October 27, 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.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue this Friday night:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, to paint and install pedestrian fence on the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Installation of signal at 134th Avenue.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of 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 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Utility Transition Information

On November 1, the City of Surprise will begin processing billing statements for current wastewater and solid waste customers who were previously billed by American Water.

Council unanimously voted in March 2016 to bring the service in-house rather than utilize an outside contractor.

The transition has brought about numerous questions regarding utility billing from residents throughout the city. The most common questions stem from concerns about bill pay options and different utility providers. To help ease the transition, I’ve included those questions below.

Am I going to receive an American Water statement in October? If I do, who should I pay?

Yes. If you previously received a statement from American Water for your water or wastewater/solid waste, you will receive your last statement in October or the first week in November. Please pay this last bill to American Water using the same method of payment you have always used when paying your American Water Bill.

When will I receive my Surprise utility billing statement?

Due to multiple billing cycles and meter schedules, residents will be receiving their City of Surprise utility bill at various times throughout the month of November, however you will receive your first statement about 30 days from when you received your last American Water bill.

Do I still need to pay EPCOR for my water service?

Yes. Customers who are currently served by EPCOR water will continue to receive their water statement from EPCOR. However, if you received a statement from American Water for wastewater and solid waste services, your wastewater and solid waste statement will now come from the city of Surprise.

I’m currently enrolled in auto pay with American Water; what should I do?

When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to go online to http://surpriseaz.gov/waterbill and select the ‘Utility Payments’ button. It will lead you to the City utility payment website where you will select ‘Create Account’ to set up your online payment account. If you are unsure about how to do this or do not have access to the internet to do this, call the City’s customer service staff at 623.222.1900 and they will be happy to assist you over the phone in getting you set up. Just remember, to call them beginning November 1st so they can help you get set up in the “live” system.

I pay all my bills using online banking; do I need to change anything?

Yes. When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to log into your online banking account and update your payment information using your new Surprise account number and the city’s information which can be found on your statement.

I’m sure that, like me, you will have many more questions. I am so proud that we have a dedicated team of customer service professionals available to assist you with your utility billing concerns.

Should you have questions, you may contact the Customer Service & Utility Billing team at 623.222.1900.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Comic Event

On October 22, the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a Comic Encounter featuring Steve Rude the Dude. Over 50 people attended. Mr. Rude talked about his experience learning to draw art in school and interacted with the entire audience during the event. A drawing contest of Barnes & Noble gift cards and an autographed book by Steve Rude was held for two age groups.

Artist talking to class

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event and the guest speaker was Mike Godbehere, President and Co-founder of GCON Inc. The presentation provided an overview of communicating through different color filters, utilizing Personality Lingo, that teach you how to adapt your communication’s strategies to ensure you are hearing and speaking the right message.

Arizona History Series Kicks Off in Surprise

The city’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, in partnership with Arizona Humanities, hosted the first speaking series on Arizona history and culture in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Roland Winters and I attended. Dr. Jay Cravath spoke for this particular series – “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Caps: Entertainment in Old Arizona.”

speaker addressing audience

The next speaker event, “Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit-Victim or Vixen…or Both,” will be held on Monday, January 23, 2017, 11 a.m. in the Community Room at City Hall.

Surprise-Gateway Training Center Grand Opening

City Council joined representatives from Gateway Community College on Wednesday, October 26 for the grand opening of the Surprise Gateway Training Center, at our south water plant, on Cactus Road, just east of Litchfield Road. This training center is a state-of-the-art facility. Supporting training and the education of our workforce and continued investments in our water infrastructure are critical to our growing city. This new facility addresses these priorities and prepares individuals for a career rather than a job. We are very appreciative of this partnership with Gateway and the dedication of our Water Resource Management team led by Department Director Terry Lowe.

Surprise Gateway Training Center ribbon cutting


Mark Your Calendar

Free Workshops and Career Fair

As the ramp-up for holiday sales start, the holiday hiring begins. The City of Surprise, in partnership with Arizona@Work Maricopa County and Skillful, will host three free events at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, to help job seekers and employers get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Employment Workshop – October 31 (9am- Noon)
    • Looking for a job? Job seekers will learn tips in updating resumes, interviewing skills, social media and live networking, tools and resources to grow your skills and working a job fair.
  • Employer Workshop on Skills-based hiring – November 1 (9am-Noon)
    • Hiring? Employers will learn about innovative tools and materials available that can help with skills-based hiring, job posting techniques and workforce support.
  • Career Fair – November 2 (9am-Noon)
    • Employers and job-seekers are invited to participate in a free City of Surprise career fair! On Wednesday, November 2, local employers will be onsite to recruit new talent and promote any upcoming positions.

