Surprise Approves Proposed $2 Stormwater Fee To Maintain, Upgrade Infrastructure

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 4:02pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 6:43pm
(Photo courtesy Terry Lowe - Surprise)
Flooding from 2013 renders a Surprise intersection un-passable.

Major flooding problems in Surprise means residents might see an extra fee on their monthly water bill.

In 2013, a rainy year in Surprise led to submerged intersections and stranded residents, prompting city council to look for ways to maintain the stormwater infrastructure. That includes gutters, curbs, pipes and washes.

Right now general fund money is used, but the City Council recently approved a proposed $2 stormwater fee added to the monthly water bill of Surprise residents.

Terry Lowe, water resource management director, said the extra cash flow will be vital for Surprise in the long term.

“The big thing is maintenance," Lowe said. "This is the first step to creating a focused group with a dedicated funding source.”

He said Surprise's stormwater infrastructure isn't vastly different than other cities in the Valley, but it needs attention.

“There’s not a lot of storm pipe. Some, but not a lot," he said. "Most run over the land, and we have retention basins and detention basins that aren’t interlinked either.”

The fee would go into effect November.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to clarify the status of the fee.

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