Category Archives: Newsletters

Skip Hall’s Monthly Newsletter

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

September 7, 2017 • Newsletter

Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing – Interviews for District 3 Council Vacancy

The Surprise City Council interviewed six applicants seeking the vacant District 3 council seat in a Special Meeting, September 5. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018 and the remainder of the original four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018. The names of those interviewed are: Patrick Duffy; James Hodge; Randal Kidd Jr.; Kevin Loken; Gisele Norberg; and Gary “Doc” Sullivan.

Patrick 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 D3. Duffy was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board and through his city service 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.

James Hodge has lived in D3 for seven years and is an Assistant Manager at Discount Tire Direct. He has served as a youth baseball coach, youth flag football coach and volunteered as a score keeper for numerous city rec tournaments. He founded and operated the Sandra Lynn Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that assisted families with funeral expenses through fundraising events.

Randal Kidd Jr.is a Transition Specialist with the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind- Phoenix Campus. He has lived in Surprise for eight years. He is Vice President of the Deaf Community of Surprise and participated in the Surprise City Academy this spring. Kidd holds an Associate of Applied Science in Information & Computing Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology and is working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Arizona State University (May 2018).

Kevin Loken is a District Supervisor at XPO Logistics and has lived in D3 for less than a year. He has a Master of Arts in Management from National University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cal-State Fullerton. His grandfather, Carlo Leone, has served on the Peoria City Council for nearly 20 years.

Gisele Norberg is a member of the Surprise Planning & Zoning Commission and has lived in D3 for nearly two years. Norberg is the owner and independent distributor of AdvoCare International. Her family’s construction business provided her with experience in commercial and residential development. Norberg ran unsuccessfully for the D3 Council seat in 2016. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University- Vancouver with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology.

Gary “Doc” Sullivan is a former Surprise City Councilmember (2003 – 2007), serving one of those years as Vice Mayor. He was a member of the former Surprise Economic Development Advisory Board. He has lived in Surprise for 17 years. Sullivan is retired and previously worked in sales for Cox Communications.

Public comments regarding the applicants can be submitted to the City Clerk through the close of business on Tuesday, September 12. Comments received through this outlet will be sent to Council and posted online by the end of the following business day.

You can learn more about the applicants here: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants


City Council Work Session

Update on City Projects

Public Works Assistant Director Karl Zook provided an update on city projects.

Bullard Avenue – Peoria Avenue to Greenway Road is scheduled for construction beginning Spring 2018. The design phase is 95% complete and includes restriping for two lanes in each direction, protected bike lanes, two new traffic signals and landscape median. This project will be grant funded with a city contribution.

Bullard Ave map point markers

Bell Road Adaptive Signal Improvements on Bell Road between Avenue of the Arts and Cotton Lane has begun. This project includes upgraded vehicle detection and new software to monitor traffic demand in real time. The software deployment is 60% complete.

Bell Road Adaptive Signal Project map view

Bell Road Pavement Preservation includes pavement preservation on Bell Road from Grand Avenue to Parkview Place. Both east and westbound lanes will be completed. The project start date is September 17 and should conclude by the end of the month.

Bell Road Pavement Preservation map view

8 Acre Park Fencing is under construction. Construction began last month and should conclude by the end of this month. This project includes 2300 feet of 8 foot tall decorative fencing with pillars to match the aesthetics of our Surprise Stadium fencing.

Eight new pickle ball courts with LED lighting are also under construction. Construction began on August 23, and the anticipated completion, pending weather delays, is the end of November. This project also includes the relocation of our volleyball courts.

Earlier this year, City Council approved improvements for Surprise Farms Park that included an additional 10 acres of open space park area. Construction on the improvements began on July 10. Sod was completed at the end of August. The green fence will be removed later this month after the turf is established.

Other updates included the Dysart Road median (estimated completion in Spring 2018), 115th Avenue and Union Hills Drive drainage improvements (currently 55% complete, project should be complete in summer 2018), Bullard Avenue water line (construction began in early July and will be complete in October) and the South Plant perimeter wall (project in design for low-bid with an estimated completion of spring 2018).


City Council Meeting

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Recommendations

Staff presented the Surprise Community Outreach Grant program recommendations made by the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants. This year, staff received 32 applications with funding requests totaling more than $261,000. City Council set aside $65,000 with this year’s budget for this program. Council discussed increasing the funding for next fiscal year.

After much discussion, the funding recommendations were approved with one modification.

Citywide Temporary Sign Policy Adoption

The City Council approved an updated Temporary Sign Policy for the city at their Tuesday Regular Meeting. The intent of the policy is to better align with the current needs of businesses and residents and temporarily waives the Surprise City Code Section 113-47, but only as to Article V, of the current code, beginning thirty days after the adoption of this resolution until it is repealed.

During the recession council approved a temporary sign policy in 2012 that allowed:

  • A-Frames (1 per business; cannot be located on a street, sidewalk or within visibility triangle)
  • Banners (1 per business; must be placed on building)
  • Sign Walkers (Required a no fee permit from the City and must meet insurance criteria)

That policy was repealed by council in February 2017. Following months of public comment, council agreed to once again approve A-Frame and other temporary signs under the revised Temporary Sign Policy:

  • A-Frames (Class 1 Temporary Signs): may not exceed 24 inches in height or width (placed 1 hr before event/removed 1 hr after event; 1 sign per intersection, no further than closest arterial) and must be associated with a lawful temporary event.
  • A-Frames &am; Pedestal (Class 2 Temporary Signs): portable sign may not exceed 45 inches in height and 36 inches in width commercial hours are during business hours of the advertising business; signs must be within 15’ of the customer entrance and associated with a lawful commercial use.
  • When a Class II Temporary Sign is in conjunction with a Lawful Temporary Event located within a -residential zoning district, not more than four (4) such signs shall be utilized (45 inches in height and 36 inches in width). Such signs may be placed no further than the closest arterial street and be placed between the hours of 4:00 PM Friday to 11:00 PM Sunday.
  • Banners w/ ventilation flaps only: 1 banner per building (1 sf per linear foot of building elevation; if an active construction project banner may be placed on construction site fence (30 SF)
  • Sign Walkers: operational hours 7 am – 7 pm; may not restrict pedestrian/vehicle access; 2 single-sided signs not to exceed 3 sf/ or 1 double-sided sign not to exceed 12 sf; electronic message signs are prohibited

The revised changes allow for temporary event signage, such as real estate open house signs; neighborhood events, etc…

Signage that remains prohibited under the policy includes:

  • Animated Signs, flashing/blinking/rotating signs, inflatable signs (latex or Mylar balloons), permanent banner signs/pennants, searchlights, streamers, signs that emit audible sound
  • Vehicle Signs when the vehicle is placed in a location not approved for vehicular parking or storage
  • Signs located on trees/utility poles/public benches/ or public right-of-way
  • Signs containing vulgar/ profane messages, hate speech/ language intended to incite violence
  • Signs which are located within any sight visibility triangle of any street/driveway intersection, located in a median and/or as required by the Surprise Engineering Development Standards
  • Signs not expressly permitted as being allowed under this policy, or by specific requirements in another section of Surprise Unified Development Code, are expressly prohibited

For a complete listing of the requirements under this policy please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.


