November 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update

The City of Surprise has a unique and largely undeveloped planning area full of potential for recreation amenities such as open space, trails and new facilities. With the assistance of Community & Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff, a consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, while benchmarking locally and nationally, and summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations.

In 2014, a public survey was completed, and over the past few months our CRS Department held several workshops with the CRS Advisory Commission led by chairman Wayne Turner. Workshops included setting master plan goals, and establishing standards as well as general design guidelines and principals. Some of the goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks, promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which would include one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space.

A draft plan has been reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission (October 2015) as well as stakeholders such as the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The goal is to update the plan and align with the General Plan update for approval in December 2015.

We are committed to providing quality parks and recreation programs and facilities while contributing to the economic well-being of the city.


City Council Meeting

Legacy Traditional School Recognition

The newest school in our community led the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening, Legacy Traditional School. Four students – Samantha Morris, Arianna Diaz, Jason Miller and Sasha Soto – who are part of their National Junior Honor Society were able to discuss the school for a few minutes.

Legacy Traditional School began in 2007 with the first campus in Maricopa, AZ. It was formed from a simple concept of education excellence and patriotism. Today, all Legacy campuses are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education and in 2015, Legacy was voted the #1 charter school by Ranking Arizona. Congratulations to Legacy for their successes, and best wishes for many more!

FY2016 Budget Status

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update on our financial status through September for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The actual collections for our General Fund revenue budget through September totaled $12.1 million which is a positive variance of 7% above the budgeted amount of $11.3 million. Local sales tax collections are currently continuing the trend that FY2015 ended on, with actuals exceeding the budget by $0.2 million (FY16 budget is $3.1 million compared to $3.3 million actual). Construction sales tax is up 57% over budget and all other local sales taxes are up 3.5% over budget. State shared revenue actuals exceed budget by $0.1 million which is slightly better than expected, as is the vehicle license tax revenue. Actuals for charges for services have exceeded the budget as well, as FY16 budget is $1.9 million compared to FY16 actuals of $2.4 million. General Fund uses are tracking $4.1 million below budget, but most of that variance is due to timing of payments rather than actual savings. Though too early to modify year end estimates, the General Fund is performing better than budgeted through the end of the first quarter.

FY2016 Budget Amendment for Dial-A-Ride Cap Increases

The City currently contracts with Valley Metro for our Dial-a-Ride service. The current cap for weekday one-way trips is 140. By increasing the cap, the City will have the ability to provide more demand service for transit to ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities.

The annual impact of increasing the weekday cap for one-way trips is $116,000 which will support an additional 5,040 one-way trips for ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities, as well as the general public. The $68,900 increase approved by this item will support an additional 3,000 one-way trips through the end of FY2016.

The City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment of $68,900 from the General Fund Contingency (one-time) to the General Fund Transit contract services. The annual increase will be submitted as part of the FY2017 budget process.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa Water District (MWD)

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe requested consideration and action authorizing the City Manager to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Maricopa Water District (MWD) for use of MWD’s Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) to store Surprise’s Central Arizona Project (CAP) water.

By entering into this agreement with MWD, the City would avoid annual CAP underground storage charges of approximately $10 per acre foot for 2016 for water delivered to MWD’s GSF. In addition to the expected savings from annual CAP storage charges, MWD also pays for waters delivered to their service area to offset their groundwater usage. The actual amount of savings and revenue generated is dependent on the amount of power MWD saves by not having to pump groundwater. The agreement was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

New Park Dedications

The Surprise City Council attended the ribbon cutting celebrations for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14. Veramonte Community Park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue and this park now features restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and several other park amenities. The Surprise Farms Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

I’d like extend my appreciation to Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and the remainder of the CRS team and CRS Advisory Commission for all of their efforts planning and building these parks for our residents.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Veterans were the focus of this meeting and the key-note speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Frana who is the Commander of the 62nd Fighter Squadron with Luke Air Force Base.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, November 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting with Seth Dyson, the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality, and Christina Ramirez, Neighborhood Services Manager. The City team focused on the Neighborhood Services programs such as the Surprise Academies, HOA Continuing Education, the Mediation Program, the Block Party Trailer Program, and the Summer Youth Employment Program. City sponsored events such as Community Pride Day were also discussed.

