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

Energy Sustainability Goal: Stewardship Of Natural Resources And Tax Money

Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

I thought you might enjoy reading something that I posted to Insights at The Greater Wilmington Business Journal last month. Conservation of energy saves us all money, and it’s the right thing to do . . .

Making the best use of the resources that citizens and taxpayers have entrusted to us should be a top goal for any responsible government agency. Our Energy Sustainability Policy is one way that New Hanover County works to live up to that goal.

As business managers and homeowners know well, smart energy use isn’t just a benefit for society and the environment, it also saves significant amounts of money. For a large institution, which operates multiple buildings and numerous vehicles, that saving is especially important.

Some of the strategies that New Hanover County is pursuing are:

  • Control of temperatures in all county buildings
  • Limits on use of small plug-in appliances by employees
  • Adoption of highly efficient LED lighting
  • Water conservation

At the heart of the county’s energy policy is a five-year action plan. During its first year, we established benchmark levels of energy usage in our buildings including our administrative offices, the public libraries, the county museum and others. We also compared our energy use to other counties around North Carolina.

Over the five-year plan, our goal is to reduce energy consumption by 4 percent each year or 20 percent over our 2013 costs.

So far, our measurements have shown that in the first eight months we have already reduced our energy consumption by 650,000 kilowatt hours. That’s equivalent to the total energy consumption of more than 50 typical homes for the same period. In terms any thrifty taxpayer should appreciate, that cut $50,700 off the county’s electric bill – even though the county absorbed a 4 percent rate increase from Duke Energy.

Comparable savings from other energy sources include $39,000 for propane and $8,000 for natural gas. Add together the electricity savings to the gas savings, and that’s almost $100,000 that can be used for the public benefit. Considered another way, it is $100,000 that doesn’t have to come from tax revenues. On top of the direct savings, the county has received about $80,000 in refunds and rebates from Duke Energy. These are similar to the incentives homeowners can get for installing more efficient heating and cooling systems or appliances.

Those rebates helped pay for our conversion from old-fashioned incandescent and fluorescent lighting to the best new light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.

To help meet our goals, our Property Management Department has set all building temperatures to a range of 70 degrees for heating and 74 degrees for cooling. That strikes a good balance between comfort and economy.

One major drain on the power system is so-called “plug-in load” – the small devices like coffee pots, space heaters, box fans and microwaves that can fill up personal work spaces. Many of these appliances have been removed from the county’s offices. However, we do still allow smaller personal fans including small, USB-powered fans that plug directly into a computer, drawing very little power.

Saving water is important for its own sake, but it saves energy as well. One approach to this goal is to begin installing dual-flush toilets. These are replacing automatic-flush toilets that too often seem to flush by themselves.

On a larger scale, we have installed cisterns at various facilities to collect rainwater. The biggest so far is at Animal Control Services, which is saving 300,000 to 400,000 gallons a year. That’s equivalent to $3,000 off the county’s water bill. A larger system being planned for the county jail could save about 1 million gallons a year.

A related initiative has been developing rain gardens at various county properties. These filter stormwater, reducing runoff and keeping our creeks and sound cleaner. We also have arranged for county residents to purchase their own rain barrels at a 25 percent discount from the New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District at the county offices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month.

The renovation of the former county administration building at Fourth and Chestnut streets includes many energy efficient components, including Wilmington’s first “live green roof.” Our green roof incorporates waterproof membranes, soil and plants, and has both environmental and energy-saving benefits. Buildings with green roofs stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

A sustainability committee comprising county employees meets regularly, looking for ways to reward departments that further reduce our energy costs. Beyond saving money, we want to set an example for other organizations and be good stewards of our natural resources.

All of this will help New Hanover County accomplish our objective of effective county government, to be “The Model of Good Governance.”


New Hanover County 2017 revaluation update

Posted September 16, 2015 at 4:36 pm

At a minimum, each of North Carolina’s 100 counties is required to conduct a reassessment of property values (revaluation) every 8 years. In order to best prepare a baseline for budgeting, New … Read More »


County completes successful bond sale

Posted August 31, 2015 at 8:29 am

August 27, 2015 finalized what the county has worked so hard to build and maintain – the ability to secure voter-approved bonds at the best and lowest rate possible. With … Read More »


Bond Issues Represent Voter-Approved Investments In Our Future

Posted August 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

What follows is a blog that I posted to The Greater Wilmington Business Journal at the end of July just before the county went to the bond market to secure … Read More »


New Hanover County on Social Media

Posted July 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Social media provides you with ways to stay in touch with county government. These tools connect you with immediate access to breaking news, information, programs & events and meeting schedules. … Read More »


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