June 23, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

ADOT’s investigation of the accident that occurred on June 9 remains ongoing. Worksite safety is the agency’s priority as the contractor, consulting engineers and ADOT continue to review the incident. While a date for resuming the installation of the girders as part of the Bell Road overpass construction hasn’t been set, crews are continuing other work to keep the project on track.

Most recent activities include:

  • Paving the new westbound roadway on the east side of Grand Avenue from south of Bell Grande to Towne Center.
  • Installing a 12-inch waterline on Bell Road west of Grand Avenue.
  • Paving the new 134th Avenue roadway. Traffic to use the new 134th Avenue within the next couple weeks.
  • Installing a new waterline on Bell Road east of 134th Drive.
  • Traffic signal at Bell Road and 134th Drive will be removed. Stop signs will be in place.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

The summer issue of Progress magazine, scheduled to be mailed out on June 29, will include updated information about the next phase of the project and will also have an updated business access map.

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

Bell & Grand construction images


City Council Work Session

Public Art Program

On June 27, 2002, City Council established the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission to advise on appropriate selections of public art for City buildings, parks and other public spaces. The Commission was also provided with a budget comprised of a one percent set aside from capital improvement program funds for public buildings, improvements to public buildings, open spaces and street construction (excluding utility projects).

During budget preparation for FY2010, a need was recognized to increase available operating revenues in the general fund. On February 26, 2009, the Mayor and City Council were presented with a recommendation to suspend the arts set aside and reallocate the remaining funds. The Mayor and City Council formalized this action with resolution number 09-29.

Recently, City Council expressed a desire to revisit the potential of restoring funding for the city’s public art program. In response to City Council’s request, City Manager Bob Wingenroth facilitated a discussion regarding the history of public art funding in the city, the potential of adopting the Public Art Program ordinance and exploring additional funding options such as the Art in Private Development which requires large, private retail and office developments to commission artwork on their property or support local cultural programs.

The purpose of the public art funding program is to allow one and one-third percent of applicable City capital project funds to go to a dedicated Municipal Art Fund for commissioning and maintaining the City’s public art program effective July 1, 2017, if approved. Eligible funds would include capital funds such as bonds, operating funds, general funds and enterprise funds. Eligible city projects would include new capital projects in excess of $500,000 such as buildings, roads, infrastructure and parks. It would exclude emergency work, minor alterations, etc.

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission, through the City Manager, would administer the Public Art Program and all the projects in conjunction with the City Council.

Status of Colorado River and Central Arizona Project (CAP)

The Colorado River system has experienced drought conditions for nearly 16 years, resulting in the water level of Lake Mead to continue to be at historical lows. Water levels in Lake Mead determine how much Colorado River water Arizona receives on an annual basis. A large portion of Surprise’s renewable water supply is from the Colorado River and delivered by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) system. The Colorado River supply is of the upmost importance, and it has a direct impact on the City’s water portfolio and future.

Last night, Terry Lowe, Water Resources Management Director for the City provided Council an update on the state of the Colorado River System, including Lake Mead and CAP. He addressed the potential for future Colorado River shortages, programs the State and others are working on to keep the water levels in Lake Mead above shortage triggers, and the impacts shortages will have on Surprise. There is a small chance a water shortage could be declared in 2017, with greater likelihood one could occur in 2018. Shortages on the River will not affect Surprise’s water supply, but they will have direct effect on the cost to deliver river water to Surprise. When shortages are declared, CAP water delivery rates will increase. Mr. Lowe also informed Council of the recent adoption by the CAP board’s election to increase the Capital rates. The Capital charges the City pays go directly to repaying the loan Arizona took out from the Federal Government to construct the CAP. This expense is made whether or not the City is delivered water. For 2017, the Capital rate will increase by 35%, with an additional 58% increase anticipated for 2018.