Events & Meetings

West Valley Veteran Center Tour

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I, along with city staff, attended a tour of the West Valley Veteran Center on Thursday, August 31. The Maricopa County Community College District, in partnership with Surprise and many other West Valley cities, has invested in a new West Valley resource center to help veterans and their families adjust to civilian life. The center is located at the former Visitor Center at Luke Air Force Base. This initiative will provide veterans with assistance services related to counseling, housing, education, careers and much more.

Councilman Skip Hall and Vice Mayor Todd Tande, along with city staff tour the West Valley Veteran Center

Walmart Grand Re-Opening

Walmart, located at 13770 W. Bell Road, hosted a grand re-opening on Friday, September 1 to celebrate their recent remodel. Walmart also utilized the event to raise money to support the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey!


Mark Your Calendar

Second Sundays in the Park Fall Concert

The city is kicking off its fall series of “Second Sundays in the Park” concerts on Sunday, September 10 from 2-4 p.m. This family-friendly event will take place in the center of Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue, and will feature live variety music from The Steven P. Project.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food from the onsite vendors and enjoy the live entertainment. For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit us online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

General Obligation Bond Meeting Dates Announced

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 on Tuesday, November 7. The city is hosting several public meetings to help educate our residents on the bond.

Those meetings are as follows:

Tuesday, September 26 (6 p.m.): City Hall- Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Dr.

Wednesday, September 27 (6 p.m.): District 4 Community Meeting open to all residents, Community Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St.

Thursday, October 5 (10 a.m.): District 5 Community Meeting open to all residents, Sun Village Community Association, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway

Monday, October 9 (10:30 a.m.): District 2 Community Meeting open to all residents, Sun City Grand Cimarron Center Agua Fria Room, 17100 W Clearview Blvd

Thursday, October 12 (7 p.m.): District 5 Community Meeting, Sun Village Community Association, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway

If you cannot attend one of the meetings, city staff will come to your neighborhood HOA, community group, or club meetings to provide facts related to the bond election. We already have several booked throughout the city’s districts! Please contact the City Manager’s Office at 623.222.1100 to schedule a date.

In addition, the city will also have educational information available at various Fire-Medical Station Open Houses (Sept. & Oct.), Fiesta Grande (Oct. 14), G.A.I.N Night (Oct. 28). The details for the events are posted on our city calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov. You can learn more about the bond projects, costs and voter registration information at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise

If any of the bond questions are approved by voters in November, the cost to residents would be administered via a secondary property tax. Currently, Surprise does not have a secondary property tax.

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election is Oct. 10 by 5 p.m. This is a Ballot-By-Mail Only Election. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on Oct. 11. In-person voting and ballot drop-off begins at Surprise City Hall – City Clerk’s Office, Saturday, Oct. 28 – Tuesday, Nov. 7, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Election Day (Nov. 7) voting hours will be extended to 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Bell Road & Grand Avenue ramps to be closed Sept. 18-24 for improvements

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue.

The notice is as follows:

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.


Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive Almost Complete

I am pleased to inform you that the much anticipated construction of Civic Center Drive from Bell Road to Paradise is almost complete. Despite the inclement summer storms, the project remains on track and we anticipate the opening of the road on September 13. The project includes one travel lane in each direction with a center median. At this time, there will not be any landscaping, streetlights or sidewalk included.

Civic Center Dr.

Hollyhock Library Extends Hours Due to Generous Nonprofit Donation

The city and Maricopa County Library District are excited to offer extended operating hours for the Hollyhock Library, located at 15844 N Hollyhock Street. In response to the recommendations provided through the recent library feasibility study, beginning Sept. 25 the Hollyhock Library will modify operating hours Tuesdays and Thursdays,1 – 7 p.m. The Hollyhock Library will offer extended hours on Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. beginning October 14.

The Surprise City Council would like to recognize the generosity of the non-profit independent organization, Friends of the Surprise Libraries. Since 2003, Friends of the Surprise Libraries has donated $185,000 in support of literacy and programs offered at the Northwest Regional Library and Hollyhock Library. Extended hours of operation will offer residents and local student’s access to study areas, computing stations and library resources.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 31, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The 2017 League Annual Conference was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, August 22 – August 25. Our entire Surprise City Council were joined by elected officials from 91 other cities and towns and some of our state legislators. The conference is a platform for Arizona’s mayors and councilmembers to network and share best practices, innovative ideas and successful strategies.

The conference opened with an excellent general session with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett whose discussion focused on the mega trends shaping tomorrow’s communities. In addition, I attended sessions pertaining to water and wastewater needs- trends and investments; as well as increasing jobs and growth, focusing on municipal priorities and capitalizing on new opportunities to drive economic growth. Councilmembers and city staff held meetings onsite with Central Arizona Project (CAP), EPCOR and NEXXUS Consulting to discuss updates on CAP, including our current water supply, the new EPCOR rates, recent EPCOR concerns and improving our city’s transportation, respectively.

Ottawa University Surprise

Aerial image of inaugural class of OUAZThe inaugural class of OUAZ has begun! Classes started on Monday, August 21! Total enrollment (434 students), has surpassed Ottawa’s original target goal of 200 students. The university offers 21 intercollegiate sports and offers degrees from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and School of Business. In addition to this great news, OUAZ women’s soccer team won their first ever OUAZ athletic contest beating Arizona Christian 1-0! Congratulations on your successes!

