RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Transportation will be
distributing more than $147.3 million in State Street Aid, also known as the Powell Bill fund, to 507
municipalities across the state. The initial allocation, half of the overall total,
was sent out on Monday, Sept. 29. The rest will be paid by Jan. 1, 2015.
This year's total is an increase of about $1.7 million over last
year's allocation. Money can only be used for the construction, widening,
maintaining or repairing of any street or public thoroughfare that is
maintained by the municipality. In addition to roads, that includes bikeways,
greenways and sidewalks.
"The Powell Bill program helps cities and towns pay for the expansion
and improvements of much-needed transportation systems in their communities,"
says Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. "Local residents and visitors are the
benefactors, as they get improved and safer ways to travel, whether it is by
vehicle, bike or on foot."
Powell Bill funding comes from revenues generated by the state gas tax
and other highway user fees. The program began in 1951, and more than $3.9 billion
has been allocated to municipalities since then.
The amount each municipality receives is based on a formula set by the
N.C. General Assembly. It requires 75 percent of the funds to be awarded based
on population, with the remaining 25 percent based on the number of street
miles each municipality maintains. This year, that broke down to $110.5 million
for population and $36.8 million based on street miles. Based on those
categories, that breaks down to almost $21 per person and $1,643 per mile.
Twenty one cities are receiving at least $1 million, led by Charlotte
at $20.3 million, based on its population of 789,248 and 2,451 miles of
maintained roads. Raleigh will receive
$10.5 million, followed by Greensboro ($7.4 million), Winston-Salem ($6.5
million), Durham ($6.2 million) and Fayetteville ($5.5 million).
The fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and
mayor of Whiteville, whose name led a list of legislators sponsoring the 1951
bill intended to help the state's cities with urban road problems. The first
allocation of Powell Bill funds was for $4.5 million and was distributed to 386
cities and towns.
A complete list of cities and towns receiving Powell Bill funds and
the amounts, and additional information about the State Street-Aid (Powell
Bill) Program is on the NCDOT website.