Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.
- Driveways located near Chick-Fil-A and the Vitamin Shoppe are inaccessible until 6 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 20) to allow crews to rebuild this portion of Bell Road. Entrances at West Point Parkway and Towne Center Drive are maintained.
- Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
- The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.
**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**
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.
City Council Work Session
2016 College Baseball and Spring Training Update
Community Recreation and Service Director Mark Coronado provided an update on spring baseball season. The spring 2016 Celebration of Baseball began with the return of college baseball to the Surprise Recreation Campus – Campus of Champions with two NCAA collegiate baseball tournaments: the Surprise Spring Training Baseball Classic that was held February 19-22 and the BIG 12-PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge that was held February 25-29. The NCAA college tournaments generated over 1,200 room nights between the teams and guests.
This past March, we celebrated the 14th Spring Training season in Surprise. This season was a record breaking year for both attendance and gross revenue, with just over 206,000 attendees and an overall gross revenue of approximately $7.9 million.
Formal Creation of Audit Committee
Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth developed an Audit Committee consisting of two Council Members, City staff, local business representatives and residents to strengthen the internal audit function. The purpose is to provide independent and objective assurance and ensures compliance with auditing standards and best practices.
Update on Bell and Grand Intersection Improvement Project
Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart provided an update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Since early June, we’ve been in Phase 3B of the project, and we are still on target to conclude this phase in early November.
Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided a financial update that focused on the local sales tax figures from December 2015 through May 2016. It was anticipated through the applied economics study, completed last year, that there would be a reduction of general fund sales tax collections. This has proven to be accurate; however, the loss will be offset by construction sales tax collections that are utilized for one time capital purposes.
Business outreach efforts have continued throughout the project. Economic Development is hosting a marketing class on September 8 as part of their business education efforts. For more information on the class, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.
City Council Meeting
Sierra Verde PAD Zoning Amendment Public Hearing
Rezoning of Parcel 8 of the Sierra Verde Planned Area Development (PAD) was requested to allow residential rental units. The project parcel is presently an undeveloped, 14.83 acre site located at the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield Roads within the Sierra Verde PAD. The current proposal is for a rental project that will provide a mix of one, two and three bedroom single-story attached and detached single family homes.
The gated housing facility plans to provide 29,727 square feet of amenity common open space and each unit will provide 473 square feet of private open space. Typical desert landscaping will occupy much of the site. There will be 5.62 acres of undeveloped space that is currently unplanned, but is likely to facilitate a small commercial enterprise.
Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Amendment
The adoption of the FY2017 budget occurred prior to the completion of FY2016. To ensure that the new fiscal year had enough budget authority for all potential expenditures, conservative FY2016 expenditure estimates were used and remaining balances for items such as grants and CIP projects were carried forward into FY2017 and included in the adopted budget. With FY2016 final accounting nearing completion, the remaining balances are reexamined and adjustments to the FY2017 budget are made as necessary.
The action identifies three main categories of amendments for FY2017. The first category involves the change of budget authority that was carried forward from FY2016. The amendments are made due to actual expenditures varying from estimates for FY2016. The second category is budget adjustments for various operating items and to assign separate project numbers to various capital items for tracking purposes. The third category involves transfer of actual funds to support the reallocation of appropriations from the first two categories.
The action taken, by approval of the Council, updates budget amounts to allow for improved management of the City’s funds. As the audit of FY2016 financials is currently underway, further changes to FY2016 may impact FY2017 carry forward amounts and require future action by the Mayor and Council.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns 2017 Legislative Resolutions
Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance briefed the City Council on the 2017 League Resolutions. Annually, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns drafts legislative policy resolutions for adoption by all 91 cities and towns at the annual League Conference. These resolutions are a result of ideas submitted by municipalities or from issues that have arisen during the preceding year. Some of the resolutions include, but are not limited to, the creation of the Economic Development Reimbursement Authority (EDRA).
Events & Meetings
Bell Road Construction Tour
Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I took a tour of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction area on Thursday, August 11. We were able to make a few stops, look at the progress and thank the workers for their hard work. A special thank you to Armando Lopez for acting as our guide.
Career Workshop and Surprise Job Fair
The City hosted a career workshop on Friday, August 12. I was impressed by the information available to the attendees. A total of 26 people attended the workshop.
On Tuesday, August 16, the City hosted a job fair at the Communiversity. Thirteen companies were represented. Another job fair is scheduled for November.
Audit Committee Meeting
The Audit Committee met on Wednesday, August 18 at City Hall. We reviewed the first audit of Stadium concessions. Recommendations were made. Two ordinances for the Audit Committee will be presented to the full City Council for adoption at the September 6, 2016 Regular City Council meeting.
Mark Your Calendar
The Primary Election is this month! With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation so please make sure you vote! Independent voters – you will not automatically be mailed a ballot as the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well. For more information, please take time to review our fact sheet.
The City Clerk’s Office is open for early voting through Friday, August 26 (8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday). Anyone registered in Maricopa County can visit the Clerk’s office to vote early. We are one of only 21 satellite sites in Maricopa County for early voting!
Polling Locations on Election Day Only in Surprise – The County has set up 18 sites throughout the City of Surprise (mandated by State Law for Jurisdictional elections). Voters should have received a notice of which polling location to utilize. You can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department (602-506-1511) to find out which polling location to visit or you may call the City Clerk’s Office (623-222-1200). Please do not rely on the location for your last voting issue, as the locations may have changed.
Election Day Only – Tuesday, August 30th – City Hall will be a polling location for the voters who would have previously gone to the Library on Bullard. However, City Hall polling location will have a ballot drop off box for those voters needing to drop off their ballots.
All polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on this date only. Proper voting signs will be up for the entire period of early voting and Election Day.
Did You Know?
Temporary Lane Restrictions
Palm trees within the city’s Bell Road medians will be receiving landscape maintenance (trimming and pruning) beginning Monday, August 22. Temporary inside lane restrictions are expected during the overnight hours.
Landscapers will begin working in the area between the canal, west of Cotton Lane, and Reems Road; they will continue west through August 31, stopping at Grand Ave. Drivers may experience temporary inside lane restrictions between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.
Surprise Fiesta Grande
The City of Surprise is accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths at the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. in the city’s Original Town Site. The festival-style event will take place throughout the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex, located at 15660 N Hollyhock St, and will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more!
Promotional vendors will have the opportunity to advertise products and services throughout the day’s event. The cost of a 10’x10’ booth space is $500 and will include a 10’x10’ tent, (1) table and (2) chairs. Food vendors can reserve a 10’ x 10’ space with (1) table and (2) chairs for $150.
All vendors requesting participation in Surprise Fiesta Grande must complete an application online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or in person at the Community Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Spaces are limited. For more information regarding additional special event promotional and sponsorship opportunities at the Surprise Recreation Campus, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or email@example.com.
For more information on food vendor space, please contact Steve Castillo at 623.222.2267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AZ League of Cities Conference
The City Council will be attending the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference next week so I will not issue a newsletter until the following week, September 1. Thank you!