From 2010 to 2012, our county education funding was level at 61.9 million dollars a year, with no increases. But over the last 5 years, we have increased education funding every year, which has led to measurable successes in our classrooms. Funding now stands at 75.1 million per year – an increase of over 21% since 2012, while our student population has grown about 6 %. We are committed to do all we can for every one of the 27,000+ young people in our schools.
This past year, we took decisive measures to address the opioid crisis, by seeking to hold those responsible and accountable for the destruction wrought on so many of our fellow citizens and their families. We also increased funding for our Sheriff’s Department to ensure that they have the best-trained and equipped deputies possible, and that there are enough School Resource Officers to keep our kids safe during the day. And, we broke ground on the new Ogden Fire Station, giving our Fire Rescue personnel the best training areas and state of the art equipment.
Our Drinking Water
Who could have predicted the challenges we are facing with GenX in our River? From the day the story broke last summer – and every day since – we have kept our focus on getting you the information and answers that you deserve, and working to solve the problem. New Hanover County led the efforts to get Chemours to the table and engage our local, state and federal leaders to work together toward a solution. We were determined to get answers and we still are. Much work remains to be done, and we will keep doing all we can to ensure that we always have clean and safe water to drink.
Managing growth is always tough, but it is a necessary part of our job. And this past year, we successfully partnered with the State of North Carolina to ensure that the infrastructure needed on the 421 Corridor, that has eluded us for decades, is now becoming a reality. Decisions like these are what “smart growth” is all about.
Taxes and the Economy
In 2017, we increased funding for the county’s core services while at the same time, maintaining the highest bond rating possible, and growing our savings account. And at the same time, we gave you, our citizens, the first property tax cut in 14 years.