New Hanover County earns five national achievement awards for innovation
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County has been recognized with five Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for the county’s composting program, stormwater management at Airlie Gardens, short term rental automation process, CLASS Project collaboration with the Public Library and school system, and the PaSS reading program partnership with Communities in Schools.
“This is New Hanover County’s fifth consecutive year of earning achievement awards from NACo, bringing us to a total of 34 awards, for our innovative and collaborative programs,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “Our county team is a leader in the nation for the initiatives our departments take, the impact we make, and our programs that strengthen and serve the community.”
Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards Program recognizes county government programs that build healthy, safe and vibrant communities. Below are the five New Hanover County programs that were awarded this year:
- PaSS Reading Program: New Hanover County has partnered with Communities in Schools of Cape Fear to mentor third and fourth-grade students in preparation for their End of Grade tests, to make a difference and help advance the county’s goal that 90% of third graders achieve reading at grade level.
- Airlie Gardens Stormwater Project: Airlie Gardens is located within the Cape Fear River Basin and sits at the bottom of a 124-acre watershed which discharges directly into Bradley Creek. So the county and Airlie have developed and started implementing a Stormwater Master Plan to help ensure the health of the Airlie Lake and the ability of the gardens to handle stormwater runoff in the most effective way possible.
- Environmental Management Composting Program: New Hanover County is reducing the amount of waste going into the county’s landfill by composting food waste, accepted free of charge from residents and businesses, and using the finished product in county parks and gardens, and sharing it with local organic farmers. Since the program began, it has diverted more than 180 tons of food waste, 600 tons of vegetative waste, and 60 tons of soiled animal bedding/manure from landfill disposal.
- Short-term rental tax automation and compliance program: The county’s Finance Department converted a manual, paper-based system to an automated system for reporting short-term rental income and making payments so that it is more efficient and convenient for taxpayers and helps to ensure all room occupancy tax revenues are captured.
- CLASS Project: New Hanover County Public Library partnered with New Hanover County Schools to launch CLASS Project, Connecting Libraries and Schools for Success, in December of 2017. The program has provided automatic, fine free, library accounts to more than 30,000 school students and staff, as well as training on the extensive educational databases and services offered by the library.
According to NACo, awards are given nationally in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
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