Category Archives: Newsletters

Skip Hall’s Monthly Newsletter

November 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Joint Council/Planning & Zoning Meeting

City Council Members and Planning & Zoning Commissioners met at Ottawa University on Thursday, November 9 to discuss the vision for downtown Surprise. As a strategic activator for the Civic Center, Ottawa University plays a critical role in the future of the City Center. Ottawa’s Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dennis Tyner, provided a thorough update on the university. Ottawa had a goal of enrolling 250 students in their first semester in Surprise. Dr. Tyner happily reported that 434 students were enrolled which far exceeded their original goal. He stated 55 percent of the students came from Arizona with 38 students from Surprise; 35 percent of the students are from California. The university recruited locally and invested in athletes to start the inaugural year. They hope to enroll an additional 375 new students this upcoming spring and fall. Staff utilized the Infinity program to attract students who are participants and incentivized those students with scholarships. Ottawa University’s short-term goal is to build three additional buildings which include an indoor/outdoor athletic facility, KDR (kitchen, dining, recreation area) that will seat 1,000 people and their first residential hall.

The land developer and their partners, and the public were also invited to join the discussion. The desires of our residents are important to consider as we are building a downtown from scratch, and we want it to thrive and survive for the long-term. Comments and questions were also noted from Facebook Live. Resident desires include: more eclectic restaurants, entertainment options, upscale bars, small shops and boutiques, housing similar to Kierland Commons in Scottsdale, a performing arts center, and parks and city bus routes that can transport residents to the area. It is evident that residents do not desire more senior living complexes and apartments. Bottom line is that Council’s plan for the area always included the creation of a downtown that would allow walkability, recreation and interaction amongst those that would reside and congregate there.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Veterans Day Concert

Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) hosted their second annual Veterans Day concert on Thursday, November 9. Veterans from Surprise were invited to attend the breakfast and the patriotic concert led by their 7th grade choir. I’m very appreciative of ACA’s acknowledgment of our veterans and the beautiful voices of their choir. It was a touching event. Many thanks to ACA’s CEO Melissa Holdaway and Music Director Rachael Crossman for your continued partnership!

Surprise Veterans Day Parade

The city hosted its 3rd Annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 11. Our Grand Marshal was David G. Herrerea who served in U.S. Army and is a World War II veteran. Each year, the attendance continues to grow for the parade. This year, there were 80 parade entries. Approximately 350 people enjoyed the pancake breakfast that was catered by Puffy Taco Shack, and approximately 5,000 people attended the parade. Those who entered the parade were also judged in a variety of different categories. The winners are:

  • Best Veteran Service Organization: VFW Post 286, Nicky D. Bacon
  • Best Military: Vietnam Veterans of America- Billee Culin, Chapter 1043
  • Best Motorized: M-151 A1 Military Jeep & M-416 Trailer
  • Best Non-Motorized: Painted Promise Ranch
  • Best Musical/Performance: Shadow Ridge High School Marching Band
  • Best Youth: Cub Scout Pack 194

Congratulations! And a special thank you to our Community and Recreation Services and Sports and Tourism departments for their hard work and dedication preparing for this event!

Veterans Day Ceremony at Sun Village

I participated in the Veterans Day ceremony at Sun Village on Saturday, November 11. I was honored to be part of the Honor Guard. Each year, Sun Village hosts this ceremony. Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of resident Tomas Garcia. Thank you!

Future of Cross-Border Healthcare Panel Discussion

As seasonal Canadian visitors return to Arizona in ever-increasing numbers, the city is studying how to provide better, more innovative healthcare options for them in the future. On Tuesday November 14, the Surprise Economic Development Department hosted a panel discussion at City Hall with Canadian leaders who are seeking to advance an important cross-border healthcare initiative in partnership with the city. The Surprise Economic Development Department is leading an initiative to bring Canadian medical services and Canadian medical practitioners to the market. Surprise is aiming to be a medical destination for services where rehabilitation and recovery is most desirable in a warm climate. Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforces were formed earlier this year in both Canada and the City of Surprise, and the taskforces intend to deliver a feasibility report on the issue early 2018.

New Lease on Life Initiative

Christopher Todd Communities recently asked that I participate on a committee to evaluate essays. The company launched a non-profit initiative called “A New Lease on Life” that will give those in need a helping hand, one person or one family at a time. The company has also partnered with Veterans Directory to help identify an honorably discharged veteran transitioning to civilian life. That selected veteran will receive free rent for one year, 50 percent reduced rent the second year and 25 percent reduced rent the third year at their new community in Surprise at Litchfield and Greenway roads. As part of the committee, we reviewed 20 applications and provided the company with our top three choices to receive this gift. For more information regarding this initiative, please visit The Veterans Directory website at www.TheVeteransDirectory.org. You can find the application and program requirements there as well.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free. There will be more than 60 vendors with new and gently used treasures on display. This event is sponsored by the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. If you would like more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Public Comment Period for North-South Corridor Environmental Study Opens

As the North-South Corridor environmental study progresses with some changes to the proposed corridor alternatives, the Arizona Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, is now seeking comments on the options from the public. There have been several changes to the study since 2014 when the last formal public comment period was held.

The North-South Corridor, spanning more than 40 miles between US 60 and I-10 in Pinal County, includes multiple proposed alternative corridors with segment options throughout. This comment period is open for 30 days, and all comments received by December 14 will be entered into the Corridor Selection Report for this phase of work.

Comments can be sent to the following:

  • Email: northsouth@azdot.gov
  • ADOT Project Information Line: 1-855-712-8530
  • Mail:
    North-South Corridor Study Team
    c/o ADOT Communications
    1655 W. Jackson St., Mail Drop 126F
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

For more information on the North-South Corridor Study, please visit the website at www.azdot.gov/NorthSouthCorridorStudy.


Did You Know?

Smallcakes of Surprise

Please join me in welcoming Smallcakes of Surprise to Surprise. Smallcakes recently celebrated their grand opening earlier this month. They are located at 13706 West Bell Road (Suite 14), and they are open seven days a week.

Opioid Addiction Resource Website Has Launched!

It’s no secret that opioid abuse in the United States has become a national crisis, and while many people think it’s only about the use of illegal drugs (heroin), there is an increase in people becoming addicted to opioid-based pain killers (fentanyl and codeine). Everyday people using legally-prescribed pain medications are becoming addicted, and the results are deadly.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2015, 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids and more than 33,000 people died from overdosing on opioids. Since 2012 opioid deaths in Arizona have increased 74 percent, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

In support of our nation’s and state’s initiatives to combat this problem, the city has created a website www.surpriseaz.gov/opioidhelp to connect abusers to various local and national resources and support agencies working to end opioid abuse. In addition, following state recommendations, our first responders, both Fire-Medical and Police are trained on the use of naloxone (Narcan) which is utilized to help reverse an opioid overdose. Surprise Fire-Medical has also established partnerships with substance abuse facilities that allow for direct transfer and immediate evaluation of patients as part of the new Treat and Refer program.

The city has a RX Drop-off location in our Police Department lobby (14250 W. Statler Plaza), where you can safely dispose of your unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The website also features videos addressing the crisis and a link to the state’s report on the issue, including legislative recommendations for combating the epidemic.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 9, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Library Feasibility Study Update

Earlier this year, the city hired Orcutt / Winslow to complete a library feasibility study. The purpose of the study was to guide future library operations, library renovation projects and new library construction. The process took several months to complete. The consultant conducted interviews with city staff and staff from Maricopa County. Benchmark comparisons were completed with Avondale, Peoria and Tempe. Staff and consultants visited several libraries in order to complete a design comparison. Four community meetings were held, as well as an online survey, in order to gain public input. The consultant also provided detailed information regarding an intergovernmental agreement. A large portion of the study related to future libraries in Surprise, facility options and locations, as well as recommendations to renovate and refresh current libraries and cost models.

The study recommendations included:

  • Continue with Maricopa County Library District
  • Continue to elicit community input
  • Remodel Northwest Regional Library
  • Refresh Hollyhock Library
  • Utilize impact fees for new branch library; Possible location at Asante Park
  • Construct new regional branch when funds are available
  • Adopt policy for locating and determining size of future libraries
  • Explore collecting new fees for future libraries
  • Adopt a memorandum of understanding with Friends of Surprise Libraries

Surprise Public Safety Master Plan

The city granted funding in the FY17 budget for the Police and Fire-Medical Departments to conduct a competitive bid for consultants to develop a comprehensive public safety master plan. This master plan was to include not only an organizational strategy that defines a 15-year goal for Police, Fire-Medical and Emergency Management Departments but also to help each respective department define programmatic goals while maintaining the goals of the city’s 2030 General Plan as well as City Council’s Strategic Plan. The last Master Plan for the Fire-Medical Department was adopted in 2007. The Police Department did not have one.

