Tag Archives: Boards & Commissions

June 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Canadian Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce Initiative

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

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

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

Ottawa University Arizona Update

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

Ottawa University Surprise expansion plan rendering

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


City Council Meeting

Major Zoning Amendment to Cotton Gin PAD

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

Board and Commission Appointments

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

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

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


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

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

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

Highland Prep High School

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

Meet & Greet with Kealey and Associates

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

Memorial Service for Mark Coronado

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

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

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

Mark was hired by the City of Surprise in 2000 to lead the CRS Department, which was a three-person team at the time. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. In addition, he served as the Cactus League President for two consecutive terms from 2012-2016.

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


Mark Your Calendar

Project Connect

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

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

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

Here are the requested donations:

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

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

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

Back to School Drive at Surprise City Hall

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


Did You Know?

Surprise PD Officer Receives School Resource Officer of the Year Award

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

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

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

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

Presentation on Urban Design and Well-being

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

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


Contact Me

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

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June 15, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Sixteen local students participated in the AZ TechCelerator’s 4th Annual Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp this last week. They were challenged to assess community needs and brainstorm products or services that could address those needs. The students learned from local business leaders who spoke about marketing, accounting and public speaking and then began their project research.

The students broke into four teams:

  • Surprise Transit Systems, who addressed the need for local public transportation
  • Drive Safe, who addressed the problem of distracted driving
  • A Little Surprise, who addressed the lack of healthy food available for low to moderate income families
  • Commune, who addressed the need to have one application that could keep residents informed on City Government, events and local business

Each team prepared an executive business summary to aid in creating their final pitch. The teams also created, designed and printed either their prototype or an object that was symbolic to their project on 3D printers that they had helped to build at the beginning of the week. The boot camp ended with a pitch competition at City Hall, and the presentations were quite impressive!

The big winner was the Drive Safe team. Congratulations to Nickolas Robertson and Jack Platacz from Paradise Honors High School, and to Alaina Smith and Justice Smith from Valley Vista High School on their win! They each received an HD Fire tablet and each winning school took home one of the student-built 3D printers.

Thank you to Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal for putting together the boot camp each year and to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy for assisting!

Community and Recreation Services National Accreditation

The Community and Recreation Services Department (CRS) is in the last step of the accreditation process through the Commission of Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The department has been working towards the accreditation for the past year. Council Members were invited to meet the CAPRA evaluators on Tuesday, June 13 at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.

CAPRA accreditation is a five-year cycle that includes three phases: development of the agency self-assessment report, the on-site visitation, and the Commission’s review and decision. The on-site visitation follows the agency’s development of its self-assessment report. If accreditation is granted by the Commission at its meeting following the on-site visit, the agency will develop a new self-assessment report and be revisited every five years. Within each of the four years between on-site visits, the agency will submit an annual report that addresses its continued compliance with the accreditation standards.

Friends of Surprise Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of Surprise Libraries held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, June 14. Since the non-profit organization’s inception, they have made community contributions totaling $516,424 .Agenda items included a financial report and grant update and much more. Friends of Surprise Libraries is currently looking for new Board Members. For more information on the organization, please visit www.friendsofthesurpriselibraries.org.

Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride Transition Public Meeting

Valley Metro hosted a public meeting at Surprise City Hall on Wednesday, June 14 to review the upcoming changes to their paratransit models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.


Mark Your Calendar

34th Annual Fourth of July Celebration

Please join us for our 34th annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Surprise Recreation Campus! Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. The Rookie League baseball summer matchup featuring the Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers will begin at 5:30 pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. Fireworks will begin immediately following the game at 8:30 p.m.

Fourth of July Pool Party

Bring the family out to the Surprise Aquatic Center for a fun filled evening. The poolside celebration will feature music, games, nighttime swimming, crafts and raffle prizes! The event begins at 6 p.m. and will conclude after the city’s fireworks show, which begins at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Surprise residents may purchase tickets beginning June 20 at 8 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Ave., or at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Tickets are $6, and the event will be limited to the first 400 Surprise residents.

Regular pool hours on Tuesday, July 4 will be noon – 5 p.m.


Did You Know?

Bulk Trash Pickup Program Changes Effective July 1

Changes are coming to the Bulk Trash Pickup program offered to residents who are serviced by the city of Surprise Solid Waste Department. Bulk trash will continue to be picked up by-appointment and at no additional cost to the customer; but, the rules for placement of the trash are changing.

Effective July 1, 2017, customers need to place their trash in the street, up against the curb (gutter) in front of their property. Where there is no curb, material must be placed at the edge of the street, not the sidewalk. Do not place your pile within ten feet (10’) of any fixed object or in any manner which would interfere with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, or fire hydrants.

Bulk trash can no longer be placed on private property, unless the home is located on a major roadway – streets like Bell Road and Litchfield Road or streets that feed into neighborhoods, also known as collector streets. If trash must be placed on private property, due to location, the city will provide a liability release form that needs to signed.

To find out how to schedule a pickup appointment, which items are acceptable, what the pickup limit is, and when to place your trash at the curb, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bulktrash or call 623.222.1900.

Surprise Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commission

Applications for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. If you are interested, please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.


Contact Me

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

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May 11, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May inviting all faiths to pray for our nation and elected officials. Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Member Raymond Grim hosted a morning event May 4 in honor of National Day of Prayer on the front lawn of our public safety building. The event included pastors, business leaders, residents and elected officials.

Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted the Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner on Tuesday, May 9 at City Hall, to recognize those involved with the very successful Taste of Surprise Charity Event, held on April 8 at Surprise Stadium. This was the first year the event was held at this location, and it turned out to be even more successful than originally anticipated. The restaurant line-up was very impressive, and the entertainment was equally as good! Proceeds from the event benefitted five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, the Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

The dinner was an opportunity to thank the vendors, restaurants, sponsors and the city for their support. During Tuesday’s dinner, the aforementioned non-profits were each given a check in the amount of $8,000. Congratulations to the Rotary for a fruitful event!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Seeks Public Input on Libraries

How can we improve or transform the libraries in the city of Surprise? Share your thoughts at a public meeting and through our online survey. The city currently has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library and Hollyhock Library. The city hired Orcutt Winslow, an architecture and planning firm, to conduct a library feasibility study that will help guide future library operations, library renovation projects and potential new libraries.

Resident input is key to the process. Please join us for a community meeting on Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m., in the Surprise Community Room of the Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N Bullard Avenue.

Residents are also encouraged to take an online survey available at www.surpriseaz.gov/librarysurvey.

The results of the study will be completed in August and will be presented at a City Council meeting late August or early September. For questions or more information, call the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Anniversary Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will be hosting a One Year Anniversary Open House on Thursday, May 18 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The Open House will take place at the Surprise Resource Center which is located at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124.

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Classes

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes this summer. 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.

A morning and afternoon class will be held on each of the following dates:

  • June 7
  • July 19
  • August 1

The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.


Did You Know?

City Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (JSAC) – 1 vacancy
Board of Trustees – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

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

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April 20, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Dial-A-Ride Changes

City staff presented Valley Metro’s Northwest Valley public transportation service model changes at Tuesday’s meeting. Beginning July 1, Valley Metro will discontinue the current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride service model to provide more service options and standardized regional transportation for seniors, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) eligible, and income-qualified riders. Three transportation options will be available to customers when the new model begins July 1: the Senior Bus, Paratransit Shared Ride and RideChoice Taxi Service.

Seniors who frequently visit the Surprise Senior Center, on average 3-5 days per week, can catch a ride on the city’s shared route Senior Bus. The Senior Bus will follow a dedicated route to the Senior Center and provide door-to-door pick-up and drop-off service; fare for the bus will remain $2 per one-way trip. The bus will be available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding city holidays.

Paratransit Shared Ride is recommended for ADA certified customers, seniors and income-qualified general public who schedule rides for local medical and works trips greater than 7 miles and, generally, outside the city of Surprise. ADA certified riders may also use the service for medical and work trips anywhere within Maricopa County up to ¾ miles of bus service. Multiple vehicle options will be available for customers when booking their trips; the service contractor will schedule vehicles accordingly based on customer needs.

Customers booking Paratransit Shared Ride are required to schedule trips 1-14 days in advance; same day booking is not available. The service will operate daily 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; trip fares are $4 each way.

Similar to the current Dial-a-Ride program, RideChoice Taxi Service provides 24 hours per day, 365 days per year service for riders with the ability to self-book and choose from multiple service providers. Riders will be allotted 16 trips per month however customers needing more trips are able to work with city staff to review monthly trip allowances on an individual basis.

RideChoice trips are managed on a RideChoice card that must be renewed each month; unused trips do not carry over. Customers can choose to load money to the RideChoice card to pay for trips however cash and credit cards are still accepted. RideChoice accounts can be self-managed online and by smart phone. Fares are $3 per one-way trip for riders. Riders will be responsible for any fare amounts that exceed $21 (city’s match is up to $18 per trip).

Valley Metro will contact current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride customers directly to educate them on the changes to the program and the new options. In addition, Surprise staff and representatives from Valley Metro will schedule a public meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, in May to discuss the service models and answer questions.

Surprise will continue to share information about changes to Valley Metro’s Northwest Valley service model at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.

City Manager’s FY18 Recommended Budget Discussion

City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented a $336.5 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Recommended Budget to City Council. The Recommended Budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources. That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands. Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019. The Recommended Budget also includes $49.8 million to support the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also two recommended financial policy revisions regarding the Minimum Fund Balance Policy for the General fund and the Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds that will provide clearer definition for the reserves to strengthen the city’s financial position.

The FY18 Recommended Budget is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget. Council is scheduled to vote on the final budget in June.


City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Board Members

City Council unanimously approved the re-appointment of Kenneth Broadfoot as the citizen member and Jim Hayden as Chairman of the Public Safety Retirement System Local Board, both serving a four year term expiring April 18, 2021.


Events & Meetings

Good Friday Breakfast

I joined hundreds of other leaders in the West Valley for the Good Friday Breakfast on Friday, April 14 at the WigWam. Speakers included Adam Agee, lead singer from Audio Adrenaline and Pastor Greg Laurie from Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in the United States. Pastor Laurie will also be leading Harvest America in Phoenix on June 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Milam Glass Groundbreaking

Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Ken Remley and I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Milam Glass on Monday, April 17. Milam Glass is developing a 22,000 square foot facility in the city’s industrial district, which will become their new company headquarters and employ approximately 50 people. The company has been in business since 1969. It started as a three-man residential glass company, and by 1977, it had become a storefront business and a leader in the commercial glass industry.

Council Conversation Taping

On Tuesday, April 18, I taped a new Council Conversation on water which will be aired on Surprise TV beginning next week. As part of the conversation, I interviewed Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe and Director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute at ASU, Sarah Porter. April is Water Awareness Month for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Watch the episode…

Council Conversation


Mark Your Calendar

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association is hosting their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event is scheduled from 4 – 9 p.m. and will include a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show, a creative art display that underscores the possibilities of working with reusable post-consumer materials.

Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. Enjoy food, music, free activities for kids and the spirit of community and collaboration at the Recycle Arts Fest– where creative expression goes green! If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2017 Recycle Arts Fest send an email to whamartassociation@wham-art.org.

