Tag Archives: bond

August 3, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

New Enterprise Department Discussion

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

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

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

Shop Local Program

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

Bell Road and Grand Avenue Monument Signage

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

Temporary Signage Discussion

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

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

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

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

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


City Council Meeting

2017 Summer Youth Interns

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

Surprsie Summer Youth Interns group photo
2017 Summer Youth Interns

Maricopa County Work Force Development Services

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

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

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

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Plan

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


Events & Meetings

Project Connect

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

Project Connect infographic

Water Resource Management Department Meeting

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

Decide Surprise 2017 Bond Meeting

2017 Decide Surprise Bond Election banner

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

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


Mark Your Calendar

Raise a Reader Series

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

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

Free Educational Presentation on Older Adults and Series

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

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

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

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

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


Did You Know?

Monsoon Safety Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

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

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


Special City Council Meeting

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

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

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

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

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


City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

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

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

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City Clerk Employment Contract

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


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

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


Mark Your Calendar

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

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

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

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

Those programs include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

It’s time to Decide Surprise as Council sends 3 bond questions for Nov ballot

At their June 6th Regular Meeting, City Council approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 18, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Community Outreach Program and Neighborhood Grant Program Update

The City Council designated $75,000 from the FY2017 budget for community outreach programs. From that total, $65,000 has been allocated for the Surprise Community Outreach Program and $10,000 for the Neighborhood Grant Program. With this investment, 21 local non-profits and neighborhood groups were supported which led to 15,500 residents being served between both programs.

Potential General Obligation Bond Discussion

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

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

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

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

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.


City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominguez

Surprise Municipal Code provides a reappointment process for incumbent presiding judges whereby the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council after investigation and evaluation. This process has occurred, and the Committee is recommending reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominquez to Surprise Municipal Court.

City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2017-46 reappointing Presiding Judge Dominguez for a term of four years.

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Art in Public Places Plan

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission was first tasked by City Council to develop a display plan for the city in 2014. The purpose of the request was to update and enhance the look of City Hall and the surrounding campus with the inclusion of art and artistic elements and to create a space that residents and visitors alike will enjoy. The first draft of the plan revealed that a more comprehensive and detailed look was needed with the help of multiple resources and stakeholders. In March 2016, the Commission worked with a consultant to proceed.

After a very thorough process and after input by the City Council following a City Council Work Session in February 2017, the Commission provided City Council information regarding the plans, priorities and associated costs. Recommended projects include, but are not limited to, a new lobby seating area, art exhibit signage, LED lighting, new paint in highlighted areas, relocation of a few existing art pieces and a mural near the city cashier area.

City Council unanimously approved the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s plan for Art in Public Places at City Hall.


Events & Meetings

WESTMARC Economic Development Summit

WESTMARC infographicWESTMARC Economic Development Summit was held on Thursday, May 11. Guest speakers included Land Advisors CEO and Founder Greg Vogel, EMSI Economic Development Consultant Matthew Miller, ASU Senior Sustainability Scientist Dr. Shade Shutters, Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick. Conversation and panel discussion surrounded today’s workforce strategy and labor trends. Discussion also included the need for more accurate educational and labor data to provide to interested businesses. Currently, standard labor market information does not appropriately capture this information because the data is reported based on where people are employed versus where they reside.

West Valley Arts HQ – New Exhibit

West Valley Arts HQ hosted the opening of their high school student art exhibit on Thursday, May 11. The exhibit features impressive art work of high school students from throughout the West Valley. Their work will be on display through May 25.

crowed listening to music performance at Arts HQ gallery

Subaru Superstore of Surprise Grand Opening

Subaru Superstore of Surprise hosted their grand opening and community event on Saturday, May 13. The newest auto dealer in the Prasada Auto Mall is located at 13090 N. Autoshow Avenue. Welcome to Surprise!

Image of the Subaru Superstore of Surprise


Mark Your Calendar

Parenting with Purpose

The City of Surprise will be hosting a Parenting with Purpose workshop at the Surprise Resource Center on May 30 and June 6 at the Surprise Resource Center from 6 – 7:30 pm. During this workshop, you will discover how you can raise successful children and much more. The Surprise Resource Center is located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124.

