McHenry’s Yucca Valley Platform Includes Water System & Old Town Upgrades

(September 23) Charles McHenry is running for Yucca Valley Town Council, he said, “because I love the community and with everything going on I thought I’d step forward.”
There are many issues the city faces, McHenry said, and he adjudged the demands being placed upon it by the State’s Water Quality Control Board as the most critical.
Ten years after its November 1991 incorporation, Yucca Valley was notified by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board that the lack of a sewage treatment system had resulted in nitrates accumulating in the water table. Simultaneously, the Hi-Desert Water District, which serves the Yucca Valley community, experienced nitrate traces in district wells. In 2007, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board declared Yucca Valley as a top priority for eliminating the use of septic systems.  In 2011, the town was firmly informed that it had only five years to take a definitive step toward water quality compliance, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board imposed three progressive phases of septic discharge prohibitions on Yucca Valley. Under the state mandate, phase 1 of a wastewater system must be completed or significantly on its way to completion by May 19, 2016 or enforcement action will be initiated. The first phase of the project is to cover the downtown area of Yucca Valley, the area most proximate to the heart of the groundwater basin.  Similarly, phase 2 must be completed or nearly completed by May 19, 2019 and phase 3 must be completed by May 19, 2022. The last two phases lie further out where future concentrated development is most likely to occur.
“I’d like to take care of the big sewer issue that is coming, get a plan in place and get it moving forward,” McHenry said.
McHenry acknowledged that “it is going to be expensive.” He said that technically, the town is not the lead agency with regard to the construction of the water treatment system.
“The water district has to take care of that and the financial burden,” he said, “unless the town decides it wants to take over for the district. I am not in favor of the town putting out a tax measure, as I don’t think it would be a good idea at this time. Maybe down the road. But I think the town can apply for grants and work to help the water district. They should do that to see the project gets done. The town and the district need to work closely together to make this smoother and easier for the town’s citizens.”
A secondary issue, McHenry said, is revitalizing Old Town Yucca Valley.
“I’d like to see it a little more developed,” he said. “There is infrastructure that needs to be taken care of. There are a lot of people in town whose voices are not being heard. The town council needs to talk with the business owners to find out what the Old Town area business owners want. The council is not listening to them. I have. There are a lot of tourists who come through town who do not see our Old Town area. We could bring money in here rather than it going to the next town down the road.”
McHenry, who has served on Yucca Valley’s general plan advisory committee and its traffic commission, said he believes he is qualified to serve on the city council in that “I have served on a civic committee and commission and the boards of nonprofits in Yucca Valley and worked well with people. I have voted for things that passed and did not pass. I know it doesn’t have to be my way. It has to be best for what is in the town’s interest. I am an average citizen of the town. I am used to living with the things here, like the other voters. Sometimes the right choices aren’t always the easy ones.”
McHenry grew up in the Sacramento area and attended American River College. He served for six years in the Navy. He works for the U.S. Marine Corps as a civilian employee. He is married with two children.

Leave a Reply