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Commissioners approve exempt status for Camp Comeca after it changes hands

Commissioners approve exempt status for Camp Comeca after it changes hands

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Commissioners approve exempt status for Camp Comeca after it changes hands

Camp Comeca was sold by the United Methodist Church to Cozad Camping Ministry, a local organization which intends to continue the camp’s mission. Its exempt status was approved on Thursday.

LEXINGTON — After some discussion about deadlines, the group which now owns Camp Comeca was able to secure exempt status for the church camp.

Cozad Camping Ministry is the organization which purchased Camp Comeca from the United Methodist Church after the decision to sell the camp was made.

Claude Berreckman, of Cozad, is the president of the organization and appeared before the Dawson County commissioners during their board of equalization meeting regarding the tax exempt status of Cozad Camping Ministry.

Camp Comeca Executive Director Justin Hoehner was also in attendance during the meeting.

Berreckman said they gained possession of the title on July 8, 2020 and filed for tax exemption on Sept. 1, 2020. However, the state assessor believed Cozad Camping Ministry took possession of the title in June and that would have facilitated a filing date of Aug. 15, said Berreckman.

Since the title for the camp was acquired in July, the filing date is Nov. 15, 2020, Berreckman said. He added the camp’s purpose is continuing as it was before and asked the commissioners for the exempt status to be approved.

County Assessor John Moore said he was under the impression when the filing came in that the group was exempt, as Camp Comeca had been before this time and approved it, but the state said they missed the filing deadline, under the impression the title was acquired in June.

Chairman Dennis Rickertsen asked Dawson County Deputy County Attorney Katherine Kühn for her opinion on the matter. Kühn said if the purchase and transfer of title had occurred before June 30, the organization would not be available for exemption, but since the title was acquired on July 8, they could be approved.

A motion was made by Commissioner P.J. Jacobson to approve the exempt status for Cozad Camping Ministry and was unanimously approved.

Continuing with the board of equalization meeting, the commissioners approved the setting of the current tax levies. They are as follows,

Dawson County – 0.323010 percent

Lexington – 1.916202 percent

Overton – 1.904575 percent

Gothenburg – 1.944258 percent

Sumner – 1.950553 percent

Cozad – 2.198687 percent

Eddyville – 1.782418 percent

Farnam – 0.982332 percent

The commissioners also approved a tax correction for a parcel owned by Richard A. Smith.

During the commissioner’s regular meeting, the commissioners reviewed a contract from Oak Creek Engineering for a project on Road 435, presented by Road Superintendent Mark Christiansen.

Christiansen said the project on Road 435, south of Highway 30, is for the installation of a box culvert. The City of Lexington requested a box culvert be placed there rather than a drainage tube and agreed to pay half of the costs of the project. The commissioners approved the contract.

Emergency Manager Brian Woldt also appeared with the Dawson County Local Emergency Operation Plan, which was also approved.

Speaking to the commissioners via Zoom, Chuck Chase, outreach coordinator for the State of Nebraska Floodplain Management Team, informed the group about flood plains and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA.

Third quarter PTO reports were received and Kühn said the planning commission recently met and discussed different ordinances which could receive minor changes and those should be coming before the commissioners in the near future.

At 8:30 a.m. the commissioners entered executive session with Assessor John Moore to discuss personnel issues. The session concluded at 9:08 a.m. with no action being taken.

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