LT Supers Discuss Expected Impact Fee Funding
During public comment, Clearfield resident Tim Winters asked if the supervisors intended to use the incoming funds toward police and emergency services.
Supervisor Chairman Glenn Johnston confirmed that due to the limited manpower of the Lawrence Township police, the Clearfield-based state police have been relied upon at times. According to a previous GantDaily.com report, the police department originally consisted of 14 police officers, including full- and part-time positions. However, through attrition, the department has only seven, full-time officers.
Johnston and Supervisor Ed Brown said that two details prevented them from determining the usage of the expected funds. They said the township neither has the money nor notification of how much it’ll receive.
According to a previous GantDaily.com report, it’s estimated that $206 million will be collected statewide from the imposition of the impact fee for the 2011 year. It’s estimated that $183 million will be available for statewide distribution by the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Sixty percent, or $109.8 million, will be directly distributed to impacted counties for 2011. Further, 40 percent, or $73.2 million, will also be distributed statewide through either population- or road-mileage-based formulas or through the awarding of competitive grants for addressing environmental and infrastructure impacts.
In 2011, Clearfield County registered 131 gas wells and is expected to receive $1,876,785. Lawrence Township has the greatest number of unconventional gas wells with 105. It has a municipal population of 7,681 and 90.18 roadway miles and a host municipality fee of $869,670. The impact fee calculates that the township will receive approximately $941,162, according to a previous GantDaily.com report.
Secondly, the supervisors said the funds will be one year behind. They said the incoming funds are from the 2011 year and the natural gas market fell significantly in 2012. Both Brown and Johnston said they had reservations about budgeting around a promised windfall that doesn’t appear to be consistent. Both also provided different views of how to handle the money.
Brown spoke about looking into legally investing the money so that it will keep benefiting the township into the future. Johnston pointed out that the increased Marcellus traffic has been deteriorating the township’s roads, and the funds could go to more superior improvements than what have been made.
There was an executive session after the meeting. The supervisors said there wouldn’t be any action afterward.
The township received notice that the state would be paying the township $103,000 toward their Minimum Municipal Obligation in regards to the police force’s pension. The township’s complete obligation is $139,000, leaving the township to make up the difference.
The township voted to have Halloween on Wednesday, Oct. 31 in order to be in sync with Clearfield Borough.