I encourage you to follow the excitement of our newest treasure on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUSurprise.

Early Childhood Summit

I attended the First Things First Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center on Monday, August 28. The Summit brought together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and practices that help our youth get ready for school and build a strong foundation for life. The conference included sessions on child health and development, early learning and very important to me – early literacy and community awareness.

Homeschool Educators of Surprise

The Homeschool Educators of Surprise held their kick-off event at Northwest Regional Library on Monday, August 28. I was honored to speak at the event and engage with this passionate group of parents. Educating our youth is one of our greatest responsibilities. It is amazing to see how many parents are utilizing their time and talent to invest in the education of their children. This group consists of approximately 120 parents who homeschool their children.

Council Conversation on Surprise TV

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong, Commissioner Lee Whitehead and City Planner Joshua Mike joined me for my latest Council Conversation taping regarding a variety of topics involving arts and events in Surprise on Wednesday, August 30. The show will be available to watch on Surprise TV beginning next week, you can find it at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. If you have any ideas for future show topics, please let me know!

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Tour

West-MEC Superintendent Greg Donovan provided me with a tour of the new West-MEC campus on Wednesday, August 30. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. The campus will open later this fall to high school students. This particular campus will focus on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty and medical industries.

Ottawa University Competition Field Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Councilmembers joined administrators from Ottawa University at the August 31st groundbreaking ceremony for the competition field. The competition field will be located south of the tennis complex on Tierra Buena and it will accommodate the OUAZ football and soccer programs.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Labor Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of September 4-8. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday and so forth. Please note that not all Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, hence, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service provider(s). If you have any questions, please call our customer service line at 623.222.6000.

Fall Cleanup Event – Free

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 16. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, October 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Help Our City Collect Water Bottles for Hurricane Harvey Survivors

The City is partnering with Highland Prep High School to collect 100,000 water bottles to benefit the survivors, volunteers and first responders in Houston, Texas. We will be accepting cases of water in the City Hall lobby (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 5. Please feel free to deliver the water immediately behind our information desk at City Hall or the Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm but we are closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4. Thank you in advance for your generosity to this cause!

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

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

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

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

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. An information session will be held September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 17, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Transit Study and Implementation Plan

The City of Surprise will conduct a Transit Feasibility and Implementation Study that will address the city’s current and future transit needs. This Transit Feasibility Study is intended to build on the transportation section of the City’s 2035 General Plan and to focus on the feasibility of a range of transit partnerships, service options, delivery methods, as well as a staged implementation and strategy supported by financial and funding recommendations. The study will examine various modes of public transportation that could be implemented both within the city’s boundary and through possible regional connections into the larger Metropolitan area.

The City anticipates holding a series of public outreach events and public hearings throughout the approximate 9-month process. Some of these transit connections could potentially be implemented within the next five years. If you would like to receive future e-mails and text messages about this and other city news and events, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/notifyme and sign up for “Current News Releases.”

Business License Fees

Business licenses are issued to all persons who practice, transact or carry on business within the municipal limits of Surprise. These licenses are issued to identify businesses and make sure their owners are accountable for their actions, to protect the public health and safety and to keep track of businesses for tax purposes.

Fees are charged to recover a portion of the costs associated with the licensing process. The current business license fees have primarily remained the same since they were established in 1995. Staff is recommending an update to simplify the administration of the fees and evaluating the accuracy and reasonableness of the fees. The proposed new license fee targets approximately 75% cost recovery and the renewal fee is set at 50% of that fee.

Council is expected to take action on the item in October and the new fees, if approved, will be effective January 1, 2018 for the 2018 calendar year renewal cycle.


City Council Meeting

Annexation Request

Staff presented on the annexation request of an undeveloped parcel located between Happy Valley Road and Jomax Road, 147th Avenue to 155th Avenue. The annexation proposal is for a 2.49-acre parcel under single ownership of unincorporated land adjacent on three sides to the Rancho Mercado subdivision within Surprise city limits. In a concurrent development application, Bonita Ranch – Parcel A is part of a rezoning case that includes Bonita Ranch – Parcel B and C that was heard by the Planning and Commission on July 20, 2017 and will be heard by City Council on a later date.


Events & Meetings

Raising a Reader Literacy Workshops

Southwest Human Development introduced Raising a Reader to Arizona seven years ago. The program now serves 1,000 children and families in addition to distributing over 3,500 books each year. Based on a national evidence-based model, the program is an early literacy program that offers a proven, cost-effective and scalable way to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and how they can help build these skills in their young children to prepare them for school. The program is an eight-week series of 2 hour sessions. I helped kick-off the program at the Surprise Resource Center and Adelante Health Care Center last week along with representatives from Friends of the Library.

Central Arizona Project (CAP) Meeting

Councilman Jim Hayden, City staff and I met with CAP Board Member Alexandra Arboleda on Monday, August 14 to discuss the current status of water issues today and how they relate to CAP.


Mark Your Calendar

Registration Opens for Surprise HOA Academy

Registration is open for the popular Surprise HOA Academy! The goal of the Academy is to provide expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Topics include contracts, fiduciary duty, CC&R enforcement and code compliance.

Academy Class Dates:

  • Monday, October 16
  • Monday, October 23
  • Monday, October 30
  • Monday, November 6
  • Monday, November 13

Time:

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location:

Public Safety Building Auditorium
14250 W. Statler Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Download the HOA Academy registration form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/HOAacademy. Registration closes on October 10. Please register early since seating is limited. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

City Accepting Parade Entries for 3rd Annual Veterans Day Parade

The City of Surprise 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.


Did You Know?

City Council Meetings on Facebook

The city recently launched a new way for residents to connect to what’s happening in their community! All City Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will be streamed live on the city’s Facebook page. For 13 years the city has televised Council meetings on Surprise TV and later began streaming that broadcast on the city’s website www.surpriseaz.gov. Now, we’re adding Facebook Live streams to the mix!

Council Work Sessions are held the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. Agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meetings at https://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/. To watch these meetings, and to follow all city news and information, Facebook users can like us on www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise.

City Opens District 3 Council Vacancy Application Period

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the position of Councilmember District 3 (Mesquite) that was vacated by John Williams’ resignation on August 15. Applicants must reside within the District 3 District Boundaries. 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.

