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Nearly $20 Million Coming to Local Communities Thanks to Marcellus Shale Impact Fee

'I encourage local communities to comply with the law while working to change it so they can take advantage of its benefits.'

The Public Utility Commission last week announced that communities in my district will get nearly $20 million to use for parks, police, social programs or other projects.

The money comes from the Marcellus Shale impact fee, and cash-strapped local governments in Washington and Greene counties are receiving some of the highest totals in the state. 

In fact, one in five dollars headed to local communities for projects is coming to these two counties.

When I addressed the 97th annual convention of Greene County Association of Township Officials at the county fairgrounds, most of what I heard is that it’s good news at a time when county and municipal governments could use some. (Greene County municipalities will receive a total of $4.5 million and the county will get another $3.1 million in direct payments.)

I’m still hearing about problems with Act 13, the law that put the impact fees in place, and I said when we passed the bill that it wasn’t ideal. 

But those of us who supported it had to face the reality that two years of trench warfare over Marcellus Shale cost our local governments millions at a time when they badly needed investment in infrastructure to keep up with the expanding economy.

There is certainly room for improvement in the volumes of Pennsylvania statutes passed through political compromise over the years, but I encourage local communities to comply with the law while working to change it so they can take advantage of its benefits.

Cindy McPherson October 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Is this guy for real? He stand up with Tom Corbett and brags about hurting the communities he represents. He takes confidential calls from constituents and turns them over to Range Resources' PR thugs without their permission. He has a bobblehead made of himself on a Range Resources rig to give out at fundraisers. Plus he takes every perk they offer him, from Super Bowl tickets to God knows what else. He skipped his own Senior Fair to attend a pro-Marcellus conference in Philly on industry dime. And then he has the nerve to brag about what he's done for local communities? There is blood on your hands, Senator, even if you don't realize it yet.
Jason Parks October 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Amanda, what happened to keeping it civil? "There is blood on your hands..."? So now Jesse, er, Cindy is accusing the senator of what, assault or murder? That's not a very responsible thing to post on your site.
cecil resident October 23, 2012 at 03:10 PM
That is a lot of accusations, we all know by your pass postings that you are against the oil and gas industry and that is your right but it is hard to respect your right when every comment is trash talk. This site is for people to debate the issue and not verbally assault the Senator.
Jesse White October 23, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Jim Cannon... I mean Jason Parks... I put my name on what I say, which is more than I can say for you. Still waiting for that phone call so we can sit down like men and talk.
Me October 23, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Three cheers for Tim Soloby doing a great job. Keep up the good work
Me October 23, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Beautiful day for a tour with Mark West. Jesse White did not see you there
Kittypepper October 23, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Cindy you are being very confrontational and arrogant, and with all the inflammatory remarks that you are implying, you better put your money where your mouth is for if I were the senator I would sue you.
Cindy McPherson October 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM
It's all true and Solobay knows it.
Amanda Gillooly October 24, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Cindy, please keep it civil. I understand that "blood on your hands" is a turn of phrase, but still...at the request of other readers, please try to rephrase in the future.
cecil resident October 24, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Senator Solobay you are doing a lot of good work for this district we are lucky to have you. No law is perfect and there is always ways to improve it but I feel all the court actions is just wasting tax payers money. It is an industry that is state wide and should have laws passed by the state.
Cindy McPherson October 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I wonder if you'll feel the same way in five years when kids are being born with cancer because Senator Solobay allowed toxic frac ponds a few hundred feet from houses. Quit acting like this is some petty political p#ssing contest- it's life and death.
cecil resident October 24, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Cindy I'm sorry our support of Senator Solobay and the oil and gas industry have you so upset.Their is a lot of studies being done by universities and science groups that just don't back this fear. The only groups that feed this fear is enviromental groups and they take a little info and blow it up to suit their cause. Years ago it was living near high tension line which caused all kinds of health issue. Today Cecil township has let housing plans be built around them where is the out cry from this issue, none. Why? because it is not the hot topic of today fracking is. A recent out cry from an enviromental group in the Barnett Shale region where they have been fracking for years said their was in increase in breast cancer.The Susan B. Komen for the Cure said their was no evidence that this was true what is their agenda? Don't want to feed into your fears but do you know how many old gas wells that have been covered up in this area that have rusted out metal pipes that have houses and buildings around them and maybe on top of them what do you think could be coming from them? Ten years from now there will be another issue that the enviromental groups will jump on beause no one is paying attention to the gas and oil industry and they can't make headlines.
Cindy McPherson October 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM
You're wrong. And you will see just how wrong you are very soon, and then we'll see how great your Senator is.
Lynne October 24, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Cindy...do you, or your children eat at McDonalds??? How about all the processed foods available to them??? How about those "energy drinks"?? If you can honestly state that the food you eat is free from pesticides and preservatives...then carry on.....
