City Council Meeting
City Council Work Session
The City’s Director of Water Resource Management, Terry Lowe, provided the Council with several presentations pertaining to water beginning with storm water. The recent storms have emphasized the importance of our storm water management. The City continues to take into account public health and safety concerns such as the quantity and quality of the water; hence, we need to continue to control the pollution entering the surface waterways. The FCS Group was hired to provide us forecast and develop a storm water utility that will be presented to the City Council at a future meeting.
During the Work Session, I was able to provide Council with a State and regional update on water supply. The Arizona Department of Water Resources recently announced seven possibilities including Non-Indian Agricultural Priority CAP Water; reclaimed water/water re-use; groundwater in storage, water supplies developed from revised watershed management practices; water supplies developed through weather modifications; water supplies developed from rainwater harvesting; and, importation of new water supplies developed outside of Arizona (ocean desalination).
WESTCAPS, in partnership with the US Bureau of Reclamation, is in the process of conducting a basin study for the West Valley. The West Salt River Basin Study will be completed by the summer of 2016. This study will include projections of water supply and demand; an analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure and operations will perform taking into account realities such as population growth and climate change; the development of options to improve operations and infrastructure to supply adequate water in the future; and, a trade-off analysis of the option to be identified.
The Water Planning Subcommittee, which I am the Chair, is currently in Phase II of our strategic plan. Our goal is to recommend policies that will provide the City with the foundation for sustainable water management. The strategic plan will provide guidance to staff and allow for the proper formation, adoption and execution of water related initiatives. The Subcommittee will recommend the consideration of policies concerning water conservation, reclaimed water usage, water acquisition, land use water management, funding and infrastructure.
As part of the City’s water conservation efforts, the Council agreed to reduce water waste along Bell Road by removing grass from the medians on Bell Road, west of Grand Avenue, which is approximately six miles. The grass would be replaced with attractive xeriscaping. Mr. Lowe believes this effort will save Surprise roughly $80,000 in landscape maintenance and $49,000 in irrigation equipment maintenance. These savings do not reflect the money the City also pays to the Maricopa Water District for irrigation water. Formal action has yet to be taken on this issue.
City Council Meeting
Lindsey Duncan, Finance Director, provided the Council with a FY2014 budget status report through the end of last fiscal year. Sales tax figures (excluding construction) are 7.3% higher than FY 2013 actuals and 2.4% higher than FY2014 budget. The City collected $1.25 million in construction sales tax which are 19.3% lower than FY2013 actuals and 6.0% higher than FY2014 budget. The ending balance of our General Fund for FY2014 is $27.4 (unaudited).
Events & Meetings
GPEC Ambassador Event
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I toured the West-MEC campus in Glendale on Friday, October 17th as part of a GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Ambassador event. West-MEC provides career and technical education services on behalf of several school districts in the West Valley. During the tour, we learned about the new START@West-MEC program that is designed to bring together students, businesses and the community to spark creative thinking and innovate problem solving. The campus, in Glendale, provides a collaborative space for people that care about the value of education and mentoring others. The campus offers a media lab, software development programs and much more.
Surprise Citizen Corp Council
The Surprise Citizen’s Corp Council met on Monday, October 20th to review by-laws for the program. Once initiated, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be born. This CERT team will consist of a five citizen-member Board which will staff from Police and the Fire-Medical Department will oversee. The framework for the CERT team is designed to launch a process of learning about citizen preparedness in the event of an emergency or disaster. The group will help the community all year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education and workplace safety. Once established, the CERT meetings will be held quarterly.
Unveiling of the e-Miata
Torque Trends, a company located in the AZ TechCelerator, recently replaced a 1.8L gas engine in a 1999 Mazda Miata with a 150Kw-AC induction electric motor that has nearly twice the power. The transmission was replaced with their ev-Torque Box, an 8-inch diameter 32 pound gearbox. The vehicle has now become the e-Miata and the owners plan to drive the vehicle to dealers and consumer shows all over the country. Congratulations!
Meeting with CBRE
Assistant City Manager Rick Buss and I met with Tori Nienaber from CBRE. CBRE is the real estate company that leases to our two shopping complexes along Bell and Grand Avenue in District 5. The purpose of this meeting was to provide Ms. Nienaber with an update on the ADOT Bell/Grand Corridor project. It is our intent to be as transparent and communicative as possible and to help the businesses affected by the project. These meetings will be ongoing before and during construction.
WESTMARC Water & Energy Meeting
WESTMARC’s Water & Energy Committee met on October 22nd. This Committee provides opportunities for its members to understand current water and energy resource issues. We promote the relationship between business and water resources and energy policy. This particular meeting focused on the 20/20 vision plan. We also brainstormed subjects and speakers for future meetings.
New Community Development Director
City Manager Bob Wingenroth has announced that Eric Fitzer has been hired as the City’s new Community Development Director. Mr. Fitzer will begin his career with us on November 3rd. He comes to Surprise from the Arizona State Governor’s Office of Energy Policy. Pervious work experience included serving as the Planning and Economic Development Director for the Town of Gila Bend. Please join me in welcoming Eric to our team!
Mark Your Calendars
The G.A.I.N. event is finally here! This Saturday, October 25th from 6 to 9 pm at Surprise 8-Acre Park. We hope to see you there!
Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am. The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm. Lunch will be available. We hope to see you there!
Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th. This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm. Parking and admission is free. Vendor spaces are now available for rent. If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.
Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon. The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler. There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays. This event is free to the public.
Vice Mayor Skip Hall Domestic Violence Awareness