Special City Council Meeting

The Surprise City Council approved a $271.9 million Fiscal Year 2017 budget during a Special City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Council approved a formula to fund 22 new public safety positions by maintaining the city’s property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. The positions are as follows:

Police: 13 | Fire-Medical: 7 | Court: 1 | City Attorney: 1

This budget also dedicates $53 million for capital improvements to preserve and/or replace aging infrastructure, such as increasing funding for the Pavement Preservation Program to $4.5 million.

Investments in communications, facility, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure amount to $6.8 million. And $10.5 million will support replacing aging vehicles to enhance service and lower maintenance costs.

Beginning in November, the city will assume responsibility for billing the water, waste water and sanitation utilities. By removing these operations from a third-party vendor, the city will be able to provide more efficient operations and provide an improved customer experience. This service will result in an additional 11 positions. The ongoing utility billing budget of $1.7 million that had been paid to the third-party vendor will remain the same once the city transitions to the billing responsibilities.

The FY17 Budget also provides funding to add Sunday Dial-A-Ride service and continue Saturday and holiday pick-ups. To better match regional costs, all one-way trips within city limits will cost $2 as of July 1. One-way trips outside city limits will cost $4.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy at their August 2 Council Meeting.


City Council Meeting

Liquor License Approvals

Liquor licenses were unanimously approved for Grand Central Eatery, located at 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway; Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, located at 16914 W. Bell Road; and Nick’s Diner II, now located at 13765 N. Litchfield Road.

Surprise Heritage District

The City of Surprise has taken the next step in helping revitalize the Original Town Site (OTS) with Council’s approval on a Surprise Heritage District. One of the primary goals of the Surprise Heritage District (SHD) and overlays zones is flexibility and choice that will put the power back into the hands of the owners in the OTS to revitalize their properties. It also implements the desired character and architecture on new development, ensuring it follows the path laid out by the longstanding community.

The key elements that make up the SHD zoning district are founded in the Revitalization Plan that was adopted in 2002, as well as through 18 months of public outreach with residents. It includes new measures used to protect the residential community and historical character of the neighborhood. Two overlay zones are the components within the SHD used to regulate allowed land uses and developments standards such as setbacks, density, and building heights. The Residential Overlay (SHD-RO) will focus on residential areas within the SHD while the Commercial Overlay (SHD-CO) will be used to facilitate residents and visitors with appropriate consumer-oriented retail and service functions. The boundaries between these overlays follow the general development pattern of the existing residential and commercial properties.

The selected overlay zones are not mandatory. Property owners who find it necessary to retain the zoning that is currently on the property are allowed to opt-out of the overlay zones. The comprehensive design standards and requirements for new development within the SHD component of this rezoning will apply to all properties within the OTS.

By opting-out of the overlay zone, the new Land Use Matrix and development standards (reduced building setbacks, increased maximum lot coverage, etc.) will not be associated with the property. The other sections of the Surprise Unified Development Code will regulate the allowed uses and development standards.

General Obligation Bond

City Council approved sending a $63 million General Obligation Bond initiative to the voters in November 2016, at their Regular Meeting Tuesday night.

Following public input and weighing community needs, Council approved the following nine projects, that if voter-approved, would be included in the bond:

  • Two fire stations
  • Police evidence storage facility
  • Land purchase for a future southwest Surprise Fire Station/Police Substation/Park
  • Public Works maintenance facility (frees up existing city locations to meet Police and Fire-Medical storage needs)
  • Road improvements to portions of Greenway and Litchfield Roads
  • Aquatic Center Expansion
  • Land purchase for regional rec complex (sport fields, playgrounds, future rec center)

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If approved, the secondary property tax could be up to $0.50 per $100 of limited property value, which on a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would be a yearly maximum increase of $100, or $8.33 per month.

Additional educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 8 General Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward. You may also visit the website for a complete list of projects, renderings, financial impact information and public survey results.


