Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania in case of Action Alliance of Senior Citizens of Greater Philadelphia, Inc. by Michael Tyson and D. William Zuckerman, Trustees ad Litem, and Consumer Education and Protective Association, by Lee Frissell and Max Weiner, Trustees ad Litem v. Philadelphia Gas Commission and William G. Klenk, in his individual and official capacity as Chairman of the Philadelphia Gas Commission and Romanus Buckley, Edgar C. Campbell, Harry P. Janotti and David E. Milgram, in their individual and official capacities as Commissioners of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, No. 5087 May Term, 1977.
Philip P. Kalodner, with him Andre C. Dasent, and Jonathan M. Stein, for appellants.
Pace Reich, Assistant City Solicitor, and Joseph Davison, with them Barton A. Hertzbach, and Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Mencer and DiSalle did not participate. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Concurring Opinion by Judge Craig.
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Action Alliance of Senior Citizens of Greater Philadelphia, Inc. and the Consumer Education and Protective
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Association have appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming a decision of the Philadelphia Gas Commission approving a rate increase submitted on behalf of the Philadelphia Gas Works by its operator, the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation (PFMC).
The Philadelphia Gas Works is a group of real and personal assets owned by the City of Philadelphia used and useful in the provision of gas services to City citizens.
The Philadelphia Gas Commission is an agency of the City of Philadelphia provided for by the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter at 351 Pa. Code § 5.5-902. Its members are the City Controller, two persons appointed by City Council and two persons appointed by the Mayor. Its function is to oversee the operation of the Philadelphia Gas Works, including the rates to be charged for gas services.
PFMC is a non-profit corporation organized by the City for the specific purpose of operating the Philadelphia Gas Works.
The Philadelphia City Council by ordinance enacted December 29, 1972 approved an agreement of the same date between the City and PFMC comprehensively governing the operation of the Philadelphia Gas Works. Section VII concerns rates and provides pertinently as follows:
1. The rates for gas shall be continued as they exist at the commencement of operations under this Agreement and shall be changed by the Gas Commission when necessary so that they will produce revenues sufficient for the following purposes:
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(a) To pay all of the costs and expenses of conducting Gas Works enterprise, including, but not limited to:
(i) All expenses of operation and maintenance of the Gas Works
(ii) Charges for depreciation as prescribed in Section IV 1.(b).
(iii) Charges for employees' retirement costs as prescribed in Section IV 1.(c).
(iv) A management fee to Company equal to the actual cost to Company of managing the Gas Works but not to exceed $200,000 annually. Gas Works shall make an initial payment to Company in the amount of $25,000 on or before January 1, 1973. Gas Works shall thereafter reimburse Company against vouchers on the first day of each calendar month ...