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Charlotte Confer at 623.222.1600.


Did You Know?

Volunteers Needed

Are you interested in volunteering or completing your internship with the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department? We need you! Please contact a volunteer coordinator in one of our three divisions to determine what opportunities are available at this time. The divisions include Neighborhood Services (Jason Hughes – 623.222.3239), Senior Services Division (Trisha Weston – 623.222.1544) and our Surprise Resource Center (Muriel Gutierrez – 623.222.1600).

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3574/Volunteer-Internship-Opportunities.

Current Curfew Ordinance Reminder

As students are released for summer break, the Surprise Police Department reminds residents about our curfew ordinance for those under the age of 18. According to the city ordinance, it is unlawful for any minor to remain upon, go or be upon any public street, alley or other public place of the city between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday unless accompanied by a legal guardian.

Often times, crimes occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are either committed by juveniles or against juvenile victims. To ensure the safety of minors, starting Friday, May 26, the Surprise Police will be heavily enforcing the curfew ordinance. Violation of this ordinance is a class 1 misdemeanor. Parents may also be cited for their children being out after curfew if they allowed the juvenile to violate the ordinance.

Review this city ordinance in detail

Promotional Vendors Needed for Annual 4th of July Celebratione

The City of Surprise invites promotional vendors to participate in the 34th Annual 4th of July Celebration at Surprise Recreation Campus! Businesses and organizations can reserve promotional booth space for a fee of $500, which includes a 10 x 10 vendor space, (1) table, (2) chairs and an in-game public announcement during a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.

Event attendees will enjoy in-game contests, music and giveaways – all leading up to a fireworks spectacular!

Surprise Recreation Campus is located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. This annual event is expected to draw 12,000 – 15,000 participants. Interested vendors should contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Council briefed on possible General Obligation Bond questions; Call to Election vote set for June 6

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

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

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

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

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

View the May 16 Work Session bond discussion

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Pure Physique PilateZ Studio and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Center on Thursday, April 20. The Center is located at 14815 W. Bell Road. Pure Physique PilateZ offers a variation of pilates equipment and a full barre studio. Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation offers IV nutrition, anti-aging, injury management, medical weight loss and much more. Welcome to District 5!

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

The Surprise Police Department held their annual Police Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Roland Winters and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today.

Chief Terry Young expressed his sincere appreciation for the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the employees and volunteers to the Police Department and to the City of Surprise. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo-Vallet.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association hosted their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event was well attended and included a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show. Thank you to WHAM’s Executive Director, Connie Whitlock, and her team for having this event each year!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 25. The meeting included a panel discussion on Economic Development led by featured speaker and moderator Jim Rounds. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic served as a panelist. Discussion surrounded how cities have been prioritizing economic development opportunities with limited financial resources and how the West Valley cities are taking a regional approach to attracting companies and jobs.


Mark Your Calendar

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.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Come shop at the semiannual Surprise Super Swap Meet on Saturday, April 29. More than 50 vendors will have new and used treasures on display from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatics Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

The Surprise Swap Meet is sponsored by the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee met on April 19. The Committee was briefed by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council in a May Work Session. Pending Council approval, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Portillo’s
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas
Whataburger
Rubio’s

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Costco
Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
IKEA
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Oregano’s
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Kohl’s
Musical Surprise
Target
Son Glow Boutique
Walmart
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot
Ross

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 10, 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. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

**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.


Events & Meetings

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

West Valley Arts Council hosted a block party at their office located on the City Hall campus, on Friday, November 4. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event. Attendees experienced the creation of art, enjoyed live music, food from a variety of local food trucks and much more. The event was free and sponsored by the Surprise Community Outreach Program.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee met on Monday, November 7 to interview candidates for the Valley Metro internal auditor position.  A recommendation by the Committee was made for an offer to be extended.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, November 7. Items discussed included the painting of a third bench at Dreamcatcher Park, an update on the mini baseball bat decorating contest for FY17, a recap of the Surprise Fiesta Grande event that was held on October 15 and discussion of participation in a Black History Month project.