Events & Meetings

Aqua-Tots Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

The grand opening and ribbon cutting for Aqua-Tots Surprise was held on Wednesday, June 15. Aqua-Tots is a new swimming school and business in the Shops at Surprise retail development at 13833 W. Bell Road, Suite 104, just off of Litchfield and Bell roads. Aqua-Tots has committed to providing the highest quality swimming instruction and water safety training in the absolute best swim environment to the children and families in Surprise and surrounding areas.

child cutting ribbon at grand opening

We are excited to have them in Surprise!

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA monthly meeting on Thursday, June 16.


Mark Your Calendar

Dignity Health Emergency Room Set To Open

Dignity Health is hosting an open house on Saturday, June 25 from 9 am until 11 am at their new facility located at 14267 W. Bell Road. Please feel free to bring your family by to enjoy the activities Dignity has planned!

City of Surprise 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise welcomes you to celebrate the 4th of July at the Surprise Recreation Campus-Surprise Stadium at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue on Monday, July 4th. The event will kick off with a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Throughout the game, families can enjoy in-game contests, music, and family giveaways leading up to a firework spectacular! Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Gates will open at 4:30pm and the game will begin at 5:30pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. The stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30pm.

For additional event information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Early Voting

Voters will have until 5 pm on Monday, August 1 to register to vote in the primary. Early voting begins Wednesday, August 3.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 5 pm on Monday, October 10. Early voting begins Wednesday, October 12. The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 8.

City Council Recess – July

City Council will be on recess for the month of July. Please note that you will not receive a newsletter until Thursday, August 4. Thank you!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 16, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting

The city and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted the monthly Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting on Tuesday. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended, along with three business representatives including the property manager that represents both shopping centers at the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

Economic Development provided an outreach update on the Bell/Grand ShopSurprise text campaign initiative. To date, approximately 1,500 people have opted-in and 64,000 actual messages have been sent. The next steps for the campaign include creating a business directory listing and expanding advertising to businesses on the east side of the project near Sun City West. Economic Development and ADOT will continue to canvas businesses in the project area.

The amendment to the temporary signage policy that allows power centers to install signage at strategic corners along the detour route was shared with the group.

ADOT provided an update on the status of the project. The cause of last week’s accident is still under investigation. A new girder is being prepared and at this time; there is no anticipated impact to the overall project schedule. Crews can continue other project work, while the new girder is being built and delivered. Work to create curbs and gutters and utility relocation continues on Bell Rd west of Grand Ave; and paving on the new 134th Ave is scheduled for this week, or early next week. ADOT also continues discussions with BNSF on right-of-way access to complete the girder work.

In early July, Grand Ave traffic will shift to the westbound lanes and non-signalized business access driveways along Grand Ave (Taco Bell/Office Max, Bank of America, Olive Garden, Del Taco) will be temporarily closed until early 2017. Mechanically stabilized earthen walls will be erected on Bell Rd and Grand Ave (walls that will support the ramps) in the coming months.

The summer issue of Progress magazine, scheduled to be mailed out on June 29, will include information about the Grand Ave switchover and will also have an updated business access map.

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

The Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp took place the week of June 6. This year we hosted 16 students from three schools: Arizona Charter Academy, Paradise Honors, and Imagine Prep.

After a week of great speakers who covered the colors personality assessment, marketing and small business accounting, the students prepared their business plans for their future school-run business. With the help of local active business professionals offering their expertise as mentors, they then started on their “Shark Tank” pitches.

Friday, June 10 was the big day! Four teams competed for $2,000 seed money to start their business at their school. The teams pitched their respective business concepts in the Council Chambers at City Hall to three judges, including Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic, Shelly Bade from My Office Suites and me! They were all fantastic, but of course, there can only be one big winner. The prize went to Zender, a team from Arizona Charter Academy. Zender will be implementing a smoothie station in their student lounge area “The Bulldog Zen.” It was a great week for all of the teams as they learned about entrepreneurship and walked away with some amazing prizes.

