Tag Archives: Bell & Grand

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

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June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

The current FY18 budget is supported in part by direct charges for services provided by the city. These charges for services fall into three broad groups including utility rates, development impact fees, and user fees. With that being said, the revision of utility rates and development impact fees is highly regulated by state law. Though less regulated, user fees do have state mandated posting requirements and Comprehensive Financial Management Policies call for a periodic examination of user fees to determine an acceptable rate of cost recovery. In order to ensure compliance with state mandates and to facilitate a more consistent user fee policy process, a consolidated user fee schedule was adopted by City Council in FY16. User Fees make up $9.8 million of the estimated User Fee Revenue for FY18. Community Development fees are $2.4 million of that amount. The Community Development Department has not conducted a formal overhaul of the Community Development User Fees since 2010, under Resolution 2010-23, which had an effective date of April 1, 2010. There have been subsequent minor modifications in 2012 and 2016 but not a thorough review of the fees. The Department’s goal is to recover all or part of program costs associated with development; some of which include various other departments.

Community Outreach consists of a written notice of the proposed fee schedule on our city website, distribution of information via the city’s social media outlets with a notice of intent and the potential City Council adoption on August 15, 2017.


Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing on Budget, Truth in Taxation and Property Tax Levies

The city is required to hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures and tax levy in which any taxpayer may appear and be heard in favor of or against any proposed expenditure or tax levy. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 42-17107, any increase in the primary property tax levy, exclusive of new growth, must go through a Truth in Taxation hearing. Statute requires that a public hearing is held prior to the levy of property taxes for street light improvement districts (SLIDS). A public hearing was conducted with no comments from the public.

The resolution adopting the FY18 final budget and the notices of intent to levy primary and street light improvement districts property tax levies were adopted as part of this meeting. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The FY18 Budget, approved at $275.8 million, maintains city services and the primary property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money.

The property tax levy adoption is scheduled for discussion and action for the City Council meeting on June 20.


City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided an overview of the preliminary plat for City Center, a 56.38 acre property located along Statler Boulevard west of Litchfield Road, which included a multi-phased, attached and detached, single-family lot subdivision. The applicant proposed a total of 369 residential lots on 50.7 acres for a density of 7.28 dwelling units per acre. The lots would consist of a combination of 50 foot by 60 foot detached, 46 foot by 80 foot detached, and 50 foot by 60 foot duplex parcels. The plat also included 9.9 acres of land that would provide 17.6 open space for the development.

City Council voted to deny the approval of the Mattamy preliminary plat by a 4-3 vote.

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

City Council unanimously approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail. Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s meeting that was held on April 19.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month. ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month). You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

City Clerk Employment Contract

At the request of the Performance Evaluation Leaders Committee consisting of Councilman John Williams and myself, an employment contract for City Clerk Sherry Aguilar was drafted. Her former contract was set to expire on June 30, 2017. Her employment contract is now in harmony with the other Council appointed positions and it was approved unanimously.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, June 5. Several items were discussed including the Arts & Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. Planner Joshua Mike and Designing Local consultant Josh Lapp provided an overview of their current community outreach plans that consists of several roundtable discussions with arts and cultural stakeholders. The discussions were held this week.


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.

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.


Did You Know?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

The City of Surprise has been selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. Since 2012, the awards program has recognized 24 innovative communities across America that are leading the way by incorporating intergenerational solutions that engage the wisdom and vitality of all generations. Surprise was recognized for its intergenerational workforce development partnerships that promote a greater sense of community while establishing and tapping into our current and future talent pool.

Those programs include:

Surprise City Court Explorers Program – an interactive worksite-based career education program affiliated with the Boys Scouts of America that introduces high school students to career opportunities in the judicial and legal lines of work

Helping Partners Program – a vocational training program for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities that is offered by nonprofits Benevilla and One Step Beyond in partnership with the city

Summer Youth Employment Program – a summer jobs program for teens where they to receive professional development training through city internships; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors

Other programs and services included the Surprise Citizen Patrol, Surprise Community Pride Day, Crisis Response Team and the Block Party Trailer Program.

The award entry also cited how volunteerism in the city engages all generations to share their time and talent to maintain and grow community vitality. Our volunteers assist our police and fire-medical departments, beautify the community through clean up events, help raise money for college scholarships and more.