The city retained Citygate Associates, LLC to perform a Fire Protection and Paramedic Services Master Plan for the Fire-Medical Department. This assessment included reviewing the adequacy of the existing deployment system from the current fire station locations. This master plan includes a Technical Report that includes a Standards of Coverage (deployment) assessment and a fire administration staffing review, as well as a map atlas of deployment coverage measures. Citygate made key findings, and, where appropriate, specific action item recommendations. Overall, there were 34 key findings and 16 specific action item recommendations.

Citygate also prepared a Police Services Master Plan, which included reviewing the adequacy of the existing deployment system, scheduling, and staffing. The methodology utilized in the master plan is part of the Technical Report. Citygate’s master plan includes a detailed analysis of the response time, crime, and call data that drives the recommendations for staffing in Patrol, as well as an assessment of the staffing of the support functions in the department. The emphasis of the master plan is focused on projected growth, particularly as it pertains to facilities, staffing, equipment, and information technology. The department provided the crime and response data for the master plan. Overall, there are 55 key findings and 59 specific action item recommendations.

The findings and recommendations of both plans were presented during the November 7 Work Session.

For more information, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3671/Public-Safety-Master-Plan.


City Council Meeting

Approval of The Colonnade Plat

The Colonnade continues its mission to provide assisted living and memory care with an approval of a rezone and final plat. The rezone provides for a new mixed-use zoning designation for the facility which will allow low intensity uses, such as doctors, small restaurants, and travel agencies, interspersed throughout the development. The rezone will also add 1.5 acres to the facility and an 18 foot sign along Grand Avenue adjacent to the current 4 story structures. City Council voted unanimously on the rezone (mixed use) and the plat.

Water Company Acquisition

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of a water service company in a Special Mail-Ballot Only Election on May 15, 2018. City Council approved sending the question to the ballot. Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls. The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets; the cost to acquire CCW will not be borne by City of Surprise water customers or taxpayers.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the May 15 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted on www.surpriseaz.gov. Additionally, an Information Pamphlet will be mailed out in April to all registered households in Surprise.


Events & Meetings

Eve’s Place Annual Fall Luncheon

Eve’s Place hosted their Annual Fall Luncheon on Thursday, November 2, at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City. The event provided an opportunity to donate to this incredible non-profit organization that started in Surprise.

For over 10 years, Eve’s Place has provided innovative programs to victims of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse. Eve’s Place recently introduced the concept of a Mobile Advocacy Program for victims in 10 separate communities in the West Valley. This new program brings services to victims in their own community regardless of their place in the healing process. It is their goal to reach the 75 percent of domestic abuse victims who will never go or call a shelter program for assistance.

Dysart Unified School District CTE Career & College Expo

Dysart Unified School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) hosted their annual Career and College Expo on November 2, at the Dysart District Office. The event was well attended. I was impressed with vendors that included Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University and much more. Students of the district’s CTE programs were there including students from the culinary program at Valley Vista High School.

The event was an excellent opportunity for students in grades 6 through 12, and their parents or guardians, to get information on the career pathway classes and programs offered through the district.

West-MEC Northwest Campus Grand Opening

City Council gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the West-MEC Northwest Campus located at 13201 W. Grand Avenue in District 5. This particular campus focuses on vocations for Cosmetology, IT, Security, Law, Public Safety, and Security, Medical Assisting, and Physical Therapy Technician. If you know anyone interested in these programs, West-MEC will be hosting an Open House on November 29, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on Monday, November 6, honoring the promotions of Commander Philip Johnson, Sergeant Joseph Kopronica and Sergeant Jesus Galaz (pictured in order below). Congratulations!

West Valley Regional Opioid Action Committee Meeting

Goodyear City Council Member Wally Campbell hosted a West Valley Regional Opioid Action Committee meeting, led by Tempe City Councilman and National League of Cities Opioid Taskforce Member Joel Navarro, on Wednesday, November 8. Several staff members from the West Valley, including Public Safety, also attended. A productive conversation about the current opioid epidemic was had by all. The Committee will consist of elected officials and staff from 24 municipalities. We look forward to additional collaboration. You can also learn more about how the city of Surprise is addressing this national crisis at www.surpriseaz.gov/opioidhelp.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Veterans Day Events

Please 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 will be held 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. This year’s event will be catered by the popular local food truck, “The Puffy Taco Shack.” 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 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.

Following the parade, join us for the Surprise Police & Fire-Medical Charity Softball Game! This epic showdown between Surprise Police and Fire-Medical will be held at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. The gates will open after the completion of the Veterans Day Parade at approximately 10:30 a.m., and the game will start at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. All proceeds from donations and raffles at this event will be donated to the Special Olympics of Arizona, the 100 Club, and the Marine Corps League!

Don’t forget to wear red or blue to support your favorite team. For more information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

Second Sunday in The Park

The City of Surprise invites you to “Second Sundays in the Park” on Sunday, November 12, featuring live country music by “The Jeff Gordon Show.” This free event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas for shade as they enjoy the live entertainment. The Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Union Hills & 111th Avenue Intersection Closed – November 13-29

The 111th Avenue and Union Hills Drive intersection will be closed beginning Monday, November 13 at 5 a.m., to install storm drain pipe. The intersection is scheduled to reopen by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

The closure is required to construct a portion of the 115th Avenue and Union Hills Drive project that will intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River when complete. The project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation.

Bell Road, Del Webb Boulevard, 107th Avenue and 99th Avenue may be used as alternate routes. Access will be maintained at all times for emergency vehicles. For questions or concerns, call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

8-Acre Park Closed For Maintenance

The 8-Acre Park at the Surprise Recreation Campus will be closed now through November 29, for maintenance. The park, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue., will be open and available for use starting at 6 a.m. on November 30.

Please contact the Community and Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 if you have any questions.


Did You Know?

Surprise Voters Approve Bond Questions

Voters have approved general obligation funding for projects related to Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, according to final results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise approved a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner is approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 12,414 (53%) No- 10,967 (47%)

Question #2: Voters in Surprise approved a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 13,375 (53%) No- 11,001 (47%)

Question #3: Voters in Surprise approved a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal that will pay to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would have been approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).
Vote total: Yes- 12,286 (53%) No- 11,072 (47%)

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at their November 21 Regular Meeting.

Project timelines and costs are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise. This website will be updated to include project status and when bond issuances are carried out.

City Offices Closed for Veteran’s Day – Change to Trash and Recycling Schedule

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Friday, November 10, in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no change to the trash and recycling pickup schedule for City of Surprise customers.

THANK YOU

I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to those who currently serve or who have served our great country. You are our heroes. You represent the best qualities in this country! Thank you for your courage and your service!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Harvest Festival

Surprise Community Garden hosted their annual Harvest Festival on Thursday, October 26. Volunteers gathered to provide free pumpkins, face painting and much more to those who attended this free event. Many thanks to Linda Cabrera for her hard work putting it together!

GAIN Night

The Surprise Police Department, in partnership with other city departments and organizations, hosted the 2017 GAIN Night at 8 Acre Park on Saturday, October 28. The event provided plenty of activities for kids, trick-or-treating, great entertainment and much more. Approximately 3,000 attended. Canned food donations were requested at entry which provided 39 boxes of canned food weighing roughly 1,171 pounds for the Salvation Army thanks to the generosity of our attendees. Several of our local merchants provided raffle items for those who donated food. This year was our most attended GAIN Night event to date!

In addition to GAIN Night, our Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department, in partnership with our Surprise Youth Council, hosted the Surprise Spooktakular, at the City Hall Parking Garage. The event was a success with more than 1,000 attendees. Food trucks, music, trunk-or-treating, carnival games, bounce houses and the haunted parking garage were all part of the evening’s events.

STEM Conversation with Thompson Ranch Elementary School

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe, Department Manager Warren Dancer and I met with Thompson Ranch Elementary School Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn on Monday, October 30, to discuss opportunities for the city to partner with Thompson Ranch with regards to their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

Champs Family Automotive Citizen Outreach Meeting

Our Community Development Department hosted a Citizen Outreach meeting on Monday, October 30 at Champs Family Automotive, located at 13200 W. Foxfire in Surprise. The business is requesting approval of a Conditional Use Permit to allow for a major automotive repair facility on approximately 1.5 acres located north of Bell Road and east of Dysart Road.

Mountain View Cottages

I met with Community Development staff on Tuesday, October 31, to discuss the Mountain View Cottages proposed development and review the resident feedback pertaining to the project that was obtained at a Citizen Outreach meeting earlier this month.

