The recession broke a decade-long streak for the city of Hesperia last year.


"In all prior years, going back at least 10 years, there had been an annual street improvement project," Director of Development Services Scott Priester said Wednesday. "It was deferred until, essentially, last night's meeting."


At Tuesday's Hesperia City Council budget workshop, the city announced that there would be a street improvement project for fiscal year 2010-2011 after all, in the form of $415,024 in storm drain repairs related to this winter's storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay the city back for the repairs at a later date.


There will also be a modest $2 million budget for street improvements in fiscal year 2011-2012.


"The primary part of it is the second wave of state Proposition 1B funds," said Priester. 1B funds were previously used to pave Rock Springs Road.


Lemon Avenue will get repaved in the coming fiscal year. The avenue will be torn up between I and Santa Fe Avenues, as the Mojave Water Agency lays pipe for their Regional Recharge and Recovery Program project. The MWA will then pay to repave that half of the road.


"We're taking care of the other half," said Priester.


Other improvements include a turn signal at the intersection of Rock Springs Road and Main Street.


The city will also provide a safe pedestrian walkway along 8th Avenue.


"It's going to extend pedestrian access from essentially the police station site all the way to where Joshua Circle School is and Lucy Siegrist School," said Priester. "It is a highly used route for school kids to be able to get from school to the library and also to the park for certain activities."


There will also be a pedestrian crossing light located next to the park as part of the project.


Although there is no plan to pave new streets in the coming fiscal year, the city will be investing in the paving they've already done.


"You have two types of street maintenance: You have corrective maintenance and preventative maintenance," Priester said. "We've paved a lot of new roads. ... Once you lay that down, so long as you properly maintain it, that'll last 30 years."


To maintain the roads, the city will be applying a slurry seal -- essentially, a moisturizer for asphalt.


"It helps prevent the road from cracking and breaking," Priester said. For "the cost of doing preventative maintenance, slurry seal, you get a heck of a lot more miles than with corrective maintenance."


And finally, city officials reaffirmed at Tuesday's meeting that 2012 is the year that they will break ground on the Ranchero Road Underpass -- really.


After decades of waiting, the city will be going out to bid on the project in April or May. Officials are estimating the project will cost around $27 million. The city will pay $15 million of that, and state and federal funds cover another $11 million.


"Confidence is high," Priester said. "The underpass is breaking ground in 2011."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.