The winning community is Two Harbors, Minnesota. The other National Finalists are: Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Oklahoma, and the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Presentation of this year’s awards will occur at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference on June 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council set aside $65,000 for FY2017-2018 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 11 and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Department
City of Surprise
Attention: Jodi Tas
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Surprise City Hall- Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

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March 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project

Last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) released a final weekly update. The opening of the new Grand Avenue ramps connecting to the Bell Road overpass on February 16 was the last major milestone for the project. While there is still some work to complete, ADOT and its partners are pleased to have opened all the new connections at the interchange, allowing much-improved traffic flow for the region.

The project team will complete permanent lane striping on sections of new pavement along Grand Avenue on March 5 and March 6. Crews also will finish minor work on signage, landscaping and signals as the project comes to an end.

While the construction took place in Districts 4 and 5, it affected people throughout the city. I wanted to personally thank each of you for your patience during the project. The major project went off with relative ease thanks to ADOT and members of our internal project team who effectively communicated weekly status reports to our residents and provided City Council, staff and residents with monthly updates at City Council meetings as well as attended dozens of HOA meetings to ensure our residents’ questions were answered. Thank you to each and every one of you.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Arizona Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of their Surprise branch on Thursday, February 22 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event. This is their first branch in the Northwest Valley. They are a member-owned financial service organization with 14 branches throughout the valley.

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual Party

I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Party on Saturday, February 25. The event was well-attended and provided me an opportunity to talk to many constituents.

Opening Day @ Surprise Stadium

Councilmembers and our Spring Training volunteer organization, Surprise Sundancers, celebrated opening day at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, February 25 along with a full stadium of attendees. Welcome back, Rangers & Royals!

Surprise Youth Council Event

On the night of Saturday February 25, you may have seen an array of multi-colored lights in the sky and heard the sound of laughter and dance music cascading down from the 4th floor of the Civic Center parking garage. This was Level 4; the first annual social event planned and executed by the Surprise Youth Council, featuring music, dancing, a host of games like air hockey and old school arcade favorites, live art, food, and much more. From 6 to 9 p.m., more than 220 teenagers from high schools all around Surprise came to dance, eat, and socialize with friends in a positive and unique environment unlike any other in the City. Part dance club, part rooftop party, Level 4 provided teens with the experience of an exciting big city event here in their hometown. The City of Surprise’s Youth Services Division is committed to developing Level 4 into one the City’s signature youth events, growing our youth’s sense of connection to their community and the City’s reputation as an innovative and forward thinking organization that is truly invested in the quality of life of our youth. Stay tuned for more exciting events, programs, and initiatives coming out of Surprise’s Youth Services Division.

Economic Development Event @ Surprise Stadium

I attended an event hosting the retail industry during a spring training game on Wednesday, March 1. The event provided elected officials and city staff the opportunity to network with several retailers in advance of the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference later this spring.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip-A-Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 p.m.

The Explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc

Citywide Text Amendment to Chapter 113

The City is currently in the process of updating its Sign Code and seeks your input.  A series of outreach meetings are being scheduled during the month of March.  The first of those meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8 at the Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue.  View meeting details…


Did You Know?

Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Wins State Title

Valley Vista High School Girls basketball won the 6A Conference state championship at Grand Canyon University Arena on February 28. They beat Goodyear Millennium High School 44-36 in the championship game! Congratulations to all of you on this exciting win!

West Valley Agencies Join Together To Enhance Police Services

In April 2016, the Surprise Police Department and many other police departments located throughout the West Valley came together to form a coalition to enhance their efforts in serving citizens experiencing a mental health crisis.

The importance of enhancing these police services and providing additional training was recently highlighted in the 2015 release of the Final Report of the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing”. The report outlined six pillars; including Pillar Five: Training & Education. This pillar discusses training of police officers in many different areas of discipline, but particularly outlined the importance of providing proper training to police officers in regard to their response to crisis intervention and other mental health issues.

As a result, the West Valley Crisis Intervention Team Coalition (WVCIT) was formed. The coalition is currently comprised of the following police agencies: the Surprise Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Goodyear Police Department, the Peoria Police Department, the Avondale Police Department, the Tolleson Police Department, the El Mirage Police Department, and the Buckeye Police Department.

