Tag Archives: Household Hazardous Waste Collection

April 6, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council Update

Members of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) provided an update on their recent activities. Some of their recent activities include:

  • Delivering a 7-part peer-to-peer workshop on healthy relationships and dating violence at local high schools
  • Hosting a free SAT prep class
  • Building community partnerships to provide greater mental and emotional health resources at local high schools
  • Conducting a hydration drive for people experiencing homelessness in and around the Surprise area
  • Developed a youth blog, and hosted a signature teen party on the 4th floor of the City Hall parking garage, with more than 225 high school student attendees.

SYC Kids walking parade route

The SYC is now wrapping up their most recent recruitment period and expects to add nearly a dozen new members with new ideas and a passion for community engagement. The Council will continue to prioritize projects and initiatives that have the potential for impact reaching far beyond its own membership. Council members hope that these efforts will raise the quality of life for local youth and solidify Surprise’s reputation as a truly innovative City.

City of Surprise Utility Billing Update

Assistance Finance Director Andrea Davis provided a utility billing update. Last spring, City Council unanimously voted to take over utility billing. In doing so, a new Customer Service/Utility Billing division was created within the Finance Department that generated 16 new full-time positions and utilized 6 current positions. Since November 1, when utility billing in the city began, call volumes have significantly decreased, as have average call wait times. Resolved utility billings issues have created and increase of $141,000 in monthly revenue for an annual increase of $1.7 million.

Non-residential Stormwater customers will be receiving their annual bill for the stormwater utility program that commenced in November 2016. Approximately 1,100 bills for the period November 2016 through June 2016 will be sent out in April generating $1 million in stormwater utility revenue.


City Council Meeting

Recognition of Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Champions

City Council recognized the Valley Vista High School Girls 6A State Champion Basketball team at our Tuesday meeting. The team is led by coach Rachel Matakas who was named 6A Coach of the Year! Teammates told us that they won because they worked hard on building a true team, one that was committed to each other and understanding of each other- on and off the court. Congratulations to the team on a 26-6 winning year and a state title!

Approval of New Commission Members

City Council unanimously approved the appointments of Patrick Duffy to fill a vacancy on the Municipal Property Corporation with a term expiration of June 30, 2021 and Sally Wilson-Johnson to fill a vacancy on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission to complete the remainder of a term ending on June 30, 2019 due to resignation.

Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Water in Arizona

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

CAP Board President Lisa Atkins provided Council an update on the state of the Colorado River System, including Lake Mead and CAP. She provided a synopsis of the CAP system and the importance the CAP has on the state’s economy. A 2014 Arizona State University study found that the CAP system is responsible for 1.6 million jobs and over $1 trillion of Arizona’s gross state product. Ms. Atkins addressed the probability of water shortages on the Colorado River now and into the near future. She also identified programs that CAP, the state, and others have partnered on to ensure water levels in Lake Mead remain above shortage triggers. There is a 34% probability that a water shortage could be declared in 2018, with a similar likelihood one could occur in 2019. Shortages on the Colorado River will not affect Surprise’s water supply, but they will have direct effect on the cost to deliver water to Surprise.


Events & Meetings

Investiture of Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau

I was honored to attend the investiture of Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau on Wednesday, March 29 in the City Council Chambers. Judge Gaudreau was publicly sworn in by Judge Louis F. Dominguez and honored by her former colleagues prior to a reception in her honor.

Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau with Judge Louis F. Dominguez
Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau with Judge Louis F. Dominguez

The Park @ Surprise Groundbreaking

Vice Mayor Todd Tande, Councilman Ken Remley and I joined an excited crowd on Thursday, March 30 at the groundbreaking of The Park @ Surprise which will be located on Parkwood Drive. The Park will produce 40 new jobs and consist of 135 apartments and 20 casitas spread out over 8.5 acres with a bistro, movie theater and much more on the property.

Special City Council Meeting

City Council held a special meeting on Monday, April 3 at the Heritage Club at Marley Park. Discussion included a five-year financial forecast, possible future general obligation bond election, and consideration of our gateway and key asset areas. This was a no-vote meeting, discussion only about possible future items and issues facing our city.

Rancho Mercado Groundbreaking

William Lyon Homes hosted a groundbreaking on Tuesday, April 4. The development is located in a six square-mile area along Happy Valley Road (in the area of 147th Avenue & Jomax). The development plans to provide a variety of affordable housing options including single-family and multi-family residential, as well as retail and commercial services and much more. Rancho Mercado’s projected population is more than 12,000 residents at build out.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The city’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event is Saturday, April 8. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon. For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

Event proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.

Second Sundays in the Park – This Sunday!

The City of Surprise continues the “Second Sundays in the Park” concert series on Sunday, April 9 with blues and R&B music performed by “Notes from Neptune” from 2-4 p.m. in the center of the Surprise Community Park.

The entertainment is free. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food from the onsite vendors and enjoy the live entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. For more information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

2017 Surprise Retail Survey

There is still time to complete our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey! Please complete the survey to tell us what establishments you want in Surprise and to vote for your local favorites! The survey is open through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotional ceremony on March 23, 2017 to recognize the promotions of Lieutenant Norman Owens, Sergeant Michael Jalbert and Property and Evidence Supervisor Sarah Welch.

Lieutenant Norman Owens began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Throughout his service with MCSO, Norm served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and a narcotics detective with the MCSO Special Investigations Division. Lieutenant Owens joined the Surprise Police Department in 2001 and has served as the Off-Duty/Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer, Detective, Training Unit Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and most recently as the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Sergeant Michael Jalbert joined the Surprise Police Department in August of 2005 and has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Detective. Sergeant Jalbert is currently serving as a Field Training Officer and is on the Department’s SWAT team.

Sarah Welch began employment with the Police Department in February 2007 and has been an integral part of the Property and Evidence Unit for the past 9 years. Sarah was instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s gun trade-in program and the electronic barcode evidence tracking system.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch
Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch

Congratulations to all of them on their promotions!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Stadium hosted a parade for our city’s Cal Ripken players on Saturday, March 25 prior to the regularly scheduled spring training game. This is one of my favorite events every year as it provides Council an opportunity to welcome the players for another season. This year, there are 140 teams, 1,800 participants and 350 volunteer coaches. Thank you to Paul Frie, Community and Recreation Services Recreation Division Manager and Arizona Cal Ripken Commissioner, and his team for their work each year putting together this successful program!

