Surprise launches National Citizens Survey

The City of Surprise strives to deliver top-notch services to our residents. To measure our performance, we are conducting a National Citizens Survey (NCS) this fall.

This mailed survey, conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado, will examine residents’ responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services.

The scientific survey sample equals 1,400 surveys that will be mailed to randomly-selected homes throughout the city. All survey results are anonymous. The city does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Beginning this week, a postcard will arrive at the selected addresses advising that the survey is on the way. The survey itself, along with a postage-paid return envelope, will arrive roughly one week later. In order to be sure that selected residents receive their survey, a second survey will be mailed as a follow up. Residents who complete and mail the first survey can simply recycle the second one.

Selected households will also receive instructions for how to complete the 2015 survey online.

The last NCS the city conducted was in 2012, and 93% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” cities of our size that also conducted the survey. Residents also said we are a clean-looking city and ranked our sanitation services well above our peer cities.

Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation, from more east-west corridors to adding public transit options. Funding has limited major improvements in this area.

A focus of your input was directed to adding more local jobs. Since 2012, IRIS USA has announced a new manufacturing/distribution and US headquarters in Surprise; Cobalt is finalizing construction of a brain injury treatment hospital and MD24, a mobile physician service, graduated from the AZ TechCelerator, growing from three employees to more than 200.

What you tell us in this survey will help to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicate where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

If your household receives a survey, please take the time to complete it and mail it back. By participating, you are helping to make Surprise an even better community!

Results are expected by the end of the year and will be shared online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise Fiesta Grande, October 17

Join us for authentic Mexican food, classic cars, music and games as we celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the second annual Surprise Fiesta Grande.

This fun-filled street festival recognizes the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor to the City of Surprise and the West Valley.

LIVE MUSIC – KIDS’ PIÑATA PLAZA/INTERACTIVE GAMES – CLASSIC CAR SHOW – FOOD – DANCING – FESTIVE BEVERAGES – FREE ADMISSION

The event is 2–10 p.m. on Hollyhock Street on the Roy Villanueva Recreation Campus in the OTS.

Visit http://surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande for more information.

September 25, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Sign Ordinance Discussion

The City of Surprise is in the process of amending City Code Chapter 113 regarding signs. At a previous Council meeting, City Council requested a series of workshops and business outreach on the proposed amendment to the Sign Code.

Sign codes are complex in nature and evoke discussion on aesthetics and community values. The ultimate approval of a Zoning Text Amendment to the Municipal Code with respect to signage has the potential of increasing business exposure through effective signage, which in turn has the potential of generating more sales tax revenue through increased sales volume. The Text Amendment also has the potential of minimizing visual clutter and increasing traffic safety. Furthermore, the ultimate approval of the Amendment has the potential of reducing staff review time as a result of a clearer, concise, more user-friendly document.

Staff will be conducting stakeholder meetings and community outreach throughout this amendment process. These meetings will follow a parallel track with the policy and general direction discussion with the City Council. Staff will also invite stakeholders and the general public to provide comments and feedback throughout the process. Stakeholder meetings will occur in October and November, with possible council action in December. Please look for further information regarding these dates in my newsletter or on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.


Events & Meetings

Kingswood Park HOA Meeting

Staff from the Surprise Police Department and I attended the Kingswood Park HOA meeting earlier last week. Several residents were in attendance. One of the residents raised concerns regarding vandalism at Kingswood Park Elementary School. Possible solutions to the vandalism issues were discussed. Kingswood Park Elementary School Principal Jeremy St. Germaine was also present and vocalized his concerns and shared the plan for how the school will work with the HOA and the Surprise Police Department to address the issues. The background of the history between the HOA and the school was provided. Lastly, Lt. Mike Donovan reported a drop in crimes in the area of more than 30%.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, September 16, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting. Assistant Police Chief Geoff Leggett and Sergeant Tim Klarkowski were also in attendance. Sergeant Klarkowski reported an almost 6% drop in crime in the area.

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer was also present and discussed ways to discourage vehicles from cutting through the empty lot contiguous to Mountain Vista Ranch.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors met on Thursday, September 17. We discussed possible changes to route 571 due to upcoming construction of Thunderbird this fall. More details will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Additionally, I was appointed as a member of the Valley Metro Budget and Finance Subcommittee.

