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Nash County towns receive state funding for streets

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Southern Nash County municipalities are set to receive a total of more than $76,000 in Powell Bill funding this year.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has begun distributing nearly $132.7 million in state street aid — also known as Powell Bill funds — to 508 municipalities across the state.

Bailey, a town with a population of 537 and 4 miles of roads, will receive $15,811. Middlesex, with 831 residents and 6 miles of roads, will receive $24,494. 

Spring Hope, a town with a population of 1,320 and 6 miles of roads, will receive $37,000, according to a breakdown of numbers provided by state transportation officials.

The initial allocation, half of the overall total, has been disbursed. The other half of the money will be issued by Jan. 1. The number of recipients who applied to be considered for funds is the same as 2019.

The Powell Bill requires municipalities to use the money primarily for street resurfacing, but it can also be used for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, drainage systems, sidewalks and greenways, said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette.

“The Powell Bill funding helps local governments improve transportation systems within their communities,” Boyette said. “These funds help complete critical projects like repairing roads and supporting local projects such as bikeways and sidewalks.”

The amount each municipality receives is based on a formula set by the N.C. General Assembly, with 75% of the funds based on population and 25% based on the number of locally maintained street miles.

The fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and mayor of Whiteville who was a primary sponsor of the 1951 bill to help the state’s cities with urban road problems. 

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