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

The Surprise Police Explorer Post #2236 is partnering with a local business, Chipotle, for an upcoming fund raising event. The event will be held at Chipotle, 13869 West Bell Road in Surprise, on Friday, April 28 from 5 – 9 p.m.

Please remember to bring in a copy of the flyer (view flyer) or show a copy of the flyer on your smart phone or other electronic device in order to help the Explorers raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Surprise Police Explorers).

Chipotle is located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Bell Road in Surprise.

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

The City of Surprise presents Movie Night at Surprise Stadium featuring The Secret Life of Pets – rated PG on Saturday, April 29. This event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan, and admission is free. Bring your blankets and pillows, stretch out on the stadium grass and enjoy! Gates will open at 6 p.m. The movie will begin at 7 p.m.

The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted. For more information, please contact City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Surprise Sundancers Award Scholarships to West Valley Students

Surprise Sundancers, the official Surprise Recreation Campus Spring Training volunteer organization, with the support of the Arizona Community Foundation, awarded $135,000 in scholarships to west valley students.

The scholarship recipients were awarded the following:

10 applicants each receiving $5,000
19 applicants each receiving $2,500
25 applicants each receiving $1,500

The Surprise Sundancers provide scholarships to graduating students from high schools in Surprise, El Mirage, Youngtown or Wickenburg. Applicants must demonstrate high engagement in the community, be a participating student athlete, and have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

The Surprise Sundancers will present the scholarship funds to the technical school or college on behalf of the student.

The Sundancers are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with over 800 members. They provide volunteer services during Spring Training and other city special events. Each spring training season, the Surprise Sundancers host an annual Charity Game in which all proceeds collected from tickets sales, merchandise, 50/50 raffle, concessions and programs are contributed to the Surprise Sundancers Scholarship Program as well as Surprise/Northwest Valley youth related programs and projects.

To learn more about the Surprise Sundancers, visit www.surprisesundancers.org or call 623.222.2000 for more information.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

At the Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting on March 9, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented on staffing for the upcoming fiscal year – explaining the need for additional staff and the potential financial impact. The committee provided feedback for the CFO to consider.

West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

West Valley Arts Council celebrated their 35 year anniversary at Arts HQ on March 9. The event featured live music, food and art. I attended, along with Vice Mayor Tande and Council Members Winters and Remley. Following the reception, guests were invited to enjoy the “Neu Art Exhibit” at Surprise City Hall. The exhibit is on display through April 20. Stop by the first floor of City Hall to check it out!

“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel

The Kyle Center for Water Policy hosted a panel of speakers on March 10 who addressed the future of desalination by sharing their experience with and knowledge of the process, as well as the associated costs. Desalination is the process of removing salt from saltwater. Desalinated water is produced by either using seawater or brackish water (water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater). Shawn Bradford with Epcor talked about how the desalination plants in Goodyear deal with brackish water; Chuck Collum with Central Arizona Project spoke about next steps for dealing with brackish water throughout Arizona and gave insight into how North San Diego County is using desalination plants to supply 8 percent of that county’s water; Bob Lotts with APS spoke about his work on the Governor’s appointed Water Augmentation Council, which includes desalination; and Sharon Magdel, Ph.D., Director of University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, shared what Israel is doing with desalination, as they possess leading technology in this field.

Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting

I am a member of the Veteran Success Project Advisory Board. The Veterans Success Project is a program spearheaded by the Maricopa Community College District that is designed to provide support to military personnel, veterans and their families as they move from active duty to civilian life. I attended a meeting on March 15 where the board discussed the kickoff of a pilot program at Luke Air Force Base that will help those transitioning out of the air force find employment. We also discussed an outreach program for both active duty military and veterans. The program would involve a self-assessment that would help to identify the person’s current needs and their goals so the program can support their next steps. Lastly, we talked about the opening date for the new Veterans Resource Center – which will occupy the former Visitor’s Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center would provide various social services for veterans, with employment assistance being a major component. The center will open in the near future, but the exact date has not yet been determined.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes, Mar. 22 & 29

The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

There are two public meetings remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.

To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22

Spend a morning discovering various art exhibits and experiences in the city of Surprise! On March 22, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Benevilla are joining together to offer a free public art bus tour.

Tour participants will visit art locations such as WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ and City Hall; they will also view public art pieces, including the Joe Tyler Learning Tree!

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise, and will end at the same location at noon. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Reservations can be made by calling Benevilla at 623.584.4999.

At the conclusion of the bus tour, there will be an option to enjoy lunch at Birt’s Bistro on Benevilla’s campus. The lunch package is $15 per person, which includes a meal, soft drink, tip and tax. Please note if you would like the optional lunch when you reserve your spot for the bus tour. Payment is due at the time of reservation.

Community Pride Day, April 8

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.


Did You Know?

Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

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

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Municipal Property Corporation Board – 1 vacancy

All board/commission positions are voluntary.

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are immediately available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

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

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20

The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

Applications are being accepted now – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:

  • Your name, grade and school you attend
  • Why you want to be on the SYC
  • If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
  • Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.

The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with cityofsurpriseyouth@gmail.com.

Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.

For questions or more information, please contact Mike Cassidy at 623.222.1033 or mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey is open! Help bring in new shopping & dining; vote for local favorites

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey!

We want to know how we can make our city a one-stop shopping and dining destination, and we’ll be giving away $20 Visa gift cards to five randomly-selected survey-takers just for offering their thoughts!

