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Street aid funds distributed to Columbia

The Town of Columbia recently received $10,315 as half payment of the state’s Powell Bill distribution to maintain streets and bridges not owned by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation. A similar payment is due in late December.

The recent state payout amounted to $66.33 million to 508 cities and towns.

These funds are to be expended primarily for the purposes of resurfacing streets within the corporate limits of the municipality but may also be used for maintaining, repairing, constructing, reconstructing, or widening of local streets that are the responsibility of the municipalities, in addition to the planning, construction, and maintenance of bikeways, greenways, or sidewalks.

For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, municipalities with a population of 400,000 or more are to receive two-thirds of the 2019-2020 fiscal year allocation of Powell Bill Program funds. The remaining Powell Bill Program funds shall be allocated to municipalities with a population of less than 400,000 in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 136-41.1(a).

Cities and towns shall strongly prefer the use of seeds and plants the U.S. Department of Agriculture has classified as native to North Carolina when the use of funds includes landscaping, the appropriations act states.

The law also stipulates that Powell Bill funds shall not be expended for the construction of a sidewalk into which is built a mailbox, utility pole, fire hydrant, or other similar obstruction that would impede the clear

passage of pedestrians on the sidewalk.