Pennsylvania

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Anti-Impact Fee Commissioner May End Up Supporting Levy

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko says he won't vote for a fee

Clarification: In an interview with StateImpact Pennsylvania, McKlinko insisted he remains adamantly opposed to an impact fee, but it waiting to hear from Bradford County’s municipal officials before he decides whether to vote yes or no. “We’ve got to do this together. If we vote [to implement a fee], we’re doing it as a county,” he said. “If we vote [to reject the fee], we’re doing it as a county.”

McKlinko says the board of commissioners plans on calling a county convention in the near future, to decide whether or not to impose the fee.

Bradford County’s commissioners may enact a natural gas drilling impact fee, after all.

The northeastern county hosts more than 1,000 “spudded” gas wells, and could generate close to $50 million in revenue, if it approves a fee. That would represent about a quarter of Pennsylvania’s anticipated overall 2011 fee total.

But the two Republicans on Bradford’s board of commissioners have been outspoken opponents of the levy, and have threatened to vote against it. Republican Doug McKlinko  has told StateImpact he’s worried a fee would drive drillers from Bradford County.

McLinko may be changing his tune, according to the Towanda Daily Review:

While McLinko told news reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t support the impact fee, he also said he might vote for it anyway, if that is the “overwhelming” opinion of the township supervisors and borough council members in the county.

That’s because if the commissioners decide against having an impact fee, then the boards of township supervisors and the borough councils in the county will have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue. And if the governing bodies of at last half the municipalities in Bradford County – or of the municipalities that represent at least 50 percent of the county’s population – pass resolutions in favor of implementing an impact fee, then the fee will take effect countywide…

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