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 $399.6 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021. 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

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 US-421, is yes.

And I don’t mean building new offices or warehouses. I’m talking about building infrastructure, building a system for new and existing businesses to connect and utilize Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) water and sewer services. That’s what happened in December for our region when CFPUA finished its work to extend services along US 421.

Our community discussed the need for water and sewer on 421 for nearly four decades. And then in a matter of just five years – from the time of the city and county’s Garner Report in 2014 to now, it has become a reality.

The Garner Report provided actionable plans to increase private investment and create jobs, with the extension of water and sewer along 421 being one of the main targets identified. Through the support of the Board of Commissioners, CFPUA board, and local and state advocacy work – CFPUA was able to secure the ConnectNC bonds that helped fund this much-needed project.

The Board of Commissioners also contributed $1.6 million for fire suppression, which added 31 fire hydrants along the corridor that will protect the people and businesses there and those to come.

As the urban core of the region, New Hanover County and our leaders are, and must remain, focused on smart economic growth, providing the private sector with the infrastructure they need to thrive while encouraging further investment, and bringing more and better jobs that our community wants and needs.

Water and wastewater services are critical to help attract manufacturing and research facilities to our area, so investing in infrastructure development like this utility project will undoubtedly attract attention from the private sector.

Situated along the 421 corridor, Southern States was the first company to connect to water and sewer services, and Fortron Industries is in the process of finalizing their water connection now. Our Environmental Management Department, which operates the landfill and materials recycling facility on 421, will be connecting soon – so that our own county facilities and operations can have better infrastructure and direct access to water and sewer.

As recent as this article, Invista and four other customers are going through the design and permitting process for connections; so – if all of those move forward – then seven customers will be connected along 421 in just a matter of months.

It’s clear that this has been a need for our region, and that this will benefit businesses who are already here and others who will now see this corridor as a prime place to plant roots, grow and expand business.

We’ve built it, and now I look forward to the months and years ahead as more industries, smart businesses, and diverse, higher-wage jobs come to our region.


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 »


County Zoning Gets Full Revamp After 50 Years

Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Fifty years is a long time, especially when it comes to development. The way we think about development, its connectivity, density, affordability, and so much … Read More »