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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

New Hanover County's first responders get significant pay bump starting this week

New Hanover County Government Building.
Benjamin Schachtman
New Hanover County Government Building.

New Hanover County’s 670 first responders working for 911 communications, Fire Rescue, and the Sheriff’s Office will receive pay increases starting this week. The county says this will not be funded by a tax increase.

According to the county, 911 operators and Sheriff’s deputies will get an increase of 12.2% while Fire Rescue employees will get increases ranging from 17.82% to 29.89% percent, depending on their position.

The county is also proposing a market increase for other departments as part of the upcoming fiscal year budget. That includes an increase in the county’s hourly minimum wage, from $15.30 to $16.35 – and a 6.86% overall pay increase.

The county does not currently plan to raise property taxes in order to increase first responder pay.

In a statement released by the county, Chair Julia Olson-Boseman said: “Our public safety first responders serve our community every day. They are the first call, connection, and line of defense, and they put their lives and safety on the line. We are grateful for what they do and all they give, and I am proud to be part of an organization that is committed to ensuring our employees have the best benefits, a highly competitive pay, and a culture that values, respects and appreciates their hard work every day. And the fact that we can implement this pay increase without having to raise taxes is important. In fact, we plan to lower taxes next year, while ensuring our employees receive the market increases and pay they need and deserve.”

Commissioners will consider the upcoming budget at their May 16th meeting – and a public hearing is slated for June 6. You can find additional information about the county budget at Finance.NHCgov.com.