National League of Cities Debrief

I met with staff on Monday, March 27 for a post-trip debrief on the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the sessions attended by staff and Councilmembers, we had a series of highly productive meetings aimed at accomplishing several objectives. Some of those objectives included the request of support from our Congressional representatives for opportunities related to funding the transportation needs of our growing city and collaborating to identify ways to meet transit and transportation needs in Surprise in a fiscally pragmatic manner.

In order to continue the conversation relative to transit and transportation needs in Surprise, Council will consider a request in the FY18 budget discussions to fund a demand study which will identify both transit demands and appropriate solutions to meet those demands. This item will be considered along with the other requests for funding in the coming fiscal year.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast Meeting

Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Ken Remley and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Scott Phillips, Vice President of Carefree Partners Investments, provided an update on City Center. The goal of Carefree Partners, in partnership with the City, is to create a downtown, walkable city center from scratch.

A project of this caliber will take patience and perseverance as we try to build the right mix of commerce, culture, recreation, entertainment, ingenuity and energy. Retail trends have changed due to the popularity of online shopping, and we are diligently working on an ever changing model. The future downtown will include major employment, Ottawa University, dense residential living, a multitude of entertainment and food options plus much more. In summary, this is a very unique public private partnership for a project of this size in the state, if not the entire country.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The Surprise Literacy Challenge this year utilized partnerships with Surprise Friends of the Library and the local branch of the Maricopa County Library District to bring an engaging program to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Surprise. Through the use of bingo cards with 25 various challenges, students were engaged in literacy in many new and unique ways beyond just reading a book.

Ten schools participated this year with more than 2,200 students taking part of the challenge. I’m happy to report that the winners are Arizona Charter Academy’s 4th grade class led by Mrs. Wernet, Cimarron Springs’ 5th grade class led by Ms. Mohaupt and Kingswood Park Elementary’s 6th grade class led by Ms. Johnson. Congratulations!

Celebrating Expansion in Surprise

Luv 2 Play hosted a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Luv 2 Play is an indoor playground and arcade for children ages 0-12. They also have menu options for parents and kids alike! For more information, please visit http://luv2play.com/surprise/.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool. There will be 56 one-bedroom and 80 larger two-bedroom floor plans.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

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

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio–medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

The 2017 Taste of Surprise proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road – Litchfield Road Intersection Improvement Work to Begin

Drivers can expect lane restrictions around the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads from March 30 through May 8 as crews perform utility work and correct a dip in the intersection.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for the final weekend of the project. The intersection will close Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. and reopen Monday, May 8 at 5 a.m.

This work will complete the final phase of the Greenway Road Improvement Project. Last summer, the city completed the widening portion of the Greenway Road project between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue; the project also included landscaped medians, drainage improvements and sidewalks.

For more information, please call 623.222.6000.


Contact Me

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

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October 6, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

  • Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
  • Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

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

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


Special City Council Meeting

District 2 Vacancy

The Surprise City Council will vote to appoint Jim Hayden to the vacant District 2 council seat at the October 18 City Council Meeting, 6 p.m., in City Hall- Council Chambers. He will be sworn in at that meeting. Mr. Hayden was the only applicant after Martha Bails withdrew her application during the City Council’s Special Meeting on Oct. 4.

Hayden is a retired firefighter and served 20 years in the United States Air Force. He currently serves as Chairman of the Surprise Public Safety Retirement Board. He also won the District 2 seat in the August Primary, with that four-year term set to begin on January 1, 2017. He has lived in Surprise for 12 years.

Per city code, a public comment period concludes October 12, 5 p.m. Hayden will serve out the remainder of the current District 2 term which ends December 31, 2016. Congratulations, Mr. Hayden!


City Council Work Session

Public Utility Billing Transition

Surprise residents currently billed by American Water for water and/or wastewater and solid waste services will have their bills come from the City of Surprise beginning November 1. Council voted to transition billing for city utility services from American Water to an in-house operation on March 1, 2016. Following months of planning, the city is preparing to offer this new service to its utility customers.

Some of the most significant transition changes customers will see include:

  • A new account number;
  • A new bill statement layout;
  • And more options for making utility payments.

Water and/or wastewater and solid waste customers who currently schedule automatic payments or participate in online banking using an American Water account number will need to update their information with the new Surprise account number once they receive their first city bill statement in November.

American Water will continue to answer billing-related questions until November 1. You can learn more about the utility billing transition and view frequently asked questions online at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterbill.


City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

With millions of men and women victimized by domestic violence each year, the City of Surprise is working to raise awareness of this important issue. City Council issued a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

To further raise awareness, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building during the month of October. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness.

purple lights shine from Surprise City Hall

Residents can also help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon. This year, national wear purple day is October 20. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtag #PurpleThursday.


Events & Meetings

Imagine Prep Surprise

Imagine Prep Surprise was recently chosen to pilot a new class called Global Perspectives, through the Cambridge International Examinations. The school was one of less than thirty schools worldwide chosen for the opportunity. As part of their unit, I was asked to take part in student interviews on September 28 and 29, which afforded the students the opportunity to explore local issues within the community including school funding, police related matters, water quality, and much more.

Surprise Police Sgt. Norman Owens accompanied me to present on issues related to police. I’d like to extend my gratitude to him, Chief Terry Young and Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe for their assistance in providing information to educate these fine students!

Imagine Prep interviews

Dysart Unified School District 3R Summit

Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Todd Tande and I participated in the Dysart Unified School District 3R Summit on Monday, October 3. The Summit is designed to bring stakeholders together to help redefine, redesign and re-imagine the learning and teaching environment to support college and career ready graduates. Participants heard from experts in the field including Jamie Casap, Chief Education Evangelist with Google, and Dysart students.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, October 3. The Commission has been very productive. Several events are scheduled over the next month including the Poetry Slam at WHAM on October 7 from 5 until 7 pm; Comic event scheduled for October 22 from 11 am until 1 pm at the Northwest Regional Library; and the Arizona Humanities Lecture Series first event is scheduled for October 25 from 11 am until 12 noon. More information on the speaker series can be found here.

WESTCAPS West Valley Leaders Water Summit

WESTCAPS hosted their 3rd Annual West Valley Leaders Water Summit on Wednesday, October 5 at Estrella Community College. The keynote speaker was former Senator Jon Kyl. Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, Glendale Councilman Jamie Aldama, Avondale Councilman David Iwanski and I were amongst panelists discussing water resource challenges and how our cities are preparing for the future.

