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Wasatch County

Heber City Council to hold public hearings on taxing districts, pay raises for police

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Momentum Development Group
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Five public infrastructure districts for the Jordanelle Ridge development's five proposed villages are the subject of a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday's Heber City Council meeting.

The Heber City Council will hold two public hearings at its regular meeting Tuesday, where residents can weigh in on pay raises for police officers and proposals for taxing new development.

The first of the two public hearings will cover five proposed public infrastructure taxing districts, or “PIDs,” in the Jordanelle Ridge development. Creating such districts would allow the developer to take out low-interest loans to pay for infrastructure and public facilities during early building phases.

Aside from roads and parking lots, the projects include a park, an art district and trails. The total cost of everything the developer wants to do, as presented in city council agenda materials, is an estimated $50 million. Future property owners within the districts would pay back those loans by paying their property taxes.

“The reason for a PID, it’s a finance mechanism,” Heber City Manager Matt Brower said. “It allows the developer to finance some of their more costly infrastructure up front. If it wasn’t an assessment, it would be put into the overall value of the home. So in other words, if they didn’t have a PID, and they weren’t assessing it through a property tax, what they would do is simply roll it into the price of the house, and you’d be financing it over 30 years.”

The city could adopt the PIDs during the meeting. That wouldn’t impact taxes for current residents or property owners in Heber City.

The second public hearing seeks input on whether the city should give 10% pay raises to its uniformed police officers. That follows a request by Police Chief Dave Booth in early January, who said the police department has six vacancies out of 24 positions and is struggling to hire and keep officers.

The salary bump would cost the city about $130,000 a year, but Booth said his budget could cover the first six months with money it has left over due to vacancies.

Other items on the regular meeting agenda are surveys of existing development projects and the city’s investment account. The council may also change an ordinance to specify that short-term rentals are only allowed in detached homes.

In a work meeting before the regular meeting, the council will consider water policies for developers to follow.

The city council and staff will have a closer look at water policies already in place.

“I think the tweaks that some may want to debate is to perhaps have the developers submit the water-right applications and rights a little bit earlier in the process,” Brower said. “So, there might be some debate about the timing. The policy is a good one; it’s just a matter of making sure it’s still the right one for the environment we’re in.”

Also in the work meeting, the council will review an application to build affordable housing. The Madison Meadows subdivision would include 24 duplex homes on three acres of land in southwest Heber at the intersection of Southfield Road and 1200 South.

The work meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m. They’re taking place at Heber City Hall, 75 North Main Street. To attend via Zoom, visit heberut.gov.

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