Local entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to panel

Veteran’s Parade Discussion

Community and Recreation Services staff and I met with a few residents to discuss the Veteran’s Day Parade slated to occur on Friday, November 11 at 9:30 am in Surprise. Registration to participate will open soon.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee met on Wednesday, June 15 and approved the Audit Committee Charter, Internal Audit Charter, Audit Committee Ordinance and Internal Audit Ordinance. The next meeting will take place on August 17 at 2:30 pm in the Council Overflow Room at City Hall.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Heritage District Public Meetings

The city continues to host public meetings regarding the proposed Surprise Heritage District which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS). The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by the 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 collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather and draft the proposed ordinance. That draft ordinance was presented at public meetings over the past several months. Now, the ordinance will go before Council for consideration and action at the following public hearing:

June 21 – City Council Public Hearing for Consideration and Action 6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

The draft ordinance is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict and you may offer your comments online. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134.

Community Pride Day – Volunteers Needed

The City of Surprise is still looking for volunteers for a Community Pride Day event on June 18 from 7a.m. – noon! Volunteers can sign up to help at one of two locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank or Imagine Preparatory High School, and will spend the morning painting, gardening and sorting food boxes. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up by contacting Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov.

Truth in Taxation Hearing

In compliance with Section 42-17107, Arizona Revised Statutes, the city has notified property taxpayers of the intention to raise property taxes over last year’s rate. The city is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $588,173 or 8.7%.

For example, the proposed tax increase will cause the primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $74.13 (total taxes that would be owed without the proposed tax increase) to $80.59 (total proposed taxes including the tax increase).

All interested residents have been invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled to be held on June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.

City of Surprise 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise welcomes you to celebrate the 4th of July at the Surprise Recreation Campus-Surprise Stadium at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue on Monday, July 4th. The event will kick off with a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Throughout the game, families can enjoy in-game contests, music, and family giveaways leading up to a firework spectacular! Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Gates will open at 4:30pm and game will begin at 5:30pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. The stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30pm.

For additional event information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Traffic Restrictions at Greenway & Litchfield Roads

The left hand turning movements from Greenway Road to north and southbound Litchfield Road will be prohibited Friday, June 24 at 9 p.m. through Monday, June 27 at 5 a.m.

Following this restriction, the two west bound lanes along Greenway Road will be complete. The remaining construction activities along Greenway Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue will restore the existing pavement on the southern section of Greenway Road. This will be completed in mid-July.

The work is part of a project to widen Greenway Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue, providing two lanes of travel in each direction. It also includes sidewalks, bike lanes, a raised median and drainage improvements.

If you have any questions, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Warns Against Leaving Children and Pets in Hot Vehicles

With temperatures expected to rise, possibly as high as 120 degrees this weekend, Surprise Police are reminding residents of the deadly dangers of leaving kids and pets in cars through their “Hot Cars Can Kill” campaign.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. A child’s temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult’s, and when a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.

The NHTSA says to keep in mind that even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees, the temperature inside your car can reach 110 degrees, and in just 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees.

As a reminder to check the backseat for kids and pets, place something you’ll need in the back, like a purse or briefcase, to remind yourself to look back before leaving your vehicle. Anyone who sees a child alone in a vehicle is asked to call 911 immediately.

The “Hot Cars Can Kill” campaign was introduced by the Surprise Police Department last spring. Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hotcarscankill for more information, resources and to watch a 30-second public service announcement.

Heatstroke infographic


Contact Me

Shop Bell and Grand local

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

Ask a Question

June 9, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Preparation to pave the new westbound roadway on the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Completion of the bridge support beams on the west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at the northwest corner of Bell Road and Grand Avenue
  • Installation of curb, gutter and grade for the new 134th Avenue.
  • Installation of new waterline on Bell Road, east of 134th Drive.

Upcoming weekend work includes:

  • Work to place 15 large girders on a section of Bell Road for the overpass will restrict traffic lanes along Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart Road and Towne Center Drive from 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 11 to 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

Please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1. Pictures below courtesy of ADOT.

