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 operates on a $392 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019, serving more than 227,000 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 nearly twenty-five years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a 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

County construction projects stay on budget & on schedule

Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:53 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

In any construction project, whether it’s building a new home or renovating your kitchen, it’s important to know how much things will cost. And it’s even better to know you won’t go over budget.

That last point is key, as construction prices increase and the cost of materials goes up. Predicting how much a project will cost a year from now can be difficult.

Knowing that, New Hanover County decided to use the model of Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for two current construction projects: the Health and Human Services building that is being constructed on Greenfield Street (to house the consolidated departments of Public Health and Social Services); and the Juvenile Justice Building that will be constructed on Fourth Street over the next two years.

By using the CMAR model, the county secures a construction manager early in the design process to deliver each project within a guaranteed maximum price, based on the construction documents and specifications at the time of the contract. So any costs exceeding that guaranteed maximum price (that are outside of any change orders) are the financial liability of the CMAR. This gives the county a higher level of cost control from the start.

This process has worked incredibly well for the new Health and Human Services building, which is projected to be fully complete, with Social Services and Public Health staff moved in, by early 2020. I am looking forward to its completion because it will provide more convenience for customers and create greater efficiencies in the services we offer to our community.

Monteith Construction Corporation is the CMAR for that project, so they have assumed the financial liability if things get off course. But the building is on track and has actually moved along quicker than originally anticipated, even with delays from Hurricane Florence.

It also appears that it will be on, or possibly under, the project’s budget of $23 million. This is good news for New Hanover County and our tax payers, especially considering we received $19 million from NHRMC for the sale of the Health Department property to help offset the cost of this project.

The other CMAR project the county has underway is a new Juvenile Justice Building that will replace the current facility on Fourth Street. The new building will be three stories and 35,000 square feet, and will house court and support functions related to the juvenile court system.

New Hanover County has contracted with Bordeaux Construction Company as the CMAR to ensure the project comes in on budget. The county is working now to finalize construction documents and permitting, so that a final budget can be confirmed and the guaranteed maximum price can be established.

This building has become a priority for the county because in 2017, North Carolina Legislators passed the “Raise the Age” law, meaning that nonviolent offenses alleged to have been committed by 16 and 17 year olds will be heard in juvenile court instead of automatically charging these teens as adults.

This law goes into effect in December of this year and will necessitate increased service requirements for the juvenile court system. With the anticipated growth, this new building – which is expected to be complete in early 2021 – will allow our court system to efficiently and effectively serve those teens.

Both of these projects are important to our community. They will help to ensure we are serving our residents in facilities that are functional, easy to maintain, and relevant well into the future. And by using the CRAM model, we are minimizing the county’s risks and ensuring your tax dollars are invested wisely.

New Hanover County continues to lead in our innovative business practices and stewardship of taxpayer resources – and these two projects are prime examples of that.


Hurricane Florence: Six Months Later

Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet It has been six months already, since Hurricane Florence made landfall in New Hanover County. This storm was unlike any other we have seen in … Read More »


The possibilities of Project Grace

Posted February 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet The possibilities of Project Grace are exciting. It has been over two years since we began talking about the opportunity of a public-private partnership to … Read More »


New Hanover County’s Legislative Priorities Put Residents First

Posted January 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County Commissioners have been working hard to prioritize and advocate for our county’s local legislative goals for 2019-20, and they have been working … Read More »


One Thousand, Five Hundred and Ten

Posted December 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet One thousand, five hundred and ten. That’s the number of New Hanover County employees who stayed behind, served our community, and supported our residents for … Read More »