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 227,000 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

County Projects are Investments in Our Future

Posted May 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

A new fire station, library, Public Health and Social Services building, and the potential development of Project Grace.

Those are four of the major projects New Hanover County is working on right now, and they are all strategic investments to help better serve our citizens and enhance the quality of life in this community.

Each of these projects helps to move the county forward and further the Board of Commissioners’ priorities outlined in the county’s strategic plan. So, I wanted to take this opportunity and provide you, our citizens and taxpayers, with an update on their progress.

Ogden Fire Station

The construction of a modern 13,706 square foot Ogden Fire Station, located at 7375 Market St., will improve public access, emergency response capabilities and employee safety at one of the busiest fire stations in the unincorporated county. This station alone responded to 903 calls in 2017.

The original 8,800 square foot facility, which was built in 1961, was constructed as an all-volunteer fire station, and was modified several times over the years to accommodate increasing staff and response demands. New Hanover County Fire Rescue needed a new state-of-the-art fire station, and we are almost there.

Construction on the station began in August 2017 and is about 50 percent complete, so it is on time to be finished in September of this year. While construction is underway, Ogden Fire Station has been temporarily located at 7572 Old Oak Road. You can learn more about this project on Fire Rescue’s website.

Pine Valley Branch Library

The Pine Valley Branch Library, located at 3802 South College Road, will replace the existing Myrtle Grove Library and will serve the growing population of more than 114,000 residents who live in a five-mile radius of the library.

Back in 1993 when the Myrtle Grove Library was first opened, the population within a five-mile radius of the library was 43,258. In 2020, that area’s population is projected to be 126,000. So, the need for a new library is clear, and Pine Valley is being built to accommodate that growth.

With 19,541 square feet of flexible space, the Pine Valley Branch Library will be more than triple the size of the Myrtle Grove Branch and will house a collection of new materials, a children’s room with space for story time, an outdoor learning space, a community meeting room with a capacity of 200-plus, as well as enough study and computer space to meet a variety of service demands.

Construction on the new library began in November 2017. It is about 30 percent complete, with good progress in the wall framing, structure and roof. It is expected to be complete in January 2019, and you can see visuals of the design and learn more about this great neighborhood library on the Public Library’s website.

Public Health and Social Services Building

New Hanover County’s Public Health and Social Services Building will co-locate the Public Health Department and Department of Social Services to provide convenience for clients and create efficiencies in service offerings.

The new building will be constructed behind the current Department of Social Services site, located at 1650 Greenfield St. It will be four stories and 96,103 square feet, have a green roof, and will consume approximately 29 percent less energy than a standard building the same size. There will be a public transportation stop dedicated to the building, conveniently located near the public entry. And, most importantly, it will make it easier for our clients to access the services they need.

Construction is expected to begin in June and the new building is projected to be complete, with Social Services and Health staff moved in, by January 2020. A groundbreaking for the building will be held on Wednesday, May 23 at 11 a.m. at the site, and the community is invited to attend. More details, including a rendering of the building, can be found on the county’s website.

Project Grace

New Hanover County is moving into the next phase of Project Grace to explore the options of entering into a public-private partnership for the potential redevelopment of a three-acre county-owned block in downtown Wilmington.

The county is now in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) phase to find the most qualified project teams. Then, those top qualified firms, if the board chooses, will be invited to submit a full development proposal by December.
This project has the potential of adding community value by incorporating a modern public library, Cape Fear Museum, usable green space, and a parking deck on the block, supported by private investment.

space needs analysis was recently conducted to identify the needs of both the museum and library, and it revealed that co-locating these assets would enhance the visitor experience, bring improved services to patrons, and draw more visitors in – beyond what each facility is capable of currently.

Once development proposals are received and reviewed at the beginning of 2019, there will be more opportunities for the community to provide input on Project Grace, if the board chooses to move forward. And, in the new fiscal year, we expect to conduct a separate study to determine the future use of the existing museum site on Market Street.

If you are interested in receiving periodic updates, I encourage you to sign up for Project Grace emails here. You can also view a timeline and additional information on the Project Grace website.

As you can see, New Hanover County is moving forward through strategic investments that will benefit our residents and our visitors for years to come.


New Hanover County Supports Job Growth, Economic Development

Posted April 19, 2018 at 9:18 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Economic development incentives are an important aspect of New Hanover County’s strategy to encourage the private sector to grow, create jobs, invest in our community … Read More »


Manager’s Message: Social Workers Advocate, Support and Encourage

Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:08 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet March is National Social Worker Month, and New Hanover County has an incredible team of social workers that serve our community every day. Their compassion, … Read More »


Manager’s Message: Advancing New Hanover County’s Strategic Priorities

Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet The need to plan for the county’s future, to create a road map for setting measurable targets and achieving them, is the basis for New … Read More »


Manager’s Message: Advancing Our Success into 2018

Posted January 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County had a good 2017, and I am looking forward to another productive year in 2018. I am confident the county will continue … Read More »


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