Monday’s meeting of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners was a chance to help the community in the ongoing battle with opioid addiction, celebrate career milestones and finance important projects and purchases. Check out the highlights below.
More help is on the way
As part of the unanimously approved Consent Agenda to start Monday’s meeting, Commissioners adopted a resolution that will allow New Hanover County to accept additional funding from a second national settlement related to opioid misuse. Previously, Commissioners approved a resolution for New Hanover County to receive approximately $18.4 million over an 18-year period from North Carolina’s portion of the first national settlement. This second settlement is expected to result in $14-18 million for the county which will provide additional support for the comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder strategy.
Numerous employee career milestones throughout the county were recognized during the meeting, including two retirees, Pamela Cooke and Pamela Nelson, with a combined 58 years of experience serving the citizens of New Hanover County as part of the Health and Human Services team.
Additionally, the Commissioners also honored 12 employees who have reached five, 10, 15, 25 and an incredible 35 years of service with the county.
Financing for the future
New Hanover County continues its commitment to responsible fiscal spending in service of the community and its needs. As part of annual capital project ordinances and improvements previously approved by the Board for this current fiscal year, Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to finance these endeavors through a limited obligation bond issuance not to exceed $25 million.
This is a common funding mechanism for local governments and will be used for construction projects like Hanover Pines Nature Park, a maintenance facility expansion at Ogden Park and a new structure for the Sheriff’s Office’s detective and vice divisions. Along with construction, part of the funding will go towards the purchase of a building in Downtown Wilmington that will house the CFCC Nursing Program moving forward, while some of the money will be utilized to buy new vehicles and heavy equipment used by an array of county agencies.
The county has maintained a double Triple-A bond rating for 10 straight years from both Moody’s and S&P, which is the highest rating possible and allows the county to get the best interest rates available. The county is also scheduled to repay more than $44 million in previous debt services during the current fiscal year, which is expected to bring its overall debt balance under $389 million and will help save taxpayers even more.
A public hearing to issue the $25 million in debt is set for the Commissioners’ meeting on Monday, May 1 at 4 p.m. Then the financing contract will go to the Local Government Commission for approval in June.
And that’s not all …
Commissioners heard a presentation from ACCESS of Wilmington about the work they do to eliminate barriers for individuals in the community with physical, intellectual, and invisible disabilities, including the Miracle Field. ACCESS is one of several nonprofit organizations in the community that receives additional annual funding through the non-county agency funding process. You learn more about that process by clicking here.
Commissioners also approved new members to the county’s Board of Equalization and Review, as well as the Parks Conservancy. These are just two of the numerous boards and committees that provide valuable guidance on important decisions throughout the county. To learn more about these committees and check available openings, click here.
You can view the March 20 meeting here and below. The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is set for 4 p.m. on April 3.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holds its regularly scheduled meetings on the first and third Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These meetings take place at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse (24 North 3rd Street, Room 301). A schedule of the 2023 meetings can be found here.
All meetings are broadcast live on NHCTV.com, New Hanover County's YouTube channel and Spectrum channel 13. For meeting agendas, minutes and exhibits, visit Commissioners.NHCgov.com.