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Nutter Responds To Council President’s Memo Over Sale Of PGW

(Mayor Michael Nutter.  File photo)

(Mayor Michael Nutter. File photo)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter is taking issue with the Council President’s view of how Harrisburg officials will deal with his controversial plan to sell PGW.

On Thursday, Council President Darrell Clarke, in a memo to other council members, cautioned that formal introduction of the PGW plan would trigger a 60-day deadline for the city and the buyer to submit a filing on the sale to the state Public Utility Commission (see related story).

Mayor Nutter responded on Friday, sending a letter to council members disputing Clarke’s view.  He said introduction of the PGW deal will not trigger a PUC review, and, in fact, the PUC will not act on the matter before a City Council vote.

The differing views of the process are the latest wrangling between the Nutter Administration and Council over the proposal to sell PGW.  Nutter wants to sell the city-owned utility to a Connecticut firm called UIL for nearly two-billion dollars.

Legislation that embodies the deal was transmitted to Council Thursday, but no member agreed to sponsor it.  The union representing PGW workers opposes the sale.

Council has hired a consultant to study both the winning bid and the larger question of whether the city should sell.

The Mayor says one-quarter of the proceeds would be invested into the struggling city worker’s pension fund.

Some on council are concerned about potential rate increases under private ownership and safeguards for union members.

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