Barfield: ‘State of the county is strong,’ in Monday address


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day before the president gives the annual State of the Union address to the nation, New Hanover County residents will get the State of the County update.

The list is long of issues facing New Hanover County leaders. According to county leaders, the list of accomplishments is also quite long as well.

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Monday night, New Hanover County Commissioners along with leaders from across the county met to hear the state of the county address.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” said commission chair Jonathan Barfield referring to the fiscal year 2019 budget that including pay raises for county employees.

Chairman Barfield used the address to take a look back at the historic year 2018 was for New Hanover County. Most of that history made thanks to Florence.

“Flooded roads, tore homes apart and shut down businesses for weeks and even months,” Barfield said. “But also it [Florence] brought us together to work hand in hand to serve those who were impacted.”

Barfield also using the storm as a talking point to address the ongoing crisis of affordable housing that was heightened by Florence.

“New Hanover County will work to make this a priority and to partner with local non profits to ensure residents in our area have the opportunity to live affordably and also within their means,” Barfield said.

Barfield also took the platform to announce he has no plans to raise taxes in 2019. This comes after four consecutive years of decreased county taxes.

“I’m very encouraged when I hear the chairman is saying we’re not going to have a tax increase,” said commissioner Woody White. “I’m hoping we can have a decrease and cut taxes, but we’ll see.”

The commission followed the speech with a regular meeting. Commissioner unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the acceleration of the House Bill 142 sunset provision.