WESTCAPS speakers

The West Valley Central Arizona Project Subcontractors (WESTCAPS) is a collaboration of West Valley municipal and private water providers, along with various water agencies, working together to develop regional solutions to plan for the future of water in the West Valley.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Event – Oct. 8

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

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

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

Marketing Seminar

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a marketing seminar on Saturday, October 8 from 7:30 am until 8:30 am at the Chamber office located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza. This seminar will focus on marketing tips for attracting holiday business. Admission is free.


Did You Know?

Surprise Hosting Fall Tennis Tournaments

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is hosting several tennis tournaments this fall! The upcoming schedule is as follows:

  • October 7-9: USTA National 18 and over 3.0 National Championships
  • October 12-16: Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Small College National Championships
  • October 21-23: USTA 55 and over National Championships 6.0 and 8.0
  • October 28-30: USTA 55 and over National Championships 7.0 and 9.0
  • November 4-6: USTA 40 and over Mixed Doubles National 6.0 and 8.0
  • November 11-13: USTA 40 and over Mixed Doubles National 7.0 and 9.0
  • November 25-27: USTA Open Regional Boys and Girls 18s
  • December 9-11: USTA Southwest 65 and over Section Championships

Admission is free for spectators. Please view the Sports Tournaments calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis for match times.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 29, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

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

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

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


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony

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

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

KB Homes Ribbon Cutting

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

Kyl Center for Water Policy – Leaders Roundtable

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

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Breakfast

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

General Obligation Bond Election Discussion at Sun Village

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

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

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


Mark Your Calendar

Emergency Preparedness Fair – Oct. 1

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

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

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

Household Hazardous Waste Event – Oct. 8

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

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

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


Did You Know?

The New Surprise Progress Magazine is Out!

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

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

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 4, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Weekly Update – Week of March 7, 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*

  • Underground utility surveying on eastbound Grand Avenue overnight between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Excavation and installation of drainage pipes on the east side of Grand Avenue within the right-of-way. No impact to traffic.
  • Excavation for utilities trench. No impact to traffic.
  • Surveying limits for new 134th Avenue.

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Business access remains available from both Bell Road and Grand Avenue.
  • Eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue left turn lane restrictions overnight for underground utility surveying and traffic signal head changes between Towne Center and Bell Grande drives:
    • Eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue reduced to one lane for traffic signal change
    • No right turn from eastbound Grand Avenue to westbound Bell Road
    • Single left turn lane from westbound Grand Avenue to westbound Bell Road and from eastbound Grand Avenue to eastbound Bell Road
    • Right curb lane closure on eastbound Bell Road approaching Grand Avenue

*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

Temporary Sign Policy – Bell/Grand Interchange Project

The City of Surprise, in order to assist businesses through the construction of the Bell and Grand project, is looking to allow increased signage for businesses which may be impacted by the project. Signage included in the policy consists of: A-frames, banners, sign walkers and off site directional signs. The policy would also remove the requirements for Temporary Use Permits in the area for special events.

Stormwater Utility

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented an update to Mayor and Council on the development of the proposed Stormwater Utility. This presentation was intended to be the last workshop session to solicit Council input and feedback prior to staff seeking approval on March 15 to begin the adoption of the Utility and its rate.

In response to the storm events of 2014, Council asked staff to investigate options to deal with problems Surprise faces after severe storm events. The formation of a Stormwater Utility was chosen as the most fair and equitable way to develop and devote resources dedicated to Stormwater related activities. Staff commissioned a study to evaluate the different methods by which Stormwater Utilities are administered. The impervious surface area method proved to be the most consistent and fair approach, where customers were charged a fee based on the amount of impervious surface area that is on their property.

An equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) is established based on the average impervious surface area for all single family residents in Surprise. This EDU value (3,420 sq. ft.) is then used to calculate the commercial customer fee based on the size of the impervious surface area on the parcel. For example, a commercial property with 100,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface area is equal to 100,000/3,420 or 29.24 EDUs. Based on the forecasted costs necessary to fund necessary stormwater activities, such as infrastructure maintenance, regulatory compliance, and capital improvement, the value of an EDU is determined to be equal to $2/month. Therefore, every home in Surprise will be charged $2/month and every business will be charged their calculated EDU equivalent. In the previous example, the business with 100,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface area will be charged $2 x 29.23 EDUs or $58/month.

Review of Capital Projects

Budget Manager Jared Askelson continued discussion regarding the FY2017 capital budget. The conversation focused on asset maintenance and replacement including vehicles and pavement preservation. Links to videos of this and past budget presentations are available at www.surprise az.gov/budget.


City Council Meeting

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project Phasing & Project Update

ADOT Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart provided Council with detailed phasing of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. Phase I of the project, which included the reduction of two lanes on Grand Avenue in each direction as well as the removal of the median between Litchfield and Dysart Roads, has been complete. This past week, Phase II began and is expected to last through April 1, 2016.

Phase 2 includes road construction at 134th Avenue. Grand Avenue westbound construction will begin between Litchfield and Dysart Roads and Grand Avenue eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share eastbound lanes. Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained through this phase.

Phase 3A will begin with the full closure of Bell Road between West Point Parkway and 134th Drive on April 1, 2016. This phase is expected to last to early June. This phase will also include the relocation of 134th Drive and Bell Road to 134th Avenue and Bell Road. Grand Avenue will continue to be reduced to two lanes in each direction with Grand Avenue westbound construction occurring between Litchfield and Dysart Roads.

Phase 3B will begin in early June 2016 and it is expected to conclude in early November 2016. Grand Avenue eastbound construction will begin between Litchfield and Dysart Roads and Grand Avenue eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share the westbound lanes. Bell Road will still be closed at this point; however, business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained with signalized intersections for entering and exiting. Business access from Bell Road to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained via Litchfield Road, West Point Parkway, 134th Drive and Dysart Road.

Phase 3C is scheduled to begin in early November 2016 and last through February 2017. Bell Road will be open to traffic. Grand Avenue eastbound construction will continue and eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share the westbound lanes. Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained with signalized intersections and right-turn entering and exiting.

Review of Operating Programs

The upcoming fiscal year 2017 was a topic of Council discussion this week as we move closer to the July 1 start date. Topics included maintaining our current infrastructure and expanding public safety services in the upcoming year. City Council reviewed a plan to dedicate $12 million of capital funding to pavement preservation, vehicle, equipment, and other infrastructure maintenance and replacement. Maintaining our current infrastructure was identified as the highest capital priority for the upcoming year which will allow the city to continue providing services at levels that residents have come to expect. The funding for the plan will come from various funding sources to include sales taxes dedicated for capital purposes and savings in various operating funds.

