Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Taxpayers foot bill for Water Works Restaurant

Last month, we reported that Philadelphia pays the utility bills for some lucky non-profits. Now, as it turns out, the city has picked up the tab for one business too. You can listen to our WHYY story about this, or read about it in our Daily News article below:

Taxpayers foot bill for Water Works Restaurant

Water Works Restaurant & Lounge owner Michael Karloutsos.
Water Works Restaurant & Lounge owner Michael Karloutsos. Ed Hille/Staff Photographer

Last month, we reported that Philadelphia pays the utility bills for some lucky non-profits. Now, as it turns out, the city has picked up the tab for one business too. You can listen to our WHYY story about this, or read about it in our Daily News article below:

When “It’s Our Money” started asking questions in March, officials insisted that the city doesn’t pay utility bills for Water Works Restaurant & Lounge, a private business owned by the politically-connected Michael Karloutsos.

The high-end eatery leases space in a historic city-owned building near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It has crystal chandeliers, $39 dinner entrées, and an outdoor deck with a stunning view of the Schuylkill River.

Why would the fancy place need taxpayers to cover its bills? Robert Allen, Parks & Recreation’s property and concessions management director, initially said the city wasn’t and first deputy commissioner Mark Focht said he didn’t “know of any facilities in Parks & Recreation’s system where the city is paying utilities for for-profits.”

But, after probing by “It’s Our Money,” the city has acknowledged that taxpayers have footed the hefty bill for Water Works Restaurant for the majority of its six-year existence and the Nutter administration has launched an investigation.

Continue reading the article.

About this blog
Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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