City Council Meeting
Council Work Session
Mike Gent, Director of Public Works, updated the City Council on transportation projects and issues in and around Surprise. Due to savings from various capital improvement projects, Public Works will be addressing two median projects. A median on Waddell Road (from intersection on Waddell Road and Litchfield Road through east of Freddy’s Restaurant) will be installed. The design and possibly construction will occur this fiscal year. Additionally, a median located on Bell Road, just east of El Mirage Road will be redesigned. This project should begin January 5, 2015 and it should take four weeks to complete.
Traffic safety concerns were discussed. One area of concern is El Mirage Road near Kiva.
The Bell Road sidewalk project will begin in January 2015. This project will add sidewalks so they are continuous from east of Grand Avenue until the Park & Ride. This project is estimated to last for four months. We were assured that the project will not interfere with Spring Training as the traffic lane closest to the curb will open one hour prior to each game.
The traffic lanes, bike lanes and turn arrows in Kingswood Park along Parkview will be restriped this year. Public Works is in the procurement stage of the project which should begin in the next 30 to 60 days. Repaving of Parkview from Bell Road to Grand Avenue is scheduled to occur with the fiscal year 2017 budget.
Council Meeting Special Recognition
Mayor Wolcott recognized Arizona Charter Academy Principal Heather Henderson. Mrs. Henderson was recognized as the Transformational Leader of the Year by the Arizona Charter Schools Association in October. Congratulations to Mrs. Henderson on this special award and thank you for your leadership with education in our City!
During 2012, in response to service limitations for riders, the City suspended use of the 6 grant funded buses and instead joined Valley Metro’s northwest regional Dial-a-Ride program, which provided transportation through an independent taxi service. The change significantly improved the service received by Surprise residents. The buses are part of the regional pass-through grant program through Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and the City of Phoenix. The City of Surprise is required to comply with Federal guidelines as part of the grant award. Since the buses were no longer needed for Dial-a-Ride service the City has been working in conjunction with MAG and Phoenix to find other qualified grant sub-recipients get the buses back in service. By transferring the buses to the two qualified non-profit grant sub-recipients, the City will receive its fair share of local transit funds used in the original bus purchases, and in turn, program those funds for future transit services.
The City Council approved a FY14-15 budget amendment in the amount of $125,000 to improve traffic conditions and control through the utilization of medians on Waddell and Bell Roads. A new median will be constructed on Waddell Road and cut-through on a current median on Bell Road will occur.
The Surprise Village at West Point Towne Center plat was approved to divide the interior of the property into smaller lots. This plat is located at the northeast corner of Bell and Litchfield Roads
West Point Towne Center Parcel 12
City Council considered and approved a Minor General Plan Amendment (GPA) to change the land use designation of West Point Towne Center Parcel 12 from medium density residential to commercial. Additionally, a major PAD amendment to Parcel 12 was approved to change the zoning of the property from PAD (mixed-use) to PAD (commercial). The final plat will be heard by the City Council on December 16, 2014. The property is currently under contract. West-MEC, a public school district, intends to develop approximately 15.12 net acres of the property into a vocational training center geared towards high school students.
Events & Meetings
Water Planning Subcommittee
The Water Planning Subcommittee met for their November meeting on Thursday, November 20. Staff provided a presentation on the possible membership in the Western Coalition of Arid States (WestCAS). WestCAS was formed to promote research and technology applications in the arid states of the country, including Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. WestCAS champions with Federal, State and Regional water agencies to promote sound laws, regulations and appropriations that will benefit the public. It is a larger regional organization that has a presence in Washington, D.C. and it would benefit Surprise to have firsthand knowledge of what is being discussed about water at the federal level.
Selection Committee Interviews
Councilman Roland Winters, Councilman Jim Biundo and I participated in the Selection Committee interview process for a few openings on various Boards and Commissions (Disability Advisory Commission, Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission, Planning & Zoning Commission and the Health Benefit Trust Fund Board).
Competitive Sports Roundtable Discussion
I attended the Competitive Sports Roundtable that was held on November 25 with 15 attendees. The attendees were a mixture of coaches and parents interested in the introduction of the program. Paul Frie, Recreation Division Manager, discussed the current registration format and the consensus was that it should remain a team registration with the possible addition of an open try-out day for individuals interested in playing. Marketing will expand for upcoming registrations for competitive basketball which opens on January 5, 2015 and soccer which will open on February 2, 2015.
Boys or girls teams may register in the 10U, 12U or 14U division for a fee of $1,200. All three divisions will follow National Federation of High Schools rules and will play a 10-game regular season, followed by a single elimination league tournament. Games will begin in early March and the league tournament will conclude by April 25.
Mayor’s Quarterly Business Roundtable
The Mayor hosted her quarterly business roundtable meeting on Wednesday, December 10 at the Communiversity. The purpose of the meeting was to make local business leaders aware of current discussions City officials are having with ADOT and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to create a legacy art project as part of the future Bell/Grand Avenue Corridor improvement project. Artist Meg Saligman, who is recognized worldwide for her work on murals, spoke on how she created the nation’s largest publicly funded mural in Shreveport, Louisiana and developed a painting method that has now become an industry standard for communities to collaborate on public art projects.
Boys & Girls Club Discussion
We continue to meet with local business leaders to discuss the future of a Boys & Girls Club in Surprise. Another meeting took place on Thursday, December 4, 2014.
Surprise Police Department 2014 Promotional Ceremony
The Surprise Police Department held their 2014 Promotional Ceremony on Thursday, December 4 at the Public Safety Building. Please join me in congratulating Commander Randy Rody, Lieutenant Mike Donovan, Sergeant John C. Vance and Sergeant Anna Weaver. Additionally, we welcomed new Commander Christine DeSanti.
Mark Your Calendars
13th Annual Surprise Party
Come celebrate with Surprise! The 13th Annual Surprise Party will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus (15960 N. Bullard Avenue) on December 5 and December 6, 2014. The admission is FREE! The tree lighting ceremony, balloon glow and live entertainment will occur on Friday night. Saturday will be full of activities including an arts & crafts show, classic car show, elephant rides, petting zoo, pictures with Santa and much more.
WHAM West Gallery Grand Opening
WHAM is scheduled to have a grand opening reception on December 6, 2014 from 5 until 7 pm. The new exhibit, “all-member juried show” will open on December 1 through January 26, 2015. WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart in Surprise.
Holiday Safety Awareness
The Surprise Police Department will be hosting a Personal and Holiday Safety Awareness Open House presentation on Thursday, December 11 from 6 pm until 9 pm at the Public Safety Auditorium (14250 W. Statler Plaza). The Open House is intended to provide information that will help residents avoid being a victim throughout the holiday season and to raise awareness of the most recent and common crimes.
Did You Know?
The 13th Annual Surprise Spring Training Season is right around the corner. It will kick-off on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. There will be a special online presale at www.ticketmaster.com starting Monday, December 15 at 10 am. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone through Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster outlets such as Fry’s. The Surprise Recreational Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, January 3, 2015 beginning at 7 am. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard. For questions or additional information, please visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or you can call 623.222.2222.
Upcoming Road Construction Project Schedule
Vice Mayor Skip Hall