City celebrates reopening of Bell Road

Commuters were able to cruise over the new Bell Road Bridge at Grand Avenue on their way to work this morning, as the Arizona Department of Transportation officially opened the road at 12:15 a.m.

The city of Surprise hosted a pre-celebration on Monday in the Surprise Marketplace parking lot to officially kick-off the 2016 Holiday Season and to thank the area businesses, residents and drivers for their patience during the seven-month closure of Bell Road.

“To the customers that continued to shop these businesses, thank you for realizing that they were ALWAYS open and for supporting them,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “And to those that took a different commute during the closure, I invite you to come back to this area. No more stopping for the train and three new businesses have opened since the closure began in April, with two others opening this fall. Come check them out!”

Representatives from the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce also spoke at the event that was attended by neighboring elected officials, residents and local businesses.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection attendees received Surprise shopping bags, filled with vendor coupons and promotional items. A perfect reminder to Shop Surprise this holiday season!

The Bell Road closure was part of the ADOT US 60 (Grand Ave) and Bell Road Interchange project which began in January 2016. By closing Bell for 7 months, construction delays were avoided during two Spring Training Seasons and this year’s holiday shopping season.

The entire Bell-Grand project, including the ramps connecting Grand Avenue to Bell Road, is scheduled to be complete prior to Spring Training 2017 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. In the meantime, your Bell to Grand Avenue access remains on Dysart Road, east of the intersection and Bell to Reems to Grand, west of the intersection.

November 17, 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.

Please note that the project will be entering the third and final stage beginning November 22 through late February 2017. Phase 3C includes the following:

Grand Avenue:

  • No direct access to Bell Road until late February 2017. The Bell-Grand interchange ramps are inaccessible until the end of construction. Motorists needing to access Grand Avenue from Bell Road will need to use the revised designated detour route (see attached).
  • Grand Avenue will continue to be reduced to 2 lanes in each direction from Litchfield to Dysart roads until Late February 2017.
  • Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace maintained at the signalized intersections at Towne Center and Bell Grande drives.

Bell Road:

  • Open to traffic starting November 22, 2016
  • Access from US 60 (Grand Avenue) between Litchfield Road and Dysart Road available via detour route at:
    • Reems Road
    • Dysart Road

134th Avenue:

  • Open to traffic

ADOT Phase 3C Detour Handout

Additionally, the pick-up and drop-off locations for Route 571 – Surprise Express will relocate back to the Surprise Park-and-Ride at 13327 W Bell Road, effective December 5.

**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

Magnolia Annexation Public Hearing

Mark Reddie of LVA Urban Design Studio, on behalf of AZ Community Development LLC, seeks annexation of several parcels generally located between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue, Waddell Road and Cactus Road in anticipation of a new residential development. The annexation proposal includes all unincorporated lands located within the aforementioned boundaries except for two (2) properties owned by Paragon Management, LLC, the latter being associated with Paradise Honors High School.

FS-16-427 Magnolia annexation map

The properties all zoned Maricopa County Rural-43 zoning and commercial zoning. If annexed, the properties will assume similar R1-43 zoning and commercial zoning; however, most of the properties involved are part of a proposed rezone and preliminary plat referred to as Magnolia, which are being processed under two cases to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council on later dates.

The blank petition was recorded with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office on October 25, 2016. Per the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), signatures of property owners may not be collected until 30 days after the recording of the blank petition and a public hearing must be held within the last ten days of the 30 day waiting period. Once the public hearing is held, and the 30 day waiting period has expired, state statute requires that an excess of 50% of the land owners and assessed valuation for all real and personal property sign the petition in order to validate it. The statute allows up to one year to obtain the signatures; staff anticipates obtaining all of the necessary signatures with the final signed petition being heard by the City Council in December of 2016. In accordance with statute, this request is for Council to hold the public hearing.

Associate Judge Appointment

City Council unanimously appointed Catherine Ann Gaudreau to serve as the new Associate Judge for the Surprise City Court. Gaudreau has served as an Assistant Prosecutor II with the City of Scottsdale since 2006 and was an Assistant District Attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office from 1991 to 2002. She also has past experience as an Associate in California and Florida. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from Florida International University.

