Tag Archives: Council Conversation

April 20, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Dial-A-Ride Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City Manager’s FY18 Recommended Budget Discussion

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

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

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


City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Board Members

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


Events & Meetings

Good Friday Breakfast

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

Milam Glass Groundbreaking

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

Council Conversation Taping

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

Council Conversation


Mark Your Calendar

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

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

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

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

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

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

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

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

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

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Sundancers Award Scholarships to West Valley Students

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

The scholarship recipients were awarded the following:

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

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

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

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

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 19, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Grand Avenue/Bell Road Interchange Project is using the design-build contracting method, which provides flexibility while the contractor’s designers work side-by-side with the construction team to deliver an improved connection between the two roadways. The project is scheduled to be completed over the next 14 months (in spring 2017).

Utility relocation work in the area, mostly during overnight hours, is already under way.

In order to reduce the project’s length and lessen the overall impacts of construction, ADOT has worked with the city of Surprise and local businesses to schedule a full closure of Bell Road near Grand Avenue. The full closure will allow Bell Road to be reconstructed as an overpass traveling over Grand Avenue and the parallel railroad tracks, providing a significant improvement for traffic flow.

The preliminary activities below are preparing the team for the April 1 Bell Road closure.

Schedule of On-site Activities*

Prepare for traffic switch on Grand Avenue:

  • roadway paving,
  • apply new lane striping,
  • modify the traffic signal at Town Center Drive/Bell Grande Drive, and
  • install temporary concrete barrier to establish work zone

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue will be closed between Litchfield and Dysart roads Sunday (Feb. 21) from 7 a.m. to Monday (Feb. 22) 3 a.m.
  • Business access available from Bell Road; no turning movements to eastbound Grand Avenue.

SUGGESTED DETOUR: Eastbound Grand Avenue traffic use Reems to Greenway to Dysart roads back to eastbound Grand Avenue.

Overnight Westbound Grand Avenue Restrictions

Westbound Grand Avenue restricted to one lane on Monday (Feb. 22), Tuesday (Feb. 23) and Wednesday (Feb. 24) nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

NOTE: Tuesday (Feb. 23) morning eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue traffic will be in a new configuration with two lanes in each direction.

*schedule subject to change based on design schedule, weather, or unforeseen conditions

Stay Informed – Keep In Touch

For more information or if you have questions:

ADOT’s project hotline: (855) 712-8530, press option #1
Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov
Project website: www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand
Media inquiries: (800) 949-8057; email: news@azdot.gov


City Council Work Session

FY2017 Budget Capital Revenue and Process Overview

The discussion on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget continued this week with separate presentations on the capital and operating areas. The capital budget discussions focused on available revenue sources. The current fiscal year’s capital budget of $78.0 million is highly dependent on fund balances carried over from savings in prior years. These balances will be utilized to complete the Clubhouse Renovations and various transportation projects throughout the city this fiscal year. With the fund balances reduced, future capital budgets will rely more heavily on other revenue sources which total about $23.1 million for the current fiscal year. With this scarcity of resources, prioritization of projects will be the main emphasis of the capital budget going forward. Continuing from last fiscal year, a high value will be placed on maintaining our current infrastructure through maintenance, replacement, and pavement preservation efforts.

The operating budget discussion highlighted the programs of public safety with specific presentations on the Police and Fire-Medical departments, the City Attorney’s Office, and the Surprise City Court. The common theme was that staffing levels have been held relatively flat over the last seven years as population, calls for service, and other workload measures have increased. All four areas have been exceptionally effective and efficient in maintaining a safe city over this time period. Proactive efforts have been declining over the last few years which will inevitably lead to higher instances of property crime, less coordinated and effective prosecution of crimes, and longer timelines to resolve cases without an infusion of additional resources. Also discussed was a program to centralize emergency management to coordinate the city’s response to natural or manmade disasters. As outlined, the public safety needs exceed the current expected resources of the city. The discussion of how the city will look to meet its operating needs will continue throughout the budget process that will culminate with the adoption of the FY2017 budget in June before the new fiscal year is rung in on July 1.


City Council Meeting

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2015 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. The city has made a number of improvements in internal controls and corrected many of the identified areas from the prior year. The city will continue to improve internal controls and processes to eliminate the remaining auditor comments.

