By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council’s plans to publicly debate the controversial proposal to sell PGW have now slipped until mid-October.

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The office of Council President Darrell Clarke had originally blocked out late September and early October for committee hearings on the mayor’s plan to sell PGW.  But Clarke says that has now slipped a few weeks as the reports prepared by City Council’s consultant are finalized:

“We’re coming to a conclusion on the report(s) and the review by members of Council.  I anticipate probably mid-October there will be a public statement/document or process outlined by the City Council of Philadelphia. We want to conclude our process internally as it relates to briefings and review, and then we will move forward.”

Clarke did not say specifically what caused the delay.

The consultant, Concentric, was hired for two separate reports: one on the merits of the winning bid, the other on the larger question of the best use for PGW.  Neither report is expected to offer a clear thumbs up/thumbs down on the questions.

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Mayor Nutter selected a Connecticut firm, UIL, to buy PGW for nearly two billion dollars.  He says about one-quarter of the proceeds will be used to shore up the struggling city workers’ pension fund.

Opponents, including PGW worker unions, says the sale could lead to harsh rate hikes.

Both City Council and the state Public Utility Commission must approve the deal.

UIL in July had the option to drop out of the sale agreement, but chose to stay as the firm and the Nutter Administration await Council hearings.

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