The survey will help the city to identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

In the 2015 Surprise Retail Survey, we asked what restaurants and retailers you wanted us to target, and two of your top ten picks have already opened in Surprise – Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Texas Roadhouse! We are still actively engaging with others on the list, and hope to see more of your favorites open up shop in Surprise.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The survey runs through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 9, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Continued FY18 Budget Discussion

City Council heard the third presentation in a series of discussions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus of this particular discussion was the enterprise utility funds and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). The enterprise utilities include the Solid Waste, Stormwater, Wastewater, and Water services. Rates are set for each of those funds to recover the costs of the services provided.

The Solid Waste utility revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M ahead of the FY2017 budget. In the upcoming fiscal year, there will be a focus on vehicle and equipment replacement, renegotiation of the landfill services contract, and reviewing the efficiency of bulk trash scheduling.

The Stormwater utility is new in the current fiscal year with estimated year end revenues of $1.3M. Establishing its reserve and starting the construction of stormwater related infrastructure are the priorities for this utility.

The Wastewater utility revenues are currently 5 percent or $0.4M above FY2017 budgeted amounts. FY2018 will see an evaluation of current debt to identify potential refinancing opportunities; a review of current capacity, most specifically the recharging of treated water; and an update of the development impact fees.

The Water utility revenues are currently 15 percent or $0.9M above the budget through six months. Like the Wastewater utility, an update of the development impact fees is on the horizon, along with capital projects enhancing system interconnectivity and expanding arsenic treatment capacity. Management of the water portfolio, specifically the expansion of water rights, is also an important priority for the upcoming year. For FY2018, the Water utility is scheduled for an 8.25 percent rate increase adopted by Council in June of 2014.

HURF receives the majority of its revenue from gasoline tax collected by the state and distributed to the cities. The revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M above its budgeted amount. Key issues for HURF in the upcoming budget year include replacement of equipment and vehicles, as well as the continued maintenance of our streets through the pavement preservation program.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1, 2017.

If you missed the live presentation, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget to watch it. All of the budget presentations are posted to the website following the City Council Work Session or Regular Meeting at which they are presented.

Surprise Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide

Members of the Arts & Cultural Commission elaborated on the Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide that was originally introduced at a City Council Work Session last month. The purpose of the guide is to establish a process for the selection, acquisition, placement and maintenance of works of public art, including policies for public art management, acceptance of donations and deaccession procedures.


City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved three appointments that included Dustin Gardy (Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission), Robert Monahan (Disability Advisory Commission) and Ken Wright (Municipal Property Corporation Board). Congratulations!

Budget Amendment for Fencing at 8-Acre Park

The 8-Acre Park is the multi-purpose field located North of Surprise Stadium on Bullard Avenue. This field is used extensively throughout the year for youth sports such as soccer, flag football, tee-ball, baseball and softball practices. In addition, the area is utilized for City special events such as the annual Surprise Party.

Community and Recreation Services requested a FY17 budget amendment by reallocating appropriations and an actual transfer of $300,000 within the General Fund to the General Capital Projects Fund to facilitate the construction of fencing around the park for several pertinent reasons. The fence would provide a safety barrier for users of the field from Bullard Ave and Paradise Lane; allow for a greater span of control during special events; and would create a venue for ticketed events throughout the year. The fence would also allow maintenance staff to close the area during times of maintenance or over-seeding. 8-Acre Park would remain open to the public when the field is not being used for programming or closed for maintenance.

8 Acres Park fence project

The fence installation will consist of wrought iron fencing, brick pillars with lights and rolling gates to match existing stadium fencing. The fencing would be 2,300 linear feet of 8′ high ornamental fencing with six 20′ x 8′ rolling gates, one 40′ x 8′ iron double roll gate and one 8′ x 8′ double drive gate for accessibility. The resolution for the budget amendment utilizing savings was unanimously approved.

Discussion of Proposed Text Amendment of Surprise Municipal Code on Signs

The city’s Community Development Department is currently working to re-write our sign code. The goal is to balance business needs with community aesthetics, while complying with recent court decisions regarding free speech. Some of the highlights of the draft code include:

  • A content-neutral approach to sign regulation
  • A provision that serves to replace all previous sign codes while leaving intact any currently approved through the Comprehensive Sign Program
  • Robust definitions with illustrations and graphics
  • Clear articulation of permitted and prohibited signs
  • More opportunities for permanent business signage through increased wall and monument sign area
  • A provision for vertical (blade) signage in certain circumstances
  • Increased community aesthetics through a reduction in certain types of temporary signage
  • Limited use of Electronic Messaging Centers
  • A provision that will allow unique and creative designs through a Council-approved Comprehensive Sign Program

The draft code has been released to the public for review and comment, and outreach meetings have been scheduled as follows:

March 15
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

More information is available on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode. You are encouraged to attend any of these meetings and to contact staff for more information or to submit comments.


Events & Meetings

Read Across America Day

I was invited to participate in Read Across America Day at Countryside Elementary School on March 2. Read Across America Day celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the joys of reading. I was honored to read a Dr. Seuss book to the second grade students of Ms. Igoe’s class.

Councilman Skip Hall reading to students

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, March 6 to discuss the Public Art Master Plan timeline which is scheduled for completion in July 2018. In addition, the winner of the baseball bat contest was chosen.

Youth Services Update

Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy and I met earlier this week to discuss the status of youth services. It is the goal of the City Manager’s department to ensure that we are: reaching a diverse group of youth within our community; engaging the disengaged; making 20 Surprise Youth Council Members feel like the outreach is significantly more; facilitating academic, technical and interpersonal skill-building so we are positioning Surprise for the future.


Mark Your Calendar

Second Sundays in the Park – March 12

The city continues its Second Sundays in the Park concert series this Sunday, March 12 with Celtic music performed by “Kilted Spirit” from 4 until 6 p.m. in the center of Surprise Community Park. The event is free. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

Community Pride Day

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.


