Bill Summary for H 936 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 11 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 936 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 11, 2021
AN ACT TO SUPPORT ACCESS TO THE SCENIC BEAUTY OF NORTH CAROLINA'S ENVIRONMENT FOR THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY PROVIDING DEDICATED FUNDS FOR SUPPORT OF STATE AND LOCAL TRAILS.
Intro. by Arp, Blackwell, Clampitt, Paré.

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Bill summary

Appropriates $10 million in non-recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) in each year of the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium to be allocated to the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, half of which is for natural surface and paddle trails and the other half for paved trails. Provides that funds allocated for natural surface and paddle trails may be used by the State Park System, State recreational forests, local governments, or public authorities for:
(1) Land and easement acquisition for trails,
(2) Construction of trails and trail facilities,
(3) Rehabilitation of trails and trail facilities,
(4) Design and related environmental assessments for trails and trail facilities,
(5) Meeting federal grant matching requirements, up to 50%, for natural surface and paddle trail projects.
Provides that no more than 20% of the funds allocated for natural surface and paddle trails may be allocated for trail design/environmental assessment and federal grant matching. Provides that funds allocated for paved trails must be used for paved trails and greenway projects conducted by municipalities and rural transportation planning organizations (RPO’s) located in development Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties (see GS 143B-437.08 for definition of tier 1 and tier 2 counties). Requires that the local match for these projects be $1 per every $4 of State funds. Directs that the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority will partner with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to leverage any federal funding available for paved trails/greenways.
Appropriates $3 million in non-recurring funds to DNCR for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to fund grants for trail maintenance and for signage on components of the State Trails System (STS). Directs that DNCR will enter into memorandums of agreement with local governments and non-profits receiving funds under this provision which include a three to five year trail maintenance plan.
Appropriates $100,000 in recurring funds to DNCR for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to support a STS coordinator position that will oversee of components of the STS and local trails connecting to or complementing the STS.
Directs the STS to develop a master plan for coordination between DNCR and DOT to prioritize and coordinate paved trail/greenway planning and funding in a manner that will maximize use of federal funding for paved trail/greenway construction and that will not compromise federal funding for road construction and maintenance. Directs the STS to report to the Chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources by December 1, 2022.
Appropriates $530,000 in non-recurring funding from the Highway Fund to DOT for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to be allocated to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative. Provides that funds appropriated under this provision are available to municipalities and RPO’s located in development tier 1 and tier 2 counties. Provides eligible entities can request funding for a project’s feasibility study, which is evaluated based on community support, overall concept, and contribution to an existing or planned trail network. Requires that feasibility studies include, at minimum, recommendations for trail segment alignments, preliminary design/construction cost estimates, easement acquisition strategies, and documentation of community support. Requires a 5% match by local governments and RPO’s for funding under this provision.
Effective July 1, 2021.

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