MD24 Clinic Ribbon Cutting

Dr. Linh Nguyen, founder and CEO of MD24 Clinic, hosted a ribbon cutting and open house for his new 10,000 square foot office location on Mountain View Boulevard in District 5 in Surprise. MD24 was the first start-up business to leave our AZ TechCelerator incubator.

MD24 is a network of Physicians, Specialists, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants that provide medical services to residents in senior retirement communities. They currently serve more than 240 community locations across Maricopa County. Best of luck to Dr. Nguyen and his team on his success and with his new location!

West Valley Leaders Water Summit

On Wednesday, September 23, West Valley Central Arizona Project (WESTCAPS) held its 2nd Annual West Valley Leaders Water Summit at Estrella Mountain Community College. The event kicked-off with the Keynote address delivered by Grady Gammage. Mr. Gammage spoke about the history and current state of water in Arizona, and he outlined the efforts Arizona has taken to ensure long term water sustainability, stressing the need for collaboration in the West Valley on water issues as the area grows.

Ms. Marie Pearthree, with the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and Mr. Dave Roberts, with the Salt River Project (SRP), addressed those in attendance on role their organizations play in the West Valley. Ms. Pearthree provided an overview of CAP, the Colorado River, and the drought and the efforts being taken to mitigate its effects in the CAP service area. Mr. Roberts summarized opportunities SRP has that would help the West Valley overcome its future water resource challenges.

Mr. Jeff Tannler, with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), discussed Active Management Area Plans and Goals in relation to subsidence monitoring and water supply and sustainability. Ms. Leslie Meyers, of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), spoke about the Bureau’s mission and objectives to help solve water resource problems and to protect the environment in the desert Southwest. She discussed funding structures for water resource management planning efforts, and the current Basin Study process. The WESTCAPS Basin Study is currently underway with a few steps needed to complete the study.

Mr. Guy Carpenter from Carollo Engineers discussed the importance of regional collaboration relating the value of water, its impact on growth, and the West Valley’s need to work together to ensure continued economic viability. He cited two case studies that outlined projects on which Carollo Engineers has worked and the positive water related outcomes from those projects. Mr. Carpenter closed with a clear message that the West Valley Leaders need to work together to ensure long term water sustainability.


Mark Your Calendar

G.A.I.N. Night 2015

Surprise Public Safety officials invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). The engaging community event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 3 from 6-9 pm at 8-acre park located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

This event supports the Arizona Special Olympics organization so please come out and join us for this great cause. There will be free raffles and many great prizes to be won!

I hope to see you there!

Lunchtime Theater Series

The City of Surprise, in collaboration with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony announced a new 2015-2016 performing arts series, Lunchtime Theater, which will feature four lunchtime performances that will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. The season includes:

  • October 29, 2015: “Almost, Almost Maine” – Theater Works presents a whimsical story of the joys and perils of romance.
  • January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony.
  • January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”.
  • March 3, 2016: “City of Angels” – Theater Works presents a musical homage to the classic film.

All performances begin at Noon, at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or they can pre-order one from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance. The price is $9.85 including tax.


Did You Know?

City Wins National Awards for Public Awareness Videos

The City of Surprise received two awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) during their Government Programming Awards earlier this month. The City took first and second place in the Public Service Announcement category:

The annual awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year, NATOA received over 800 entries submitted by local governments across the country.

Congratulations to our Communication crew who put these award winning videos together! To view additional City of Surprise videos and programming, including the coverage of Surprise City Council Meetings, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11.

Surprise Boards & Commissions

The City is looking for volunteers to fill vacancies for a few of our Boards and Commissions. The vacancies are as follows:

Arts & Cultural Commission – 1 vacancy Tourism Commission – 1 Restaurant vacancy Board of Trustees – 2 vacancies

If you are interested in any of these positions, please apply at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall. You can also apply at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 18, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Capital Scholars Program Presentation

Capital Scholars is a collaborative program with students from Arizona Charter Academy and Imagine Prep in Surprise. The goal of the program is to introduce students to the municipal and legislative process in Arizona. For 2015, the students met with City of Surprise representatives from the Police, Community and Recreation Services and Fire Departments with hopes that they can create “bills” that will impact their own neighborhoods.

