Act 13 Impact Fee Funds Awarded for Hufnagle Park Improvements, Keller Says
HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth Financing Authority has approved a $100,000 grant to support improvements to Lewisburg’s Hufnagle Park, Rep. Fred Keller (Snyder/Union) announced today.

The grant was awarded through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which is funded by proceeds of impact fees assessed on unconventional natural gas drilling in the Commonwealth.

“It is great to see impact fees collected from the natural gas drilling industry coming back to our community, supporting our environment and enhancing recreational opportunities for our residents,” Keller said. “Our community benefitted from a similar grant to the Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy, allowing the organization to invest in a land preservation project in Union Township.

“These are valuable investments in our community that would not be possible without the impact fee and the law that dictates very specifically how the money is to be spent,” he continued. “While our governor continues to clamor for a severance tax to grow the size and cost of government, the taxpayers are far better off with impact fee investments like these.”

Improvements to Hufnagle Park will include ADA-accessible sidewalks and trails, as well as an extension of the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail as it heads south toward Bucknell University. Additional access will be provided to new park space reclaimed from flood-prone properties, as well as low-water crossing point of the creek to complement the existing grid of surface streets and track the desired line between the university and downtown.

Additional greenway plantings will complement the currently submitted Watershed Restoration and Protection Program (WRPP) application to improve wildlife habitat and increase the biodiversity while reducing the park’s dependence on chemical herbicide for vegetation control. Finally, the project will bring a pedestrian and bike connector into close proximity to a model stream restoration project, dipping down from the street network into the WRPP expanded and reconnected floodplain, with high visibility wetlands and other foreground examples of best practices for urban hydrology.

Since its inception in 2011, the impact fee has generated more than $1.2 billion for the Commonwealth. A portion of the funds are returned to the communities that host wells to address infrastructure impacts, while the remaining funds are invested in the Marcellus Legacy Fund. That fund provides allocations to each county, as well as invests in the Highway Bridge Improvement Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Representative Fred Keller
85th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia Hippler

Share |