October 24: SEPTA OK with legislation delay | PennDOT to buy 30 homes | City considers selling property tax liens | Home prices surpass incomes | Franklin Institute gets shiny facelift

Hello Streeters! I hope you’re keeping warm on this unseasonably chilly morning

SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey thinks the state legislature’s delay on a transportation funding vote is a positive sign, he told Jeff Wolfe of the Delaware County Daily Times. SEPTA feels the state is close to passing funding legislation. “If they need an additional couple weeks to get something passed, we’re OK with that,” Casey said. 

PennDOT began making offers to purchase homes from property owners who live under I-95’s exit 27 so that PennDOT can move forward with its I-95 expansion plans. About 30 homeowners in the area bounded by Bridge Street, James Street, Aramingo Avenue and Tacony Street will receive offers, and renters will be offered moving assistance. 

Some city officials are reconsidering the sale of property tax liens for the first time since a complicated and controversial deal during the Rendell administration turned many away from the idea. Supporters view the sales as a remedy for the city’s tax-collection ills, but critics call the sales poor public policy and warn of the questionable tactics of collection agencies. 

Local home prices are surpassing local household incomes, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. Philadelphia ranks 10th among the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of home affordability, and in Philadelphia the median household income is one percent less than the income required to purchase a median-priced home in the region. Last year, the local median household income was three percent higher than the median-priced home. 

The Franklin Institute is installing a moving, glistening facade that will offer pedestrians, motorists and other passersby a new view of the science museum. The 3,000-square-foot “Shimmer Wall” will be made of 12,500 5-by-5 inch anodized aluminum squares and will tinkle and move in the wind. The display is currently going up on the Race Street side of the institute at 20th and the Ben Franklin Parkway. 

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