Counties and municipalities received some welcome checks in mid-October through the first distribution of impact fee revenue, per Act 13 of 2012. These new revenue sources may offer a new opportunity for land trusts, local governments and trail groups to fund conservation efforts.
The Marcellus Legacy Fund receives 40% of the total revenue (after state agency distributions) from the impact fee, of which 15% is distributed to counties for “Environmental Initiatives”, specifically for the “planning, acquisition, development rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, natural areas, community conservation and beautification projects, community and heritage parks and water resource management.”
Counties may spend the money as they choose as long as they comply with the description above. Counties received a total of $10.9 million through the Legacy Fund in October. Funds are distributed in one lump annually (see table below for county totals). The overall amount distributed each year is determined by the number of active wells and well production.
Now is the time to seize the moment and propose strong projects to county leaders. As the Legacy Fund will be distributed annually, it is also important to build strong relationships with county decision makers.
The remaining 60% of impact fee revenues are designated as “Local Government Initiatives” for impacted counties and municipalities which enacted the impact fee. These funds can support a variety of services, including infrastructure, emergency services, social services, training, planning, water protections, etc.
1st Annual Distribution of Marcellus Legacy Fund (by County)