More than 500 municipalities in North Carolina have begun to receive their distributions from the North Carolina State Street Aid, a program also known as the Powell Bill fund, for street, bikeway, greenway or sidewalk projects.
State Street Aid is sending out $147.7 million to 507 municipalities, with half the money sent October 1 and the remainder being sent January 1, 2016. The Powell Bill is named after former state senator Junius K. Powell, the primary sponsor of the bill introduced in 1951. That year, the total allocated was $4.5 million.
“This program assists local governments in improving transportation connectivity and safety for its residents and visitors by helping upgrade and repair their transportation systems,” Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said.
The Powell Bill fund has been running for 65 years and in that time has distributed roughly $4.1 billion collected from state gas taxes and highway user fees. Municipalities can only use the funds for “construction, widening, maintaining or repairing” projects they maintain.
Municipalities receive their allocated funds based on a North Carolina General Assembly formula that uses population figures (75 percent of the total) and number of locally maintained street miles (25 percent). Based on the population and street miles for the submissions this year, the funds break down to roughly $20.39 per person and $1,637 per mile.
This year, 22 cities are getting at least $1 million from the program. Charlotte will receive the most with $20.4 million, followed by Raleigh at $10.6 million, Greensboro at $7.4 million, Winston-Salem at $6.5 million and Durham at $6.2 million rounding out the top five.
A full list of the municipalities receiving the funds is available here.