WJAC-TV: Clearfield Co. to get $1.1M from Impact Fee; County Hoping for More Funding
Drillers paid $50,000 for all 4,022 horizontal shale wells in the state. Reports show that drillers paid $10,000 for 311 shallow wells. From the impact fee, nearly $109 million dollars will be distributed to counties that are in drilling areas.
Many across the commonwealth are thrilled with the total.
“On behalf of the PSATS Executive Board and our member townships, we applaud Governor Corbett’s announcement of the PUC‘s early release of natural gas impact fees to local governments. More than $100 million of the $204 million collected will be spent in municipalities and counties in the Marcellus Shale region. These impact fees mean that residents will not be burdened with the local infrastructure costs associated with this great economic opportunity,” said David Sanko, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township supervisors.
Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition released the following statement.
“The safe development of job-creating American natural gas continues to provide significant economic and environmental benefits across our region, and the announcement further underscores the fact that Marcellus Shale production is positively impacting every square inch of the Commonwealth,” she said. “These critical resources will help ensure that local governments are equipped to make the most of this historic opportunity.”
In Clearfield County, local leaders are pleased to know they will be receiving more than $1 million.
“The economic downturn has hit us hard here in Clearfield County, and this will be much needed funds on the government side to keep up with infrastructure,” said Clearfield County GIS Director, John Kaskan.
While the county is pleased with the amount of money they will be getting, they’re hoping to get more money for Lawrence Township.
“Lawrence Township was capped at $500,000. Our calculations had them at [more than] $900,000 based on the number of wells they had drilled in their township,” said Kaskan.
The impact fee totals go back to the municipalities’ 2011 budget. In Lawrence Township, their budget was just more than $2 million. Through Act 13 local governments with large budgets could either receive $500,000 or 50 percent of their budget, said officials.
Fifty percent of Lawrence Township’s budget means it should receive more than $940,000.
“We have not promised this money to anyone. We’re taking our time and taking a look at where the most impacts are,” said Clearfield County Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen.
Officials said with the impact fee, Clearfield County will receive $1.1 million over the next 14 years on a sliding scale. Robinson-McMillen said county leaders are already planning how to put the money into good use.
“I think it needs to go to roads. It needs to go to police and safety, the things where we have seen an impact from the drilling. It also needs to go into making ourselves more attractive to businesses to come a drill here in Clearfield County,” said Robinson-McMillen.
County leaders said that they have already contacted the Public Utility Commission to find out why they are not receiving around $940,000 for Lawrence Township.
Robinson-McMillen expects they county will receive its money by Dec. 1.
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