Thursday, November 30, 2023

NHC closes libraries and park buildings; CFPUA offices closed to public [Free read]

For now, parks are open to the public but their buildings are closed to the public and people are asked to limit groups to less than 10. (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Concerns around the new coronavirus have caused closures across the state, including schools. Now, New Hanover County has announced the closure of public libraries and park buildings. CFPUA has also closed access to its lobbies to the public.

“Beginning Wednesday, March 18, New Hanover County will close its Public Libraries and Cape Fear Museum to the public until further notice. The county’s parks and gardens, including Airlie Gardens and the Arboretum, will remain open for visitors, but the education centers and enclosed areas at the county’s parks and gardens will be closed,” according to a release from the county.

Despite the closures, the county is working to provide services as best they can.

Public Library

“Our Public Library will offer modified services to include virtual services and enhanced online resources. A curbside service will be added at all four libraries, so patrons can reserve books online or by phone. Items can be picked up in a drive-through option at the designated library after notification of the arrived hold is received. Hours for the drive-through service will be Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Distance and sanitation measures will be observed. In addition, library patrons will not be charged overdue fines until further notice and library card expirations have been extended to June. Learn more about library services at,” according to the release.


County parks, including Airlie Gardens, will remain open however, buildings will be closed and people are asked to limit groups to 10 or less.

“The county’s parks will remain open to the public for the time being with normal operating hours. Shelter reservations have been canceled and the public is encouraged not to be in groups of more than 10 people at a time. That includes the playgrounds and shelter areas.

“At this time, Airlie Gardens will continue to open at 9 a.m., but all visitors are asked to exit the gardens by 4:30 p.m. Again, social distancing – remaining six feet away from others and not congregating in groups of more than 10 – is encouraged. The restrooms at Airlie will also be closed to the public,” according to the county’s release.

The Arboretum will remain open from dawn until dusk, but all of the buildings will be closed to the public.

Health Department

The Health and Human Services building is open, but residents are being asked to call ahead at 910-798-3500 to determine if services can be conducted over the phone prior to coming to the building.

“Currently applications and assessments for emergency assistance for heating and cooling costs can be conducted over the phone. Residents can apply for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services online at, or call 910-798-3500 to have an application mailed to them. Visitors to the Health and Human Services building are being screened for fever and respiratory symptoms by a public health nurse before entry, and waiting areas promote social distancing, if one-on-one services are needed,” according to the release.


“At 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 18, CFPUA’s offices will close to the public until further notice to protect the health of our customers and staff. We’re still here to assist you over the phone and online,” according to CFPUA.

CFPUA’s customer service staff will still be available by phone at 910-332-6550 during regular business hours. Water emergencies such as major leaks, sewer spills, or alarms at CFPUA pump stations should be reported by calling the emergency hotline at 910-332-6565.

In addition, CFPUA offers several ways to pay bills or manage accounts, including:

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