Bell and Grand interchange progress


City Council Work Session

Community and Recreation Services Program Participation

Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado updated the City Council on fiscal year 2015 program participation. For FY15, there was a total of 499,838 participants: tennis – 26,781, aquatics – 68,551, recreation – 82,854, sports tourism and special events – 306,378 and 3rd party events – 14,838. No surprise that under the category of sports tourism, spring training had the most participation with 201,650, followed by the Annual Surprise Party with 20,000 and the Surprise Fiesta Grande with 16,000. The city’s largest sports recreation program is youth sports with 10,000 youth participating in all the sports programs combined. With regards to recreation, our teen programs such as open recreation, teen tournaments, etc. had 27,000 participants. Aquatics also sees plenty of participation with participants averaging 55,000 between open swim, teen splash, dive in movies, etc. Last fiscal year, participation in tennis, racquetball and pickleball was at 26,000 participants.

Several awards were bestowed to the CRS team including the Natural Resource Award (for completion of a reclaimed water project at Veramonte Park), AZTEC (gold for best photo of a participant and silver for best event brochure), Project of the Year (Surprise Farms Park Project), and the USTA President’s Award for continued advocacy for the development of youth, adult, local and national tennis tournaments.

Membership Agreement Update on Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

A progress report on the goals and objectives of the Membership Agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce was provided to Council. The Chamber continues to grow and evolve. One of the significant changes includes a new Chair, Patrick McDermott, who works for APS.

The Chamber has been actively involved, in partnership with the city, on the Shop Surprise campaign which was kicked off to help the businesses affected by the Bell Road closure. In addition to this critical campaign, the Chamber has completed the new Chamber Business Directory and improved many of their ongoing events.

Economic Development Reimbursement (EDRA) Initiative

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided an update on EDRA that I had requested earlier last month. EDRA is a proposed economic development tool that incentivizes business expansion and attraction. The concept was developed in 2014, refined and brought before the Arizona League of Cities in 2015 and adopted by Council with the Legislative agenda in January 2016. Around that time, Representative David Livingston intended to sponsor it.

HighGround Inc. was given a contract to consult on it. The initiative discussion continues at this time with Ms. Lance taking a lead and meeting with necessary parties to gain further momentum.


City Council Meeting

2016 Bond Election

City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided background on the Surprise Forward (proposed General Obligation Bond election) campaign, and he asked Council to provide direction on which projects should be included in a potential bond and how those projects should be presented to voters, should Council choose to take the issue to the November ballot. Council was able to consider resident input gathered on the projects via seven community meetings and online submissions. We determined that projects in the proposed bond should include two new fire stations, a police property and evidence facility,a public works operation facility, improvements to Litchfield and Greenway roads, an aquatic center expansion, and a regional recreation project. We asked that the pickleball court expansion be removed from the list of bond projects, but that staff seek other funding sources for that project in the FY17 budget. At the meeting, a new project was introduced that would allow the city to purchase land for a future police substation, fire station and park in the southwest portion of the city. Council decided to include that project, keeping the project count at 9.

City Council also voted to consider one ballot question regarding the bond with additional detail for transparency, including the cost of public safety, transportation and recreation projects broken out. Council will vote on whether or not to place the issue on the ballot at the June 21 Regular City Council Meeting.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Agreement

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic introduced staff from GPEC and provided an overview of the support the organization provides to Surprise and other cities and towns in Maricopa County. GPEC has brought more than 116,000 jobs to the Maricopa County over the past 26 years. Additionally, the organization has created 4 locates (Mainstreet Rehabilitation, IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical and Everede Tools) in Surprise. City Council unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement not to exceed $55,000.

Transportation Gaps

Public Works staff provided a presentation on gap streets which elaborated on current efforts, priorities and funding methods. Having an established Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is important to be able to have outside source funding become more available. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is very sensitive to local agency commitments to projects that are seeking grant funding. If a local agency is showing a financial commitment, even just enough to fund a design, that can sometimes be enough to warrant a grant award from MAG.

