Marcellus Shale Impact Revenues Provide Much-Needed Boost Across Pa.

Earlier this month, the Pa. Public Utility Commission (PUC) released “the disbursements to county and municipal governments under Act 13/Impact Fee,” a sum of $202.4 million, which is in addition to $1.8 billion paid in natural gas-related taxes and last year’s impact fees of more than $200 million. Here’s what they’re saying about how these natural gas-related benefits are positively impacting communities across the entire Commonwealth:

  • Safe Natural Gas Development “Benefits the Public as a Whole and the Entire State”: County officials recently were told they could expect a check any day for $345,000 from the impact fees gas producers pay the state. … The money enables the county to bump up the timetable for projects identified in the parks department’s five-year plan, and avoid spending taxpayer money on them, county Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt said. … “The state’s foresight was spectacular. It benefits the public as a whole and the entire state. We’re pleased this funding stream could come through to take the burden off the local taxpayers.” … “The Act 13 money makes things much more doable.” … The county is grateful to be able to get to work on some projects that otherwise might have been postponed for years, Barnhardt said. “I’m pleased the state had the foresight to help counties and municipalities with roads and bridges and parks,” he said. “We all have an interest in keeping Pennsylvania beautiful. The money helps tremendously.” (Reading Eagle, 6/24/13­)
  • “Armstrong Co. Expects $1.5M in Marcellus Drilling Revenue”: Revenue garnered from 2012 Marcellus shale gas drilling impact fees is expected to flow into Armstrong Co. …Those funds, totaling about $1.5 million, will help with municipal and county government expenses. …“It is certainly a boost for counties in the 41st District and probably even more so for the local municipalities,” said state Sen. Don White. … County government also receives additional money from the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which is more restrictive about how money is spent, said [Carly Cowan, Armstrong County financial advisor and Marcellus Shale coordinator]. Those funds must go toward beautification and rehabilitation of green ways such as trails and natural areas. (Tribune-Review, 6/24/13)
  • Marcellus Shale “Certainly Benefiting York Co. and Improving the Quality of Life Here”: York County is set to receive more than $365,000 from fees paid to the state by natural gas drillers in other areas of Pennsylvania, and county commissioners have already committed nearly half of it for the Northern Extension of the York Co. Heritage Rail Trail. Though there’s no drilling in York County, all counties get a share of the fees from a special Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund. … “Whether you’re an opponent or proponent of the drilling, it’s certainly benefiting York County and improving the quality of life here,” [York Co. Commissioner Chris Reilly] said. Commissioners are getting a steady stream of requests from municipalities where there are quality-of-life improvements that might not otherwise be funded, he said. (York Dispatch, 6/24/13)
  • Clinton Co. “to Get $606,431 From Marcellus Impact Fee”: Clinton Co. government is slated to receive $606,431 this year. As for the other big winners among local governments in Clinton County, they include Beech Creek Twp., slated to receive $140,481; Chapman Twp., with a pending $180,144 allocation, Grugan Twp., which will receive $203,763. … Even a cursory examination of the industry presence shows in Clinton Co., it extends well beyond the “spud” wells that provide the impact fee. (Lock Haven Express, 6/21/13)
  • Natural Gas Development Revenue Prevents Tax Hikes in Butler Co.: Communities in Butler Co. will receive $2.78 million in fees from gas companies drilling deep into the Marcellus shale for natural gas. … “That’s good news,” said Butler Mayor Maggie Stock of the $41,791 her city will receive, almost triple over 2011. “We can use it for streets and we (need) some bridge repairs.” County officials will get $1 million, said Commissioner William McCarrier. The county put last year’s money toward its 911 dispatch center, Alameda Park, the Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and drug court. … The county would have had to raise taxes to cover some services without the $741,351 it received for 2011, McCarrier said. … “It’s a nice influx of money into the township,” said Richard Stuchal, chairman of Mercer’s Board of Supervisors. “There’s no doubt it will go to road maintenance.” … Slippery Rock Twp. supervisor John Hines said, “I knew we had more coming, but I never dreamt it would such a significant amount.” (Tribune-Review, 6/22/13)
  • “Monroe Co. to Get $142K of Gas Impact Fee Money”: Monroe Co. soon will receive more than $142,000 from the Marcellus shale impact fee fund, according to state Rep. Mario Scavello, … to strengthen local infrastructure and improve the environment. “While Monroe County is not situated in the heart of Marcellus shale drilling, we — and many counties like us across the state — are reaping the benefits of drilling in our Marcellus shale region,” Scavello said. (Pocono Record, 6/22/13)
  • “$57,000 in Drilling Fees Earmarked for Municipalities in Penn-Trafford District: Municipalities in the Penn-Trafford School District will get more than $57,000 next month through a state program that dispenses payments according to the effect that drilling operations have within and near their borders. … Just last week, the township reopened a portion of Saunders Station Road in Level Green after using the impact fees to pay for the construction and installation of a prefabricated temporary bridge for $39,710. … The impact fees gave Penn Twp. another pot of money to use for the project because a replacement for the former deteriorating bridge, which was closed in December, wasn’t included in the 2013 budget. … Manager Joe Lapia said council has prioritized using the money for maintenance of roads or sewer systems or emergency preparedness. (Tribune-Review, 6/19/13)