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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.

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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