Dysart Heartbeat Hero Recognition

The Dysart Unified School District recognizes a variety of different people each year for their positive contributions to the District. I am honored and humbled to be selected as a Dysart Heartbeat Hero Award winner for October for Canyon Ridge Elementary School in the Rachel’s Challenge Initiative. Thank you, Dysart, for the recognition!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Veterans Day Parade

Join us in honoring our service men and women at the City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and Pancake Breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by Nick’s Diner, will be held 7-9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 80 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N Bullard Ave. Please note, in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil way will be closed at 9 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m. For more information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

Bell Road Reopening Event

The City of Surprise invites residents and local businesses to attend a 2016 Holiday Season kickoff and “thank you” event to show our appreciation for your patience and continued patronage of businesses during the Bell Road closure between West Point Parkway and 134th Avenue.

The event will take place in the Surprise Marketplace Target parking lot (just west of BBVA Compass Bank), 13731 W. Bell Road, on Monday, November 21 with the brief ceremony beginning at 4 p.m.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection, the first 300 residents will receive a city of Surprise shopping bag! The money you spend here stays here, so continue to ShopSurprise this holiday season.


Did You Know?

Surprise Voters Reject General Obligation Bond

Surprise voters rejected a $63 million General Obligation bond initiative in the November 8th General Election that would have funded nine capital improvement projects over the next five years. The bond initiative was rejected by 52% of the voters (19,342 votes). 48% (17,855) voted in favor of the bond.

The projects that were included in the bond initiative were:

Fire Station 308- Design & build a permanent 10K square foot Community Fire Station at the corner of Cactus and Litchfield Roads.

Permanent Fire Station 304- Design & build a permanent 15K square foot Community Fire Station at 163rd Ave and Happy Valley Rd to replace the current temporary, modular facility.

Police Property & Evidence Facility- Design and construct a larger facility, which would include expanded storage, new walk-in refrigerators/freezers to assure preservation of biological evidence. Includes additional outdoor secured evidence storage.

Land for Police Substation/Fire Station/Park- Acquire 16 acres of land for future location of shared Police Substation/Fire Station & a local park in city’s growing southwest portion.

Public Works Operations Facility- Design and construct a new facility to house the Solid Waste, Street Maintenance, Traffic Signal Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance operations of Public Works in a centralized location. Centralization will result in two vacated buildings that will be used to serve Police and Fire-Medical needs.

Greenway Rd Improvement- This project will finish the south half of Greenway Rd from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303. Improvements will include two additional travel lanes, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, street lighting, landscaping and turn lanes.

Litchfield Rd Improvement- Improvements will provide two travel lanes each in north and south direction, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, turn lanes, lighting and landscaping.

Regional Recreation Complex- The city would purchase 70 acres of land for a variety of lit ball fields and sports courts, playgrounds, ramadas, restrooms and reserved land for a future rec center/fieldhouse.

Aquatic Center Expansion- Regional aquatic facility with an 8-¬lane 50 meter pool, diving area, shaded bleachers for up to 1200 spectators, concessions and more.

If approved the bond would have authorized the city to levy a secondary property tax to repay the bond debt used to finance the projects. That amount was estimated at $0.4642 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value. The city currently does not have a secondary property tax dedicated to the repayment of debt.

The results are unofficial, with the County having a maximum of 15 days to canvass the votes after the election.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 29, 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. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

  • Build Grand Avenue retaining walls connecting to the Bell Road bridge.
  • Install sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruct eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Complete the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

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 Kyl Center Leaders 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22 to honor the promotions of Commander James Jackson and Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica. Commander Jackson joined the Surprise Police Department in September 2013, and Sergeant Calabrese-Kopronica joined the Department in August 2008. Congratulations to the both of them!

Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22
Pictured from left to right: Police Chief Terry Young, Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica, Commander James Jackson, Assistant Chief Geoff Leggett and Commander John Heffelfinger.