Career fairs are an interactive, personal way to identify new opportunities, get questions answered face-to-face, and assess whether a particular job is a good fit. Employers appreciate the chance to meet a variety of job candidates in person and the capability of interviewing on-site.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from Dysart Unified School District and City of Surprise Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.

The Surprise workshops and career fair are being offered as part of the city’s Business Education Series that assists local businesses with information and continued education. To sign up for the workshops or to secure a table at the career fair, contact Kendra Pettis at 623.222.3330 or kendra.pettis@surpriseaz.gov.

City to Host Free Wellness Classes

Health and wellness are important for a thriving community, and the City of Surprise is hosting free wellness classes to help keep residents educated and informed on a variety of topics. The following classes are next in the series:

Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment – November 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Elbert Y. Kuo, will be presenting on advances in the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Kuo says that every eight minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with lung cancer. Every year, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States – killing more people each year than colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined. In this presentation, Dr. Kuo will discuss the importance of lung cancer screening, as well as treatment advances.

Leading a Balanced Life – November 8, 10-11:30 a.m.
This 45 minute presentation, taught by Banner Del Web Physical Therapy Assistant Maren Harrison, will cover: balance systems and strategies; the proper use of walking aids; how to fall and proper fall recovery. Plus, there will be an opportunity for a personal balance screening.

Both classes will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Please register early since space is limited.


Did You Know?

Early Voting – City Clerk’s Office

Please remember that that last day to cast your early ballot at the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall is November 4. Office hours are 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, October 29 from 10 am until 3 pm.

If you wait to vote until Election Day (November 8), you will need to go to your designated polling location. If you have any questions or would like to verify that you are registered, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 20, 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.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue next week:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, to paint and install pedestrian fence on the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of Eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of 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 855.712.8530, press option #1.


City Council Meeting

Disability Employment Awareness Month

Mayor Sharon Wolcott presented a proclamation recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness month in Surprise to representatives from One Step Beyond, Benevilla and the City of Surprise Human Service & Community Vitality Department. All three are champions for people with disabilities.

Mayor Wolcott and members of Benevilla

As a country, we have made great strides since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. With that being said, the unemployment rate is more than twice as high for individuals with disabilities. I couldn’t be more proud of organizations such as Benevilla and One Step Beyond for expanding training, resources and advancing employment for people with disabilities.

District 2 Appointment

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Jim Hayden to the vacant District 2 Council seat. Councilman Hayden took the Oath of Office immediately following the vote. He won the District 2 seat in the August Primary and will serve a four year term that will begin on January 1, 2017.

Councilmember Jim Hayden

Councilmember Hayden is a retired firefighter and served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He currently serves as Chairman of the Surprise Public Safety Retirement Board. He has been a resident of Surprise for 12 years.

Planning & Zoning Appointments

Two new appointments for the Planning & Zoning Commission were considered and approved. Dennis Bash and Gisele Norbert were unanimously appointed to fill two vacancies on the Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2019. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment to Surprise!

FY2017 Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival

CRS requested approval of funding, not to exceed $30,000, to the Thunderbird Artists for the Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival. The 2016 event had 72 artists booths, 14 food/commercial booths, 6 wineries, 1 micro-brew, 1 distillery and 2 musicians. Thunderbird Artists requested Tourism Funds exclusively for marketing the Festival utilizing national publications for a 5th year event. On August 9, 2016, the Tourism Advisory Commission approved to recommend this event to Council in an amount not to exceed $30,000. The council voted to approve the funding request. The event would be held February 17-19, 2017.


Events & Meetings

Economic Development News

Caliber Collision hosted a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 12. The event began with a tour of their new state-of-the-art facility followed by the ribbon cutting to celebrate their opening. Welcome to Surprise, Caliber!

Retirement Ceremony for Sgt. Enemecio Felix

Sergeant Enemecio Felix was honored at a retirement ceremony in the Public Safety Auditorium on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. Sergeant Felix joined the Surprise Police Department in 2004 and retired on September 29, 2016. During his time with the Department, Enemecio served in the Field Operations Division, Criminal Investigations Division, the SWAT Team, and on special assignment with the DEA Task Force.