FY2016 Budget Reallocation for Bullard Avenue

Director of Public Works Mike Gent and Assistant Public Works Director Karl Zook provided an update on Bullard Avenue based on the input from the Bullard Avenue Task Force and the surveys received from residents. The strongest recommendation was the return of four lanes of travel on Bullard Avenue.

The recommended solution incorporates a full median from Greenway to our southern city limits. Currently there is not a raised median between Greenway to Waddell so we will be installing a raised landscaped median. South of Waddell, the median will need size modifications to allow for maintaining the bike lane throughout the corridor. The bike lines, 3 miles in each direction, will be maintained. There will be a curb separation from the bike lane to the traffic lane and two new traffic signals (Acoma and Bullard /Sweetwater and Bullard).

Since this project was not approved as part of the FY2016 budget, a reallocation of $220,000 from the Transportation Improvement Fund contingency to Bullard Avenue Multimodal project for the design portion of this project was requested. The remaining funds needed to complete this project will be programmed into the FY2017 Capital Improvement Plan. The city was awarded the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant ($1,551,300) for some of the enhancements, and staff has applied for additional grants that could possibly pay for approximately 95% of the project.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Review of Public Safety

Budget Manager Jared Askelson’s discussion focused on operating programs, predominantly the General Fund ongoing uses for fiscal year 2017 in Public Safety including Police, Fire-Medical, City Attorney and City Court. General Fund ongoing uses is $96.7 million for FY16 with almost half spent on Public Safety (Police – 25%, Fire – 18%, City Attorney – 2%, City Court – 2% and all others – 53%).

Police Chief Terry Young provided an overview, considered key components including service demands, increased training, and staffing ratio comparisons. Surprise has one of lowest staffing ratios (1.06 compared to the highest at 2.20) of sworn personnel per 1,000 persons. Since 2010, Surprise has seen an 8.5% increase in residents, a 4% calls for service increase from 2014-2015 and a 6% overall increase in crimes from 2014-2015.

Fire–Medical Chief Tom Abbott also provided an overview and focused on the multiple factors used to consider proper staffing including call volume, response times, etc. In the last six years, SFMD has witnessed an increase of 6,175 calls for service which equates to a 60.1% increase. In 2009, there were 126 members of the Department, including administration. In November of 2015, six new members were hired which brought the total number of staff to 128. Surprise again has one of the lowest staffing ratios (.11 compared to highest at .26) of sworn personnel per 1,000 persons.

Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier discussed the need for an effective Emergency Management Program. The purpose of the program is to mitigate, prepare, plan for, respond to and recover from a natural or manmade disaster. These potential disasters would include flooding, health emergencies such as outbreaks, etc. Staff recommends the hiring of two new full-time employees (FTEs) which would include an Emergency Manager and an Administrative Specialist. The Emergency manager would work directly with the Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communication Departments.

City Attorney and City Court provided a brief overview. The Departments are directly impacted by the work of the Police Department which has increased; hence two new FTEs (one for each) have been requested.


Special City Council Meeting

The City Council held a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 18. The sole agenda item was the discussion and action pertaining to the City of Surprise vs. Surprise Center Development Company (SCDC). The City Council voted unanimously to begin the process to end litigation and work to achieve a final settlement.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting on Thursday, February 11. Some of the items discussed included the Request for Proposal (RFP) for financial audit services and transit performance review. For FY15, 77.5% of the total Valley Metro ridership was bus transit followed by 19.6% light rail, 1.5% vanpool and 1.4% paratransit (such as Dial-A-Ride). The bus saw a 2.29% decrease in total boardings.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Banquet

The Surprise Citizens Patrol (CP) hosted their annual awards dinner on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Sun City Grand Cimarron Center. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo and I were honored to attend the banquet to help honor and thank our outstanding CP volunteers. Sergeant Tim Klarkowski presented the Citizens Patrol with a plaque and expressed the Department’s sincere appreciation for the volunteers’ continued dedication and selfless service.

In 2015, the Citizens Patrol volunteered 25,806 hours. The Citizens Patrol has been in existence since 1997 and has volunteered a total of 170,372 hours, which is a significant cost avoidance to the City.