The discussion regarding public safety needs included a plan to add 23 public safety employees across Police, Fire-Medical, City Prosecution, and City Court. The plan has an estimated total cost of $2.8 million; however, it was discussed that the plan’s cost could be reduced to a $2.4 million annual cost through staging the timing of recruitments to better coincide with training and recruitment. From there, the conversation moved to identifying funding for this plan. Options on the table included multiple property tax and sales tax variations. Council will continue to discuss options over the next few meetings culminating with the adoption of the FY2017 budget on June 7.

Administration of Public Utilities Billing

Following a year’s worth of continued issues by the city’s contracted billing services provider American Water, the City Council unanimously voted Tuesday evening, to not appropriate the full contract with the company in the next fiscal year. The city and American Water will work together over the next seven to eight months to transition to the new billing arrangement. Over that time, the city will hire up to 15 new positions to include customer service and billing representatives and utilize new internal billing software. The ongoing costs for the city to provide this billing service is approximately $1.73 million annually, similar to the $1.8 million currently paid to contract the service annually.

Approximately 45,000 customers will receive new bills from the City of Surprise beginning in December that display November usage and costs. Additional transition details will be provided to customers prior to the change-over, including the creation of a dedicated customer service number. For now customers are reminded to call American Water with current billing questions at 888-300-3569.


Events & Meetings

Monheit Frich Group PLC Grand Opening

I attended the grand opening for a new business in the city, Monheit Frich Group PLC. They are located near the AZ TechCelerator. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Chamber of Commerce Annual Legacy Awards

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilmembers Roland Winters Jr. and Todd Tande and I attended the Surprise Chamber of Commerce Annual Legacy Awards on Friday, February 26. Mutual Bank of Omaha won the award for small business and First Bank won the award for large business. Sun Health received the award for large non-profit and Surprise Rotary received the award for small non-profit. Congratulations to all the winners!

Amanda Garcia and August Heiss with the Rotary Club of Surprise
Amanda Garcia and August Heiss with the Rotary Club of Surprise.

West Valley Veterans Center

Vice President of Veterans Initiatives for Maricopa Community Colleges Steve Yamamori met with Vice Mayor Biundo, Councilman Winters and I to discuss a project that will assist veterans in finding direction after serving our military. Mayors in the West Valley had been consulted this fall as part of this fantastic regional effort. The proposed center is part of the Veterans Success Project.

Read Across America

I was honored to read to two classes at Countryside Elementary School on Wednesday, March 2 as part of Read Across America Week which celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Councilman Hall read to Countryside Elementary School for Read Across America

Surprise Stadium Clubhouse Ribbon Cutting

City Council attended the ribbon cutting to celebrate the recent renovations of the Surprise Stadium clubhouses. A special thank you to Mark Coronado and his team for all of their hard work and dedication to this completed project which also extended the term to the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers contracts through 2030.

City Council and guests cut ribbon at the opening of the new Surprise Stadium Clubhouse


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro Meeting

Valley Metro is hosting a community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, on March 9 from 9-11 a.m. to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley. Information will be provided on 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.

Spring Household Hazardous Waste Event

The date to dispose your household hazardous waste has been changed by two weeks. The spring 2016 Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is now scheduled for Saturday, March 26 at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive from 8 am until 12 noon, to avoid potential traffic conflicts that may arise due to the full closure of Bell Road (between West Point Parkway west and 134th Avenue east) on April 1.

The City offers the Household Hazardous Waste event twice a year so Surprise residents may properly dispose of items that contain chemicals which may be harmful to the environment. The event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise residential address. For more information including a list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Encore Public Art Bus Tour

Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Surprise Public Art Bus Tour, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has organized a second tour! Join the Arts Commission on Tuesday, March 22, and experience the art of Surprise.

Participants will visit locations and exhibits such as the WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ, the Joe Tyler Learning Tree, and many more. The bus departs Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 8:30 a.m. and will return at noon.

For questions about the tour or to reserve a seat, contact Susan de Jong, 623.214.7537. The deadline to reserve a spot is Tuesday, March 15.


Did You Know?

Social Media

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


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Shop Surprise

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

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February 26, 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*

  • Utility potholing on eastbound Grand Avenue overnight between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Excavation and installation of drainage pipes on the east side of Grand Avenue within the right-of-way. No impact to traffic.
  • Excavation for utilities trench. No impact to traffic.

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Eastbound curb lane closure of Bell Road, from Grand to 134th Dr., will continue on Monday, Feb. 29, from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
  • All business access remains available from both Bell Road and Grand Avenue.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue lane restrictions overnight for potholing between Towne Center and Bell Grande drives.

*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


Events & Meetings

WESTMARC 2016 Annual Meeting & Transportation Forecast

Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the WESTMARC 2016 Annual Meeting and Transportation Forecast, Thursday, February 18. Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski elaborated on the some of the major transportation projects occurring in the West Valley. With the approval for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway and the funding to move the I-11 forward, the state is seeing major infrastructure movement.

Senator Steve Farley and Representative Rick Gray also spoke to the attendees regarding the ties between trade and economic development.

Surprise Youth Council Mural Painting

Members from our very talented Surprise Youth Council (SYC) spent the last weekend painting a mural on the wall of the well site located between Surprise Stadium and 8 Acre Field. This mural was initiated in partnership with the West Valley Arts Council and the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission.

The theme of the mural will coincide with SYC’s awareness campaign that will launch in March and focuses on self and social awareness for teens called “Be Yourself. Find Your Crowd.” I was able to stop by and support the team, and I would encourage you to check it out when you are in the area.

2016 State of the City Address

Mayor Sharon Wolcott delivered the 2016 State of the City speech that highlighted the city’s recent success stories. Years of our team’s hard work and planning have resulted in 300 new businesses and more than 1,000 new jobs over the past five years. City Council has worked together with staff to stabilize city finances, strengthen budget reserves and enhance Surprise’s presence not only locally, but regionally, nationally and internationally.

West Point Elementary School Meeting

City staff, ADOT representatives and I met with West Point Elementary School administration to discuss traffic concerns, taking into account the current construction on Greenway Road and the likely increase of traffic on that road, once the closure of Bell Road at Grand Avenue begins in April. We continue to work together to discuss concerns and mitigate as many issues in advance of the closure as possible.