Sgt. Enemecio Felix and Surprise Police Chief Terry Young
Sgt. Enemecio Felix and Surprise Police Chief Terry Young

Lunchtime Theater – Noises Off

The city, in partnership with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works, West Valley Symphony and Phoenix Opera, kicked off the 2016-17 Lunchtime Theater season on Thursday, October 13 with two sold-out performances of “Noises Off.” The show is one of the most popular stage comedies of the last two decades.

The next Lunchtime Theater, Love is Here to Stay, is scheduled for November 10. Check the calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov for details.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The heart of Surprise was alive on Saturday, October 15 in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) for the annual Surprise Fiesta Grande. Residents were able to enjoy authentic Mexican food, music and a classic car show. The musical line-up included performances from Mariachi Mexico Nuevo, Mariachi Rubor, Banda La Llegadora, Group Caribe and Barrio Latino. A special thank you to our Community and Recreation Services Department for their hard work and dedication preparing for this fantastic event!

Surprise Honda Dealership Grand Opening

Council Members Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I attended the Surprise Honda dealership grand opening on Monday, October 17. The dealership opened its doors to the community in late August. The new dealership is modern and offers nice amenities including a putting green and virtual golf near their service area for those waiting for services. Welcome to Surprise! We are happy to have you here!

Honda Dealer owners cutting opening ribbon

Mom’s Fixins Grand Opening

Mom’s Fixins hosted their grand opening and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 19. Mom’s Fixins is located at 15226 W. Bell Road, Suite 100. The restaurant’s menu offers a wide variety of southern style meals. Welcome to Surprise!

Mom’s Fixins Grand Opening


Mark Your Calendar

City to Host Free Workshops & Career Fair

As the ramp-up for holiday sales start, the holiday hiring begins. The City of Surprise, in partnership with Arizona@Work Maricopa County and Skillful, will host three free events at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, to help job seekers and employers get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Employment Workshop – October 31 (9am- Noon)
    • Looking for a job? Job seekers will learn tips in updating resumes, interviewing skills, social media and live networking, tools and resources to grow your skills and working a job fair.
  • Employer Workshop on Skills-based hiring – November 1 (9am-Noon)
    • Hiring? Employers will learn about innovative tools and materials available that can help with skills-based hiring, job posting techniques and workforce support.
  • Career Fair – November 2 (9am-Noon)
    • Employers and job-seekers are invited to participate in a free City of Surprise career fair! On Wednesday, November 2, local employers will be onsite to recruit new talent and promote any upcoming positions.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from Dysart Unified School District and City of Surprise Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.

Neighborhood Grant Program Extended

The application deadline for the FY17 Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements, has been extended to November 30, 2016.

City Council designated $10,000 to support the grant program to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2, 2017
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
    • Final report to due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 15, 2017

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.


Did You Know?

Award-Winning Comic Artist Coming to Surprise This Weekend

Local, award-winning comic magazine artist and illustrator, Steve Rude, will be at Northwest Regional Library in Surprise on October 22. This free event, presented by the library in partnership with Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, will feature a drawing contest with prizes! Rude has drawn hundreds of comic’s greatest iconic heroes over the past two decades, and his work can be seen in much of the comic world — including Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Steve is also the co-creator of Nexus. The event will be held October 22 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N. Bullard Ave. For more information, please call the Northwest Regional Library at 602.652.3000.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 13, 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:

  • Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
  • Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of 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 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

West-MEC Northwest Campus Groundbreaking

The Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) hosted a groundbreaking for their Northwest Campus located on Grand Avenue and Dysart Road on Thursday, October 6. West-MEC was created to help students find a faster way forward in life through career and technical education. West-MEC serves over 29,000 students within their 46 member district high schools. The graduation rate for students who complete a CTE program was 98% compared to 76% for all students in Arizona.

The Surprise campus will feature adaptable learning environments, global academic collisions, storm water movement, high efficient building systems, diverse programs and a reduction of the carbon footprint. Anticipated programs include cosmetology, IT security, law, public safety and security, medical assisting and additional health, physical therapy technician, automotive and industrial trades.

Project Appreciation

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I donated pizzas to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction team on Thursday, October 6 to show our gratitude for their continued hard work as they work diligently to complete the bridge construction so Bell Road can re-open on the anticipated target date of November 22, 2016.