During the City Council Work Session on Tuesday evening, the Scholars presented their ideas which included: Doughnuts with Police, the City of Surprise Traveling Library, Local Building for Recreational Art Use, Recreation in Surprise, CCC (Continuous Chest Compression) Across Dysart Schools, and Fire Service Education Betterment.

The Capital Scholars Program began as the brainchild of Representative Rick Gray in 2014. I congratulate the students on their success, and I thank them for their diligent work putting together their respective proposals.

General Plan Elements Update

City staff is currently updating key elements of General Plan 2035 which takes into consideration land use, economic development, roadway systems, housing, growth areas, recreation and open spaces. On September 9, staff hosted a Stakeholder Meeting and Community Open House to review the land use element of the General Plan. Currently, the City’s incorporated land area is approximately 108 square miles. In contrast, the City’s planning area is 302 square miles which includes the current incorporated and unincorporated areas. With such a large planning area in relation to the City’s current municipal limits, Surprise is a community that is poised for future growth. Defining where and how this growth will appear is imperative to maintaining a sustainable community and character which is distinct to Surprise.

The Land Use Element provides the critical foundation we need to guide us. It utilizes a sustainable approach that balances development and conservation within the Surprise planning area to ensure that infrastructure is maximized and adequate distribution of services, employment, open space and recreation are provided in proximity to where people live. Staff provided a general overview of the existing community form and land ownership composition and provided details regarding the proposed character area approach and associated strategies that form the vision for future land use within Surprise.

The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the Land Use Element at their meeting on September 17. The start of the 60–day review period as required by Arizona law, begins on September 18. The draft Land Use Element documents can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate. The City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission will host a General Plan Summit meeting on December 4 to discuss the General Plan Amendment and a focus will be placed on Economic Development.

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer presenting to Council
Community Development Director Eric Fitzer presenting to Council

City Council Meeting

Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Status Report

Early results are in for the fiscal year 2015, which ended on June 30, and the General Fund is outperforming estimates set during the recently completed budget process. General Fund resources are up 1.8% or $1.7 million over the estimates, fueled in large part by better than expected local sales tax collections. Meanwhile, expenses in the General Fund are below estimates by 2.9% or $2.7 million. The combination of the two results in a positive increase of $4.4 million in the General Fund.

During the budget process, the need for facility, vehicle, and equipment maintenance and replacement was discussed and set as a high priority. On October 6, the City Council will discuss action to increase funding in these areas using a portion of fiscal year 2015 gains. City Manager Bob Wingenroth and our Finance team have done a fantastic job. Thank you!


Events & Meetings

Rotary Club of Surprise Induction

On Thursday, September 10, I was inducted into the Rotary Club of Surprise. I was honored to be invited to become a member of this selfless service organization, and I look forward to sharing my passion of helping with others with my Rotarian peers.

Councilman Hall receiving his rotary induction

Councilman Hall with rotary members

Desert Streams Lutheran Church of Surprise Groundbreaking

Vice Mayor John Williams and I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Desert Streams Lutheran Church in Surprise on Saturday, September 12. The church started services at Rosefield Charter School, but will soon expand to a new church at the northwest corner of Reems and Hearn. Congratulations on your expansion!

Surprise Farms II Block Party

Surprise Farms II hosted a block party on Saturday, September 12. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the residents of District 1!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, September 14 at City Hall. Amongst several items on the agenda, the Commission discussed the establishment of a display plan for art on the City Hall campus. Nicole Lance, Deputy City Manager and staff liaison to the Commission, will be working with the building’s architect for input on the plan.

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is responsible for ensuring public art policies and procedures are drafted and reviewed for ultimate recommendation to the City Council. Staff is currently exploring options for completing this task and will most likely utilize an outside firm to help establish the policies to determine the best next steps forward.

Dysart Unified School District’s Constitution Day Veterans Panel

Several Surprise Veterans, including me, were invited to take part on a Veteran’s panel at Willow Canyon High School as part of Dysart Unified School District’s Constitution Day events. The entire morning was spent talking to combined social study classes regarding our respective military experiences and how they directly relate to the Constitution.

