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Read Across America Day at Countryside Elementary

On Friday, March 2nd, the Surprise City Council and staff  participated in Read Across America Day at Countryside Elementary. I had an amazing time reading a book called “I Can Handle It” by Laurie Wright to Mrs. Judd’s first grade class. The book talks about how to overcome tough situations in life, and how positivity is the best tool to cope with the difficulties that we all experience. Mrs. Judd and her students were wonderful hosts, and I enjoyed every minute that I got to spend with them.

November 2016 – Introduction & Utility Transition Update

Hello Neighbors!

It has been an honor to live in Sun City Grand for the past 12 years and now it is my privilege and honor to serve you as District 2 City Council Member. I was appointed by the Surprise City Council to serve the remainder of the term for the District 2 council seat last month. I have had the great pleasure of knowing you or meeting you over the past few months, but for those I haven’t personally met, I’d like to introduce myself.

I served on the Glendale Fire Department as a firefighter and EMT for 22 years. Prior to that I respectfully served our country for 20 years in the United States Air Force where I trained pilots with critical skills needed to survive warlike conditions. Like many of the courageous veterans I have met, I am also a Vietnam War veteran.

I currently serve as Adjunct Faculty at Glendale Community College, teaching Fire Science and Emergency Medical Technicians and serve on the city’s Public Safety Retirement Board.

I look forward to sharing important city news and information with you and would like to remind you of an important transition that began on November 1. Surprise residents that were billed by American Water for water and/or wastewater and solid waste services should now be receiving their bills from the City of Surprise.

Council voted to transition billing for city utility services from American Water to an in-house operation on March 1, 2016. Following months of planning, the new service has begun. Some of the most significant transition changes customers will see include:

  • A new account number;
  • A new bill statement layout;
  • And more options for making utility payments.

To help ease the transition, I wanted to include these detailed FAQs:

Am I going to receive an American Water statement in October? If I do, who should I pay?

Yes. If you previously received a statement from American Water for your water or wastewater/solid waste, you will receive your last statement in October or the first week in November. Please pay this last bill to American Water using the same method of payment you have always used when paying your American Water Bill.

When will I receive my Surprise utility billing statement?

Due to multiple billing cycles and meter schedules, residents will be receiving their City of Surprise utility bill at various times throughout the month of November, however you will receive your first statement about 30 days from when you received your last American Water bill.

Do I still need to pay EPCOR for my water service?

Yes. Customers who are currently served by EPCOR water will continue to receive their water statement from EPCOR. However, if you received a statement from American Water for wastewater and solid waste services, your wastewater and solid waste statement will now come from the city of Surprise.

I’m currently enrolled in auto pay with American Water; what should I do?

When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to go online to http://surpriseaz.gov/waterbill and select the ‘Utility Payments’ button. It will lead you to the City utility payment website where you will select ‘Create Account’ to set up your online payment account. If you are unsure about how to do this or do not have access to the internet to do this, call the City’s customer service staff at 623.222.1900 and they will be happy to assist you over the phone in getting you set up. Just remember, to call them beginning November 1st so they can help you get set up in the “live” system.

I pay all my bills using online banking; do I need to change anything?

Yes. When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to log into your online banking account and update your payment information using your new Surprise account number and the city’s information which can be found on your statement.

Should you have questions, please contact the Customer Service & Utility Billing team at 623.222.1900.

In summary, I have been a public servant my entire life, to me, it is my vocation. There is no greater honor than service and I am overwhelmed with sincere gratitude that I have been given the opportunity to serve you. Please feel free to reach out to me at jim.hayden@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1322. Thank you!