By Barnbara Miller in The Observer-Reporter.com
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, based on the $82.7 preliminary budget prepared for the county commissioners. The 2014 final budget the commissioners adopted totaled $80.9 million.
The bulk of the $4,923,107 from the first seven months of 2014 comes from wells at Cross Creek County Park, but the total also includes smaller infusions of cash from wells under the county-owned fairgrounds and Panhandle Trail.
March had the smallest amount of Marcellus Shale income for the county with...