Mayor Kenney's rebuild program finally passes City Council committee

Pat Loeb
May 21, 2018 - 5:57 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's plan to rebuild city facilities has taken a step forward.

After three months, City Council has voted the project statement out of committee, allowing the program to proceed as initially envisioned.

The Kenney administration, frustrated by the council's lack of action, announced ten days ago it would run the program out of the capital budget instead of the carefully negotiated project statement it sent to council last fall.

The Council committee moved slowly, seeking assurances that Rebuild workers would get union membership and continued employment after the program is completed.

Even after building trades president John Dougherty agreed, in writing, to the Council's request the committee continued to hold the bill.

The committee finally voted the bill out Monday after a hearing with no additional witnesses or testimony.

A city spokesperson says the administration is pleased and will abandon its plan to use the capital budget if the full council approves the project statement.

The city is still waiting for a final ruling on the legality of the beverage tax before it can issue bonds that will provide the bulk of the funding.

The city plans to use the tax revenue to pay for debt service on the bonds.