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Heber City Council considers future park, trees, taxes

Hand and scissors cutting a ribbon during an opening ceremony
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Heber City plans to decide when to open a new park northeast of downtown at its meeting Tuesday.

A new park, taxes and tree management are among the topics the Heber City Council will focus on in Tuesday’s regular meeting.

A public park on land donated by Red Ledges will include a playground, rock climbing and restrooms. The 15-acre space between the development and northeastern Heber neighborhoods will also have an open lawn and trails.

The Heber City Council’s scheduled to pick a ribbon-cutting date and name for the park at Tuesday’s meeting.

Earlier this year, the city hoped it would open by May, but materials like asphalt were in short supply, which caused delays.

The council will also update its sewer fees to reflect a rate increase by the Heber Valley Special Service District. A staff report says the update is the first since the ‘90s.

Heber Valley Special Service District Manager Dennis Gunn says each resident will end up paying about $14 a month more.

He says the dramatic increase is due to rates not changing for roughly 25 years, and people can visit HVSSD.org or call his office with questions about the increase.

The council will also hear a presentation on the recreation, arts and parks tax that Wasatch County will place on the 2022 ballot. Residents county-wide will vote whether to levy a sales tax of a penny for every $10 spent on almost all transactions - the tax excludes most groceries.

The money it would generate would help pay for recreation, arts and parks projects. Heber’s plans include new trails and parks, as well as improvements to existing facilities.

One goal of the RAP tax when it was on last year’s ballot was to help fund 19 acres of new park development by 2030. The RAP tax effort was defeated by just eight votes in 2021, and Wasatch County announced it would try again after both Heber and Midway said they planned to seek RAP taxes in their municipalities. The county-wide effort means the cities won’t need to try to pass their own versions.

If voters pass it, the RAP tax will last 10 years, after which time voters would decide whether to renew it.

Also at the meeting, the Heber City Open Space, Trails, Parks and Trees Tree Subcommittee will present a plan for tree management. It accounts for over 600 trees to be planted in and around Heber parks, streets, buildings and the cemetery over the next decade.

The council meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday for a work meeting, then the regular meeting at 6 p.m. It’s at Heber City Hall, 75 North Main Street.

Visit heberut.gov for the full agenda and a link to participate via Zoom.

Corrected: August 16, 2022 at 7:34 PM MDT
A previous version of this report said residents’ sewer bills would increase by nearly 1,000 %. The correct amount of the increase is a $14 per household flat rate.
Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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