Christening Heber's new building might not be easy

May 13, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

HEBER — What's in a name?

Plenty, if it is the name of the planned essential services building in the center of the Heber township.

Saturday, a ground-breaking ceremony was staged for the building that, after six months of construction, will provide police and fire services, a library, banking and a community center for Heber and the county.

During that ceremony a sign was unveiled that read: Heber Public Utility District Services Building.

Logical enough. The building is in Heber and it will provide fire, police and community services for the district.

However, the project is a multi-million dollar partnership between the Heber district and Imperial County.

On design layouts for the building that were displayed for perusal during the ceremony, the name read: Imperial County Essential Services.

That name also makes sense since the building will provide fire and police services from Holtville to Ocotillo and for all of the new homes in El Centro to the north and Calexico to the south.


But what about Delfino C. Matus?

At the ceremony, Heber district board President Diahna Garcia-Ruiz made a plea for the entire building, not just a room, to be named for Matus.

She said it was Matus who, as a volunteer 15 years ago, was instrumental in the construction of a Heber fire station that to this day houses county firefighting equipment.

She said the building should be named in Matus' honor. Members of the Matus family and city staff members applauded.

Matus, who died in 1985, was praised by county Fire Chief Joe Buzo, but Buzo stopped short of endorsing Matus' name for the new building.

When Ruiz mentioned the naming issue he smiled and shook his head.

Wally Leimgruber, who represents District No. 5 for the county Board of Supervisors, wagged his finger after Ruiz's pitch.

While the debate about the name will likely continue for the next six months, the multipurpose facility was praised by everyone involved in the project.

All expressed enthusiasm for the services it would bring to the growing township of Heber and the county in general.

County Supervisors Chairman Tony Tirado, who served District 1, said the building will be especially important for the county because of the planned state-of-the-art communication tower.

He said that tower, providing cellular and fiber optic modes of communication, will tie together county police and fire service efforts.

Leimgruber said the center, whatever the name, will make the region safer and attract more business to the area.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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