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Natural Gas Drilling Effects on Municipal Governments in the Marcellus Shale Region (Part III) Local Government Survey Results from Clinton and Lycoming Counties

Posted: October 9, 2011

A review of an economic impact study conducted by the Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center (MSETC)

The information in this article is part of a larger economic impact study conducted by the Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center, which is a partnership of Penn College of Technology and Penn State Extension. External funding for the project came from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. 

The economic impact survey was sent to nearly 500 Pennsylvania townships, boroughs and cities in a 12-county region, which included Clinton and Lycoming Counties. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2010 and was designed to provide insights into what occurred across the Marcellus Shale region.

Responses were received from 10 of 29 Clinton County municipalities, and 37 of 52 Lycoming County municipalities (response rate of 58 percent).  Of the respondents, 23 reported that Marcellus Shale-related natural gas drilling or development currently is occurring in their municipality.  The analysis below represents responses from these 23 (2 are in Clinton County, and 21 are in Lycoming County).

Is Marcellus Shale-related natural gas drilling or development currently occurring in your municipality?
                                                          Cumulative    Cumulative
Q1                 Frequency      Percent        Frequency    Percent
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes                  23               100.00             23             100.00

Is Marcellus Shale-related natural gas drilling or development currently occurring in a neighboring municipality?
                                                          Cumulative    Cumulative
Q2                 Frequency      Percent        Frequency     Percent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes                  23               100.00             23             100.00

Has there been, or is there currently, major pipeline construction in your municipality related to Marcellus Shale?
                                                          Cumulative   Cumulative
Q4                  Frequency     Percent        Frequency   Percent
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                    14                60.87             14               60.87
Yes                   8                 34.78             22               95.65
I don't know        1                  4.35             23              100.00

Has development or drilling of Marcellus Shale affected the tax or non-tax revenues your municipality receives?
                                                        Cumulative     Cumulative
Q5                  Frequency     Percent      Frequency     Percent
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                   19                 82.61             19              82.61
Yes, revenues have increased overall
                        4                 17.39             23            100.00

Has development or drilling of Marcellus Shale affected the services your municipality provides?
                                                         Cumulative    Cumulative               
Q6                  Frequency     Percent      Frequency     Percent
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                   12                 52.17             12             52.17
Yes, services provided have increased overall         
                       10                43.48             22              95.65
Yes, services provided have decreased overall          
                        1                  4.35              23            100.00

Has development or drilling of Marcellus Shale affected your municipality's total expenditures?      

                                                        Cumulative     Cumulative
Q7                  Frequency     Percent      Frequency     Percent
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                    15               65.22              15              65.22
Yes, expenditures have increased overall          
                         8               34.78              23             100.00

Have issues related to Marcellus Shale changed the roles or time commitments of your local government's elected or appointed officials?
                                                        Cumulative     Cumulative
Q9                 Frequency     Percent       Frequency     Percent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                     6                26.09               6               26.09
Yes                  16                69.57              22              95.65
I don't know        1                 4.35               23            100.00

Has your local government lost employees to the natural gas industry or Marcellus Shale-related activity in the past two years?                                                    

                                                        Cumulative     Cumulative
Q11                Frequency     Percent      Frequency     Percent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                    19               82.61              19               82.61
Yes                    4               17.39              23             100.00

Have natural gas drilling activities affected your ability to find and hire qualified employees?
                                                        Cumulative     Cumulative
Q12                Frequency     Percent      Frequency      Percent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
No                    18               85.71              18               85.71
Yes                    1                4.76               19               90.48
Have not tried to hire recently 
                          2                9.52              21             100.00
Frequency Missing = 2

What is your primary position in local government?
                                                        Cumulative      Cumulative
Q16                Frequency     Percent      Frequency       Percent
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chair of the Board of Township Supervisors 
                       14               60.87              14               60.87
Borough Council President                          
                         5               21.74              19               82.61
Township Supervisor                                
                         3               13.04              22               95.65
Secretary            1                 4.35              23             100.00

     Next week’s column will offer additional survey results from Clinton and Lycoming County municipalities participating in the survey.

Reprinted from the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force www.clintoncountypa.com.
     This information was written by Timothy W. Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics and Melissa M. Ward, graduate student of rural sociology and human dimensions of natural resources and the environment, Penn State, with Tracy Brundage (Penn College), Jim Ladlee (Penn State), Jeff Lorson (Penn College), Larry Michael (Penn College), and Tom Murphy (Penn State).