Interested persons must submit an application to the City Clerk’s Office prior to the close of the acceptance period, which is 5 p.m., Wednesday, August 30. By the end of the following day, the City Clerk will forward all applications received, by eligible candidates, to the City Council and post on the city website (www.surpriseaz.gov).

Council will interview each applicant at a public hearing, during a Special Meeting, Tuesday, September 5, at 3 p.m. Public comments will be received at the public hearing and may also be submitted to the City Clerk through the close of the business day on Tuesday, September 12. All comments will be sent to the Council and posted online by the end of the next business day.

Per city code, a district candidate must be selected by the Council no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the public hearing, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., September 19. Applications are available for pick up the City Clerk’s Office, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Applications are also available at www.surpriseaz.gov, under the City Clerk section. The last day to pick-up and/or submit an application will be Wednesday, August 30 at 5 p.m., in the City Clerk’s Office. For more information please call 623.222.1200.

Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference

Every year, elected officials throughout our State gather for the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference in August. This year, the conference will be held in Oro Valley beginning Tuesday, August 22. For that reason, I will not distribute a newsletter next week but I look forward to briefing you the following week.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 10, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Rock Star Academy @ Red Line Grill

Musical Surprise hosted a RockStar Academy at Red Line Grill on Saturday, August 5. Students from Surprise displayed their musical talent for most of the evening and to say the talent is impressive is an understatement! The performances included music tributes to bands such as Journey and much more!

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, August 7. Project Manager for Smith Kraft, Brandon McMillen, was present to receive feedback from the Commission on signage at City Hall. He will provide the Commission with some mock-ups to review next month. IT Security Manager Gina Busby was present to discuss security camera options for the art around City Hall. The Commission received a progress report on Art in Public Places at Surprise City Hall. City Planner Joshua Mike was also present to provide an update on the Arts & Cultural Master Plan surveys.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library Board meeting on Wednesday, August 9. Friends of the Library awarded a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant to Desert Oasis Elementary School in the amount of $465 for STEM challenges for 62 sixth graders. The Board discussed the possibility of an upcoming book sale in November. Friends is looking for a Recording Secretary and a Community Outreach Member for their Board.


Mark Your Calendar

Raising a Reader Series

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development to host a free eight week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help children learn to read. Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books at the end of each week. Courses will be taught from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on consecutive Fridays beginning August 11 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite 124. To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Lizette Garced at LGarced@swhd.org.

Free Educational Presentation on Older Adults and Suicide

Suicide rates of older adults are higher than any other age group in Maricopa County. The City of Surprise has partnered with Area Agency on Aging and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition to provide a free educational presentation.

A Matter of Life is a presentation created to educate and help people recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It encourages help-seeking behaviors by connecting people with resources and tools to access help for themselves or someone they know.

This program will be held on Wednesday, August 23 at 9 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It will run approximately one hour. Please register with Trisha Weston at 623.222.1544 or trisha.weston@surpriseaz.gov.

Senior Services is a division of the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and is designed to provide programs to strengthen the community and better serve Surprise residents. Located in the heart of Surprise, in the Heritage District, at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. The Surprise Senior Center is the hub of activities for citizens age 50 and better and adults with disabilities. The membership fee for a resident of Surprise is $12 per year, and for non-residents it’s $15 per year. The Senior Center also offers a gym membership for an additional fee (some rules and restrictions apply). Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.


Did You Know?

Surprise Satellite Voting Site Designation

Surprise City Hall will serve as a Satellite Voting site for this November 7 Special Election cycle. This designation allows any registered voter residing in Maricopa County to vote or drop-off a ballot at Surprise City Hall- Clerk’s Office, during the replacement ballot period and on Election Day.

Due to the designation, the hours for In-Person Replacement Ballot Voting and Ballot drop-off have changed from what was published in the July issue of Surprise Progress Magazine. Below are the following dates/times:

Saturday October 28 – Tuesday, November 7: In-Person Replacement Ballot Voting period and Ballot Drop-Off. This includes Saturday and Sunday voting; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (*extended hours on Election Day)

*Election Day, Tuesday, November 7: In-Person Voting and Ballot Drop-Off, 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

This is a Ballot by Mail Election only. Ballots will be mailed on October 11. In Surprise, registered voters will consider three separate general obligation bond questions requesting bond funding for 10 projects in the areas of public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation. The projects include a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center, a permanent fire station in north Surprise and a new fire station in the southeast part of the city, road improvements on Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield and a citywide pavement preservation program to fund major road repairs. To learn more about all of the projects, costs and timelines please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Surprise City Hall is located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, 85374.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 3, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

New Enterprise Department Discussion

The mission statement for our city’s Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Department is to “enrich and complement the lives of Surprise residents through stewardship of our resources while providing responsive programs which promote and prioritize diversity, cultural, neighborhood, family, education, recreation and wellness opportunities.” At the same time, CRS is responsible for operating and staffing two world class facilities (baseball and tennis) and coordinating with the Surprise Tourism Commission. City Manager Bob Wingenroth recognizes the opportunity to further enhance the quality of life for our residents and proposed a potential organizational change to create a new department.

Staff is proposing a new Enterprise Department, possibly named the Sports and Tourism Department. This new Department would be business focused with the following primary responsibilities: operation of Surprise Stadium and the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, establish public/private partnerships to construct an aquatics center and a regional recreation complex, coordinate the usage of city sports facilities with Ottawa University and our school district, and work in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Commission to bring regional and national events to Surprise that would increase overnight stays and increase local restaurant and retail business.

The majority of the staffing necessary to build the Sports and Tourism Department would come from CRS divisions. In addition, it will be necessary to establish a director position and a coordinator position at an estimated annual cost of $318,900. There would be estimated start-up costs of $20,000. The potential gains from utilization and tourism dollars flowing to the city with this increased focus will outweigh the increased cost.

Shop Local Program

In 2016, the City partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce on an award-winning “Shop Local” campaign as part of our efforts to help businesses that were impacted by the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge construction. The campaign proved to be successful and as such, staff has received direction from City Council to partner again to explore a citywide Shop Local campaign, leveraging the best practices learned.  The campaign is consistent with the Council’s Strategic Plan to promote jobs and enhance the needs of small businesses, particularly through business retention and expansion activities.

