By Jim Misunas
LARNED — The Pawnee County commissioners and county clerk Ruth Searight heard a favorable 2010 audit review Monday morning for Pawnee County.
Richard VonFeldt, public accountant for VonFeldt, Bauer and VonFeldt, CPA, delivered good news to commissioners Kathy Bowman, Donna Pelton and John Haas. VonFeldt’s job is to review all of the county’s revenues and expenditures to determine whether the county is adhering to all the state’s financial regulations. The process starts in May or June and requires several months of periodic work, according to VonFeldt.
“Everything is in really good shape and there are no statutory violations,” VonFeldt said. “It’s a clean year.”
He said the county’s department heads did a good job adhering to their budgets. Pawnee County district court was $55,000 over budget, attributed to costs for attorneys for juvenile indigents and adults. The county attorney’s office was $22,000 over budget.
“Most of the department expenditures were at or under budget,” VonFeldt said. “When you see a city or municipality with no statutory violations, that’s a good thing to see.”
Total expenditures were $3.1 million and cash revenues were $3.2 million. The county reports a cash balance of $1.94 million, a $76,000 increase from the $1.86 million in 2009. The county’s general fund has increased four of the past five years with 2007 being the exception.
The Pawnee County sheriff’s department shows the largest expense, 26 percent, $835,871. The Pawnee County health department spent $373,627. The Pawnee County solid waste department spent $272,522. The Pawnee District Court spent $220,313.
The county’s long-term debt increased from $825,000 in 2009 to $1.44 million in 2010 because of $628,000 committed to the construction of a new Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.
On February 7, 2011 the county commissioners adopted a resolution for the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital project delivery program and establishing a health facilities timeline for the selection process for a construction manager.
A public hearing was held on March 7, 2011. On March 11, 2011 the County Commissioners adopted a resolution which created the Pawnee County Public Building Commission establishing the purpose, composition, powers, functions and duties of the Commission.
Also on March 11, 2011 the county commissioners adopted a resolution requesting the Pawnee County Public Building Commission to issue revenue bonds in the amount not to exceed $18 million for the purpose of paying all or a portion of the costs to acquire, construct and equip a hospital facility to be leased to Pawnee County.
On July 25, 2011 the county commissioners selected County Club Bank, Kansas City, Mo. to be the bond issuer for the project.