Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!