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HesperiaStar.com
  • A YEAR OF PROGRESS

    Mayor: Ranchero Road Corridor projects are Hesperia's highlight

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  • HESPERIA — With Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith introducing a video featuring his fellow councilmembers’ reflections on the past year, the annual State of the City address reviewed major accomplishments including roadway improvements.
    During the monthly Hesperia Chamber of Commerce meeting Monday at Courtyard by Marriott, Smith cited completion of the Ranchero Road Underpass and ongoing construction of the Interstate 15 Ranchero Road Interchange Project as the city’s “big moments,” with the latter expected to be complete in December.
    “We have been united as a council for at least the past four years, probably eight,” Smith said, recognizing the teamwork among councilmembers and city staffers in producing lifestyle improvements for the city.
    He also recognized the efforts that went into celebrating the city’s 25th anniversary of incorporation and dedication of a time capsule to be opened in 25 years.
    Following his live introduction, the staff-produced video featured city staffer Julie Ryan outlining progress toward a recyclables diversion rate of 75 percent by 2020, with the city already at 74 percent.
    Councilman Eric Schmidt spoke in the video about installation of purple pipe that will carry reclaimed water from a planned Hesperia subregional wastewater treatment plant; Councilman Mike Leonard spoke about construction on the Ranchero Road Interchange proceeding toward its original completion date despite a May 5 fire that destroyed much of the work; and Councilman Bill Holland recognized public safety enhancements, particularly the addition of 18 firefighters and the reopening of Station 301, on 11th Avenue south of Main Street, attributable to a FEMA grant.
    Councilman Russ Blewett said no new home construction permits were issued from 2010 to 2013 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, but 65 single-family residence permits have been filed since last year, and a 19,396-home community on the Las Flores Ranch property dubbed Tapestry is on the horizon.
    More than 110 Hesperia business people and Victor Valley dignitaries attended the annual presentation.
    “One of the things I love is how the City Council works together as a team,” chamber Chairman Shannon L. Shannon said. “It’s amazing what they’re doing” to develop infrastructure improvements, she said.
    She said the chamber’s first step into the fiscal year, following the recent departure of CEO Yvonne Woytovich for Arizona, is to hire a replacement for Woytovich who is the right fit for the community and can take the chamber and local business “to the next level.”
    Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.
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