City moves forward with possible PGW sale

City Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart today told the city's financial oversight board that the Nutter administration plans to hire a financial advisor to guide them through the potential sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works.

A Request for Proposals for the job will go out in the next few weeks, Rhynhart told the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, though she stressed that the city was still early in this process. A consultant hired by the city estimated that the sale of the 175-year-old utility could net the city as much as $496 million in profit.

Mayor Nutter has said the city would only consider a deal if certain conditions were met, like the buyer honoring programs for low-income residents and current labor contracts. He held a press conference last month to announce that the city would start exploring the sale of PGW. (Here's a link to a Bloomberg story on that announcement.)

UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.

Keith Holmes, business manager for UWUA Local 686, which represents PGW workers, just sent us a statement slamming the adminstration's plans to hire an advisor.

"The membership of Utility Workers Union of America Local 686 stands firmly against the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works and questions why the city is spending even more limited taxpayer dollars on yet another outside consultant to explore the feasibility of a sale," Holmes said in the statement.