The long-awaited Ranchero Road underpass is on schedule to open in summer 2013. The state revenues for the project to help pay for it, on the other hand, are running a little late.
The state and federal government have promised $12.3 million in matching funds for the $27 million project. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is in charge of issuing the checks, whether the money comes from Sacramento or Washington, D.C.
"When you have a project like this, you always have your timeline of when you hope things will happen," city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy said. "We had planned on the turnaround time on reimbursement being a bit faster than it has been."
The delays won't slow the construction of the long-awaited underpass, but will instead hold up future projects city officials intend to spend the reimbursement funds on, including street improvements.
"We've already fronted this money, paid the contractors," Malloy said. "It's more of a cash flow issue."
So far, the city hasn't received any of the funds they expected to receive in the spring and are working with Caltrans officials to streamline the process.
"It's been a combination of some technical errors in the application, but also, because it's working with the state, it has to go through various departments," Malloy said. "It's understandable that their focus might be on passing the budget, which might cause a slight delay."
City officials are extra cautious about cash flow issues following the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, including the Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency, earlier this year by Gov. Jerry Brown.
"We're still financially sound. The city will continue to operate," Malloy said. "It's just making sure that everything is accounted for."
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at Beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.