Councilmembers Hall and Villanueva handing out pizza to Bell and Grand construction workers

Kingswood Place – City Update

City staff and I attended a meeting at Kingswood Place, a senior living community in Surprise, to provide a city update which included a summary of the Surprise Forward campaign and an economic development update. Thank you to the staff who attended!

Benevilla Retirement Celebration

Benevilla hosted a retirement celebration for Michelle Dionisio on Thursday, October 6 at Birt’s Bistro. Many business and community leaders from throughout the Valley attended the event including Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me. For more than 25 years, President and CEO Michelle Dionisio has served Benevilla and built it into the multigenerational non-profit organization it is today. She is a well-respected leader who has left an indelible mark not only in our city and the valley, but in our state.

Bell Road-Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting

City staff and representation from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted their monthly outreach meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, October 11. Economic Development provided an update on the Bell/Grand community outreach and education initiative. An employment workshop will be held on Monday, October 31 at the Communiversity followed by an employer workshop on Tuesday, November 1 and a career fair on November 2. More information will soon follow.

The Business Education Series will continue. The next event will be held on October 25 at the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. The topic is “How to grow your business by ensuring your customers are getting the right message.”

ADOT gave an update on the Phase 3C map and project activities. Currently, the project team is putting up street lights on the bride; paving activities on the ramps and bridge center will start this month and continue thru early November.

An overnight closure of Grand Ave between Dysart and Litchfield roads is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November (Friday 11/4 & Saturday 11/5) to place fencing and paint the bridge. Specific dates and activities will be sent in the ADOT project weekly update that precedes the closure.

When Bell Rd reopens on November 22, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017.

The designated detour route that reflects the opening of Bell Rd has been drafted and is under final review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Rd however drivers will need to use Bell-Reems/ 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.

The Business Stakeholder Meeting in November will be postponed to Tuesday, December 13 due to the November 8 Election Day.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration – This Weekend

The Surprise Fiesta Grande is here! The festivities are scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3 pm until 9 pm on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Admission and parking are free.

Fiesta Grande parking map

The line-up is as follows:

  • 3 -3:15 p.m. – DJ/Opening Welcome
  • 3:15-4 p.m. – Mariachi Los Caballeros
  • 4:15-5 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico – Fiesta Mexicana Dance
  • 5:15-6 p.m. – Mariachi Rubor
  • 6:15-7 p.m. – Grupo Caribe
  • 7:15-8 p.m. – Banada La Llegadora
  • 8:15-9 p.m. – Powerdrive

We hope to see you there!

Surprise Veteran Job Club Meeting

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will host their next meeting on October 20 from 6 until 7:30 pm at the Surprise Resource Center located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to provide veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to pursue a new career or obtain a job.


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Explorer Wins Top Honors

Earlier this month, the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 competed in the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition which was held in Marana, Arizona. The post participated in over 15 different events which included: traffic stops, bus assaults, white collar crime investigations, officer down rescue, tactical tracking operations, and an active shooter scenario. They competed against posts from all across Arizona and California.

Explorer Post #2236 represented the Surprise Police Department and City of Surprise exceptionally well. The Explorer Post brought home seven trophies and one medal. The trophies/medal they received were:

  • 3rd place in the team obstacle course (Medal)
  • 2nd place in the use of force scenario
  • 2nd place in white collar crime investigations
  • 1st place in report writing and courtroom testimony
  • 1st place in traffic stops
  • 1st place in bus assaults
  • 1st place overall
  • The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition Cup for the overall best team at the competition

For more information about the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 please visit: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/1101/Explorers-Program.

Explorer Post #2236 winners represented the Surprise Police Department
Pictured from left to right: Explorer Peter Phillips, Explorer Davis Wright, Explorer Cesar Chavez, Officer Nate Miller (background), Explorer Mycala Anderson, Officer Jennifer Boothe (background), Explorer Breonna Colon, Explorer Gilber Chavez, Explorer Trey Williams, Explorer Clayton Bailey

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 6, 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:

  • Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
  • Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of 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 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Special City Council Meeting

District 2 Vacancy

The Surprise City Council will vote to appoint Jim Hayden to the vacant District 2 council seat at the October 18 City Council Meeting, 6 p.m., in City Hall- Council Chambers. He will be sworn in at that meeting. Mr. Hayden was the only applicant after Martha Bails withdrew her application during the City Council’s Special Meeting on Oct. 4.

Hayden is a retired firefighter and served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He currently serves as Chairman of the Surprise Public Safety Retirement Board. He also won the District 2 seat in the August Primary, with that four-year term set to begin on January 1, 2017. He has lived in Surprise for 12 years.

