Anticipating payment from the federal government in settlement of the 1943 road-building agreement between Swain County and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the N.C. General Assembly has passed a bill to establish a trust fund to manage the proceeds of the monetary payment. The plan followed resolutions from the Swain County Board of Commissioners for fiduciary management for the “long-term prosperity of the people of Swain County” that would preserve and insulate the money “from improvident expenditure.”
The trust fund, under the legislation, would become a special fund in the Office of the State Treasurer, with assets to be disbursed only to Swain County. Under the legislation, disbursements requested by the county’s board of commissioners could not exceed the total interest and investment income earned in any fiscal year. Any disbursement of the principal balance would have to come from the board of commissioners and be accompanied by certification from the Swain County Board of Elections that two-thirds of the registered voters in the county voted in favor of such disbursement.
Passed June 17 as Senate Bill 1646, the bill’s primary sponsor was Sen. John Snow of Murphy, who represents Swain, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Transylvania counties. The sponsor in the House (HB 2406) was Rep. Phil Haire of Sylva, representing Swain, Haywood, Jackson and Macon counties. The bill has moved to the governor’s desk for his signature.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor