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

Preparation And Partnership Are Key To Disaster Preparedness

Posted October 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm

New Hanover County promises to keep our community safe, healthy, and secure. I am pleased to say that we kept that promise during Hurricane Matthew, thanks to our dedicated staff and community partners. Our Emergency Management Department did a great job in coordinating the preparedness and response efforts, and I have highlighted their work in my recent Insight article for the Wilmington Business Journal below…

While New Hanover County fared well during Hurricane Matthew, many other counties were not as fortunate. The extent of damages throughout New Hanover County mainly consisted of downed trees and power lines, flooded roads, and power outages. This unpredictable hurricane had everyone in our county on high alert, and rightfully so. I am glad that New Hanover County citizens were prepared and remained vigilant, and that our Emergency Management officials were equipped and ready to ensure our community was safe, healthy and secure.

Many are unaware of what happens behind the scenes during a storm like Matthew. New Hanover County has an Emergency Management Department that monitors the storm, in concert with the National Weather Service. Emergency Management staff keeps the municipalities in the county informed of the storm’s potential impacts and suggest precautionary measures for each entity to take. The City of Wilmington, Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure Beaches, New Hanover County School officials, human services agencies, and emergency personnel are all close, collaborative partners during this process. By bringing all of these groups together before a storm, Emergency Management officials are able to ensure that a consistent, accurate message is provided to the public, and precautionary steps are taken as they are needed.

With Hurricane Matthew approaching, New Hanover County activated our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Friday, October 7 at 11 a.m. With this activation, the county’s Joint Information Center was also initiated and the media and public were able to get timely, up-to-date information about the storm and all of New Hanover County’s protective measures as they occurred. Social media was a great way that our county pushed information to residents and visitors – both preparedness information as well as information during the storm and after. If you aren’t following the county on Facebook or Twitter, you should. It is a great way to know what is happening around the county at all times.

The EOC was staffed by New Hanover County employees, along with representatives from NC Highway Patrol, NCDOT, the American Red Cross, NHC Schools, Department of Social Services, NHC Health Department, CFPUA, Fire Rescue, Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Fire and Police, fire services from Carolina and Wrightsville Beach, and more. Why so many people? They all carried out emergency support functions before, during and after the storm.

They prepared and staffed three shelters that were open during the storm, and made sure evacuees had enough food and water. They helped facilitate the movement of our special needs population to long-term care facilities that could help them during the storm. They acted as liaisons for Duke Energy and fire personnel when transformers were sparking in the middle of the night. They assisted in the rescue efforts of stranded motorists because of live wires and downed trees.

Every person had a role and our community is safe, healthy and secure because of their help and vigilance throughout the storm.

In an incident like this, New Hanover County does not operate in a silo. Our emergency operation during Matthew was a great example of the cooperative spirit that exists between municipal partners and local and state agencies. I am proud of the way our Emergency Management team handled this storm, and I hope you are too.

As we clean up from Hurricane Matthew and we see the flooding devastation of our neighboring counties, now is the time for all of us to assess our own emergency plans. Many times people focus on their family’s preparedness efforts, which should always come first. But you also need to examine your business’ Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). Having a plan is one of the most important things a business can do to protect your livelihood and your employees in the event of a disaster.

Shortened production down times, less property damage, and quicker employee return times are just some of the benefits of businesses pre-planning for emergencies. New Hanover County’s Emergency Management Department offers a free service to all businesses and organizations in the county to help with disaster planning.

Our Emergency Management staff will help you write your COOP plan and ensure you have a plan in place for the future. Whether it’s having an off-site storage facility that houses copies of important documents and data, ensuring you have back-up power for critical systems, or that you have a list of your employees’ contact information and their emergency contacts readily available wherever you are. Every facet of the plan is important to think through, and the county can help you do that. More information can be found on the county’s website and by calling 910-798-6900.

New Hanover County practices for emergency situations throughout the year, so that we are always prepared. I believe our preparedness showed during Matthew – it is what our citizens deserve and what we promise. And I hope you will take the time to prepare your own business, so that we can safeguard New Hanover County and the businesses that are so important to all of us.


New Hanover County Best Practices

Posted August 29, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I thought you might enjoy reading my most recent Greater Wilmington Business Journal Insight article, which highlights some of the ways that New Hanover County is being innovative, developing best practices, and delivering value for our citizens… … Read More »


New Hanover County’s First Comprehensive Plan

Posted July 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I am pleased to tell you that the very first Comprehensive Plan – “Plan NHC” – has been adopted in New Hanover County. This is a historic achievement, and it … Read More »


Proposal Would Bring Water & Sewer Service To U.S. 421 Industrial Corridor

Posted June 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

In May, I wrote an Insight column for The Greater Wilmington Business Journal about the proposed $16.7 million project to extend water and sewer service to the U.S. 421 corridor in … Read More »


New Hanover County Receives Historic Wilmington Foundation Awards

Posted May 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Last week, New Hanover County and the Board of Commissioners received two awards for the county’s contributions to making downtown better. The awards went to our 320 Chestnut building renovation and the new CFCC Humanities … Read More »


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