Hopewell seeks input on use of impact fee

November 15, 2012

Hopewell Township residents will have an opportunity to provide input regarding how to use money generated from the Act 13 natural gas impact fee.

The board of supervisors is seeking residents who are interested in serving on a committee that will make recommendations to the board on how to use $500,000 in impact fees generated by Marcellus Shale gas drilling the township received.

Township secretary/treasurer Susan Paul said the municipality has several options for spending the money and wants to include residents in the decision-making process.

“There are so many things that our little rural community can use the funds for. The supervisors want input from the community about how they’d like to see their municipality grow,” said Paul, noting supervisors are considering improving infrastructure – for example, bringing city water into the village of Buffalo, where residents currently rely on well water and septic systems – and are looking into reducing real estate taxes.

While Hopewell Township plans to gather ideas from the committee it is forming, other Washington County municipalities are relying on their supervisors to determine how best to spend their portions of Act 13 impact fees.

Cross Creek Township, which is slated to receive $422,593 – nearly the size of the municipality’s budget – is considering purchasing a front-end loader to replace the township’s worn-down loader, installing a new boiler system and codifying ordinances.

Cross Creek Township manager Rachel Warner Blosser said supervisors also are considering purchasing a generator because the township building is a designated shelter site in case of an emergency.

“Our wish list is long,” said Blosser.

Chartiers Township supervisors also will determine how best to spend the $682,016 in impact fee money it will receive, and township manager Samuel Stockton said the township is mulling road projects and other infrastructure projects.

Any resident interested in serving on the Hopewell Township impact fee committee is asked to sent a letter to: Susan Powell, Hopewell Township, 20 Parkview Road, Avella, PA 15372.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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