State recalculates payouts from drilling impact fee
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HARRISBURG -- A little more than a week after state officials announced they had miscalculated how much some municipalities should expect from this year's inaugural drilling impact fee, the Public Utility Commission has released revised numbers outlining each town's share.
For most towns across the state, the new figures will not dramatically alter the checks that are headed their way.
About 600 towns will not see their share of the $204 million raised from gas drillers change from earlier estimates. Checks are already on the way to those communities.
Most other municipal officials soon will be notified their checks, which are being processed by the state Treasury, will either increase or decrease by several hundred or several thousand dollars.
For the city of Williamsport -- a major hub of activity in Lycoming County, which has seen a boom in hotels for workers and countless other impacts from the energy industry -- the revisions will mean an additional $300,000, the largest of the distribution changes.
That means Williamsport will receive a check for $559,743, the fourth-largest amount of any Pennsylvania municipality. As a result of the new calculation, a handful of Lycoming County towns in turn will see their shares of the revenue pot decrease.
Greene County's Cumberland Township, which had been set to receive the largest amount statewide, still tops that list with its anticipated check for $1,039,587.
The calculation issue arose due to the complex formula used to determine how much of the new revenues should be allocated to local governments near drilling sites.
That portion of the distribution formula allocates dollars based on how many wells are located within five miles of a town's borders. The error was identified after some officials asked the commission to double-check their portion, according to the PUC.
First Published November 9, 2012 12:00 am