Lycoming County's budget situation looks pretty good on the surface.
The budget on display since late last week calls for no tax increase for the ninth consecutive year.
The budget is being balanced with $10.1 million from the county's fund balance, money created when projects are deferred for future use or don't come to fruition during a given year.
That money is funneled into a reserve fund.
It would appear the county is in good budget shape as long as the reserve fund is nurtured responsibly.
The county further benefitted this year by the advent of the state's natural gas drilling impact fees.
Those fees will add $4 million in revenue.
While the money won't be included in the budget because, in the words of Commissioner Tony R. Mussare, it's "taxpayers' money allocated for allowable uses.
But $4 million is $4 million.
That's money that can be used for road, bridge, public infrastructure, water and sewer improvements.
It can be used for emergency preparedness and public safety, affordable housing, social services, judicial services, environmental programs, surface water and ground supply preservation and reclamation.
It can be used for records management and career and technical centers for gas and oil industry training.
That's a long list of needs that could arise from the industry and, for a change, there is money available.
Lycoming County government's overall fiscal standing is sound, better than most.
That should never be taken for granted by either taxpayers or the elected officials who spend the money.
Hopefully, conservative spending practices are in place to preserve the funding reservoir for the foreseeable future.