September 29, 2016 • Newsletter

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. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

  • Build Grand Avenue retaining walls connecting to the Bell Road bridge.
  • Install sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruct eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Complete the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

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 Kyl Center Leaders 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22 to honor the promotions of Commander James Jackson and Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica. Commander Jackson joined the Surprise Police Department in September 2013, and Sergeant Calabrese-Kopronica joined the Department in August 2008. Congratulations to the both of them!

Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22
Pictured from left to right: Police Chief Terry Young, Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica, Commander James Jackson, Assistant Chief Geoff Leggett and Commander John Heffelfinger.

KB Homes Ribbon Cutting

On September 22, KB Homes had a ribbon cutting for their new Villas at Sycamore Farms. Mayor Wolcott, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I took part and welcomed KB Homes to the community located near Cactus Road and Loop 303.

Kyl Center for Water Policy – Leaders Roundtable

I attended the Kyl Center Leaders Roundtable at ASU SkySong on September 23. The keynote speakers were Kathryn Sorensen, Director of City of Phoenix Water Services, and Susan Craig, Communications Director for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona. Ms. Sorenson spoke about infrastructure challenges facing the city of Phoenix related to water and wastewater. Ms. Craig explained infrastructure financing options available to municipalities.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Breakfast

On Saturday, September 24, I attended the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission breakfast. Kristen Pierce with the Arizona Commission on the Arts was the speaker and facilitated a discussion on how arts organizations can be more collaborative. Other attendees included members of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, WHAM, West Valley Arts Council, Arts HQ and the art teacher from Paradise Honors High School.

General Obligation Bond Election Discussion at Sun Village

I participated in a community meeting at Sun Village on Monday, September 26. The city’s Economic Development Director, Jeanine Jerkovic, gave an update on economic development and City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented on the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. He explained the projects and the cost of the bond to residents, should it be approved by the voters. You can learn about the projects, costs and more at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting was held September 27 at The Colonnade. The five candidates for the AZ Corporation Commission participated in a candidate’s forum. Arizona will hold an election for Corporation Commission on November 8. Three seats are up for election. Additionally, City Manager Bob Wingenroth gave a presentation on the General Obligation Bond Election.


Mark Your Calendar

Emergency Preparedness Fair – Oct. 1

The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments are teaming up with other local organizations to host an Emergency Preparedness Fair this Saturday, October 1! Join us from 9 a.m. to noon at the Home Depot located at 13760 W Bell Rd. in Surprise.

There will be ham radio demos, 72-hour emergency kits, activities for kids, fire truck and police car displays and more!

Participating agencies and organizations include: Surprise Fire Department, Surprise Police Department, Surprise Citizen Corps, Surprise Crisis Response Team, Surprise Community Response Team, West Valley Amateur Radio Club and Chance Pet Shelter.

Household Hazardous Waste Event – Oct. 8

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on October 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

For more information, including a list of acceptable items, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

The New Surprise Progress Magazine is Out!

The fall 2016 volume of Progress Magazine is out! Much of the magazine is dedicated to informing you about the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. It has details on each of the 9 proposed projects, the cost of the bond to you if it is approved by the voters, and what you’ll see on the ballot.

This issue also includes upcoming art experiences, an update on the Bell-Grand bridge project and the fall events calendar!

Can’t wait for your copy to arrive? Read the online version today! http://bit.ly/2d4VWPB


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 22, 2016 • Newsletter

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.

Work continues as follows:

  • Grand Avenue closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. on Friday, September 23 to 5 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 to remove scaffolding from the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.
  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 to install a new storm drain pipe.
  • Installing sidewalk and hand railing on the new bridge.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue is being reconstructed.
  • Construction of the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue 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

Fighter Country Partnership Update

President and Executive Director of Fighter Country Partnership (FCP), Ron Sites, provided an update to City Council on his organization. The mission of FCP is to support the men, women and families of Luke Air Force Base and enhance the life for our military. FCP has a non-profit 501(c)4 organization that allows the organization to advocate on behalf of Luke AFB while supporting it. It also has a non-profit 501(c)3 Foundation that affords the organization the opportunity for donations to be tax deductible from donors. This past year, funds collected supported various health and human services events, helping to support the culture and tradition of Luke AFB and the sustainability of their mission.

