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Heber City will ask Wasatch County to invest in downtown revitalization

Part of Heber City's plan for how to evolve its downtown includes building height limits and architectural styles specific to zones within city limits.
Heber City
Heber City plans to evolve its downtown to have more destinations for locals and better walkability.

The Heber City and Wasatch County councils will meet to discuss a new reinvestment area in Heber Wednesday, March 6.

Heber City leaders will ask the Wasatch County Council to consider supporting their community reinvestment area (CRA) as part of their mission to transform Heber’s downtown.

They’re asking Wasatch County to sign on for a tax increment funding plan. That means Wasatch County will forgo a large percentage of property taxes in the area for the next 20 years so that money can be invested in the project area. In return, Heber’s goal is to make the CRA more profitable so it ultimately rewards the county’s investment.

As Heber tries to develop a locals-first Main Street and an arts and recreation district, it is negotiating with the county, Wasatch County School District and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District to help finance the reinvestment area.

Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau said the county council is hoping for project specifics from Heber City’s presentation Wednesday afternoon.

“In the past… Wasatch County was uncomfortable signing off on this type of financing without having a really clear idea on what those funds were going towards,” he said. “I believe that this time, Heber City is coming back with specific projects and recommendations for which of those projects might be best aligned with Wasatch County’s priorities.”

Heber City manager Matt Brower’s presentation will include details on how to use reinvestment area funding, including for land acquisition, parking and pedestrian improvements, affordable housing and more. The city’s goal is to raise about $22 million in tax increment funding for those projects.

The tax increment will be in place for 20 years or until it reaches a cap between $3 and $4 million. Advisory committees will be formed to review plans for how the tax increment will be spent.

The meeting between the Heber City Council and the Wasatch County Council begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The full agenda is available online, along with a link to attend virtually.