One of the last sources of state funding might show up twice in Hesperia in the coming year, focused on the local off-roading community.


Both the city of Hesperia and the Hesperia station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department are pursuing grants offered by the State of California Department of State Parks, Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.


"There's funding for preservation of off-highway vehicle operations," said Hesperia's Deputy Director of Economic Development, Steve Lantsberger.


The city would use it to support the city's commercial off-roading venue.


"Our operator out there, Competitive Edge LLC, has been struggling with the economy and weather issues," Lantsberger said, "And so they approached us and said 'hey, what if we applied to get some of these funds.'"


The state requires that the city be the applicant, so it's the city applying for $115,000 in grant money.


"This will help keep this opportunity available."


"It keeps people riding legally in Hesperia, which is the important thing," Lantsberger said. Competitive Edge served 15,000 riders last year, he said.


Simultaneously, the Hesperia Police Department is pursuing an off-roading grant of its own.


"We applied for about $100,000 and that is actually to provide for some salary to provide some overtime and pay some salaries," said Sgt. Doug Hubbard. The grant would also allow the station to purchase a four-wheel drive vehicle "to patrol some of the rougher terrain areas south and east of the city."


The station's off-highway enforcement team currently uses two off-road motorcycles.


"We want to be able to work patrol to enforce the illegal riding aspect on public land," said Hubbard. They also want to crack down on "the irresponsible drivers doing wheelies down neighborhood streets."


The station receives about 200 calls a year about off-roaders racing on city streets, he said.


"The other aspect that we're going to focus on is education, so we can educate people where they can legally ride in the Victor Valley," said Hubbard. "The people who assigned to the off-highway team, many of them are actually semi-pro riders. ... They're very supportive of and understanding of the riders themselves."


The police department will hold a public forum on their grant application on Wed., March 30, at 6 p.m. in the police station's community room. The Hesperia Police Department is located at 15840 Smoke Tree Street. Call (760) 947-1500 for more information or e-mail dhubbard@sbcsd.org.


The grant applications are due by April 4 and the station hopes to award the grants by the first week of June.


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