School Parking Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer discussed current issues involving school parking at some of our local elementary and middle schools, which include: blocking of driveways, litter, parking in private drives, vehicle conflicts, etc. Current city code was reviewed, as was action taken to remedy these issues in the cities of Tempe and Phoenix. Solutions, drawbacks and next steps were discussed.


City Council Meeting

Service Award

City Council recognized two outgoing Planning and Zoning Commissioners, Steve Somers and Jerry Hoyler, with service awards during Tuesday evening’s meeting. Mr. Somers, previously the Chair for the Commission, spent ten years on Planning and Zoning. Mr. Hoyler spent four years on the Commission. Thank you both for your service to the City!

Service Award winner Steve Somers
Community Development Director Eric Fitzer with Service Award winner Steve Somers

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

An update regarding the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction project was provided to Council. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an update on the ShopSurprise campaign. There were 100,000 flyers distributed in July and August and more than 171,000 text messages have been sent. To date, more than 125 businesses have participated.

Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Director of Communications Brock Barnhart provided an update with a focus on the last phase of the project, Phase 3C, which is slated to begin in November. According to Mr. Barnhart, the contractor has provided ADOT with a target reopen date for Bell Road of November 22.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide


Events & Meetings

Special City Council Meeting

A Special City Council meeting was held on Thursday, September 15 to declare and adopt the results of the Primary Election that was held on August 30, 2016. Resolution No. 2016-109 was approved and recorded.

West Valley Council Mixer

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended the West Valley Council Mixer at Goodyear Ballpark on Thursday, September 15. Councilmembers from throughout the West Valley were present to network and provide updates on their respective cities.

Achieve60AZ Movement

More than 60 community, business, philanthropic and education organizations formed the Achieve60AZ alliance to support a goal of 60 percent of adults ages 25-64 having a professional certificate or college degree by 2030. Governor Doug Ducey made the announcement on Friday, September 16 at Franklin Police and Fire High School. Councilmembers John Williams, Todd Tande and I attended the announcement, along with other municipal leaders, organizations and agencies throughout the state.

Achieve60AZ logo


Mark Your Calendar

Mental Health Advocacy Event

Author and mental health advocate Erin Callinan will take part in an event, “Beautifully Bipolar – From Trauma to Triumph,” at the Communiversity on September 26, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with Erin’s family, mental health resource tables and a book signing. Erin will share her personal journey of finding hope after her mental illness diagnosis at the age of 17.

HOA Academy

The popular Surprise HOA Academy will begin this October, and registration is now open until October 10, 2016! 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 classes will begin on Monday, October 17 and occur every Monday through Monday, November 21, with the exception of October 31. Classes will be held at the Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3242.

Surprise Swap Meeting

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council, will be held at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

In addition, vendor spaces are now available to rent. For more information, or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or visit the Surprise Senior Center at 15832 Hollyhock Street.


Did You Know?

Surprise Dial-A-Ride Rate Reduction

Beginning October 1, rates for Surprise Dial-A-Ride trips to select destinations outside of the city will be reduced from $4 one-way per person to $2.50.Trips affected include those from Surprise to Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and the medical offices near Boswell Hospital.

To offset the anticipated loss in collected fares, the cap in daily trips will be decreased from 160 to 155. Surprise City Council approved the changes at their September 20 Council Meeting. Dial-A-Ride trips within city limits remain at $2 per ride, and regional ADA trips, for medical and work trips well beyond the city’s limits, remain at $4 per ride.

For more information on the Dial-A-Ride program, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/dialaride.


Contact Me

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

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September 15, 2016 • Newsletter

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.