The applicant is requesting a Major Amendment to the Park Place Planned Area Development (PAD). It will add specific development standards to allow for 112 single-story attached and detached rental units (one, two and three bedrooms) on approximately nine acres located on the southwest corner of Mountain View Boulevard and Carlin Drive. The proposed development would be gated with two entrances/exits; one on Mountain View Boulevard and the other on Carlin Drive, which the developer will cut through to Mountain View Boulevard as part of the development. A pool, pool house, play area and large landscaped retention area are part of the site plan. Rent is expected to range from $1,150 to $1,600 per month.


Mark Your Calendar

Council Joins Planning & Zoning for Joint Meeting

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a joint meeting, Thursday, November 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Ottawa University’s Community Room. Councilmembers and Commissioners will discuss the city’s vision for a downtown, planned in the area surrounding the Civic Center, from Bell to Greenway roads and Litchfield Road to Bullard Avenue.

Will it be a walkable downtown? What kind of housing do you envision on site? Where do you like to shop, dine and be entertained?

The public is encouraged to attend and share their thoughts. The meeting will also be broadcast live on Surprise TV, www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and on Facebook Live @cityofsurprise.

This meeting is a next step discussion, following the September 28th Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Idea Accelerator Workshop. City officials, developers, and local business stakeholders participated in this seven-hour workshop to review best methods to address the issues associated with building the future downtown. Details from the workshop will be discussed at the joint meeting.

Ottawa University, 15959 N. Civic Center Plaza, is located just south of Surprise City Hall. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations, such as large print materials or interpreters, should contact the City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200 (Voice); or 623.222.1002 (TTY) at least 24 hours prior to the event so arrangements can be made.

A Concert for our Veterans

Arizona Charter Academy is set to host “A Concert for our Veterans” on Thursday, November 9. Approximately 50 students will take the stage in the school’s gym to honor our nation’s heroes. The event will begin at 10 am. All veterans are invited to attend. A light breakfast will be served. If you plan on attending, please contact Rachael Crossman at rcrossman@azcharter.com to RSVP.

Veterans Day Events

Please 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 will be held 7-9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. This year’s event will be catered by the popular local food truck, “The Puffy Taco Shack.” Tickets for the breakfast are $4 per plate and available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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 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 Avenue. 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.

Following the parade, join us for the Surprise Police & Fire-Medical Charity Softball Game! This epic showdown between Surprise Police and Fire-Medical will be held at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. The gates will open after the completion of the Veterans Day Parade at approximately 10:30 a.m., and the game will start at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. All proceeds from donations and raffles at this event will be donated to the Special Olympics of Arizona, the 100 Club, and the Marine Corps League!


Did You Know?

Surprise Wins Statewide Economic Development Awards

The City of Surprise Economic Development Department won two Golden Prospector awards at Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) fall conference. The AAED Golden Prospector awards encourage and recognize excellence in economic development statewide. Surprise received awards in the following categories:

  • Multimedia Promotion: Surprise Retail Survey. This category recognizes a promotional piece, series of promotional pieces or promotional campaign that contains non-printed elements. The Surprise Retail Survey was recognized as a promotion that truly engaged the community and established a targeted retail strategy for the City of Surprise to effectively reach nationally-branded retailers. The survey shows top local favorites as well as most desired retailers. Now in its third year, the retail survey initiative, which most recently had 3,171 respondents, has become a national case study and has helped Surprise successfully develop discussions with national retailers and attract some most-requested eateries, including Texas Roadhouse and Oregano’s.
  • Special Event: Tech the Halls. This category recognizes a meeting, seminar, marketing tour, event, or trip designed to develop prospects and promote economic development. The first-ever Tech the Halls event at the AZ TechCelerator was launched last year to connect local entrepreneurs with the Surprise community. The event offered a venue to help AZ TechCelerator tenants showcase their innovative companies and celebrate the program’s successes. Interactive activities included product demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, a selfie booth and live musical entertainment. The event will be held again this year on December 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 West Bell Road, and residents are encouraged to join the fun!

Julie Neal and Kendra Hoffman at the 2017 AAED Awards

Congratulations to the city of Surprise Economic Development team; and thank you to our residents whose participation in these programs helped make them so successful!

ADOT Pavement Improvement Project – Restrictions

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has begun a two-week project to improve pavement conditions on eastbound Grand Avenue northwest of Loop 303 in Surprise. Drivers should plan for lane restrictions, turn restrictions and lower speed limits between 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road during day and overnight hours through the evening of Wednesday, November 8.

Crews will remove and replace the top layer of asphalt in the two eastbound travel lanes and in the center turning areas onto Grand Avenue from Happy Valley Road to 163rd Avenue. Drivers should allow extra travel time and be prepared to use detours while the following restrictions are scheduled to be in place:

  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6:
    • At 163rd Avenue, drivers will be restricted to right turns only onto Grand Avenue. Drivers must travel westbound and turn around at the first cross over north of 163rd Avenue or at Deer Valley Road to access eastbound Grand Avenue. Allow extra travel time, especially during peak travel hours.
  • 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Nov. 8:
    • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Happy Valley and Deer Valley roads and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.

The Northwest Valley Regional Landfill will remain accessible while work is underway, but drivers should allow extra travel time and follow signs for designated detour routes.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 26, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, October 19, where they approved the “Respect the Ride” Code of Conduct. This action focuses on creating a safe and positive rider experience by discouraging disruptive, intrusive, unsafe or inappropriate behaviors. No individual may engage in prohibited behavior on transit vehicles nor on or around public and non-public Valley Metro facilities and property including rail station platforms, park-and-ride locations, Traction Power Substations, administrative, operational and maintenance offices and facilities as well as any other property that is managed or maintained by Valley Metro. For more information, please visit http://www.valleymetro.org/getting_on_board/code_of_conduct.

Surprise Youth Foundation Meeting

The Surprise Youth Foundation hosted their monthly meeting on Thursday, October 19. The Foundation approved the funding of a donation for the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service that will be held on Saturday, January 13. They also agreed to fund a scholarship to send one Police Explorer to a competition to test police skills at Purdue University and another scholarship for a child to attend Lions Camp Tatiyee, a camp for children with disabilities, based in Pinetop Lakeside, Arizona in July.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

This month, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) began meeting with City Council to provide us with an opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level. I met with four members of SYC on Thursday, October 19. Earlier this month, I was able to join them during the “Love Our Schools” event at Thompson Ranch Elementary School. Our members are active in the community, and I look forward to additional opportunities to continue to work and interact with them.

West Valley Arts HQ Annual Block Party

The West Valley Arts Council held their Annual Block Party and Surprise Invitational on Thursday, October 19 at the West Valley Arts HQ located outside City Hall. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to meet local artists, enjoy live music and experience the professional art gallery that featured over 90 works created by local artists, including photography by the city’s very own graphic designer and photographer Muriel Sawicki.

Surprise Senior Center Membership Appreciation BBQ

Our Human Service and Community Vitality staff hosted a membership appreciation barbeque at the Surprise Senior Center on Friday, October 20. I joined a few of my fellow Councilmembers and 140 members for this great event. The HSCV Department hosts an appreciation event twice a year. Thank you to our HSCV Department for all they do for our Senior Center and to our members! I appreciate you!

Poetry Slam

It was a pleasure attending the Poetry Slam at WHAM, sponsored by the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, on Friday, October 20. Local poet and writer Dusty Guardy graciously emceed the standing-room-only event with over 60 people in attendance. Attendees ranged in age from 5 to 80 years old! Over 20 amateur and professional poets shared both original and well-known writings. Additional information about the commission and their events can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts.

Technology & Art: A Tinker Time for All Ages

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission hosted an interactive Art Encounter in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Library on Saturday, October 21. This event featured Kevin Caron with his 3-D art work created on a 3-D printer as well as students from Huntington University Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. This event helped demonstrate the amount of art included in technology and how technology can be utilized to create art. Considered to be a Tinker-Time for All Ages, this event was a success. The commission will plan another similar event next fall.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Patrick Duffy and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 24. The focus of the meeting was education, and it included a panel of local educational leaders including Ottawa University Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, Arizona Charter Academy CEO Melissa Holdaway, WestMEC Northwest Campus Administrator Holly Medina and Dysart Unified School District Administrator of Career and Technical Education James Grieshaber.

Ottawa University Vice President and Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner, Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick, Arizona Charter Academy CEO Melissa Holdaway, WestMEC Northwest Campus Administrator Holly Medina and Dysart Unified School District Administrator of Career and Technical Education James Grieshaber.

