County adopts ‘impact fees’ on shale wells

SMETHPORT – McKean County and its municipalities are expected to begin receiving “impact fees” later this year on Marcellus Shale natural gas wells.The county Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to adopt an ordinance to impose the fees. The action is allowable under a state law put in place earlier this year.Joe DeMott, chairman of the board, joined with Commissioners Al Pingie and Cliff Lane to adopt the ordinance on the “impact fees.”DeMott said the fees would generate “a good source of revenue for the county” and would “give municipalities revenue” to maintain roads traveled by heavy trucks to the well sites.DeMott said he expects the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) to be distributing revenue from the “impact fees” by November or early December. He said the allocations for 2013 will come “in the middle of the year.”Pingie said the revenue would be “a great impact” for municipalities “to use on roads and bridges.”“This is a big boost for us,” Pingie said. “It’s a great windfall.”Lane said the “impact fees” would “bring other monies into the county and into the townships.”DeMott said the county at this point “still doesn’t know the exact amount” to be received under the “impact fees” this year. He said “a lot of variables” are used to calculate the revenue.The commissioners, however, are looking at estimated figures calculated on the website on the internet.They are pleased by what they see.The website estimates that McKean County will receive $420,629 this year in “impact fees.”See full article by purchasing the March 21 edition of The Kane Republican.