A bill that would pave the way for a new prison along the Delaware River to replace the aging House of Corrections was put on hold Thursday after push-back from the city Planning Commission and Northeast Philadelphia residents.

Councilman Bobby Henon held his bill, which would have authorized City Council to spend up to $7.2 million to purchase 58 acres just south of the current facility at 8001 State Rd. near the House of Corrections in the city's prison complex.

On Wednesday, the Planning Commission voted 5-0 against the proposal after impassioned speeches by residents, including Peter McDermott of Mayfair, who also spoke at Council on Thursday.

"This property is very valuable - it's located along the Delaware River, 450 feet from a shipping channel," McDermott said at Council. He pointed to Camden's waterfront, where a new prison stood for only 20 years before the city tore it down.

Henon said he wanted to give Council members and the public more time to discuss the proposal, which he stressed would only allow the city to buy the land and would not dedicate funding to a new prison or any construction project.

"This is part of doing our due diligence - this does not authorize any kind of money allocation for a new prison," Henon said.

Henon said he supports building a new prison given the overcrowded and outdated state of the House of Corrections, built in 1874. "What we are trying to do is prevent a catastrophe or disaster in unsafe conditions in the current site," he said.

The city's five-year capital budget includes an intent to build a prison at the site Henon's bill targets.

James F. Kenney, the Democratic nominee for mayor, said earlier this week that he opposes a new prison but would consider using the land for something else, such as a job-training facility to help the formerly incarcerated.

Also Thursday:

Council introduced a bill to create a Temple University food truck district to better manage where trucks can park.

About 100 students from area public schools left their classrooms for the day to distribute toolboxes to Council members. The empty toolboxes asked Council to "use their tools to fund schools."

Councilmen Ed Neilson and W. Wilson Goode Jr., who both lost in Tuesday's primary, received praise for their work from colleagues in their first Council meeting since their defeat. In caucus, Neilson requested - to laughter - that his colleagues "stop sending condolences to my office."

"I have not passed away. I am still here," Neilson said. "I'll still be here until January."