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Bladen County towns will receive nearly $250,000 in State Street Aid funds to assist with street and sidewalk construction and repair, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced.

Bladen County’s share of the $147 million statewide allocation, also known as the Powell Bill Fund, comes from revenues generated by North Carolina’s gas tax and other highway user fees. The program began in 1951.

Here is a breakdown of Bladen County’s share of the fund:
Bladenboro: $55,563.14
Clarkton: $32,935.75
Dublin: $11,831.88
East Arcadia: $12,617.82
Elizabethtown: $106,161.09
Tar Heel: $6,058.51
White Lake: $24,135.59
Total: $249,303.78

Half of funds were sent to towns in January and the other half is expected to be distributed in early October, according to NCDOT. There are 508 municipalities which receive funds.

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.

The amount each municipality gets is based on a formula set by the N.C. General Assembly. Seventy-five percent of the funds are awarded based on population, while the remaining 25 percent are based on the number of street miles each municipality maintains. This year that broke down to $110.65 million on population and $36.88 million on street miles. Each community determines how to spend its money, as long as it is on qualified projects.

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