Bob Zanakis October 24, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Regarding Act 13: why in the world would a person accept losing local control over where they can and can't drill for the mere sake of cash? Seems to me this country has been built on the promise of self-determination and anything that removes any part of it is going against the grain of our history. I for one have not decided upon which side of the fence I am on this issue but rest assured, the side I choose will be framed within the idea of self determination so in effect, I am leaning towards the anti-Act 13 side. To sell one's freedom for 30 pieces of silver will not be an option. Also I am alarmed at the post above about the Senator releasing confidential correspondence to Range Resources, as is it troublesome on its face and possible serious legal complications in the future if it is true. In fact, it might be considered under the federal law as a violation of the US Constitution. Add to this discussion of the pending bill to lessen the standards on water used in the extraction of coal in our mines and the horror that might create with our waterways and streams. I can only recall playing near Chartiers Creek and seeing the rusty water from the pipe on the side of hill pouring that polluted water into the clear creek that was void of algae or any fish. I don’t want to return to that.
cecil resident October 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Bob I see your point but how is selling something a landowner owns selling their freedom. Isn't it equally wrong for a township to do everything they can to stop a landowner from selling there mineral rights something they rightfully own. The reason mineral right are include in a deed is because it is something that belongs to the landowner. I totally agree about the creeks , mining at one time ruin a lot of our water ways but we learn from that and the states and federal government passed laws to stop this type of pollutions from an industry that covers the whole state. A month or two there was a fishing tournament on the three rivers and all the fisherman stated they caught more fish and bigger variety of fish then the previous years so looks like the laws are working. I've been honest in all the debates I am for Act 13 the reasons is like the coal mines the gas and oil industry is states wide and we need a unifrom law to cover all activities. Do you think that water ways would be safe if each community had a different set of laws even though that creek is running thru say 10-20 communities with different regulations. Is the bill perfect probably not but instead of using taxpayers money to fight the law why aren't our representatives fighting to make the law better. It seems like compromise is not in our elected offical vocabulary.
cecil resident October 24, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Bob I need more space but I promise to get off my soapbox after this comment. A lot of accusations are made in these debate forum and no disrespect to Cindy she has her agenda like everyone else on this site and we do have freedom of speech in this country. I feel if you are going to make these accusations you should prove it , we all get a little passionate for the things we stand behind but lets debate the issues and not verbally assault someone we disagree with. Amanda the editor gives us this wonderful forum to debate the issues and I have learned a lot form the Patch and that I thank her for . I feel not everyone who backs the oil and gas industry is in their back pockets I see the job opportunities and the new businesses opening up but most of all energy independence from countries who hate us. I have stated many times before i don't want to see one more of our soldiers die for a barrel of oil.The industry is not going away it has been here in one form or another since the 1800's . I ask all our elected officals to get together and work on compromises instead of more lawsuits.
Bob Zanakis October 24, 2012 at 07:23 PM
To proud American We are a civilization of laws and regulations in order to protect ourselves from ourselves. Your point on ownership rights is taken but as a whole, the society is made up of all kinds of interests. I do not desire anyone authority to oversee the safety of our homes to anyone that does not live in the effected area. The poicy of Act 13 would affect all the people living in our area due to things like air, water, ground and even sound polution. Anything that changes our way of life that has effects outside of the area of change needs to be decided by those close by that feel the effects on a daily basis. I hate to have Harrisburg bureaucrats deciding my life enviorment. If they can drill for your property minerals without hurting my life I am for it. Why should we make compromises on the quality of life for our families for you and your gas company profits? Get the resources without hurting the community is the goal and having someone outside of the local community (Act 13) is not the solution, its the problem. I hold my locally elected officials responsible for their actions and entrust our safety to them, not Harrisburg. Public safety should be our collective concern and not profitibilty.
cecil resident October 24, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Bob Let me make one thing clear I have nothing to do with any of the drillers in our area. That said where is the proof that this is going to cause all kinds of issues with the enviroment. For every claim there is their is another saying their isn't. Their has been oil and gas wells in our area since the boom in Mcdonald since around the 1850"s I can take you places where houses now set on or next to old gas and oil lines. We don't know what is in those lines or coming up out of the old wells and the township has approved for these houses to be built where is the concern their .The only way we can hold our supervisors responsible is voting and we are starting to see changes in Cecil township people are becoming more concerned and attending meetings and asking questions but we need the oil and gas issue solved now.. You keep bringing up the money issue which seem to bother you a lot but to me it is a lot more then the profits it is energy independence and I feel with the right state and federal laws it can be done because they have the experts to regulate and monitor and sort the hype from the facts. Unless we have a geologist on the board of supervisors in our local communities no matter how well meaning they are there ordinances are leaning to the way they feel. I want my car to run on and my house to be heated by American oil and gas not from a country that harbors terrorist that kill our soldiers and American citizens.
Me October 25, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Bob if you attend Cecil Twp meeting you would see why Cecil Twp should not control the drilling in Cecil Twp
Me October 25, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Amanda did Cecil Twp. give you a copy of the new policy the supervisor read at the last meeting? It should be posted so all the resident in Cecil Twp are aware of the changes when attending a meeting
Amanda Gillooly October 25, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Me, My apologies. I meant to get that for you earlier. Let me give the township a call to see what I can get. If and once I get it, I will post it as a PDF. Is that fair?

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