Imagine getting a second mortgage on your home, which you intend to use to redo the driveway, fix the roof and make other necessary home improvements. Then the bank calls and says there's been a mistake, and you'll only be getting 80 percent of the money you expected.

In the case of the city of Hesperia, the second mortgage is a bond issue that, due to a miscalculation by a consulting firm, is worth $41 million less than expected.

"We were contacted by the consultant, who said that, basically, there was a mistake made," city spokeswoman Kim Summers said Thursday.

Overseen by members of the Hesperia City Council, the Hesperia Redevelopment Agency (RDA) issues bonds that are spent on community improvement projects. In the newly approved Fiscal Year 2007-2008 budget, funds from a new $201 million RDA bond helped make the budget the biggest in the city's 19-year history.

But the bond revenue will instead only come to $160 million, due to a mistake by HdL Coren & Cone, a Diamond Bar-based government services consulting firm.

"We had a question of revenue estimates with one of the consultants," said Brian Johnson, the city's director of management services. "Nothing the council authorized has changed."

"My primary concern was that we still had the same amount of money for roads," said Councilman Tad Honeycutt.

Since the city staff plans spending years into the future, particularly for items like road paving, water pipes and storm drains, the shortfall means the city will have to issue the next bond and take on new debt earlier than expected.

"It just means that we'll have to reissue the bond a little sooner than we planned for," Honeycutt said. "We'll still be able to get the full amount; it'll just take another bond issue."

The city had intentionally gone after as much money in the previous bond issue as possible, according to Johnson.

"We try to do bond issuances as big as we can," he said, "Because these are pretty time-consuming things to do, from a staff perspective and consultants."

Johnson expects the city to issue a new bond in 2009 instead of in 2010.

As for HdL Coren & Cone, Councilman Thurston "Smitty" Smith said the company is doing what it can to make things right.

"They're doing it all again for free. It's their mistake. They're doing [the revised documents] all for free," Smith said. "They've used them for years. They made a mistake ... and they're fixing it."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.