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

New Hanover County Makes Plans & Partnerships to Invest $45 Million in the Community

Posted April 20, 2021 at 8:43 am
April 20, 2021

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet

Grants to businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the pandemic, infrastructure for a new business park on Blue Clay Road and programs designed to get people back to work are all part of a framework unanimously adopted by the Board of Commissioners for New Hanover County to use its allocation of American Rescue Plan funds.

The county is expected to receive an estimated $45.4 million in federal funds, with half of it coming in May and the second half arriving a year later. Since we wanted these funds to be put to use quickly to speed our recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19, county staff developed a framework early so the mechanics and details will be ready to go once the first wave of funds is transferred.

Our framework, I believe, addresses the economic and social impact of the pandemic under the spirit of the federal law and addresses priorities previously identified by the board.

First, and of interest to businesses, we plan to offer a new round of direct grants to businesses in a similar way the county provided $10,000 grants to 130 small businesses last year from our CARES Act appropriation. This new program will look different, in that we are expecting to provide grants scaled to the number of employees a business has and are looking to target some of the hardest-hit sectors in our community: the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as childcare providers.

We plan to partner with the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, who have a direct line of sight to these business, to help us administer the program. And are also planning to partner with the Cape Fear Collective to administer another grant program, providing grants to nonprofits who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

We will also be investing in new job training programs through StepUp Wilmington to help provide paid training and job placement for more than 100 people, with a focus on long-term employment for our residents. We are also working on a possible opportunity to tailor some portions of these programs to bolster employment for our local film industry. I believe this is a significant initiative that can create a model for us into the future.

To further support economic development, we plan to provide water and sewer infrastructure for the Blue Clay Business Park in order to jumpstart business growth in Northern New Hanover County – something that we have long been visioning and working toward. And these funds make it possible to do in the near term, which is an exciting prospect for bringing new business into the county.

To support more opportunities for affordable housing, we are proposing to use a portion of the funds to build water and sewer infrastructure along a portion of Sidbury Road. The intention is to pay CFPUA’s capacity fee for this extension, which is a fee typically incurred by developers. We believe this will help to lower development costs, thereby supporting construction of homes that can be priced more affordably for residents.

Another exciting program would provide broadband access to low-income residents throughout New Hanover County for two years. Barriers exist for many families to affordably access the internet, so we plan to partner with a broadband provider to pay for internet service in about 8,000 homes with school-aged children and who qualify for either Medicaid or Food and Nutrition Services.

We are also going to be focusing on mortgage assistance, mental health services for school children and seniors, enhancing the county’s emergency management plan, and numerous other initiatives. You can view an overview of our framework for investments here.

The overarching goal is to quickly inject cash into the community to spur economic recovery, help our residents recover from the pandemic, and ensure we are even more resilient for the future. I am grateful the Commissioners approved this framework that will allow us to get to work and be ready to make these programs a reality.


County saves more than $8 million through bond refunding

Posted March 19, 2021 at 9:15 am

March 19, 2021 By County Manager, Chris Coudriet Saving tax payer money is something that New Hanover County strives to do every day. It’s foundational to our strategy and vision … Read More »


Three years into the county’s five-year Strategic Plan

Posted February 16, 2021 at 8:16 am

February 16, 2021 By County Manager, Chris Coudriet New Hanover County is now at the three-year mark of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. We’re making progress on our goals, seeing areas where … Read More »


Smoking and Vaping Ordinance Good for Health and Business

Posted January 20, 2021 at 8:30 am

January 20, 2021 By County Manager, Chris Coudriet In October, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to implement an ordinance prohibiting the use of combustible tobacco and … Read More »


Health of residents was county focus in 2020

Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:25 am

December 21, 2020 By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County is committed to keeping our community safe, healthy and secure.   In 2020, that commitment was even more profound as the … Read More »