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Voters will decide on Heber Wal-Mart

SHARE Voters will decide on Heber Wal-Mart

Whether Wal-Mart has a future in the small mountain town of Heber City will be up to the voters.

The Wasatch County Clerk's office this afternoon finished certifying a stack of nearly 1,600 signatures of Heber residents for a voter referendum. According to Wasatch County Clerk Brent Titcombe, the final tally showed 1,424 verified signatures, far exceeding the 1,160 required.

Residents will have the chance to vote in November on allowing retailers over 60,000 square feet into their community. The City Council passed an ordinance allowing those giant stores in February.

"Something of this magnitude should be decided by the people who are going to be affected by the Wal-Mart store that's coming in here," said Ken McConnell, who is part of grass-roots group Put Heber Valley First! that formed in opposition to the ordinance.

The Boyer Co. is planning to build a 70-acre mixed-use development off Main Street, which would include Wal-Mart as the anchor tenant. However, plans will be on hold until the November vote, said Wade Williams, Boyer's director of retail development.

Mayor Dave Phillips said the referendum petition doesn't mean residents are against retail development.

"They made it pretty obvious that they're against the big-box and want smaller retail," Phillips said. "I guess we'll find out in November."

E-mail: astowell@desnews.com