Audit shows Douglas County took in nearly $12 million more than it spent in fiscal year 2022

photo by: Matt Resnick | Journal-World

Tara Laughlin, a vice president with Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C., presents findings of the county's 2022 financial statement on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 at the Douglas County Courthouse.

Over the 2022 fiscal year, Douglas County’s cash reserves got a boost because the county took in nearly $12 million more than it spent, according to a financial statement that auditors presented at the County Commission’s meeting on Wednesday.

Douglas County’s audit report from Allen, Gibbs & Houlik L.C. for fiscal year 2022 shows that the county began that fiscal year with $115.373 million in unencumbered cash and finished the year with $127.235 million. That news was received well by the county commissioners, who at Wednesday’s business meeting unanimously accepted the financial statement as presented.

“We know all the hard work that goes into this and appreciate that work,” said Commission Chair Patrick Kelly.

Among other things, the report showed that one fund the county relies on heavily for its day-to-day operations, the general operating fund, grew by roughly $1.4 million, from $14.7 million to $16.1 million. If unforeseen circumstances were to hurt the country’s finances, that $16.1 million would represent about 24% of the county’s yearly expenditures in the general fund — in other words, it would give the county a nearly three-month cushion to pay its bills.

The county’s capital improvement plan fund increased by $3.58 million over fiscal year 2022 to $33.39 million; the mental health sales tax fund increased by $1.6 million and finished the year with $14.88 million; and the local county sales tax fund increased by nearly $3.2 million, ending the year at $23.79 million.

Tara Laughlin, a vice president for Allen, Gibbs & Houlik L.C., also told commissioners that the firm issued a “clean opinion” for the county’s financial audit, and that the firm’s report “did not have any compliance findings.”

On Wednesday, commissioners did not discuss whether they planned to spend down their reserves to pay for upcoming capital projects that the county has planned, such as proposed improvements to the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

In other business, commissioners:

• Unanimously approved a site plan for a contractor’s shop/yard at 1749 East 1500 Road. A memo from the county’s Planning Department stated the property was subject to special conditions from the Federal Aviation Administration because it lies within the Lawrence airport’s airspace overlay boundary. The project was proposed by Midwest Custom Pools, which wants to build an approximately 11,000-square-foot building on the site, according to plans filed with the county.

• Unanimously approved, as part of its consent agenda, a temporary permit allowing a “burn pit” at 1289 East 1750 Road to continue operating through March of 2025. The burn pit is used to discard trees, brush and other vegetation.

• Held a work session about procedural matters related to the county’s recently approved 2024 budget. Those issues include updates the county has made to the funding agreements it has with various nonprofit agencies that receive county funding.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.