Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, No. 3315 in Equity, in case of Paul F. Yohe, individually and on behalf of all taxpayers of City of Lower Burrell, v. City of Lower Burrell, Earl F. Hill, Mayor, Samuel A. Buffone et al.
Robert P. Crum, with him John T. Crum, and Crum and Crum, for appellants.
Irving M. Green, for appellees.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.
In September 1953, the City of Lower Burrell, then a second class township, enacted an ordinance authorizing its supervisors to award exclusive contracts for garbage collection from dwellings in the community. However, no effort was made to enforce or administer that ordinance until after Lower Burrell had been incorporated as a third class city.*fn1 In the summer of 1964, six individuals, including appellant, were asked by the City to enter into three year contracts under which each would be granted the exclusive privilege to collect garbage in a specified district and to collect fees not to exceed a monthly maximum of $1.50 from each dweller serviced. Although no specific determination has been made of the total amount actually collectible from the dwellings in each district under each contract, it is understood that the gross receipts under each contract would certainly be greater than $1,000.
Paul T. Yohe, appellant, a garbage collector for several years within the City, refused to enter into the contract offered to him. As a resident and taxpayer of the City, he filed a complaint in equity, individually and on behalf of the taxpayers of Lower Burrell, seeking, inter alia, (1) to enjoin the awarding of contracts for the collection of garbage without competitive bidding, (2) to enjoin the carrying out of any contracts already executed without competitive bidding, (3) to enjoin any attempted interference with, or termination of, appellant's garbage collection business until proper contracts were awarded in compliance with the requirements of The Third Class City Code,*fn2 (4) an order compelling
the City to advertise for competitive bidding on any contracts awarded for collection of garbage if the value of the service exceeds the sum of $1,000, and (5) an adjudication declaring the 1953 township ordinance contrary to the provisions of The Third Class City Code and, therefore, illegal and without force as an ordinance in the city of Lower Burrell.
The court below dismissed the complaint, holding that the bidding requirements of The Third Class City Code apply only in cases where a city will be expending public funds in sums greater than $1,000 and that in the present case such payments by the City were not involved.
The only issue which has been raised in this appeal*fn3 is whether a city of the third class may award exclusive contracts for the collection of garbage without first advertising for bids where each contract involves sums in excess of $1,000 to be paid, not from the city treasury, but directly by city residents. Section 2403 of The Third Class City Code*fn4 deals specifically with the power of a municipality to regulate and provide for the collection of garbage: "In addition to other powers granted by this act, the council of each city shall have power, by ordinance: . . . 6. Collection and Removal of Garbage. -- To provide for and regulate the collection, removal and disposal of garbage, ashes and other waste or refuse material, either by contract or by municipal conduct of such services, and to impose and collect, by lien or otherwise, reasonable fees and charges therefor, and to prescribe fines and penalties for the violation of ordinances regulating such matters." (Emphasis supplied.)
It is evident from the language of § 2403 that a third class city may regulate or ...