Commissioners act on fees

RIDGWAY – The Elk County Commissioners voted Tuesday morning in favor of "impact fees" that will be assessed on Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale natural gas wells throughout the county."This enables the Public Utility Commission [PUC] to come in and gather the fees that are allowed under this act," said Elk County Commissioner Daniel R. Freeburg. "A portion of it will be returned to the counties and municipalities. "We've had calls from the public asking us to do this-- we've had discussions with industries and they seem to be at least not opposed to it."According to documentation provided by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania [CCAP], the figures are based off the average gas price.With the average price in Pennsylvania being $3.769, the minimum first-year fee per well is $50,000; wells drilled in previous years are included in the fee schedule, which spans 15 years.