Panelist included Bob Marotta, Julia Holland, Councilman Biundo, Staff Sgt. Jesse Schneider and Wayne Zaricor
Panelist included Bob Marotta, Julia Holland, Councilman Biundo, Staff Sgt. Jesse Schneider and Wayne Zaricor

A special thank you to Willow Canyon Principal Dr. Jayne Wieferich, and Assistant Principals Cheryl Pete and John Williams for hosting this memorable event!


Mark Your Calendar

Special Work Session Meeting

City Council will hold a Special Work Session on Tuesday, September 22 at City Hall to discuss the city’s sign code policy. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

City staff is in the process of amending the City of Surprise Sign Code and at this work session is looking for general policy guidance from the Council. The main question to be answered will be what is the vision for signage in the City of Surprise, is it to the extreme of regulating signage vigorously or is it more of a laissez faire approach, or a combination where the city should be thinking about regulating some signage more than other signage.

Second Sundays Fall Series Returns

Second Sundays in the Park concert series, presented by Surprise Toyota, is returning! This free family event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. The first fall performance is Sunday, October 11, and the Silverkats Live will perform 70’s and 80’s cover tunes. We hope to see you there!


Did You Know?

Traffic Restrictions

In preparation for the 115th Avenue and Union Hills drainage improvement project, APS is relocating some of their infrastructure located within the intersection of 115th Avenue and Union Hills Drive. The following traffic restrictions are in place as follows:

Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 18 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 21

  • 115th Avenue north and southbound lanes will be closed from Beardsley Road to Union Hills Drive.
  • 115th Avenue northbound lanes will be closed north of the Avenue of the Arts.

For the most current information on traffic restrictions, visit the traffic restrictions webpage at http://ow.ly/RKXZJ.

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

The Bullard Avenue Task Force comprised of volunteer residents, school officials and a business representative have been tasked with studying workable solutions, while maintaining safety along Bullard Avenue, from Greenway to Peoria. They will be presented with current traffic data and asked to consider the options heard from the public. This group may identify additional options during the course of conversation.

The public is invited to attend this meeting on Thursday, September 24 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall.

If you have questions, please contact Public Works Director Mike Gent at 623.222.6223.

Fall Events for Teens

The City is excited to offer teens a full lineup of things to do this fall. Some of the events include a dodgeball tournament, a teen night, a haunted maze and much more. For more information, please be sure to follow Surprise Teen Programs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/surpriseteenprograms or you can always contact our Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 11, 2015 • Newsletter

Meetings & Events

Bullard Avenue Community Meeting

City staff hosted another community meeting concerning the Bullard Avenue traffic changes on Tuesday, September 8 at Marley Park Elementary School. More than 60 residents were in attendance.

Public Works Director Mike Gent highlighted results from a recent online survey. While some residents were pleased with the traffic changes, the overwhelming majority were in favor of retaining the 35 mph speed limit and returning Bullard Avenue to 4 lanes. Discussions regarding both short-term and long-term solutions continue. Future updates will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov. Additionally, City Manager Bob Wingenroth is working with staff to create a special task force comprised of residents who would like to assist with data interpretation and contribute to the future of the project and possible solutions. If you are interested in joining the task force, please contact Mike Gent at 623.222.6223.

Public Works Director Mike Gent speaks at the Bullard Ave. public meeting

Meeting for Constitution Day Veteran’s Panel

Councilman Jim Biundo and I have been asked to participate in a Veteran’s panel in honor of Dysart Unified School District’s Constitution Day festivities on September 17 at Willow Canyon High School. As part of the panel, we will discuss our military service and the impact it has had on our lives as well as communicate and impress upon the students the importance of service to our country and service to our community including voter participation.

Surprise Hero

I was honored to meet Eric Bennett, a long-time Surprise resident and teacher at Shadow Ridge High School, on Wednesday, September 9. Late last month, Eric won a gold medal in the Men’s Open Recurve Division at the World Para Archery Champion Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany. This victory guarantees Eric’s participation in the 2016 Para Olympics in Rio next summer. A few weeks earlier, he won the silver medal at the Para Pan Games in Toronto.

Councilman Skip hall with Eric Bennett

Congratulations to Eric and best of luck to him with his future competitions.

