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Nutter’s Plan To Sell PGW Prompts Strong Response In City Council

(Mayor Nutter, announcing his intention to sell PGW.  Photo by Mike Dunn)

(Mayor Nutter, announcing his intention to sell PGW. Photo by Mike Dunn)

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) – One lawmaker this past week lashed out at a state agency which has given its thumbs-up to Mayor Nutter’s plan to sell PGW.

Members of the board of PICA, the state agency that oversees Philadelphia’s finances, voted on Tuesday to give its non-binding approval to the PGW sale, following a presentation by the Nutter Administration.

PICA will send a letter to Council voicing its support, but already one council member is livid.  Marion Tasco — in a speech on the floor of City Council — slammed PICA for not doing its due diligence:

“PICA decided to approve the sale after reviewing a seven-page presentation from the Administration.  Seven pages!”

Tasco, who has already said she personally opposes the sale, said in contrast, City Council has hired a consultant to probe the deal, including the 85-page purchase agreement:

“If responsible elected officials don’t carefully examine all of the details of a transactions the citizens will get burned!”

Nutter wants to sell PGW to a private firm, “UIL,” for nearly two-billion dollars, with about a quarter of the proceeds being invested into the struggling city workers pension fund.

Council’s consultant will study both the winning bidder and the larger question of whether a sale should take place.

Council President Clarke has yet to schedule a hearing on the plan, and, in fact, the mayor’s legislation for Council to approve the deal has not even found a sponsor on Council who’s willing to introduce it.

The sale would also require approve of the state Public Utility Commission.

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