City Ambulance Service Grows

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department now has a second city-run ambulance in operation, advancing its goal of becoming the primary provider of emergency transport in the city. Surprise Fire-Medical launched its ambulance service in November 2015 with one ambulance running out of Fire Station 305 at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. In just one year of operation, that ambulance responded to nearly 2,500 calls for service.

Funding for two new ambulances was approved by City Council through the 2017 budget. One of those ambulances now operates out of Fire Station 302 near Reems Road and Mountain View Boulevard. The other new ambulance has replaced the one at Fire Station 305. The used ambulance from station 305 now serves as a backup when one of the new ambulances needs to be serviced. Private ambulance companies continue to supplement the coverage needed throughout the city.

“Our community is growing and our needs are changing,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. “We are constantly analyzing those needs and taking action to ensure we can continue to deliver the best possible response times and premier patient care.”

Learn more about Surprise-Fire Medical at www.surpriseaz.gov/fire.


Contact Me

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

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February 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The newly constructed Grand Ave ramps from the Bell Rd Bridge are now open; here’s what you need to know about navigating the completed intersection!

  1. The traffic control signal on the top of the Bell Rd Bridge that connects traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to Grand Ave is now active! Be prepared to stop at the intersection to allow Grand Ave traffic to make turning movements onto Bell Rd, and Bell Rd movements onto Grand Ave.
  2. Planning to shop at Surprise Marketplace (SW corner of Bell & Grand)? Those driving on Bell Rd should STAY on Bell Rd to access this shopping center, just west of the bridge, at the Chick-Fil-A driveway or West Point Pkwy. If you are on Grand Ave, then enter using the Bell Grande Dr entrance, just south of the bridge.
  3. If you are on Grand Ave (in either direction) and take the Grand Ave ramps to access Bell Rd, you can only turn right or left onto Bell. There are no through movements back onto Grand Ave for drivers on the ramps.
  4. Dual left turns on Bell-to-Dysart & Litchfield-to-Bell are GONE! Traffic control has returned to the pre-Bell Rd closure configuration at these intersections. The dual left turn lanes, and other detour-favoring changes, have been removed. Please be mindful of the traffic control changes.
  5. The city is actively monitoring the intersection for traffic synchronization!

Or view the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Project tasks, such as landscaping, permanent striping and construction of the interchange drainage system, will continue until the project is complete in early March 2017.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

The Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee met on Thursday, February 9 to interview for the position of Manager, Internal Auditor. A candidate was unanimously chosen and will be forwarded to the full Board for discussion and approval on February 16.

Women in Government Leadership Launch

City Manager Bob Wingenroth kicked-off the launch of our city’s Surprise Women Leading Government Program on Thursday, February 9. Women Leading Government is an initiative that welcomes all people, men and women, dedicated to public service and the development of women leaders. The city has formed a team dedicated to developing and implementing this program within our organization that will continue growing talent and encouraging women to excel.


Mark Your Calendar

5th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival This Weekend

Thunderbird Artists are heading to Surprise again with an array of beautiful art pieces and great wine and rum samplings! Admission is only $3 and for $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets, giving you an opportunity to sample an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines as well as flavored rums.

The festival will also include live musical entertainment and great food. Crab Fiesta offers delicious crab cakes. Larry’s Smokehouse serves fresh salmon dishes, and there will be much more!

The event will be held on February 17, 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus.

USTA Pro Circuit Tournament in Surprise

The Surprise Tennis Classic Women’s Tennis Championships, a USTA Pro Circuit Event, is in town through Sunday. This $25,000 tournament features up and coming young professionals from the Women’s Professional Circuit.

The tournament is being held at the national award-winning Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex. This is 10th consecutive year the complex has hosted a USTA Pro Circuit event.

The tournament includes great tennis action as well as a series of special events for the public. There are a couple of events still to come this week:

Thursday, February 16: Tennis Buddies Day
An adaptive tennis clinic for individuals with special needs provided by staff from the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, along with the tournament’s touring professionals, and the City of Surprise’s Adaptive Recreation Staff. Clinic runs 6-7 p.m. with a pizza party and prizes for all participants at the conclusion of the clinic.

Thursday, February 16: High School Tennis Day and Players Clinic
Teens that play on their high school Varsity or Junior Varsity tennis teams are invited to a 90-minute clinic with some of the tournament’s touring professionals. Participants will compete in drills and point situations with world class players from the tournament followed by a pizza party, prizes and a meet-and-greet with the players. Clinic runs from 6-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 18: Kids Tennis Carnival
Kids participate in games with players from the Pro Circuit. All kids admitted free to Carnival and the day’s matches while parents pay half-price admission. Kids Carnival starts at 11 a.m. with pizza and prizes for all participants prior to the start of the semifinal matches. For information, contact the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex at 623.222.2400.

