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Future of Heber airport study up for decisions this week

As a milestone in the ongoing Heber Valley Airport master planning process looms, disagreements between Heber City Council members and Heber Mayor Heidi Franco have sparked discord.
Heber City
The future of the Heber Valley Airport has come into focus in recent weeks as a decision about how to continue with its redevelopment study approaches.

A big meeting about Heber City’s airport is happening a day before a scheduled vote about the airport in a city council meeting.

Tonight, the Heber Valley Airport is hosting an informal conversation about the future of the airport.

Aviation experts will preview topics like the feasibility of permanently closing the airport, the financial and legal risks associated with not complying with federal airport standards, and layout alternatives for future upgrades.

The public is invited to ask questions. Heber City Mayor Heidi Franco and council members will be on hand to listen and gather feedback before Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Tuesday, the city council may vote on whether to further study a preferred redesign of the airport. Last week, the Wasatch County Council asked the city to delay voting to discuss other options - and offered to help the city pay costs the federal government currently pays that the city could be charged if the airport isn’t upgraded.

City councilman Scott Phillips said Heber city staff told him that without upgrading to bring the airport into federal compliance, the city would incur $48 million in costs and fines over the next 20 years. Franco told the county council last week the costs and fines would total about $600,000 per year plus inflation.

The Monday meeting is at the Heber City Public Safety Building at 301 South Main Street. According to Heber City Recorder Trina Cooke, it will be recorded and posted to the website about the airport master plan.

Tuesday, the regular council meeting is at 6 p.m. at Heber City Hall, 75 North Main Street. That meeting can be viewed online at this link.

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