Douglas County commissioners are moving forward with a spending plan for next year after adopting a preliminary budget this week.

Costs are rising with new services coming online, but the county still has a budget surplus of more than $780,000.

Total spending for the county is expected to be $25.2 million next year, which is about a 7 percent increase from this year.

The additional costs will cover four new officers in the sheriff's office, as well as a new coroner's office and a new legal office for public defenders.

There'll be four new Sheriff’s Office employees, including deputies, a detective, and office staff with a goal of improving response times.

The coroner's office is a requirement under state law after Douglas County's population exceeded 40,000 in the 2020 census.

The largest new expense in the county budget will be the newly established Douglas County Office of Public Defense, which added three additional attorneys and two support staff, offices space and two vehicles. The county has budgeted $723,424.13 for the office. It will cover the cost of providing court appointed public defenders in-house.

Total revenues for the county are projected to be $25,956,051 in 2023, an increase of about $3,6 million over 22,297,910 this year.

County commissioners will also hike property taxes by 1 percent, which is allowed under state law.

Projections for total sources of revenue for the county come to more than $47 million, a rise of about $10.5 million over $36.5 million this year.

A release from the county said commissioners are opting to operate on a  budget which is less  than the revenue generated, with a goal being prepared for unknown market conditions or community needs.

Commissioners had to dip into the general fund last year to get $400,000 in order to balance the budget.


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