courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 220,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

County ManagerNew Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as Chief Administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $352.1 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2016 and ends June 30, 2017, serving more than 220,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the County to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the County’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior public health, safety and education, intelligent growth and economic development, productive strategic partnerships, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the County Manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as Assistant County Manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Coudriet has twenty years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and along with his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery, and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

Proposal Would Bring Water & Sewer Service To U.S. 421 Industrial Corridor

Posted June 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

In May, I wrote an Insight column for The Greater Wilmington Business Journal about the proposed $16.7 million project to extend water and sewer service to the U.S. 421 corridor in New Hanover County. I hope you will take a minute to read the Insight column below and learn about this project and the economic benefits it would bring to our region:

As North Carolina’s second-smallest and most urbanized county, New Hanover County has been at a disadvantage in one important economic-development resource: suitable sites for industry. Even so, the county does have a number of areas that could sustain high-value industrial development, if that development is supported by the right infrastructure.

This was a key component of the “Pathways to Prosperity” report, which highlights infrastructure development as a priority for New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington, in conjunction with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA).

That is the reason for a $16.7 million project, aimed for completion in mid-2019, to extend water and sewer service to the entire length of the U.S. 421 corridor in New Hanover County, from the Isabel Holmes Bridge to the Pender County line. Adequate water and sewer lines for industrial sites will further the county’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality jobs for our citizens and advance our vision for economic growth.

An important first step came in April when our Board of Commissioners approved a $2.1 million capital project to design, permit and acquire rights of way for the water and sewer service. Next year’s proposed county budget includes an appropriation for construction along the industrial corridor.

Served by the multi-lane highway U.S. 421, as well as the Interstate 140 Outer Loop freeway, this peninsula between the Cape Fear River’s two branches is zoned for heavy industry use. It has been an important source of jobs for many years, but has never had the full utility services that are essential for high-value manufacturing and other commercial uses.

The recommended county budget for fiscal year 2016-17 includes an additional $14.6 million capital project to lay pipes and build the rest of the system. It will include a water main and pump station, and a sewer force main and collection system. If this is approved as part of next year’s budget, water and sewer service should be available along U.S. 421 to the Pender County line starting in July 2019.

This project came together when water mains were laid under the Northeast Cape Fear River. This provided water service to the Flemington residential area off U.S. 421, and the county added a sewer crossing. Many years earlier, New Hanover County had built a water system for that community’s residents, to replace private wells that had become contaminated by a long-defunct solid waste landfill. But that system depended on a well that didn’t have the capacity to support needed expansion, and didn’t include sewer service.

This project will complete the modern infrastructure for this important part of the county, which already provides major transportation and utility services. The Northeast Cape Fear River, which borders the corridor’s eastern edge, is navigable for ocean-going and barge traffic. An industrial rail spur runs parallel to U.S. 421 and serves a number of industrial plants. The Outer Loop freeway is already a fast connection to Interstate 40 and points north, and when complete next year will give high-speed access to U.S. 17 southbound and U.S. 74-76 going west.

A major natural gas line now serves the U.S. 421 corridor. This allowed Duke Energy to convert its Sutton Steam Plant, originally built in the 1950s, from burning coal to much cleaner and more efficient gas operation. The Sutton Plant, of course, is an essential part of the entire region’s energy supply.

For the past three decades, a high-capacity “raw water” line has made untreated water from the Cape Fear River available to large users in the U.S. 421 corridor for use in heavy industrial processes. That supply, however, isn’t suitable for human consumption.

An ample supply of treated water, along with high-volume sewage treatment, are necessary for businesses that employ or serve significant numbers of people. This proposed new system will distribute up to 660,000 gallons a day of high-quality drinking water from CFPUA’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, and will send wastewater to CFPUA’s Northside Treatment Plant.

Our economic development partners tell us that we have a valuable asset in the U.S. 421 industrial corridor, and that its value will increase significantly with this last piece of infrastructure in place. Providing the public resources necessary to maximize that value, and encourage job creation through the higher use of currently under-utilized land, is another way New Hanover County is the model of good governance.


New Hanover County Receives Historic Wilmington Foundation Awards

Posted May 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Last week, New Hanover County and the Board of Commissioners received two awards for the county’s contributions to making downtown better. The awards went to our 320 Chestnut building renovation and the new CFCC Humanities … Read More »


New Hanover County Receives Triple-A Bond Rating

Posted April 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

I have great news to share!  New Hanover County has again received a Triple-A bond rating, the highest rating a county can achieve, from both Moody’s Investor Services (Moody’s) and … Read More »


Get Acquainted With New Hanover County’s Parks

Posted April 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

In March, I wrote an Insight column for The Greater Wilmington Business Journal reminding our community about our great county parks and the upcoming improvements being made. They are your parks and … Read More »


Health, Fitness And Recreation Are Aims Of Senior Resource Center

Posted February 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm

A piece we posted to The Greater Wilmington Business Journal outlining the value-add of the Senior Resource Center. We don’t talk enough about the good work of this department. By … Read More »


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