Bell Road and Grand Avenue Monument Signage

Council discussed and provided staff with some direction relative to signage in and around the Bell and Grand overpass. With the construction of the overpass, signage was removed due to expansion of right-of-way and relocation of utilities and easements from properties at the intersection. Staff was able to work with two of the property owners to replace signage along Grand Avenue; however, the signage requested along Bell Road is higher than allowed by code and prior approvals. Council instructed staff to work with those property owners at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Bell Road to find amenable solutions to signage to provide visibility to the businesses while looking at impacts relative to the view shed.

Temporary Signage Discussion

A discussion on temporary signage was brought to the City Council during Tuesday’s Work Session. City Council had received concerns from residents and business owners relative to signage directing traffic to businesses and public services such as churches and events in and around the City. Currently, the City sign code does not allow for temporary signage such as A-frames and sandwich boards. City staff has been working on revising the sign code. Under the draft code, the City is looking to allow signage for lawful temporary events that would include signage such as A-frames and sandwich boards.

Staff presented Council with the option to enact the temporary sign portion of the draft code prior to the full code being adopted. This would assist business during the update process and allow staff to obtain data on how best to address temporary signage in the final sign code adoption.

Council voiced their understanding of the need for signage to promote businesses and events around the City and instructed staff to “beta-test” the temporary signage portion of the draft sign code under a new Temporary Sign Policy. That Temporary Sign Policy will be discussed and deliberated upon by City Council at their September 5, 2017 meeting.

I also want to share a bit of history with you on the city’s use of temporary sign policies to give you a better picture of how we got here.

In 2009, during the great recession, Council enacted Resolution 09-151 which allowed temporary signs; Council extended it in 2012 for one year. Then, in March of 2016, the City enacted the Bell Road Temporary Sign Policy (Resolution 2016-42) in order to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell and Grand Overpass Project. The City Wide Temporary Sign Policy was then approved again in April of 2016 under resolution 2016-43 for the entire City limits. In February 2017, after the completion of Bell and Grand Avenue Overpass construction, the City approved resolutions 2017-20 and 2017-21. These resolutions repealed the City Wide Temporary Sign Policy and the Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Temporary Use Permit Policy.


City Council Meeting

2017 Summer Youth Interns

Each year, the City’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department sponsors a Summer Youth Employment Program for teens residing in Surprise. This year, 25 interns were selected to participate from over 70 applicants. Interns were permitted to work up to 25 hours a week. Each Monday, they received Life Skills training which included information on how to prepare for interviews, how to put together resumes, interviewing and job readiness skills and much more. All 25 interns were recognized at the City Council meeting. Many thanks to our HSCV team led by Director Seth Dyson for their dedication to this fantastic program that grooms our teens for life!

Surprsie Summer Youth Interns group photo
2017 Summer Youth Interns

Maricopa County Work Force Development Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Maricopa County is a designated as a Local Workforce Development Area under the federal WIOA.

The County operates two (2) comprehensive Workforce Development One Stop Career Centers (Centers) under WIOA. The Centers provide employment-related services to job-seekers and employers in Maricopa County. Job seekers can access services such as workshops on job search and job retention skills; assessment tools for measuring interests, aptitude and skills; career exploration; vocational counseling, funding assistance for occupational skills training and job placement assistance. Resources such as computers, fax machines and copiers are available to assist in job search activities. The Centers hold job fairs for local employers recruiting employees to fill vacant positions. The Centers also provide transition assistance for local employers who experience a reduction in force and, therefore, must lay-off employees. The City will house a satellite office for the County through the approval of this Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa County. The services provided in the Resource Center will benefit job seekers and employers who cannot travel to access services in the County’s Centers.

The Intergovernmental Agreement was approved on Consent Agenda. This action will allow our HSCV Department to offer Workforce Development Services from the Surprise Resource Center with a full-time Workforce Development Coordinator.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Plan

The city received an allotment of Community Development Block Grant funding of $638,560 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for year 2017-2018. Of this amount, $95,784 is being awarded to non-profits to provide social services to Surprise residents. These non-profits include Aid to Adoption of Special Kids, Benevilla, CASS, Surprise Community Action Program, Mentally Ill Kids in Distress, SoJourner, St. Mary’s Food Bank, and the Sun Health Foundation. Remaining funds will be utilized for neighborhood infrastructure improvements, micro-enterprise grants, emergency home repair, and associated administrative costs.


Events & Meetings

Project Connect

The city’s Human Service & Community Vitality Department (HSCV) recently partnered with Salvation Army and United Way for the comprehensive event, Project Connect, which provided the homeless with basic services and connection to resources. The event was held on Wednesday, July 26 at Salvation Army in Surprise. HSCV Director Seth Dyson was informed that we had 216 guests.

Project Connect infographic

Water Resource Management Department Meeting

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I attended our Water Resource Management Department’s “All Hands” quarterly meeting on Wednesday, July 26. Director Terry Lowe provided an update on the department and an overview of their budget while Department managers also provided updates on their respective areas. Afterwards, we were given a tour of a demonstration project.

Decide Surprise 2017 Bond Meeting

2017 Decide Surprise Bond Election banner

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I were asked to join Mayor Sharon Wolcott on Tuesday, August 1 at Marley Park for a meeting with a select group of residents to discuss the Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Election that will be on the November ballot. Surprise voters will decide three separate bond questions in the areas of public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation. The mail-ballot only election will be November 7, but ballots will be mailed in early October.

For more information on the projects and costs, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.


Mark Your Calendar

Raise a Reader Series

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development to host a free eight week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help children learn to read. Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books at the end of each week. Courses will be taught from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on consecutive Fridays beginning August 11 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite 124. To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Lizette Garced at LGarced@swhd.org.

Free Educational Presentation on Older Adults and Series

Suicide rates of older adults are higher than any other age group in Maricopa County. The City of Surprise has partnered with Area Agency on Aging and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition to provide a free educational presentation.

A Matter of Life is a presentation created to educate and help people recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It encourages help-seeking behaviors by connecting people with resources and tools to access help for themselves or someone they know.

This program will be held on Wednesday, August 23 at 9 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It will run approximately one hour. Please register with Trisha Weston at 623.222.1544 or trisha.weston@surpriseaz.gov

Senior Services is a division of the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and is designed to provide programs to strengthen the community and better serve Surprise residents. Located in the heart of Surprise, in the Heritage District, at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. The Surprise Senior Center is the hub of activities for citizens age 50 and better and adults with disabilities. The membership fee for a resident of Surprise is $12 per year, and for non-residents it’s $15 per year. The Senior Center also offers a gym membership for an additional fee (some rules and restrictions apply). Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.