40th Annual Cactus League Lunch

I attended the 40th Annual Cactus League lunch on Wednesday, February 24. More than 600 people from all over the Valley attended the event. Community and Recreation Services Director and Cactus League President Mark Coronado welcomed everyone and made key introductions. Former MLB catcher Jim Sundberg was the emcee and interviewed several former players including Fergie Jenkins and George Brett. Kansas City Royals Manager Ned Yost and Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister also took the stage.

Sierra Verde Community Meeting

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe, Environmental Compliance Analyst Kathy Boland and I attended the Sierra Verde Community meeting on Wednesday, February 24 to discuss water reclamation at the request of the HOA. After Terry Lowe answered questions, the landscaper provided information regarding the water hook-up to the HOA Board.

Additionally, Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart also attended and provided a Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction project update.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Stadium Hosting BIG 12- PAC 12 Tournament

College Baseball continues at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Campus of Champions with 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.

Surprise $5 Dollar Food Festival

The $5 Dollar Food Festival will be in Surprise at 8 Acre Field, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue, on Saturday, February 27 from 11 am – 12 noon (VIP) or 12 noon until 7 pm for general admission. Enjoy food from more than a dozen food trucks, booths and carts, plus live music. For more information, please visit https://fivedollarfoodfest.com/events/surprise-az/.

Note: The intersection of Bullard and Greenway will be closed this weekend. Access to the festival will be maintained off of Bell and Bullard. Download the detour map

Spring Household Hazardous Waste Event

The date to dispose of your household hazardous waste has been changed by two weeks. The spring 2016 Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is now scheduled for Saturday, March 26 at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive, from 8 am until 12 noon, to avoid potential traffic conflicts that may arise due to the full closure of Bell Road between West Point Parkway (west) and 134th Avenue (east) on April 1.

The City offers the Household Hazardous Waste event twice a year so Surprise residents may properly dispose of items that contain chemicals which may be harmful to the environment. The event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise residential address. For more information, including acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

Arizona Charter Academy Competes

Students from Arizona Charter Academy recently competed in their first district-wide DECA competition. Over 400 students from 20 schools were in attendance, competing in various categories including sports entertainment, marketing and hospitality and tourism. Fourteen students from Arizona Charter Academy attended the competition and four of them placed in the top of their category of team events. The students are currently preparing for the upcoming state competition.

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

October 9, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Boys & Girls Club of Surprise

Earlier this year, City Council identified the need for a Boys & Girls Club within the City of Surprise. After a 5-2 vote, City Council allocated $2 million for an endowment fund where interest earned will help fund operational costs for the future development of a Club; however, a new facility is at least two years away. Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services, presented an option to open Boys & Girls Club satellite locations at current City operated recreation centers in advance of the new facility. This option eliminates initial costs to open a facility since we would utilize space at Countryside Recreation Center and Sierra Montana Recreation Center.

Mr. Coronado reinforced that all existing facility programing will continue and enhance opportunities for all youth in our community.

Surprise City Code Chapter 10 – Animals Chapter

After reviewing Surprise City Code. Chapter 10, Surprise Lieutenant Harold Brady recommends that City Council consider a few changes to the animals chapter, including, but not limited to, definitions of at large, owner and vicious; new licensing violations; additional regulations for animals declared vicious; cost recovery for impounded animals; animal cruelty penalties; improved due process for owner(s) of suspected barking dogs; and eliminating an exception allowing dogs to be off leash throughout gated communities.

New violations were recommended for failure to obtain a license within 15 days after written notification to do so, counterfeiting a dog license, removing a valid license from a dog and placing an invalid license on a dog. New vicious animal restrictions were also discussed including the purchase of a $100,000 public liability insurance policy and spaying or neutering within 30 days of final judgment of viciousness.

Barking dog procedure recommendations included civil violations for first offenses (Must disturb peace and quiet for two or more residences); second violation may be criminal or civil at the discretion of the enforcement agent; third and subsequent violations are criminal. There must be at least one witness willing to testify in court under these proposed circumstances.

Surprise Conference and Training Center

Water Resource Manager Director Terry Lowe discussed the need for future water and wastewater jobs within the next 10 years. One of the greatest challenges in finding replacements for those currently working in these positions and expected to retire within the next five years is there is a lack of applicants with needed certifications and lack of skills to operate today’s treatment systems.

The City of Surprise can help as we have the facilities to show the complete Life Cycle of Water in Arizona at one location; the groundwater treatment/distribution (Rancho Gabriella WSF) and water reclamation/recharge (SPA1 WRF). This can be achieved in partnership with Gateway Community College.

The proposed new training center, the Surprise-Gateway Training Center, would contain a wastewater operations lab, a water operations lab, large assembly space, three classrooms (2 standard classrooms and 1 learning lab), a water education lab, an OSHA education lab and a small fitness center.

Surprise-Gateway Training Center render

Surprise-Gateway Training Center floor plan render

In order to proceed, the Council will need to consider and staff will need to complete an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Gateway Community College. The design should be complete by December 2015, and a groundbreaking would likely take place during the first quarter of 2016. Classes are anticipated to begin in September 2016, timeline and approval permitting.


City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation Presentation

Domestic violence is an awful epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or economic status. Sadly, 1 in 4 U.S. women experience violence by a partner at some time during their life and 2 out of 3 children are exposed to trauma and violence in their life. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

Vice Mayor John Williams presented a Proclamation in honor of the City’s support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the month of October. We stand behind all victims, and we will continue to bring awareness to providing protections against domestic violence.


Events & Meetings

Rotary Club of Surprise Monthly Meeting

I attended the Rotary Club of Surprise monthly meeting on Thursday, October 1. The Rotary Club discussed the plans for their two major annual fundraisers. The 2015 Rotary Club of Surprise Golf Classic will be held on November 7, 2015 at Great Eagle Golf Club. More information can be found at www.surpriserotarygolfclassic.org. The Taste of Surprise will be held on March 9, 2016.

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Commission met on Monday, October 1. The Commission will have a booth at the upcoming Surprise Fiesta Grande. They are also busy planning the Art Encounter at City Hall scheduled for November 12 from 5 until 7 pm.

Meet & Greet for New Director Candidates

City Manager Bob Wingenroth hosted a Meet & Greet in the Mayor’s Atrium on Friday, October 2 for seven finalists vying for the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality Position. I will include the announcement of the new director in a future newsletter.

