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Heber City to Consider Approval of Main Street Development Project

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Ben Lasseter/KPCW
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Heber City will consider approving a development project on Main Street at its city council meeting this evening.

The city-sponsored project would improve roads, sidewalks and parking areas around Main Street with the aim of promoting future business and tourism there.

“We can really turn that downtown around and become a destination place for tourism, a destination place where people are coming and dining and shopping, dropping the money, then going home,” city manager Matt Brower said.

In the proposal, the project area is 80 acres and would stretch from Airport Road to just south of 1200 North Street. 

According to the meeting agenda, the council could decide to move forward on the project area plan and budget.

City officials say the budget plan for the project will not result in increased property-tax rates for residents. The city would designate the project area as a community reinvestment area, or CRA.

A CRA is a financial tool that allows cities to reappropriate tax dollars to city projects. The city estimates this would generate $36.2 million over 20 years.

The CRA and the road improvements it would entail are the first step of a city-wide transformation project called “Envision Heber City” that is planned to take place over the course of the next 20 to 30 years. 

The CRA impacts how taxing agencies; such as the city, county and school district; would use property-tax revenues, according to Brower.

He described it as a way to make the new developments within the CRA pay for themselves over time.

“So, what we’re talking about here is the increment that’s going to be generated from property-value increases. So, over 20 years, we’ve got projections that show we’ll be able to raise a certain amount of increments that will then be reinvested in the downtown and hopefully generate even more increments,” he said.

The city held a public hearing on the CRA development project area and budget plan earlier this month. Residents nearly filled up city hall and offered mixed opinions on the project.

Some residents and members of the Community Alliance for Main Street said they supported the CRA and the project vision.

Other residents said they did not support the project in Heber City. Their concerns included water scarcity and pollution they feared the construction could cause.

Brower said today’s meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall could bring a vote on the project area plan and budget.

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