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The Department of Commerce shall have the power and its duty shall be to perform the following functions:
(a) Promotion of economic development activity within the City of Philadelphia. It shall promote and develop opportunities for business growth in the City and the City's commerce and industry, and shall encourage the increased use of the Port and airports of Philadelphia and Philadelphia's workforce. 94
(b) Wharf, Dock and Harbor Facilities. The Department shall itself, or by contract, maintain, improve, repair and operate City wharf, dock and harbor facilities; when authorized by the Council, acquire, design and construct additional such facilities; and conduct necessary harbor cleaning, deepening, dredging and ice-breaking operations and maintain and operate equipment for such purposes. The Department may grant leases and licenses for the use of City wharf, dock and harbor facilities.
(c) Airport Facilities. The Department shall itself, or by contract, maintain, improve, repair, and operate City airport facilities and equipment and when authorized by the Council acquire, design and construct additional such facilities. The Department may grant leases and licenses for use of City airport facilities.
Sources: Act of June 25, 1919, P.L. 581, Article VI, Section 3, as amended, Article IX.
Purposes: 1. A new Department of Commerce is established to foster and promote the commercial and industrial growth of the City and of the Port of Philadelphia.
2. City wharf, dock, harbor and airport facilities are to be managed by the Department of Commerce because of their relationship to the flow of commerce from and to the City. The utilities were formerly managed by the Department of Wharves, Docks and Ferries and the Department of Public Works.
3. The general powers and duties of the Department of Commerce relating to wharf, dock and harbor and airport facilities include the maintenance, improvement, repair and operation of such facilities. The Department may itself perform these functions or enter into contracts for their performance. The Department is specifically authorized to grant leases and licenses for the use or operation of commerce facilities. Thus the Department will be able to provide food at City airports by restaurant concession contracts; grant licenses for loading or unloading at City docks; and license the use by commercial airlines of City airport facilities. Expansion of facilities may be undertaken only upon the authorization of Council since it would involve, as a rule, substantial expenditures.