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HesperiaStar.com
  • CITY GOVERNMENT

    Hesperia approves $77.9 million budget

    Council details preference for optional street improvements
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  • HESPERIA — Council members approved the city’s 2014-15 budget and detailed a preference for optional street improvements.
    The $77.9 million budget was approved unanimously Tuesday, but council members differed in their choices for effecting street improvements.
    “We’ve got miles of need and inches of ability to pay for it in the bucket,” Councilman Bill Holland said. “We’re doing the best we can.”
    Agreed previously were staff recommendations to rehabilitate Main Street from Oakwood to Balsam avenues; slurry seal as preventive maintenance 10 miles of paved roads; conduct residential street rehabilitation on Walnut Street from Main Street to Peach Avenue and on Del Mar Street between Willow Street and Benecia Avenue, and upgrade a traffic signal at the intersection of Main Street and I Avenue, including improvements that accommodate the disabled.
    The cost for those projects totals $1.5 million.
    Differing views were expressed principally by Russ Blewett and Thurston “Smitty” Smith over what to do with $1.09 million budgeted for optional improvements.
    At the heart of the disagreement was whether to slurry seal more miles of existing paved roads or include first-time paving on some of the 40 miles of dirt roads that remain in the city. The city has about 550 miles of paved streets.
    Blewett said spending money on slurry sealing would deliver improvements to more residents and motorists. Buying property on a dirt road is a choice, he said.
    Smith said the city should bring upgrades to all of the city, however slowly that may occur.
    The five councilmen split their votes on Smith’s motion to adopt staff’s recommended projects and focus on paving about a mile of dirt residential roads — specifically, Fir Street and Rodeo Road from Seventh to 11th avenues — and slurry sealing 9.7 miles of Catalpa Street and Santa Fe Avenue East in an industrial area plus 10 additional miles throughout the city.
    Smith, Holland and Mike Leonard voted yes; Blewett and Eric Schmidt voted no.
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