First Things First Fair & Open House

The city recently partnered with First Things First (FTF), a voter-created statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help Arizona’s children ages birth to 5 years of age be successful once they enter kindergarten. Through this collaboration, the creation of the “Launchpad” playroom was born. This playroom provides a safe and fun educational space for these children to explore and ignite their imagination.

Our Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted an open house and fair at the Surprise Resource Center on Wednesday, October 25 to celebrate this early childhood developmentally-friendly room that parents visiting the Resource Center can utilize to capture their child’s attention while they search for jobs and connect to community resources.


Mark Your Calendar

GAIN Night

The Annual Surprise GAIN Night event will be held this Saturday, October 28 from 6 pm until 9 pm at 8 Acre Park. Please join Surprise Police and Surprise Fire Medical Departments for this free public safety event that brings our community together. A food drive to benefit the Salvation Army is also part of the event. For every two cans of food donated, you will be entered into a raffle to win some exciting prizes! I hope to see you there!

Veteran Job Club

A multi-employer panel that will include the Department of Corrections and Lowes will be at the next Veteran Job Club on Thursday, November 2. Meetings are held at the Surprise Resource Center located in the AZ TechCelerator at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124, from 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Meetings are held the 1st Thursday of each month. We suggest you bring extra copies of your resume and dress in business casual attire if you plan to attend. For more information, please email april.irish@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

Surprise Pitches to Land Amazon HQ2

Earlier this month, the city’s Economic Development Department submitted a proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters. Amazon announced its quest for a second headquarters earlier this year. The internet store is planning to invest more than $5 billion into the project and employ approximately 50,000 people. The company plans to make a decision in 2018. You can see our video pitch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfrfCZ8-LZI

ADOT Pavement Improvement Project – Restrictions

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is scheduled to begin a two-week project to improve pavement conditions on eastbound Grand Avenue northwest of Loop 303 in Surprise beginning on Monday. Drivers should plan for lane restrictions, turn restrictions and lower speed limits between 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road during day and overnight hours beginning early Monday, October 30 and continuing through the evening of Wednesday, November 8.

Crews will remove and replace the top layer of asphalt in the two eastbound travel lanes and in the center turning areas onto Grand Avenue from Happy Valley Road to 163rd Avenue. Drivers should allow extra travel time and be prepared to use detours while the following restrictions are scheduled to be in place:
4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30 and Tuesday, Oct. 31:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.
  • Only right turns onto Grand Avenue will be permitted at Deer Valley Road; also, the unsigned turn area located 1.5 miles north of 163rd Avenue will be closed. Drivers will use the frontage road as a detour for turns onto or from Grand Avenue.

4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.
  • The cross-over turn areas at Happy Valley Road and Norwich Drive will be closed. Drivers will use Deer Valley Road to access Grand Avenue.

10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4:

  • 163rd Avenue will be closed in both directions at Grand Avenue. Local traffic will use Jomax Road to Happy Valley Road to Loop 303 while the closure is in place. ADOT will provide access to 163rd Avenue for emergency vehicles if necessary.

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6:

  • At 163rd Avenue, drivers will be restricted to right turns only onto Grand Avenue. Drivers must travel westbound and turn around at the first cross over north of 163rd Avenue or at Deer Valley Road to access eastbound Grand Avenue. Allow extra travel time, especially during peak travel hours.

4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Nov. 8:

  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Happy Valley and Deer Valley roads and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.

The Northwest Valley Regional Landfill will remain accessible while work is underway, but drivers should allow extra travel time and follow signs for designated detour routes.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 19, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Veteran Supportive City and Employer Designation Recognition

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) presented the City of Surprise with two plaques representing the Veteran Supportive City and the Veteran Supportive Employer designations. ACMF is a nationally-recognized public/private partnership focused on building Arizona’s statewide capacity to care for and support all service members, veterans and their families.

ACMF presented the City of Surprise with two plaques

The city’s Public Safety Veteran Recruitment Policy and Veteran Job Club are two initiatives we offer to assist veterans seeking work. Forty-five senior staff members were trained in best practices on Veteran hiring and retention and 78 city staff and community partners were trained as Veteran Resource Navigators, helping connect Veterans and their families to the right resource at the right time.

Under Surprise Fire-Medical and Surprise Police Veteran Recruitment Policies, veterans that served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, are eligible to receive five preference points on passing non-promotional recruitment written exams. The points are intended to bolster participation of service-minded veterans looking for employment opportunities beyond their military careers.

The Veteran Job Club is where veterans provide other veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career! This group includes employment assistance, guest speakers and networking! If you would like to learn more, please call 623.222.1600.

2017 Election

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar provided information on the 2017 election. By now, all registered voters should have received their ballots. If you have not received a ballot, you can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.1511 for another one. Additionally, in-person replacement ballot voting will begin on Saturday, October 28 through Election Day (November 7) at Surprise City Hall. Hours of operation are 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Sunday with extended hours on Election Day. The City Clerk’s office will be open from 6 am until 7 pm on Election Day for in-person voting and dropping off ballots.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Surprise City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov.


Events & Meetings

Colorado River Conference

I attended a conference on the Colorado River focusing on law and policy on Tuesday, October 10, at the Hilton Scottsdale. Arizona Department of Water Resources Deputy Director Clint Chandler presented the Drought Contingency Plan. The goal of the state agency is to reduce the probability of Lake Mead reaching critical elevations that would cause reductions in water deliveries. There are several strategies in place to ensure this catastrophe does not occur. Some of those strategies include incentivizing storage, recovering additional reduction volumes that wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed, commitment from our state legislators and federal government to conserve the Colorado River system water. This year, our state budget began allocating $2 million per year for three years for Lake Mead conservation efforts.

This past spring, the Governor’s office held a series of meetings with business and water leaders across the state to discuss water solutions. The group agreed that the Colorado River and groundwater were the issues that require the most attention. Through these discussions, the state is examining the current status of Arizona’s laws, policies and practices to determine where improvements should be made and institute reforms that benefit the state as a whole.

Additional presentations focused on the Central Arizona Project (CAP) Water Use Agreement, desalination, a rotational Fallowing Program for Arizona, and a panel discussion from regional experts on the Colorado River.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee met on Thursday, October 12. Agenda items discussed included, but were not limited to, an internal audit update, insurance renewal coverage and recommendation for Valley Metro RPTA approval of the redesign on the proposed downtown Phoenix light rail design modification in conjunction with the South Central Light Rail extension.

Jazz Festival

Assistant City Manager Nicole Lance, Sports & Tourism Director Kendra Pettis, members of her staff and I met with representatives who would like to host a potential jazz festival in Surprise.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission led by Chair DeAngelo Hall met on Thursday, October 12. The city will partner with State 48 Brewery to offer a new series of Second Sundays in the Park that will now include food trucks along with live entertainment. The series will begin on December 10 and take place on the 8-Acre Field. State 48 Brewery will also sponsor a Beer Festival at 8-Acre Park on February 17, 2018. The festival will feature a musical performance by “Authority Zero” and local breweries will participate as they celebrate Arizona Beer Week.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The 4th annual Fiesta Grande event was held on Saturday, October 14th from 3 9 p.m. Approximately 7,500 people attended the street-style celebration which included nine food venders, a Vendor Village organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors, a classic car show with 43 vehicles and free kids’ play zone. At the center of the event was live Latin musical performances offered in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina and included Mariachi Luz Del Sur, Ballet Folklorico- Fiesta Mexicana Dance, La Propuesta de Mexico, Banda Alterada, Grupo Caribe and Grupo Esencia.

 


Mark Your Calendar

Union Hills Drive Lane Restrictions Begin Next Week

Beginning Monday, October 23 through Friday, December 15, Union Hills Drive will be restricted to one lane with flaggers between 111th and 107th avenues. This restriction will be in place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The contractor may work weekends, if needed, to remain on schedule. Please allow extra time to travel through the work area as there may be traffic delays.

The 115th Ave and Union Hills Drive project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, to construct two miles of drainage improvement designed to intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River, decreasing flood hazards to communities in the project area. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018.

For questions or concerns, please call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

Valley Metro Input Requested

Valley Metro is considering service changes for 2018, and they want input from current Express Route 571 riders. Valley Metro staff will be at the Surprise Park-and-Ride on Monday, October 30, during morning bus departure times to gather feedback about the proposed Express Route 571 changes which include offering morning trips on both Grand Ave and to the Glendale Park-and-Ride via Loop 101/I-10 West. In addition, evening trips would all travel on I-10 West/Loop 101.

