City Council Work Session
Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Process
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the budget process for fiscal year 2016. The budget process timeline will begin with a Strategic Planning Retreat in November, followed by a Budget Kick-Off Retreat in February. In April, the City Manager will issue the recommended budget for discussion. The tentative budget should be adopted in May followed by the adoption of the final budget and property tax levy in June.
City Council Meeting
Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Report
Lindsey Duncan, Acting Finance Director, discussed the FY2014 monthly budget status report as of May of this year. Through the month of May 2014, our actual sales tax receipts, excluding construction, are 7.7% higher than the prior year and 3.1% higher than expected (FY2013 actual of $29.3 million compared to FY2014 actual of $31.5 million). Restoring consumer confidence has contributed to increases in the retail and restaurant/bar categories. In addition, the communications/utilities category continues to reflect rate increases enacted by those utilities last year. The construction sales tax is 18.9% lower than the prior year due to one-time construction related to major roadway projects (Loop 303); however, it is still stronger than expected by 4.8%.
Quick N Clean Car Wash
The final plat for the Quick N Clean Car Wash was approved. The car wash will be built at the northwest corner of Bell Road and 115th Avenue. Construction will begin as soon as possible.
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Memorial
City Council unanimously approved a monument in memoriam of Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Nick Bacon. Mr. Bacon also served as the Surprise Town Manager from 1986 until 1990. According to his Medal of Honor citation, “S/Sgt. Bacon was serving his second tour in Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1968, when he and his unit were ambushed during an operation west of Tam Ky. Under intense enemy fire, he destroyed an enemy bunker with hand grenades while his platoon leader was shot and fell wounded in an exposed position. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon’s extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon’s bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.” Mr. Bacon received his Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1969. He passed away in July 2010. Council directed that the memorial be located on the grounds of City Hall at a cost not to exceed $7,000.
Events & Meetings
Arizona League of Cities Conference
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns held their Annual Conference last week at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel. The Conference began on Tuesday, August 19 with the Gubernatorial Forum and Welcome Reception. Sessions began on Wednesday, August 20 after the opening General Session with keynote speaker, Elliot Eisenberg, who is a nationally acclaimed economist. His predictions indicate that Arizona’s housing and economic development are on the rise but we still have work to do. I was able to attend several informative sessions regarding local community initiatives, rapid fire innovation, military veteran issues, water management and energy resources. The Showcase of Cities was held on Thursday evening, August 21. The City garnered media attention for our booth. There were mariachis, trivia games and popcorn advertising the City of Surprise and the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande which will be held on Saturday, October 4.
WESTMARC Water & Planning Meeting
WESTMARC (Western Maricopa Coalition) Water & Energy Committee met on Wednesday, August 27th in Peoria. The Honorable Bob Burns, Commissioner for the Arizona Corporation Commission discussed elections and other issues facing the Commission. The Arizona Corporation Commission is comprised of 5 elected officials statewide. The Corporation regulates public service corporations, private water companies (like SRP), securities (anyone who trades in securities), pipeline & railroad safety (such as Southwest Gas), and corporations (registers business and files reporting of officers and expenditures).
ACC is a constitutional-created body, they do not report to the Governor or Legislature. They employ over 250 people between both of their offices in Phoenix and Tucson. ACC consists of 8 divisions: Administration, Corporations, Hearing, Information Technology/Broadcasting, Legal, Securities, Safety (Railroad & Pipeline) and Utilities. The Corporation Division oversees 776,484 Corporations and LLC’s transacting business in the State of Arizona. The Utilities Division regulates 225 telecommunication companies, 357 water utility companies, 62 sewer companies, 18 water and sewer companies, and 7 gas utilities. Legislature provides a budget line for the ACC.
Any revenue the ACC receives that exceeds the Commission’s budget needs flows in to the State General Fund and it is utilized to defray the costs of state government. Historically, the Commission has generated significantly more revenue than its General Fund requirements from securities and broker registrations, corporation filing fees, fines and miscellaneous service charges. The Commission revenue has increased by over $800,000 since FY2011-2012.
Teresa Makinen, WESTCAPS Director, made a presentation about WESTCAPS, its history, purpose and the current members and interested parties. The City of Surprise is a current Member. Additionally, there are 11 water providers as members (8 municipal and 3 private). Ms. Makinen also provided an overview of the changes in WESTCAPS, from being a planning, collaborative committee with members that are Central Arizona Project (CAP) sub-contractors to possibly opening membership to all West Valley water entities. Ms. Makinen gave an overview of the West Valley water supply deficit at build-out and the strategic planning and organizational efforts that WESTCAPS is currently undertaking. Lastly, she spoke about the $1.7 million West Salt River Valley Basin Study that is funded by the United State Bureau of Reclamation ($860K) and the WESTCAPS Members ($840K). This study includes a supply and demand study, a supply analysis to include climate change, an economic analysis, a groundwater modeling update, a recharge and reuse siting study, and options and trade-off analysis. She asked for stakeholder involvement, ending with a call to attend the Stakeholder Kick-Off meeting on September 9, 2014.
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