KB Homes Ribbon Cutting

On September 22, KB Homes had a ribbon cutting for their new Villas at Sycamore Farms. Mayor Wolcott, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I took part and welcomed KB Homes to the community located near Cactus Road and Loop 303.

Kyl Center for Water Policy – Leaders Roundtable

I attended the Kyl Center Leaders Roundtable at ASU SkySong on September 23. The keynote speakers were Kathryn Sorensen, Director of City of Phoenix Water Services, and Susan Craig, Communications Director for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona. Ms. Sorenson spoke about infrastructure challenges facing the city of Phoenix related to water and wastewater. Ms. Craig explained infrastructure financing options available to municipalities.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Breakfast

On Saturday, September 24, I attended the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission breakfast. Kristen Pierce with the Arizona Commission on the Arts was the speaker and facilitated a discussion on how arts organizations can be more collaborative. Other attendees included members of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, WHAM, West Valley Arts Council, Arts HQ and the art teacher from Paradise Honors High School.

General Obligation Bond Election Discussion at Sun Village

I participated in a community meeting at Sun Village on Monday, September 26. The city’s Economic Development Director, Jeanine Jerkovic, gave an update on economic development and City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented on the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. He explained the projects and the cost of the bond to residents, should it be approved by the voters. You can learn about the projects, costs and more at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting was held September 27 at The Colonnade. The five candidates for the AZ Corporation Commission participated in a candidate’s forum. Arizona will hold an election for Corporation Commission on November 8. Three seats are up for election. Additionally, City Manager Bob Wingenroth gave a presentation on the General Obligation Bond Election.


Mark Your Calendar

Emergency Preparedness Fair – Oct. 1

The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments are teaming up with other local organizations to host an Emergency Preparedness Fair this Saturday, October 1! Join us from 9 a.m. to noon at the Home Depot located at 13760 W Bell Rd. in Surprise.

There will be ham radio demos, 72-hour emergency kits, activities for kids, fire truck and police car displays and more!

Participating agencies and organizations include: Surprise Fire Department, Surprise Police Department, Surprise Citizen Corps, Surprise Crisis Response Team, Surprise Community Response Team, West Valley Amateur Radio Club and Chance Pet Shelter.

Household Hazardous Waste Event – Oct. 8

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on October 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

For more information, including a list of acceptable items, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

The New Surprise Progress Magazine is Out!

The fall 2016 volume of Progress Magazine is out! Much of the magazine is dedicated to informing you about the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. It has details on each of the 9 proposed projects, the cost of the bond to you if it is approved by the voters, and what you’ll see on the ballot.

This issue also includes upcoming art experiences, an update on the Bell-Grand bridge project and the fall events calendar!

Can’t wait for your copy to arrive? Read the online version today! http://bit.ly/2d4VWPB


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 23, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

ADOT’s investigation of the accident that occurred on June 9 remains ongoing. Worksite safety is the agency’s priority as the contractor, consulting engineers and ADOT continue to review the incident. While a date for resuming the installation of the girders as part of the Bell Road overpass construction hasn’t been set, crews are continuing other work to keep the project on track.

Most recent activities include:

  • Paving the new westbound roadway on the east side of Grand Avenue from south of Bell Grande to Towne Center.
  • Installing a 12-inch waterline on Bell Road west of Grand Avenue.
  • Paving the new 134th Avenue roadway. Traffic to use the new 134th Avenue within the next couple weeks.
  • Installing a new waterline on Bell Road east of 134th Drive.
  • Traffic signal at Bell Road and 134th Drive will be removed. Stop signs will be in place.

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

The summer issue of Progress magazine, scheduled to be mailed out on June 29, will include updated information about the next phase of the project and will also have an updated business access map.

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.

Bell & Grand construction images


City Council Work Session

Public Art Program

On June 27, 2002, City Council established the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission to advise on appropriate selections of public art for City buildings, parks and other public spaces. The Commission was also provided with a budget comprised of a one percent set aside from capital improvement program funds for public buildings, improvements to public buildings, open spaces and street construction (excluding utility projects).

