Tag Archives: Community and Recreation Services

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

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

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

November 7, 2014 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

City Council Work Session
Mark Coronado, Director of Community and Recreation Services, provided an update on the Surprise Farms and Veramonte Park projects. After several public meetings, the design process will be 90% complete by the end of this month.  The projected groundbreaking is scheduled for late February/early March.

Representatives from the Site Design Group also presented the skate park concept design for Surprise Farms Park.

Main Park Plan

Dog Park

Vermonte Park

City Attorney Misty Leslie discussed the powers and duties associated with the Council’s Boards & Commissions in relationship to community engagement.  Council discussed the relationship between economic development and tourism and how it relates to the Tourism Advisory Commission.  Sales tax revenue to the City from restaurants and bars over the last four years has seen a 42% increase and a 29% increase from hotels.  The Tourism Advisory Commission has played a role in the increase.  Further discussion regarding the Tourism Advisory Commission has been deferred to a later time. Conversation took place regarding the Disability Advisory Commission and Council recognizes the importance of the Commission and agreed to retain it.

City Council Meeting
In honor of November being Diabetes Awareness month, Mayor Wolcott issued a Proclamation to two City employees who have family members inflicted by the disease.  Diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening illness that touches Americans of every age, ethnicity and background.  Its complications can be far-reaching.  Today, over 20 million Americans suffer from this disease and public health officials estimate that more than 1 million new cases will be diagnosed this year.  Our City is proud to help advance this cause and support promising breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and care.

Diabetes Awareness

Sunset Hills Elementary School Principal Karen Winterstein was recognized for her recently earned title of 2014 Principal of the Year.  This award was given to Mrs. Winterstein by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  Congratulations, Mrs. Winterstein!  Thank you for instilling our youth with the highest standards of ethics, compassion and education.

Mayor Wolcott with Karen Winterstein
Mayor Wolcott with Karen Winterstein


City staff provided a presentation on the City’s Community Development federal funding and the 5-year consolidated plan.  The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federal funding source for housing projects, community development and economic development.  Fifty-one percent of area residents must be low-moderate income to receive these funds.  The Original Townsite (OTS) is the only area that fits this eligibility.  Most cities utilize these funds for infrastructure such as street projects, sidewalks and other public infrastructure improvements.   They also utilize these funds for housing acquisition and rehabilitation, public facilities such as community centers and assistance to companies to increase housing opportunities.  Surprise receives approximately $525,000 in CDBG funds annually.  Some of our public service agencies that receive CDBG support are St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Benevilla, Arizona Charter Academy and Arizona Bridge to Independent Living.

HOME Investment Partnerships provides federal funding for housing activities and related service benefiting low income persons.  HOME funds must be spent within the City’s limits.  Most cities utilize the funding for housing with forgivable loans and energy efficient options.

The 5 year Consolidated Plan is created every 5 years (2015-2019) and it is accomplished through a yearly action plan.  This plan helps the City determine community needs and identifies funding priorities for CDBG, HOME and other HUD funded programs.  The Nonprofit Applications are due in January followed by the Planning & Zoning Public Hearings in February 2015 and a City Council Workshop in March 2015.  Under this timeline, the City Council would be scheduled to discuss the Consolidated Plan in April and pending approval the plan would be submitted to HUD in May.

Public Services Grant applications will be made public in December 2014.  Applications will be due in January 2015 and staff will screen and evaluate them in February-March 2015 followed by the Planning & Zoning Public Hearings in February 2015 and a City Council Workshop in March 2015.  Under this timeline, the City Council would be scheduled to discuss Consolidated Plan in April and pending approval it will be submitted to HUD in May.

Events & Meetings

27th Annual Clean Air Campaign Awards
On Thursday, October 30, I attended the 27th Annual Clean Air Campaign Awards & Luncheon hosted by Valley Metro at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.  Sean McLaughlin, CBS-5 News, was the Master of Ceremonies.  I was a guest of Steve Banta and Valley Metro.

Clean Air Award
Clean Air Award
Master of Ceremonies Shean McLaughlin
Master of Ceremonies Shean McLaughlin
Steve Banta, Valley Metro
Steve Banta, Valley Metro






Water Planning Subcommittee Meeting
The Water Planning Subcommittee met on Thursday, October 30th.  Staff presented the Subcommittee with the next Council Water Policy for review.  This policy, the Water Acquisition Policy, outlines the City’s approach to growing and managing its water portfolio.  The Policy addresses the different water asset classes including Extinguishment Credits, Central Arizona Project (CAP), Long-Term Storage Credits and physical water.  The Subcommittee will thoroughly review this Policy over the next month and bring it for final discussion at the November Water Planning Subcommittee meeting before it will be discussed with the City Council for review.