Did You Know?

Southwest Gas Rate Case Update

Southwest Gas has recently filed a base rate adjustment request with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued his recommended opinion and order approving the proposed settlement agreement which was signed by, among others: Arizona Corporation Commission staff, the Residential Utility Consumer Office, the Arizona Community Action Association, Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West. The ACC is expected to vote on the order during either their March or April open meeting. The recommended order can be modified by the Commissioners.

The recommended order adopts a $16 million revenue increase –the average residential customer will experience a 1.09% (or $0.40/month) increase. The recommended order adopts the Company’s proposed expansion of its Customer Owned Yard Line (COYL) program and Vintage Steel Pipe (VSP) Replacement Program. The COYL expansion will allow the Company to include a more proactive, systematic approach to replacing COYLS, whether or not they are leaking. The VSP program will facilitate the accelerated replacement of VSP (specifically, pre-1970s VSP). The agreed-upon VSP replacement program will enhance public safety by facilitating a proactive approach to the replacement of aging infrastructure, but will also offer rate impact protections to customers by including a reasonable cap on the annual rate adjustment that they will experience.

The recommended order adopts a modification to the Company’s decoupling mechanism to remove the monthly weather adjustment provision. Additionally, the mechanism will be renamed the Delivery Charge Adjustment Provision. For low income customers, the Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA) program eligibility is increasing to 200% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

If you are not in favor of the recommended order, now is your time to notify the Commissioners. You can find their information at www.azcc.gov.


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

January 12, 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.

Current Activities

View the weekly construction photos and additional information on the project website.

  • Grand Avenue narrowed to one lane in each direction at times beginning 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, between Dysart and Litchfield roads for paving work. Please be prepared for lane restrictions, allow extra travel time and use caution in work zone.
  • Bell Road narrowed to one lane in both directions between Litchfield and Dysart roads nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 16, to Wednesday, Jan. 18, for pavement work.
  • The driveways at Bell Grande and Towne Center Drive along Grand Avenue will be closed at times as paving continues on eastbound Grand Avenue through Jan. 19.

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. 

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving eastbound Grand Avenue. Paving anticipated to last through Jan. 19.
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps.

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


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting met on Monday, January 9. Items discussed included finalizing plans for sponsoring bus tours to City Hall and West Valley Arts HQ for students of Dysart Unified School District and local charter schools so they can view art and learn about Black History Month. City Hall has a gallery of local art on display year-round, and West Valley Arts HQ will be featuring a new exhibit “Vision & Sound: An African American Experience” from Feb. 2-26 The Commission’s Strategic Plan and the possible pursuit of sponsoring a community centered public art event known as Chalk it Up was also discussed. The draft Surprise Public Art Policy and Procedures Guide as well as the Display Plan were approved and are now ready for City Council consideration and possible action.

Citizen Review Meeting

On the night of Monday, January 9, CampCorp and City Staff held a Citizen Review meeting for the Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezone of the CampCorp, located north of the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue. In the past, this area was a residential assembly plant for Del Webb, a truss factory for Foxworth-Galbraith, and is now the site of CampCorp – a builder of portable manufacture structures. The existing zoning of Regional Commercial and the General Plan Use of Commerce and office make this site legal nonconforming (grandfathered), and limits expansion capabilities. In a joint effort with the City to initiate the General Plan Amendment and with CampCorp applying for rezone to General Industrial (IG), it is anticipated that the plant can expand, providing more opportunities for jobs in the Surprise area.

Tourism Advisory Commission

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, January 10. Commissioners selected a new Chair and Vice Chair. Congratulations to DeAngelo Hall and Kristen Peck, respectively. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover provided an economic development update.

The Commission also discussed the upcoming 2017 College Baseball Classic Tournament. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 17
1 p.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
5 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Saturday, February 18
10 a.m. – Gonzaga University vs. Duke University
2 p.m. -Gonzaga University vs. Oregon State University
6 p.m. – Duke University vs. Indiana University

Sunday, February 19
9:30 a.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
1:30 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Monday, February 20
11:00 am Indiana University vs. Oregon State University

Game times and schedules are subject to change. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library board meeting on Wednesday, January 11. The Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc. is a non-profit, independent organization. The group supports literacy and programs at the Northwest Regional Library, the Hollyhock Library and local schools.


Mark Your Calendar

Martin Luther King, Jr. day of celebration & community service

I am honored to be speaking at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday. I hope you will join me rain or shine!

The program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at City Hall. In the case of rain, the program will move to the Communiversity (next to the courtyard). Following the program, there will be an opportunity to serve your community through various service projects.

For more information, including a parking map, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.

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

September 8, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project.

Work continues as follows:

  • Grand Avenue will be closed between Litchfield and Dysart roads from 8 pm on Thursday, September 8 until 5 am on Friday, September 9.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being constructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

Grand Avenue Full Closure information

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

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


City Council Work Session

Dial-a-Ride Fare Discussion

Public Works staff provided Council with an outline of the fare revision timeline which began last November with a Council action item to increase the ridership cap to 160 one-way weekday trips and culminated with the adoption of the current fares of $2.00 in the City and $4.00 outside of the City including the Regional ADA service which started on July 1, 2016.

Staff also reviewed fares across the Valley and presented facts regarding ridership and cost of service for FY2016. Council then discussed the options of revising the fares. Discussion included the option of lowering the cost of one-way trips outside of the city to $2.50; fares inside the City and Regional ADA service would remain the same at $2.00 and $4.00 respectively.

