March 27, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


Kingswood Parke HOA Meeting City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Public Works Director Mike Gent and I attended the Kingswood Parke HOA meeting on Thursday, March 19. Several residents were present. Public Works Director Mike Gent provided a presentation on sidewalks for the HOA. Due to the pedestrian traffic concerns of the residents, a sidewalk on the east side of Parkview, from Bell north to Lea Lane has been requested.

Economic Development at the Ballpark Last week, Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic hosted several organizations and companies in the Economic Development suite at Surprise Stadium.  Some of those groups included GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) site selectors and California Tech Council. I am always honored to be part of these events to help convey what a fantastic city we live in!

WHAM Recycled Art Project I participated in WHAM’s Recycled Art Project on Saturday, March 21. This project is part of WHAM’s 3rd Annual Community Leader Art Activity fundraiser which helps the organization continue art programs in the West Valley. If you would like to personally view the art pieces or to bid on them, the Recycled Art Silent Auction Fundraiser will be held on March 29 from 4 to 7 pm at WHAM West Gallery (16560 N. Dysart Road).

City Manager - WHAM Recycled Art Project

Councilman Hall - WHAM Recycled Art Project

Cal Ripken Day at the Ballpark The Cal Ripken League kicked off their season with a parade at Surprise Stadium prior to the spring training game on Saturday, March 21. Approximately 1,200 people were in attendance at the event. The entire City Council was also present to welcome our players to the Stadium and wish them luck as they embark on their season. This year, there are 156 teams in the league which consists of 1,900 players and over 400 volunteer coaches. A special thank you to our extraordinary CRS department for putting together not only this program but the many others they offer and to the hundreds of volunteers that help make this possible! Best of luck to all of our players!

Cal Ripken Day at the Ballpark

Veramonte Block Party I attended the Veramonte HOA block party and Community Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 22. There were approximately 100 residents at the event.

Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge On Tuesday, March 24, I was invited to participate in the Celebrity Reading Day event at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. I was honored to read to two 3rd grade classrooms who anxiously inquired about being a Council Member and local government.

Celebrity Reading Day at Canyon Ridge

GPEC Community Partnership Meeting Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Tande and I attended a meeting on Tuesday, March 24 with GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) to listen to their strategy for attracting companies throughout the Valley.

Surprise Literacy Challenge I attended a pizza party at Rancho Gabriela Elementary School for the 4th grade class taught by Mrs. Housari that won the Surprise Literacy Challenge, co-sponsored by Vice Mayor John Williams and me.

Samantha Warne, 4th grade student at Rancho Gabriela
Samantha Warne, 4th grade student at Rancho Gabriela who read an impressive 3,000 minutes
Mrs. Guest, teacher of the winning 5th grade class at Parkview
Mrs. Guest, teacher of the winning 5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School
5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School
5th grade class at Parkview Elementary School

League of Women Voters Event Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I attended the League of Women Voters event at the Dysart School District office on Thursday, March 26. Guest speakers included Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman and our very own City Clerk Sherry Aguilar.  Interesting facts were shared by all speakers.  In the last election, 81% of the voters in Maricopa County voted early. Voter turnout for the 2014 election in Maricopa County was 48%. Voter turnout in Surprise for the last election was only 36%. In Maricopa County, for the 2010 election, 54% of registered voters voted; in 2012, which was a Presidential election, 76% of registered voters voted. Attendees partook in brainstorming ideas that may help facilitate increased voter participation. There were also opportunities for residents to register to vote and/or to sign-up to be on the Permanent Early Voter List. If you are not on the Permanent Early Voter List, you may want to consider it so ballots continue to be sent to you.

League of Women Voters

Mark Your Calendars


Surprise Community Center Open House Residents are invited to attend an Open House hosted by the City’s newly created Human Services and Community Vitality Department on Saturday, March 28 from 10 am until 2 pm at the Surprise Community Center located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Department Director Michael Celaya welcomes you to meet the staff, take a tour of the facility and enjoy the food and beverages offered that day.

In addition to the Open House, City staff will be on hand to assist with voter registration and permanent early voter list sign-up. Furthermore, the four Heritage District Overlay concepts that were recently developed via input from the public will be available for viewing and feedback.

The Human Services and Community Vitality Department was formed in late January to help better engage residents and improve overall quality of life. The Department houses the City’s Neighborhood Services Division, Senior Services Division and Grants Administration.

Bike Rodeo Please join me on Saturday! The Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28, 2015. The event will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the main church parking lot at 14787 W. Cholla Street. The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping bicyclists enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury. The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Did You Know?


Grand Avenue Restricted Please note that NW Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane at Loop 303 on April 4 and April 5.

Grand Avenue

Board/Commission Openings The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions.

  • Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Building & Construction Review Board (1vacancy)
  • Health Benefits Trust Fund Board (3 vacancies)
  • Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (1 resident vacancy)
  • Tourism Commission (1 restaurant rep. vacancy)

All Board and/or Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). You can also download an application at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Students Aiding Community Dysart School District is keeping unwanted fruit produce out of the trash and putting it into the hands of the hungry in Surprise! Dysart students are offered at least one fruit or vegetable at lunch due to the Federal nutritional guidelines. A new program initiated by Dysart Registered Dietician Sarah Cox allows students to donate their unwanted fruit options. Great idea!

Contact Me


Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners Recognized

Councilman Hall visited the classrooms of the 4th and 5th grade students who won the 2015 Surprise Literacy Challenge during their celebratory pizza parties on March 25!

The Challenge, created by Vice Mayor Williams and Councilman Hall, asked students in 4th -6th grade to track the number of hours they read outside the classroom for a period of four months.

The winning 4th grade class was Ms. Housari’s class at Rancho Gabriela.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners Rancho 4th
Councilman Hall with winning 4th grade class.

The winning 5th grade class was Ms. Guest’s class at Parkview.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners Parkview
Councilman Hall with winning 5th grade class.

In addition to the pizza party, each of the students received a medal for their reading efforts. They will also receive a trophy for their classroom at the City Council Meeting on April 7.

Councilman Hall also attended the recognition of the winning 6th grade class from Paradise Education Center, which happened on the field at the March 26 Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium.

Winning 6th Grade
Councilman Hall and Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo with winning 6th grade class

March 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session


City Transportation Update
A City transportation update was provided by Karl Zook, Assistant Director of Public Works. The majority of construction for the WinCo right-of-way improvements is complete. The Public Works street group will be restriping the curbside lanes of Mountain View Boulevard and Reems to have through lanes without shared arrows for the southbound far right lane north of Mountain View (as approaching the intersection). In the future, only exclusive left and right turn lanes will have signs and pavement arrows. The survey and preliminary design has been completed for the Waddell median improvements at Litchfield Road.

Bell &Grand(US 60) Update
Requests for proposals (RFPs) are expected to be finalized by ADOT next month.  A short list for design build teams will be determined by ADOT in May. The City will submit their aesthetic concept to ADOT in June. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2016.

Operating Expenditures
The development of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget for the City of Surprise is currently underway. This annual process will culminate in the adoption of the FY2016 budget that begins July 1, 2015. As a part of this process, City Council has been discussing with staff the General Fund revenue and expenditure estimates for both the current FY2015 and projected FY2016 budgets.

The General Fund is the main operating fund for the City of Surprise supporting police, fire, and recreation services among others. For FY2015, revenue estimates are currently exceeding the budget by approximately $0.3 million. Expenditure estimates are expected to be $1.8 million below the budget. The net result is an overall increase to the General Fund of $2.1 million for FY2015. The projection for FY2016 currently sets revenues at $95.5 million, a $2.5 million increase over the FY2015 budget. Revenue growth has been slowed somewhat by the state’s legislative actions regarding corporate income tax rate reductions and sales tax collections.

The projected expenditures for FY2016 are currently at $94.7 million, a $3.1 million increase over the FY2015 budget. The combination of those projections results in an operating surplus of nearly one million dollars ($0.8M) for FY2016. Additional needs of the City currently surpass this operating surplus, specifically in the areas of pavement preservation, vehicle and asset replacement, and other cost increases needed to maintain current levels of service. City Council will continue to discuss financial solutions to balancing the budget while meeting the needs of the residents of Surprise.

City Council Regular Meeting


American Water Enterprises
Sharon Cameron, President of American Water Enterprises, attended the meeting along with her colleague, David Choate, Vice President of Contract Services. The City has been receiving numerous complaints regarding the new billing system since American Water changed systems in December 2014. After the new system launch, there have been many issues including delayed bills, formatting of bills, auto-pay/web enrollment problems, and long wait times when calling the customer service phone line. To help expedite the solution to these many concerns, Mr. Choate has brought in additional staff for the call center in addition to outsourcing an outside call center for back-up purposes. Billing issues are being addressed as well. American Water is hoping to resolve all issues no later than May.

New Chamber Representative on Tourism Board
Stephen Wright was unanimously approved to fill the Chamber Representative vacancy on the Tourism Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2015. Mr. Wright is the Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of BMO Harris Bank in Surprise. He also serves as the Treasurer for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce.

WHAM Art Association Contract
The City Council unanimously voted to authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a lease that will allow WHAM Art Association to remain in their current building on Dysart Road. The local non-profit organization has been operating from their City-owned property at 16560 N. Dysart Road under the lease of the previous tenant, Tidwell Family Medical Center. That lease expired earlier this month.  Since moving in, WHAM has opened a new art gallery. They’ve been actively involved in numerous projects, including public art murals, art festivals, art walks and community art classes. Under the proposed lease agreement, WHAM will be responsible for their utilities and insurance but they will not be charged a use or rental fee. This agreement bears no direct financial impact to the City.

W Ranch
The owners of a 10.7 acre vacant parcel located between Dales Town and Country and Royal Ranch along Waddell Road have just re-zoned and preliminary platted this land to allow for 24 homes in a gated community. It is anticipated that this infill project will further enhance the surrounding properties with better security and less debris. The next step for this small community requires approval of the final plat and application for a home product review to ensure high quality homes to be consistent with nearby neighborhoods.

Events & Meetings


Surprise Citizens Corps Council (SCCC) Meeting
The SCCC met on Thursday, March 12. Fire Captain Renee Hamblin, Sgt. Tim Klarkowski and I serve as advisors of this Council. The council discussed revisions to the by-laws, opportunities to educate the community on preparedness for emergencies and upcoming events in which the Council is invited to participate. At the conclusion of the meeting, a tour of the Emergency Operations Center was taken.

Live Jazz @ The City Café
More than 80 people attended a live jazz event at the City Café on Thursday, March 12. The event featured a saxophone and keyboard duet along with a special menu offered by the City Café. If you are interested in future events, please contact the City Café at 623.222.8900.

Surprise Chamber Breakfast
Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the monthly Surprise Regional Chamber breakfast at the Surprise Stadium on Tuesday, March 17. Former MLB player Willie Wilson was the featured speaker. Mr. Wilson played nineteen seasons in the MLB for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s and Chicago Cubs.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Meeting
I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 18. There were approximately 20 people in attendance. In addition to the review of the yearly financials, discussion included the request for a stronger police presence for speeders in the area, a few code enforcement issues and a question concerning water with the new well site.

Heritage District Overlay Interactive Community Workshop
Approximately 30 citizens attended the interactive community workshop on Wednesday, March 18. Several staff members from the Community Development and the Human Service and Community Vitality Departments were in attendance to help facilitate small group discussions and the development of four conceptual maps identifying each group’s thoughts, ideas, and desires for the future Heritage District Overlay. The ‘hands-on’ mapping exercise focused on the types of land uses required that would address the community’s needs and desires identified from input received from two community meetings and surveys.