Being prepared for grant funding is important in such cases as the stimulus money that was being made available during the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010. Having ‘shovel ready’ projects was key to local agencies being considered for the stimulus funds that were being allotted through the Federal Highway Administration. Although design efforts would cost a little more and take more time if the federal process is followed, it can put a project into the right position to qualify for federal funds should they become available.

Another key to how the City is better positioning itself to address scalloped street funding is how well the interdepartmental coordination is happening. Community Development, Finance and Public Works have been making a conscious effort to coordinate on new projects as early as possible in the developmental period to ensure the right funding is in place, transportation planning needs are being considered and cost estimates are accurate. This team approach allows the City to be showing the outside agencies like MAG, ADOT and MCDOT that the City is taking an active role in its transportation system and has a systematic approach to its establishment of a 5 year CIP.

Bell & Grand Temporary Signage & Use Permit Policy Amendment

In order to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue bridge project, city staff developed the Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy, which was approved by the City Council on March 15, 2016 as Resolution # 2016-42. The sign portion of the policy included the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign Policy, but also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker and also includes a provision to allow for directional signs which are placed as way/finding signs and are used when the normal route to the business is not possible due to construction.

This amendment to Resolution # 2016-42 proposes to allow for Major Tenants of one-hundred thousand square feet (100,000 sq. ft.) or more to be eligible to have directional signs at locations at the following intersections: Dysart Road and Grand Avenue; Dysart Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Bell Road; Litchfield Road and Grand Avenue. The proposal also allows for these Major Tenant Directional Signs to include tenants equal to or greater than twenty thousand square feet (20,000 sq. ft.) so long as such tenant is not located on any other temporary directional signage and may only locate on one such sign. The business provides and installs these signs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Heritage District Public Meetings

Beginning next week, the city will be hosting public meetings regarding the proposed Surprise Heritage District which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS). The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by the 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 collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather and draft the proposed ordinance. That draft ordinance was presented at several public meetings in April and May. Three meetings remain, a presentation-style meeting and two public hearings. They are as follows:

June 15 – District 4 Meeting with Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva
6 pm at Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street

June 16 – Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing for Recommendation
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

June 21 – City Council Public Hearing for Consideration and Action
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

The draft ordinance is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict and you may offer your comments online. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134.

Community Pride Day – Volunteers Needed

Looking for an opportunity to help your community? The City of Surprise is seeking volunteers for a Community Pride Day event on June 18 from 7a.m. – Noon!

Volunteers can sign up to help at one of two locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank or Imagine Preparatory High School, and will spend the morning painting, gardening and sorting food boxes.

If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up by contacting Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov.

Truth in Taxation Hearing

In compliance with Section 42-17107, Arizona Revised Statutes, the city has notified property taxpayers of the intention to raise property taxes over last year’s rate. The city is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $588,173 or 8.7%.

For example, the proposed tax increase will cause the primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $74.13 (total taxes that would be owed without the proposed tax increase) to $80.59 (total proposed taxes including the tax increase).

All interested residents have been invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled to be held on June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.


Did You Know?

Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool Are Open!

The city pools are now open for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 5 pm. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 6 pm and Friday from 12 noon until 4 pm.

The Hollyhock pool is located at 15808 N. Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 4 pm, and weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 3 pm.

Daily admission for residents is $1 per child (17 and under) and $2 per adult. Proof of residency must be shown. Admission for non-residents is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person, 16 or older, at all times. Pool passes are also available for residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (17 and under) and $40 for adults. Family passes (2 adults and up to 3 children) are $80.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 2, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Installation of curb, gutter and grading for new 134th Avenue.
  • Installation of storm drain on Bell Road east of 134th Drive.
  • Preparation to pave and form the curb and gutters to build the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Continue to build the bridge columns and support beams on the east and west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

Please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1. Pictures below courtesy of ADOT.