Riders unable to provide input on Oct. 30 have several ways to give feedback on proposed changes including:

  • Webinar:Nov. 7 at noon; registration at valleymetro.org
  • Complete an online comment card
  • Public hearing: Nov. 14 from 5-6:15 p.m.; 101 N. 1st Avenue, 10th floor
  • Email comments to input@valleymetro.org through Nov. 17

Valley Metro changes bus service twice per year as a way to add service or maximize efficiency of routes. The next service change occurs April 23, 2018. For more information about proposed April 2018 service changes, please visit valleymetro.org/servicechanges.


Did You Know?

Clothing Drive for Eve’s Place

Please consider joining the city donation drive to support domestic violence survivors and Eve’s Place, a community based provider of safety and empowerment services for victims of domestic violence and teen dating violence. New and moderately used men, women and children’s clothing items will be accepted through October 27. You can look for the purple marked collection boxes placed around our City Hall campus. Thank you!

Call To Artists for Surprise City Hall Project

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is seeking artists or firms to create a mural for the Surprise City Hall cashier’s area that represents the artist’s interpretation of the White Tank Mountains. Qualified artists and firms are invited to submit a Statement of Qualifications as part of the Request for Qualifications process, which is detailed on www.surpriseaz.gov/arts.

The deadline to submit is November 3, 2017, and the contract will be awarded December 6, 2017. For more information, please contact Danielle Osborne at danielle.osborne@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1034.

October 12, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Bond Election Ballots Mailed; Bond Meeting Recap

Ballots were mailed this week to all registered voters for the November 7 General Obligation Bond Election, which is mail ballot only. Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. I hosted a bond meeting in Sun Village on October 5. Staff was there to review the projects, needs and costs. Information about the bond election is also available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Economic Development Update

At the October 5 Bond Meeting, Economic Development Coordinator, Suzanne Boyles also provided an Economic Development update. New retail under construction in the Loop 303 area includes a car wash, Hayashi and Popeye’s. Recently open in the area are Greulich’s Automotive Services, Denny’s and Verizon. City Center is also seeing growth. Raising Canes, Pieology, Menchies, Tokyo Joes and Starbucks are under construction, and In-N-Out Burger will be developing in the same area. There is also new medical coming into the city. A new building off of Litchfield Road and Statler Boulevard is 90 percent leased, and a new behavioral health hospital is under construction at Bell and Dysart Roads. Plus, our AZ TechCelerator business incubator just welcomed two new medical technology companies, one focused on regenerative medicine and another on mobile EEG technology. In our industrial district, Milam Glass is under construction, as well as 100K square feet of speculative industrial space. It’s exciting to see business growing in Surprise!

Mainstreet Grand Opening

On October 5, I attended the ribbon cutting of Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, in celebration of their new rapid recovery center in Surprise. Mainstreet’s Founder and CEO, Zeke Turner, was there to cut the ribbon. The center will provide post-acute care and recovery services to patients following hospital interventions or surgeries. The facility, located just south of Grand Avenue at the northwest corner of Parkview Place and Parkwood Drive, is approximately 70,000 square feet and offers 100 state-of-the-art patient rooms with a focus on patient care.

Ribbon cutting of Mainstreet, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties

Ribbon Cutting for new area of Dick McComb City Park

On October 7, I attended the ribbon cutting for the newest addition to the Dick McComb City Park – approximately 8.5 acres of open recreation space. This new grass area is a wonderful example of how the city and HOA communities can work together to make great things happen. Surprise Farms III HOA President, Mark Beaudry, was at the ribbon cutting and spoke about the way we were able to partner and how the HOA has agreed to maintain the grass for the first three years. I look forward to seeing residents take advantage of the new space!


Mark Your Calendar

Seeking Volunteers for Day of Service at St. Mary’s Food Bank Oct. 18

Serve alongside your friends and neighbors as we sort food at St. Mary’s Food Bank during our Surprise Day of Service event. Food sorting will take place on Wednesday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Mary’s Food Bank, located at 13050 W. Elm Street in Surprise. To volunteer, please sign-up with Jason Hughes at jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3239.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection this Weekend

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, take advantage of the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event this Saturday, October 14. 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 a list of accepted items, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The heart of Surprise will be alive with food, music and fun when Surprise Fiesta Grande returns to the city’s Original Town Site on Saturday! This street-style celebration runs from 3 – 9 p.m. on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Event admission and parking are free. Attractions and activities include a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, flavorful food trucks, festive beverages, free kids’ play zone, pinata plaza, and a vendor village organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors. To see the entertainment lineup, parking information and more, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Arizona History & Culture Speaker Series returns with new speakers, topics

There’s a fun opportunity to experience stories of Arizona history and culture through a speaker series presented by the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities. Local experts from Arizona Humanities’ AZ Speaks program will present on a variety of topics from Arizona’s historic military sites to early western songs and singers. Get the event schedule here: http://bit.ly/2xhcxsh.

AZ Fall League Play is Underway

The Arizona Fall League season opened this week, bringing a glimpse of baseball’s future, and City of Surprise is part of the action! The Surprise Saguaros, one of six teams represented in the Arizona Fall League, consist of Major League baseball’s top prospects showcasing their talents as they prepare for the Major League stage. General tickets start at $8 and are available for purchase the day of the event at the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For additional information, including the home game schedule, please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

City to Host USTA Tennis Tournaments

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is proud to welcome several United States Tennis Association (USTA) tennis tournaments this fall.

October 12-15 – USTA 18 and over National Championships 4.0
October 19-22 – USTA 18 and over National Championships 3.0
November 2-5 – USTA Southwest Hardcourt Championships
December 8-10 – USTA Southwest 65 and over Section Championships

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was recently recognized as a USTA National and USTA Southwest Section Facility of the Year. The complex welcomes over 2,000 active USTA members throughout the fall competitive season.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis for information on tournaments, classes and more at Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex. For information on registration or open court availability please call 623.222.2400.


Did You Know?

Ottawa University Sports Field is Nearly Complete

Ottawa University’s competitive athletic field for soccer and football is nearly complete! The 97,000 square-foot field is built to NAIA/NCAA standards and to host national competitions. OUAZ offers 21 academic programs and more than 30 student activities and associations at the Surprise campus located in City Center. You can learn more at www.ouazspirit.com

Before and after images of the Ottawa University competitive athletic field

Surprise Literacy Challenge Kicks Off

The 5th Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge has begun and 100 fourth – sixth grade classrooms from 13 schools are participating in this two-month challenge to experience literacy in fun and interesting ways! I am proud to host the challenge in partnership with the Northwest Regional Library and Friends of the Surprise Libraries.

Participating students will receive a Surprise Literacy Challenge bingo card with various activities to complete – like creating a comic strip based on a fiction book or reading a book of poetry. Students who “black out” all of the squares on their card will be entered into a drawing for cool prizes – like books, a Kindle Fire and even Spring Training tickets!

Teachers can win too! If a teacher has 100 percent classroom participation, they will receive books and Kindle Novel Studies. Plus, their class will be entered into a drawing for some great classrooms prizes. One fourth grade class will receive an ice cream party and individual medals; one fifth-grade class will win a pizza party and individual medals; and one sixth-grade class will have the opportunity to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a City Council meeting, get individual medals and a take a photo with the Mayor and Council Members.

Thank you to all of the teachers and students participating in this year’s challenge and to all of the parents who are supporting their children as they take on this literacy challenge!

City Accepting Parade Entries for 3rd Annual Veterans Day Parade

The city is looking for patriotic-themed parade entries for the 3rd Annual Veterans Day Parade, which will be held on Saturday, November 11. The parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near the Surprise Recreation Campus. The city is seeking clubs, organizations, groups or residents who would like to participate in the parade. There is no fee to participate. Interested parties may obtain an entry form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Community & Recreation Services Offices located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. For more information, contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 27.

Task Force to research way to honor long-time CRS Director Mark A. Coronado

Recognizing that the City of Surprise rests on the shoulders of great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of our city; the Surprise City Council has adopted a policy to create an Ad-Hoc “Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force” within the City of Surprise.

Earlier this year, the City Council instructed the City Manager’s Office to draft a policy that would recognize people that made a significant contribution to advance the city through possible naming dedications of city amenities, awards, facilities, parks, roadways, etc…

The group is being assembled, at the request of City Council, to research options to honor the late Community and Recreation Services Director Mark A. Coronado. Coronado led the department from 2000 until his death this past June. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. The task force’s first meeting will be Tuesday, November 14, 6 p.m. in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Surprise Fire-Medical Receives AHA’s Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Congratulations to the Surprise Fire-Medical Department on receiving the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott accepted the award at the October 3 city council meeting.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 5, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Public Safety Retirement System Financial Status

Staff presented an update on the status of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). The system was established on July 1, 1968 to provide a uniform, consistent, and equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel. Due to several depressions in the economy during the 2000’s the fund went from being fully funded in 2000 to having only half the money needed to pay its obligations in 2010. This led to a number of reforms intended to help ensure PSPRS can and will exist for future generations of public safety employees. This was the first installment in a multi-chapter discussion on the status of the system, future outlook, and action plan for the statewide system and for the city of Surprise.


