Municipal Hall renovations will include upgrades to audio and visual equipment as Norristown Council approves $331,000 contract

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NORRISTOWN — A contract worth more than $330,000 unanimously authorized on Tuesday covered the acquisition of audiovisual equipment, as well as installation services at the municipal hall.

Members of the Norristown City Council approved the $331,665 deal with Delco Solutions, of Broomall, Delaware County, during a business meeting Tuesday night.

The six-figure contract was secured through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s cooperative purchasing program, according to city administrator Crandall Jones.

Once installed, the equipment is expected to be housed in multiple locations inside the renovated facility, located at 235 E. Airy St., Norristown, including offices and council chambers, according to city officials.

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The design for the facade of the Norristown Municipal Hall on Airy Street.

Construction began in March 2021, according to a city spokesperson. Last May, several city departments, including administration, code enforcement, finance, human resources and planning, moved to a temporary space at 1700 Markley Street. While an exact end date is unclear, city officials are planning a timeline early next year.

“Will the audiovisual equipment in the new municipal hall be up to date with the technical capacity to do things like hybrid meetings? asked Norristown City Councilwoman Rebecca Smith.

“Yeah absolutely. We’re really excited about it,” Jones replied.

In other cases, members of the Norristown City Council unanimously authorized a lease agreement with the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority for a 68-acre portion of land on the grounds of the Hospital of Norristown State.

Jones previously said the land transfer agreement was originally reached in 2017. A sale agreement between the state and county redevelopment authority was reached in February. However, the package is being sent from the state to the municipality.

“We definitely want to be able to have control of land and property,” Jones said Tuesday. “Once that happens, we know we might have one or two remaining tenants. In the middle of this transfer, we didn’t want to put the RDA in the middle of it – it would be between us, it would basically make us the owner of whoever is already on the property.

Attorney Sean Kilkenny agreed.

“You said it correctly, and there are provisions in that lease,” Kilkenny said. “We are aware that this is a sensitive subject. We have thoroughly reviewed it among the staff. A conference call repeated it over and over again. The GDR has already publicly endorsed this case.

Among several entities is the Human Development Resources Coordinated Homeless Awareness Center. The 50-bed facility, otherwise known as CHOC, is the largest and only homeless space for single adults ages 18 and older in Montgomery County. His lease will expire on June 30.

“It is important to note that when CHOC closes, there will be no emergency housing service in Montgomery County for homeless singles,” a Resources for Human Development spokesperson said in a statement. statement issued earlier this month.

In March, a consortium of social services advocates asked the municipality to grant six-month to one-year lease extensions to two agencies housed in Building 9: CHOC and the Adult Residential Treatment Center. . This request was later denied in a letter to a lawyer affiliated with the consortium.

Jones previously responded to MediaNews Group’s June 2 request for comment regarding the facility’s upcoming closure in a statement.

“There are 62 communities in Montgomery County, and all of them need to be part of the solution,” Jones said June 2. “The municipality is already home to 21 different social safety net services, and it is time to stop using Norristown as a dumping ground for these facilities and the vulnerable people they serve. are available in other communities to host these programs.Here in Norristown, we are already doing more than our fair share.

As plans for the site continue to evolve, council members have asked a representative from the solicitor’s office to attend next week’s zoning hearing council meeting. One item on the agenda includes the transportation of 68 acres.

Jones noted that “part of this process is that the RDA must go to (the) Zoning Hearing Board” to “apply for a waiver to subdivide (the) property between us and the state.”

Jones stressed that the legal agency would provide a show of “support” for “the RDA’s request for this so that we can move this process forward”. As we go through this process, our goal is still around October 2022 for the transfer to be complete and ownership in hand.

The Zoning Hearing Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on June 28 at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, located at 2 W. Lafayette St., Norristown.

The next Norristown City Council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on July 5 at the MCIU. For more information, visit norristown.org.

Norristown City Council Deputy Speaker Heather Lewis was absent from Tuesday’s meetings. All unanimous votes were counted as 6-0.

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