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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (04/13/71)

decided: April 13, 1971.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT, AND PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, INTERVENING APPELLANT,
v.
PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, APPELLEE, AND THE BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Application to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval of the construction of crossings in the City of Philadelphia.

COUNSEL

Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., First Deputy City Solicitor, with him Charles Kovler, Assistant City Solicitor, David L. German, Jr., and Levy Anderson, City Solicitor, for appellant City of Philadelphia.

Herbert G. Zahn, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, for intervening appellant.

Alan R. Squires, Assistant Counsel, with him Edward Munce, Acting Counsel, for appellee Public Utility Commission.

E. Everett Mather, with him John B. King and Donald F. Clarke, for intervening appellee, Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania.

President Judge Bowman, and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Rogers. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 2 Pa. Commw. Page 71]

The City of Philadelphia and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval of the construction of crossings where tracks in the extension of the Broad Street subway in the bed of Broad Street will be crossed by city streets from Snyder Avenue south to Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia to accommodate travel to and from the new sports complex being constructed in Philadelphia

[ 2 Pa. Commw. Page 72]

    at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. Section 411(a) of the Public Utility Law, Act of May 28, 1937, P.L. 1053, as amended, 66 P.S. 1181(a) provides that in granting the approval, the P.U.C. should decide who should pay for the expense of relocating public utility service lines and to apportion them if appropriate: "Such compensation, as well as the cost of construction, relocation, alteration, protection, or abolition of such crossing, and of facilities at or adjacent to such crossing which are used in any kind of public utility service, shall be borne and paid, as hereinafter provided, by the public utilities or municipal corporations concerned, or by the Commonwealth, in such proper proportions as the Commission may, after due notice and hearing determine, unless such proportions are mutually agreed upon and paid by the interested parties." (Emphasis supplied.)

Pursuant to this authority, after an appropriate hearing, the P.U.C. ordered the City of Philadelphia to reimburse the Philadelphia Electric Company and The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania seventy-five percent (75%) of the cost of relocation of their respective lines exclusive of any betterments.

The City of Philadelphia appeals on the grounds that it has an agreement with both the Philadelphia Electric Company and The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania that in exchange for the right to put lines in the city streets, these companies would pay all the expenses of any necessary relocation. The wording of the agreement is: "If, in the laying of water or gas pipes, sewers, or any other municipal work, it shall become necessary to change the location of any of the conduits, manholes or other structures, they shall ...


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