New Castle News

Local News

June 6, 2014

County, municipalities to get shale funds

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County government stands to receive about $70,000 more in Marcellus Shale funding from 2013 than  the previous year.

The state Public Utility Commission this week released the amounts counties and municipalities statewide will receive in impact fee fund is from shale drilling.

Local governments can expect these allocations in four to six weeks, according to county administrator Jim Gagliano.

The funds received are based on wells drilled the previous year. Municipalities receive fees whether they have drilling activity or not. Those with active drilling  receive more money.

Lawrence County is due to receive $201,308 in 2013 impact fees and $86,120.19 in legacy funds. Legacy money is designated for greenways, parks and other environmental uses.

Funds from 2012 drilling activity, which the county received last year, totaled $131,000 in impact fees and $76,000 in legacy

Only the county, and not the municipalities, receives the legacy money.

According to commissioner Dan Vogler, Pulaski Township, the site of the most well drilling, will see the most impact fee money — $66,952.

North Beaver Township is the second biggest recipient receiving  $63,632.

Vogler noted that the city of New Castle will receive $29,128 and SNPJ, the smallest borough, will receive $118.

Mahoning Township, which is seeing a lot of well drilling and pipe activity this year, will receive $12,816. Vogler noted Mahoning can expect a lot more next year due to this year’s drilling.

Impact fee allocations for all other Lawrence County municipalities are:

Boroughs:

•Bessemer, $1,463

•Ellport, $1,754

•Ellwood City, $9,210

•Enon Valley, $445

•New Beaver, $3,419

•New Wilmington, $2,720

•South New Castle, $1,084

•Volant, $205

•Wampum, $1,018

Townships:

•Hickory, $4,432

•Little Beaver, $30,647 (the location of the first Marcellus Shale well drilled in Lawrence County)

•Neshannock, $14,753

•Perry, $37,628

•Plain Grove, $3,072

•Scott, $31,045

•Shenango, $11,998

•Slippery Rock, $7,667

•Taylor, $2,113

•Union, $7,760

•Washington, $2,496

•Wayne, $4,957

•Wilmington, $5,341.

The commissioners allocated $23,128 of their 2012 share of legacy funds as a match for the Historic Warner Cascade Theater Project in downtown New Castle.

The Warner Film Center at the Cascade Theatre plans to restore the space at15 S. Mill St. where the original Warner brothers opened their first theater. The organization anticipates converting the space to a working theater again.

The group conducted an online project to raise donations for its matching share, according to commissioner Steve Craig. He added, “We didn’t commit our match until they had their match in hand.”

The Theater Historical Society of America, an international organization which supports the restoration project, plans to visit New Castle June 26 to witness the rededication of the marker placed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission that commemorates the site.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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