West-MEC Think Tank

West-MEC, in partnership with Global Pathways Institute, hosted an event featuring Russell Krumnow, Managing Director of Opportunity Nation. He guides the strategy for Opportunity Nation’s diverse mix of initiatives including coalition, engagement, events, policy advocacy and grassroots initiatives. He also leads the campaign’s work on the Opportunity Index. The Opportunity Index is an annual composite measure at the state and county levels of economic, educational and civic factors that foster opportunity and is designed to help identify concrete solutions to lagging conditions for opportunity and economic mobility. Arizona is ranked 44th on the Opportunity Index. For more information, please feel free to visit www.opportunityindex.org.

The focus of the event surrounded public policy on education and economic development.

West Valley Art Council Opening Reception

The West Valley Arts Council held their opening reception for “Tradiciones: Honoring Hispanic Heritage” at the West Valley Arts HQ on the City Hall campus on Thursday, September 10. The exhibit will be on display until October 9.


Mark Your Calendar

G.A.I.N. Night 2015

The Surprise Police Department invites you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) Night on Saturday, October 3 from 6 until 9 p.m. at 8 Acre Park (15960 N. Bullard Avenue).

During the event, members of the Surprise Police Department and the Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be in attendance providing K-9 displays, children’s fingerprinting kits, bicycle safety information and trick demos, fire prevention equipment and much more. Other activities include inflatable children’s rides, DJ music, free raffles and other great prizes. Food vendors will also be available.

In support of the Arizona Special Olympics organization, public safety personnel will also be accepting donations to help benefit the Arizona Special Olympics. We hope to see you there!

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Department is accepting car show entries, as well as applications for promotional booth space and food vendors for the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration that will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 2 until 10 pm. The festival style event will take place throughout the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex located in the City’s Original Town Site.

The Original Town Site will be illuminated with excitement that will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, classic car show, beer and tequila garden, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more.

All vendors requesting participation in the event must complete an online application at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or in person at the Community & Recreation Services office located at 15960 N. Bullard. If you have any questions, please contact Cecilia Covarrubio at 623.222.2253.

Surprise Fiesta Grande logo


Did You Know?

115th Avenue Traffic Restrictions

In preparation for the 115th Avenue and Union Hills drainage improvement project, APS is relocating some of their infrastructure located within the intersection of 115th Avenue and Union Hills Drive. The following traffic restrictions are in place as follows:

Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 11 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 14

  • 115th Avenue north and southbound lanes will be closed from Beardsley Road to Union Hills Drive.
  • 115th Avenue northbound lanes will be closed north of the Avenue of the Arts.

The same restrictions are expected for the following weekend as well, beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 18 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 21. For the most current information on traffic restrictions, visit the traffic restrictions webpage at http://ow.ly/RKXZJ.

Grand Avenue Traffic Restrictions

Grand Avenue will be closed in both directions between Sunrise Boulevard/R.H. Johnson Boulevard and Loop 303 beginning 9 p.m. on Friday, September 11 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 13 while crews pour concrete for a section of the new Loop 303 bridge being constructed over U.S. 60. Traffic will primarily detour along Loop 303 and Bell Road while the Grand Avenue closure is in place.

The new bridge is part of a $46 million project to improve the interchange and ramps connecting Grand Avenue and Loop 303. The entire project is scheduled for completion by summer 2016.

To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov or call 511.

Volunteers Needed

If you are looking for an opportunity to better our community, we invite you to participate in the Pride Community Clean-up event on October 10. In true demonstration of civic pride, this community-wide event will have volunteers cleaning neighborhoods across the city, from repairing and painting neighborhood fences to landscaping.

All volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot of the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 7:30 am to receive assignments. The entire group will return to the Senior Center parking lot for lunch at 11:30 a.m. If you are interested, please contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.3241 or muriel.gutierrez@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 4, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

City of Surprise Integrated Water Master Plan Phase II Update

Staff completed the second phase of the update to the Integrated Water Master Plan (IWMP). With guidance from the Committee on Water Resource Planning, Terry Lowe, Water Resource Management Director, provided Mayor and Council an update on the status of the IWMP and gave each elected official a copy of the updated Water Resource section (Volume 1) of the IWMP. The goal of Phase II was to incorporate the finding of Phase I and the newly adopted Water Management Policies into Volume 1. The next step for staff is to update Volume 2 (Infrastructure) of the IWMP which is based on the direction and plan of the Water Resource section. It is intended for this project to take approximately a year, and it will be developed utilizing in-house staff.

