Sheehan: Marcellus Shale Expected to Stimulate Economy

CLEARFIELD – Due to Marcellus Shale’s natural gas exploration, board member Greg Sheehan told the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority that the county could experience a “big boom” as a result.

Sheehan said that he had attended a meeting at the Penn State- DuBois campus and learned of Marcellus Shale’s potential economic impact. He said that one well is expected to be located every 80 acres.

Sheehan reported that each gas line is expected to turn in $2,050,000. He said of that, property owners will receive one-eighth of the previous amount, which can total as much as $250,000. He said that it works out to approximately $3,000 per acre.

“Expect hotels to be packed and a big boom in tourism,” he said. He said that it will offer them a great potential to sell the county to those who will be coming to the area as part of Marcellus Shale.

He said that these visitors will be mostly outdoorsmen. He said by selling the county’s assets, these people could potentially return home and decide to come back with their families. He said in doing so, businessmen may also develop an interest in returning to the area.

Executive Director Sandy Fink-Barrett inquired about how local hotels would respond to the increased demand for rooms. She said that other visitors will also be traveling to the area for recreation. She said she did not want them to be left alienated.

Sheehan said that he currently has around 90 rooms available. He said that he would likely designate around 30 for those associated for Marcellus Shale. He said he would then leave the remaining 60 rooms for those who are here for tourism purposes.

Board member Lynda McCracken expressed concern with the idea of a well every 80 acres.

“It’s not good. It’s going to be a mess,” she said.

Joan Robinson-McMillen, board member and county commissioner, said that everything looks bad, when it first gets under way.

Board member Terry Malloy and McCracken called attention to discharge problems that have come as a result.

Sheehan said that they should note the problem and make a presentation.

McMillen agreed and encouraged that any locations, which have discharge problems, be brought to the attention of local government.

Sheehan said that the state has the potential to make an “economic comeback.”

“It’s all interrelated. People are visiting for business, and it may be for a transient amount of time,” said board chairman, Wilson Fisher.

“But maybe we can entice them to our attractions and maybe to come back with their families. We have a continuum here.”

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