Indiana County earns $679,000 in drilling fees
June 15, 2013 11:00 AM

Indiana County and its municipalities will receive $679,011 from the state’s Marcellus shale impact fee collected on unconventional natural gas wells last year.

Of that, the county will get $386,709, and the county’s 38 municipalities will get a combined $292,302, according to information released by the office of state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.

The impact fee is paid to the state by drillers of unconventional natural gas wells. Through a complex state-derived formula, some of the fee money is retained and used by the state, and some is distributed to counties and on down to municipalities.

The payout is calculated on several factors including the number of wells within the municipality and the fluctuating price of gas. Indiana County also receives some of the impact fee money for being an eligible host county to unconventional gas wells.

The amounts that each municipality will receive range from $96.43 in Smicksburg Borough to $61,407 in Cherryhill Township.

The money is distributed by July 1.

All told, the Pennsylvania Utility Commission collected about $202 million in 2012, down from $204 million the year before.

Last year, Indiana County received $282,419 from revenue produced from the impact fee. The county’s municipalities collectively received $357,825 last year.

The impact fee, passed as Act 13, requires drillers to pay $50,000 for each horizontally drilled well and $10,000 for each vertical well drilled in 2012.

Under the payment plan in surrounding counties, Armstrong will receive $1,540,537; Clearfield will get $2,649,928; and Westmoreland will garner $3,839,060.

The residual revenue will be distributed with 60 percent of the remaining money being sent to counties and municipalities where drilling takes place. Counties and municipalities may utilize the money in several ways, including for roads, public safety, environmental programs, agriculture preservation and career and technical job training.

The remaining 40 percent is placed into the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which serves as funding for statewide initiatives with local impacts. The Marcellus Legacy Fund includes the Commonwealth Financing Authority, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Highway Bridge Improvement Fund, PENNVEST and H2O Program and the Department of Community & Economic Development.


BY THE NUMBERS

A breakdown of how much each Indiana County municipality will receive:

Armagh Borough: $148.34

Armstrong Township: $7,245.46

Banks Township: $2,347.12

Black Lick Township: $3,015.34

Blairsville Borough: $4,197.56

Brush Valley Township: $18,611.89

Buffington Township: $16,632.69

Burrell Township: $7,198.14

Canoe Township: $4,189.29

Center Township: $48,515.52

Cherry Tree Borough: $493.51

Cherryhill Township: $61,407.97

Clymer Borough: $1,974.43

Conemaugh Township: $5,617.34

Creekside Borough: $217.55

East Mahoning Township: $3,501.85

East Wheatfield Township: $4,199.07

Ernest Borough: $575.03

Glen Campbell Borough: $244.00

Grant Township: $3,016.56

Green Township: $28,624.66

Homer City Borough: $2,154.30

Indiana Borough: $15,926.44

Marion Center Borough: $278.10

Montgomery Township: $3,885.80

North Mahoning Township: $10,185.34

Pine Township: $10,570.88

Plumville Borough: $201.91

Rayne Township: $7,963.70

Saltsburg Borough: $1,077.90

Shelocta Borough: $186.72

Smicksburg Borough: $96.43

South Mahoning Township: $4,706.16

Washington Township: $6,107.44

West Mahoning Township: $3,718.19

West Wheatfield Township: $18,264.28

White Township: $27,308.03

Young Township: $52,104.21

Municipal total: $292,302.14

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