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Surprise continuing to go green despite budget woes

SURPRISE, Ariz. – The city of Surprise is cutting their Sustainability Division due to budget cuts.

The city is set to move forward with $4.3 million in spending cuts for next year’s budget. Despite the cuts, Surprise city leaders said they are fully committed to continue their efforts to go green.

“We’re just asking Sustainability Division employees to take on additional duties to go with their sustainability work, and by doing so, we’re transferring them to different divisions,” said Surprise Spokesman Ken Lynch.

No city employees have lost their jobs because of the move. The Sustainability Division was created in 2010, and has been behind the city’s push to upgrade building features to be more environmentally friendly, as well as more efficient. Its first major project was a solar-panel array built on top of the Surprise City Hall parking garage.

The city also plans on continuing the current projects the division was working on involving water conservation.

Lynch said it will take the city two years to recover from their current budget problems, but once it gets through that timeframe, the division could come back.