BARSTOW- The Barstow area could see a larger airport and expanded sheriff's station in 2008.

Public safety and transportation projects are among the major county undertakings planned for the coming year which could affect Barstow, said San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt.

"Our biggest priority is making our streets safer, and one of the ways we're doing that is expanding our jail system," he said.

A $2 million renovation of the Barstow sheriff's station and jail and tripling the numbers of beds at the Adelanto Detention Center are scheduled to begin in the coming months. Mitzelfelt said that money for the projects has already been set aside and will likely avoid potential state or county budget cuts.

"If the county general fund takes a big hit, it will be my first priority to make sure public safety is the last affected," he said.

Other public safety priorities include getting deputies back out on the streets, preventing the early release of inmates and continuing with anti-gang efforts countywide.

The county also hopes to assist the city and non-profit groups in plans to design a one-stop homeless center in Barstow, but the project is still in the planning stages, he said.

Mitzelfelt said that the Barstow-Daggett Airport will likely see $3.65 million in runway construction paid for by Federal Aviation Administration grants and a new airport administration building.

To cope with anticipated industrial growth in Barstow, railroad grade separations are planned at Lenwood Road in Barstow and Vista Road in Helendale, paid from by county and city funds.

"With the train traffic increasing its important we address the effects this had on traffic," Mitzelfelt said.

He said the county will assist the city of Hesperia in the widening of Ranchero Road, but a major priority will be expediting the High Desert Corridor.

The corridor will eventually go from Apple Valley to Palmdale. The contract for the western portion between Highway 395 and Palmdale Road could be awarded as early as this year, Mitzelfelt said.

In the interim, Mitzelfelt said he will help support Victorville in getting a portion of the corridor between Highway 395 and Interstate 15 built, which will give a significant economic boost to Southern California Logistics Airport.

Mitzelfelt said he hopes the entire corridor will be completed within 10 years.

The High Desert County Government Center is expected to break ground this year and will give Victor Valley residents much needed county services that they can now only get by driving to San Bernardino.

The 60,000-square-foot building will cost around $20 million, Mitzelfelt said, and will include offices for all general departments excluding health and human services.

Overall, the county is going to see how the state's deficit might affect its own funds this year, said spokesman David Wert.

"The state has sometimes looked to local government as a source of funding to close its gap," Wert said.