City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation

Mayor Wolcott officially proclaimed October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” Tuesday evening. In honor of this issue, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building to help raise awareness about domestic violence. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness. Residents can help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the month of October. This year, national wear purple day is Thursday, October 19. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtags #PurpleThursday #PaintSurprisePurple.

Surprise City Hall at night lite with purple light

Millions of men and women are victimized by domestic violence each year. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org. Additionally, Eve’s Place provides mobile advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse weekly at the city’s Surprise Resource Center. Individual appointments and support groups are available for adults and teens. The Surprise Resource Center also partners with New Life Center, Sojourner Center, Hope Women’s Center and New Leaf’s Faith House to support victims of domestic violence.

The Surprise Resource Center is located on the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Rd. Suite 124. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Public Hearing

City Council approved a zone change request for ten acres located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Sweetwater Avenue. The approved zoning will allow up to 50 single-family residential lots with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet; however, a separate Preliminary Plat is currently under review, which anticipates 44 lots. The developer of these ten acres will be responsible for completing street improvements along 175th Avenue adjacent to the site, in addition to half-street improvements along Sweetwater adjacent to the site. The city has also received development applications for additional properties located north of Sweetwater, one of which was the subject of a neighborhood meeting being held by the applicant at Paradise Honors High School earlier this week.

FY2017 Financial Status Report

During the FY2018 budget process, estimates of FY2017 expenses and revenues were presented. These FY2017 estimates helped define the available funds for FY2018. The staff presentation gauged the FY2017 estimates against actual financial performance. As the annual financial audit is currently underway, the amounts presented are not yet final for FY2017. Total FY2017 resources were greater than estimated by $1.9M and total expenditures were less than expected by $3.6M which led to an ending balance of $3.3M greater than expected. The balance will be applied to public safety personnel retirement system employee refunds made earlier this fiscal year.


Events & Meetings

Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” Workshop

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I joined 12 others including two Planning & Zoning Commissioners and the minority partners who own the land outside City Hall (known as SCDC) on Thursday, September 29 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” workshop. Unfortunately, the majority partner was absent due to illness. The purpose of the workshop was to provide city officials, developers, and local business stakeholders with strategies and tools to identify and address issues as related to building the city’s downtown. All present agreed that the current state of land is not delivering.

Benevilla Professional Friends Luncheon

Councilmembers Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended Benevilla’s Professional Friends Luncheon on Friday, September 29 at Rio Salado Community College. Together, we honored the awardee, Amber Hughes from Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, with their esteemed Professional Friends recognition for outstanding work supporting our community. We were also provided with important updates on the fantastic programs and services Benevilla offers.

Dick McComb City Park Ceremony

Most of City Council joined Community and Recreation Services staff and the Community and Recreation Advisory Commission members on Saturday, September 30 when the City officially renamed Surprise Farms Community Park to Dick McComb City Park. Mr. McComb was our city’s longest-tenured City Manager (1990-2000) who played an instrumental role in the success of our city.

Love Our Schools Day

On the morning of Saturday, September 30, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) led a service initiative for Love Our Schools Day. This annual event, which is dedicated to organizing community volunteers to perform meaningful acts of service at local schools, was a perfect opportunity for our SYC members to show their heart and character. Eleven SYC members and more than a dozen community members recruited by SYC, worked inside and outdoors at Thompson Ranch Elementary School where 80% of the school’s students reside in Surprise. They cleared and repaired an overgrown garden that will now be used by 1st and 2nd graders to grow vegetables and learn about science. They painted large outdoor learning tools for math and reading that teachers can use to teach students outside when they’ve been cooped up indoors for too long during the cooler months. Additionally, they performed much needed maintenance tasks in the school’s classrooms and cafeteria, where they scrubbed tables, desks, and walls. Councilmen Remley and I were on hand to support this initiative, passing out supplies to volunteers and encouraging their commitment to community stewardship. Thompson Ranch Principal Rachel Saunders and Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn offered their own skills to each task and expressed their great appreciation for the impact these services will have on their students.

Councilman Hall, SYC and community members

STEAM Showcase at Thompson Ranch Elementary School

I was invited to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Program at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, October 2. Throughout the tour, we visited pre-school through 8th grade classes as the students were learning about these subjects. Thank you to Thompson Ranch administration for hosting us!

STEM Council Meeting at Canyon Ridge Elementary School

Canyon Ridge STEM Council met on Monday, October 2 at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. Discussion items included Canyon Ridge Continuous Improvement Plan, the focus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) work across grade levels and 2017-2018 STEM projects and initiatives such as iExplore and outdoor classroom.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The city’s Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, October 2. West Valley Arts HQ Director Bernadette Carroll presented on the Arts and Economic Prosperity report. This report is conducted by Americans for the Arts, a non-profit organization aimed at advancing the arts in our country. The report provides evidence that the non-profit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the West Valley region, one that generates $23 million in total economic activity. Other items of discussion included the Veterans Art Show that will be held in conjunction with the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, the Public Art Bus tour that will be held on October 19 and other events held during Art week (October 14-23).


Mark Your Calendar

Join Us at Art Week Events

From October 14 – 23, the community is invited to participate in ‘Art Week’ – a collection of fun, family-friendly events designed to gather public input on the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. There will be chances to help create a community art piece and win art too! Your input will help set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in the city of Surprise.

Find the Arts & Culture Master Plan booth at the following Art Week events, where you can fill out a short survey, collaborate on the community art piece and be entered to win a variety of art pieces donated by WHAM and the West Valley Arts Council:

Surprise Fiesta Grande

October 14, 3-9 p.m.
Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N Hollyhock

Street Street-style festival featuring live music, authentic Mexican food, dancing, car show and kid zone. www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande

Portrait Sessions & Outreach

Event October 16, 6 – 8 p.m.
Asante Community Park, 16763 W Vereda Solana Drive

Professional photographer will be available to take family portraits and provide the digital prints. Plus, other family fun activities will be available while you wait!

Public Art Bus Tour

October 18, 9 a.m. – noon
Meet at City Hall, 1600 Civic Center Plaza

See art galleries and public art installations around Surprise. Reserve your spot by calling Susan deJong at 623.214.7537. www.surpriseaz.gov/arts

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

October 19, 5-9 p.m.
West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Plaza

Watch artists create art in real time and enjoy live music, a professional art gallery, local food trucks and more. www.westvalleyarts.org


Did You Know?

Greenway Road Improvements

Pavement preservation work on Greenway Road, Reems Road to Sarival Avenue, will begin Friday, October 6 and continue through Tuesday, October 17. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Left turns will be restricted during work hours, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This project is part of the city’s annual Pavement Preservation Program which identifies city streets that need treatment to rejuvenate, rehabilitate, and lengthen the life of the roadway. Learn more about the city’s Pavement Preservation Program at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp.


Contact Me

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

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September 28, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Military Appreciation Night at Willow Canyon High School

Willow Canyon High School hosted crosstown rival Valley Vista for a football showdown on September 22. Immediately prior to the game, Willow Canyon seized the opportunity to recognize our veterans and active military as part of the Military Appreciation Night. I joined several of our West Valley veterans and active military on the field during the ceremony as we stood together on the field during the National Anthem. A special thank you to Willow Canyon for this opportunity to recognize us!

Valley Metro RPTA Board Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board meeting on Thursday, September 21. The fifth express bus from Surprise to downtown Phoenix was approved.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, September 26. The meeting focused on effective marketing. Chamber President Raoul Sada briefed the membership on the city’s sign policy and Firehouse Subs owner Ed Cunningham provided the group with his inspirational story on how his networking skills have led to his successes.

Decide Surprise GO Bond Meeting

Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. The city is hosting several public meetings, and the first meeting kicked off on Tuesday, September 26 in the City Council Chamber. City staff utilizes the meetings to provide facts related to the bond election. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 5 at 10 am at Sun Village, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway. Learn more about the projects and additional meeting dates at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.


Mark Your Calendar

Dick McComb Park Renaming

Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony this Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South. The park features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open House

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is hosting an open house at Fire Station 304 (24900 N. 163rd Avenue) on Saturday, September 30, from 9 am until 12 noon. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is set for Saturday, November 18 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

Vendor spaces for the event are now available to rent. Proceeds from the rental fees support senior programs. Space is limited and reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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?