City of Surprise Stormwater Utility

On September 1, 2015, Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented to Mayor and Council the next findings of a yearlong effort to develop and establish a Stormwater Utility. The FCS Group was hired to assist staff with the development of this utility. Their scope includes the development of fiscal policies, revenue requirements, operation and maintenance requirements, analyze capital improvement needs, establish a rate structure and rate, and public outreach prior to adoption. Currently, other funds, including the General Fund, HURF fund, and Wastewater Utility are funding activities related to stormwater management. The creation of a stormwater utility is the most fair, reliable, and adequate funding mechanism to pay for stormwater management. The study identified an equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) equal to 3,420 square feet which was derived from averaging the areas of the impervious surfaces (roves, patios, and driveway) for all single family residents in Surprise. The purpose of this calculation is to establish a means to understand each parcel’s impact to the City’s stormwater management responsibilities. The study calculated a charge of $2 per month per EDU would be required to properly establish the utility, develop a fund balance, and to cover the cost of the City’s stormwater management responsibilities. These responsibilities include street maintenance, underground storm drain maintenance, and regulatory compliance as mandated by the Federal and State agencies. Staff will begin the public outreach phase of the Utility’s development which will occur of over the next few months. City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to establish the stormwater utility later this year.


City Council Meeting

Recognition of Surprise Sundancers Board Recipients

Each spring training season, the Sundancers conduct a 50/50 raffle for the sole purpose of making charitable donations. This year, approximately $20,900 was collected and given to several organizations and local nonprofit community organizations. Some of the organizations include Rachel’s Challenge, Dysart Education Foundation, WHAM, Arizona Charter Academy, West Valley Arts Council, Surprise Fire and Police Departments, El Mirage Firefighter Charities and various youth scholarships.

The Sundancers receiving checks for their charitable donations

The Surprise Sundancers, founded in 2002, have played an instrumental role in our City. A special thank you to them for all they do for so many organizations, projects and programs!

Surprise Police Officer Receives National Award from VFW

Surprise Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski was recognized as an honored recipient of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 285’s National Law Enforcement Public Service Citation during Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting. Officer Klarkowski is currently assigned as a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Shadow Ridge High School. She became a police officer in 2010 and was selected to serve as an SRO in 2012.

Officer Wendy Klarkowski was recognized as an honored recipient of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 285’s National Law Enforcement Public Service Citation

Officer Klarkowski is regularly recognized for her dedication, commitment and exemplary service to our community. It’s an honor to have her in Surprise!

Bullard Avenue Community Feedback

At the end of July, the City implemented a traffic calming strategy on Bullard Avenue from Greenway Road to Peoria Avenue. Safety was the primary objective. The modifications included a reduction in the speed limit from 45 to 35 miles per hour, the reduction of travel lanes from two in each direction to one, the addition of four miles of bike lanes and three school zone with school crosswalks and the addition of a neighborhood electric vehicle lane.

The City hosted a community meeting on August 17 to allow residents the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions of the changes. More than 100 residents were in attendance. There were 55 speakers with only one in favor of the changes. Staff provided some background information at that time including factors considered, project goals and next steps.

Following the aforementioned meeting, a community survey was available for additional feedback. While the survey closed on August 30, the City received more than 1,900 responses. Again, an overwhelming percentage of input received was in opposition to the changes.

Details of the next public meeting are noted below.

AZ TechCelerator Renovation Project Update

Last April, City Council approved a budget amendment for a significant renovation project at the City-owned business incubator and accelerator program. This project was carried forward to the FY16 budget within the General Fund. Renovations include new exterior paint, landscape rehabilitation, upgraded wireless internet, a new monument sign and directional signage, as well as interior renovations and access control in buildings C and D. A re-launch is tentatively scheduled for October.

2016 Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

City Council approved the allocation of tourism funds, not to exceed $30,000, to the Thunderbird Artists for the Fourth Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival. The event is scheduled for January 22 through January 24, 2016.