Additional conversation pertained to income-qualified programs offered by the City for painting of the exterior of houses.


Mark Your Calendar

Stormwater Public Hearings

We have begun hosting a series of public meetings to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

Additionally, the implementation of a Stormwater Utility will allow the city to better comply with the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the National Pollutant Discharge Systems Permit which is administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Currently, all stormwater activities, including regulatory compliance, asset management, and capital improvement, are funded by the wastewater fund, general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). A designated Stormwater Utility will relieve burden from those funds and will be responsible for revenue generation, operational costs and Capital Improvement Project development and management.

Residents are encouraged to attend the following public meetings to learn more about the proposed Stormwater Utility and rate structure. For the residential customer, the proposed rate would be an approximate $2 line item added to your monthly utility bill.

The next meetings will take place on December 2 from 6-7:30 pm at the Community Room at City Hall and on December 3 from 6-7:30 pm at the Villanueva Recreation Center (15660 N. Hollyhock Street). The Water Resource Management Department intends to bring this before Council in the 1st quarter of next year for action.

General Plan Amendment Meeting

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at an upcoming public hearing. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meeting:

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. For questions or to submit a written comment, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

14th Annual Surprise Party

The City will host our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Please join us welcome the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, live music, balloon glow, skydivers and fireworks on Friday, December 4 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 8 Acre Park – 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. The party will continue on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation.


Did You Know?

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality – New Director

Seth Dyson was recently hired as the new Director for the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. This Department hosts the Neighborhood Services, Senior Services and Grant Administration divisions with the overall goal of building partnerships to improve the overall quality of life for all of our Surprise residents.

Mr. Dyson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. Before joining the City, Seth served as the Community Partnerships & Workforce Development Director for the Maricopa County Community College District. He is an Arizona native and now lives in Surprise with his family.

Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality
Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality

Please join me in wishing Seth the best of luck with his new career endeavor!

Newsletter Update/Office Closing

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, City Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. I will not distribute a newsletter next week.

I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and your continued support. I wish you a wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live them.” JFK


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Mainstreet to develop a new transitional care center in Surprise, AZ

Mainstreet®, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, will open a Next Generation® property in Surprise in the fall of 2016. The transitional care center will provide post-acute care and recovery services to patients following hospital interventions or surgeries.

The new Surprise development will be approximately 70,000 square feet and located on five acres just south of Grand Avenue at the northwest corner of Parkview Place and Parkwood Drive. This physician-based health care property will have up to 100 patient rooms with a focus on the patient experience.

“From day one, the community of Surprise welcomed Mainstreet with open arms,” said Chris Alexander, Mainstreet’s senior development director. “We’re excited to be developing our latest transitional care center in this location, and look forward to being part of this community for many years to come.”

City of Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott says the project will be beneficial in several ways.

“Mainstreet aligns with the Council’s strategic plan of attracting specialty medical services as well as more jobs to Surprise that enables residents the opportunity to work in their hometown,” said Wolcott. “This project also represents a tremendous private capital investment in our community that positively impacts the growth and development of our city.”

The Mainstreet project was a lead provided by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), the regional economic development organization for Greater Phoenix that works with its 23 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 170 private investors to attract quality businesses to the region. With this project, Mainstreet is projected to create 100 new jobs and bring approximately $20 million of capital investment to Surprise. The company is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana with ongoing development in Texas, Kansas and Colorado as well as 20 properties currently operating in Indiana.


About Mainstreet

Mainstreet is a national company specializing in real estate development, value investments and health care. As the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, Mainstreet has been recognized by Senior Housing News, winning the Architecture & Design Award in 2013 and 2014, and has been named to the Inc. 500l5000 five times since 2010. For additional information, visit www.mainstreetinvestment.com.

November 13, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Transportation Open House

Residents were briefed on the current and upcoming transportation projects at the November 5th Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Projects Open House at City Hall. Staff from the city and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) answered questions about more than 10 projects that are in progress or scheduled to begin in the near future.

While all of the project displays generated questions, attendees were most interested in the ADOT Bell and Grand Interchange Improvements project that will transform Bell Road into a bridge that raises traffic above Grand Avenue and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad track. Construction for the Bell and Grand project is scheduled to begin next spring, immediately following spring training.

