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 232,000 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.

New 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 is operating on a $399 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020. In addition, the county also administers $294 million in state and federal funding. Through this $693 million, the county serves more than 233,000 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 education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, 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.

Mr. Coudriet has twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor 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 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

2020: A Year of Action, Initiatives in New Hanover County

Posted February 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners held the 2020 State of the County address on February 10 to a packed room at the historic courthouse. I left feeling proud of the work the county has accomplished over the past year, and energized at the new projects and action that will take place in the year ahead.

If you didn’t catch the State of the County, I encourage you to watch the 37-minute address, given by Vice-Chair Patricia Kusek and Chair Julia Olson-Boseman, here.

In the address, the chair describes 2020 as “a year of action, of advancing key initiatives that will benefit our county and our community.” And I think she is spot on.

Several projects that tie directly to the county’s strategic plan and fill gaps that exist in our community will be underway soon. They focus on workforce housing, impact investing, and the older adult population. I believe these new initiatives have the power to positively impact our county now and for the future…

Workforce Housing

This spring, the Board of Commissioners plans to convey approximately 16 acres of county-owned property on Castle Hayne Road, in the Wrightsboro area, to Cape Fear Habitat. Habitat then plans to develop a subdivision on the land, which will bring more affordable home-ownership opportunities to residents in our area. This effort has been endorsed by the County/City Workforce Housing Advisory Committee and the property’s rezoning has been approved by the Planning Board.

In addition, the county is going to explore a pilot program this year to fund rental gap assistance for moderate income workers in our county who earn between 60 and 120 percent of the area median income. We currently provide funding to numerous housing organizations that are helping our low-income neighbors, but a gap exists for our middle-income workers like public safety personnel, teachers, service workers, and others who have fewer housing options available to them and are housing cost-burdened.

While details are still being determined, we hope to make an initial investment of $100,000 in this pilot program to provide rental assistance and help bridge the affordability gap that exists.

Social Impact Fund

Beginning this July, as part of the annual budget, the county plans to implement a Social Impact Fund as a pilot program to run alongside the current Non-County Agency Funding Program. The Social Impact Fund will be based on outcomes set by the county and will initially be focused on three key priorities: opioid and substance use prevention and treatment, early childhood education, and employment and workforce readiness.

The outcomes will be in line with the county’s strategic plan and resources will be allocated based on the greatest social needs in our community. We plan to provide three organizations with seed money this coming fiscal year and identify clear outcomes that they must meet. Based on their demonstrated achievements and results, these organizations will then receive additional county funding over the next three years.

Impact investing is a new approach for the county, and I think it will help ensure our funding is intentional, measurable, and has the greatest benefits to our community.

Master Aging Plan

We will also develop a five-year Master Aging Plan in 2020 through our Senior Resource Center. It will provide greater coordination of community services to help older adults age in place, aid in the transition from the hospital back to the home, increase paratransit services and efficiencies for older adults, enhance the county’s services, and address food and nutrition programs for the aging population.

We want to support and foster lifelong community engagement and well-being for older adults, so this plan will provide a framework that can evolve and change to meet the needs of our citizens.

I appreciate the Board of Commissioners’ forward-thinking and strategic vision that is guiding these new initiatives, and also the dedicated county employees who will help ensure these new plans come to life and meet the needs of our community.


Sewer and water along 421 creates corridor primed for growth and new jobs

Posted January 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet In business, in economic growth…if you build it, will they come? I think the answer, at least in the case of our industrial corridor on … Read More »


Minority & Women Business Enterprise Program Aims to Increase Economic Diversity

Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Earlier this year, New Hanover County began working on an update to our Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program to help ensure a higher … Read More »


NHRMC’s future: where we are and where we’re headed

Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

By County Manger Chris Coudriet The future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) is a main topic of conversation throughout the community. I understand why – it is an … Read More »


Purpose-designed government center & redeveloped land will benefit the community

Posted August 21, 2019 at 10:17 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet A new government center. Possible retail, residential and commercial space. A new hub of activity for New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington. That’s … Read More »