The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors applauds the Public Utility Commission's impending distribution of natural gas impact fees collected in 2013 to local governments. These impact fees mean that residents will not be burdened with the local infrastructure costs associated with this great economic opportunity.
Impact fees have provided more than $600 million for projects all over the state since 2012 — a true game-changer for municipalities.
More than 60 percent of the funds go directly to communities most impacted by drilling; those hosting the most wells receive the largest checks. Municipalities use this money for a range of projects — road and bridge infrastructure, public safety, environmental programs and future planning. All of these investments directly benefit the citizens and businesses impacted by the energy industry.
The impact fee's arrival signaled a new day in Pennsylvania. In the past, natural resource booms destroyed communities and no tools were provided for recovery.
We look forward to more new jobs and expanded economic opportunities and the gas industry's continued partnerships with local governments to pay for the impacts it is causing.
Enola, Cumberland County
The writer is the executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.