Did You Know?

Monsoon Safety Tips

Monsoon season, June 15-September 30, is characterized by increased thunderstorm and lightning activity, high winds, dust storms and flooding. Having a plan of action and knowing what to do in each of the weather conditions can help save your life.

During any major storm event, the safest place to be is indoors. If you are at home, turn off all unnecessary power equipment and refrain from using landline phones. Make sure your home is equipped with flashlights, batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items.

Dust storms and rain events can decrease visibility and increase road hazards when driving. If you are in your vehicle during a storm, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road as far as possible and turn off your engine and lights. Be sure to take your foot off the brake pedal.

Never drive through flooded intersections or washes! Even shallow flowing water has enough power to sweep your vehicle off the road or stall your engine. If you approach a flooded intersection, safely turn your vehicle around and find an alternate route.

Monitor weather reports and listen for potential flood warnings in your area. When flooding is imminent, knowing where to find sand and bags is essential to protecting your home and family. Sand and bags are provided free of charge to Surprise residents at multiple locations throughout the city; you will need to bring your own shovel to fill the bags. Sand and bag locations

To report downed trees, roadway debris or clogged storm drains, contact the Public Works department at 623.222.6000; crews will be on call and available to provide assistance during major storm events. If reporting after hours or on a holiday, please call the Surprise Police Department Non-Emergency Line at 623.222.4000.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/monsoon for a complete list of monsoon safety tips and resources.


Contact Me

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

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June 29, 2017 • Newsletter

Reminder

Regularly scheduled City Council Work Sessions and Meetings have been canceled for July. We will resume our meeting schedule with our first meeting on August 1. We look forward to resuming business at that time.

Additionally, due to Council recess, there will not be a newsletter issued until the week of August 1. Thank you!

City Offices Closed

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that there will be a change to the collection schedule July 4-7. On Monday, July 3, collection will occur as usual. There will be no trash / recycling collection on Tuesday, July 4. Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider. Please call 623.222.1900 if you have any questions.

Code Enforcement

Many of my constituents have been inquiring about code enforcement violations. If you see a code violation, you can call the city’s complaint line at 623.222.3013 or email the department at codeenforcement@surpriseaz.gov. If you take a picture of the violation, you can also send it as an attachment to the email previously mentioned. We do have inspectors that work on Saturdays as well.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, June 27. Chamber staff asked attendees to complete a survey relating to their views on commercial signage. Staff from the city also gave a presentation on the city’s efforts to update our sign codes. Several attendees provided their input.

Staff has prepared the following tentative timeline for the new sign code. Please note these meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Additionally, the proposed draft sign code is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode, and anyone who is interested in providing comment may do so via the methods included on the website.

July 6, 2017 – Planning and Zoning Commission Study Session
Topics: Wall Signs and Freestanding Monument Signs. Staff envisions the Commission will give staff direction on how to proceed on certain issues. Staff will make revisions to the draft code based on those directions and present those changes at a later date.

July 20, 2017 – Planning and Zoning Commission Study Session
Topics: Billboards, Freeway Monument Signs and Electronic Messaging Centers. Staff envisions the Commission will give staff direction on how to proceed on certain issues. Staff will make revisions to the draft code based on those directions and present those changes at a later date.

August 3, 2017 – Planning and Zoning Commission Study Session- 6 p.m.
Topic: Temporary Signs. Staff envisions the Commission will give staff direction on how to proceed on certain issues. Staff will make revisions to the draft code based on those directions and present those changes at a later date.

September 7, 2017 – Planning and Zoning Commission Study Session- 6 p.m.
Topics: Open Discussion and Summary of Revisions. Staff will present the revised draft sign code for further discussion and additional direction.

October 5, 2017 – Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing- 6 p.m.
This will be a formal hearing that will lead to an official recommendation by the Commission to the City Council.

November 7, 2017 – City Council Work Session- 4 p.m.
Topic: General Summary of the proposed Sign Code. Staff envisions the Council will give staff direction relating to any additional changes. Staff will make revisions to the draft code based on those directions.

December 5, 2017 – City Council Public Hearing- 6 p.m.
This will be a formal hearing that will lead to formal adoption of the new Sign Code.

The effective date of the new Sign Code should be January 4, 2018.

Sierra Montana HOA Memorial Dedication Ceremony

Sierra Montana HOA Board Members invited City Council to attend their HOA Memorial dedication ceremony on Tuesday, June 27. Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman John Williams and I were in attendance along with several members of the community and fellow veterans. The memorial is located at the northwest corner of Verde Vista Drive and West Spring Lane.

Surprise Interfaith Breakfast Gathering

The city’s Human Service & Community Vitality Department hosted the first Surprise Interfaith Breakfast for all faith-based community leaders to pray, network and share information about their respective organizations and how we are all coming together for a greater purpose…to help the community!

Speaker addresses the seated guests at tables during interfaith breakfast


Mark Your Calendar

Project To Construct Waterline Along Bullard Avenue

Work to install a waterline that will connect two water supply facilities along Bullard Avenue, from Waddell Road to Acoma Drive, is scheduled to begin Wednesday, July 5. This Capital Improvement Project will combine the Ashton Ranch and Rancho Gabriela water distribution systems resulting in better water service and delivery opportunities for residents of Ashton Ranch and the city of Surprise. A majority of the line is already in place with the exception of approximately ¾ mile of pipe from the future well site location in Ashton Ranch down Bullard Road to the intersection of Waddell Road.

To alleviate impact to the traveling public during construction, the city will complete the majority of the work in project area intersections before the 2017-2018 school year begins for Dysart Unified, Legacy Traditional and Imagine Rosefield; work at the intersections of Bullard Avenue and Waddell Road and Bullard Avenue and Acoma Drive will be prioritized.

Motorists can expect left turn restrictions from Waddell Road to Bullard Avenue and from Bullard Avenue to Acoma Drive, for approximately two weeks beginning Wednesday, July 5, while crews are in the intersection.

Following work in the intersections, the remaining construction activity to install the waterline will mainly occur along Bullard Avenue in the northbound electric vehicle lane. Traffic flow will be maintained however drivers should expect a reduced speed limit in the project area.

