City of Alliance to assume Carhenge?

The Alliance City Council has directed city staff to investigate the possibilities of the city assuming Carhenge and its surrounding property.

The possibility of Carhenge becoming a city of Alliance entity was presented to the Alliance City Council Thursday night by Friends of Carhenge board members Marcia Buck, Dave Pearse, and Kendra Schott.

The trio provided a variety of reasons as to why they propose having the city assume responsibility for the 25-year-old tourist attraction, including the fact that the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission has ruled that Carhenge is no longer tax exempt, and will be subject to property taxes beginning this year.

Friends of Carhenge propose turning over all assets, including a bank note of $5,350, and fixed assets of approximately $113,000.

City Manager J.D. Cox says the Friends of Carhenge being forced to pay property taxes makes the entity's chances of operating in the black very difficult.

Cox says it will be spring before the issue is brought back to the council and, he believes a public forum should be held to "fully flush" out the idea.

City Attorney Howard Olsen will also investigate the legalities of the city taking over the tourist attraction, which was sustains several thousand visitors each year.

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