A complete list of CIP projects discussed at the meeting and related maps can be found on the Transportation and Traffic webpage.

Marley Park Elementary School

Marley Park Elementary School students hosted a veteran’s tribute on Friday, November 6. Mr. Dennis Grau of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West and Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame 2014 inductee was the key-note speaker. More than 50 veterans were honored and served lunch immediately following the ceremony. A special thank you to the Marley Park Elementary School administration and students for the invite to this wonderful event!

Surprise Eagles #4534 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Councilman Roland Winters and I along with Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault attended the Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting on Saturday, November 7. This successful event was truly symbolic of the great partnership between the city and the Eagles who recently filled a vacant eyesore storefront with their new location.

Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting

I want to personally thank the volunteers who did such outstanding work cleaning and making tenant improvements to the former Palms Desert Restaurant at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. Thank you!

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Discussion Continues

Approximately 120 residents attended a meeting at the Northwest Regional Library on Monday, November 9 to listen to details about the Bell Road/Grand Avenue upcoming construction project. After a short presentation by ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart, the remainder of the time was dedicated to questions and answers from the residents of Surprise and Sun City West.

ADOT is currently focused on project schedule and communicating the closure. More specific information regarding the closure and detours will be communicated when the contractor is selected later this year. Additional information will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Bell RD. and Grand Ave. discussion Nov. 2015

Sun Village Community Appreciation Day

I took part in Sun Village’s Community Appreciation Day on Monday, November 9. Events included a golf tournament, pickle ball, shuffleboard, water volleyball, billiards, darts and duck derby. The day ended with a barbeque dinner and music. A great time was had by all. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the day so successful!

Canyon Ridge Elementary School Veteran’s Commemoration Ceremony

Canyon Ridge Elementary School hosted their annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration Ceremony on Tuesday, November 10. I am always honored to be included in this special ceremony with several other Surprise veterans. Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Policy Advisor for Public Safety and Military Affairs for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and former Governor Jan Brewer, was the special guest speaker followed by VFW Guest of Honor, Dennis Grau.

This ceremony was initiated by Christopher Raso, Social Studies Teacher at Canyon Ridge, and Dr. Shelley Isai, Principal of Canyon Ridge as well as a team of teachers at the school. Thank you for your annual recognition of our veterans and for including me in this honor.

Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Skip Hall
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Councilman Skip Hall

Camino del Sol Celebration

On Tuesday, November 10, I attended the United States Marine Corps 240th Birthday Celebration and Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony. Guest speaker was Luke Koerner, Past Commandant of the White Tank Mountain Detachment #246 of the Marine Corps League.

Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony

City Council attended the Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony at Council Chambers- City Hall, on Tuesday, November 10. Many of our brave firefighters were promoted. They are as follows: Assistant Chief Brenden Espie, Battalion Chief Julie Moore, Battalion Chief Jesus Rivera, Battalion Chief Wade Rodgers, Battalion Chief Scott Smith, Battalion Chief Kevin Spirlong, Captain Douglas Hamrick, Captain Kevin Johnston, Captain Michael Payne, Engineer David Hackett, Engineer, Robert Jenkins, Engineer Jason Leboeuf, EMT Sophie Bellinger, EMT Jeremy Sbordoni, EMT Cody Swagel, Paramedic Michael Clayton, Paramedic Russell Lindholm and Paramedic Daniel Quirin.

Congratulations to each and every one of you and best of luck in your new positions!

Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade

Surprise hosted its first inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11. There were approximately 70 parade entries and 4,500 attendees. All the entries showed their patriotic appreciation for our veterans. We are very pleased with the success of this event. I’d like to thank the community for their support of our veterans and to Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services and his team for their hard work preparing for it!

Navy Color Guard at 2015 Verterans Day Parade

Verterans Day Parade float

Prior to the parade, the Links Neighborhood Grill – Sun Village hosted a pancake breakfast for approximately 400-500 people. What a great turn-out!

Thank you to all veterans, past – present – future, for defending our freedom. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for your sacrifices.

Please visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskpdGTgv to see photos of the event.

