Sunday afternoon Republican City Committee held a Christmas Party for the city’s Republican ward leaders and other guests at RCC’s new headquarters at Cottman & Frankford Avenues. The party was well attended and the group dined on typical Philadelphia fare, including traditional pork sandwiches. The success of the event was owing to the hard work of RCC EXEC. DIR. JOE DeFELICE and office administrator CARMELLA FITZPATRICK. The party was scheduled to end at 5 p.m. but the crowd lingered. Most left, however, in time to get home to see the Eagles trounce the Chicago Bears.
A larger Republican Christmas Party was held at the United Republican Club on Friday Night. WARD LEADER MIKE CIBIK and Pennsylvania Republican Party staffer ANNIE HAVEY organized the party. Although Havey works for the PAGOP, her office is here in Philadelphia at RCC headquarters. The party had well over 100 people. While it was scheduled for 6-9 p.m., the party was still going strong at midnight. MIKE BARKOVICH, URC board member, was also instrumental in the success of the event.
The water-main break in the Frankford section of Philadelphia on Monday demonstrates one of many reasons why the Philadelphia Water Dept. and also the Philadelphia Gas Works should be privatized. Both have miles upon miles of 100-plus-year-old cast-iron pipes that are particularly susceptible to leakage and rupture. The PWD pipe that burst on Monday was cast iron and released 23 million gallons of water. It is estimated that it will take months to repair and local citizens will be facing damages in the millions of dollars. However, PWD as a municipal authority in Pennsylvania has its liability capped at $500,000 per incident. A private-sector utility would probably be liable for all customer repairs and other losses.
Because of the danger and liabilities associated with older cast-iron and unprotected steel pipes, many private-sector water and natural-gas utilities have accelerated the replacement of their older infrastructure. Pennsylvania gas-distribution company UGI Corp. expects to replace all of its cast-iron pipes within 14 years. Chicago-based People Gas, with a similar aged infrastructure, is looking at 15-20 years. PGW’s current plan is to replace 250 miles over five years. At that pace, it will take PGW 50 years to replace its cast-iron pipes. As long as PGW’s liabilities are capped, do you really expect them to replace the pipes in a more-timely manner?