Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Enchanted Heights Community Outreach Enters Next Phase

Perris consultant Maria Elena Kennedy distributes flyers announcing the Jan. 12 public hearing to discuss the Enchanted Heights sewer project Perris consultant Maria Elena Kennedy distributes flyers announcing the Jan. 12 public hearing to discuss the Enchanted Heights sewer project.

The City of Perris has begun the next phase of a community outreach effort in Enchanted Heights as work progresses on a new sewer system that will vastly improve the lives of the hundreds of residents living there.

Construction began last summer on several aspects of the new sewers, which will replace aging and inadequate septic tanks.
Work currently underway includes the building of a lift station and sewer lines to remove waste water from residences throughout the 446-home Enchanted Heights community.

The next phase of the project includes speaking to Enchanted Heights homeowners and getting their permission for construction crews to enter their property and build connecting laterals to the main sewer lines.

City consultant Maria Elena Kennedy recently spent several days walking through Enchanted Heights, handing out flyers in English and Spanish that encourage residents to sign “right of entry” permission forms that will allow the residential portion of the project to progress.

Perris consultant Maria Elena Kennedy (left) talks with Enchanted Heights resident Maria Lopez about the need to give permission to contractors so they can hook up individual homes to a new sewer systemPerris consultant Maria Elena Kennedy (left) talks with Enchanted Heights resident Maria Lopez about the need to give permission to contractors so they can hook up individual homes to a new sewer system.

A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 12) at Enchanted Hills Elementary School, 1357 Mount Baldy Street, to gather signatures to allow contractors right of entry. The meeting will take at 6 p.m. in English and 7 p.m. in Spanish. Kennedy will be among City representatives on hand to explain the process.

“This is an incredibly important project and we want to make sure that Enchanted  Heights residents understand the significance of this next phase of construction,” Kennedy said. “I know that the community will give its support once we make them aware of the importance of signing the forms.”

The City of Perris, Eastern Municipal Water District and Riverside County are working in cooperation to complete the three-year, $15 million project, which officials agree will ease potential health concerns, increase property values and build community pride.

The partnership received a huge boost with the announcement in December that the State Water Resources Control Board will pay the $5 million cost of connection fees, freeing residents from the burden of paying to hook up to the sewer system.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the Enchanted Heights improvements are long overdue and that he is pleased to see construction progressing on schedule.

“It’s a three-phase project—the lift station, the connecting lines and now the residential hook-ups,” Busch said. “The funding is in place and construction is moving along at a good pace. I am really pleased that the partnership we have established with Eastern Municipal Water District and Riverside County is working so well to improve the lives of so many of our residents.”

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, a Perris resident, also praised the multi-agency partnership.

“This is a major challenge and those take a long time to solve,” Ashley said. “It is great that this important project is underway. It will be wonderful for the entire Enchanted Heights community.”
Enchanted Heights was developed as a retirement community in the 1950s and 1960s and originally consisted of mobile homes designed for single residents and couples.

But over the years, the fabric of the community has evolved as more and more families moved into Enchanted Heights, creating pressure on the individual septic systems, some of which have been leaking for years.

Located on the extreme western edge of Perris, the Enchanted Heights community lies half in the City and half in unincorporated Riverside County.

The initial phase of the sewer project includes construction of a lift station at San Jacinto Avenue and Lukens Lane.

Construction of the connection system tentatively is set to begin this winter and wrap up in winter 2013. Work crews also have begun installing the main line sewer system under several streets throughout Enchanted Heights.
Enchanted Heights resident Maria Lopez said she and other homeowners are supporting the project with anticipation and enthusiasm.

“We are eager to have the residential portion of the project begin,” Lopez said.