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WRIGHT v. WAGNER (ET AL. (12/05/61)

December 5, 1961

WRIGHT
v.
WAGNER (ET AL., APPELLANT).



Appeal, No. 448, Jan. T., 1961, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1961, No. 1853, in equity, in case of Edward Wright et al. v. Donald C. Wagner et al. Decree reversed; reargument refused January 2, 1962.

COUNSEL

David Berger, City Solicitor, with him Edward J. Bradley, Assistant City Solicitor, Joseph V. Furlong, Jr. and James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitors, and Levy Anderson, First Deputy City Solicitor, for appellants.

James Francis Lawler, with him Ostroff, Lawler & Baker, for appellees.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 405 Pa. Page 547]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN.

This appeal is by the City of Philadelphia from a final decree of the lower court decreeing that the contract between the City of Philadelphia (City) and the Landfill Corporation of Pennsylvania (Corporation) is a nullity, enjoining the City from using the facilities of Corporation, and further restraining the City from entering into similar contracts unless obtained by competitive bidding.

The chancellor based his conclusions chiefly on his determination that the agreement violated Sections 8-200(1) and 5-500(c) of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.*fn1

[ 405 Pa. Page 548]

Briefly the facts are:

With approval of both the managing director and the law department of the City, and after city council amended the budget of the streets department by transferring funds (the rental fixed by agreement) to the Department of Public Property, the City negotiated and entered into an agreement with Corporation for a dump site in Norwood Borough, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. This agreement gave the City the privilege of dumping 500,000 cubic yards of refuse collected by City employees in the West Philadelphia area and taken to the dump site in City trucks by City employees who also perform the dumping operation. The agreement requires Corporation to operate a sanitary landfill upon said premises and to provide all required labor and equipment. No supervisory powers over Corporation's operation were retained by City. The major problem thus presented is whether this operation of landfill constitutes "rendering any services to the City" so that Section 8-200(1) of the charter requires City to secure those services only from the lowest responsible bidder.

The lower court held that since Section 5-500(c) of the city charter requires the streets department to "remove and dispose of... refuse" or, when "specifically authorized by Council," to contract for such ...


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