$7.3 million local windfall expected
Bradford County's allocation for 2013 from the gas impact fee is $7.30 million, down 13 percent from the $8.43 million allocation it received in 2012, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said.
In addition to the $7.30 million that the county government will receive, each municipality in the county will receive in 2013 an allocation of revenue from the fee that ranges from a low of $8,277 in Alba Borough to a high of $509,000 in heavily drilled-upon Columbia, Troy and Wells townships.
The Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Thursday announced the amount of money from the Act 13 gas impact fee that will be distributed to counties and municipalities in 2013.
The 2013 allocations will be sent to municipalities and counties on June 28, said Jennifer Kocher, press secretary of the Public Utility Commission.
Sullivan County will receive $460,049 this year from the impact fee, Kocher said.
Bradford County's allocation decreased this year partly because the overall pot of Act 13 money that is distributed to local governments decreased from $38.2 million last year to $37 million this year, Kocher said.
Another reason for the drop is that Bradford County now only has 20 percent of the wells on which an impact fee is assessed, down from 22 percent in the prior year, she said.
Other reasons for the drop are the lower price of natural gas, the fact that fewer wells are being drilled in the county, and the fact that most of the wells in the county are generating an annual impact fee of $35,000, down from $50,000 the year before, Bradford County Commissioner Daryl Miller said.
So far, Bradford County has used its impact fee revenue to reduce the county property tax rate, pay for the Code Red storm warning system, and upgrade its 911 communications towers.
The county is also planning to spend money from the impact fee on constructing a training center for first responders, according to Miller and Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko.
"A good amount" of Bradford County's 2012 allocation has not yet been spent, Miller said.
Miller said he wants to set aside some of the county's impact fee revenue to pay for future, yet-to-be determined needs of the county.
"The Northern Tier is the home base of the Marcellus Shale industry. In order to make sure that local governments have the means to address the impacts of natural gas drilling and extraction, fees are collected from the drilling companies, with 60 percent passed on to counties and local municipalities affected by drilling," said state Rep. Matt Baker. "The rest of the money goes into a Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund administered by the state to be used for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, storm water, and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; as well as statewide environmental initiatives."
Counties and municipalities have the option to use funds from the impact fee to address a variety of drilling impacts, including preservation and reclamation of water supplies; improvements to local roads and bridges; construction and repair of water and sewer systems; delivery of social services including domestic relations and drug and alcohol treatment; local tax reduction; local affordable housing needs; and assistance for county conservation districts, according to a press release from Baker.
Here is a list of the amount of revenue from the impact fee on gas drilling that each municipality in Bradford County will receive in 2013: **
ALBA BOROUGH $8,276.56
ALBANY TOWNSHIP $400,698.10
ARMENIA TOWNSHIP $425,319.92
ASYLUM TOWNSHIP $287,764.55
ATHENS BOROUGH $170,880.02
ATHENS TOWNSHIP $410,488.43
BURLINGTON BOROUGH $20,630.55
BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP $217,735.97
CANTON BOROUGH $96,633.66
CANTON TOWNSHIP $389,350.50
COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP $509,000.00
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP $173,131.33
GRANVILLE TOWNSHIP $301,730.74
HERRICK TOWNSHIP $466,240.51
LERAYSVILLE BOROUGH $36,912.48
LEROY TOWNSHIP $154,456.16
LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP $256,198.12
MONROE BOROUGH $28,918.08
MONROE TOWNSHIP $230,541.62
NEW ALBANY BOROUGH $18,266.74
NORTH TOWANDA TOWNSHIP $107,774.99
ORWELL TOWNSHIP $318,327.20
OVERTON TOWNSHIP $184,453.47
PIKE TOWNSHIP $264,254.18
RIDGEBURY TOWNSHIP $273,777.74
ROME BOROUGH $20,260.92
ROME TOWNSHIP $267,556.01
SAYRE BOROUGH $289,453.48
SHESHEQUIN TOWNSHIP $253,408.15
SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP $399,007.12
SOUTH CREEK TOWNSHIP $120,690.60
SOUTH WAVERLY BOROUGH $57,285.76
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP $369,581.93
STANDING STONE TOWNSHIP $154,288.28
STEVENS TOWNSHIP $304,232.97
SYLVANIA BOROUGH $11,029.10
TERRY TOWNSHIP $412,757.84
TOWANDA BOROUGH $150,076.66
TOWANDA TOWNSHIP $170,906.62
TROY BOROUGH $67,686.00
TROY TOWNSHIP $509,000.00
TUSCARORA TOWNSHIP $354,422.62
ULSTER TOWNSHIP $204,415.16
WARREN TOWNSHIP $284,993.00
WELLS TOWNSHIP $509,000.00
WEST BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP $222,302.41
WILMOT TOWNSHIP $430,721.86
WINDHAM TOWNSHIP $211,469.96
WYALUSING BOROUGH $32,998.40
WYALUSING TOWNSHIP $313,214.27
WYSOX TOWNSHIP $247,072.98
Here is a list of the amount of revenue from the impact fee on gas drilling that selected municipalities in Sullivan County will receive in 2013:
CHERRY TOWNSHIP $233,396.50
COLLEY TOWNSHIP $70,253.52
DUSHORE BOROUGH $16,991.84
ELKLAND TOWNSHIP $144,074.44
FORKS TOWNSHIP $77,204.67
FORKSVILLE BOROUGH $4,292.36
FOX TOWNSHIP $102,482.90
LAPORTE BOROUGH $11,854.28
LAPORTE TOWNSHIP $20,365.88
** These amounts are provided by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission