According to the State of the City address prepared by city staff and introduced by Mayor Rita Vogler during last week's Hesperia Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Hesperia's state of affairs can be divided into two categories: 1) missions accomplished, and 2) projects in progress.

Topping the list of recent accomplishments:
* The opening of the new Community Branch Library and Civic Center last fall was the city's biggest event. Each month, more than 30,000 visitors pass through the library's doors, making it the busiest library on the San Bernardino County Library system.
* Police staffing increased by five deputies last year. Six more will be added this fiscal year.
* A group home ordinance prohibiting more than one registered sex offender in a home, and requiring a 4,000-foot separation between registered sex offenders and sensitive uses such as schools, libraries and parks. Also a new Rental Housing certification program that requires all rental properties to have annual maintenance inspections and be certified.
* A city record of 60 miles of paved streets, 82 miles of dirt roads graded, and 61,000 potholes repaired was set.
* Volunteers, who Vogler said were the engine that drives Hesperia, donated 24,639 hours on the streets, at special events, at parole probation sweeps DUI checkpoints and at crime scenes. Also, citizen participation in the City's environmental programs resulted in 10 streets being adopted. A total of 203 tons of debris was collected at the two citywide clean-up days, and a record number of students participated in clean-up day activities.
* In the area of commerce, a number of new centers opened offering a variety of dining and shopping options. The city cited the Shops at Topaz, Bear Valley Plaza and Crossroads Plaza as examples. Also, a number of new dining establishments opened including Cancun Mexican Food, Soya Sushi, Chicago BBQ Ribs, Golden Star Chinese Buffet, Figaro's Pizza, My Hacienda Mexican Grill, Papa Johns Pizza, Taco Time, Surf City Squeeze, Starbucks and Miyako Sushi Japanese Restaurant.
* A number of large companies located or planned to expand to the city's I Avenue industrial area.

Public safety issues remain a challenge:
* Crime rose slightly; however, a number of new, proactive programs were put in place to deter gang, graffiti and drug offenses. The new Neighborhood Enhancement Committee saw dramatic results in the target area with a 66 percent decrease in reports in March alone. The types of calls also changed from theft, drug, fights and more violent crimes to noise, suspicious person, medical aids and a few minor theft reports.
* The city's fire services, which are contracted by County Fire, were busy with 9,043 incidents reported in 2006, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Although the increased activity, the average response time dropped from 7 minutes 26 seconds to 7 minutes 13 seconds. To help meet increasing demand, a Fire Needs Assessment was adopted, spurring the addition of a four paramedic ambulance and development of plans for two new fire stations. The two stations will be completed by the end of 2009. The Public Safety Committee was reestablished to help develop these future programs and services.
* No homes were lost during the 4,100-acre Las Flores Fire.
* Animal Control found homes for more than 1,200 stray and abandoned animals. A new microchip program was implemented, which requires that all dogs leaving the facility be chipped to help owners be reunited with their dogs. So far, the staff has implanted 115 microchips.

The city continued to move forward with plans enacted over the past year:
* A new 180,000-square-foot Super Target retail store is on schedule for an August groundbreaking. The Lewis Group will announce tenants shortly upon signing of the final lease agreement.
* A new 204,167-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter is in the environmental phase with plans for a mid-2008 groundbreaking. A Home Depot and other outlying stores and restaurants will follow.
* The Ranchero Corridor Project continues to move forward with an early 2008 groundbreaking anticipated.
* Also, the freeway interchange at I-15 is moving forward.
* Design work will begin this year on the widening of Ranchero Road between the grade separation and I-15.
* The Main Street/I-15 Specific Plan is nearing completion. Workshops and public hearings are anticipated for the second quarter of 2007-08.
* The city applied for a $2 million Economic Development Administration grant for the G Avenue Rail Lead Track to move forward. The new track could begin construction in late 2008 and begin providing rail service to the area in early 2010.
* 84 Lumber, which broke ground on a 84,000-square-foot commercial construction projects wholesale and retail operation, is expected to open next month.
* Centex Homes will break ground on a 75,000-square-foot truss manufacturing facility. The facility is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the city. Other additions include concrete batch plans for both Service Rock and Robertson's Ready Mix. And a new 24,000-square-foot facility for PJ Machinery is underway on Hercules.
* The four-story Hampton Inn, which was destroyed by fire as it neared its construction, is expected to be rebuilt.
* Three new affordable housing projects are expected to be completed included Sunrise Terrace 1, which will be an affordable 109-unit multi-family complex on C Avenue, Sunrise Terrace 2, which offers 71 units, and the Village, a multi-phase senior project on 9th Avenue.

In the area of recreation, a lot of seeds have been sown, according to the city:
* The developers of Barcelona Heights and Maple Avenue West subdivisions will help develop two new public parks: the six-acre Barcelona Heights Park and a 40-acre Maple Avenue Park, which will be home to the Recreation and Park District's soccer fields.
* Grant funds totaling $245,409 were received for a new bike training. The trail will connect the Civic Center and Library to Hesperia High School. A second phase, which is dependent on funding, would connect the Civic Center to Lime Street Park. In addition, several miles of Class 2 bike trails were striped through the city.

Water and drainage issues addressed:
* A sub-regional Wastewater Reclamation Plant was designed, three new water storage wells were constructed, and 8.5 miles of pipe were laid.
* Storm water facilities were designed and easements acquired along a line that runs between Main Street and the Mojave River.

Other accomplishments, cited by the city:
* Surplus city office furniture and equipment were sold at auction with the proceeds donated to St. Bernard Parrish, which was almost completely devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The $26,000 will be used to help the Parrish reestablish government operations.
* City Council members and staff visited Washington D.C. to gain support for a number of critical projects.