The Associate Judge position was approved by City Council in the FY2017 Budget, as part of one of 21 new public safety positions to be funded. Following an open-recruitment process the city’s Judicial Selection Advisory Commission conducted public interviews with five candidates in October. They then referred three of the candidates to Presiding Judge Dominguez for final interviews, of which he selected Gaudreau as his recommendation for Council consideration. Gaudreau’s first day with the city will be December 19. Her annual salary will be $152,000.

Surprise Municipal Court adjudicates criminal and civil violations occurring in the city, and provides orders of protection and other legal services to Surprise residents as part of the statewide court system.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Veterans Day Concert

Arizona Charter Academy hosted a Veterans Day concert on Thursday, November 10. Councilman Jim Hayden and I were both honored to participate as speakers for this incredible tribute to our veterans. Several local veterans were also present for the concert which was performed by the 6th grade students.

WESTMARC Best of the West Awards

It was an award-winning night for the City of Surprise at Westmarc’s Annual Best of the West Awards banquet at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday, November 10. The Surprise Resource Center, a center focused on social services, took first place in the West Valley Quality of Life Award category and the AZ TechCelerator, the city’s business incubator, was runner-up in the West Valley Economic Engine Award category.

HSCV staff accepting award

The Surprise Resource Center opened in December 2015 as a means to strengthen the community by supporting and serving its people. The center began with one program- the Community Action Program (CAP). Through a partnership with Maricopa County and El Mirage, CAP assists with utility and mortgage/rent payments. To date, CAP has served more than 600 families, totaling $370,455 in assistance. Today, the center houses 13 partnerships that offer a range of services from employment assistance to food resources. The center also offers veteran services. About 12% of the city’s population is comprised of veterans; now, employment assistance from Veterans Affairs, Department of Economic Security and the city’s new Veteran Job Club can be accessed from one location.

The AZ TechCelerator continues to offer affordable rent and a collaborative environment that helps young companies build up their business plans, creating new products, services and jobs in Surprise. The TechCelerator has 16 client start-ups, two onsite service providers, a track record of over 200 jobs graduated, and the only Google corporate office presence in the State of Arizona, following Google’s purchase of AZ TechCelerator-grown Athena Wireless. The program has also been able to offer temporary corporate office space for new international company locations to Surprise, such as IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical, RioGlass Solar and Gestamp Solar Steel, which combined have generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Congratulations to all of our staff involved with both outlets. The recognitions could not have happened without your hard work and dedication to the programs. This was a team effort led by the continued leadership of City Manager Bob Wingenroth. Thank you!

City of Surprise 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade

The City hosted the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade on Friday, November 11. This year, there were 110 entries and hundreds of residents participating in the parade or as spectators. Thank you to Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his team for making this annual event possible that honors the veterans of this community and builds community spirit and pride!

Kids Count Career & Education Fair

Kids Count, a local non-profit, in partnership with the City of Surprise hosted a career and education fair at the Communiversity on Saturday, November 12. The fair focused on skill building. I was honored to provide a welcome on behalf of the city. More than 30 youth were present. Attendees received free clothing and shoes at the event as well.


Mark Your Calendar

Pre-Bell Road Reopening Event

The City of Surprise invites residents and local businesses to attend a 2016 Holiday Season kickoff and “thank you” event to show our appreciation for your patience and continued patronage of businesses during the Bell Road closure between West Point Parkway and 134th Avenue.

The event will take place in the Surprise Marketplace Target parking lot (just west of BBVA Compass Bank), 13731 W. Bell Road, on Monday, November 21 with the brief ceremony beginning at 4 p.m.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection, the first 300 residents will receive a city of Surprise shopping bag! The money you spend here stays here, so continue to ShopSurprise this holiday season.

KC Royals and Texas Rangers Announce Spring Training Schedule

The 15th Annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Saturday, February 25 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. The Surprise Stadium will host 33 games this season, including two World of Baseball preparatory games against Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 8 (1:05 p.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (1:05 p.m.).