Staff will return to Council on the September 20 with a revised Dial-a-Ride fare schedule for their consideration and possible action. Below is a condensed summary of the Dial-a-Ride services and costs performed in FY2016. For the full presentation, please view the Council Work Session for September 6 2016 online at www.surpriseaz.gov/1592/Watch-Council-Meetings-Online.

FY 2016 Summary

774 Residents took 34,846 trips totaling 180,138 miles
Trips inside of City 21,115 – Outside of City 13,731
Fewest Trips 1 – Most Trips 485

Trips Purpose Percentages:

  • Medical & Dialysis 44% – (27% & 17%)
  • Senior Center 12%
  • Shopping 6%
  • Work 10%
  • Leisure 27%

Gross Cost for service $799,250:

  • Passenger Fares $38,403.50 – 5%
  • Federal New Freedom Grant monies $74,016.26 – 9.7%
  • Prop 400 monies applied to service $23,847.04 – 3.1%
  • Net City Billings $662,983.50 – 87% ($350,000 Arizona Lottery Funds – $312,983.50 City’s General Fund)

Cost Inside City $352,273 – Outside City $310,711

Potential Changes to fare schedule pending Council action

Service Type Current Fee Revised Fee
Dial-A-Ride (In city) $2.00 $2.00 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride (Outside city) $4.00 $2.50 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride ADA Regional Service $4.00 $4.00 Per Ride

City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved the reappointments of Susan deJong and Kathie Morgan for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission; Ira McCullough for the Personnel Appeals Board and Dennis Smith for the Planning & Zoning Commission. The aforementioned members were approved for a 4 year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

City Council also unanimously approved two vacancies on Planning & Zoning Commission – Eric Cultum and Mitchell Rosenbaum; two vacancies for the Tourism Commission representing restaurants – Chris Hall and Mario Rana; one vacancy for the Tourism Commission representing Hotels – Della Brendenburger; one vacancy for the Board of Trustees – Aaron Bacon; two vacancies for the Disabilities Advisory Commission – Brenda Renou and Dan Moore; two vacancies for the Personnel Appeals Board – Rayana Mariland and Valerie Serrano. The aforementioned members were approved for a four year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

Thank you to all of the Boards and Commission Members for your time and service!

Surprise Community Outreach Program Grant Recommendation

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson and Council Assistant Jodi Tas presented the Surprise Community Outreach Program (SCOP) funding recommendations from the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants to the full City Council for consideration. This year, there were 22 applicants with requests totaling over $188,000. The Committee’s recommendations were unanimously approved.

The FY17 approved budget for the Human Service and Community Vitality Department included a total of $75,000 for community outreach activities which included up to $65,000 for SCOP. This year, the Committee’s total award recommendation is $62,000. The one-time awards are paid to non-profit organizations on a reimbursement basis upon completion of their project. The deadline for project completion and spending is June 15, 2017.

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

The City is strengthening its internal audit function and as such the finalization of the formal creation of an Audit Committee and Internal Audit Program was considered and unanimously approved. The services provided are designed to add value, improve the organizational operations, identify opportunities to minimize organizational risks, maximize efficiency and effectiveness and strengthen public confidence and accountability. Councilman Roland Winters and I are both honored to serve on this committee.


Events & Meetings

Southwest Gas Update Meeting

Southwest Gas representatives, Councilman Roland Winters and I met on Wednesday, September 7 to discuss their proposed rate increase. The proposed increase is approximately $1.14 per month for the average residential customer or 2.8% over existing rates. The proposal maintains the current rate design that has been in place since January 2012, with no changes to the basic service charge. At this time, SWG is not requesting any changes to the existing Incremental Contribution Method which calculates the economic feasibility of service and main extensions.

Questions have been asked regarding the Energy Efficiency Enabling Provision (EEP) Monthly Weather Adjustment. The EEP is part of the delivery charge portion of customer’s bills. The rate per unit of gas sold consists of both gas costs and delivery charges. The EEP balances the delivery charge portion of the customer’s bill to ensure that customers only pay for the charges associated with the service they receive. The EEP was approved in December 2011 because it was found to financially protect both the customer and the company. According to SWE, since the EEP was approved, customers have received annual refunds of $25.4M, with another $8.3M pending. With the company’s improved credit ratings, customers are realizing the benefit of lower debt costs in the pending rate case; debt costs in this case are $20M lower than they would have been absent the improved credit profile for the company.

The company’s application will be thoroughly examined by the Arizona Corporation Commission, Commissioners, the Residential Utility Consumer Office and others prior to approval which is expected in May 2017. More information on the request can be found by visiting www.swgas.com/investedinaz.


Mark Your Calendar

Open House – Fire Station 305

Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be hosting an open house this Saturday, September 10 from 9 am until 1 pm. The station is located at 15571 N. Parkview Place. Firefighters will be available to provide a tour, show medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls and much more.

Surprise Fire 305

2016 Drug Symposium

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 6-9 pm, the Surprise Police are partnering with the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Drug Free AZ Kids, and the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a community drug awareness symposium. This highly informative program will be hosted at the CCV Church located at 14787 West Cholla Street in Surprise.

We have learned through past experiences how very important it can be to increase the public’s awareness of drugs and how drugs can negatively impact our community. This particular program is aimed at providing a clearer understanding of the dangers of drugs and providing those in attendance with tools on how to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse. This is a community problem we all need to work together to solve. Please come join your police department and their community partners at this free program.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

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.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.


Did You Know?

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. at the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex located at 15660 N. Hollyhock Street. This festival-style event will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more.

The City is now accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths. For more information, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249.