During budget preparation for FY2010, a need was recognized to increase available operating revenues in the general fund. On February 26, 2009, the Mayor and City Council were presented with a recommendation to suspend the arts set aside and reallocate the remaining funds. The Mayor and City Council formalized this action with resolution number 09-29.

Recently, City Council expressed a desire to revisit the potential of restoring funding for the city’s public art program. In response to City Council’s request, City Manager Bob Wingenroth facilitated a discussion regarding the history of public art funding in the city, the potential of adopting the Public Art Program ordinance and exploring additional funding options such as the Art in Private Development which requires large, private retail and office developments to commission artwork on their property or support local cultural programs.

The purpose of the public art funding program is to allow one and one-third percent of applicable City capital project funds to go to a dedicated Municipal Art Fund for commissioning and maintaining the City’s public art program effective July 1, 2017, if approved. Eligible funds would include capital funds such as bonds, operating funds, general funds and enterprise funds. Eligible city projects would include new capital projects in excess of $500,000 such as buildings, roads, infrastructure and parks. It would exclude emergency work, minor alterations, etc.

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission, through the City Manager, would administer the Public Art Program and all the projects in conjunction with the City Council.

Status of Colorado River and Central Arizona Project (CAP)

The Colorado River system has experienced drought conditions for nearly 16 years, resulting in the water level of Lake Mead to continue to be at historical lows. Water levels in Lake Mead determine how much Colorado River water Arizona receives on an annual basis. A large portion of Surprise’s renewable water supply is from the Colorado River and delivered by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) system. The Colorado River supply is of the upmost importance, and it has a direct impact on the City’s water portfolio and future.

Last night, Terry Lowe, Water Resources Management Director for the City provided Council an update on the state of the Colorado River System, including Lake Mead and CAP. He addressed the potential for future Colorado River shortages, programs the State and others are working on to keep the water levels in Lake Mead above shortage triggers, and the impacts shortages will have on Surprise. There is a small chance a water shortage could be declared in 2017, with greater likelihood one could occur in 2018. Shortages on the River will not affect Surprise’s water supply, but they will have direct effect on the cost to deliver river water to Surprise. When shortages are declared, CAP water delivery rates will increase. Mr. Lowe also informed Council of the recent adoption by the CAP board’s election to increase the Capital rates. The Capital charges the City pays go directly to repaying the loan Arizona took out from the Federal Government to construct the CAP. This expense is made whether or not the City is delivered water. For 2017, the Capital rate will increase by 35%, with an additional 58% increase anticipated for 2018.


Special City Council Meeting

The Surprise City Council approved a $271.9 million Fiscal Year 2017 budget during a Special City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Council approved a formula to fund 22 new public safety positions by maintaining the city’s property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. The positions are as follows:

Police: 13 | Fire-Medical: 7 | Court: 1 | City Attorney: 1

This budget also dedicates $53 million for capital improvements to preserve and/or replace aging infrastructure, such as increasing funding for the Pavement Preservation Program to $4.5 million.

Investments in communications, facility, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure amount to $6.8 million. And $10.5 million will support replacing aging vehicles to enhance service and lower maintenance costs.

Beginning in November, the city will assume responsibility for billing the water, waste water and sanitation utilities. By removing these operations from a third-party vendor, the city will be able to provide more efficient operations and provide an improved customer experience. This service will result in an additional 11 positions. The ongoing utility billing budget of $1.7 million that had been paid to the third-party vendor will remain the same once the city transitions to the billing responsibilities.

The FY17 Budget also provides funding to add Sunday Dial-A-Ride service and continue Saturday and holiday pick-ups. To better match regional costs, all one-way trips within city limits will cost $2 as of July 1. One-way trips outside city limits will cost $4.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy at their August 2 Council Meeting.


City Council Meeting

Liquor License Approvals

Liquor licenses were unanimously approved for Grand Central Eatery, located at 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway; Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, located at 16914 W. Bell Road; and Nick’s Diner II, now located at 13765 N. Litchfield Road.

