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Cities get Powell Bill allocation for streets

The N.C. Department of Transportation is distributing more than $143.1 million in State Street Aid to Municipalities, also known as Powell Bill funds, to 509 municipalities statewide.

The initial allocation, or half the total, was distributed last week. The other half will be paid by Jan. 1. The amount each municipality receives is based on a formula set by the N.C. General Assembly, with 75 percent of the funds based on population, and 25 percent based on the number of locally-maintained street miles. 

Henderson County has three towns that own streets. Here are each city's population, miles of city streets and total allocations:

  • Fletcher, 8,002, 23.8 miles, $181,254.
  • Hendersonville, 16,115, 67.5 miles, $394,666.
  • Laurel Park, 2,254, 33 miles, $90,941.

Saluda, which is partly in Henderson County, received $25,595 based on its population of 628 and 9.3 miles of streets.

“Powell Bill funding makes many critical transportation improvements possible for communities from the mountains to the coast,” said State Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “Municipalities can use these funds on a variety of projects that make North Carolina an even better place to live and work.”

The Powell Bill funds are used primarily to resurface municipal streets but can also 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 fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and mayor of Whiteville. Powell was the primary sponsor of the 1951 bill that helped 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.