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Hundreds respond to new Heber City survey

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KPCW
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Heber City Hall

The first in a new series of monthly surveys covering Heber City issues has received hundreds of responses to some of the city’s most pressing topics. 

The January survey in the city’s new Let Your Voice Be Heard series asks for feedback on the ranked choice voting system, the Heber Valley Airport and downtown bypass road proposals. Mayor Heidi Franco said since those are three of the city’s most important topics, the survey will stay up for an extra two weeks through February 15.

“The city council is watching it. I’m watching it closely,” Franco said. “I want the whole community to realize that we’re listening to them on these basic issues and these basic city services. I know that we’ll be able to use these surveys more and more in the future as we get more responses.”

Anyone can respond to the survey, with a limit of one entry per computer. Franco encourages people to participate regardless of whether they live in Heber.

About 100 people filled out the survey on its first day, and about 500 in the month.

In responses, opinions about ranked choice voting were split evenly, with about 40% in favor and 40% opposed. Heber City adopted the new voting method, in which voters rank city council candidates in order of preference, in the 2021 election.

About 60% of those surveyed said to alleviate traffic from Heber City Main Street, they want a western bypass route. That’s compared to 15% who favor an eastern bypass and 12% who prefer making changes to Main Street itself.

The survey notes that the Utah Department of Transportation won’t allow Heber City voters to choose the final outcome of the project.

Nearly 75% indicated they opposed expanding the airport.

Earlier this month, Councilor Scott Phillips said the wording of that question is misleading, but he supported the monthly survey as a way to get feedback overall.

“The first question was the Heber airport - it’s not a clear question,” he said, “and then the response is not an actionable thing that we can really take the information from and have action on it, because there’s just not enough information there. I’d like to make sure that they’re clear so that the public can really be making a good determination, but this was the first round, and we’ll see how it goes from here.”

Next month, Franco says survey questions will focus on snow removal, whether to allow leashed dogs in all city parks and a request for feedback from anyone who’s had building permit inspections done. It’ll be available throughout February.

For other surveys later in the year, city department heads are submitting questions.

The monthly surveys can be found at heberut.gov.

Next Tuesday, the same day the February survey goes live, the Heber City Council will hold a regular meeting at City Hall at 6 p.m. City Hall is at 75 North Main Street. To attend the meeting via Zoom, visit heberut.gov.

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