Bradford County gets nearly $22 million. Lycoming County gets $9.8 million. Tioga County gets about $12 million. Those are the major disbursements of natural gas drilling impact fee revenues to our region that were announced last week.
The amount comes from the $204.2 million collected in impact fees from the Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
The shares to the above three counties and their municipalities in our region is part of the 60 percent of the total fee revenue that is going to 35 counties and nearly 1,500 municipalities in Pennsylvania where drilling occurs.
Now the most important part begins.
It's left to the counties to properly, equitably and fairly distribute the funds to the municipalities to pay for costs and issues related to the drilling.
The money will likely go for maintenance of roads and other much-needed infrastructure work.
We are on record say that the percentage going to the counties should be greater than 60 percent. We still feel that way but there's nothing that can be done about that now.
The only thing to be done now is for the counties to do a solid job of disbursing the funds. As much as our communities have benefitted economically from the presence of gas drilling, they also have been saddled with infrastructure demands they should not be shouldering on their own.
- Williamsport Sun-Gazette