2012-07-09 Westmoreland County Public Meeting on Impact Fee Revenue – Greensburg, PA
July 9, 2012 (Mon) – 6:00 pm
Westmoreland County Courthouse
Main St, Greensburg, PA
Westmoreland County commissioners will conduct public meetings to solicit comments on how to spend Marcellus shale impact fees.
Westmoreland County commissioners will hit the road for a five-night tour of municipalities to gather suggestions about how to spend as much as $2 million to be collected through impact fees placed on Marcellus shale gas wells.
Earlier this year, commissioners approved an ordinance to impose the fees on approximately 191 wells in the county. The fees are expected to generate about $4 million, which will be split between the county and its municipalities.
County Planning Director Jason Rigone said the state law that authorized the impact fees set up 13 categories that county commissioners can spend the money. Rigone said the first year of the impact fees will allow commissioners to spend as much as $1.3 million on discretionary projects.
The money could be used for tax reductions; road, bridge and infrastructure repairs; water system repairs; emergency response; environmental programs; reclamation of water supplies; safe and affordable housing initiatives; mapping projects; social services; and operation of the judicial system.
The funds also can be used to augment capital-improvement accounts, to fund career and technical training of workers in the oil and gas industry and to apply toward local planning initiatives.
Commissioners warned, though, that the impact fees won’t be a windfall for county government.
"This isn’t additional money," said Commissioner Ted Kopas. "The state has its hands in our back pocket taking out money for human services."