Hospital sale, affordable housing, sex abuse in schools among topics at annual State of the County

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County leaders spoke about what’s going well and what they’re working on at the annual State of the County address Monday night.

“We completed several capital projects, including our new Ogden Fire Station, Pine Valley Library, and Health and Human Services building,” said New Hanover County Commission Vice-Chair Patricia Kusek.

In a change from the norm, County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman and Kusek both delivered the speech.

They touched on accomplishments, such as making it easier for women and minorities to start businesses and developing a substance abuse treatment facility.

They also talked about successful environmental quality projects, such as the landfill gas collection system, the first of its kind in our state.

“Which helps dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provides us with the opportunity to convert landfill gas into renewable energy,” Kusek said.

The county enacted measures to protect live oak trees, approved a new stormwater services program for those outside town and city limits and made moves to increase affordable housing, announcing plans to develop a workforce housing subdivision in the Wrightsboro area during the speech.

Olson-Boseman also acknowledged some difficult issues the county is facing, such as the apparent pattern of sexual abuse in New Hanover County Schools.

“These are our kids, and we will do everything we can to make sure that they are safe,” she said.

She also touched on current discussions over the hospital.

“This is not about a sale,” Olson-Boseman said. “It’s about positioning New Hanover Regional Medical Center for the future.”

To hear more from Monday night’s speech, click here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover