Events & Meetings
City Council Executive Session
The City Council met in executive session on Thursday, June 18 for discussion regarding mid-year reviews for our appointed officials (City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney). This is standard protocol in order for the full City Council to manage the appointee review process.
Commerce Park Business Meeting
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva hosted a meeting for the businesses located in her district on Monday, June 22. Representatives from ADOT, the Surprise Police Department and the City’s Community Development Department were present, as well as various City staff, business owners from Commerce Park and myself. Discussion included updates on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor project, crime prevention and Street Light Improvement Districts (SLIDS).
WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee
I attended the WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee meeting in Peoria on Wednesday, June 24. Following the call to order and introductions, Tom Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, gave an overview of Arizona’s Water Banking Authority, established in 1996 to store the State’s unused Colorado River water entitlement. In addition to the Water Banking overview, Mr. Buschatzke discussed the potential shortage on the Colorado River. He emphasized that there is 0% probability in 2016 and 47% probability of a water shortage in 2017 in Arizona. He stated that Arizona is in a good position because of long-range planning and proper water management, specifically, the 1980 Groundwater Management Act. Currently, Arizona’s efforts to address challenges on the Colorado River are part of the state’s Drought Contingency Plan, which includes discussions with other basin states, the Department of Interior, and Colorado River contract holders.
Following Mr. Buschatzke, Mr. Eric Massey, Air Quality Director from the Arizona Department of Water Quality, discussed current air quality problems facing Arizona, asserting that air quality has improved over the years. However, Arizona is still not in compliance with the EPA air quality standards. Many of the causes of air pollution in Arizona are beyond the control of ADEQ, such as dust storms, geography, climate, and pollution crossing its borders, but the State’s largest pollution generator is vehicle emissions. ADEQ continues to operate an extensive monitoring network, vehicle emissions program, air quality forecasting, high pollution advisories, community outreach, and continues to work with the EPA on clean power.
Home Builder Association Water Meeting
Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and I met with representatives from the Home Builder Association on Thursday, June 25 to further discuss Surprise’s water policies.
Mark Your Calendar
Due to construction, Grand Avenue will be closed in both directions on Saturday, June 27 at 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 29 from the Loop 303 to Sunrise Boulevard/RH Johnson Boulevard.
Southeast bound traffic on Grand Ave. approaching the Loop 303 will have access to the 303 and be able to go north to El Mirage Rd. or south to Bell Rd. as a detour route.
Northwest bound Grand Ave traffic will be directed to Reems Rd. to westbound Bell Rd. to the Loop 303 as a detour. Access to Sunrise Blvd. and RH Johnson will still be maintained.
The Arizona Department of Transportation works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at az511.gov or call 5-1-1. For those outside of Arizona, dial 1.888.411.ROAD (7623).
32nd Annual 4th of July Celebration
We welcome you to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, on Saturday, July 4. The celebration will feature an evening filled with musical entertainment by “Nothin’ But a Party Band”, food and fun, vendor village, a Rookie League baseball game with in-game contests and family giveaways that will lead to a spectacular fireworks display!
Admission is free with a canned food donation. Parking is also free. Gates will open at 4:30 pm and the game will begin at 5:30 pm. The game will feature the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners Rookie League summer teams. Concessions will be available for purchase. The stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect.
This year’s event will also include a live musical celebration by “That Kool Band” at the Surprise 8-Acres Park beginning at approximately 6:30 pm. The park is located next to the stadium and provides the perfect lawn setting for families to enjoy music, purchase food and beverages and enjoy a great view of the fireworks. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30 pm.
Crime Prevention Fair
The Surprise Police Department is hosting a Crime Prevention Fair on Saturday, June 27 from 1-5 pm. The event will occur at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. Representatives from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will provide crime prevention tips. Representatives from DrugFreeAZkids.org are also scheduled to appear and provide information about substance abuse.
There will be a ribbon cutting for the new MedReturn Drug Collection Unit as well. The collection unit will be installed in the lobby area of the Surprise Police Department. This unit will provide the community with a safe, simple, secure and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted or expired medications. I hope to see you there!
Did You Know?
Hot Cars Can Kill
Did you know that the interior of a car can heat up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes? In this heat, dangerous temperatures aren’t hard to reach! The Surprise Police remind you to:
- Never leave a child alone in a car
- Look for kids and pets before you lock your vehicle
- Call 911 if you see a child alone in a vehicle.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger. A child’s temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult’s temperature and once a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.
Calling All Veterans!
Arizona Department of Employment Security (DES) has partnered with Hilton Hotels to support veterans! Thanks to this partnership, DES offers free hotels stays to veterans, spouses and transitioning service members for employment-related travel. While hundreds of veterans have successfully utilized the program, there are no limits on the number of eligible people who can enroll. Hotel stays are for employment-related travel more than 50 miles away from an individual’s current residence.
Interested individuals must meet certain criteria of the Hilton HHonors Military Rewards Program, including: meeting the definition of a veteran, being a resident of Arizona, registering on the DES free job-search website at www.AZJobConnection.gov, enrolling online for a free HHonors account. For additional information about this program or the eligibility requirements, please contact Ray Tilkens at 520.209.1038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sidewalk on the west side of Bullard Avenue is closed from Greenway Road to Tierra Buena Lane due to construction activity associated with the Surprise Stadium improvements. The sidewalk on the east side of Bullard Avenue is accessible via the pedestrian signal at Tierra Buena Lane or the crosswalk at Greenway Road.
Please note that this closure is expected to last through the month of July.
Surprise Police Volunteer Program Wins Award!
The Surprise Police Department’s Volunteer Program won the 2015 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.
The Citizen’s Patrol has grown from 7 volunteers in 1997 to 50 active program participants today. The program was established to assist the Surprise Police Department in responding to the City’s 1000% growth rate over the past 16 years. Having grown into its role as an integral part of the Department, the Citizen’s Patrol volunteers carry out many operational and administrative functions. In 2014 alone, the volunteers from the Citizen’s Patrol provided 26,483 volunteer hours. That is the equivalent of nearly 13 full-time employees and an estimated cost avoidance of $662,000.
The members of this program have truly become a fundamental part of our organization. Thank you to each and every volunteer and to our police and city administration who make this successful program possible!
Friendly Reminder – City Council Recess
The Surprise City Council is on recess from City Council meetings in July. For this reason, there will not be a newsletter next month; however, I will resume the newsletters in August. Thank you!
I wish you all a wonderful Independence Day! As always, I appreciate you and your support!