Tickets for the event can be purchased onsite at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, located at 14469 W. Paradise Lane. Tickets are $6 per person. For additional ticket or tournament information, please call 623.222.2400 or visit our website at www.surpriseaz.com/tennis.

Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch

Mayor Wolcott will be hosting the 15th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon to celebrate the return of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 2 from 11 am – 1 pm. The event will take place at Surprise Stadium – Sanderson Ford 1st Base Concourse, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission will include a catered lunch provided by State 48 Brewery; 1 plaza level ticket to the Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals scheduled game; and a 15th anniversary commemorative gift. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming season from team staff. For more information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

City Offices Closed for Presidents Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, February 20 in observance of Presidents Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of February 20-24. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; 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 contact City of Surprise Customer Service at 623.222.6000 if you have any questions.

Where Does Your Money Go?


local sales tax breakdown

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 9, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the upcoming Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

The Bell-Grand project is almost complete! While we’re experiencing lane closures on both Bell and Grand over the next few weeks, let’s continue to be good neighbors and avoid creating personal detours through neighborhoods to avoid additional traffic.

Upcoming Activities

  • Bell Road narrowed to one lane in each direction nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, Saturday, Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 12.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
  • The traffic signal at Bell Road and Grand Avenue will be activated Monday, Feb. 13.
  • The Grand Avenue ramps to and from Bell Road will be opened Thursday, Feb. 16.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


City Council Workshop

City Budget Kick-Off for Fiscal Year 2018

The first budget presentation regarding the development of the FY2018 budget began on Tuesday afternoon. This particular presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget and a review of the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis was placed on the areas of policy making and the impact it can have on the FY2018 budget. The presentation also discussed outside issues that will influence the outcome of the budget process, such as public safety retirement, cost increases and workload increases.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.


City Council Meeting

City Manager Recognitions

Three special youth were recognized by City Manager Bob Wingenroth at the beginning of the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Sisters, Shelby and Tabitha Caetano, were acknowledged by Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott for their heroic actions while providing life saving measures during a medical emergency for a family member.

Ladder Company 305 with Shelby and Tabitha Caetano
Ladder Company 305 with Shelby and Tabitha Caetano

Makenna Breading-Goodrich, an eighth grade student at Canyon Ridge Elementary School, was recognized as a Distinguished Finalist as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award program. There were over 31,000 young volunteers who were considered. This is the first time a student from Surprise has won the award. She is an exceptional individual with a genuine heart for community service. I commend her for her work and for inspiring her peers to contribute to the community!

City Council with Makenna Breading-Goodrich
City Council with Makenna Breading-Goodrich

Events & Meetings

“Drive Wise, Surprise” Campaign

The Surprise Police Department launched a new traffic safety campaign aimed at encouraging safe driving habits. The slogan: “Drive Wise, Surprise.”

“In recent years, traffic accidents in our city have increased by 8-to-10 percent amid a growing population,” says Police Chief Terry Young. “This campaign is designed to create a culture of safe driving in Surprise, whether you are a resident or a visitor driving through the city.”

The campaign uses play on words and bright, creative imagery to deploy safety reminders via new street signage. While the campaign may sound playful, the intention behind it is more serious.

“When you are practicing good driving habits, you are helping to make the road safer for everyone,” says Chief Young. “Getting to your destination faster is not worth a serious injury; driving distracted or under the influence is not worth a life.”

This message is especially relevant as accident statistics increase and bad driving behaviors continue, not only in Surprise, but across Arizona and the country:

  • Surprise saw an 8 percent increase in accidents from 2014 to 2015 and a 10 percent increase in accidents from 2015 to 2016.
  • Arizona Department of Transportation reported a statewide increase of more than 6 percent from 2014 to 2015.
  • About 87 percent of drivers engage in unsafe behaviors behind the wheel, according to national research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
  • Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in a one year period, according to a national study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In addition to street signs, the campaign includes community and media engagement, social media messaging, ads, a public service announcement and various other marketing tools.

Watch the public service announcement and see images of the street signage at www.surpriseaz.gov/drivewise.


