Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.
Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue this Friday night:
- US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, to paint and install pedestrian fence on the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.
Work continues this week on the following:
- Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
- Installation of signal at 134th Avenue.
- Paving the east side of the new bridge.
- Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
- Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.
**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**
As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.
Utility Transition Information
On November 1, the City of Surprise will begin processing billing statements for current wastewater and solid waste customers who were previously billed by American Water.
Council unanimously voted in March 2016 to bring the service in-house rather than utilize an outside contractor.
The transition has brought about numerous questions regarding utility billing from residents throughout the city. The most common questions stem from concerns about bill pay options and different utility providers. To help ease the transition, I’ve included those questions below.
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.
I’m sure that, like me, you will have many more questions. I am so proud that we have a dedicated team of customer service professionals available to assist you with your utility billing concerns.
Should you have questions, you may contact the Customer Service & Utility Billing team at 623.222.1900.
Events & Meetings
Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Comic Event
On October 22, the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a Comic Encounter featuring Steve Rude the Dude. Over 50 people attended. Mr. Rude talked about his experience learning to draw art in school and interacted with the entire audience during the event. A drawing contest of Barnes & Noble gift cards and an autographed book by Steve Rude was held for two age groups.
Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event and the guest speaker was Mike Godbehere, President and Co-founder of GCON Inc. The presentation provided an overview of communicating through different color filters, utilizing Personality Lingo, that teach you how to adapt your communication’s strategies to ensure you are hearing and speaking the right message.
Arizona History Series Kicks Off in Surprise
The city’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, in partnership with Arizona Humanities, hosted the first speaking series on Arizona history and culture in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Roland Winters and I attended. Dr. Jay Cravath spoke for this particular series – “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Caps: Entertainment in Old Arizona.”
The next speaker event, “Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit-Victim or Vixen…or Both,” will be held on Monday, January 23, 2017, 11 a.m. in the Community Room at City Hall.
Surprise-Gateway Training Center Grand Opening
City Council joined representatives from Gateway Community College on Wednesday, October 26 for the grand opening of the Surprise Gateway Training Center, at our south water plant, on Cactus Road, just east of Litchfield Road. This training center is a state-of-the-art facility. Supporting training and the education of our workforce and continued investments in our water infrastructure are critical to our growing city. This new facility addresses these priorities and prepares individuals for a career rather than a job. We are very appreciative of this partnership with Gateway and the dedication of our Water Resource Management team led by Department Director Terry Lowe.
Mark Your Calendar
Free Workshops and Career Fair
As the ramp-up for holiday sales start, the holiday hiring begins. The City of Surprise, in partnership with Arizona@Work Maricopa County and Skillful, will host three free events at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, to help job seekers and employers get ready for the upcoming holiday season.
- Employment Workshop – October 31 (9am- Noon)
- Looking for a job? Job seekers will learn tips in updating resumes, interviewing skills, social media and live networking, tools and resources to grow your skills and working a job fair.
- Employer Workshop on Skills-based hiring – November 1 (9am-Noon)
- Hiring? Employers will learn about innovative tools and materials available that can help with skills-based hiring, job posting techniques and workforce support.
- Career Fair – November 2 (9am-Noon)
- Employers and job-seekers are invited to participate in a free City of Surprise career fair! On Wednesday, November 2, local employers will be onsite to recruit new talent and promote any upcoming positions.
Career fairs are an interactive, personal way to identify new opportunities, get questions answered face-to-face, and assess whether a particular job is a good fit. Employers appreciate the chance to meet a variety of job candidates in person and the capability of interviewing on-site.
The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from Dysart Unified School District and City of Surprise Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.
The Surprise workshops and career fair are being offered as part of the city’s Business Education Series that assists local businesses with information and continued education. To sign up for the workshops or to secure a table at the career fair, contact Kendra Pettis at 623.222.3330 or email@example.com.
City to Host Free Wellness Classes
Health and wellness are important for a thriving community, and the City of Surprise is hosting free wellness classes to help keep residents educated and informed on a variety of topics. The following classes are next in the series:
Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment – November 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Elbert Y. Kuo, will be presenting on advances in the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Kuo says that every eight minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with lung cancer. Every year, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States – killing more people each year than colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined. In this presentation, Dr. Kuo will discuss the importance of lung cancer screening, as well as treatment advances.
Leading a Balanced Life – November 8, 10-11:30 a.m.
This 45 minute presentation, taught by Banner Del Web Physical Therapy Assistant Maren Harrison, will cover: balance systems and strategies; the proper use of walking aids; how to fall and proper fall recovery. Plus, there will be an opportunity for a personal balance screening.
Both classes will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.
For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please register early since space is limited.
Did You Know?
Early Voting – City Clerk’s Office
Please remember that that last day to cast your early ballot at the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall is November 4. Office hours are 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, October 29 from 10 am until 3 pm.
If you wait to vote until Election Day (November 8), you will need to go to your designated polling location. If you have any questions or would like to verify that you are registered, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200.