HESPERIA Economy willing, residents' long wait for BMX and skate parks in Hesperia may soon be over.


With Maple Park open, Lindsay Woods, general manager for Hesperia Recreation and Park District, said building the BMX and skate parks is now his agency's top capital improvement priority.


The district plans to open a skate plaza and BMX track at Lime Street Park, at the former site of the district's equestrian facility. The Val Shearer Equestrian Center was moved to Hesperia Lake Park earlier this year.


Final designs for the BMX track and the skate plaza are not yet complete, as the district waits to see what sort of funding will be available for each project.


"My expectation is it'll probably be the BMX (portion of the park built) first," Woods said.


The district is hoping to receive some sort of help from USA BMX, the BMX sanctioning authority. USA BMX formed in May out of two entities: The American Bicycle Association and the National Bicycle League, each of which had previously indicated a desire to help the park district build a major BMX facility in Hesperia.


Even without the participation of USA BMX, Woods said, the district could still build a track. However, it would be less impressive than the $364,902 split track with one lane for professional-level cyclists and one for amateurs that the district would build with USA BMX's help.


A BMX park could be open as soon as late next year, barring any unforeseen financial crises cropping up between now and then.


A skate park, which was redesigned because of input from the public during grant application hearings last year, will rely on local and state grant funds, both of which are in short supply. The current design would cost the district $343,660.


"The economy's really been putting a pinch on us," Woods said. The district is primarily funded by property tax revenue. A decline in that revenue has recently led the Hesperia Fire District to announce plans to close one of the city's fire stations and has similarly curtailed the park district's plans.


The district has applied for more grant funds, Woods said. He hopes Lime Street Park will have a skate plaza open for the public sometime in 2013.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.