Oct. 11, 2013. The N.C. Department of Transportation will be distributing more than $145.6 million in State Street Aid, also known as the Powell Bill Fund, to 507 municipalities across the state. The initial allocation of $72.8 million was sent out on Sept. 30, with the rest to be paid by Jan. 1, 2014. That is an increase of about $2.8 million over last year’s allocation.
Money sent to the municipalities is to be used to build or maintain local streets that are their responsibility.
“The Powell Bill program provides cities and towns with money to help pay for repairs, maintenance and construction of transportation-related projects, including widening and adding sidewalks on their streets,” said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “These improvements enhance the safety and overall condition of the transportation systems used by local residents and visitors.”
Powell Bill funding comes from revenues generated by the state gas tax and other highway user fees. Since the program began in 1951, more than $3.7 billion has been allocated to municipalities. The amount each municipality gets is based on a formula set by the N.C. General Assembly. The formula requires 75 percent of the funds to be awarded based on population, while the remaining 25 percent are based on the number of street miles each municipality maintains. This year, that broke down to $109.2 million on population and $36.4 million based on street miles. Each municipality determines how to spend its money, as long as it is on qualified projects.
Charlotte will receive the highest amount at $19.8 million. That was based on its estimated population of 765,464 and its 2,442 miles of city-maintained streets. Raleigh is next at $10.3 million, followed by Greensboro ($7.4 million), Winston-Salem ($6.5 million) and Durham ($6 million). There are 23 cities or towns receiving at least $1 million to assist with their transportation projects.
The fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and mayor of Whiteville, whose name led a list of legislators sponsoring a 1951 bill to help the state’s cities with urban road problems. The first allocation of Powell Bill funds was in 1951 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.