Revenue from shale fees dips in Murrysville, neighboring communities
Municipalities across the state – including Murrysville, Delmont and Export — received less money from the fees paid for Marcellus shale drilling this year.
Compared to last year, most communities saw about a 10 percent dip in the amount of money doled out under Act 13, the state legislation enacted in 2012 that collects an impact fee from unconventional well drillers across the state. The money is divvied up between state agencies, counties and municipalities based on the number of wells in a community or its proximity to drilling.
Statewide, the fees collected from the drilling industry for 2012 totaled about $202.4 million, a decrease of about $1.8 million from the previous year.
Of that total, local governments will get about $102.7 million, or about $2.6 million less than the first year of payments.
PUC press secretary Jennifer Kocher said several factors — including the number of wells that are in operation — go into the formula that determines how much each municipality receives.
Part of the reason for the decline in impact fees is the drop in the cost of natural gas, she said.
“It's gone down slightly overall, so it's just rippled through,” Kocher said of the decline in impact fees for local communities.
Locally, Export saw the largest dip in impact fee revenue, dropping from $2,565 last year to $1,138 this year. Though less than half of last year's payment, it won't affect the borough much, Mayor Michael Calder said.
“It was found money in the first place,” Calder said. “There's an uncertainty with that money. I'm sure there will be some impact, but the amount Export borough received was not significant.”
Murrysville receives the largest chunk of money locally, though the $53,133 the municipality received in 2013 is about $5,000 less than last year's cut. Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said the money will be placed in the municipal reserve fund, just as last year's was.
In Delmont, officials aren't concerned about the approximately $700 drop in revenue to $6,161. Council President Jim Bortz said there won't be any negative effect on the borough's budget.
“We'd like to have it, but it's not going to break us,” Bortz said.
The impact fees can only be earmarked for specific projects, including sewer and road work.
Staff writer Chris Foreman contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dispute over iconic McKeesport lounge headed back to court
- Judge reduces charges against McKeesport assault suspects
- Kennywood to boost security in light of scuffle
- Starkey: Pirates’ trade of Snider still reeks
- Allegheny Health Network’s $600M plan to expand reach depends on Highmark
- Pitt joins Giant Eagle, sets goal to put more disabled on payroll
- Pirates pitcher Cole climbing list with each consecutive win
- Gorman: Lack of WPIAL alums selected a troubling NFL trend?
- Low-debt stock picks outperform Standard & Poor’s 500 for 10th time
- Obscene graffiti triggers crime watch interest in Kittanning
- McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain begins plan for revival