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 $398 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020, serving 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

Public Hearing on the FY 15-16 County Budget

Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

In early May I presented a budget to the Board of Commissioners that proposed a 5 cent property tax increase and a general fund budget of some $306.6 million. The Board, to date, has met 3 times to make revisions to the recommended budget. Those changes, as of June 4, represent what the board will take for public comment during public hearing on the budget Monday, June 8. The revisions set a general fund of $302.2 million and proposed tax rate of 57.4 cents, which is a 2 cent increase and not the 5 I recommended.

For those of you that are interested in offering public comment to the Board, or if you’re simply interested in reviewing the board-directed revisions, please keep reading.

Revisions from the May 14, May 28, and June 4 budget work sessions:

Expenditure Adjustments

  • Reduction of $1,081,440 to the public school system ($93,427,899 is now the appropriation target);
  • Reduction of $2,138,546 in debt service by delaying the remaining $40 million from the 2008 community college bonds and the first $52 million of the 2014 school bonds ($51,317,350 is now the General Fund debt service appropriation target);
  • Reduction of $550,000 from the community college operations and maintenance and capital budget ($11,637,563 is now the appropriation target);
  • Reduction of $225,200 in county-funded child care subsidies and capping the program at 100 ($448,000 is now the appropriation target);
  • Reduction of $160,000 in the county’s capital improvement plan;
  • Reduction of $150,000 in a juvenile justice services review in anticipation of age modifications in the justice system;
  • Reduction of $24,836 in other miscellaneous accounts;
  • Addition of $10,000 for the arts council;
  • Addition of $10,000 for the children’s museum;
  • Addition of $9,000 for the Cape Fear Resource, Conservation, and Development district;
  • Addition of $5,000 for the Friends of Fort Fisher.

Revenue Adjustments

  • Increase of $1,624,361 in sales tax collections ($62,267,210 is now the revenue target);
  • Increase of $3 million in the appropriated use of the county’s fund balance ($9,700,000 is now the revenue target);
  • Revenue from a 2 cent property tax increase v. the 5 cents I proposed.

The noted changes do several things (above the good public policy requirement to adopted a balanced budget), in my opinion:

  1. Maintains a competitive tax rate as compared to other urban, triple A-bond rated counties across the state and neighboring counties;
  2. Makes important and significant investments in public education, public safety, and economic development – all of which constitute citizen priorities per the 2014 community survey;
  3. Preserves the fiscal integrity of the county and aligns with the county’s financial policies to include its debt management policy and its fund balance policy.

Public Hearing on the FY 15-16 County Budget

Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the FY 15-16 county budget Monday afternoon, June 8 at the historic courthouse. I hope everyone can … Read More »


FY15-16 Recommended Budget

Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:06 am

Monday, May 4, 2015 I presented a recommended budget for fiscal year 2015 and 2016 (FY 15-16) to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. If you did not get … Read More »


A MRF in the future

Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

The following blog is provided from “Shorelines,” an internal communication channel for New Hanover County employees. The county manager posted this blog following the Board of Commissioners’ meeting Monday, and … Read More »


County Concern with Proposed Sales Tax Distribution

Posted March 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

You may have recently read or heard about a North Carolina General Assembly proposal to redirect local sales taxes that you pay in and to New Hanover County to other … Read More »