Veterans Day Art Show – Call for Artists

The City of Surprise and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission would like to invite all veterans who are painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, wood workers or work in any other medium to submit their artwork to be included in a display for the November 11, 2017 Veterans Day Parade. You need not be a professional artist. This show made its debut last year and was enjoyed by all who saw it. For further information about the show, please contact Susan deJong at 623-214-7537.

City’s Lock It or Lose It Campaign Wins National Award

An important community safety message is now award-winning! The City of Surprise Lock It or Lose It took top honors at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA) Government Programming Awards, held two weeks ago in Seattle, Washington. Lock It or Lose It placed first in the Public Service Announcement (PSA) category (Operating Budget Under $200,000).

The campaign was created by our Marketing and Communications team to support the Surprise Police Department’s efforts to reduce theft from vehicles. The PSA features a would-be thief trying to open several vehicles in a parking lot and in two cases the doors are unlocked and the thief is then seen casually walking away with his stolen goods. The campaign, first launched in 2007, was recently updated to introduce this important message to a new audience and remind the public that they are the “key” to preventing this type of crime.

Approximately 60 percent of all thefts from vehicles are the result of people leaving their car doors unlocked or leaving items of value in the car where would-be thieves can easily spot them. The message- if thieves can see it, they will steal it. By simply locking the doors of your vehicle and by taking valuable items with you or hiding them in a locked trunk, you can dramatically reduce the risk of being a crime victim.

You can view the PSA and learn more about Lock It or Lose It at www.surpriseaz.gov/lockit. See the list of NATOA Award winners at www.natoa.org. To report a crime or suspicious activity, call Surprise Police at 623.222.4000. If an emergency or dangerous situation, dial 911.

Surprise Community & Recreation Services Receives National Accreditation

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services (CRS) Department has received accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association. The Association recognized Surprise’s efforts to provide high quality parks and recreation services and experience to its residents and visitors.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has issued a five-year accreditation to the city’s Community & Recreation Services Department after meeting more than 140 standards ranging from hiring practices to marketing techniques, from park planning to program implementation. The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months. The final step was a hearing through the commission earlier this month.

The public will benefit from the accreditation by knowing that the city is adhering to best practices in the field of parks, facilities and programs. It also shows partners, potential funders and the public that Surprise operates under such standards. Congratulations, CRS!


Contact Me

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

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September 21, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue earlier this month. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) have been closed this past week for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps are scheduled to re-open at 5 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 24), according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Drivers can use detour routes along Dysart and Litchfield roads to make connections between Bell Road and Grand Avenue. Bell Road will remain open for traffic traveling over the bridge.

Please expect restrictions along westbound Grand Avenue near Bell Grande Drive and near the Bell Road overpass.


City Council Work Session

Valley Metro Update Regarding Paratransit and RideChoice Programs

Valley Metro completely changed its transit service models on July 1, 2017. The previous model under the NW Dial-a-Ride contract ended and three new services were introduced to the city. The first service is the senior bus which falls under the Valley Metro Transdev operations. The second program is Regional ADA Paratransit also operated by Valley Metro and Transdev. The third service is similar to the old NW Dial-a-Ride program called RideChoice, operated by various cab companies and contracted directly by the resident once they are enrolled in the RideChoice program.

Residents who have utilized the service models since July have encountered various problems; most notably, no-show or late pick-ups on all services and trouble booking longer Regional ADA medical and work trips. Valley Metro is working with their contractors to resolve the issues. Recent changes by Transdev, staging buses on the west side at 99th Ave. and Peoria, will help on-time performance for Regional ADA service. The contractor for RideChoice will be hiring a staff position and locating them at Valley Metro’s mobility center for quicker response on RideChoice issues with the various cab companies. Residents that have been using Regional service for Surprise and shorter trips are being moved to RideChoice. Valley Metro is working with the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff to ensure next day service manifests are correct, and that there are two dedicated buses each day for senior service. Items that still need to be addressed are: driver retention; dispatch communication with all calls for service; enhanced cab company dedication to the Northwest Valley; on-time service; and improvement of subscription trip bookings for medical and work.

To assist Valley Metro, there are several things that you as a resident can do:

  1. Contact Valley Metro Customer Service anytime you have an issue with any of the services provided. This allows Valley Metro to document all complaints. That number is 602-253-5000 or email at csr@valleymetro.org.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your service needs:
    • if you are taking short trips within or nearby Surprise, use RideChoice. It’s cheaper for you and allows you the flexibility to self-book your trips with a cab company of your choice in the RideChoice system. Sign up by calling 602-716-2100. It will take 7 – 10 business days to receive a card and packet in the mail.
    • If you are in need of longer Regional trips for medical or work that are within Valley Metro’s ADA service area, use the Transdev Regional ADA. That number is 602-716-2200.
    • If you are going to the Senior Center on a regular basis, 3-5 times per week, contact the Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department to get signed up for the Senior Bus. That number is 623.222.1500.
  3. The City and Valley Metro will be developing a survey that will be mailed to Surprise residents who are signed up for either Regional ADA or RideChoice. Please complete the survey and return it so we can improve the service to you.

City Council Meeting

Asante Planned Area Development

Three Public Hearings were held as part of the City Council meeting on Tuesday pertaining to the Asante Planned Area Development (PAD). Asante North Major PAD Amendment is a project that requires rezoning of approximately 149.1 acres to allow for the development of a 369.2-acre private active adult community. Asante Major PAD Amendment also required the rezoning of approximately 220.1 acres to allow for the same aforementioned private active adult community. Lastly, the Asante Paradiso PAD is an overlay district that will establish specific development standards, design guidelines and permitted uses for the proposed 369.2 acres.

The three items passed unanimously.

District 3 Vacancy Appointment

City Council approved the appointment of Patrick Duffy to represent the residents of District 3 at their Tuesday night Regular Council Meeting. Mr. Duffy replaces John Williams, who resigned from Council on August 15, 2017.

Mr. Duffy is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for the past 9 years has worked part-time as a City of Surprise Recreation Leader 3. He has lived in Surprise for eight years, two of them in the district he will now represent – District 3. In addition, he was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board since April 2017 and through his employment with the city, he has been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events including Spring Training support, Relay for Life events and Cal Ripken All-Star games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Mr. Duffy will be ceremonially sworn into office at the next Council meeting on October 3. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018; and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vacancy Appointments

City Council approved the appointments of two applicants to fill vacancies for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. Doug Tolf was approved for a term which expires on June 30, 2020, and John “Jack” Hasting with a term expiration of June 30, 2019.

New Citywide Shop Local Program

During the Bell Road bridge construction, the city partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to implement a digital marketing campaign to assist and retain the 277 local businesses located within the vicinity of the closure. Due to the success of the campaign, City Council asked staff to partner again and explore a citywide Shop Local campaign, leveraging the best practices learned.

The first year start-up costs are estimated at $55,000, and the campaign will be launched in November in conjunction with National Small Business Month and in support of the holiday shopping season. City Council unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment which will transfer the funding from the Economic Development Contingency Fun to the General Service Fund.

Adoption of New City Council Policy to Honor Exceptional Leaders

The City of Surprise has a storied history and limitless future. All of us sit on the shoulders of great people who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit us. From time to time, residents have asked City Council to honor an exceptional leader by holding a special event or naming a city asset after this special individual. City Manager Bob Wingenroth has proposed a Council Office policy for honoring such individuals.

The aforementioned policy outlines a balanced, inclusive approach to provide the Surprise City Council with the information needed to take action in order to properly honor exceptional contributions to Surprise. This policy also includes the establishment of a task force that would include the Chair of three Council Commissions (Planning & Zoning, Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and Community Recreation Advisory Commission), an Assistant City Manager, the City Attorney or designee and the Public Works Director.


Events & Meetings

Constitution Day at Willow Canyon High School

I was invited to participate on a Constitution Day panel at Willow Canyon High School on Friday, September 15. Sharing their experiences also included Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson, Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau, and Attorney Laura Robertson. Thank you to Willow Canyon for the invite and to the students and administration for their hospitality!

Council Hall and Panel members setted at tables


Mark Your Calendar

City and Education Partners Hosting Voter Registration Drive

Dysart Unified School District and Ottawa University (OUAZ) in Surprise and the city are joining thousands of groups across the country in hosting voter registration drives on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 26! The City of Surprise will have a Special Election on November 7 in which voters will be asked to decide three separate General Obligation Bond Questions to fund 10 projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. (Learn more about the projects, costs and tax impacts at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise).