Governor Ducey’s International State of the State Address

Assistant City Manager Rick Buss, Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic and I attended Governor Ducey’s International State of the State address on Monday, October 5 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. A bi-national mega-region, shared border and foreign trade policy were the focus of the Governor’s conversation.

This year, U.S. exports are down by 5% while Arizona’s export volume continues to increase with a current volume of up to 7%. Arizona exported approximately $21.25 billion in goods and services to foreign markets in 2014. Arizona’s largest market in 2014 was Mexico with $8.62 billion in exports. The second largest market was Canada with $2.25 billion, followed by United Kingdom ($1.10 billion), China ($1.02 billion) and Germany ($753 million).

The state’s largest merchandise export category is computer & electronic products which accounted for $4.975 billion of Arizona’s total merchandise exports in 2014. The largest metropolitan areas are Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale at $12.8 billion (65.4% share); Tucson at $2.3 billion (11.7% share); Sierra Vista-Douglas at $425 million (2.2% share); Lake Havasu City – Kingman at $255 million (1.3% share); and Prescott at $50 million (0.3% share).

Boards & Commission Interviews

Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I interviewed interested candidates for openings on the Arts & Cultural Commission on Wednesday, October 7. Thank you to everyone who applied!


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection event will take place on Saturday, October 10 from 8 am until 12 noon. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to entrance off Foxfire Drive). This event is free and for Surprise residents only.

Acceptable items include antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, fuel additives, pool chemicals, stain, paint, pesticides and much more. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or you can call 623.222.6000.

Second Sunday in the Park

The Silverkats live will perform 70s and 80s cover tunes at the next Second Sundays in the Park event on Sunday, October 11 at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue. The band will play from 2 until 4 p.m.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

Please mark your calendar and join us at this fun-filled street festival paying homage to the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor. The event will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 2 pm until 10 pm on Hollyhock Street on the Roy Villanueva Recreation Campus in the OTS.

I hope to see you there! For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

fiesta Grande logo

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

The Bullard Avenue Task Force will meet on October 19 at 6 pm at the Northwest Regional Library meeting room, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue. This meeting is open to the public. For more information about the task force, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Did You Know?

City Hall – Upcoming Holiday Schedule

With several fall holidays quickly approaching, there are a few holiday scheduling changes you may want to know about.

City offices will remain open on Columbus Day – Monday, October 12.

City offices will be closed on Veterans Day – Wednesday, November 11. The holiday trash and recycling schedule will be in effect that week. Monday and Tuesday pick-up will not be affected. Pick up originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 11 will move to Thursday, November 12 and pick up originally scheduled for Thursday, November 12 will move to Friday, November 13.

City offices will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. The holiday trash and recycling schedule will be in effect. The holiday will only affect residents with Thursday pick-up, which will move to Friday, November 27.

Important Election Dates for November 2015

The City of Surprise has been designated as an Early Voting Site for the Nov. 3 election. All registered voters within Maricopa County are able to vote at City Hall through October 30 at 5p.m. Please note that voter registration for the Nov. 3 election has closed, but those who are registered have until Oct. 23 to request an Early Ballot.

No voting will take place at City Hall on Election Day. All voters must go to their designated polling locations to vote in person. Polls will be open from 6 am until 7 pm on Election Day only. For information on your polling location for Election Day, you can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.3535 or visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/electionnews.


Contact Me

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

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April 10, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session


Community Development Block Grant Update
The City of Surprise receives a yearly allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City has the ability to designate up to 85% of the grant award to fund-eligible administrative, housing and public improvement services with the intent of serving low to moderate income residents.

The Consolidated Plan is mandated, per the grant guidelines, by HUD.  This identifies funding for CDBG and other programs. It includes a five year strategic plan consisting of priorities and needs. We will be entering year one of the plan (Annual Action Plan 2015-16) beginning July 1st with our new fiscal year. The Annual Action Plan will contain specific projects. To qualify, 51% of the residents in the area must be in the low to moderate income brackets. The only area in Surprise that qualifies based on this requirement is the Original Town Site (OTS).

Last fall, surveys were conducted and those survey findings were shared with the Planning & Zoning Commission in December 2014. Priorities included youth/senior/veteran services, recreation programs, improved lighting, neighborhood clean-up and job training. Non-profit organization applications to receive funding were due in January 2015 and Planning & Zoning Commission hearings were held in February and March 2015. With City Council’s approval, the recommendations will be submitted to HUD by May 15, 2015.

Public Service Awardee recommendations included summer youth employment ($16,897), ABIL- Arizona Bridge to Independent Living ($15,580), Arizona Charter Academy ($12,539), St. Mary’s Food Bank ($11,480), Benevilla ($10,000), Tumble Weed ($8,200), Central AZ Shelter Services ($5,000) and Aid to Adoption of Special Kids ($3,000).

Water Funding Policy
Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented the fourth strategic water policy, the Water Funding Policy, for review and comment. This policy brings together the first three policies, focusing the City’s position on how Surprise will invest in its water future. This specific policy identifies the different investments the City will make in water, including the expansion of its CAP allocations, the acquisition of physical water and water systems, and the purchasing of water credits. The policy then identifies who the benefiting parties of these investments are, such as Surprise residents as a whole or the Surprise water service area customers. Furthermore, the policy identifies possible funding options that would be the best match for the City to utilize in order to acquire these investments given the benefited areas. All four strategic water policies (Conservation, Use of Reclaimed, Acquisition, and Funding) will be brought before the Surprise City Council for approval at the City Council meeting scheduled for May 6.

Zoning Text Amendment – Donation Bins
Due to citizen concerns about the increasing number of donation bins located within the City and the lack of any regulations concerning said bins, City staff proposed a zoning text amendment to regulate bins for the entire City. The proposed amendment will allow for regulations. This amendment will require these facilities to register the bins with Temporary Use Permits (TUP) that would require a notarized signature of the property owner or designated representative and it would have to be applied for annually.  The bins are limited to commercial, business park, industrial, and public facility zoning districts. The amendment would also regulate the location, size, maintenance, and identification of the bins. These parameters are determined by the size of the property or commercial center. A Citizen Review Meeting has been held.  Council will vote on the amendment at the next Council meeting.

