilion with power
  • Walking trails with shortcuts and benches
  • Butterfly garden expansion
  • Community gardens with water source
  • Naturalization/wildflower areas
  • Relocated ball field and parking
  • Parking areas with trees
  • Pickleball
  • Splash pad with restrooms
  • Dog park with parking and water fountain

Snitz Creek Expanded Master Site Plan ($1,534,500)

  • Community garden expansion
  • Bike racks
  • Pickleball
  • Restroom in southern portion of park
  • Hiking paths through woods with environmental education signs
  • Naturalization areas
  • Walking trails
  • Pavilions with tables and grills
  • Pedestrian/bike path connection from rail trail to park
  • Upgrades to southern baseball field including dugouts and scoreboard
  • Volleyball courts
  • Benches
  • Future connection to LVRT at intersection of Freeman Drive/Bud Coleman Road/Cornwall Road

In other news, council:

  • Unanimously agreed to hire a hydrogeologist for $7,800 to test possible well locations around Miner’s Lake.
  • Unanimously agreed to an $8,600 emergency repair to Tice Lane Field collapsed sewer line. The line was adjacent to a Sunoco gas line and Sunoco has agreed to pay up to $10,000 for the line repair, township manager Cody Rhoads said.
  • Agreed to hold public meetings to discuss reestablishing a water authority, as well as possible water/sewer projects in the works.

Read more: Cornwall in talks with Elizabethtown to purchase the Open Pit water supply

  • Tabled possible Comcast Franchise Fee audit.
  • Tabled action on proposed A/V upgrade.

Read more: Cornwall Borough Council considers $49,000 A/V upgrade to meeting hall

  • Unanimously agreed to authorize appraisal of agriculturally zoned 198-acre Freeman Property for potential future purchase by the borough for parks and recreation.
  • Unanimously agreed to solicit bids for 2023 paving projects, including Ash Lane from Hemlock to Hickory.
  • Officially recognized Eagle Scout Cooper Emler for his Eagle Scout Project of adding color bands to fire hydrants to tell firefighters how much water they can pull from them.
Council President Bruce Harris presents 17-year-old Eagle Scout Cooper Emler a certificate recognizing his work on Cornwall fire hydrants.
  • Unanimously agreed to reduce the letter of credit for Anthracite Road by $67,140.88, leaving $13,500 remaining.
  • Unanimously agreed to authorize attendance of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs Conference by any council members who seek to attend.
  • Unanimously approved Feb. 13 minutes (PDF).
  • Unanimously approved various reports.

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

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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