New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ted Davis, Jr. delivered his State of the County address Monday night in downtown Wilmington.
His 30-minute speech highlighted many of the county’s accomplishments in the past year, including a 16 percent increase in sales tax revenues and a roughly 3 percent increase in high school graduates.
Davis also says he’s proud that the county fund grew 2 percent to nearly $52 million and that New Hanover has maintained its triple-A credit rating when many other counties across the state have not.
One of his top priorities this year is to lower the county unemployment rate, which was 9.7 percent in December, according to the latest numbers released by the state employment security commission. Davis says that continued business growth is critical to lowering the area’s unemployment rate, and he highlighted clean economic developments like this year’s Iron Man 3 film production, which will bring up to 500 jobs to the area.
Another milestone for the county was last month’s official launch of commercial use of television white space. New Hanover is now the first in the nation to use that technology. The county also led the national switch from analog television to digital back in 2008.