Douglas County Courthouse damaged from sprinkler system, burst pipe

Share this post or save for later

The historic county courthouse has water damage — from the attic all the way down to the basement, Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky told commissioners during their Wednesday meeting.

“This morning, we had a contractor working on our fire suppression system, and the sprinkler system inadvertently burst a pipe, and we’ve had pretty substantial water damage,” Plinsky said.

There is water damage in the county commission meeting room, treasurer’s office and appraiser’s office, according to an email from county spokesperson Karrey Britt.

The commission met virtually Wednesday because the meeting room’s audio and video systems were not functioning.

Plinsky said she did not yet know whether commissioners would be able to meet back in their usual room next week. She said community members should keep an eye on the county’s social media and website to find out whether the meeting will be in person in the courthouse, at another location, or remote only.

The financial extent of the damage was not yet known Wednesday evening.

In the meantime, the county treasurer’s office in the courthouse was closed Wednesday. Plinsky said she thinks it will be able to reopen Thursday, but the South Iowa satellite location at 2000 W. 31st St. is open, and the $5 fee to use the location is being waived, Britt said via email.

For those who need to renew their motor vehicle tags, Britt provided some options:

Renew online at “Even if it’s the end of the month, you can still renew online!” Britt wrote. “There is a 10-day grace period to allow the Treasurer’s Office time to process and mail a new registration receipt and decal. If customers have a payment receipt — printed or electronic — they can’t be charged with failing to display a registration decal.”
By mail at P.O. Box 884, Lawrence, KS 66044.
By drop box at 2000 W. 31st St. or 1100 Massachusetts St.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this causes our staff and the public,” Britt said. “We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to get back to normal operations as soon as possible.”

Meeting information will be posted at

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

Click here to learn more about our newsletters first

Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Latest Lawrence news:


Previous Article

Public comment from the Oct. 26, 2022 Douglas County Commission meeting

Next Article

Sheriff Jay Armbrister: Why I’m supporting the county sheriff election and recall amendment (Column)