Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
Work to build a Bell Road bridge over Grand Avenue continues this week. For weekly traffic updates on this project visit www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. They are updated every Friday afternoon.
Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Stakeholder Meeting
Councilman Todd Tande and I joined ADOT representatives and city staff for the second monthly Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, March 8. Approximately 10 business representatives were in attendance.
Economic Development provided an update on the Bridge Buddy program and noted that the Business Education Series begins on March 17. Businesses are encouraged to attend the seminars that will be held at the AZ TechCelerator. There will be a job fair at the Communiversity on Tuesday, April 19 and businesses are encouraged to contact the city to reserve a space.
Community Development presented information on the temporary Bell-Grand sign policy and the changes that will be taken to City Council on March 15. If approved, the revised policy will allow businesses in the designated Bell-Grand shopping areas to utilize a-frames, banners, sign walkers and directional signs. Businesses not located in the Bell-Grand area can use banners and sign walkers. Following Council action, the city will share the revised policy on the website and create printed materials to share with the local businesses.
Business Education Series Launching for Local Businesses
To help support the businesses in the area of Bell Road/Grand Avenue, as well as other local businesses and entrepreneurs, the city is launching a Business Education series.
Launching on March 17, the first Business Series course will provide local entrepreneurs with the inside scoop on how to start and grow a new business venture. Future topics range from effective hiring practices to innovative marketing strategies.
Seminars in the series include:
March 17: The ABC’s of Starting Your Business, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
March 31: The Inbound Disruption: A New Way of Marketing Your Business, 10 a.m. – noon
April 7: Five Things Companies with Less than 10 Employees Need to Know, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
April 28: No More Bad Hires, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Future sessions are under development for topics on social media management and small business accounting. All Business Series sessions will be held at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. Businesses interested in attending should RSVP to Julie Neal at 623.222.8324
Events & Meetings
International Businesses Hosted at Ballpark
I joined staff from our Economic Development team at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 4. We networked with several international businesses located in Surprise including Rioglass and Gestamp which are situated in our industrial park.
KC Royals World Series Celebration – Surprise Style
Mayor Wolcott and Surprise City Council took the field with the 2015 World Series Champions, the Kansas City Royals, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Saturday, March 5 as part of the World Series celebration held at Surprise Stadium. What an incredible event our city hosted, and even better, what incredible teams! We are lucky to have them on our home field!
Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting
I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, March 7. Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Surprise Public Art Bus Tour, the Commission has organized a second tour! You can join the Arts Commission on Tuesday, March 22, and experience the art of Surprise. Participants will visit locations and exhibits such as the WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ, the Joe Tyler Learning Tree, and many more. The bus departs Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 8:30 a.m. and will return at noon. For questions about the tour or to reserve a seat, contact Susan de Jong, 623.214.7537. The deadline to reserve a spot is Tuesday, March 15.
The Commission members requested approval for a reception to celebrate the opening of the new gallery space in the Café Express and the recent display of John Clark’s art at City Hall. The Café Express grab and go coffee shop opened in the City Hall lobby in November 2015.
Read Across America @ Thompson Ranch Elementary School
I was honored to read to first and third graders at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, March 7 as part of the annual Read Across America event for Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Summerfield HOA Meeting
ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart and city staff joined me at the Summerfield HOA meeting on Tuesday, March 8. An update on Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project was provided, and detour maps were distributed. In addition, we listened to the residents’ concerns regarding increased traffic and continued speeding through their community. City staff will discuss their concerns and work together to help mitigate their issues.
Valley Metro Community Meeting
Valley Metro hosted a community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center on March 9 to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley. Information was provided on Dial-a-Ride, the door-to-door transportation service for qualified seniors, people with disabilities and other residents.
Mark Your Calendars
Pavement Preservation Work
The city continues our pavement preservation work this week with work at the following locations through March 14:
- Mountain Vista Blvd (Bell Rd to Vista Ranch Rd)
- Paradise Ln (157th Ave to Reems Rd)
- Young St (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)
- Mondell Rd (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)
- Honeysuckle Ln (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)
The treatment will leave some debris in the form of slurry chips. Sweepers will continue to sweep the loose chips as the product cures and compacts. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and proceed slowly during the application.
The pavement preservation work schedule and maps will be available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp, as they become available throughout the various phases of the work. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.
Surprise Pops Band Concert – April 3
The Surprise Pops Band will be performing at Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place on Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm. Doors open at 2:30 pm. The line-up includes music from The Twilight Zone, MASH, Happy Days, Mr. Ed, The Lone Ranger and much more.
The performance is open to the public and is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. All donations help support the Valley View Community Food Bank.
The City of Surprise is proud to host the next HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear the latest news from the City Manager and various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police. You will also have a chance to share your opportunities, issues, concerns and solutions with your Surprise neighbors.
HOA board members and management company representatives are encouraged to attend, as are HOA community members. The HOA Summit will be held in the Community Room of the Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The summit will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude around 8 p.m. A light meal will be served.
For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or email@example.com. Please register early since space is limited.
Did You Know?
The distribution of my newsletters has changed. Moving forward, I’ll be sending them at 5 pm on Thursdays!
Park-and-Ride Temporarily Relocating in April
As a reminder, the Surprise Park-and-Ride will temporarily relocate beginning April 4 due to construction activity related to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Project. The facility will remain open at its current location at 13327 W Bell Road through Friday, April 1. Beginning on Monday, April 4, the Park-and-Ride will be temporarily relocated to DreamCatcher Park, located at 14534 W Tierra Buena Lane. It is expected to return to its original location following the completion of the project, estimated to be no later than Feb. 2017.
If you have any questions, please call Valley Metro Customer Service at 602.253.5000 or TTY 602.251.2039, or the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.
Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications
The city is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community! SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns and community-building events.
Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits or a Dysart Unified School District high school.
Applications are being accepted Feb. 22 – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:
- Your name, grade and school you attend
- Why you want to be on the SYC
- If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
- Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.
The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo using one of the following methods:
- Upload your video to our Hightail site by using this link: https://www.hightail.com/u/youthcouncil. Simply select your video from your files and send
- Use your Google Drive to share with maito:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email to email@example.com ( The city can receive up to 20 MB files via email; however, your email service provider may have different attachment limits)
Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.