NCDOT Sending $147.3 Million in Powell Bill funds to Municipalities Across the State
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.