Work continues as follows:

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue is being reconstructed.
  • Construction of the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue 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.

Bell & Grand Business Stakeholders Outreach Meeting

The City and ADOT hosted a monthly Business Stakeholders Outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended along with staff and business representatives. Economic Development provided on update on outreach and education initiatives and ADOT provided a project update.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart introduced Phase 3C (see map below) of the project where Bell Rd reopens; a specific target date will be presented at the September 20 City Council meeting. The goal is to open all three lanes of Bell Rd in late November.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide

Due to continued work on tie-ins, there may be occasional curb lane restrictions and overnight work on Bell Rd after the reopening. The project team will work hard to ensure that at least two lanes in each direction remain open on Bell Rd during daytime work.

When Bell Rd reopens, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge and vice versa. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017. A signal at the intersection of 134th Ave and Bell Rd will be up and operational.

Reconfiguration of the designated detour route to reflect the opening of Bell Road is under review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Road, however drivers will still need to use Bell-Litchfield/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

Now that deck pours have been completed on the BNSF bridge, ADOT does not anticipate any major Grand Ave closures until mid-October.

ShopSurprise has sent 171,000 messages to date and more than 25 businesses have participated. There has been 3,100 opt-in and 35 email subscribers as well. The Economic Development department plans to develop a direct marketing campaign to draw Sun City consumers back to Surprise. The department recently won the Gold Prospector Award, Multi-media Production at the Arizona Association of Economic Developers for their efforts on the ShopSurprise campaign. Congratulations to our amazing team!

The city hosted a job fair in August with 13 employers present. Approximately 100 job seekers also took advantage of the fair. Another employment workshop is being planned for late October. Additionally, another career fair and business information session will occur in November. More details will soon follow!


Events & Meetings

AZ STEM School Community of Practice Meeting

As part of the team representing our local STEM school, Canyon Ridge, Dr. Shelley Isai and I joined staff from Canyon Ridge and several other representatives from STEM schools at Grand Canyon University on September 8. Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Don Covey and Provost for Grand Canyon University Dr. Hank Radda joined us. Breakout topics included discussions on barriers, solutions and commitments schools are facing. Opportunities to meet with representatives from any of the 44 STEM schools participating were available to those who took part in the meeting.

Grand Opening of Benevilla’s Helping Partners Program

The Helping Partners Program, run by local nonprofit Benevilla, has moved into a space at City Hall. To welcome the program, a grand opening ceremony took place on Monday, September 12, followed by a tour of the office space. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I joined city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

The Helping Partners Life Enrichment Program was designed for adults with intellectual or development challenges. The program provides volunteer and employment opportunities that enable members to contribute in their respective communities.

Councilmembers Hall, Villanueva, Winters & Tande with city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Agenda items included an update on sports tourism and future baseball tournaments and a discussion pertaining to the Western Heritage Trail Society. Western Heritage Trail Society is an association striving to develop, promote and showcase events, programs and destinations truly unique to our beautiful State.

Annual Fiscal Year Water Resource Management Meeting

On Wednesday, September 14, the Water Resource Management Department held its Annual New Fiscal Year (FY) Kick-off All Hands Lunch for staff. The intent of the lunch is to give staff an opportunity to reflect on FY16 accomplishments through presentations made by division managers that recognize outstanding performers and provide staff with a look at what the department will be doing in FY17. Director Terry Lowe thanked everyone for coming and reminded his staff about the keys to a successful business: People… Processes… Product. This philosophy has led to the completion of the new Gateway Training Center and the successful coordination and teamwork in the commencement and completion of nearly a dozen other major projects. The training center, which will have its Grand Opening on October 26, is the place where staff will broaden its knowledge and understanding of their careers and assist the department in better serving the community. The department’s division managers: Lee Lambert, Water; Warren Dancer, Wastewater; Christine Nunez, Environmental Compliance; Paul Mohr, Business Process; and Fred Stevens, Resource Portfolio, each gave those in attendance a little deeper look into the work they do, their teams, and their initiatives for next year.


Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

Movie Night will be held at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, September 17 featuring “Hotel Transylvania 2” (Rated PG). The event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan in Surprise, and admission is free!

Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Bring your blankets and pillows and stretch out on the grass at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect. Concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For more information, please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

Mental Health Advocacy Event

Author and mental health advocate Erin Callinan will take part in an event, “Beautifully Bipolar – From Trauma to Triumph,” at the Communiversity on September 26, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with Erin’s family, mental health resource tables and a book signing. Erin will share her personal journey of finding hope after her mental illness diagnosis at the age of 17.


Did You Know?

Veteran’s Day Art Show

Are you a veteran with artistic talent? The city is seeking veteran-produced artwork for inclusion in an art show display during its Veterans Day Celebration on November 11. Professional and amateur artists are invited to display at this event. Paintings, photography, sculpture, illustrations or any other medium is welcome; there is no charge to participate. Interested artists should contact Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair, Susan deJong, at 623.214.7537 or sandbapple@msn.com.

The artwork will be on display from 8-11 a.m. in front of Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. In addition to the art show, the city’s Veterans Day celebration includes a parade that will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near Surprise Stadium. Both the art show and parade are free to attend.

For $4, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the stadium before the parade from 7-9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Community and Recreation Services Office, located at the stadium.

Learn more about the Veterans Day Celebration at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 8, 2016 • Newsletter

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.

Work continues as follows:

  • Grand Avenue will be closed between Litchfield and Dysart roads from 8 pm on Thursday, September 8 until 5 am on Friday, September 9.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being constructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

Grand Avenue Full Closure information

**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

Dial-a-Ride Fare Discussion

Public Works staff provided Council with an outline of the fare revision timeline which began last November with a Council action item to increase the ridership cap to 160 one-way weekday trips and culminated with the adoption of the current fares of $2.00 in the City and $4.00 outside of the City including the Regional ADA service which started on July 1, 2016.

Staff also reviewed fares across the Valley and presented facts regarding ridership and cost of service for FY2016. Council then discussed the options of revising the fares. Discussion included the option of lowering the cost of one-way trips outside of the city to $2.50; fares inside the City and Regional ADA service would remain the same at $2.00 and $4.00 respectively.

Staff will return to Council on the September 20 with a revised Dial-a-Ride fare schedule for their consideration and possible action. Below is a condensed summary of the Dial-a-Ride services and costs performed in FY2016. For the full presentation, please view the Council Work Session for September 6 2016 online at www.surpriseaz.gov/1592/Watch-Council-Meetings-Online.

FY 2016 Summary

774 Residents took 34,846 trips totaling 180,138 miles
Trips inside of City 21,115 – Outside of City 13,731
Fewest Trips 1 – Most Trips 485

Trips Purpose Percentages:

  • Medical & Dialysis 44% – (27% & 17%)
  • Senior Center 12%
  • Shopping 6%
  • Work 10%
  • Leisure 27%

Gross Cost for service $799,250:

  • Passenger Fares $38,403.50 – 5%
  • Federal New Freedom Grant monies $74,016.26 – 9.7%
  • Prop 400 monies applied to service $23,847.04 – 3.1%
  • Net City Billings $662,983.50 – 87% ($350,000 Arizona Lottery Funds – $312,983.50 City’s General Fund)

Cost Inside City $352,273 – Outside City $310,711

Potential Changes to fare schedule pending Council action

Service Type Current Fee Revised Fee
Dial-A-Ride (In city) $2.00 $2.00 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride (Outside city) $4.00 $2.50 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride ADA Regional Service $4.00 $4.00 Per Ride

City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved the reappointments of Susan deJong and Kathie Morgan for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission; Ira McCullough for the Personnel Appeals Board and Dennis Smith for the Planning & Zoning Commission. The aforementioned members were approved for a 4 year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