Citizens may continue providing input on the Heritage District Overlay via the webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritageoverlay.

The four concepts developed at the meeting will be available at the Surprise Community Center Open House scheduled for March 28 (from 10 am until 2 pm), where citizens will have the opportunity to give their input and develop other ideas on aerial maps. The City still welcomes your input. If you’d like to contribute but cannot attend the Open House, please feel free to contact Jackie Keller at 623.222.3153 or Jackie.keller@surpriseaz.gov.

Mark Your Calendars


Election Protection
The City of Surprise is home to nearly 124,000 residents with slightly more than half of them registered to vote, yet only 36% of those registered voters participated in the last election. You can help us change those statistics by attending a forum that is specifically designed to stimulate ideas to increase accessibility and ease the voting process.

The League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County is hosting an “Election Protection: Creative Solutions for Increasing and Sustaining Voter Participation” forum. This event will be held on Thursday, March 26 from 9:30 am – 11 am at the Dysart Education Center Main Board Room, 15802 N. Parkview Place.  For more information, you can contact Carol Mattoon, Program Coordinator, at 623.815.1019 or you can email at suncityarizona@yahoo.com.

Surprise Community Center Open House
The City’s newly created Human Service and Community Vitality Department will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, March 28 from 10 am until 2 pm at the Surprise Community Center located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Department Director Michael Celaya welcomes you to meet the staff, take a tour of the facility and enjoy the food and beverages offered that day.

Bike Rodeo
Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28, 2015. The event will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the main church parking lot at 14787 W. Cholla Street. The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping bicyclist enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury. The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Did You Know?


Pavement Preservation
The Public Works Department will begin its annual Pavement Preservation Program on March 23, 2015. This annual program identifies city streets that require applications to lengthen the life of the street pavement. If you reside in the areas targeted for treatment, you will receive a 48 hour notice prior to the start of the project via a door hanger. Residents can expect street restrictions during the work but there will not be any complete street closures.

The approved FY2015 budget amount is $2million. This work is scheduled to be performed on 263 lane miles of city streets through May 30, 2015. For the Pavement Preservation work schedule and/or maps, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp. You can also contact Fermin Camacho, Project Manager at 623.222.6232 or the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Board/Commission Openings
The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

  • Disability Advisory Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Building & Construction Review Board (1vacancy)
  • Health Benefits Trust Fund Board (3 vacancies)
  • Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (1 resident vacancy)
  • Tourism Commission (1 restaurant rep. vacancy)

All Board and/or Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). You can also download an application at http://surpriseaz.gov/index.aspx?NID=3100.

2nd Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge
Sixty classrooms from across the City accepted a 4 month reading challenge last fall as part of the Surprise Literacy Challenge. The Challenge was created by Vice Mayor John Williams and me and proved to be a successful competition amongst our local schools. Students in grades 4 – 6 tracked the number of hours they read outside the classroom and submitted their totals to their teachers. Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo kept tally, and the winners were announced last week.

The top 4th and 5th grade classrooms will be treated to a pizza party as well as a trophy for their classrooms and individual medals. The winning 6th grade class will accept their accolades on the field of the spring training game scheduled for March 26, 2015. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Contact Me


Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

 

March 13, 2015 • Newsletter

Meetings & Events


Communiversity Meeting
Councilman Jim Biundo and I met with Greg Pereira.  Mr. Pereira recently assumed the title of Director at the Communiversity at Surprise and The Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College.  The focus of our discussion was building a stronger partnership between the City and Rio Salado.  We believe it would benefit the City Council, City staff and the residents if frequent reports were provided at City Council meetings that would elaborate on new courses and programs.  Overall, we agreed that both parties need to do a better job of assessing the City’s needs and desires with regards to higher education.

