Range’s Drilling Program; no property tax increase proposed for Washington County residents

Nov 12, 2014

Washington County, Pennsylvania residents won’t see any property tax increases in 2015 thanks “in large part to the county’s income from the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.”

The new revenue increases are driven by Range’s successful program with Cross Creek County Park. This news was detailed in a recent Washington Observer-Reporter article, “No property tax increase proposed for Washington County residents.”

"Several years ago, Washington County Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Donahue went into a budget hearing armed with figures from projected natural gas well revenues in Cross Creek park.

The numbers were so large some who heard them dismissed his projections as pie in the sky.

It turned out Donahue was correct, and while many levels of government struggle to raise revenue, Washington County and its income from wells in the Marcellus Shale tapped beneath county-owned land reached six figures every month of the past year, for which figures are available.

So, for the fifth year in a row, property taxpayers of Washington County should see no increase in their 2015 county tax bills…”

Range has detailed the Company’s efforts in Cross Creek Park in the “Corporate Responsibility” section of the Company’s website.

The Company worked closely with the Board of County Commissioners to responsibly and effectively develop natural gas in Cross Creek County Park. The park was fully developed in just three years, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in new and future revenues for the county and various park upgrades including new roads, a new storm water management system, and additional amenities for visitors.

“Range has been a terrific partner from the very start, working closely with the Board of Commissioners and park staff on a daily basis,” said Larry Maggi, Washington County Board of Commissioners Chairman. “They were able to responsibly develop the gas beneath the 2,000 park acres while only impacting 1% of the surface, often times relying on previously cleared areas. The locations are not visible from parts of the park where people visit, making the impact even smaller, but the economic impacts will be positive for several generations.”

The successful partnership has served as a case study for other nearby bodies of government that manage public lands on how to maximize the benefits of natural gas development through modern technologies.

“We’re incredibly proud of our work at Cross Creek. Our employees live here and enjoy the park with their friends and families just like everyone else,” noted John Applegath, Range Resources Senior Vice President for the Southern Marcellus Shale Division. “The project wasn’t without some challenges, we had a vendor clear a row of trees that were not on the timbering schedule and a spill, but we’re proud that both served as long lasting learning experiences for us, without any lasting impacts on the environment or the character of the park.”