Surprise Heritage District

The City of Surprise has taken the next step in helping revitalize the Original Town Site (OTS) with Council’s approval on a Surprise Heritage District. One of the primary goals of the Surprise Heritage District (SHD) and overlays zones is flexibility and choice that will put the power back into the hands of the owners in the OTS to revitalize their properties. It also implements the desired character and architecture on new development, ensuring it follows the path laid out by the longstanding community.

The key elements that make up the SHD zoning district are founded in the Revitalization Plan that was adopted in 2002, as well as through 18 months of public outreach with residents. It includes new measures used to protect the residential community and historical character of the neighborhood. Two overlay zones are the components within the SHD used to regulate allowed land uses and developments standards such as setbacks, density, and building heights. The Residential Overlay (SHD-RO) will focus on residential areas within the SHD while the Commercial Overlay (SHD-CO) will be used to facilitate residents and visitors with appropriate consumer-oriented retail and service functions. The boundaries between these overlays follow the general development pattern of the existing residential and commercial properties.

The selected overlay zones are not mandatory. Property owners who find it necessary to retain the zoning that is currently on the property are allowed to opt-out of the overlay zones. The comprehensive design standards and requirements for new development within the SHD component of this rezoning will apply to all properties within the OTS.

By opting-out of the overlay zone, the new Land Use Matrix and development standards (reduced building setbacks, increased maximum lot coverage, etc.) will not be associated with the property. The other sections of the Surprise Unified Development Code will regulate the allowed uses and development standards.

General Obligation Bond

City Council approved sending a $63 million General Obligation Bond initiative to the voters in November 2016, at their Regular Meeting Tuesday night.

Following public input and weighing community needs, Council approved the following nine projects, that if voter-approved, would be included in the bond:

  • Two fire stations
  • Police evidence storage facility
  • Land purchase for a future southwest Surprise Fire Station/Police Substation/Park
  • Public Works maintenance facility (frees up existing city locations to meet Police and Fire-Medical storage needs)
  • Road improvements to portions of Greenway and Litchfield Roads
  • Aquatic Center Expansion
  • Land purchase for regional rec complex (sport fields, playgrounds, future rec center)

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If approved, the secondary property tax could be up to $0.50 per $100 of limited property value, which on a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would be a yearly maximum increase of $100, or $8.33 per month.

Additional educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 8 General Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward. You may also visit the website for a complete list of projects, renderings, financial impact information and public survey results.


Events & Meetings

Aqua-Tots Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

The grand opening and ribbon cutting for Aqua-Tots Surprise was held on Wednesday, June 15. Aqua-Tots is a new swimming school and business in the Shops at Surprise retail development at 13833 W. Bell Road, Suite 104, just off of Litchfield and Bell roads. Aqua-Tots has committed to providing the highest quality swimming instruction and water safety training in the absolute best swim environment to the children and families in Surprise and surrounding areas.

child cutting ribbon at grand opening

We are excited to have them in Surprise!

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA monthly meeting on Thursday, June 16.


Mark Your Calendar

Dignity Health Emergency Room Set To Open

Dignity Health is hosting an open house on Saturday, June 25 from 9 am until 11 am at their new facility located at 14267 W. Bell Road. Please feel free to bring your family by to enjoy the activities Dignity has planned!

City of Surprise 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise welcomes you to celebrate the 4th of July at the Surprise Recreation Campus-Surprise Stadium at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue on Monday, July 4th. The event will kick off with a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Throughout the game, families can enjoy in-game contests, music, and family giveaways leading up to a firework spectacular! Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Gates will open at 4:30pm and the game will begin at 5:30pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. The stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30pm.

For additional event information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Early Voting

Voters will have until 5 pm on Monday, August 1 to register to vote in the primary. Early voting begins Wednesday, August 3.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 5 pm on Monday, October 10. Early voting begins Wednesday, October 12. The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 8.

