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Impact fees for Butler County announced

June 22, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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The shale gas impact fees collected from drillers by the state and meted out to counties, cities, townships and boroughs have been announced — and have increased for the first time in three years.

Butler County will receive a total of $2.1 million, including the Marcellus Legacy Fund grant of $166,406, said county controller Ben Holland. The amount makes Butler County the seventh-largest recipient of shale gas impact fees in the state, according to information provided by the state Public Utility Commission (PUC).

The county will divide the money between Butler County Emergency Services, county technology and capital improvement projects and the county's new infrastructure bank. Any remaining funds will be spent at the discretion of the commissioners, Holland said.

The amount disbursed to each county, as well as the separate amounts to municipalities, is based on the number of shale gas wells within its borders, he said.

According to PUC data, the county is home to a total of 547 wells, making it the seventh-heaviest site of gas drilling in the commonwealth.

A full story will appear in Sunday's Butler Eagle.

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.