Council Conversations
I had the opportunity to interview Community Development Director Eric Fitzer on Tuesday, March 10.  Eric began his career with us last year with years of impressive public and private sector experience.  Code Enforcement, Planning, Development Services and Transportation Planning fall under Mr. Fitzer’s purview and many of the questions in my interview with him had an emphasis on these areas. You can watch the program on Surprise 11 or via http://bit.ly/CCHall-NewCDDirector.

CM Hall Council Conversation with new ED Director Eric Fitzer

Public Input Meetings for Bell/Grand Avenue Overpass Artwork Project
The City hosted three public input meetings for the Bell/Grand Avenue public art project this past week.  Meg Saligman, an award-winning artist known for her large-scale, site-specific work, was present for all meetings and provided examples of her previous work.

Bell-Grande art project meeting

Surprise Police Department Retirement
On Tuesday, I joined staff from the Surprise Police Department to honor Lieutenant Penny Riherd.  Lieutenant Penny Riherd has been with the Surprise Police Department for the past 20 years.  She joined the Department in 1995 as an officer, and was promoted to Sergeant in 2000 and to Lieutenant in 2006.   Thank you, Lt. Riherd for your years of service and best of luck to you in your retirement!

Lieutenant Penny Riherd retirement

Visit with International Start-Up Tech Cos
This week Mayor Wolcott and I joined the Surprise Economic Development team in welcoming a delegation representing three start-up technology companies from Canada and Romania to Surprise. The introduction to the companies originated as a result of regular sales missions to Canada, which has connected Surprise to more than 50 business relationships in the Toronto market. Because Toronto, Canada is one of the most international regions in the world, Surprise has benefitted by connecting with several global entrepreneurs exploring the North American market. The Canadian-Romanian delegation, which extended their mission to Surprise after visiting Toronto represent energy and medical technologies. Prior to our meeting with them, the group participated in one-on-one meetings and toured Surprise city assets such as the AZ TechCelerator, the Southwest Railplex and the Surprise City Center and Spring Training Complex. Additional business missions are planned in the coming months with several other companies with the goal of establishing Surprise as a gateway to the US market.

Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee Meeting
The Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee met on Wednesday, March 11.  The Steering Committee, led by Mike Boyle, continues to move forward.  Most subcommittees were able to provide a summary.  The next meeting will occur next month.

Development Committee
I attended the Development Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 11 with Mayor Wolcott and Councilman Tande.  The committee discussed multiple projects which are in different phases of development that included:  the Rancho Mercado Planned Area Development Preliminary Plat, the Sun West Credit Union Site Plan, the Series2K Office Site Plan, the OTS custom home reviews and requirements, the future Public Works yard; and the pending Verdugo Planned Area Development Zoning Amendment.

Taste of Surprise
On Wednesday, March 11, I attended the Taste of Surprise at Riverboat Bingo Hall.  Many of our restaurants were showcased.  Over 600 people were in attendance.  A special thank you to Frank Dias and the Surprise Rotary Club for their hard work putting it together!

Mark Your Calendars


Veramonte Park Groundbreaking
The Veramonte Neighborhood Park Improvements groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m.  The park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue.  I encourage you to come out! The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

Residential Waste Clean-up Event – March 14
The spring clean-up event is Saturday, March 14, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Rd. As a service to residents, the city provides the opportunity to dispose of a single load of residential waste (no hazardous waste) that weighs up to 2,000 pounds at no cost. One load per household is allowed. The event is open to Surprise residents only with proof of residency. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Questions? Call 623.222.6000

Voter Participation
The League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County is hosting an “Election Protection:  Creative Solutions for Increasing and Sustaining Voter Participation” forum.  This event will be held on Thursday, March 26, from 9:30 am – 11 am at the Dysart Education Center Main Board Room, 15802 N. Parkview Place.  For more information, you can contact Carol Mattoon, Program Coordinator, at 623.815.1019 or email  suncityarizona@yahoo.com.