Meetings & Events

Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee Meeting

The Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee met on Wednesday, September 2 to discuss the next phase of becoming a charter club. Momentum continues to build as we continue to progress and see the club into fruition.


Mark Your Calendar

Bullard Avenue Public Meeting – September 8

Residents are encouraged to attend the next public meeting regarding the Bullard Avenue changes in which survey results will be discussed. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 8 at 6 p.m. at Marley Park Elementary School, 15042 W. Sweetwater Avenue. I hope to see you there!

Fall Youth Sports Registration

Registration for fall youth sports, including girls’ volleyball, Babe Ruth softball and Cal Ripken tee-ball and baseball will begin next week. Registration will be offered from September 8 through September 25, with a special Saturday registration on September 26 from 8 until 11 a.m. at the Community and Recreation Services office located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also register online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Fall Clean-up Event

The Surprise Fall Clean-up Event is scheduled for Saturday, September 12 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. This event allows residents the opportunity to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill located at 19401 W. Deer Valley Road. Acceptable items include lawn waste and other typical household refuge.

Please note hazardous waste items will not be accepted at this time. The City has scheduled a household hazardous waste event for October 10 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call 623.222.6000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Traffic Restrictions

Due to the 115th Avenue drainage improvement project, weekend road closures have been scheduled beginning Friday, September 11 at 9 p.m. through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 14.

  • 115th Avenue north and southbound lanes from Beardsley Road to Union Hills Drive
  • 115th Avenue northbound lanes will be closed north of Avenue of the Arts

Please note the same restrictions will be in place the following weekend from 9 p.m. on Friday, September 18 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 21. Please consider alternative routes such as 99th Avenue during these closures. For the most current information on traffic restrictions, visit the traffic restriction webpage at http://ow.ly/RKXZJ.

Farmer’s Market is Coming to Surprise!

Pitchfork Farmer’s Market is coming to the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 W. Bell Road, beginning on Saturday, October 10 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and each Saturday thereafter.

Project Hydrate

Earlier last month, Surprise Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski learned about a severe water bottle shortage occurring at the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Extreme temperatures and a water contamination situation on the Navajo Reservation had led to the current shortage. Upon learning of the shortage, Officer Klarkowski, members of the SRO Coin Challenge and Student Council at Shadow Ridge High School created “Project Hydrate”.

When Project Hydrate began, the group set a goal to collect 5,000 bottles of water and set a deadline for collection of August 31. The group recently announced they’ve collected over 15,000 bottles of water, therefore tripling their original goal. Their success is due in part to three major donations, coming from parents of Shadow Ridge students who work for Walmart (1,920 bottles), Target (3,744 bottles) and an anonymous local company who donated 3,864 bottles.

Kids unloading water for Project Hydrate

I truly admire how the community came together for a fantastic cause!

Volunteers Needed

If you are looking for an opportunity to better our community, we invite you to participate in the Pride Community Clean-up event on October 10. In true demonstration of civic pride, this community-wide event will have volunteers cleaning neighborhoods across the city, from repairing and painting neighborhood fences to landscaping.

All volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot of the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 7:30 am to receive assignments. The entire group will return to the Senior Center parking lot for lunch at 11:30 a.m. If you are interested, please contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.3241 or muriel.gutierrez@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

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Surprise public safety officials announce G.A.I.N. Night 2015

The Surprise Police invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). This engaging community event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 6-9 pm at 15960 North Bullard Avenue (on the 8-acre field).

During the event, members of the Surprise Police Department and Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be in attendance providing K-9 displays, children’s finger printing kits, bicycle safety info and trick demos, fire prevention equipment, a Safety House display, and other safety information for all ages. Other activities will include inflatable children’s rides, D J Music, free raffles & GREAT PRIZES, along with food vendors.

In support of the Arizona Special Olympics organization, public safety personnel will also be accepting donations to help benefit the Athletes of the Arizona Special Olympics. So come out, join in the fun, further a great cause, and hang out with members of your Surprise Public Safety Departments.

In the event of inclement weather, please contact the Surprise Police Department Community Action Line for cancellation notification: (602) 222-4422.

G.A.I.N Night Flyer
Download the G.A.I.N Night Flyer