Sun City Grand Veterans Day Ceremony

Sun City Grand hosted their Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, November 11. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the event. The keynote speaker was Col. David Shoemaker, Vice Commander of the 56th Wing, Luke Air Force Base. A proclamation by Mayor Wolcott from the City of Surprise was given to retired Brig. General David Woellner, a WWII veteran.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings

The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, dog park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for this Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, across from Surprise Stadium. Admission and parking are free.

General Plan Amendment Meetings

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at three upcoming public hearings. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meetings:

November 18 & 19 at 6 p.m.
AZ TechCelerator
12425 W. Bell Road Suite D-100
Surprise, AZ 85374

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. To submit written comments, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or for questions call 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.


Did You Know?

Weekend Closure – Grand Avenue

The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. on Monday, November 15. The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016

For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email projects@azdot.gov.

Dysart Superintendent wins Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick for being selected as the ASA Arizona Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Pletnick is a true leader who collaborates and partners to better her school district for the growth of all students! Congratulations, Dr. Pletnick!


Contact Me

Surprise Swap Meet - Nov. 14th

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

Ask a Question

November 6, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Membership Agreement

City Council reviewed the new draft membership agreement from the Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of President Melissa Holdaway and CEO Raul Sada. The agreement will be brought forward for Council consideration and action in December.

Surprise City Code Chapter 54 Revision Discussion

Surprise Police Lieutenant Harold Brady presented on recommended changes to the City’s Large Vehicle Parking City Codes. Some of the suggested changes include adding a definition for “curb return” to utilize in defining where large vehicles should park relative to intersections; amending the definition of “truck” to capture the scope of vehicles that can safely park within residential zones; the addition of verbiage to include a large vehicle can only be parked on a residential street if it leaves 20′ of roadway available for traffic; and, adding wording to clarify that, while parked on the street, recreational vehicles cannot be slept in or lived in.

Surprise Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program

Earlier this year, Neighborhood Association Committees were discussed. At that time, City Council designated $10,000 for the purpose of establishing a Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program. The purpose of the program is to increase community engagement, interest and involvement within the City.

The proposed program would allow neighborhoods the opportunity for monetary assistance for funding community events, neighborhood functions or even some improvements. The outlet would provide neighborhoods the opportunity to request assistance with the goal of building community engagement and stronger relationships with the City. The program will be discussed with the Committee on Community Outreach, Grants and Partnerships and presented to the City Council at a later date.


City Council Meeting

Parkview Elementary School

In a continued effort to recognize students, our schools and their importance to our community, fifth grade students from Ms. Swenson’s class at Parkview Elementary School led the pledge. A few students were afforded the chance to speak to Council about their school and classmates. Parkview Elementary School is located in District 5 and led by Dr. Roz Fisher and Assistant Principal Robin Hollowell.

Parkview Elementary student recognition

1936 Ramola Plat Resolution

Staff, in an effort to improve safety and connectivity in the community, attempted to obtain Rights-of-Way donations for Cactus Road between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue. The request was made because this section of Cactus Road is unpaved. The City has budgeted $500,000 to pave two lanes within this section. Staff has been able to obtain Rights-of-Way donations from all but two property owners; which have been unwilling to grant such right-of-way. Through research, staff has determined that Right-of-Way does exist on Cactus Road per the 1936 Ramola Plat so staff requested that the City Council recognize the 1936 Ramola Plat so that the City may annex the public roadway pursuant to A.R.S. Section 9-471(N) which allows for an alternative annexation method for county roadways. City Council unanimously approved the request.

City Attorney General Release Agreement

After a brief Executive Session, City Council voted unanimously to take no action on the General Release Agreement proposed by the former City Attorney Misty Leslie.

City Attorney Reporting Authority Municipal Code Amendment

The City Council approved, with a 4-3 vote, action on Ordinance 2015-24, an ordinance approving amendments to Chapters 2 and 3 of the Surprise Municipal Code relating to the reporting authority of the City Attorney. The action moves the City Attorney under the City Manager’s direction. Per previous discussions, the appointed officials of the City will now consist of the City Manager, City Clerk and the City Court judge.


Events & Meetings

3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference

Water Resource Portfolio Manager Fred Stevens and I attended the 3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference. Represented at the Conference were the US Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project (CAP), and the Arizona Water Banking Authority. We covered the history behind the Law of the River.

Challenges on the Colorado River were also discussed including the probability of shortages. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation models, there is a 0% probability in 2016, 18% probability in 2017, 52% in 2018, 65% in 2019 and 57% in 2020. On a Tier One shortage (Lake Mead below 1075 feet), Arizona would be impacted with a reduction of 320,000 acre feet, all in agriculture. The current models show that cities could be impacted in 2026.

Governor Ducey’s Arizona Water Initiative from October 2015 addresses these issues. The first track is to prioritize and evaluate all of the 22 planning areas identified in the Arizona Department of Water Resources Strategic Vision. Arizona Department of Water Resources will work closely with planning areas to identify issues that are resulting in demand and supply imbalances and to develop strategic goals that are likely to be successful in addressing them. The second track will involve establishing a team appointed by the Governor to investigate long term augmentation strategies in addition to conversation, funding and infrastructure needs. The team will be led by the Arizona Department Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke.

Veteran’s SMART Memory Research Program Event

On Monday, November 2, I attended a special event for veterans, the SMART Memory Research Program. The program is part of a research study for veterans that are targeting the early onset of Dementia/Alzheimer’s from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dr. John W. Denboer, Clinical Neuropsychologist, was the guest speaker.

A special thank you to Debbie Lee with America’s Mighty Warriors for initiating the event and for covering the cost of the workbooks for the program.

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Commission met on Monday, November 2 to review their annual budget and make adjustments to accommodate the City Hall art display plan. They also discussed any potential aesthetics on the Bell/Grand Avenue intersection project. The Commission will soon begin to work on their annual mini bat design contest in partnership with the Community & Recreation Services Department.


Mark Your Calendar

Second Sunday in the Park

The City of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series this Sunday, Nov. 8. Shake, rattle, and roll from 2-4p.m. as the “8 Tracks” perform jukebox hits from the 50’s and 60’s in the center of Surprise Community Park.

This free family event, presented by Surprise Toyota, is a great opportunity to picnic and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors while listening to live musical entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

Inaugural Surprise Veterans Day Parade

The City cordially invites you to join us in honoring our service men and women at the inaugural City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and pancake breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by The Links Neighborhood Grill, kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, sausage, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate and available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Reserved parade viewing is included with the purchase of a breakfast ticket.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 75 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Statler Avenue will be closed at 6:30 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Art Encounter

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission invites the public to an Art Encounter at Surprise City Hall to explore the architecture of the building through a creative lens and explore the areas of city history and government. This free public event will be held Thursday, November 12. The encounter begins at 5 p.m. in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, and guests will then be escorted to other locations throughout the building.

Attendees will hear from the Surprise City Manager, City Clerk, and members of both the City Council and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission as they experience the following:

  • A walking tour of Surprise City Hall’s architectural interest points
  • The telling of the history of Surprise
  • A description of how local government works
  • An explanation of city management operations

Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings

The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

There will be bus transportation available to the public for both ribbon cutting ceremonies. The bus will depart from the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, at 8:45 a.m. To reserve a seat on the bus, please contact Stacy Cieszynski at 623.222.2268 by November 9. Space is limited to the first 60 residents/participants. Subject to availability.


Did You Know?

Grand Avenue Overnight Closures

Several overnight closures are scheduled for Grand Avenue (U.S. 60) beginning Tuesday, November 10, so that the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) may continue construction on the Loop 303 bridge.

Grand Avenue will be closed overnight in both directions between RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard and Loop 303 on Tuesday, November 10, Wednesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 12; the closures are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and conclude at 5 a.m. the following mornings.

The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. Monday, November 15.

The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016. For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email projects@azdot.gov.

City Ambulance Service Launches

The City began running its first city-owned and operated ambulance this week. After receiving approval of its Certificate of Necessity application this past summer, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department purchased a paramedic ambulance that is now running out of Fire Station 305, at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. The Department now has responsibility for the oversight of all ambulance service within the city and, as the fleet grows, Surprise Fire-Medical will also become the primary provider of emergency transport.

This set-up will allow Rural Metro to continue its long-standing partnership with the city by providing hospital-to-hospital transport, care facility transport and back-up emergency transport.


Contact Me

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

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