Bike Rodeo
Surprise Police are hosting a bicycle skills event at the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) on March 28.  The event will take place from 8 a.m. – Noon in the main church parking lot, 14787 W. Cholla Street.  The “Bike Rodeo” is designed to teach skills needed to ride safely while helping people enjoy the sport of biking and reducing their chances of injury.  The funding of this event was provided by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Did Your Know?


Surprise Swap Meet
There is another Surprise Swap Meet scheduled for Saturday, April 18.  This very popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Contact Me


Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

 

March 6, 2015 • Newsletter

Council Work Session Meeting


Bond Discussion for Surprise Stadium Renovations
During the City Council Work Session this week, the Finance Department presented its plans to pair the issuance of a $15M bond for clubhouse renovations with the refinancing of the MPC2003 bond at a lower interest rate to save administrative and issuance costs. The new bond issuance would be contingent on the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals extending their agreement with the City until 2030. Council will be discussing this item over the next few months.

Regular City Council Meeting


FY16 Budget Presentation
During the Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Surprise Budget & Research Manager Jared Askelson gave the first in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY2016 Budget. He reviewed the General Fund operating revenues performance for the current FY2015 and projections for FY2016. The chart below shows the makeup of the City’s General Fund budget, with amounts estimated for FY2015 and projected for FY2016.

2016 General Fund Resources

View the full PowerPoint, by clicking here and selecting the “Presentation” link.

The budget process will continue through June 16 via the Regular City Council Meetings, which start at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall. Here is a look at what’s ahead:

March 17: Review of Expenses: FY2015 Estimates, FY2016 Projections;  FY2016 Change Requests
April 7: Review of Expenses (continuation)
April 21: Recommended Budget Review
May 5: Tentative Budget Adoption
June 2: Final Budget Adoption
June 16: Property Tax Levy Adoption

Surprise to join AzWARN
City Council voted Tuesday to authorize the Mayor to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and The Arizona Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (AzWARN). AzWARN is a free network available to all public water and wastewater utilities in Arizona with a mission to support and promote statewide emergency preparedness, disaster response and mutual aid assistance for water and wastewater utilities during natural and human caused emergencies. As a member of AzWARN, the City has the option, but not the obligation, to lend assistance to other members during emergencies and, in turn, other members can provide assistance to us. The Intergovermental Agreement establishes the format for seeking reimbursement for assistance amongst members and is recognized by FEMA, should federal reimbursement be warranted. In Arizona, there are currently 20 public and private utility members of AzWARN.

Events & Meetings


Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Party
On Saturday, I attended Mountain Vista Ranch’s annual HOA Party. Hundreds of people were in attendance for this free event, which featured a petting zoo, rock climbing wall, bounce houses, a horse-drawn carriage and our own Surprise firefighters who brought one of their fire trucks! Residents also enjoyed a tasty barbeque and cotton candy. I would like to thank HOA President Wayne Tuttle and HOA Community Manager Misty Laxson for putting together such a great community event!

Surprise Farms Park Groundbreaking
On Saturday, I attended the groundbreaking for Surprise Farms Park improvements. When improvements are complete, by the end of 2015, residents can enjoy a new skate park, dog park, splash pad, basketball courts and more!

Surprise Farms Park Groundbreaking
From Left to Right: CRS Advisory Board Members Mike Planeta and David Sanders, Councilman Skip Hall, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Winters, Councilman Tande, CRS Advisory Board Chair Wayne Turner and Ron Jensen


Read Across America Day

As part of the Read Across America Day on Wednesday, I visited Countryside Elementary School to read to the first grade students in Mrs. Roger’s class. It was a joy to read the Dr. Seuss classics, “Yertle the Turtle” and “Gertrude McFuzz” to the kids! Read Across America Day is part of the National Education Association’s campaign to build a nation of readers! You can learn more about Read Across America at www.nea.org/readacrossamerica.  A special thank you to Ms. Laurie Blackwell who is responsible for this wonderful event each year!