Those receiving awards were: Patrick Kellison – Patrol Person of the Year, June Dower – Administrative Person of the Year, Bill Crain – Support Person of the Year, Charles Manning – Command Staff Person of the Year, and Henry Saunders – Rookie of the Year.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Transportation Community Meeting

Valley Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, March 9 from 9 am until 11 am at the Surprise Senior Center (15832 N. Hollyhock Street) to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley, including Dial-a-Ride, the door-to-door transportation service for qualified seniors, people with disabilities and other residents.

Valley Metro staff will be present to assist residents with Dial-a-Ride applications, discuss other available transportation programs and to answer any questions or concerns about using public transportation in the Northwest Valley.

The Surprise Senior Center is located near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Nash Street. For driving directions, contact the center at (623) 222-1500. To arrange your trip on Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride, call (602) 266-8723.

Surprise Park-And-Ride Temporary Relocation – April

The Surprise Park-and-Ride will be temporarily relocated beginning April 4 due to construction activity related to the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement.

The facility will remain open at its current location at 13327 W Bell Road through Friday, April 1. Beginning on Monday, April 4, the Park-and-Ride will be temporarily relocated to DreamCatcher Park, located at 14534 W Tierra Buena Lane. It is expected to return to its original location following the completion of the project, estimated to be no later than Feb. 2017.

Questions? Please call Valley Metro Customer Service at 602.253.5000 or TTY 602.251.2039, or the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road & Bullard Avenue Intersection Closure

The intersection of Greenway Road and Bullard Avenue will be closed as part of the Greenway Road Improvement Project beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 26 through 5 a.m. on Monday, February 29.

There are several detours planned during the closure:

  • Bell Road (eastbound and westbound) to southbound Bullard Avenue to access the Surprise Recreation Campus
  • Eastbound Greenway Road traffic will take northbound Reems Road to access Bell Road to continue heading east.**For those visitors planning to attend the 2016 Surprise Big 12 / Pac 12 Baseball Challenge tournament and Food Truck Festival at Surprise Stadium that weekend, you will remain on eastbound Greenway Road to Parkview Place and head north to event parking.
  • Motorists who ordinarily travel westbound on Greenway Road can take Litchfield Road north to access westbound Bell Road.**Visitors heading to Surprise Stadium on Greenway Road will continue westbound on Greenway Road and head north on Civic Center Drive; turn left onto Tierra Buena Drive to northbound Bullard Avenue.

View a map of the recommended alternate routes. Event parking and directional signage will be displayed. For more information please call 623.222.6000.

Pavement Preservation Projects Are Underway

The city’s Pavement Preservation Program identifies city streets to receive appropriate applications that lengthen the lifetime of the street surface. Over the next week, the following areas will be receiving Slurry Seal, an asphalt mixture that fills cracks and voids in the surface:

Feb. 19-23:

Waddell Rd (Litchfield Rd to La Cometa)

140th Dr (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

La Cometa (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

Residents can expect street restrictions during the work. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

New Council Conversation Interview

My new Council Conversation with CRS Director Mark Coronado is online and on Surprise 11.

Check it out at: http://surpriseaz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=f2b8e37e-d692-11e5-8170-f04da2064c47.

It includes footage of the improvements to the Stadium clubhouse!

Social Media

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


Contact Me

February 12, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

US 60 (Grand Avenue) and Bell Road Weekly Project Update

Grand Avenue Traffic Switch is Anticipated the Week of February 22: Grand Avenue two-way traffic will temporarily be switched to the newly paved median between Dysart Road and Litchfield Road. Drivers should allow extra travel time in the area and consider alternate routes at times.

Weekly Update #3—Week of February 15, 2016

The Grand Avenue/Bell Road Interchange Project is using the design-build contracting method, which provides flexibility while the contractor’s designers work side-by-side with the construction team to deliver an improved connection between the two roadways. The project is scheduled to be completed over the next 14 months (in spring 2017).

Utility relocation work in the area, mostly during overnight hours, is already under way. In order to reduce the project’s length and lessen the overall impacts of construction, ADOT has worked with the city of Surprise and local businesses to schedule a full closure of Bell Road near Grand Avenue. The full closure will allow Bell Road to be reconstructed as an overpass traveling over Grand Avenue and the parallel railroad tracks, providing a significant improvement for traffic flow.

The preliminary activities below are preparing the team for the April 1 Bell Road closure.

Schedule of On-site Activities*

  • Continued work to remove existing Grand Avenue median:
    • excavate and haul away the median and roadway materials,
    • prepare roadway for paving, and
    • modify the traffic signal at Town Center Drive/Bell Grande Drive.