Contact Me

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

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March 17, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Loop 303 Bridge Work to Close Stretch of Grand Avenue

While this closure is not part of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project, I wanted to be sure you were notified of the closure this weekend. Grand Avenue will be closed from 9 p.m. on Friday, March 18, to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, between R.H. Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard and Loop 303 to accommodate freeway bridge work, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Motorists should plan ahead and consider alternate routes while this closure is in effect.

Crews will be painting the bridge and installing sound panels and signage at the Loop 303/Grand Avenue interchange as part of a $46 million ADOT project scheduled for completion this summer.

The primary detour for Grand Avenue traffic will be along Loop 303 and Bell Road. Southbound Loop 303 drivers in the Peoria area can connect with Grand Avenue via southbound El Mirage Road and westbound Bell Road.

North- and southbound traffic on Loop 303 won’t be affected by the Grand Avenue closure. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information System at www.az511.gov or call 511. For more information, please contact Gaby Kemp at 928.699.8983.

Interchange Construction Update

For continued updates on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. You can also call ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530 (press option 1).


City Council Work Session

FY2017 Review of Capital Projects

Finance Department staff continued FY17 budget presentations during the City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting. They delivered a presentation regarding the operating budget related to non-public safety programs and potential funding options, as well as a presentation on funding sources for transportation and general government capital improvement projects. Videos of the presentations can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

During the presentation, Budget Manager Jared Askelson identified a $12.0 million need for maintaining assets and infrastructure in FY17, which is the highest priority for the upcoming fiscal year. Also discussed were the top priority projects within the Transportation and General Government categories. Below are some of the city’s top projects in those areas.

The potential funding options for the public safety program increases that were previously discussed were also presented to Council.

After a healthy discussion about the options, conversations will continue at future Council meetings.

City Transportation Projects

The Public Works Department provided a year-to-date update on the Capital Improvement Program. Discussion focused on the status of our current FY16 transportation improvement projects, the project delivery process, and the current capital budget status.Along with the detailed transportation project update, the Public Works Department also highlighted a few lower profile projects and their status.

Non-transportation projects discussed included the rehab of the Greenway sewer lift station ($325,000), Park N Ride enhancements that were funded by Proposition 400 ($108,000), Surprise Stadium Campus, and Civic Center Reclaimed Water Conversion (Project budgeted at $208,000).

With regards to the 2016 transportation projects, the Waddell Road median project was completed late last month but the landscaping portion began this month and is expected to last through June. Cactus Road (Marley Park) project began in January and concluded this week. Litchfield Road (additional northbound lane) began in February and should wrap up in late May. Greenway Road improvements also began in January and the project is expected to last through June 2016. Cactus Road (175th – Cotton Lane) work is expected to begin next month. Peoria Avenue (two eastbound lanes) will begin in April and is expected to conclude in late August.


City Council Meeting

Neighborhood Grant Program – Recommendation For Funding

The City Council designated $10,000 from the FY2016 Surprise Community Outreach Program budget for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants reviewed the applications that were due on February 26.

The Committee held a public meeting on March 2 to review the five applications received. Applicants were invited to the March 2 committee meeting to present their project to the committee. Four of the five applicants made presentations.

The recommendations were as follows: Marley Park (Veteran’s Commemorative Plaza) – $2,000; WHAM (Recycled Arts Festival) – $2,000; Sanalina HOA (Water Conservation Project) – $4,000; OTS (Numbers on homes without addresses) – $2,000. The Committee’s recommendations were unanimously accepted by the City Council.

Personnel Appeals Board Appointment

City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Ira McCullough to the Personnel Appeals Board with a term expiration of September 11, 2016. Congratulations, Ira and thank you for contributing your time to our City!

Ira McCullough being sworn into the Personnel Appeals Board

Bell and Grand Temporary Sign Policy

Once the proposed timeline for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project was announced, the city began to work diligently to determine ways we could assist businesses through the construction. Allowing businesses that will be impacted by this project to increase signage was a common sense solution. Signage in the revised policy includes: A-frames, banners, sign walkers and off site directional signs. Additionally, the policy removes the requirements for Temporary Use Permits in the area for special events that could be held to draw shoppers and diners during the Bell Road closure.

Resolution 2016-42 (Temporary Sign and Temporary Use Permit Policy) was unanimously approved.

City of Surprise Stormwater Utility

Stormwater management in Surprise may soon have a dedicated funding source following City Council’s action Tuesday night to move forward with the code amendment and ordinance approval for a Stormwater Utility.

Beginning as early as November, single residential homes could see $2 added to the monthly water/wastewater bill. The proposed rate was determined by calculating the costs to maintain the city’s infrastructure, meet regulatory requirements, and implement capital improvement projects, and then dividing that cost by the number of equivalent dwelling units (EDU) in the city. One EDU is equivalent to the average amount of impervious surface areas (roofs, patios, driveways, sidewalks) on Surprise’s single family residences.

The effective date of the Utility would occur after the 60 day Notice of Intention and public hearing period. The implementation timeline of the proposed Utility is as follows:

  • April 5 – Provide notice to adopt Stormwater rates and set date of Public Hearing; city will adopt the Notice of Intention and file the Rate Study with the clerk’s office
  • April 11 – 15 – Notice of Intention published on the city’s website and in newspapers
  • May 17 – City will host a Public Hearing and adopt the rates
  • November 1 – Stormwater Utility goes into effect in conjunction with the city taking over the utility billing

Funds collected from the Stormwater Utility will enable the city to cover the costs to maintain storm water related infrastructure such as curbs and gutters, pipes and catch basins, comply with regulatory requirements, and develop projects to protect and prevent problems often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

Currently, all stormwater activities, including regulatory compliance, asset management, and capital improvement, are funded by the wastewater fund, general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). The Stormwater Utility will relieve burden from those funds and will be responsible for revenue generation, operational costs and Capital Improvement Project development and management.