There will be a special online pre-sale at www.surprisespringtraining.com starting Saturday, December 10 at 8 a.m. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders. The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, January 7, 2017 beginning at 7 a.m. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

2017 Spring Training Schedule
Schedule and times subject to change | Premium Games (P)
(Dynamic pricing may apply to select premium games)

Feb 25 Kansas City Royals vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Feb 26 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Feb 27 Milwaukee Brewers vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Feb 28 Arizona Diamondbacks vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 1 Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m. (P)
Mar 2 Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 3 Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 4 San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 5 Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m. (P)
Mar 6 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 7 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 8 Team Venezuela vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.**
Mar 9 Team Venezuela vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.**
Mar 10 Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals 6:05 p.m.
Mar 11 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 12 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 13 San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 14 Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 15 Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 16 Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 17 Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 18 Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 19 Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 20 Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 21 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 22 San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 23 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 24 San Diego Padres vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 25 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 26 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 27 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 28 Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 29 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 12:05 p.m.

** 2017 World Baseball Classic preparatory games – Team Venezuela

For questions or additional information, contact the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office at 623.222.2222.


Did You Know?

Surprise Launches Virtual Tour of City’s Public Art

The city’s website now offers a virtual tour of our community’s public art. The website provides a new interactive map showing the location of the art displays, along with photos and descriptions.

The map is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts, which also offers information about local arts venues and performance companies and includes a calendar of upcoming arts and cultural events.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I am especially thankful for each of you and your continued support.

In light of the holiday, there will not be a newsletter issued on Thursday, November 24. Thank you for your understanding!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 10, 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 this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

**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 Valley Arts Council Block Party

West Valley Arts Council hosted a block party at their office located on the City Hall campus, on Friday, November 4. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event. Attendees experienced the creation of art, enjoyed live music, food from a variety of local food trucks and much more. The event was free and sponsored by the Surprise Community Outreach Program.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee met on Monday, November 7 to interview candidates for the Valley Metro internal auditor position.  A recommendation by the Committee was made for an offer to be extended.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, November 7. Items discussed included the painting of a third bench at Dreamcatcher Park, an update on the mini baseball bat decorating contest for FY17, a recap of the Surprise Fiesta Grande event that was held on October 15 and discussion of participation in a Black History Month project.

Dysart Heartbeat Hero Recognition

The Dysart Unified School District recognizes a variety of different people each year for their positive contributions to the District. I am honored and humbled to be selected as a Dysart Heartbeat Hero Award winner for October for Canyon Ridge Elementary School in the Rachel’s Challenge Initiative. Thank you, Dysart, for the recognition!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Veterans Day Parade

Join us in honoring our service men and women at the City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and Pancake Breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by Nick’s Diner, will be held 7-9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 80 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N Bullard Ave. Please note, in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil way will be closed at 9 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m. For more information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

Bell Road Reopening Event

The City of Surprise invites residents and local businesses to attend a 2016 Holiday Season kickoff and “thank you” event to show our appreciation for your patience and continued patronage of businesses during the Bell Road closure between West Point Parkway and 134th Avenue.

The event will take place in the Surprise Marketplace Target parking lot (just west of BBVA Compass Bank), 13731 W. Bell Road, on Monday, November 21 with the brief ceremony beginning at 4 p.m.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection, the first 300 residents will receive a city of Surprise shopping bag! The money you spend here stays here, so continue to ShopSurprise this holiday season.


Did You Know?

Surprise Voters Reject General Obligation Bond

Surprise voters rejected a $63 million General Obligation bond initiative in the November 8th General Election that would have funded nine capital improvement projects over the next five years. The bond initiative was rejected by 52% of the voters (19,342 votes). 48% (17,855) voted in favor of the bond.

The projects that were included in the bond initiative were:

Fire Station 308- Design & build a permanent 10K square foot Community Fire Station at the corner of Cactus and Litchfield Roads.

Permanent Fire Station 304- Design & build a permanent 15K square foot Community Fire Station at 163rd Ave and Happy Valley Rd to replace the current temporary, modular facility.

Police Property & Evidence Facility- Design and construct a larger facility, which would include expanded storage, new walk-in refrigerators/freezers to assure preservation of biological evidence. Includes additional outdoor secured evidence storage.

Land for Police Substation/Fire Station/Park- Acquire 16 acres of land for future location of shared Police Substation/Fire Station & a local park in city’s growing southwest portion.

Public Works Operations Facility- Design and construct a new facility to house the Solid Waste, Street Maintenance, Traffic Signal Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance operations of Public Works in a centralized location. Centralization will result in two vacated buildings that will be used to serve Police and Fire-Medical needs.