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Eastbound and westbound lane restrictions on Grand Avenue continue between just north of Dysart Road and Litchfield Road. The left turn lanes in both directions will be narrowed to one lane (instead of two) at Bell Road and Grand Avenue.
  • Additionally, Grand Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction overnight Tuesday (Feb. 16) through Thursday (Feb. 19) between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

*schedule subject to change based on design schedule, weather, or unforeseen conditions

Stay Informed – Keep In Touch

For more information or if you have questions:
ADOT’s project hotline: (855) 712-8530, press option #1
Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov
Project website: www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand
Media inquiries: (800) 949-8057; email: news@azdot.gov

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting

Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach meeting on February 9. Approximately 15 business representatives were in attendance, including the Property Manager that represents both shopping centers on both sides of Bell Road.

ADOT and Coffman representatives gave a brief presentation, noting project phasing and business access points. Since this is a design-build project, specific traffic patterns are subject to change as needed. We will continue to communicate with the businesses and the public as changes may occur.

ADOT is working on an overall project map that will include project work and business access points to the shopping centers and to the Westgate/Foxfire businesses, north of Bell. This map will be shared with the businesses and available online soon. The timeline shared was as follows:

Business access will be maintained throughout the work at the following signalized intersections:

  • Grand @ Bell Grande (by Carl’s Junior)
  • Grand @Towne Center Drive (by Discount Tire)
  • Bell @ West Point Parkway (traffic can turn left or right from Bell to access both shopping centers)
  • Westgate/Foxfire business access will be Bell @ Dysart and also Bell @ the current 134th Dr., until 134th Avenue relocation is complete in early June

Construction phasing details:

Phase 1: now – late Feb US60 Median Work (Litchfield to Dysart)

  • Grand down to 2 lanes in each direction; one left-turn lane only in each direction onto Bell (Note: dual left turn lanes will be brought back by Spring Training until the full Bell closure in April)

Phase 2: late Feb – April 1

  • ADOT will begin the process of shifting Grand traffic (Dysart – Litchfield) to share the current southbound lanes, maintaining 2 travel lanes for each direction. The median and northbound lanes will be work zones.

Phase 3A: April 1 – early June

  • Full closure of Bell begins (soft closure at Dysart and Litchfield) (hard closure is 134th Dr./134th Ave to West Point Parkway to allow business access). This closure runs through early Nov.
  • Relocation of 134th Drive to 134th Avenue begins April 1, completion expected in early June

Phase 3B: early June – early Nov

  • ADOT to shift Grand traffic (Dysart – Litchfield) to share the northbound lanes, maintaining 2 travel lanes for each direction. The median and southbound lanes will be work zones (flip-flopping the traffic pattern set in Phase 2).
  • Bell re-opens in early Nov

Phase 3C: early Nov – late Feb

Restrictions remain on Grand; clean-up punch list work on both Grand and Bell.

These meetings will continue on a monthly basis, meeting the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Surprise City Hall Community Room (located on the first floor outside the Mayor’s Atrium). These meetings are open to business representatives and stakeholders.


Events & Meetings

Rotary Club of Surprise

I attended the Rotary Club of Surprise monthly meeting on Thursday, February 4. The Surprise Rotary Club gave the Homeless Youth Connection a check totaling $1,000 to help raise awareness and work to meet the needs of homeless youth in the West Valley. This organization was also awarded a $1,500 grant through the Surprise Community Outreach Program earlier this year.

Council Conversation with Mark Coronado

Director of Community & Recreation Services Mark Coronado was my guest for the taping of my new Council Conversation for Surprise 11. The interview will be televised beginning next week. Topics included the Surprise Stadium, spring training, tennis and much more!

Surprise Gateway Training Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Council took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the new Surprise-GateWay Training Center which will be located at SPA 1, near the City of Surprise South Plant. Surprise and GateWay Community College have partnered to provide students interested in water and wastewater career operations a facility in the West Valley where they are able to learn adjacent to the City’s professional staff in an environment that allows them to experience the complete life cycle of water in Arizona.

As part of the partnership, the city is constructing a 13,100 square foot training facility within the SPA 1 Water Reclamation Facility located near the intersection of Litchfield and Cactus roads. The center’s design includes collaborative learning spaces, mission critical labs and assembly facilities.

