Tag Archives: Community Outreach Program Grant

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

September 8, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

Work continues as follows:

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

Grand Avenue Full Closure information

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

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


City Council Work Session

Dial-a-Ride Fare Discussion

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

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

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

FY 2016 Summary

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

Trips Purpose Percentages:

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

Gross Cost for service $799,250:

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

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

Potential Changes to fare schedule pending Council action

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

City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

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

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

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

Surprise Community Outreach Program Grant Recommendation

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

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

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

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


Events & Meetings

Southwest Gas Update Meeting

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

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

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


Mark Your Calendar

Open House – Fire Station 305

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

Surprise Fire 305

2016 Drug Symposium

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

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

CPR Classes Offered

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

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Fiesta Grande

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

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question