City Council also unanimously approved two vacancies on Planning & Zoning Commission – Eric Cultum and Mitchell Rosenbaum; two vacancies for the Tourism Commission representing restaurants – Chris Hall and Mario Rana; one vacancy for the Tourism Commission representing Hotels – Della Brendenburger; one vacancy for the Board of Trustees – Aaron Bacon; two vacancies for the Disabilities Advisory Commission – Brenda Renou and Dan Moore; two vacancies for the Personnel Appeals Board – Rayana Mariland and Valerie Serrano. The aforementioned members were approved for a four year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

Thank you to all of the Boards and Commission Members for your time and service!

Surprise Community Outreach Program Grant Recommendation

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson and Council Assistant Jodi Tas presented the Surprise Community Outreach Program (SCOP) funding recommendations from the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants to the full City Council for consideration. This year, there were 22 applicants with requests totaling over $188,000. The Committee’s recommendations were unanimously approved.

The FY17 approved budget for the Human Service and Community Vitality Department included a total of $75,000 for community outreach activities which included up to $65,000 for SCOP. This year, the Committee’s total award recommendation is $62,000. The one-time awards are paid to non-profit organizations on a reimbursement basis upon completion of their project. The deadline for project completion and spending is June 15, 2017.

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

The City is strengthening its internal audit function and as such the finalization of the formal creation of an Audit Committee and Internal Audit Program was considered and unanimously approved. The services provided are designed to add value, improve the organizational operations, identify opportunities to minimize organizational risks, maximize efficiency and effectiveness and strengthen public confidence and accountability. Councilman Roland Winters and I are both honored to serve on this committee.


Events & Meetings

Southwest Gas Update Meeting

Southwest Gas representatives, Councilman Roland Winters and I met on Wednesday, September 7 to discuss their proposed rate increase. The proposed increase is approximately $1.14 per month for the average residential customer or 2.8% over existing rates. The proposal maintains the current rate design that has been in place since January 2012, with no changes to the basic service charge. At this time, SWG is not requesting any changes to the existing Incremental Contribution Method which calculates the economic feasibility of service and main extensions.

Questions have been asked regarding the Energy Efficiency Enabling Provision (EEP) Monthly Weather Adjustment. The EEP is part of the delivery charge portion of customer’s bills. The rate per unit of gas sold consists of both gas costs and delivery charges. The EEP balances the delivery charge portion of the customer’s bill to ensure that customers only pay for the charges associated with the service they receive. The EEP was approved in December 2011 because it was found to financially protect both the customer and the company. According to SWE, since the EEP was approved, customers have received annual refunds of $25.4M, with another $8.3M pending. With the company’s improved credit ratings, customers are realizing the benefit of lower debt costs in the pending rate case; debt costs in this case are $20M lower than they would have been absent the improved credit profile for the company.

The company’s application will be thoroughly examined by the Arizona Corporation Commission, Commissioners, the Residential Utility Consumer Office and others prior to approval which is expected in May 2017. More information on the request can be found by visiting www.swgas.com/investedinaz.


Mark Your Calendar

Open House – Fire Station 305

Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be hosting an open house this Saturday, September 10 from 9 am until 1 pm. The station is located at 15571 N. Parkview Place. Firefighters will be available to provide a tour, show medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls and much more.

Surprise Fire 305

2016 Drug Symposium

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 6-9 pm, the Surprise Police are partnering with the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Drug Free AZ Kids, and the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a community drug awareness symposium. This highly informative program will be hosted at the CCV Church located at 14787 West Cholla Street in Surprise.

We have learned through past experiences how very important it can be to increase the public’s awareness of drugs and how drugs can negatively impact our community. This particular program is aimed at providing a clearer understanding of the dangers of drugs and providing those in attendance with tools on how to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse. This is a community problem we all need to work together to solve. Please come join your police department and their community partners at this free program.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.


Did You Know?

