Henderson is the big winner among area municipalities in the recent $154.8 million Powell Bill allotment announced by the N.C. Department of Transportation for street improvements.
City Manager Terrell Blackmon told WIZS Wednesday that he and the City Council will be working to help prioritize where and how to use the $463,634.73 allotment, about half of which has been distributed. The remaining amount to be paid by Jan. 1, 2023, according to a press statement from NCDOT.
Officially called the State Street Aid to Municipalities, the program also is known as Powell Bill funds. This year, a total of 508 municipalities statewide benefitted from the allocation.
The Powell Bill funds are used primarily to resurface municipal streets but also may be used to maintain, repair, construct, or widen streets, bridges, and drainage areas. Municipalities can also use Powell Bill funds to plan, construct and maintain bike paths, greenways or sidewalks.
The amount each municipality receives is based on a formula established by state law, with 75 percent of the funds based on population and 25 percent based on the number of municipality-maintained street miles. The annual population figures are provided by the Office of State Budget and Management.
“Powell Bill funding allows us to complete a lot of transportation projects important to North Carolina communities from Murphy to Manteo,” said State Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “Municipalities can use these funds on projects that make our state a wonderful place to live, work and play.”
The fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and mayor of Whiteville. Powell was the primary sponsor of the 1951 bill 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.
Here’s what other area municipalities received through the Powell Bill: