April 28, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project update for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Project. Current activities include:

  • Concrete pours occur daily to create the bridge columns and the Agave pattern on the columns.
  • Building the bridge columns on the east and west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Utility relocations and installations on Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.


Events & Meetings

City Continues Business Education Series

The City’s new Business Education Series continues with developmental courses for the public. In addition to the Series, Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal extended an invitation for businesses and entrepreneurs to attend the ABC’s of Business Start-Up by SCORE at the AZ TechCelerator on Thursday, April 21. The ABC’s of Business Start-up training sessions will occur the second Thursday of each month, from 10 am until 1 pm at the AZ TechCelerator until otherwise noted. Since Bell and Grand businesses were invited to participate in the event, I also attended with approximately 15 others.

The next seminar in the Business Education Series -“No More Bad Hires”- is scheduled for April 28 from 9 am until 11 am at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

Valley Metro RPTA held their monthly meeting on Thursday, April 21. Items discussed on the agenda included a review of the preliminary operating budget. In addition, the recruitment process for recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer was also reviewed. Recruitment of the applicants will take place from May 2 through June 30, 2016. Assessment and evaluation of the candidates should take place through mid-October with the final selection scheduled for mid-October through mid-December.

Direct shared-ride Regional Dial-A-Ride service will begin in July 2016 for all ADA certified customers making ADA eligible trips which would otherwise require transfers between two or more local Dial-A-Ride systems. Staff recognizes that the implementation of the service is critical and it will require Valley Metro, its member agencies and the region’s five local Dial-A-Ride providers to take a number of coordinated actions; hence, an internal team has been assembled to prepare accordingly.

Surprise Fire-Medical Department 11th Annual Awards Ceremony

Several Council Members and I attended the Surprise Fire-Medical Department’s 11th Annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 21 at the Surprise Stadium. The ceremony recognizes members and their achievements over the last year. This year, the award recipients included: Firefighter Mike Meadors (Firefighter of the Year); Firefighter Steven James (EMT of the Year); Captain Forrest Koontz, Engineer Nathan Perkins, Firefighter James Ruff and Firefighter Jeff Thomas (Company of the Year); Firefighter Louis D’Angelo (Paramedic of the Year); Battalion Chief Scott Smith and Senior Financial Analyst Kim Drabik (Chief’s Award); Battalion Chief Autry Cheatham (Perry Award – for epitomizing the department’s values). Several individual citations were also given to deserving staff, and several volunteers were recognized for the valuable time.

West Valley Council Mixer

For the third time over the last year, several members of City Council congregated to network and discuss the West Valley. Attending from Surprise were Council Members Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and me. Overall, six cities were represented. The City of Buckeye is scheduled to host the next event.


Mark Your Calendar

City Council Meeting Moved!

Earlier this month, City Council voted to change the date of the Regular City Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 to Wednesday, May 4 to allow Council Members to attend the ribbon cutting event for IRIS USA’s Western U.S. Headquarters in the city’s Skyway Business Park on May 3.

The Council meeting on May 4 will begin at 6 p.m. and the agenda will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/. All Council meetings are carried live for cable subscribers on Surprise 11 and streamed at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11.

Public Meetings Scheduled for Proposed Surprise Heritage District

The public is invited to attend several upcoming meetings on a proposed Surprise Heritage District, which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) – a one square mile area bounded by Bell, Greenway, El Mirage and Dysart roads. The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city has collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather input and draft this proposed ordinance, which supports a unique sense of place and character.

The next meeting (Citizen Review Meeting) is scheduled for May 11 at 5 pm at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W Bell Rd. You can also review the Draft Surprise Heritage District Ordinance and offer your comments online, by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict.

For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Did You Know?

New Resources for Surprise Job Seekers

The City of Surprise is working to help local job seekers with their search for employment through two new programs – a partnership with Arizona’s statewide workforce development network, ARIZONA@WORK, and the launch of a Veteran Job Club.

In an effort to help match employers with job seekers, ARIZONA@WORK Maricopa County has partnered with the city to open an Access Point within the city’s Surprise Resource Center.

ARIZONA@WORK provides services, without cost, to both employers and job seekers. Job seekers can now visit the Surprise Resource Center to access a variety of services and resources to aid in the pursuit of employment opportunities such as skills development, job search and other related supports.

Our job seekers from the military community are getting an added level of support through a new Veteran Job Club being launched by the city’s Human Service and Community Development Department.

This club is for veterans, active military and their family members to network and provide each other with industry and career pathway knowledge to help gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career! The club will also offer employment assistance and guest speakers.

Beginning on May 12, and continuing every other week thereafter, the club will meet from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Surprise Resource Center.

Registration is required for the Job Club for Veterans. To register, please email timothy.suan@surpriseaz.gov.

The Surprise Resource Center is located on the city’s AZ TechCelerator Campus, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite #124.

For more information on either of the new workforce development programs, please call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

For more information on ARIZONA@WORK Maricopa County and its no-cost services, please visit http://www.arizonaatwork.com or call 602.372.4200.

Deal of the Day

Please remember the new “ShopSurprise” incentive program is in full gear during the Bell/Grand interchange project. This program offers you special coupons and shopping promotions as well as prizes and drawings. You just need to text “ShopSurprise” – one word – to 40518. If you don’t have a smart phone, you are welcome to see all the daily deals at www.shopsurpriseaz.com. Thank you for your assistance to help support our businesses impacted by this construction project!


Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

April 21, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

Columns that will support a $41.9 million overpass and interchange at Bell Road and Grand Avenue (US 60) have begun rising on the east side of the project now that nine shafts have been drilled, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Work has proceeded steadily since Bell Road closed April 1 between 134th Drive and West Point Parkway, with crews clearing the project area, relocating utilities and more. Among the latest progress, forms have been assembled to create bridge panels with an agave pattern.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

Bell & Grand road construction images April 20, 2016


City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Update

Eight members of SYC attended a week long immersive civic education program in Washington D.C. from March 13 through March 18, 2016 along with over 250 students from across the nation. This program was done in partnership with Close Up, a successful 45 year old company that leads thousands of students each year by turning the nation’s Capital into a living classroom.

Members of SYC launched an awareness campaign, “Be Yourself. Find Your Crowd. Get Along”, for teens on April 4, 2016 to help spread the message that everyone belongs. Promoting the idea of finding your crowd encourages students to break out of their comfort zones and expand their horizons when it comes to making friends.

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) member showing off their new campaign shirts
Some of our SYC members embracing their great campaign

Utility Partners Update

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided a utility update. The utility partners discussed included EPCOR, Southwest Gas and APS.

EPCOR has a planned investment in excess of $500 million primarily for the repair and/or replacement of aging infrastructure in addition to support for new homes and businesses. Some of EPCOR’s impending projects include the installation of new pumps to replace aging wastewater infrastructure and improve operational safety at the Bell Road Lift Station (June 2016); the relocation of water and sewer lines (October 2016); and the replacement of approximately 3.5 miles of water main that is consistently prone to issues in Coyote Lakes. Additional projects include the Bell Road Lift Station connection with the Northwest Valley Water Reclamation Facility (end of 2016); the installation of 3.4 miles of new 12 to 16 inch water main to support new development and ensure adequate water pressure and fire flow at Water Plant 8 to Zanjero Trails (2017+ pending developer activity) and the expansion of capacity at the White Tanks Water Treatment Plant (late 2016).

EPCOR has been ordered by ACC to file a new wastewater rate case by April 29, 2016. They will be required to provide 2015 date/costs to examine three rate design scenarios. Once the application is accepted, EPCOR will be holding community open houses. EPCOR would like to create one large rate district to mitigate the impact that infrastructure replacements and increasing operating costs will have on customers.

Mrs. Lance provided an APS construction update which included a project update occurring immediately outside the City limits. This project will connect the Sun Valley Substation near Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye to the Morgan Substation located near SR74 in Peoria. In fall of 2016, APS will begin to build roads needed to access parts of the line with an in-service date of spring 2018. Additionally, APS filed a 120-day Notice of Intent to File a rate case with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). In June 2016, APS plans to file a general rate case which will identify details. A decision regarding the case is expected in 2017. Public input will be a cornerstone in this process. The last rate case was approximately 5 years ago. For updates, you can visit http://www.azenergyfuture.com/rate-review.

Southwest Gas is in the process of relocating facilities to accommodate the pending construction of the bridge on Bell Road. No other projects within Surprise limits are planned at this time. Southwest Gas has partnered with the Salvation Army for the Energy Share program which is an emergency fund that provides direct utility assistance to qualified customers with unexpected difficulties.


City Council Meeting

Grant Funding Priorities – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs

City Council unanimously approved the grant funding priorities for CDBG’s Second Year Annual Action Plan for year 2016-2017. The organizations approved included Ability 360 ($27,560), Aid to Adoption to Special Kids ($5,000), Central Arizona Shelter Services ($7,000), Benevilla ($22,560), Mentally Ill Kids in Distress ($5,000), Potter’s House ($7,650) and Surprise Youth Employment Program ($13,000). Improvements to the AZ TechCelerator were also included in the funding strategy. The anticipated cost is less than $380,000 which will help expand programming options.

City Manager’s FY2017 Recommended Budget

The City Council reviewed the City Manager’s recommended FY2017 budget that focuses on continuing the Council’s commitment to maintaining the quality public services and infrastructure our residents value most. The recommended budget, which totals $298.6 million, includes 23 new positions across the public safety services of Police, Fire-Medical, Emergency Management, Prosecution, and City Court. These positions are financed through a combination of a reduction in the city’s transaction privilege tax (“sales tax”) base from 2.2% to 2.12%, a slight reduction of the property tax from $0.7591 to $0.7413 per $100 of assessed valuation, and an addition of a food for home consumption tax of 2.12% to generate an estimated $2.4 million. The City Council will discuss and adopt changes to the tax rates on May 17.

The recommended budget includes transitioning water, wastewater and sanitation utility billing services in-house to better control the customer experience as well as providing for more efficient and effective operations than currently provided. For this purpose, 11 positions are added to the FY2017 budget, which will be offset by the reduction of the current billing provider’s contract costs. Six other positions are added to support the areas of fleet, information technology, human resources, community development, finance, and the senior center.

The recommended budget increases funding for maintaining the city’s roads through the pavement preservation program to $4.5 million; invests $6.8 million in communications, facility, information technology, recreation, and utility infrastructure; and replaces $10.5 million of aged vehicles minimizing future maintenance costs.

During the discussion, the City Council gave direction on some changes that will be brought back with the tentative budget that will be adopted on May 4. That will be followed by the adoption of the final budget on June 7.


Events & Meetings

Audit Committee Meeting

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth formed an Audit Committee whose goal is to provide advice to the City Council with respect to fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the integrity of the financial statements of the city. The Committee will also assist and advise the Internal Auditor and City Council on matters relating to the City’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, systems of internal controls, management of city-wide risk environment and the performance of internal and external auditors. The Committee consists of 7 members appointed by the City Manager. In addition to the City Manager, the Committee members are Councilman Roland Winters and me, Finance Director Lindsey Duncan, IT Director Tammie Hollowell and Surprise citizens Sharon Ward, Melissa Holdaway and Arden Engmark.

The Committee met on April 14 and will hold our first official meeting on Thursday, May 19 at 2 pm in the Overflow Room of City Hall. The public is welcome to attend!

Surprise Job Workshop and Job Fair

I attended the Surprise Job Fair Workshop at the Surprise Communiversity on Friday, April 15. The event was made possible through partnerships with Arizona @ Work, Rio Salado College, LinkedIn and the Communiversity. The workshop provided attendees with tips on updating their resumes, having a successful interview, and much more.

The Surprise Job Fair took place at the Surprise Communiversity on Tuesday, April 19. The event was overwhelmingly successful thanks to the team effort of our Economic Development Department, Human Service and Community Vitality Department, and the many businesses who participated. During the time I stopped by, there were over 140 people and one company alone made four offers for employment.

Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza

The Surprise Police Department hosted the 2016 Employee Appreciation Awards Bonanza at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 15. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Council Members Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I attended. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Rick D’amico, a host on FOX 10’s “Morning Show”.

During the award ceremony, Chief Terry Young presented Mr. Michael Walker, a cab driver for West Valley Cab Company, with a Certificate of Appreciation. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to a citizen who takes it upon themselves to “get involved” when many would not. In January 2015, Mr. Walker contacted the police and provided information on how to locate a residence, where he dropped off a female fare. As the woman exited the cab, she told Mr. Walker she was in fear for her life. Once officers arrived at the residence, they heard a female screaming inside, entered the home and found the husband strangling the victim to the point where she could no longer breathe. Mr. Walker, thank you!

In special recognition, Chief Young formally recognized several employees, both sworn and civilian, and several other volunteers, for their personal dedication, professionalism and commitment to excellence. At the top of that list, Officer Ray Johnson was bestowed with the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor. To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an individual must have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

Highlighting some other achievements, Detective Antonio Martinez was awarded the Medal of Merit. Additionally, Officer Matthew Barker, Officer Craig Scartozzi, Officer Joanna Massimillo-Vallet, and Detective Joshua Waldeck were each presented with a Life Saving Award. Officer Jason Lewis received a Department Commendation and the Training and Recruitment Unit was recognized as the Unit of the Year.

Several annual awards were also presented including the following; Officer of the Year – Officer James Jennings, Rookie of the Year – Officer Morgan Williams, Detective of the Year – Detective Michael Forbrook, Civilian of the Year – Kim Davies, Volunteer of the Year – Barbara Jones, Citizen Patrol Member of the Year – Jim Gearns, and the Supervisor of the Year – Public Safety Communication Supervisor Emily Pepe.


Mark Your Calendar

Utility Payment Assistance Event

The City of Surprise Resource Center, in partnership with the City of El Mirage, Maricopa County and APS, is hosting a Gas and Electric Utility Payment Assistance event on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the El Mirage Senior Center, located at 14010 N El Mirage Rd.

Southwest Gas and APS customers who qualify are encouraged to attend! This event is open for residents of Surprise and El Mirage who meet the income qualifying guidelines. Specific documents must be provided in order for an application to be taken. The income guidelines and document requirements are available here: http://bit.ly/1oCmSWu.

Please note, applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and an interview is not a guarantee of assistance. If your household has received utility assistance from a CAP office in the last 12 months, you are not eligible for utility assistance at this time.

For questions, please contact the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Citizen Corps Council Workshop on Protection

With concerns about personal safety and security at an all-time high, the Surprise Citizen Corps Council is inviting women in the Northwest Valley to an informative workshop on ways to protect yourself and your family. The workshop will be held at the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm on April 27. Tuition is $25 and can be paid at the door. You can make your reservation by emailing crfire@surpriseaz.gov.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is scheduled for April 23 at Willow Canyon High School’s football field, 17001 W. Lundberg Street from 12 noon until 10 pm. This marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Surprise! The public is invited to participate in the walk. If you’d like to sign up for this annual event, please do so at http://relayforlife.org/SurpriseAZ.


Did You Know?

Deal of the Day

Please remember the new “ShopSurprise” incentive program is in full gear during the Bell/Grand interchange project. This program offers you special coupons and shopping promotions as well as prizes and drawings. You just need to text “ShopSurprise” – one word – to 40518. If you don’t have a smart phone, you are welcome to see all the daily deals at www.shopsurpriseaz.com. Thank you for your assistance to help support our businesses impacted by this construction project!

Shop Bell and Grand local

Public Meetings Scheduled for Proposed Surprise Heritage District

The public is invited to attend several upcoming meetings on a proposed Surprise Heritage District, which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) – a one square mile area bounded by Bell, Greenway, El Mirage and Dysart roads. The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city has collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather input and draft this proposed ordinance, which supports a unique sense of place and character.

The next meeting (Citizen Review Meeting) is scheduled for April 27 at 5 pm at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street. You can also review the Draft Surprise Heritage District Ordinance and offer your comments online at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict.

For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 14, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

Construction at the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue continues to progress. The current activities have been as follows:

  • Installation of 54-inch drainage pipes along the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Demolition of Bell Road and along the right-of-way on the west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Drilling of 66-foot deep shafts for the new bridge columns on the east side of Grand Avenue (see photos below). The columns are filled with 122 cubic yards of concrete.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting

City staff hosted the monthly Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach meeting on Tuesday, April 12. Approximately five business representatives were in attendance including the Property Manager that represents both shopping centers on both sides of Bell/Grand.

ADOT reviewed the business access and phasing maps and informed the businesses that the project is on track. They are still reviewing traffic configurations and making necessary adjustments. In preparation for shifting traffic to share the westbound lanes of Grand Ave in Phase 3B, the non-signalized business access driveways along Grand Ave will close in mid-May (Taco Bell, Bank of America, Olive Garden, Del Taco).

The city will be making adjustments to favor the detour at the Dysart and Greenway roads intersection. As early as next week, southbound Dysart Rd at Greenway Rd will have one thru lane and a dedicated right turn only lane onto westbound Greenway Rd.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce shared information about the ShopSurprise text campaign. Currently, 600 people have opted-in to receive the deal of the day via text message and the ShopSurprise Facebook page has had more than 5,000 visitors. Beginning next week, the Chamber will begin to distribute ShopSurprise fliers to each of the businesses which they can distribute to their customers; in June, the Chamber will distribute a ShopSurprise magazine with coupons for the businesses in the Bell-Grand area.


Events & Meetings

Meeting with ASU Student

On Thursday, April 7, I met with a student who is enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at Arizona State University.  We discussed City Council’s approach to responding to constituents and other important topics that include budgets and maintaining the vision of our community.

Kingswood Park HOA Spring Fling

I was invited to attend Kingswood Park HOA’s Spring Fling on Saturday, April 9. There were a few hundred residents in attendance as we enjoyed a concert and barbeque. A special thank you to the Kingswood Park HOA Board for the invitation!

City employees attending HOA event


Mark Your Calendar

Job Fair Coming to Surprise

The City of Surprise and Arizona@Work are teaming up starting tomorrow to present both a job seeker workshop and a job fair! The workshop will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Parkway. The workshop will include tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and much more.

The job fair will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the same location. This fair will have more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities. The employers scheduled to attend represent a variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, banking, automotive and much more. For more information, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

Police To Host Citizen Safety Forum

The Surprise Police Department, in partnership with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, will be hosting a Citizen Safety Forum from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016. This event will be held at the Sun City Grand Sonoran Plaza at 19753 N. Remington Drive in the Sagebrush Ballroom.

The event will include free safety presentations on safely handling, storing and disposing of prescription medication as well as home security and fraudulent scams. The program will include presentations by and a chance to ask questions of leaders such as Surprise Police Chief Terry Young and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Attendees also can bring and safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medication at the event. Please note that police will be unable to accept thermometers, liquids, needles, ointments/lotions, inhalers, or aerosol cans.

The event is entirely free and lunch will be provided. Registration is required to attend. To register please visit www.maricopacountyattorney.org/CSF or call 602-506-7621.

Utility Payment Assistance Event

The City of Surprise Resource Center, in partnership with the City of El Mirage, Maricopa County and APS, is hosting a Gas and Electric Utility Payment Assistance event on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the El Mirage Senior Center, located at 14010 N El Mirage Rd.

Southwest Gas and APS customers who qualify are encouraged to attend! This event is open for residents of Surprise and El Mirage who meet the income qualifying guidelines. Specific documents must be provided in order for an application to be taken. The income guidelines and document requirements are available here: http://bit.ly/1oCmSWu

Please note, applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and an interview is not a guarantee of assistance. If your household has received utility assistance from a CAP office in the last 12 months, you are not eligible for utility assistance at this time.

For questions, please contact the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Citizen Corps Council Workshop on Protection

With concerns about personal safety and security at an all-time high, the Surprise Citizen Corps Council is inviting women in the Northwest Valley to an informative workshop on ways to protect yourself and your family. The workshop will be held at the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm on April 27. Tuition is $25 and can be paid at the door. You can make your reservation by emailing crfire@surpriseaz.gov.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is scheduled for April 23 at Willow Canyon High School’s football field, 17001 W. Lundberg Street from 12 noon until 10 pm. This marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Surprise! The public is invited to participate in the walk. If you’d like to sign up for this annual event, please do so at http://relayforlife.org/SurpriseAZ.


Did You Know?

Surprise Farms Park Phase II Selected For Prestigious Awards

The Surprise Farms Park Phase II has been selected as one of the American Public Works Association’s Public Works Projects of the Year for 2016. Formal recognition will take place in August. I continued to be honored to work with such incredible city staff that make recognitions like this possible.

ADOT’s National Household Travel Survey

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are asking households, most of them outside of metro Phoenix and Tucson, to participate in the National Household Travel Survey. Up to 30,000 households, chosen at random, will be contacted via letter over the next year. This survey is conducted every five to seven years and provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends. ADOT has created an online survey which is available at http://azdot.gov/NHTS. Information gathered by your participation in this survey will also help create a more valuable transportation system for all.


Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

April 7, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

ShopSurprise

The City, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses have partnered to give you even more reasons to ShopSurprise during the Bell Road full closure. Launching ahead of schedule, the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign is helping to promote businesses in the Bell Road construction area by offering daily deals for shoppers so they continue to spend money in their hometown.

Businesses on all sides of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue intersection are open and have created incentives so that you ShopSurprise!

Daily deals are available now and opting-in for deals is simple. There are multiple ways for you to participate; just pick the one, or two, that are right for you:

  • Visit shopsurpriseaz.com to view the daily deals online;
  • Text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 40518 to have daily deals sent to your phone;
  • Like the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and have the deals appear in your timeline; or
  • Follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter to have deals tweeted to you daily.

A Construction Business Access Map is also available online to help you find the best ways to enter the shopping, dining and service centers to claim your deals.

The Bell & Grand ShopSurprise daily deals are only available during the Bell Road full closure. The Chamber will consider a more comprehensive, citywide campaign in the future.

For more information about the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign, contact the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at 623.583.0692. To learn more about the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


City Council Work Session

Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan

As an entitlement city, Surprise received a yearly allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG administration and neighborhood improvement activities are administered by city departments. These projects address neighborhood infrastructure improvement needs identified in the city’s Consolidated Plan 2015-2019. CDBG funds will be utilized to implement projects that will improve the safety and quality of life of the residents within the Original Town Site area of Surprise since it meets three national objectives (benefits low to moderate income persons, provides area benefit, limited clientele).

The funding amount for 2016-2017 is $585,139. The public hearing and recommendation for funding to the City Council is scheduled for the Regular City Council meeting on April 19.

Review of Capital Projects and Potential Capital Funding

Budget Manager Jared Askelson provided a review of the FY2017 capital projects which were part of a recommendation by the Capital Improvement Exploratory Committee last year. Some of the projects include a permanent fire station, a new property and evidence facility, and the implementation of the Parks Master Plan which includes, but is not limited to, a field house, a competitive aquatic facility, a new community park, pickleball courts and 8-Acre Park improvements.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth discussed the possibility for another bond opportunity for November 2016. The bond amount discussed was $60 million (25%) of current capacity with a 20 year term. City Council requested input from the community prior to further discussion.


City Council Meeting

Austin Ranch West Parcel 1 & 4

After much discussion and an Executive Session, City Council approved, subject to alternative approval directions, the final plat entitled “Austin Ranch West Parcel 4” and “Austin Ranch West Parcel 1”, a 36.55 acre, 138 lot, single family subdivision generally located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 2.4 miles west of Grand Avenue and a 114.28 acre, 420 lot, single family subdivision located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 1.6 miles west of Grand Avenue. This is the first and second phase of a multi-phased project known as Austin Ranch Planned Area Development (PAD) that was approved by the Mayor and City Council on May 13, 2004.

Stormwater Utility Discussion

City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the “Notice of Intent” declaring the City’s intent to adopt a Stormwater Utility Rate and setting the public hearing on May 17, 2016 at 6 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers.

Revenue Projections and Expenditure Recommendations

Jared Askelson discussed General Fund sources for fiscal year 2016 which is currently at $96.9 million which is .5% less than what was estimated due to a decrease in local sales tax and transfers in. Our Finance Department is expecting revenue reduction of approximately $900,000 due to Bell/Grand Intersection construction. There is no change in projections for property taxes. General Fund sources for fiscal year 2017 is projected to be $101.6 million due to an increase in local sales tax since there will be additional car dealerships, an increase in State Shared revenue, Franchise Fees, Transfers in and property tax due to increase in population. General Fund Uses for FY2016 is $96.9 million which is 2.1% less than what was estimated.

Next week, the City Council will receive the City Manager’s Recommended Budget for FY2017. Public Safety needs have been discussed in previous Council meetings. In order to properly fund those needs, there is a $2.4 million need. Four revenue options were reviewed. Final decisions have not been made at this time. The recommended budget review will take place at the Regular City Council meeting on April 19 in the City Council Chamber at 6 pm.

IGA for Safe Route to School Grant

The City of Surprise in partnership with five elementary schools and the Dysart Unified School District were awarded three Transportation Alternative Non-Infrastructure grants. These grants will help develop a Safe Routes to school Action Plan for Marley Park, Rancho Gabriela, Parkview, Countryside and Ashton Ranch Elementary Schools. It also provides funding for the procurement of Crosswalk Safety Equipment.

City Council unanimously approved the Intergovernmental Agreement to accept and utilize the funds.

City-wide Temporary Sign Policy

In order to assist businesses while the City updates the City Sign Code, City staff has developed the City-wide Temporary Sign Policy. The new Temporary Sign policy includes some of the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign policy and also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker. The temporary policy was approved with a 5-2 vote.

Regular Council Meeting CHANGE

City Council unanimously approved a date change for the Regular City Council meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 to Wednesday, May 4, 2016 due to the grand opening ceremony of IRIS USA.


Events & Meetings

City Café Express Gallery Grand Opening

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a grand opening ceremony for the City Café Express featuring the artwork of John W. Clark art on Wednesday, March 30. Mayor Wolcott, Vice Mayor Biundo and I all attended the fantastic event and admired the Air Force artwork of John W. Clark.

Sierra Verde HOA Meeting

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, Community Policing Officer Tim Klarkowski and I attended the Sierra Verde HOA meeting on Wednesday, March 30. We discussed preventative measures, crime stats and participated in a Q&A with the residents in attendance.

The Orchards Block Party

I attended the Orchards HOA block party on Friday, April 1. I thoroughly enjoy attending these events and engaging with my constituents!

Surprise Literacy Challenge Pizza Parties

As part of the grand finale for the Surprise Literacy Challenge, I attended two pizza parties for the 4th and 5th grade winning classes this week. The 5th grade winners, Ms. Frazier’s class from West Point Elementary, read an average of 683 minutes per student for an approximate total of 19,124! They received their pizza party on Monday, April 4. The 4th grade winners, Ms. Gore’s class from Arizona Charter, received their pizza party on Wednesday, April 6. Ms. Gore’s students read an average of 866 minutes per student for an approximate total of 21,640 minutes over the course of the challenge.

HOA Summit

The City of Surprise hosted an HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. Various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police provided updates and were available to answer questions. More than 60 residents attended. Thank you to everyone, including the staff that participated!


Mark Your Calendars

Job Fair Coming to Surprise

The City of Surprise and Arizona@Work are teaming up to present both a job seeker workshop and a job fair! The workshop will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Communiversity@Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Parkway. The workshop will include tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and much more.

The job fair will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 am until 1 pm at the same location. This fair will have more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities. The employers scheduled to attend represent a variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, banking, automotive and much more. For more information, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.


Did You Know?

ADOT’s National Household Travel Survey

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are asking households, most of them outside of metro Phoenix and Tucson, to participate in the National Household Travel Survey. Up to 30,000 households, chosen at random, will be contacted via letter over the next year. This survey is conducted every five to seven years and provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends.

ADOT has created an online survey which is available at azdot.gov/NHTS. Information gathered by your participation in this survey will also help create a more valuable transportation system for all.


Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

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