Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of Daniel J. Sullivan et al. v. County of Bucks and Neshaminy Water Resources Authority, No. 83-8358-05-5.
John Koopman, with him, William J. Carlin, and Richard M. Rosenbleeth, William E. Taylor, III, and Glenn S. Gitomer, Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley, and James M. McNamara, County Solicitor, for appellant, County of Bucks.
Gordon W. Gerber, with him, Fred T. Magaziner and George G. O'Brien, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant, Neshaminy Water Resources Authority.
Jeremiah J. Cardamone, with him, Ann Thornburg Weiss and Joseph M. Bagley, Timoney, Knox, Hasson & Weand, for appellees, North Penn and North Wales Water Authorities.
Bernard Chanin, with him, Jeffrey S. Saltz, Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, and Robert W. Valimont, Power, Bowen & Valimont, for appellee, Philadelphia Electric Company.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and McGinley. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 152]
The County of Bucks (County) and the Neshaminy Water Resources Authority (Authority) have filed appeals from a Bucks County Common Pleas Court supplemental decree and order directing the Authority to take all action necessary to award four construction contracts related to the Point Pleasant Water diversion project (Project) and the County to approve the awards. The appeals were consolidated, briefs were filed and the matter proceeded to oral argument. Five days prior to argument, the County filed a praecipe to withdraw its appeal (No. 944 C.D. 1987). Withdrawal is granted.
The County has also filed a praecipe to substitute itself for the Authority and to likewise withdraw that appeal (No. 945 C.D. 1987). The County avers that it has acquired the Project pursuant to Ordinance No. 76 adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 11, 1988. This acquisition was confirmed by order and opinion of President Judge Isaac Garb of the Bucks County Common Pleas Court, dated May 26, 1988, in which he states that the Authority no longer has a valid, substantial interest in the Project.*fn1 Accordingly, the County avers that the proposed substitution here may be proper. We note, however, that President Judge Garb's decision has been appealed to this Court.*fn2 For that reason, and because we are concerned with the procedural soundness of the County's substitution, we will proceed to address the merits of the Authority's appeal.
[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 153]
This matter has a long and complicated history; we recite the following essential facts. In Sullivan v. County Page 153} of Bucks, 92 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 213, 499 A.2d 678 (1985), appeal denied, 516 Pa. 623, 532 A.2d 21 (1986) (Sullivan I), this Court affirmed a decree of specific performance requiring the Authority to complete construction of the Point Pleasant Pumping Station and the combined transmission main and ordering the County to likewise comply with its contractual obligation to insure completion.
After exhaustion of its appeals, the County and the Authority initiated extensive meetings and correspondence to implement the order and award the necessary contracts.*fn3 Contract bids necessary to the pumping station were submitted to the Authority before March 17, 1987. However, the Authority delayed acting on the contract bids upon receipt of a Department of Environmental Resources (DER) letter of March 26, 1987, advising it that certain permit applications and extensions were pending and under review.*fn4 Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) and North Penn and North Wales Water Authorities (NP/NW), ...