Heber City Preparing For Airport Master Plan Update

Heber City Council’s meeting Tuesday included discussion around the update to the airport master plan. Council members considered names of those who would serve on committees to help guide the process.

The Heber Valley Airport master plan was last updated in 2003. The planned update to the master plan has left many with questions. Heber City Manager Matt Brower has spoken often of the purpose of the master plan update. He says the master plan can be thought of as a business plan for the airport, and that the plan is not a mandate to expand the airport. Brower has also noted that the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, has begun withholding funds from the airport until the master plan is updated.

The master plan will cost an estimated $580,000 to execute with the FAA covering 90%, the state of Utah funding about five percent and Heber City covering about five-percent. The estimated cost to the city is $27,173 which has been included in this year’s fiscal budget.

At the August 20th City Council meeting Brower presented the steps ahead of the start of the master planning efforts, which will begin in the next month or two.

“The scope of work for the airport master plan calls for the creation of two ad hoc committees,” Brower explained. “The first is a broad steering committee which we’re advocating between 10 and 15 members. I have listed on your agenda item 14 members essentially; some are still to be determined.”

The list included representatives from Heber City, the Airport Advisory Board, Wasatch County Council, the towns of Daniels, Midway and Charleston, Pilot Makers Flight Academy, and at-large representatives. Brower also discussed the need for another, smaller committee.

“The Technical Advisory Committee, again it is exactly as the name suggests,” Brower continued. “We need people who know the business of aeronautics, know that business of airports. Mike Duggan has agreed to serve I expect that Travis Biggs would be on this committee.”

In addition to Duggin—the Chair of the Airport Advisory Board—and Biggs—the Airport Manager—Brower suggested two local business owners who operate at the airport. Barry Hancock of Pilot Maker Advanced Flight Academy and Nadim Abu Haidar of the airport’s fixed-base operator OK3 Air. Council member Heidi Franco asked about the suggestion.

“So you’re saying that you want a commercial operator and an airport tenant to be our two commercial businesses?” Franco asked.

“I think I would love to have our FBO,” Brower said. “I think our FBO has to be a part of this committee. I also think that Barry would also provide tremendous value as his expertise is extensive. Whether it’s Barry or his chief operation manager, he can determine of his organization who should be there. But, I think Barry should be invited and I think Nadim should be invited.”

Franco also noted that whoever is chosen for the TAC needs to be committed.

“We really need work horses on the TAC,” Franco said.

“Yes, we do,” Brower agreed.

“And so, it is not going to do us any good to have someone that’s not willing to put in the time and work and all of that,” Franco explained.

“Agreed, agreed yeah this is a 18 to 24-month commitment,” Brower said.

Council members Wayne Hardman and Heidi Franco volunteered to represent the city council on the Community Advisory Committee. The rest of that committee, and the Technical Advisory Committee are scheduled to be finalized at the September 3rd Heber City Council meeting.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.