N.C. counties next week will receive $38 million in lottery funds earmarked for school construction that had been taken by Gov. Bev Perdue several months ago to deal with budget problems.
Perdue said Friday that she's able to free up that money now that the books are closed on the fiscal year that ended June 30 and some cash is available.
The news means Mecklenburg County will receive nearly $3.76 million in lottery money that had been withheld last year. Finance Director Dena Diorio said the money will help the county pay down some debt for school construction projects. She said the county had predicted it would receive $15 million in lottery profits for the 2009-10 budget year and, assuming the state doesn't take any of the lottery money again this year, the newly released money would come on top of those funds.
Perdue in late February took nearly $88 million in lottery profits to ensure there was money in the state's day-to-day operating accounts to pay bills. The decision meant many county leaders had to scramble to make debt payments on building projects.
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The other $50 million came from a lottery reserve fund and has not been restored.
Other Charlotte-area school districts in line to receive money include: Cabarrus ($791,879), Gaston ($901,824), Iredell ($481,018) Lincoln ($271,431), Rowan-Salisbury ($577,618) and Union ($1.09 million). The Associated Press and staff writer April Bethea contributed.