Perris consultant Maria Elena Kennedy and City Manager Richard Belmudez discuss the Enchanted Heights sewer project during a meeting with community residents.
The City of Perris continues its civic outreach on its upcoming Enchanted Heights sewer project, a three-year, $13 million effort that will improve the lives of thousands of residents in the disadvantaged community.
The latest effort is a video entitled: “Enchanted Heights Sewer Project: Revitalizing a Perris Community,” was presented to the City Council Tuesday and will placed on the Perris website, www.cityofperris.org and its local access Channel 3. A webpage dedicated to the project’s history and progress also is on the Perris website.
The video, compiled through the efforts of project consultant Maria Elena Kennedy, Information Technology Supervisor Arturo Cervantes and Video Intern Marden de Castro, features members of the Perris City Council, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, Eastern Municipal Water District Trustee Ron Sullivan and
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch addresses the crowd during a meeting that drew more than 125 Enchanted Heights residents.
Enchanted Heights residents explaining the need for the new sewer system. Assistant City Manager Ron Carr oversaw production of the 12-minute video.
The just-release video is in English. A Spanish language version is expected to be complete by July.
Work is set to begin this summer on the sewer project, which will replace aging and inadequate septic tanks in Enchanted Heights, a community on Perris’ west side. Half of the Enchanted Heights 446 homes lie within the City, while the other half are in unincorporated Riverside County.
The community began about 50 years ago as a resort with modest residences and mobile homes built to accommodate single individuals or couples. In the ensuing years, many more residents have moved into Enchanted Heights, straining the capacity of existing septic tanks to meet current needs.
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said the project demonstrates the City’s ability to partner with regional, county and state agencies.
The City has been working with Enchanted Heights residents for months explaining the sewer project. City officials walked the neighborhood and conducted several informal question-and-answer meetings with small groups of residents.
Two community meetings attracted hundreds of Enchanted Heights homeowners, who expressed overwhelming support for the project. Kennedy, the project consultant, chats with community residents almost daily.
“The sewer project will definitely improve the lives of all Enchanted Heights residents,” Kennedy said. “I am pleased to be working with the City of Perris on this life-changing project. The City, along with its partners on the county and state level and Eastern Municipal Water District, should be proud of what they have accomplished so far and what they will accomplish in the future.”
Mayor Busch’s comments on the video focus on the need to replace septic tanks with sewer lines because the change will remove potential health risks caused by sewage spillages.
Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans says the new project will improve the property values of Enchanted Heights residents.
City Councilman Al Landers points out that Perris officials have known about the situation and have sought to improve it for 15 years.
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers says that long wait will be worth the noise and dust from ongoing construction once the new system is in place.
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough praised the efforts of City staff who have work diligently to improve Enchanted Heights.
Supervisor Marion Ashley praised Perris for taking the lead in bringing the new sewer project to reality. EMWD trustee Ron Sullivan commends the partnership—which includes Perris, Riverside County, EMWD, the State Water Resources Board and the California Department of Public Health—for collaborating on the effort and lauds the support from Enchanted Heights residents.
One of those residents, Connie Haflich, says she believes the sewer project represents the kind of change sorely needed in Enchanted Heights.
“No one hates change more than me,” she said. “But this is the kind of change we need.”