Per city code, a public comment period concludes October 12, 5 p.m. Hayden will serve out the remainder of the current District 2 term which ends December 31, 2016. Congratulations, Mr. Hayden!


City Council Work Session

Public Utility Billing Transition

Surprise residents currently billed by American Water for water and/or wastewater and solid waste services will have their bills come from the City of Surprise beginning November 1. Council voted to transition billing for city utility services from American Water to an in-house operation on March 1, 2016. Following months of planning, the city is preparing to offer this new service to its utility customers.

Some of the most significant transition changes customers will see include:

  • A new account number;
  • A new bill statement layout;
  • And more options for making utility payments.

Water and/or wastewater and solid waste customers who currently schedule automatic payments or participate in online banking using an American Water account number will need to update their information with the new Surprise account number once they receive their first city bill statement in November.

American Water will continue to answer billing-related questions until November 1. You can learn more about the utility billing transition and view frequently asked questions online at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterbill.


City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

With millions of men and women victimized by domestic violence each year, the City of Surprise is working to raise awareness of this important issue. City Council issued a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

To further raise awareness, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building during the month of October. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness.

purple lights shine from Surprise City Hall

Residents can also help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon. This year, national wear purple day is October 20. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtag #PurpleThursday.


Events & Meetings

Imagine Prep Surprise

Imagine Prep Surprise was recently chosen to pilot a new class called Global Perspectives, through the Cambridge International Examinations. The school was one of less than thirty schools worldwide chosen for the opportunity. As part of their unit, I was asked to take part in student interviews on September 28 and 29, which afforded the students the opportunity to explore local issues within the community including school funding, police related matters, water quality, and much more.

Surprise Police Sgt. Norman Owens accompanied me to present on issues related to police. I’d like to extend my gratitude to him, Chief Terry Young and Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe for their assistance in providing information to educate these fine students!

Imagine Prep interviews

Dysart Unified School District 3R Summit

Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Todd Tande and I participated in the Dysart Unified School District 3R Summit on Monday, October 3. The Summit is designed to bring stakeholders together to help redefine, redesign and re-imagine the learning and teaching environment to support college and career ready graduates. Participants heard from experts in the field including Jamie Casap, Chief Education Evangelist with Google, and Dysart students.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, October 3. The Commission has been very productive. Several events are scheduled over the next month including the Poetry Slam at WHAM on October 7 from 5 until 7 pm; Comic event scheduled for October 22 from 11 am until 1 pm at the Northwest Regional Library; and the Arizona Humanities Lecture Series first event is scheduled for October 25 from 11 am until 12 noon. More information on the speaker series can be found here.

WESTCAPS West Valley Leaders Water Summit

WESTCAPS hosted their 3rd Annual West Valley Leaders Water Summit on Wednesday, October 5 at Estrella Community College. The keynote speaker was former Senator Jon Kyl. Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, Glendale Councilman Jamie Aldama, Avondale Councilman David Iwanski and I were amongst panelists discussing water resource challenges and how our cities are preparing for the future.

WESTCAPS speakers

The West Valley Central Arizona Project Subcontractors (WESTCAPS) is a collaboration of West Valley municipal and private water providers, along with various water agencies, working together to develop regional solutions to plan for the future of water in the West Valley.


Mark Your Calendar

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.

Marketing Seminar

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a marketing seminar on Saturday, October 8 from 7:30 am until 8:30 am at the Chamber office located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza. This seminar will focus on marketing tips for attracting holiday business. Admission is free.


Did You Know?

Surprise Hosting Fall Tennis Tournaments

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is hosting several tennis tournaments this fall! The upcoming schedule is as follows:

  • October 7-9: USTA National 18 and over 3.0 National Championships
  • October 12-16: Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Small College National Championships
  • October 21-23: USTA 55 and over National Championships 6.0 and 8.0
  • October 28-30: USTA 55 and over National Championships 7.0 and 9.0
  • November 4-6: USTA 40 and over Mixed Doubles National 6.0 and 8.0
  • November 11-13: USTA 40 and over Mixed Doubles National 7.0 and 9.0
  • November 25-27: USTA Open Regional Boys and Girls 18s
  • December 9-11: USTA Southwest 65 and over Section Championships

Admission is free for spectators. Please view the Sports Tournaments calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis for match times.


Contact Me

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

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