Due to anticipated high daytime temperatures, construction activities will begin at 5 a.m., Monday through Saturday. The overall project is expected to be complete in October 2017.


Did You Know?

Know Before You Go! July 4th Celebration Details

The City of Surprise will host its 34th annual Fourth of July Celebration on Tuesday, July 4th at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. The event will feature America’s favorite pastime, music and a spectacular fireworks display!

The Kansas City Royals will take on the Texas Rangers in a Rookie League baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with first pitch at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation! The concession stands will be offering a variety of food for purchase. After the game, at approximately 8:30 p.m., catch a spectacular 20-minute fireworks show set to patriotic music!

We will also be featuring live music at 8-Acres Park, just north of the stadium. Music, performed by “Nothin but a Party Band,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude with the stadium fireworks show.

For the safety and convenience of event attendees, road closures / detours will be in place between the hours of 5:30-9:30 p.m. as follows:

  • Bullard Avenue will be closed between Tierra Buena Lane and Paradise Lane from 5:30 p.m. – approx. 9:30 p.m.
  • Paradise Lane will be closed between Bullard Avenue and Statler Boulevard from 8 p.m. – approx. 9 p.m.

Event parking will be available at the following locations:

  • Main stadium parking lot, north of Surprise Stadium
  • Surprise Community Park
  • Overflow parking south of Tierra Buena Lane, between Bullard Avenue and Civic Center Drive
  • Overflow parking north of Paradise Lane, between Bullard Avenue and Civic Center Plaza
  • Accessible parking will be available in the southwest and northwest corners of the stadium parking lot and the west end of the Surprise Community Park parking lot

See a map detailing the road closures and parking locations: Event Map. For event information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000, or check the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Contact Me

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

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June 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Canadian Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce Initiative

Surprise, Arizona could be the next top destination for Canadian medical travel. Guest speaker Marc Kealey, CEO of Kealey & Associates in Toronto, Canada co-presented with Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic on the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise aimed at patients who desire the excellence of Canadian standards without the increasingly challenging wait times for services.

Arizona is home to more than 350 Canadian companies and more than 1.1 million Canadians visit our state annually, spending approximately $1.1 billion and staying here for an average of 20 days. Canadians tend to be highly satisfied with their healthcare quality, but they tend to have longer wait periods to receive healthcare services compared to their peers in other countries. This is most likely due to their physician shortage, and the fact their medical schools are at capacity with 1,500 studying abroad. Their healthcare system is publically funded but privately delivered. We are well positioned here. There are approximately 15,000 Canadian residents in Surprise.

Next steps for expanding healthcare services to our Canadian neighbors include the establishment of a taskforce and several roundtables that would make up the regulatory analysis and market feasibility. The finding recommendation should be presented to the City Council by the end of the year.

Ottawa University Arizona Update

Ottawa University Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner provided an update on the University. To date, 45 people have been hired to work at the University with more hires expected after July. Ottawa University was founded 152 years ago in Ottawa, Kansas. They have had a 40-year presence in the Phoenix market and have been serving Surprise community for 8 years at the Communiversity. Currently, the university is transitioning existing programs into a residential campus with a full blown athletic model. Dr. Tyner stated over 350 students have submitted letters of intent for Fall 2017; their registration target was 150 students. It is the goal of the University to have 3,000 residential students within 10 years.

Ottawa University Surprise expansion plan rendering

Degree programs will be available from the Schools of Business, Arts & Sciences and Education. Degrees from the School of Health and Applied Sciences should be available next year, and accreditation to have Engineering and Accounting degrees will go before the State this year. Ottawa University promotes a life of significance with engagement in quality work in the community and much more.


City Council Meeting

Major Zoning Amendment to Cotton Gin PAD

The applicant, NexMetro, requested an amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development (PAD) to allow multi-family residential as a permitted land use on the 10.8 acres (approx.) parcel located on the northeast corner of Waddell Road and Reems Road. Additionally, the applicant proposed to create new development standards for multi-family residential uses. This proposed PAD Amendment will allow for 127 single-story attached and detached rentals units. The PAD and site plan were approved with a 4-2 vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The project was unanimously approved by City Council.

Board and Commission Appointments

City Council unanimously approved appointments of William Coniam (Board of Trustees) to serve remainder of a term that expires June 30,2018; Renee Pastor to the Board of Trustees to serve a four year term with an expiration of June 30, 2021; Kathryn Chandler to serve on the Disability Advisory Commission with a four year term to expire on June 30, 2021; Edward Hanzel to the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a four year term expiring on June 30, 2021; and Marco Daleo to serve on the Tourism Commission to represent Hotels. He will complete the remainder of a term to expire on June 30, 2019.

Additionally, unanimously approved were the reappointments of the following members for four-year terms which will expire on June 30, 2021: David Sanders, Mark Brown and Ron Jenson for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; Robert Monahan for the Disability Advisory Commission; Kristin Peck and DeAngelo Hall for the Tourism Commission and Brooke Gaunt as the State Bar Representative for the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office for all appointments and reappointments. Thank you to these gracious appointments for volunteering the time to serve our city.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 15. As a subcommittee, we approved the fare policy change regarding ticket partnerships and the FY17/18 audit plan for Valley Metro RPTA Board consideration. The request to authorize an amendment to the regional fare policy will allow for additional ticket partnerships with events and event venues. For example, the cost of the ticket for an event will include the transportation through Valley Metro, so only one ticket would be required for admission and transportation.

Valley Metro COO Rob Antoniak provided an update of vendor contracts to ensure uninterrupted customer services for those customers that call or text Valley Metro seeking assistance through their automated customer service system. The current vendor unexpectedly terminated its contract effective June 30.

Highland Prep High School

Highland Prep Principal Ken Schlinger and I met on Thursday, June 15. Highland Prep is a tuition free public charter preparatory STEM high school that will be located at 15600 W. Hearn Road. They broke ground on Wednesday, June 21 and will open in a temporary facility this fall to a freshman class of 125 students. The school will open its new building in fall 2018 that will host freshman and sophomore classes. Each year, they will add another freshman class and hope to host 500 students.

Meet & Greet with Kealey and Associates

On June 20, I met with Kealey and Associates CEO Mark Kealey. Mr. Kealey is working with our Economic Development department to determine the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise.

Memorial Service for Mark Coronado

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado
Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado

It is with the heaviest heart that we learned about the passing of our

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado. Mark was only 59 years old.