In addition to the Water Acquisition Policy, staff presented the Subcommittee with an educational partnership opportunity with Gateway Community College (GCC).  GCC is the only Valley school, college or university that offers programs in water and wastewater utility operations.  Students who go through these programs are trained to become certified water and wastewater operators and can also acquire an Associate’s Degree in their discipline of choice.  GCC is looking to expand their program in the West Valley.  They are looking to partner with institutions that can offer opportunities for both classroom and hands on instruction.  The Subcommittee and staff will be discussing this partnership opportunity in greater detail with Gateway Community College and City management in the coming months.  The Subcommittee believes this opportunity would present some real possibilities for Surprise to be able to assist its youth with additional education and career opportunities.

West-MEC – Glendale Campus Tour
On Friday, October 31st, I participated in a tour of the West-MEC Central Campus in Glendale.    This campus offers programs in Aviation Maintenance Technology, Avionics/Electronics, Precision Manufacturing and Welding Technology.  Interestingly, more than $1 million dollars of training materials and equipment for the Aviation Tech program were donated by the industry.  After speaking to professors from West-MEC, there is quite a demand for the professions and some of the students are already being recruited for companies throughout Arizona.

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast
Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, November 5th.  Colonel Jeremy T. Sloane, Vice commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base was the key-note speaker.  Colonel Sloane spoke about Luke Air Force Base and the economic impact it has on the West Valley.  Luke AFB employs 800 civilians, 300 pilots and many other positions with an annual payroll of $448 million per year.  They spend $52.7 million for vendor contracts, $5.3 million annually for utilities and $2 million each year for education assistance.  Luke AFB has 30,000 retirees living within 50 miles of the base.

Military and veterans were the topic of this month’s meeting in honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11th, 2014.  Several new businesses were also introduced.

Colonel Jeremy T. Sloan
Colonel Jeremy T. Sloan
Councilman Jim Biundo, Al DeAngelis and Vice Mayor Hall
Councilman Jim Biundo, Al DeAngelis and I







Best of the West Awards
I attended WESTMARC’s Best of the West Awards at Phoenix International Raceway on Wednesday, November 6th.  Over 450 people were in attendance.  The West Valley inspiration in Leadership Award was given to the Honorable Jan Brewer, the West Valley Visionary Award was given to Dr. Lattie Coor and the West Valley Regional Advancement Award was given to Charley Freericks of DMB and Associates.

Mark Your Calendars

USTA Tennis Tournaments
The USTA League Tennis National Championships continue to be held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquetball Complex.  This upcoming weekend, the 55 and Over National Championships will be held followed by a 40 and Over Mixed Doubles National Championships the weekend of November 14-16.  The last tournament will be held the weekend of November 21-23 for 40 and Over 7.0 and 9.0 Mixed Doubles National Championships.  The USTA National Selection Tournament for Boys and Girls 18’s will be held the weekend of November 28-30.
The public is invited to attend and enjoy the action!  These tournaments will attract approximately 2,800 players.  Most of the players are out of town and the players and spectators are expected to generate 2,400 hotel room nights this month.

Veteran’s Day Parade at Sun Village
Sun Village will be hosting an “Annual Veteran’s Day Salute with Parade” on November 11th at the Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road in Surprise. The Parade will begin at 10 am and the presentation of colors will begin promptly at 11:45 am.  The American Kountry Band will play, followed by Up-Tempo Classic Country, along with some 50’s through 80’s music from 12 noon until 3 pm.  Lunch will be available.  We hope to see you there!

Nick Bacon Memorial Dedication
There will be a memorial dedication for Nick D. Bacon, USA Medal of Honor Recipient and former Surprise Town Manager, on Tuesday, November 11 at sunset in the south courtyard of City Hall.  An orchestra, the West Valley Pops Band, will begin playing patriotic music at 5:15 pm and the candlelight program is scheduled to begin promptly at 5:55 pm.  Parking is available in the City Hall parking garage and City Court parking lot on the northeast side of the complex.  We hope to see you there for this very special and moving event!

2014 Annual Summit
The 2014 Annual Summit for the City Council will be held on Saturday, November 8th in the City Hall Community Room from 8 am until 2 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to comply with Chapter 6 of the General Plan, which is known as the Implementation Plan.  The Summit presents a summary of the report and acts as a forum to obtain input to the staff from the Council.  This is an open meeting.

Second Sunday in the Park
The band, the Roadrunners will be playing ‘50s and ‘60s rock music at the next Second Sunday in the Park on November 9th from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park (15953 N. Bullard).  This public event is free.

Surprise Super Swap Meet
The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 15th.  This popular community-wide garage sale, sponsored by the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department and the Surprise Senior Center Council, will be held in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm.  Parking and admission is free.  Vendor spaces are now available for rent.  If you are interested in space, please contact 623.222.1500.

Surprise Health and Wellness Fair
The Surprise Health and Wellness Fair will be held on Saturday, November 15th from 9 am until 12 noon.  The Fair will be held at the Banner Health Center at 13995 W. Statler.  There will be several health screenings, demos, clinics and displays.  This event is free to the public.

Contact Me

Veterans Day

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

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