Bell & Grand Project progess image June 2016


Events & Meetings

Celebrating Former City Manager Dick McComb

A recognition ceremony was held at City Hall for Richard W. (Dick) McComb, who served as City Manager for the City of Surprise from 1990-2000, on Wednesday, May 25. He was our longest tenure City Manager. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, he came to us with over 30+ years of municipal experience beginning in Colorado then moving to Arizona to serve as the City Manager for Gila Bend, Coolidge, and El Mirage before coming to Surprise.

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilmembers Todd Tande, Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I joined City Manager Bob Wingenroth, City Clerk Sherry Aguilar, and several former Council Members along with many city employees to recognize the insurmountable contributions of this fine man. Thank you, Dick, for everything you’ve done for us!

Surprise Citizens Corps Council Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Corps Council met on Thursday, May 26. Conversation included a review of the bylaws, which will be forwarded to Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott and the city’s legal department for review, and the upcoming Ham radio classes that will begin this week and continue each Wednesday through July 20 from 7:30 pm until 9 pm at the Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on Thursday, May 26. Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the event. Newly promoted are Enemecio Felix (Sergeant), Steve Turchin (Public Safety Communications Supervisor), and David Wood (Public Safety Communications Supervisor). Congratulations to all three of these hardworking men!

Police Promotional Ceremony invite materials

Dysart 101

I attended the Dysart 101 workshop at Dysart Unified School District on Thursday, May 26. The workshop provided an overview of District operations and included topics of financial, educational and district resources.

Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony

On May 28, the Surprise West Valley Veterans, in partnership with the City of Surprise, hosted a wreath laying ceremony to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country. Thank you to all our veterans and their family members for what you do to keep this country great.

5th Annual Commemorative Memorial Day Program

Radiant Church hosted the 5th annual Commemorative Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30. This program was sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Hall Memorial Day 2016 Committee which is a nonprofit organization comprised of several local veteran organizations and posts. Army Sergeant James Witkowski became the first recipient of the Arizona Gold Star Military Medal. I was honored to be present to see his parents, Jim and Barbara Witkowski, accept the honor. Army Sgt. Witkowski laid on a grenade, which killed him instantly to save the lives of his fellow soldiers in the Humvee and the rest of the convey he had been travelling with in Iraq.

A special thank you to Larry Brown and the Committee for always putting together a moving and deserving ceremony for our fallen soldiers and veterans.


Mark Your Calendar

33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise is hosting its 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration on Monday, July 4th. Gates open at 5 pm at Surprise Stadium. Rookie teams from the Seattle Mariners will be playing the Kansas City Royals at 6 pm. Fireworks begin after the game at approximately 8:30 pm. Admission is free with a canned food donation. The event is limited to the first 10,000 fans. Call 623-222-2000 for more details.

2016 HOA Academy

Registration is now open for the popular Surprise HOA Academy! The goal of the Academy is to provide expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Topics include contracts, fiduciary duty, CC&R enforcement and code compliance.

Academy Class Dates:
Monday, October 17
Monday, October 24
Monday, November 7
Monday, November 14
Monday, November 21

Time:
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location:
Public Safety Building Auditorium
14250 W. Statler Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Registration closes on October 10, 2016. Please register early since seating is limited. You can download the HOA Academy registration form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/HOAacademy. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

2016 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The city recently launched a retail survey asking the community to vote for their favorite local businesses at which they dine, shop or have services provided. In just two weeks, the survey garnered more than 1,500 responses! Congratulations to the following businesses for earning the title of “Local Favorite”:

Top 10 Local Restaurants
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Big Buddha
Rio Mirage
New York Flavor
Nick’s Diner II
Babbo Italian Eatery
Irish Wolfhound
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Birt’s Bistro

Top 5 Local Retailers
Musical Surprise
Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Gifts to Go
Son Glow Boutique
Bling Tour

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey!

And last month, the Residence Inn by Marriott in Surprise won the Hotel of the Year award from Marriot International, Inc. This hotel was selected out of more than 700 hotels worldwide, receiving a total of five awards.


Contact Me

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

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