Mark Your Calendar

County Seeking Input on Multi-Year Health Improvement Plan

Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is seeking the public’s input on defining its health priorities for a three-year plan that will be implemented starting in 2018. Various public meetings are being held throughout the county where the public will be presented with the top 10 health priorities that have come out of this year’s assessment and asked to whittle them down to the top 3-5.

All sessions will provide snacks & refreshments, free childcare service and are ADA-accessible.

Interested West Valley community members should attend the public forum listed below:

Tuesday, February 28
5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
No Spanish translation
Surprise City Hall, Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

For more information, contact Sonia Charry at 602-679-3098.

HOA Connection Classes

The city is hosting a series of HOA Connection Classes, which are designed to strengthen the city’s HOA communities. Residents and HOA board members are invited to attend the following upcoming classes:

February 28 – Proposed Legislation and Information on Fraud in HOAs

Community association attorney Beth Mulcahy will provide a general overview of Arizona community association law and the new bills that have been introduced in the Arizona Legislature in 2017. There will also be a brief discussion on how to prevent theft and fraud of association funds.

The class will be held from 1- 2:30 p.m. in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85374.

March 8 – HOA Open Meeting Laws

The Arizona Legislature has passed laws requiring planned communities and condominiums to conduct all of their meetings in a manner that is open to the community. This well-intentioned law is sometimes viewed as an unreasonable burden upon board members, which can result in violations. This class will cover:

  • Importance of Arizona’s open meeting laws
  • Overview of the open meeting laws and how they operate
  • Burdens on volunteer board members created by the law
  • Typical violations of the law and how they are best addressed

The class will be taught by Steve Cheifetz. Mr. Cheifetz has practiced law in Phoenix for 30 years, with the last 15 years of his practice having focused on homeowners association issues and disputes.

The class will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85374.

For more information on either of the classes or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

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?

Property Tax Distribution

The city collects approximately 9.5% of the primary property tax rate. The rest goes to schools, the county and other entities.

Property Tax Distribution


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through this month.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the upcoming Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving is anticipated for completion on Grand Avenue by the end of this week.
  • Grand Avenue ramps to and from Bell Road are anticipated to open, weather permitting, by February 16.
  • Painting, landscaping and sidewalk work is ongoing.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Traffic Pattern Update

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending northwest on Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive (by Carl’s Jr.) for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


Events & Meetings

Citizen Outreach Meeting

Staff hosted a Citizen Outreach meeting on January 26 regarding a proposed amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development which would allow MexMetro to develop a residential community on approximately 10.8 acres at the northeast corner of Reems and Waddell roads. There were residents in attendance who voiced their concerns and discontent over the proposed change.

Citizen Outreach Meeting

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

With a state engineer on board, design work is underway on the transformation of Bullard Avenue, between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue, city staff informed the Bullard Avenue Task Force, on Thursday, January 26.

Per task force recommendation, this stretch of Bullard Avenue will be restored to two travel lanes in each direction, while maintaining the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit. Traffic signals will also be added at the Acoma and Sweetwater intersections, to complement existing crosswalks.

With five schools located in the area and more than 600 students crossing Bullard during the school year, the city secured $1.7 million in federal grant money, including a $500,000 city match, for a total of $2.2 million to fund safety improvements. As a federally-funded project, it must be administered through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Bike lanes and cycle tracks (safety buffers), along with landscaping are included in the project.

Design and drainage plan drafts and an environmental assessment are expected to be completed this summer. Final reports are scheduled for completion this fall. The project bid is expected to be advertised in early 2018, with construction planned for May 2018 – October 2018. The previously announced tentative construction start date of late 2017 was pushed back to allow for the selection of a project engineer and for securing additional grant money to cover the costs of installing a landscaped median.

For questions please contact Mike Gent at mike.gent@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.6223. For background information please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

AdvancED Community Leader Meeting

The AdvancED team asked to meet with me and seven key community representatives to receive input regarding Dysart’s continuous improvement efforts and provide insight about the quality of Dysart’s educational program. AdvancED is the non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site reviews of schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. The AdvancED team presented their findings and recommendation for accreditation at a special Governing Board meeting on February 1.

