10/03/10 — Town street funds to be cut

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Town street funds to be cut

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 3, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County's seven municipalities will receive almost $50,000 less in state street aid, also known as the Powell Bill Fund, this year than they did in 2009.

The funding comes from revenues generated by the state gas tax and other highway user fees. The N.C. Department of Transportation has distributed more than $128.9 million to 508 municipalities across the state -- a $3 million decrease from 2009, primarily because of the economic downturn resulting in reduced revenues, state officials said.

Combined, the county's municipalities will receive $1,204,930.9 down $49,910.81 from $1,254,841.71 in 2009.

Each municipality determines how to spend its money, as long as it is on qualified projects -- maintaining, repairing, constructing, reconstructing or widening of local streets that are the responsibility of the municipalities or for planning, construction and maintenance of bikeways or sidewalks along public streets and highways.

The local allocations, with last year's amount listed in parenthesis are:

* Eureka, $6,276.01 ($6,535.18)

* Fremont, $43,045.46 ($44,727.44)

* Goldsboro, $969,947.74 ($1,012,515)

* Mount Olive, $126,903.21 ($130,144.96)

* Pikeville, $21,298.13 ($22,093.20)

* Seven Springs, $3,630.81 ($3,927.58)

* Walnut Creek, $33,829.54 ($34,898.35).

In Duplin County, Calypso will receive $16,935. 21 ($17,565.25) and Faison $26,791.38 ($27,752.25). Newton Grove in Sampson County will receive $19,394.88 ($20,253.97).

The amount allocated to each municipality is equal to the amount produced during the fiscal year by the 1.75 cents on each taxed gallon of motor fuel. The funds have to be disbursed on or before October 1.

The total amount allocated is 75 percent on the basis of population and 25 percent on the basis of the number of non-state system local street mileage.

Municipalities receiving a Powell Bill allocation are required to keep a separate record of accounts indicating in detail all receipts and expenditures of the funds. At the end of the year, each municipality is required to submit a financial statement to the DOT showing expenditures in detail and the balances on hand.

A municipality may accumulate funds without penalty until its balance at the end of the fiscal year equals the total of its most recent 10 allocations. Any excess is deducted and added to the Powell Bill amount to be allocated for the following year.

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.