2017 GO Bond voter registration reminder

ALL REGISTERED VOTERS WILL RECEIVE A BALLOT BY MAIL BEGINNING OCTOBER 11. The registration deadline to participate in this election is October 10. Below are the voter registration events planned on September 26:

Surprise City Hall- Community Room (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza): Voter registration tables and computers will be set up for eligible residents of Maricopa County to register to vote or ask questions about the process from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A General Bond Obligation Public Meeting is also planned in the Council Chambers this date beginning at 6 p.m. for those interested in learning more about the bond questions and the projects. This meeting will be carried on Surprise TV, streamed at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and Facebook Live at Surprise City Gov.

Dysart High Schools: The cafeterias will include voter registration tables with laptop access during each of the four high school’s lunch hours for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register.

Ottawa University- Surprise: Voter registration tables with laptop access will be set up on campus for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

City staff and volunteers will be on hand at all locations to accept completed voter registration print forms or answer questions. Anyone who registers that day will receive an “I Registered to Vote Today” sticker!

The voter registration drives are made possible thanks to the Surprise City Clerk’s Office and generous volunteers from the League of Women Voters; Surprise Youth Council, the Surprise Chapter of Women Leading Government and students at Ottawa University.

You can learn more at: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ or contact the Surprise City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Have you moved or need to change party affiliation since the last election cycle? You will need to update your voter registration information either in person or by visiting www.maricopa.vote. A reminder that the City Clerk’s Office remains open for voter registration through 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 10. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is holding a series of open houses at city fire stations. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

Dates for the open houses are as follows:

Saturday, September 30 – Station 304, 24900 N. 163rd Ave.
Saturday, October 14 – Station 305, 15517 N. Parkview Pl.
Saturday, November 4 – Station 306, 16645 W. Clearview Blvd.
Saturday, November 18 – Station 301, 16750 N. Village Dr East
Saturday, December 2 – Station 303, 15440 N. Cotton Ln.
Saturday, December 16 – Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Rd.

All open houses will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.


Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive is Open!

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive, from Bell Road to Paradise Lane, is now open! The expansion of this road provides a new route to city events, public meetings, recreation amenities and the Surprise Stadium. The roadway consists of one lane in each direction and has a speed limit of 25 MPH. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are looking for meaningful ways to utilize your gifts to make a difference, Experience Matters is hosting a free information session on September 27. Experience Matters is an organization that connects talented, experienced people with non-profits. The session will be held on Wednesday, September 27 from 10 -11:30 a.m. at Surprise City Hall (Conference Room 150), 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby@sitea@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 14, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) will be closed Sept. 18-24 for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps will be closed from 1 a.m. Monday (Sept. 18) to 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 24), according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Drivers can use detour routes along Dysart and Litchfield roads to make connections between Bell Road and Grand Avenue. Bell Road will remain open for traffic traveling over the bridge. During the week, crews will be removing the median island along westbound Grand Avenue near the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

The change is designed to provide improved guidance for drivers making left turns onto Bell Grande Drive while clearly separating that traffic from vehicles using the westbound off-ramp at the Bell Road overpass. Drivers should use caution in the work zone and expect restrictions along westbound US 60 and left-turn closures at the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

Crews also will add sections of what are known as mountable, rounded curbs near the ends of the existing barrier walls separating the on- and off-ramps near the crosswalks on the Bell Road overpass. As an additional safety measure, yellow flexible safety posts will be placed near the ends of the ramp barrier walls. The changes are designed to help drivers with turning angles between Bell Road and the ramps.

The ramps first opened to traffic in February as part of ADOT’s $42 million project to build a new interchange connecting Bell Road and Grand Avenue. The improvements are the result of feedback from local drivers as well as staff at ADOT and the city of Surprise.


Economic Development Update

Our Economic Development team has been busy! Over the last few months the following new businesses have opened:

Boba Craze (16630 W. Greenway), 3 Minute Express Car Wash (11516 W. Bell Road), Salad and Go (17137 N. Litchfield Road), Subaru Superstore (13090 N. Autoshow), Sumo Snow (16487 W. Bell Road), Denny’s (16487 W. Bell Road), Casa De Papa Taco (13761 W. Bell Road, Suite 211), Innovative Health Clinic (12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126), Pure Physique Pilates and Reflexion Medical Center (14851 W. Bell Road, Suite 104)

Permits for construction have been issued for businesses that include:

Thompson Thrift, which includes Raising Canes, Pieology, Menchies Yogurt, Starbucks, Tokyo Joes (near Bell Road and Civic Center Drive), Sonic Drive-In (17181 W. Greenway Road), Hayashi Restaurant (16525 W. Bell Road), Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken (16411 W. Bell Road), Maximus Nutrition (13601 N. Litchfield Road), Ono Hawaiian BBQ (13864 W. Bell Road), Max Automotive (13515 W. Foxfire Drive), Greulich’s Automotive (16641 W. Bell Road), Skyway Commons (11470/11560 N. Dysart Road), Phoenix Distribution Center (10947 N. 132nd Avenue), Milam Glass (10801 N. 132nd Avenue), Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital (17300 N. Dysart Road), West-MEC (13201 W. Grand Avenue)


Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Committee met on Tuesday, September 12. The Committee expressed great enthusiasm about the city’s development of a new Sports and Tourism Department. Donna Miller, Community and Recreation Services Director, provided an update on the organizational changes the new department would bring and announced that Director candidate interviews were taking place this week.

Community Development Planner, Joshua Mike, provided commission members with an overview of the Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan. With the plan still in the public input phase, he explained the opportunity for the Tourism Advisory Commission to get involved and integrate tourism initiatives into the potential art and culture initiatives and outreach.

The Tourism Advisory Commission has also decided to adjust their current meeting times from quarterly to monthly scheduled meetings. Beginning in October, the Tourism Advisory Commission will meet every second Thursday at 6 p.m. and meetings will take place in the City Council Overflow Room. Location may vary depending on availability.

Commission members chose a new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Resident DeAngelo Hall will be Chairperson, and hotel representative Ms. Della Brandenberger will be Vice-Chairperson.

The October Tourism Advisory Commission meeting will take place Thursday, October 12 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall – Council Overflow Room.

Innovative Healthcare Ribbon Cutting

Councilman Ken Remley and I attended the ribbon cutting for Innovative Health, located at 12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126 on Tuesday, September 12.

Innovative Health group cutting ribbon at grand opening

Sports & Tourism Director Meet & Greet

City Council and management met with the seven finalists for the Sports and Tourism Director position on Tuesday, September 12 at Babbo Italian Eatery. All seven candidates were impressive and had a variety of experience for the position.


Mark Your Calendar

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Class

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is offering a free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) class. 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.

Class is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 from 2-4 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

West Valley Healthcare Career Expo

Are you looking for an exciting career in the healthcare field or know someone who is? The West Valley Healthcare Career Expo event will be held on September 20 from 10 am until 1 pm at the Avondale Sports Center. Employers like Banner Health, Sun Health, Rapid Recovery Centers, Dignity Health and much more will be there to offer hundreds of jobs. Registration is required. Register at WorkWest.org.

Stay Informed

There are so many new and exciting things happening in Surprise. We want you to stay informed. Please follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Skip-Hall/100010609816668. You can also get the latest city news through the Surprise City Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise and our city webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive Opens Friday

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive from Bell Road to Paradise will open Friday, September 15 at 6 a.m. The project includes one travel lane in each direction with a center median and provides a direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road.

Annual Pavement Preservation Program

The City of Surprise Public Works Department kicks off its annual Pavement Preservation Program this week. This annual program identifies city streets to receive appropriate applications to lengthen the lifetime of the street surface. The approved budgeted amount for the FY18 Pavement Preservation Program is $4.5 million. The scheduled work is to be performed on 200.2 lane miles of city streets through June 30.

Residents can expect road restrictions during the work. Residents living in areas targeted for treatment will receive 48-hour notice before the work begins via a door hanger. The only application where residents will not receive a 48-hour notice is Crack Sealing, which is a quick drying and steady pace process. However, residents are asked to be aware of temporary “Fresh Oil” signs and mobile work crews installing the treatment. Residents requiring special assistance during the street treatments will find contact information on the door hangers.

Street treatments include Crack Sealing, Master Seal MTR or PMM, Chip Seal, Mill & Rubberized Asphalt Overlay, Micro Surfacing, and Type II Slurry Seal. Maps detailing the roads scheduled to receive treatment and the types of treatment they will receive are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

City Council Will Vote on D3 Appointee – September 19

City Council conducted interviews of all six applicants for the District 3 appointment at a public hearing held during a Special Meeting in the City Council Chamber on September 5. City Council will vote to fill the seat at our regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. For more information on the applicants, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question