City Council Recess – July

City Council will be on recess for the month of July. Please note that you will not receive a newsletter until Thursday, August 4. Thank you!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 9, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Preparation to pave the new westbound roadway on the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Completion of the bridge support beams on the west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at the northwest corner of Bell Road and Grand Avenue
  • Installation of curb, gutter and grade for the new 134th Avenue.
  • Installation of new waterline on Bell Road, east of 134th Drive.

Upcoming weekend work includes:

  • Work to place 15 large girders on a section of Bell Road for the overpass will restrict traffic lanes along Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart Road and Towne Center Drive from 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 11 to 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

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. Pictures below courtesy of ADOT.

Bell and Grand interchange progress


City Council Work Session

Community and Recreation Services Program Participation

Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado updated the City Council on fiscal year 2015 program participation. For FY15, there was a total of 499,838 participants: tennis – 26,781, aquatics – 68,551, recreation – 82,854, sports tourism and special events – 306,378 and 3rd party events – 14,838. No surprise that under the category of sports tourism, spring training had the most participation with 201,650, followed by the Annual Surprise Party with 20,000 and the Surprise Fiesta Grande with 16,000. The city’s largest sports recreation program is youth sports with 10,000 youth participating in all the sports programs combined. With regards to recreation, our teen programs such as open recreation, teen tournaments, etc. had 27,000 participants. Aquatics also sees plenty of participation with participants averaging 55,000 between open swim, teen splash, dive in movies, etc. Last fiscal year, participation in tennis, racquetball and pickleball was at 26,000 participants.

Several awards were bestowed to the CRS team including the Natural Resource Award (for completion of a reclaimed water project at Veramonte Park), AZTEC (gold for best photo of a participant and silver for best event brochure), Project of the Year (Surprise Farms Park Project), and the USTA President’s Award for continued advocacy for the development of youth, adult, local and national tennis tournaments.

Membership Agreement Update on Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

A progress report on the goals and objectives of the Membership Agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce was provided to Council. The Chamber continues to grow and evolve. One of the significant changes includes a new Chair, Patrick McDermott, who works for APS.

The Chamber has been actively involved, in partnership with the city, on the Shop Surprise campaign which was kicked off to help the businesses affected by the Bell Road closure. In addition to this critical campaign, the Chamber has completed the new Chamber Business Directory and improved many of their ongoing events.

Economic Development Reimbursement (EDRA) Initiative

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided an update on EDRA that I had requested earlier last month. EDRA is a proposed economic development tool that incentivizes business expansion and attraction. The concept was developed in 2014, refined and brought before the Arizona League of Cities in 2015 and adopted by Council with the Legislative agenda in January 2016. Around that time, Representative David Livingston intended to sponsor it.

HighGround Inc. was given a contract to consult on it. The initiative discussion continues at this time with Ms. Lance taking a lead and meeting with necessary parties to gain further momentum.


City Council Meeting

2016 Bond Election

City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided background on the Surprise Forward (proposed General Obligation Bond election) campaign, and he asked Council to provide direction on which projects should be included in a potential bond and how those projects should be presented to voters, should Council choose to take the issue to the November ballot. Council was able to consider resident input gathered on the projects via seven community meetings and online submissions. We determined that projects in the proposed bond should include two new fire stations, a police property and evidence facility,a public works operation facility, improvements to Litchfield and Greenway roads, an aquatic center expansion, and a regional recreation project. We asked that the pickleball court expansion be removed from the list of bond projects, but that staff seek other funding sources for that project in the FY17 budget. At the meeting, a new project was introduced that would allow the city to purchase land for a future police substation, fire station and park in the southwest portion of the city. Council decided to include that project, keeping the project count at 9.

City Council also voted to consider one ballot question regarding the bond with additional detail for transparency, including the cost of public safety, transportation and recreation projects broken out. Council will vote on whether or not to place the issue on the ballot at the June 21 Regular City Council Meeting.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Agreement

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic introduced staff from GPEC and provided an overview of the support the organization provides to Surprise and other cities and towns in Maricopa County. GPEC has brought more than 116,000 jobs to the Maricopa County over the past 26 years. Additionally, the organization has created 4 locates (Mainstreet Rehabilitation, IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical and Everede Tools) in Surprise. City Council unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement not to exceed $55,000.

