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Commissioner Meeting Recap

Posted on: August 22, 2023

Commissioner Meeting Recap for August 21, 2023

Monday’s New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting featured several celebrations of county employees and their work, along with important discussions about projects and initiatives that will improve the quality of life in the county. For more details, check out the recap below.

Celebrating service to the community

Every second meeting of the month, Commissioners get a chance to recognize county employees who have reached significant milestones in their service to the community.

This month, 15 employees were honored for reaching these marks, totaling 180 years of public service to New Hanover County. Commissioners also welcomed 11 new employees to their roles within the organization.

Along with these career milestones, Commissioners celebrated New Hanover County Recycling and Solid Waste Director Joe Suleyman. Earlier this month, Suleyman received a Pelican Award from the North Carolina Coastal Federation for his work to implement programs that encourage environmental stewardship, particularly related to the state’s waterways and oyster shell recycling programs.

At the meeting, Suleyman was also presented with Stellar Awards in Stewardship and Innovation. These awards are given to county employees based on their commitment to embodying the organization’s shared values of Professionalism, Equity, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship and Accountability. More on Suleyman’s Pelican Award can be found here.

Nationally-recognized programming 

Monday was also an opportunity for the county to celebrate the 11 Achievement Awards presented in late July by the National Association of Counties (NACo). These awards recognize county-run programs and initiatives for their innovation and service to their respective communities. Over the past eight years, New Hanover County has been honored with 65 total NACo Achievement Awards, including three straight years with 10 or more.

Learn more about the NACo Achievement Awards by checking out this release or by watching these informational videos.

Project Grace financing model approved by Commissioners

Following a public hearing, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to allow $57 million in debt to be issued through limited obligation bonds to finance the construction of a new museum and library facility on a county-owned block in downtown Wilmington, collectively known as Project Grace.

Commissioners have made a request that the finance model go before the Local Government Commission (LGC) for consideration at its next meeting on September 12. More information on Project Grace is available here.  

That’s not all …

Commissioners also received updates at Monday’s meeting on work being done by the New Hanover County Airport Authority, the nCino Sports Park Project and a plan to submit funding requests for new pedestrian and cycling pathways throughout the community.

The Airport Authority’s annual report to Commissioners highlighted past and current projects taking place at the site, including new restaurants and shops, as well as expanded parking and other facilities. The report noted that the Wilmington International Airport is among the fastest-growing airports in the nation. On average, airline seat capacity per airport is up by 10 percent over the last year nationally, while ILM is up 32 percent.

Commissioners also heard about ongoing work at the nCino Sports Park. Located just off Highway 421 on Sutton Steam Plant Road, the City of Wilmington-managed facility will create 11 new, full-size playing fields for public use, including several that will feature artificial surfaces. To help the project, Commissioners have previously agreed to waive tipping fees at the county landfill for the site as part of the waste removal process to prepare the grounds and construct the facilities.

As part of State Transportation Improvement Program, Commissioners authorized the county to apply for N.C. Department of Transportation funding to construct new pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. If approved, 80 percent of the funding for these projects would be covered by NCDOT along with design and construction.

You can view the August 21 meeting here and below. The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5.


The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holds its regularly scheduled meetings on the first and third Monday of each month at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse (24 North 3rd Street, Room 301), unless otherwise noted. A schedule of the 2023 meetings can be found here.

All meetings are broadcast live on, New Hanover County's YouTube channel and Spectrum channel 13. For meeting agendas, minutes and exhibits, visit

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