AdvancED Focus Group Meeting

Following the Community Leader meeting, we met at the Canyon Ridge Elementary School campus to further speak to the AdvancED certification team about the great happenings with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). An eclectic group of professionals were part of the focus group as well as representatives from Northern Arizona University who named Canyon Ridge one of the top STEM schools in Arizona.


Mark Your Calendar

City Begins FY18 Budget Discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2018 budget-building process begins at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 7. This is the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. This presentation will give a general overview of the city’s budget and review the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis will be placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2018 budget. The presentation will also discuss outside issues that will influence the outcomes of the budget process.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/ at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Lunchtime Theatre Series

The City of Surprise and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theatre Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are excited to offer another performance, “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends”. The performance will be held on February 9, 2017. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

Veteran Resource Navigator Training

The City has partnered with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) to bring their Veteran Resource Navigator training to Surprise on February 9. The desired outcome will be greater awareness of veteran resources so we can connect service members, veterans and their families with the right resource at the right time. Choose from either a morning or afternoon session. The sessions are 9 a.m. – noon or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The training is free and open to the public. If you or anyone you know would like to attend, please have them send a RSVP e-mail to Deb Perry at Deborah.Perry@surpriseaz.gov.

Free Career Success Workshop for Women

The city is hosting a career success workshop for women who are looking for tips on finding a job or advancing their career.

The workshop, taught by expert Lisa Blue, will cover the following topics:

  • Interview do’s and don’ts
  • How to improve your resume
  • How to identify and overcome challenges
  • How to align yourself with your passion

The workshop will be held Thursday, February 23 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124.

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

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?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise MPC Bonds to A+

Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) bonds to ‘A+’ from ‘A’. These bonds, which total $35.7 million, were issued for the South Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, which doubled citywide treatment capacity to nearly 18 million gallons per day (mgd). Fitch believes this is ample capacity to meet future growth needs. In 2016, the plant treated an average of 8.4 mgd.

In determining the upgrade, Fitch credits affordable system user fees, which “register just 0.4% of median household income (MHI).” Fitch maintains a 1% MHI affordability threshold.

Wastewater system user fees were last increased in Fiscal Year 2010 and management does not foresee any wastewater rate adjustments for the next five years. Net revenues are expected to continue to support debt service on the series 2007 bonds.

Fitch also championed prudent financial management in which the city pays an annual prepayment principle in lieu of waiting for the large bullet payments that are due in fiscal years 2022 and 2032. A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

The agency also issued a rating outlook of Stable.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 26, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.
  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 29.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Traffic Pattern Update

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending northwest on Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive (by Carl’s Jr.) for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


Events & Meetings

AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting

Along with representation from Canyon Ridge Elementary School, I attended the AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting at Centerra Mirage STEM Academy in Goodyear on Tuesday, January 17. AZ STEM School Community of Practice is a joint initiative between hi-tech businesses, community members, educators, students and parents. This is a collaboration that consists of 57 forward-thinking schools dedicated to sharing best practices and finding solutions to educate our youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This particular meeting consisted of break-out sessions that focused on attracting funds and partnerships.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, January 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting to present an overall city update with a focus on economic development. Police Chief Terry Young accompanied me to discuss recent vehicular burglaries. He reinforced the need to lock your car doors and keep your valuables indoors or out of sight. All but one vehicle was left unlocked during these aforementioned crimes.

El Mirage City Hall Grand Opening

City Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended the El Mirage City Hall grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, January 19 along with several other elected officials and dignitaries from around the Valley. The new City Hall is located on El Mirage Road between Peoria and Olive Avenues.

AZ History & Culture Speaker Series Continues

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities hosted another fantastic speaker series event on Monday, January 23 at City Hall. The presentation introduced us to the flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart and the road that took her from an innocent teenager to a life of crime. We had 95 people attend the free event!

The next speaker series event will follow the footsteps of Martha Summerhayes who gave birth to the first Anglo child born at Fort Apache. The free event will be held February 15 from 11 am – noon in the City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall. Please contact Commission Chair Susan deJong for additional information at 623.214.7537.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Meeting as part of their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, January 24. Chamber Board Chair Patrick McDermott introduced the 2017 Board Officers which, in addition to himself, include Scott Philips, Jeremiah Hood, Steve Doolittle and Melissa Holdaway. Additionally, Mr. McDermott provided the 2016 highlights which included the award-winning ShopSurprise campaign produced in collaboration with the city of Surprise, the revitalization of the Chairman’s Circle and an overview of the Chamber’s financials. The Chamber gained 75 new members and 17 Chairman Circle members in 2016. The total membership exceeds 400 members.

