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Marcellus shale impact dollars on the rise in local communities

| Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:31 p.m.

Act 13 Marcellus Shale Impact Fee disbursements for 2013 are up across the board for local municipalities compared to figures from 2012, based on reports released by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission earlier this month.

As of April 4, the state had collected from natural gas producers $223,312,600 of the $223,483,600 due for 2013. Producers paid a total of $202,472,000 in impact fees for 2012. Impact fee revenues are awarded to counties and municipalities based on the number of eligible natural gas wells inside and within five miles of their borders, as well as the municipality's population and highway miles.

Act 13 revenue may be used for public infrastructure improvements, emergency preparedness, public safety, environmental programs including parks and trails, preservation and reclamation of surface and subsurface waters, tax reductions including homestead exclusions, affordable housing programs, records management, information technology, the delivery of social services, judicial services, deposits to capital reserve funds to be used for Act 13 purposes, career and technical centers for training workers in the oil and gas industry and local or regional planning initiatives.

Payments are due to state agencies and county and municipal governments by July 1, according to the PPUC website.

Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC and Range Resources Appalachia, LLC paid the most in impact fees for 2013: $26,727,950 and $27,992,000.

Chesapeake was operating 743 horizontal wells and three vertical wells during the 2012 reporting year, in which it paid $27,386,000, according to PPUC records. Range Resources operated 637 horizontal and nine vertical wells that year and paid $24,826,000. Figures for 2013 are not yet available from the PPUC.

Indiana County will receive $259,752.25 in impact fees and $84,536.19 in Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund disbursements, for a total of $344,288.44. Last year, the county was awarded $217,524.32 in impact fees and $74,777.82 in Legacy Fund money.

Center Township, which had received $48,515.52 for 2012, will bring in $62,805.96 for 2013 – the highest payout of any municipality in Indiana County this year.

Blairsville Borough's allotment increased from $4,197.56 for 2012 to $5,068.32 for 2013.

Westmoreland County will be awarded $1,357,205.54 in impact fees and $348,228.56 in Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund disbursements. Derry Township will receive $428,321.83 in impact fees, the most of any municipality in Westmoreland County.

Below is a list of municipalities in The Dispatch coverage region and their corresponding impact fee disbursements:

Indiana County

Armagh Borough, $177.63; Black Lick Township, $3,606.49; Blairsville Borough, $5,068.32; Brush Valley Township, $32,753.37; Buffington Township, $17,047.17; Burrell Township, $8,656.37; Center Township, $62,805.96; Conemaugh Township, $6,713.88; East Wheatfield Township, $5,026.14; Homer City Borough, $2,582.58; Indiana Borough, $18,470.91; Saltsburg Borough, $1,290.83; West Wheatfield Township, $18,986.83; White Township, $31,405.08; Young Township, $52,311.90.

Westmoreland County

Bolivar Borough, $1,425.75; Derry Borough, $6,659.21; Derry Township, $428,321.83; Fairfield Township, $81,269.90; Loyalhanna Township, $21,984.08; New Alexandria Borough, $1,536.56; New Florence Borough, $2,520.28; Salem Township, $62,094.18; Seward Borough, $1,547.53; St. Clair Township, $19,406.40.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or greinbold@tribweb.com.

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