The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun distributing nearly $142.1 million in Powell Bill funds to 508 municipalities across the state. Moore County's incorporated towns will receive a combined total of approximately $1.5 million dollars restricted for road improvement projects.
Pinehurst received the largest allocation of local Powell Bill funds at $483,175; but Whispering Pines saw the biggest percentage increase from $115,983 in 2020 to $142,55 in 2021, or a 22.9 percent jump, the result of the area’s rising population.
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. The current per capita rate is $18.12 and the per mile rate is $1,520.17.
Other municipalities in Moore County receiving Powell Bill funding include Aberdeen ($230,061), Cameron (($7,846), Carthage ($80,070), Foxfire ($20,857), Pinebluff ($50,900), Robbins ($32,661), Southern Pines ($408,003), Taylortown ($19,328), and Vass ($31,738).
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 initial allocation, or half the total, was distributed this week. The other half will be paid by Jan. 1.
“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 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.
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