Greenway Rd Improvement- This project will finish the south half of Greenway Rd from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303. Improvements will include two additional travel lanes, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, street lighting, landscaping and turn lanes.

Litchfield Rd Improvement- Improvements will provide two travel lanes each in north and south direction, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, turn lanes, lighting and landscaping.

Regional Recreation Complex- The city would purchase 70 acres of land for a variety of lit ball fields and sports courts, playgrounds, ramadas, restrooms and reserved land for a future rec center/fieldhouse.

Aquatic Center Expansion- Regional aquatic facility with an 8-¬lane 50 meter pool, diving area, shaded bleachers for up to 1200 spectators, concessions and more.

If approved the bond would have authorized the city to levy a secondary property tax to repay the bond debt used to finance the projects. That amount was estimated at $0.4642 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value. The city currently does not have a secondary property tax dedicated to the repayment of debt.

The results are unofficial, with the County having a maximum of 15 days to canvass the votes after the election.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 3, 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:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, to paint 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.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

**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

FY2016 Financial Status Report

Assistant Finance Director Jared Askelson presented the 2016 fiscal year end Financial Status Report. Local sales tax exceeded original estimates by $400,000; state shared revenue increased by $200,000 due to stronger than expected vehicle license tax; charges for services exceeded original estimates by $1.4 million due to increases from spring training, community development, and public works revenues. Due to the approximate increase in revenues and decrease in expenditures, the estimated General Fund balance is $3.3 million higher than originally anticipated.


City Council Meeting

Neighborhood Grant Program Recommendations

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson provided the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants funding recommendations for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The Committee recommended funding for Marley Park (Veteran Commemorative Plaza) for $3,000 and Sanalina HOA (water conservation and playground equipment) for $3,000. The City Council unanimously approved funding.

The Committee has extended the grant program through November 30, 2016. If you are interested, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3406/Neighborhood-Grant-Program.

Reopening of Bell Road – Celebration Activities

The City of Surprise is preparing activities to celebrate the reopening of Bell Road and thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their patience during the closure. The activities are scheduled for November 21. Specific event details will be available soon. Arizona Department of Transportation announced earlier last month that the target date for the reopening is scheduled for November 22.

The Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor is still an active construction zone. While Bell Road will reopen on November 22, Grand Avenue will be inaccessible from the Bell Road bridge and vice versa. A detour route will be in place to allow for connection between those roads until project completion in early 2017.


Events & Meetings

New Real Estate Brokerage Office – Ribbon Cutting

Council Members Jim Hayden, Todd Tande and I joined members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting celebration of the Leolinda Realty office in Sun City Grand on Wednesday, October 26. We wish her the best in her new office!

ribbon cutting

Torque Trends Unveils Electric City Truck

President and CEO of Torque Trends, located in the AZ TechCelerator, hosted the unveiling of the converted City of Surprise Ford F-150 work truck to an electric engine on Wednesday, October 26. The conversion allows the truck to travel between 50 to 75 miles before requiring a charge, therefore saving money and reducing our carbon footprint.

City of Surprise electric truck

Annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting

City Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Jim Hayden and I joined staff, state legislators and local business leaders at our Annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, October 27 at Surprise Stadium. This year, the focus was on economic development partnerships, our Veteran Job Club success, and our upcoming legislative agenda. The state legislators included State Senators Don Shooter and Judy Burges as well as State Representative David Livingston.

GAIN Night

GAIN Night was held on Saturday, October 29 at 8-Acre Park, and the event had record-breaking attendance. Representatives from public safety and city management were present, and the Water Resource Management Department provided a demonstration on solid waste and water resources.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for Saturday, November 19. More than 70 vendors will be onsite at the popular community-wide swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave.

Annual Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is scheduled for Friday, December 2 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. This free event features fun for the entire family. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise Revenue Bond and Long Term Default Ratings

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’. A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Fitch upgrades Surprise revenue bond and long-term default ratings to ‘AA+’

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”

“We are very pleased with this news,” says Finance Director Lindsey Duncan. “In following the financial policy direction as set by City Council, we have been able to do an amazing job of managing city revenues in a responsible manner and these favorable ratings verify that.” A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

The agency also issued a rating outlook of Stable.

View Fitch’s news release.