Courtright plans meeting on sewer sale questions; council criticizes authority – News

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Hours after Mayor Bill Courtright and the city’s sewer authority promised a town hall meeting on the controversial sewer system sale, city council members assailed the authority for keeping them in the dark.

Courtright again defended the $195 million sewer sale at a news conference Thursday and said the alternative likely would have been a costly receivership takeover.

“I think some people don’t understand the deal fully,” Courtright said in his office at City Hall, accompanied by authority Chairman Michael Parker.

“We’ll explain the deal, because we believe it was a great deal for the city of Scranton,” the mayor said.

A date and venue have not been set for the town hall, but the mayor hopes to hold it within a few weeks, he said.

The announcement came a day after the authority rejected a motion to ask the state auditor general to review the sewer sale transaction that closed Dec. 29. The authority also voted to withhold wholly unredacted legal bills.

Raising concerns about the sale’s proceeds for Scranton and Dunmore coming in several millions of dollars less than anticipated, the councils in Scranton and Dunmore both urged the authority to have the sale reviewed by the auditor general.

Some officials and residents have criticized the deal as lacking in transparency. At Thursday’s meeting, city council members expressed frustration over the authority’s vote.

“Quite frankly, I…

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