Mark was hired by the City of Surprise in 2000 to lead the CRS Department, which was a three-person team at the time. 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. In addition, he served as the Cactus League President for two consecutive terms from 2012-2016.

Surprise has lost one of our biggest assets who has left a lasting legacy for our city. He will be sorely missed.


Mark Your Calendar

Project Connect

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success!

Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

Help us make Project Connect in Surprise a success by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov for questions about the event.

Back to School Drive at Surprise City Hall

Please consider joining Surprise employees and show your support for our Surprise youth by donating back-to-school supplies that will benefit local kindergarten through 8th graders. All types of school supplies are needed and can be dropped off in the donation bins located in the lobby of City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) until July 31. For more information, please contact Stephen Chang at 623.222.3136.


Did You Know?

Surprise PD Officer Receives School Resource Officer of the Year Award

Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas
Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas

Congratulations to Officer Chris Thomas for being named the “The 2017 Arizona School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year” award; an award recognized by the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers. Officer Thomas currently serves at Valley Vista High School and is a key part of the Monsoon family.

The Arizona SRO of the Year Award is given to officers who exhibit the qualities and goals of the School Resource Officer position. Through the triad approach to school policing (teaching, counseling, policing), the SRO attempts to bridge the gap that exists between police and the youth of today, teach law-related education to deepen their understanding of civic responsibility, and to develop their respect for the justice system.

Officer Thomas was nominated by Officer Wendy Klarkowski, several students, school staff members, and administrators at the Valley Vista High School; including Karen Winterstein, the Director of Student Services, at the Dysart Unified School District.

Presentation on Urban Design and Well-being

Earlier last month, Mr. Charles Montgomery, author of the book “Happy City” provided an overview of the relationship between urban design and well-being to the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) Regional Council. The MAG Regional Council Report indicated that he explored how these principles can be incorporated into regional mobility planning as well as deliver economic and public health benefits.

According to the report, Mr. Montgomery said the top four components for urban health and happiness are social connections, freedom to move, belonging to a neighborhood and the inclusion of systems and spaces for everyone. These concepts will be integral in the development of regional planning efforts moving forward, according to MAG.


Contact Me

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

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June 1, 2017 • Newsletter

City Updates

Truth in Taxation Notice

Many of you have been inquiring about the recent press release pertaining the Truth in Taxation Hearing Notice that was distributed on Friday, May 26 (See Press Release). The city is required by state law to post annually a Truth in Taxation Notice. The verbiage is very specific and may lead to confusion. To clarify, the city is not raising property taxes. The City Council can only set the property tax rate, which we have agreed will remain at $0.7591 per $100 of assessed limited property value for the upcoming year.

The Truth in Taxation statement is showing the results of applying the same rate to the latest assessed limited property values for the city. The average assessed limited property value, as determined by the Maricopa County Assessor, increased by 3.7%. Applying this same rate to the new assessed limited property values results in the 3.7% increase in the amount referred to the aforementioned statement. While the rate is not increasing, the assessed property values are.

You are invited to attend and speak at the June 6 Regular City Council Meeting, 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, should you have any comments on this topic. At that meeting, Council will vote on our intention to levy primary property taxes in the amount of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed valuation and set the property tax levy adoption for the June 20 Council Meeting.

City Development

I have also been receiving inquiries about the construction occurring at Bell Road and Civic Center Drive. The property is known as Thompson Thrift which consists of a 9-acre small retail center that will include Raising Canes and In & Out Burger.

Civic Center Drive Expansion

Road construction to extend Civic Center Drive to one lane in each direction between Paradise Lane and Bell Road is scheduled to begin next month. When complete in September 2017, the much anticipated roadway will provide direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road. 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.


Events & Meetings

Memorial Day Activities

Last weekend, I was honored to participate in multiple Memorial Day events including the following:

  • Wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Memorial outside the Northwest Regional Library coordinated by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with American Legion Post 96 and the Marine Corps League White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Nick Bacon Memorial located at City Hall that was hosted by VFW Post 285 led by Commander Glen Stark
  • The Sun Village Memorial Day Remembrance led by resident Tomas Garcia and a host of volunteers
  • 6th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Radiant Church organized and coordinated by the Veterans Memorial Hall Committee led by Larry Brown and George Van de Langeryt. This particular ceremony included a tribute to Bill Lipscomb who was instrumental in the planning of ceremonies in years past.

Review of Appointed Officials’ Goals

Councilman John Williams and I met to review and discuss the FY18 goals of the City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney. The final edition of said goals will be forwarded to the rest of City Council for review and discussion in Executive Session at the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6.

Surprise Police Department Celebration of Gail Kuhn

image of Officer Gail Kuhn
Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement celebration honoring Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn on Wednesday, May 31. CSO Kuhn began employment with the Surprise Fire Department in January 2005 and joined the Surprise Police Department in June 2009. CSO Kuhn received many commendations throughout her employment and also received the Police Department “Civilian of the Year” award in 2012.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting. Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

Share Your Thoughts on Arts & Culture Master Plan

The city in the process of developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. We are asking for your help in shaping that plan, and there are several opportunities to do that!

Please take our online survey, available at www.surpriseartsplan.com/survey, and join us for one of the following roundtable discussions:

Tuesday, June 6
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Avenue

Tuesday, June 6
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

Wednesday, June 7
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Sonoran Plaza at Sun City Grand – Palms Room, 19753 N Remington Drive

Thursday, June 8
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

The survey results and public input meetings will help us create a draft Arts and Culture Master Plan that will be presented to the community, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Surprise City Council for review and feedback.

For more information on the plan, process and timeline, please visit our Arts and Culture Master Plan webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsplan. For questions, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Did You Know?

Surprise Joins Heat Relief Network

The city of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the hot summer months. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network – a network of service providers, faith-based groups, municipalities, businesses, and caring citizens mobilizing to provide hydration and heat refuge for people in need. The ultimate goal of the Heat Relief Network is to help prevent heat-related deaths. The Heat Relief Network will run from May through September.

Designated hydration stations in Surprise include the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W Bell Road Building A Suite 124, and Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301), 16750 N Village Drive East. FS 301 is also a place of refuge to cool off during the day. You can help those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either of the heat relief locations.

City Seeking Donations for Homeless

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success! Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

You can help by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov if you have questions about the event.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question