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Surprise Asks Residents To Approve Purchase Of Water Company

The city of Surprise is holding an election over whether to buy a small water company as a way to plan for future growth.

Surprise has about 130,000 residents, but its master plan sees it growing to 500,000 people or more, according to Terry Lowe, director of Surprise’s Water Resource Management Department.

“The water needed is immense,” Lowe said. “And so we are planning now for that water demand in the future.”

Lowe said there are ten water utilities operating within the boundaries of Surprise. The acquisition of Circle City Water Company is specifically for the utility run by the city.

If voters approve the purchase, the Surprise City Council then has to act on it. Surprise officials said like any other utility, it’ll use money from the sale of its water portfolio to pay for the purchase. The Arizona Republic reports the price could be from $10 million to $30 million. 

Voting is underway via mail-in ballot. The City Clerk’s office can accept drop-off ballots until 7 p.m on May 15.

Bret Jaspers was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2017 to 2020.