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. at the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex located at 15660 N. Hollyhock Street. This festival-style event will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more.

The City is now accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths. For more information, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 1, 2016 • Newsletter

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.

Work continues as follows:

  • 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.


Events & Meetings

Youth Services Administrator Interviews

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I joined staff to interview the final three candidates for the Youth Services Administrator on Monday, August 22. Former Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has accepted a promotional opportunity within the city which led to this opening. Congratulations to Paul!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, August 23. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided a city update. With many thanks to him and the staff, there are many great things happening in Surprise.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference began on Tuesday, August 23. This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with other Council Members throughout the state, network with agencies who work with Surprise and help build the momentum the City Council has been able to achieve.

Part of this year’s conference included meetings with Cox Communications regarding digital contour and EPCOR regarding their plans to combine their water districts. In addition, I was able to attend several sessions including the impact of military bases in Arizona, how communities can make progress toward a future workforce, and innovative programs that have shown success for cities. City Council attended a focus group discussion on why our youth leave the State; Surprise was represented by our very own Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Member Samantha Salazar. Following the youth session, members of SYC competed in the Democraseed Challenge and placed third in the challenge. The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship partnered to with the Challenge to foster creative civic engagement projects. Congratulations to our SYC team!

Councilman John Williams and I received service awards during the Legislative and Service Award Luncheon on Thursday, August 25. Congratulations to John on his years of service. I have enjoyed serving with you!

Boards & Commissions Interviews

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I interviewed candidates for the City’s current Boards & Commissions vacancies. Recommendations will be made to the full City Council at the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 6. There are two vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission, one vacancy on the Board of Trustees, two vacancies on the Personnel Appeals Board, two vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission and three vacancies on the Tourism Advisory Board.

Desert Premier Home Realty Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

District 5 has another new business! Desert Premier Home Realty celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, August 30. Desert Home Premier is a real estate agency that focuses on homes for sale in Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria, Goodyear, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale and other areas near Phoenix. Best wishes to the owners, Jay and Lynn Otlewski, on their new location!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Civic Center Hosting Two Art Events

It’s an evening of art at Surprise Civic Center on September 8. Experience a showcase of fine art photography at Surprise City Hall, followed by an art exhibition at Arts HQ.

The City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is hosting an event featuring the photography work of artist Archie Tucker in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, from 4-5 p.m. Then from 5-7 p.m., Arts HQ presents the opening reception for its exhibit, Exhibicion de Arte, at its gallery located at 16126 N Civic Center Plaza.

Both events are free. For more information on the showcase, please call 623.214.7537. For more information on the Arts HQ exhibit, please call 623.584.2626.

Free Marketing Workshop

If you are looking for tips and tactics to promote your business free of charge, the city is hosting a Guerilla Marketing workshop on September 8. The workshop will be taught by marketing and business author Al Lautenslager, and each attendee will receive a copy of his book, “Market Like You Mean It”.

The workshop will be held from 10-11:30 am at the AZ TechCelerator-Building D, located at 12425 W. Bell Road. To reserve a spot, please call 623.222.3322.


Did You Know?

Primary Election Results

Surprise voters elected two new city councilmembers in Districts 2 and 4, returned an incumbent to District 3 and re-elected the mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The news is based on preliminary, unofficial results reported by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Running unopposed, Sharon Wolcott was re-elected as mayor, having received 14,243 votes or 97% of the vote.

In District 2, Jim Hayden defeated incumbent Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, with a vote tally of 3,289 votes (57%), versus Biundo’s 2,483 votes (43%).

In District 3, incumbent Councilmember John Williams defeated Gisele Norberg. Williams received 1,057 votes (57%) to Norberg’s 781 votes (43%).

In District 4, with 998 votes (57%), Ken Remley defeated incumbent Rachel Villanueva who received 754 votes or (43%).

All positions carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2020. New terms begin on January 1, 2017.

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by September 5th, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.


Contact Me

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

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