City leadership, staff and representatives from GateWay Community College were available to answer questions about the partnership and its significance to the West Valley. Tours of the current facility were also provided following the ceremony.


Mark Your Calendar

Litchfield Road Widening

Work to widen the east side of Litchfield Road to two travel lanes between Cactus Road and Desert Cove Road will begin on Monday, February 15. A sidewalk and bike lane will also be added to the east side of the street.

During construction, the speed in the area will be limited to 25 MPH and left turn movement onto Desert Cove and Laurel Lane will be eliminated. For more information, please feel free to contact the Surprise Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Cactus League Lunch @ Surprise Stadium

The City of Surprise will be hosting the 2016 Cactus League Lunch at the Surprise Recreation Campus on Wednesday, February 24 at 11 a.m. You can catch a preview of the 2016 Spring Training season as Cactus League staff and committee members provide exciting and exclusive insight into what is to come this season for the fans and the State of Arizona!

The cost to attend is $50 for an individual seat or $500 for a corporate table of 10. Space is limited so get your tickets now. For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000, or you can always visit www.surprisespringtraining.com.

Second Sundays in the Park

The City continues its “Second Sundays in the Park” concert series on Sunday, February 14 from 2 until 4 p.m. This free family event will take place in the center of the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue, and will feature live music from Behind the Badge.

Public Art Bus Tour

On February 18, the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and Benevilla are joining together to offer a free public art bus tour. Tour participants will visit art locations such as WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ and City Hall; they will also view public art pieces.

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood Street, and will end at the same location at 12 noon. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by February 11. Reservations can be made by calling Fiona Falbo at 623.584.4999.

At the conclusion of the bus tour, there will be an option to enjoy lunch at Birt’s Bistro on Benevilla’s campus. The lunch package is $15 per person.

Surprise Stadium to Host Two Collegiate Baseball Tournaments

College Baseball returns to the Surprise Recreation Campus – Campus of Champions with two NCAA collegiate baseball tournaments: the Surprise Spring Training College Baseball Classic (Feb. 19-22) and the BIG 12 – PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge (Feb. 25-29).

Individual tickets and tournament passes for each of the scheduled tournaments are now available for purchase online at www.surprisespringtraining.com.Tickets can also be purchased at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, or over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders. All seating for collegiate tournaments is general admission.

2016 Surprise City Academy

Would you like to learn more about the structure of city government, get an update on local issues and get to know your city leaders? If so, you may want to register for the 2016 Surprise City Academy.

This eight session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager and City Directors. The Academy begins on March 7 and meets weekly through April 18. Most classes will meet from 6 until 8:30 pm in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler Plaza. It’s free to participate but space is limited. Registration is required by February 29.

For an application and/or information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or you can contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.


Did You Know?

Surprise Stadium Renovations

The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers are moving in this week! They will be welcomed back with newly-renovated clubhouses, which have each been expanded from approximately 37,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.

Pavement Preservation Projects Are Underway

The city’s Pavement Preservation Program identifies city streets to receive appropriate applications that lengthen the lifetime of the street surface. Over the next week, the following areas will be receiving Slurry Seal, an asphalt mixture that fills cracks and voids in the surface:

Feb. 13-15:

175th Ave (Greenway Rd to Bell Rd) – Note: Northbound 175th Ave between Greenway Road and Bell Road will be closed in the northbound direction on Saturday, Feb. 13 and the southbound direction on Monday, Feb. 15. The restrictions will be up from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be no restrictions on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Surprise Farms Loop N (175th to Willow Canyon Dr)

Feb. 16-18:

Greenway Rd (Verde Vista Dr to 183rd Dr)

Feb. 19-23:

Waddell Rd (Litchfield Rd to La Cometa)

140th Dr (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

La Cometa (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

Residents can expect street restrictions during the work. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Social Media

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


Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

June 5, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New Council Conversation on Surprise 11

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and I taped a Council Conversation on Thursday, June 4, regarding his new department and other water resource related items. Please tune in on Surprise 11 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11 to watch!