FY2016 Budget Discussion
The fiscal year 2016 budget process continued with an update of ongoing revenues and expenses, and discussion on budget recommendations regarding staffing, asset and vehicle replacement, pavement preservation, and fund balance reserve policy.  While the ongoing surplus estimate for FY2015 of $3.5 million remains unchanged from previous discussions, the projected ongoing surplus for FY2016 increased by $0.5 million to $1.3 million.

A plan was discussed to utilize this surplus to maintain transit and library services as well as shore up public safety and other general government services. There was also discussion about increasing funding levels to maintain the City’s infrastructure.  Vehicle replacement funding will nearly double to $1.9 million; critical maintenance and replacement needs across City facilities will be funded at $1.7 million, and pavement preservation funding will increase 50% to $3.0 million. A plan to increase the fund balance reserve by $1.2 million was also discussed. Much of this serves as a sneak preview of the Recommended Budget that will be presented by the City manager at the City Council Meeting on April 21.

City Council Meeting


Surprise Literacy Challenge Awards
On behalf of Vice Mayor John Williams and I, I was able to acknowledge the 4th and 5th grade winning classes of the Surprise Literacy Challenge at the Council Meeting. The top overall 4th grade classroom from Rancho Gabriela Elementary School, taught by Mrs. Wendy Housari, received their trophy as well as the top overall 5th grade class from Parkview Elementary School, taught by Ms. Marcia Guest. Congratulations!

4th grade winners
4th grade winners
5th grade winners
5th grade winners

 

Communiversity Update
Greg Pereira, Director at the Communiversity at Surprise and the Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College, provided an update on the Communiversity. The Communiversity consists of six academic partners including the Glendale Community College, Northern Arizona University, Phoenix College, Ottawa University, The College of St. Scholastica and Rio Salado College. Over 130 courses are provided each year. Over 5,000 students have been served since 2009. The Communiversity offers certificate programs as well as Associate to Master’s Degrees.

AZ TechCelerator
The City Council approved a $500,000 renovation for the AZ TechCelerator which will help enhance the space, allow for the creation of two business programs and attract a new pipeline of start-up innovation companies. Renovation funding will come from the operating contingency within the general fund.

Since its launch in 2010, the TechCelerator has occupied the former City Hall space on Bell Road. The four campus building, owned and operated by the City, has been successful in providing innovative start-up companies with affordable space, tools and resources needed to grow their businesses. Following the upgrades, the Economic Development team will launch two new start-up business programs at this campus. The first program, Beehive, will provide home-based businesses the opportunity to operate in a professional setting for a low monthly cost. The second initiative is a soft-landing program for international businesses that would also offer affordable office space, as well as assistance navigating issues like international patents, work visas and other issues that are unique to foreign companies.

Mid-Decade Census
The City of Surprise receives approximately $36 million annually in state shared revenues. This revenue is distributed to all cities in Arizona based on population which is set based on the federal census that is completed every decade. Cities have the option to update the population with a mid-decade census that is completed by the Census Bureau and paid for by each individual city. Five cities, Buckeye, Gilbert, Goodyear, Peoria, and Queen Creek, have entered into agreements with the Census Bureau to undertake a mid-decade census on their behalf. A sixth city, Chandler, has also expressed interest in completing a mid-decade census. The City would stand to lose approximately $0.7 million per year of its portion of state shared revenues if these six cities were to complete a mid-decade census without Surprise.  If Surprise were to join these cities, its portion of state shared revenues would increase by $1.1 million per year, a net difference of $1.8 million. The results of the mid-decade census would be in effect for 5 years for a total net impact of $9.0 million. The City has received an estimate from the Census Bureau that it will cost $2.7 million to complete a mid-decade census.  That investment would be re-paid in 1.5 years and result in a total net gain of $6.3 million over a five year period. For these reasons, the City of Surprise will be going forward with a mid-decade census that is set to begin on October 1st of the calendar year.

Zoning Text Amendment pertaining to Assisted Living Facilities
Planner II Robert Kuhfuss requested Council approval on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment pertaining to Assisted living Facility (ORD 2015-07). After much review of the industry standards and the HOA Concerns expressed through the stakeholder process, he reiterated the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendations to delete the 120-day rule and other questions posed by City Council during a past work session. The Council unanimously voted to approve the amendment.

Events & Meetings


Surprise Citizen Corp
On April 2, I attended the newly revised Surprise Citizens Corps Council (SCCC).  CJ Anderson, who has 37 years of risk management experience, attended the meeting and spoke to the SCCC to provide guidance on how to establish goals for the coming year so the SCCC can actively offer disaster preparedness programs to benefit the community. She is currently the President of the Arizona Regional Citizens Corp and President/CEO of Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry Disaster Service, and she has offered to help guide the SCCC as we move forward toward initiating our own City organization.

The SCCC is looking for active community volunteers who want to help work with government organizations like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and ready.gov which offers emergency preparedness guidance from the US Department of Homeland Security. For more information, please contact Fire Captain Renee Hamblin at 623.222.5000.

CRS Spring Eggstravaganza
The Annual Spring Eggstravaganza this year was another fantastic success thanks to the efforts of the families that attended, the volunteers that helped and our wonderful team of employees at CRS. Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado estimates there were over 14,000 people in attendance. The Easter egg hunters were treated to 250 pounds of eggs and candy. The event was held on Saturday, April 4. It is always a pleasure to attend.

Eggstravaganza 2015

Service Anniversary
Linda Rodriguez, Surprise City Court Administrator, celebrated her 25 years of service with the City on Tuesday, April 7. Congratulations, Linda, for all you’ve done and all you continue to do for our City!

Linda Rodriguez with Judge Louis Dominguez
Linda Rodriguez with Judge Louis Dominguez
City Manager Bob Wingenroth with Council Members Villanueva, Winters and me
City Manager Bob Wingenroth with Council Members Villanueva, Winters and me

 

Celebrate Arizona Northwest Valley
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the “Celebrate Arizona Northwest Valley” event on Wednesday, April 8.  Several business, civic and community leaders were there, as well as other elected officials from Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and Wickenburg. This event began three years ago as a way to continue dialogue to find new ways to work together to make Arizona a better place to live and work.

Did You Know?


Your Input is Requested
Residents can now provide online input regarding potential capital improvement projects that are currently under review by the City’s Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee. This Committee is charged, in part, with determining which projects should be included if the City considers a future bond initiative as a funding source. They have asked for you to get involved by sharing your thoughts on what matters most to you.

