New Hanover County Commissioners sworn in, new rehab facility approved


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Three commissioners were sworn in to the New Hanover County Commission Monday afternoon.

Newcomers Deb Hayes and Bill Rivenbark took the seats held by commissioners Woody White and Pat Kusek. White and Kusek did not run for re-election.

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Incumbent Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr. won his seat and was sworn in for another term.

Julia Olson-Boseman was nominated for chair once again, and will retain the position. Deb Hayes was named Vice Chair.

Shortly after being sworn in the commissioners made a big decision affecting the future of substance abuse treatment in the county. They approved plans for ‘The Healing Place’.

The partnership with Trillium Health has been in the works for five years, and has been controversial at times.

On Monday, commissioners voted to approve a $25,476,581 budget for construction.

The end result will be a 200 bed facility for men and women, free to anyone wishing to get help.

“This has hit really close to home for a lot of us and a lot of our friends and family and we want to help,” said Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “If people want help and they want to get clean then your commissioners want to help you get that way.”

It will be built on nearly nine acres on Medical Center Drive.

Construction will begin in February 2021 and it is expected to be completed by April of 2022.