Council Conversations

Surprise Entrepreneurial Boot Camp

The City is proud to announce the winners of the second annual Surprise Youth Entrepreneurial Boot Camp, Bulldog Drives. After completing the five-day boot camp on June 5, Bulldog Drives team members Jeremy Lomas, Juan Ramos, Pablo Zazueta, Shekira Jackson and Shyanne Black, pitched their business idea, along with two other teams, to Vice Mayor John Williams, Councilman Todd Tande and me in a Shark Tank-style program conclusion. Among other prizes, Bulldog Drives received Samsung Galaxy IV tablets for each member and $2,000 to launch their business on the Arizona Charter Academy campus next year.

Bulldog Drives will offer a certified four week drivers permit preparation course for $60, which is approximately half the cost of the average permit preparation course. Once established, this permit course will be the only program in Surprise taught on a school’s campus.

The Surprise Entrepreneurial Boot Camp is a partnership between Surprise charter high schools and the AZ TechCelerator, led by Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal. The goal of the program is to foster entrepreneurial thinking and provide an opportunity for participants to think strategically about the needs of the students at their school. Camp participants were divided into three teams and, with direction from mentors and guest speakers, taught how to identify service needs, create a plan and present a business concept. Additionally, the students learned business fundamentals including marketing, economics and most importantly, teamwork.

Congratulations to all the teams that participated. I’m very proud of you! Also, I would like to personally thank Julie Neal and all of the sponsors including Rioglass Solar, Intrepid Tools, MD24 House Call, Sheitelman Chiropractic Center, Cobalt Medical, and the Surprise Lions Club.

Economic Development Meeting

Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I met with staff from Economic Development and potential businesses interested in locating to Surprise.

Earlier last month, Texas Roadhouse picked up their permits and began grading their location on Grand Avenue near Trader Joe’s. The Surprise Economic Development team is working diligently to add businesses and restaurants to our great City!

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp Students
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp Medal

WHAM Exhibit Opening at Birt’s Bistro

I attended the WHAM Exhibit Opening at Birt’s Bistro on Thursday, June 11. This reception was a great opportunity to support our local west valley WHAM artists.


Mark Your Calendar

Traffic Restrictions

Crews have continued to pave near the interchange of Loop 303 and El Mirage Road. Work will continue nightly Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19. For more information about this work, please call 855.712.8530 or you can email projects@azdot.gov.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has also issued an update regarding construction at Grand Avenue and the Loop 303. The US 60 (Grand Avenue) will be restricted in both directions from 1 am until 12 noon on Saturday, June 13 near Loop 303 while traffic is switched to the new on- and off-ramps to and from southbound Loop 303. Following Saturday’s work, drivers will utilize the new signalized intersection to make US 60 ramp connections to and from southbound Loop 303.

Southwest Invitational

The Southwestern Invitational which exhibits the work of 48 contemporary Arizona artists will travel to five galleries around the state this year and through 2016. The exhibits first stop is the West Valley Art Council (16126 N. Civic Center Plaza). This exhibit will be on display June 16 through July 23, and the gallery is open from 10 am until 3 pm Tuesday through Thursday. Admission is free! We hope to see you there!

Crime Prevention Fair

The Surprise Police are hosting a Crime Prevention Fair on Saturday, June 27, from 1 pm until 5 pm in the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza. The event will feature information on a new property theft reduction program, facts about substance abuse, an opportunity to drop-off unwanted or expired medications, and much more.

A representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Division Chief Scott Blum, is the keynote speaker and he will be available to answer your questions! Representatives from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will also be in attendance to discuss crime prevention tips and provide helpful advice.

This event will mark the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of a new MedReturn Drug Collection Unit. This unit will be located in the lobby area of the Surprise Police Department, and it will provide the community with a safe, simple, secure and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of unwanted or expired medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine.


Did You Know?

Certificate of Necessity

The City received notification from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) that the Surprise Fire-Medical Department was awarded with a Certificate of Necessity (CON) to provide ground transportation of emergency patients. We are the first fire department outside of Phoenix to receive a CON in 30 years. This is a huge achievement for the City and our Fire-Medical Department! We could not have done it without the help of Chief Tom Abbott and our City Management team! Thank you!

City is Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 2 vacancies
  • Community & Recreation Services Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Health Trust Fund Board – 3 vacancies
  • Personnel Appeals Board – 1 vacancy
  • Planning & Zoning Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Tourism Commission – 2 vacancies (1 hotel industry and 1 restaurant industry)

All Board/Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available for pick-up immediately. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday, from 8 am until 5 pm or online at www.surpriseaz.gov. Please submit your applications to the City Clerk’s office in person or via email at clerk@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question