Increased gas drill boosts impact fee collection in Armstrong, state
Armstrong County received an about 11 percent increase — from $570,375 to $662,984 — in impact fees the state collected from energy companies for drilling natural gas wells, the Public Utility Commission reported on Monday.
The 45 municipalities within the county received nearly $1 million in the fees, with Manor receiving the most at $95,563, and Hovey Township getting the lowest amount, $956. Last year, the municipalities received $950,000.
Officials attributed the increase in fees collected — about 11.5 percent statewide — to a rebound in the price of natural gas that spurred more drilling by energy companies.
“We're seeing a big increase just from the sheer amount of wells drilled last year,” Gov. Tom Corbett's energy executive, Patrick Henderson, said before Monday's figures were released by the PUC. “We're simply going to be collecting fees from more wells this year.”
The state collected fees on 6,489 wells this year — 1,187 more than in 2013, Henderson said. The state collected $225.75 million, up from the $202.4 million it collected last year and higher than the $204.2 million collected in 2012, the first year impact fees were assessed.
“We've seen our funding increase slightly every year, which has helped us as we move ahead with our annual budget,” said Carly Cowan, Armstrong County's Marcellus shale coordinator.
Act 13, the state's natural gas drilling law, regulates how communities can spend the money. The 13 categories range from road and water projects to environmental programs and tax reductions. Communities can choose to save it for expensive capital purchases.
Cowan said the county put its allocation last year toward the 911 department's $1.7 million operating budget.
“Since we're able to use that money for public safety, we were able to put that money into 911, which kept us from having a shortfall in the overall budget,” Cowan said.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- West Kittanning approves sign moratorium
- Kittanning Dance-a-Thon to help boy’s family
- Armstrong commissioners race growing each day
- Kittanning to buy new squad car
- Pizza, other sweet treats offered at new Worthington restaurant
- West Kittanning church fights through frozen pipe problems
- Rayburn considers tax break for business renovations
- DEP seeks origin of toxic chemicals left on road in Kittanning Twp.
- Armstrong industrial park taking steps to lure developers
- Water lines being replaced in Kittanning