May 27: Philly media auction | Tax-delinquency improvements | 35,000 potholes and counting | Philly Pumptrack | City growth

Good morning, Streeters. We hope you enjoyed a refreshing long weekend. We’ve got another warm day on tap, with rain later that will cool off the next few days.

A private auction this morning will pit the feuding owners of The Inquirer, Daily News and against one another for control of the media properties. NewsWorks explains the opening bid is set at $77 million and each subsequent bid has to go up by $1 million.

This year’s tax-delinquency numbers continue to improve: $45 million in back taxes collected and the number of tax-delinquent properties dropped by 30,000 according to the Daily News. Collections are up, the revenue department says, due to a more aggressive push to get liens on delinquent properties, revocation of commercial licenses, partial payment programs, and sequestration. For owner-occupied delinquents the city is also trying to do more outreach to get people on payment programs and make sure seniors are enrolled in relief programs.

Even though summer has unofficially begun, we’re still feeling winter. This year the Streets Department has filled 35,000 potholes – double the average – and they’re still not done yet after our hard winter. The Inquirer checks in with the city’s pothole crew and the lingering financial impact 68 inches of snow.

This month Philadelphia cyclists got their first pumptrack – a dirt track of berms and mounds that bikers whiz around using momentum not pedaling. The Daily News paid a visit to the Parkside pumptrack, open from 11am-7pm daily, and found a new place for kids and community.

Will this be the decade of the city? A Brookings Institution post notes that some big cities, including Philadelphia, gained more people in the three years after the 2010 Census than they did the entire decade prior. But, it’s too soon to know if the strong urban growth trends are here to stay or simply a post-recession hangover.

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