Impact Fee Funded Grants Benefit More Pa. Communities

This week, communities throughout the Commonwealth received natural gas impact fee – Pennsylvania’s natural gas tax – funded grants for key environmental and infrastructure projects. Through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, 115 projects, totaling more than $15.7 million were awarded to counties throughout the state. These funds are in addition to the impact fee dollars that directly benefit each county annually.

Since inception, the impact fee funded program has issued more than 600 grants totaling more than $103 million for projects ranging from stream restorations, trail extensions and new parks. This year’s project announcement come on the heels of the impact fee revenues surpassing $1.2 billion since 2011.

MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer joined KDKA-AM yesterday to talk about how the natural gas impact fee continues to be a winner for communities. Here’s an excerpt from Dave’s interview:

Part of that impact tax is Commonwealth Finance Authority projects that are funded throughout the state. Here in Allegheny County, we’ve enjoyed close to 40 different projects over the last five years to the tune of about $9.5 million. … It’s been a huge winner. There have been counties that have been able to keep property taxes down, primarily because of the dollars collected from shale operations throughout the region.” (KDKA)

All corners of the Commonwealth received CFA grants this week, with notable projects including:

(Source: PA DCED, 11/14/17)

Here’s what they’re saying about the local benefits of natural gas development.

  • Impact Fee Funded Project to Help Community “Create a Safe Route” to Area School: [It was] announced Tuesday that $340,000 of $59 million that was designated for transportation projects will be go toward the Kishacoquillas Street Improvement project. Funding for the project will come from the impact fee on unconventional gas wells in the Marcellus Shale. One hundred and fourteen other projects statewide will receive funds through this program. The project will address traffic congestion, create a safe route to the school, address key trails and walking route connections and direct Lewistown Intermediate School improvements. … It would also address traffic congestion issues along the Kish Street corridor and the Mifflin County School District properties and would also provide a neighborhood scale pedestrian and bicycle access way to the Lewistown Recreation Park. … The Marcellus Legacy Fund was created by Act 13 of 2012 to provide for the distribution of unconventional gas well impact fees to counties, municipalities, and commonwealth agencies. The act stipulates that a portion of the fee revenue will be transferred to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for statewide initiatives that will include abandoned mine drainage abatement, abandoned well plugging, sewage treatment, greenways, trails and recreation, baseline water quality data, watershed restoration, and flood control. (Lewiston Sentinel, 11/14/17)
  • Region Sees Over $500K in Impact Fee Funded Project Grants: Area lawmakers Tuesday announced the awards through the Multimodal Transportation Fund and the Act 13 or natural gas impact fee programs. The Act 13 funded projects: $299,999 to replace a section of the retaining wall along Solomon Creek in Wilkes-Barre. $75,000 for improvements to Weissman Park in Wilkes-Barre. $25,000 for Phase II improvements at Baltimore Avenue Park in West Pittston. $155,355 for improvements at Romanoskey Park in Larksville. $165,000 for improvements at Hazle Township Community Park in Hazle Township. (Times-Leader, 11/14/17)
  • 10 County Projects Receive More Than $1.53M in State Funding: A bicycle lane study for downtown Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and two Lackawanna River Heritage Trail expansions are among 10 Lackawanna County projects collectively awarded more than $1.53 million in state funding Tuesday. … Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority got two grants to improve the Heritage trail throughout the county, including $100,000 to develop nearly a mile of trail that would connect Parker Street in Scranton to Boulevard Avenue, running behind Lackawanna County Recycling Center to the Throop line. The Scranton Marvine Connector project would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to walk or ride between Scranton and the Midvalley and move closer to connecting the city trail to the upcoming Dickson City stretch, said Owen Worozbyt, LHVA’s trail and environmental projects manager. … The organization also garnered a $70,000 grant to connect the Scranton Riverwalk section of trail to downtown Scranton at Lackawanna Avenue to give walkers a safe alternative to a narrow sidewalk on an underpass below the Seventh Avenue railroad bridge. Taylor was awarded a $95,245 grant to support the construction of a splash park. (Scranton Times-Tribune, 11/15/17)
  • Parks, Playgrounds to be Upgraded in Johnstown Area: A number of municipalities and organizations in Cambria and Somerset counties were awarded a total of nearly $2 million in state funding for projects designed to improve transportation infrastructure and promote economic development. … The following Johnstown-area projects received funding through the CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation program: The city of Johnstown received $225,000 for improvements to Roxbury Park, including installing a new stormwater drainage system, replacing rusted fencing, installing energy-efficient lighting and repairing the maintenance facility’s roof. Johnstown Concert Ballet received $6,000 to help construct a small park next to its Broad Street building. Community Foundation for the Alleghenies received $87,499 to help purchase and install playground equipment at Westmont Hilltop Elementary School. Coaches 4 Kids Foundation received $34,000 to help rehabilitate Dale Borough Park in Conemaugh Township, including the clearing of 34.8 acres and construction of a football field, parking area and playground. (Tribune-Democrat, 11/15/17)

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