Chamber CEO Raoul Sada discussed the three pillars of the Chamber which include Membership Services and Resources, Voice of the Business Community, and Public Education and Outreach. For more information on the Chamber, please visit their website at www.surpriseregionalchamber.com.


Mark Your Calendar

2017 Surprise City Academy

If you are interested in learning about the structure of city government or just want to update yourself on local issues, now is the time to register for the 2017 Surprise City Academy. The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from City Council and city management.

The Surprise City Academy will begin on March 6 and continue weekly through April 17. Most classes meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. The Academy is free but space is limited, so I encourage you to register by February 23.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Lunchtime Theatre Series

The City of Surprise and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theatre Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are excited to offer another performance, “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends”. The performance will be held on February 9, 2017. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

State of the City Address

Mayor Sharon Wolcott plans to highlight the success of Our Community. Our Story and provide the vision for future success in the 2017 State of the City luncheon event.

When: Wednesday, February 22

Where: The Colonnade, 19116 Colonnade Way, Surprise, 85374

Registration begins at 10:45 a.m. Lunch follows and the program begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting registrations online and by phone at 623.583.0692 or 623.748.1828. Single tickets are $35; or $500 for a reserved table for 10. The event is hosted by the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Health.


Did You Know?

Surprise Veteran Job Club

The City of Surprise is proud to serve the men and women of the Armed Forces, both active-duty and veterans, who serve us so well! That’s why we have launched a Veteran Job Club, where veterans provide other veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career! This group includes employment assistance, guest speakers and networking!

When: February 2, 2017 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite #124

To register, please call the Surprise Resource Center 623.222.1600.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 19, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 30.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


City Council Work Session

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Update

The ramps connecting Grand Avenue to the Bell Road Bridge are set to reopen before the end of February! City staff reported to City Council, in Tuesday’s Work Session, that these improvements will result in driving pattern changes. The city has created a map to help you navigate the area and safely access the new connections.

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending the westbound Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Update

Last December, the city entered into a multi-year membership and facility use agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce through June 30, 2019 which is funded annually subject to budget appropriations. As part of the membership agreement, regular updates to the City Council on the partnership, accomplishments and any upcoming programming was expected.

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an overview of the City member benefits and Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Raoul Sada provided a year in review. The Chamber will have an Annual Meeting as part of their January breakfast meeting agenda next week and will discuss 2016 financials and the future for the Chamber which includes diversification of revenue stream (corporate income and contributions, fees for services, etc.) and the growth of the membership with approximately 75 new members and 17 new companies that have joined the Chairman Circle.


City Council Meeting

Nomination of Vice Mayor

The Surprise City Council selected District 6 Councilmember Todd Tande to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.

Tande was elected to City Council in the August 2013 election to serve an extended five-year term beginning January 2014.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2016 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. While the outcome was positive, the city will continue to improve internal control policies.


Events & Meetings

MLK Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The city, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 14. Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC 15 News Steve Irvin emceed the event and retired USAF Colonel Richard Toliver provided the uplifting keynote address. The spectacular event was quite motivating and even better was the opportunity to volunteer for community service projects afterwards. Approximately 350 people attended the programs and 300 volunteers, with a total of 600 unduplicated participants involved in the day’s festivities. Volunteers gave their time to 10 service projects.

Thank you to the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department, led by Seth Dyson, for their dedication and investment into this event which we certainly hope will become an annual event in Surprise! Thank you to the volunteers for serving and continuing to build a wonderful city! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Use me, God, show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”

WESTMARC’s State of the State Luncheon

WESTMARC hosted a State of the State Luncheon on Tuesday, January 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. Governor Doug Ducey continues to emphasize education funding and increasing teachers’ salaries as well as increasing our education attainment rates with the “Achieve60AZ” education initiative. In addition to his commitment to cutting taxes, he briefly spoke about instituting a welfare provision.

Sun Village Lion’s Club

The Sun Village Lion’s Club invited me to speak to their membership during their meeting on Tuesday, January 17. I provided a city update on economic development and the Bell/Grand interchange project, as mentioned in this newsletter.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21 from 7-10 a.m. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10 a.m. or until the shred trucks have been filled up.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX


Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission 1 – vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question