Transportation Gaps

Public Works staff provided a presentation on gap streets which elaborated on current efforts, priorities and funding methods. Having an established Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is important to be able to have outside source funding become more available. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is very sensitive to local agency commitments to projects that are seeking grant funding. If a local agency is showing a financial commitment, even just enough to fund a design, that can sometimes be enough to warrant a grant award from MAG.

Being prepared for grant funding is important in such cases as the stimulus money that was being made available during the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010. Having ‘shovel ready’ projects was key to local agencies being considered for the stimulus funds that were being allotted through the Federal Highway Administration. Although design efforts would cost a little more and take more time if the federal process is followed, it can put a project into the right position to qualify for federal funds should they become available.

Another key to how the City is better positioning itself to address scalloped street funding is how well the interdepartmental coordination is happening. Community Development, Finance and Public Works have been making a conscious effort to coordinate on new projects as early as possible in the developmental period to ensure the right funding is in place, transportation planning needs are being considered and cost estimates are accurate. This team approach allows the City to be showing the outside agencies like MAG, ADOT and MCDOT that the City is taking an active role in its transportation system and has a systematic approach to its establishment of a 5 year CIP.

Bell & Grand Temporary Signage & Use Permit Policy Amendment

In order to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue bridge project, city staff developed the Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy, which was approved by the City Council on March 15, 2016 as Resolution # 2016-42. The sign portion of the policy included the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign Policy, but also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker and also includes a provision to allow for directional signs which are placed as way/finding signs and are used when the normal route to the business is not possible due to construction.

This amendment to Resolution # 2016-42 proposes to allow for Major Tenants of one-hundred thousand square feet (100,000 sq. ft.) or more to be eligible to have directional signs at locations at the following intersections: Dysart Road and Grand Avenue; Dysart Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Bell Road; Litchfield Road and Grand Avenue. The proposal also allows for these Major Tenant Directional Signs to include tenants equal to or greater than twenty thousand square feet (20,000 sq. ft.) so long as such tenant is not located on any other temporary directional signage and may only locate on one such sign. The business provides and installs these signs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Heritage District Public Meetings

Beginning next week, the city will be hosting public meetings regarding the proposed Surprise Heritage District which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS). The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by the City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather and draft the proposed ordinance. That draft ordinance was presented at several public meetings in April and May. Three meetings remain, a presentation-style meeting and two public hearings. They are as follows:

June 15 – District 4 Meeting with Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva
6 pm at Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street

June 16 – Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing for Recommendation
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

June 21 – City Council Public Hearing for Consideration and Action
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

The draft ordinance is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict and you may offer your comments online. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134.

Community Pride Day – Volunteers Needed

Looking for an opportunity to help your community? The City of Surprise is seeking volunteers for a Community Pride Day event on June 18 from 7a.m. – Noon!

Volunteers can sign up to help at one of two locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank or Imagine Preparatory High School, and will spend the morning painting, gardening and sorting food boxes.

If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up by contacting Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov.

Truth in Taxation Hearing

In compliance with Section 42-17107, Arizona Revised Statutes, the city has notified property taxpayers of the intention to raise property taxes over last year’s rate. The city is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $588,173 or 8.7%.

For example, the proposed tax increase will cause the primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $74.13 (total taxes that would be owed without the proposed tax increase) to $80.59 (total proposed taxes including the tax increase).

All interested residents have been invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled to be held on June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.


Did You Know?

Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool Are Open!

The city pools are now open for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 5 pm. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 6 pm and Friday from 12 noon until 4 pm.

The Hollyhock pool is located at 15808 N. Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 4 pm, and weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 3 pm.

Daily admission for residents is $1 per child (17 and under) and $2 per adult. Proof of residency must be shown. Admission for non-residents is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person, 16 or older, at all times. Pool passes are also available for residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (17 and under) and $40 for adults. Family passes (2 adults and up to 3 children) are $80.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question