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Questions linger after sewer system sale

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SCRANTON (WOLF) -- Scranton sold its Sewer Authority to a private company around New Year's, but questions remain about how much the city actually got as a result of that sale.

We have more on what City Council members are doing about it now.

The council voted earlier this month to ask the state's auditor general to review this sale, but he responded that he can't do that because the council isn't the right party to be asking.

He would have to hear from the Scranton Sewer Authority itself.

Now, councilman Wayne Evans says the council has sent a letter to the Sewer Authority board asking that they request the auditor general look into the situation.

Evans says the city had originally hoped to get more than $90 million dollars from the sale, then realized they would get around $70-80 million.

He says there seems to be money missing somewhere, and now they want to figure out where it all went.

This issue has also come up in a recent council debate and at council meetings, with some calling for more scrutiny of this deal.

This comes even though the sale was completed and signs have already been changed to reflect the new owner, Pennsylvania American Water.

"There's a case of some money that we thought should have been appropriated, $12 million, and the response is it was used for mandated work by the Sewer Authority and legal fees and professional fees," says councilman Wayne Evans.

"But, we haven't seen the documentation to back that up yet, so we're really trying to find out how that money was spent. The difference between when the contract was signed and when the contract was closed, the sale was closed, was a $12 million gap," says Evans.

The Sewer Authority is winding down, but apparently still exists. It has been set to have a meeting coming up on Friday.

Board member Michael Parker says that meeting is now to be moved to Wednesday at 4 p.m. at council chambers, and they are expected to discuss and vote on some of the issues.

One question is whether records requests about all this should be fulfilled and records without redactions should be released to the public.

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