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 225,702 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 providing equitable opportunities and exceptional public services through good governance to ensure a safe, healthy, secure and thriving community for all.

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 $458 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022, serving more than 225,000 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’s work is aligned with six shared values: Professionalism, Equity, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. The county’s employees consistently exemplify these values and go above and beyond in carrying out the mission to serve the county’s citizens.

Learn more about the county’s mission, vision, and strategy here.

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

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 it has been edited to reflect action by the Wilmington City Council.

A MRF, not a Smurf from the 1980s popular cartoon, may well be in the future for New Hanover County residents.

So what’s a MRF (pronounced murf) anyway, and why should county residents be tuned in?

A MRF, technically known as a materials recovery facility, is a recycling operation that processes items like cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, glass, etc. These are things that we usually recycle by placing them in a recycling container for curb-side pick up or drop off at a county recycling station throughout the unincorporated county. Right now most of the recyclables collected locally are shipped off to Jacksonville or Raleigh — more expensive and more [negatively] impactful to the environment.

If a local MRF happens it is a guarantee that material you recycle can be done at a more cost effective rate by private haulers, the city, and the county. What does more cost effectiveness mean to you and me? A lower overall personal cost of disposal. We save money, which means we should be positioned to pass along fewer costs in the business of recycling.

How do we get to a functioning MRF locally? The first step happened Monday when the county commissioners approved an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) between the county and the city calling for development of a third-party operated MRF at the county’s former Waste-to-Energy (WASTEC) facility. It’s now up to the city through its commitment to the ILA (the city council approved the ILA Tuesday, April 21). The ILA commits the city to disposing of its curbside recyclables at the county-hosted, but third party-operated MRF. The ILA establishes a relationship between the county and the city for 8 years, effectively beginning at the start of the next fiscal year – July 1, 2015.

The second step is the county securing an operating agreement with Sonoco, a private recycling company, that establishes a MRF that can accept at least the city and the county’s share of recyclables. This is up to the negotiating influence of the county to get the best deal for all concerned. The long term agreement between the county and Sonoco will allow for expansion of the MRF and the potential of importing recyclables from the region. The more tons overall will mean a lower cost for New Hanover County residents – it doesn’t matter if you live in the city, a beach town, or the unincorporated county. Long term savings should be everyone’s future.

It may not be obvious right away, but development of a MRF locally should increase the overall rate of recycling participation throughout the county, which in turn leads to a more sustainable practice of solid waste management.


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 »


2014 Citizen Survey Results

Posted March 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

More than 1,300 of you responded to the second New Hanover County Citizens Survey during October and November 2014. The county sent 4,000 randomly selected households a survey instrument with … Read More »


Our Vision

Posted February 27, 2015 at 1:39 pm

As a resident, local business owner, or someone who visits New Hanover County, I hope you’ll spend time “surfing” our most effective tool for teaching and communicating about the success … Read More »


Some Early Legislative Success

Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm

In mid-January the New Hanover County Commission was successful in securing 2 statewide legislative goals on the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ legislative agenda. Both of these goal-issues have … Read More »