Last month, we reported that Philadelphia taxpayers paid years of utility bills for a private business. Now, we have found that the city paid utilities for another business owned by the same politically-connected man.
Check out the article, which appeared in the Daily News, below. You can also listen to the story on WHYY.
Some people have all the luck.
In May, It's Our Money reported that taxpayers covered hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility bills for Water Works Restaurant & Lounge, a private business owned by the politically connected Michael Karloutsos.
Now, It's Our Money has found that taxpayers also paid for utilities used by Boathouse Row Café, another business owned by Karloutsos. He leased space in city-owned Lloyd Hall, which he shared with the Parks and Recreation Department. From 2006 to 2010, the city paid for the cafe's electricity, gas and water.
Visitors at Lloyd Hall, which is a few hundred feet away from the Water Works Restaurant, can play basketball and take in a gorgeous view of the Schuylkill. Boathouse Row Café served sandwiches and coffee there.
Mark Focht, Parks and Recreation's first deputy commissioner, says he won't be able to estimate how much utilities cost at the café until he receives more data from utility providers.
Focht says "as far our staff knows," the city isn't paying for other for-profit businesses' utilities, with the exception of an "occasional electric hook-up for the food trucks in LOVE Park" — the cost of which, he says, is impossible to measure.