County expected to adopt ‘impact fees’ on wells

SMETHPORT – The McKean County Board of Commissioners is expected to act Tuesday on legislation for “impact fees” for Marcellus Shale natural gas wells.Commissioners Joe DeMott, Al Pingie and Cliff Lane endorsed the legislation at a previous meeting and are expected to finalize the ordinance Tuesday. The meeting at 10 a.m. at the county courthouse in Smethport is open to the public.The legislation for the “impact fees” has been approved on the state level. To take part in the program, counties must adopt their own ordinances by April.According to DeMott, the “impact fees” will generate “a significant amount of money for the county, townships and boroughs” in McKean County.Townships with Marcellus Shale wells will receive more than municipalities that do not host a well.“It’s really a boon for the townships,” DeMott said.But, as DeMott pointed out:  “Everybody will get something.”The commissioners are enthusiastic about the legislation because the flow of money from the “impact fees” is scheduled to begin in the fall.Pingie said “any windfall” from the “impact fees” is “positive for us.”Lane said the fees are “something that are needed to help townships maintain roads and bridges” traveled by heavy trucks bound for Marcellus Shale well sites.The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) supports the state legislation that calls for the “impact fees.” Many counties in the state already have announced plans to adopt ordinances for the fees.The “impact fees” to be assessed are based on several factors, including the “average price of natural gas.” The state Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) may adjust the fees based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).See full article by purchasing the March 19 edition of The Kane Republican.