Other Arizona cities with dedicated stormwater management fees include Mesa, Peoria, Oro Valley, Tucson, Flagstaff and Scottsdale. A detailed Rate Study outlining the research and projected expenditures can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/stormwater. For questions about the Stormwater Utility, view the Frequently Asked Questions or call 623.222.6000.

FY2016 Budget Amendment

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic requested consideration for an FY16 budget amendment in the amount of $50,000 from the Economic Development contingency fund to Economic Development operations fund to cover costs related to new and increased programming in facilitation of strategic business retention and marketing activities for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection.

Staff has partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce in developing a new digital marketing campaign for the businesses that will be affected by the construction. Several events and promotional activities are planned. The amendment was passed unanimously.


Meetings & Events

Taste of Surprise

I participated in the Taste of Surprise as a Surprise Rotarian, on Wednesday, March 9. The event was held at Riverboat Bingo and more than 400 people attended. Thank you to all of you who came out to help support our community organizations, and thank you to Amanda Sanchez, the committee chair!

Arizona Town Hall

I was honored to provide a welcome and attend the Arizona Town Hall – Keeping Arizona’s Water Glass Full event at the Communiversity on Tuesday, March 15. Guest speakers included Sarah Porter – Director of Kyle Institute for Water Policy, William Garfield – President of Arizona Water Company, David Iwanski – Executive Director of Arizona Water Association and Avondale Councilman, and Eric Orsborn – Vice Mayor of Buckeye.

This town hall was a follow up to the 107th Arizona Town Hall, which gathered in November for two days to develop recommendations for our State’s future water needs. The consensus items were:

• Move forward with Arizona’s strategic vision for water supply sustainability

• Create and fund mechanisms to finance water supply and new infrastructure

• Appropriately fund and staff the AZ Department of Water Resources (ADWR)

• Education and Public Awareness

• Conservation and Augmentation

• Legal Reform

• The Role of Individuals (educate ourselves and others, advocate, etc.)

Former Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Doug Ducey have helped begin the process through the development of Arizona’s Strategic Vision for Water Supply Sustainability which provides comprehensive water supply and demand analysis for Arizona and helps identify solutions for urban and rural areas.

For additional information, view the report from the Arizona Town Hall.

Surprise Councilman Skip Hall speaks at the 2016 Arizona Town Hall

Site Selector Visit

Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Winters, Economic Development staff and I attended a game at Surprise Stadium and networked with Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and various site selectors on Wednesday, March 16.

Orchards Annual HOA Meeting

Representatives from Surprise public works, Surprise Police, Arizona Department of Transportation and I attended the Orchards Annual HOA meeting on Wednesday, March 16. Topics of discussion included updates on the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project, City transportation projects, review of area crime statistics and crime prevention strategies.

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual HOA Meeting

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA held their annual meeting on Wednesday, March 16. Topics of discussion included the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project and pavement preservation. Approximately 30 residents were in attendance.


Mark Your Calendars

Arizona Supreme Court coming to Surprise!

On Tuesday, March 29, the public is invited to attend oral arguments at Valley Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center, located at 15550 North Parkview Place. Arguments will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. This is a rare opportunity to witness the judicial branch of government at work and watch attorneys present real cases to the state’s highest court.

Arizona’s five Supreme Court Justices believe strongly that this outreach enriches the students’ educational experience and gives the community an opportunity to experience the workings of the State’s highest appeals court.

The justices have identified two cases to be presented that day, and attorneys representing each side will be given 20 minutes to present their cases. The justices will take questions from the audience, as long as those questions do not pertain to the case or cases they just heard. The event will end at noon.

Select student groups from public and charter high schools in Surprise have been invited to attend. All guests attending the arguments will need to arrive by no later than 9:00 a.m. in order to go through security screening. Seating is limited.

Click to view the parking map

Students and members of the public may take photos during the Q&A session only. Photos should not be taken during oral arguments. News media are welcome, but should make arrangements in advance with the Arizona Supreme Court’s Director of Communications, Heather Murphy, at 602.452.3656 or hmurphy@courts.az.gov. For more information about the justices or court system in Arizona, please go to www.azcourts.gov.

HOA Summit

The City of Surprise is proud to host the next HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear the latest news from the City Manager and various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police. You will also have a chance to share your opportunities, issues, concerns and solutions with your Surprise neighbors.

HOA board members and management company representatives are encouraged to attend, as are HOA community members. The HOA Summit will be held in the Community Room of the Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The summit will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude around 8 p.m. A light meal will be served.

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


Did You Know?

Newsletter Distribution

The distribution of my newsletters has changed. I am now sending them at 5 pm on Thursdays!

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners!

Thirteen schools and 124 classrooms from across Surprise accepted a five-month reading challenge back in October, and now, the results of the 3rd Annual Surprise Literacy Challenge are in!

The Challenge, created by Councilmembers John Williams and Skip Hall, asked students in 4th-6th grade to track the number of hours they read outside the classroom. Teachers then reported those numbers back to the city.

Here are the winners in each grade:

4th Grade
Ms. Gore’s class – Arizona Charter Academy

5th Grade
Ms. Frazier’s class – West Point Elementary

6th Grade
Ms. Daniel’s class – Paradise Education Center

The top 4th and 5th grade classroom will be treated to a pizza party. They will also receive a trophy for their room and individual medals for each student. The winning 6th grade class will accept their accolades on the field at the March 25 Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium.

The city congratulates these winning readers!

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @skiphall2! I look forward to hearing from you!


Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question