This Committee is looking at potential project lists during this process. You can review the same lists online at www.surpriseaz.gov/cife and provide comments. All comments will be shared by the Committee. Additionally, please feel free to attend the meetings or watch them live on Surprise 11 or at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. Future meeting dates will be posted on the City’s online calendar.

Surprise Police join Nextdoor.com
Last week, the Surprise Police Department joined Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor.com is a free, private social network specifically designed for neighborhoods to build stronger and safer communities. It also allows for police to communicate online with the neighborhoods they serve. Currently, there are 58 local neighborhoods involved with over 3,000 registered members in Surprise. If you haven’t joined yet, you may want to consider it!

Mark your Calendars


Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The next household hazardous waste collection event will take place on Saturday, April 11. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Proof of residency is required. The drop-off location is the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire). The hours of drop-off are 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

For more information or a list of acceptable items, please visit our calendar section of www.surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.6000.

Movie Night
The City of Surprise presents Movie Night at the Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 11, featuring “The Boxtrolls” (rated PG). This event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan and the admission is free. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the movie will begin at 6:30 pm. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted so bring your blankets!

Movie Night April 2015

Second Sunday in the Park
Come out and join the music at the next Second Sunday in the Park this Sunday, April 12. The free event will occur at the Surprise Community Park, 15953 N. Bullard Avenue, from 2 until 4 pm.

Surprise Swap Meet
The Surprise Swap meet is next Saturday, April 18 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking Lot!

Contact Me


Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

April 3, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


HOA Summit
The City hosted the first HOA Summit of the year at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday, March 26. Seventy-one people were registered for the Summit representing 25 different HOAs. City Directors from several departments were on hand to provide updates. The departments represented were Code Enforcement, Community Development, Water Resource Management, Public Works, Economic Development, Communications and the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. Important information was shared and several general questions were asked and answered.

CM Hall at Summit
Councilman Hall welcoming attendees at HOA Summit
Lowe at Summit
Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe addressing the crowd

 

Surprise Literacy Challenge Recognition
The sixth grade class that won the Surprise Literacy Challenge was recognized at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday, March 26 immediately before the Spring Training game. Mrs. Schneider’s class, from Paradise Education Center, were the recipients of the trophy and recognition.  Congratulations!

Surprise Literacy Winner with CM Hall
Councilman Hall with 6th grade class, the winning class medal

 

Surprise Literacy Challenge Medal

Business Appreciation Day @ the Ballpark
I attended Business Appreciation Day at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 27 with staff from the City’s Economic Development Department. Several local businesses attended and were thanked for their contributions to our City.

Bike Rodeo
The Surprise Police Department, in partnership with the Surprise Fire-Medical Department and Surprise Build-A-Bike, hosted a bicycle safety rodeo at the Surprise Campus of Christ’s Church of the Valley. This important event allowed children of all ages to have their bicycle safety helmets checked for proper fit, learn about bike safety and practice new bicycle skills with police bicycle operators. Children who did not have a helmet or had an ill-fitting helmet were provided with a new, proper fitting helmet free of charge. In total 82 children participated in the event and 76 helmets were distributed. We could not have these events without the efforts of the aforementioned departments. Thank you for all you do to keep all residents in Surprise safe!

Surprise PD Bike Rodeo

Surprise PD Bike Rodeo

Surprise Community Center Open House
The City’s newly established Human Service & Community Vitality Department hosted its first Open House at the Surprise Community Center this past Saturday to showcase current programs and celebrate small facility improvements. Several Council Members and I were present along with more than 110 people.  Approximately 50% were first time visitors! Visitors toured the facility’s exercise room, outdoor seating areas, cafeteria, computer room, reading room, puzzle room and other multi-purpose areas.

The Community Development Department provided information on the Heritage District Overlay and the City Clerk’s Office was available to discuss voter engagement and voter registration.

Survey poster boards were on display to capture community input on programs, services and project ideas for the new Department. In addition, a barbeque with music, games and multi-generational interactions were enjoyed by all!

Boy Scout Pinewood Derby 2015
The City Manager’s office and the Community Recreation Services Department jointly hosted 200 people for the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby Tournament in the Villanueva Gym on Saturday, March 28.

Pinewood Derby Winners
Pinewood Derby Winners

 

ASU Sustainability Meeting
On March 30, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Tande and I met with City staff and officials from ASU Global Institute of Sustainability to discuss possible future partnerships.

AZ TechCelerator
City staff and I met on Monday, March 30 to discuss the TechCelerator. The TechCelerator opened in January 2010 and consists of 4 buildings totaling 58,800 square feet. Ten clients, 12 active mentors and 3 on-site service providers are currently supporting the space. In the last few years, there have been several business success stories including MD24 and Athena Wireless.

Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee
Members of the Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee met on Wednesday, April 1.  Teri Halliday, Regional Director of the Boys & Girls Club of America, was present to provide a presentation on the history of the Club. Updates were also provided by the Subcommittees.

Arizona Town Hall
Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the Arizona Town Hall – Arizona’s Economy, A Community Outreach Program on Wednesday, April 1. Several municipalities and economic development leaders were present. An overview on Arizona’s current economic status was discussed as well as the link between the economy and education. Perspectives from the legislative front, recommendations and priorities were summarized as well.

Did You Know?


Shop Surprise
The City has launched a new “Shop Surprise, Shape Surprise” campaign to show how shopping locally helps shape the community.

Local sales tax makes up nearly 40% of the City’s General Fund revenues. This means by keeping sales tax dollars at home, residents are helping to pay for city services that they count on such as police, fire, park operations and street repairs.  For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/shopsurprise.

Shop Surprise
What you spend, stays here!

 

Mark Your Calendars


Spring Eggstravaganza Eager egg hunters, from toddlers to 8 year olds, are invited to join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the Surprise Spring Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 4. The celebration will be held on the Kansas City Royals practice fields at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard.

Gates will open at 9:30 am. The first hunt will begin at 10 am with the 2 year olds and under group. New hunts will follow approximately every 20 minutes. Children should bring their baskets or bags to hold their treats.

The event will also include a visit from the Easter bunny, clowns, face painters, magicians and an interactive kid zone with slides and obstacle courses. There will be a minimal charge from some activities.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The next household hazardous waste collection event will take place on Saturday, April 11. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Proof of residency is required. The drop-off location is the Public Works Maintenance Yard at 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire). The hours of drop-off are 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

For more information or a list of acceptable items, please visit our calendar section of www.surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.6000.

Contact Me


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

Ask a Question