Opinion: Heber incorporated

June 14, 2001

Should Heber become a city?

The unincorporated community between El Centro and Calexico has a population comparable to some smaller incorporated cities in the Imperial Valley. The community has a school district that takes students though the eighth grade, is growing and is going through major expansion of its utility systems to accommodate that growth.

While it is too early for us to advocate Heber becoming a city, it is an idea that should be explored by residents.

There is a lot to consider in becoming a city. If it were to happen, Heber would cease to just have a utility district responsible solely for the maintenance of services. A Heber City Council, which would have to be formed, would be responsible for providing for the safety and welfare of those in the community.


As an incorporated city Heber might get a bigger share of the taxes it generates, but it likely would have to provide more services. That must be weighed.

The people of Heber can be the masters of their own fate. They can determine if now is the right time to become a city or if it is too soon to become incorporated.

We suggest involved residents and Heber leaders contact officials in Calipatria and Westmorland to find out some of the positives and negatives involved in operating a city of just a few thousand people. The charms of a small city can be compromised by a lack of a tax base, but Calipatria and Westmorland stay afloat.

This is one of the most important decisions the people of Heber will make as a community. Public meetings are being conducted on forming a city and we suggest people take the time to attend. There seems to be a keen interest in this prospect in Heber.

Becoming an incorporated city will help Heber keep its unique identity as the tentacles of Calexico and El Centro get closer every day. That alone may be worth all the effort.

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