Surprise Citizen Corp Council Meeting
I attended the Surprise Citizen Corp Council meeting on Wednesday, March 4.  Adjustments were made to the by-laws and new members were introduced.  Nancy Collins provided a recap of the first CERT class that was held on February 28.  The next meeting will take place on Monday, March 9 at 4 pm.

Maricopa County Dept. of Transportation (MCDOT) Open House
On Wednesday, I attended MCDOT’s Transportation System Plan Open House which displayed boards outlining the anticipated project schedule, the Maricopa County study area and detailed maps of specific areas within the County. Several boards were available for the public to provide comments on numerous items such as traffic, connectivity, a multimodal industrial center and maintenance.  Some of the comments included the building of the Deer Valley/Williams Road river crossing to provide additional relief of Bell Road and additional east/west connectivity.  Computer stations were set-up to allow the public to provide comments on MCDOT’s website and pinpoint the location of their concerns or comment on an interactive map.  For more information, please go to http://gis.fcd.maricopa.gov/apps/tsp2/.

American Water Meeting
City staff and I met with representatives from American Water, including the President, Director of ITS Operations and the Director of Business Creation to discuss concerns and issues that have occurred due to the installation of their new billing system. The primary issues of discussion included American Water’s website, automatic payments, customer service, utility bills and notices, and payment postings. The City has been assured that American Water will set-up task forces to provide resolutions for all of these issues in a timely manner.

Did You Know?


Fitch Upgrades Surprise MPC Bond Rating
Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally-recognized credit rating agencies, announced last week that it had upgraded Surprise Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) Sewer Development Fee Revenue Bonds- Series 2007, to ‘A‘ from ‘A-’. Fitch credited the city’s improved debt structure for driving the upgrade and also reissued a rating outlook of Stable.

A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer. In 2014, both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch raised the city’s General Obligation bond rating, citing prudent fiscal responsibility.

Intrepid Tool Expanding into Second building
In 2012, Chicago-based Intrepid Tool Industries acquired a 28,000 square foot building in Skyway Business Park located northwest of Peoria Avenue and Dysart Road. The company manufactures solid carbide rotary cutting tools for the aerospace industry. Since 2012, Intrepid has purchased two additional buildings in the Skyway development with plans to open a second Surprise operation this year. The slated expansion will push Intrepid’s local employment to nearly one hundred. Intrepid’s business neighbors include Canyon Pipe, Horizon Aviation and Machining, Janus International, Gestamp, Rioglass, Southwest Products and the recently announced IRIS USA.

Surprise Spring training kicked off on Wednesday with a game between the Texas
Rangers and Kansas City Royals. The season runs through April 1. For game schedule and ticket information, please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222. Don’t forget that every Monday during Spring Training is Senior Discount Day

Mark Your Calendars


Bell & Grand Avenue Traffic Interchange Art Project
The City is holding meetings on March 9 and March 10 to discuss the aesthetic improvements to the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project.  The artist who is partnering with the City for this project, Meg Saligman, will be in attendance to discuss the artistic concepts. Your input is important to design a project that reflects the entire community.  The meetings will be held as follows:

March 9, 2015Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza-Kiva Room, 19752 N. Remington

March 10, 2015Communiversity at Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza

The general public meetings will begin at 6 pm each evening; however, there is a meeting from 3 pm until 5 pm at the Communiversity on March 10 that is aimed at artists and business community but it is open to the public.

Second Sundays in the Park – March 8
Enjoy the Irish sounds of Kilted Spirit this weekend at Second Sundays in the Park. This free event runs from 4-6 p.m. at the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Ave.

Residential Waste Clean-up Event – March 14
The spring clean-up event is scheduled for Saturday, March 14 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Landfill, located at 19401 W. Deer Valley Rd. As a service to residents, the City provides the opportunity to dispose of a single load of residential waste (no hazardous waste) that weighs up to 2,000 lbs at no cost. One load per household is allowed. The event is open to Surprise residents only with proof of residency. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Questions? Call 623.222.6000

Contact Me


Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov
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