Businesses have to juggle a lot to stay afloat—permits, taxes, start-up loans, and more. In an economic development report commissioned recently by New Hanover County, "Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County's Plan for Jobs and Investment," consultant Jay Garner cautions that small and new businesses must be better supported by the region’s government to spur development.
It has oft been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are banding together to create a marketing alliance between Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties.
Public input is the key factor shaping the City of Wilmington’s Comprehensive Plan. This is what city planners are launching in anticipation of massive population growth over the next twenty-five years. And they’re seeking input from everyone, especially those citizens most likely to still call Wilmington home in 2040—schoolchildren.
The City of Wilmington is expected to gain 60,000 citizens by the year 2040. In anticipation, city planners have launched a comprehensive plan similar to that of New Hanover County. While the Wilmington plan also asks residents to describe their ideal community attributes, its public engagement process is less orthodox. In fact, city planners have been hitting the local bar scene to collect input.
Some experts predict New Hanover County’s population will exceed 330,000 people by 2040—a significant hike from its current count of about two hundred thousand. And there are only about 24,000 undeveloped acres left, most of which comprise unincorporated county land. To address the development necessary to accommodate this growth, the county planning department is launching a comprehensive plan—and seeking public input.
On Friday, Bill Saffo filed to run for his fourth term as Mayor of the City of Wilmington. The incumbent, who has led the city since 2006, is talking about seeing projects -- such as the Cape Fear Skyway Bridge, the convention center hotel construction and the cross-city trail -- through to completion.
If you build it, they will come. But before that happens, someone has to pay to put it together. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County combined transportation forces to form Wave Transit almost a decade ago. The authority was set up on its own, independent of both city and county government. It also started with no cash balance, meaning no money in the bank. In part 2 of a series on Wave Transit, we explore the financial woes of the agency.
One thing is certain about funding for public transportation: the federal government doesn’t just give it to you.