Tag Archives: Neighborhood Grant Program

August 31, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The 2017 League Annual Conference was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, August 22 – August 25. Our entire Surprise City Council were joined by elected officials from 91 other cities and towns and some of our state legislators. The conference is a platform for Arizona’s mayors and councilmembers to network and share best practices, innovative ideas and successful strategies.

The conference opened with an excellent general session with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett whose discussion focused on the mega trends shaping tomorrow’s communities. In addition, I attended sessions pertaining to water and wastewater needs- trends and investments; as well as increasing jobs and growth, focusing on municipal priorities and capitalizing on new opportunities to drive economic growth. Councilmembers and city staff held meetings onsite with Central Arizona Project (CAP), EPCOR and NEXXUS Consulting to discuss updates on CAP, including our current water supply, the new EPCOR rates, recent EPCOR concerns and improving our city’s transportation, respectively.

Ottawa University Surprise

Aerial image of inaugural class of OUAZThe inaugural class of OUAZ has begun! Classes started on Monday, August 21! Total enrollment (434 students), has surpassed Ottawa’s original target goal of 200 students. The university offers 21 intercollegiate sports and offers degrees from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and School of Business. In addition to this great news, OUAZ women’s soccer team won their first ever OUAZ athletic contest beating Arizona Christian 1-0! Congratulations on your successes!

I encourage you to follow the excitement of our newest treasure on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUSurprise.

Early Childhood Summit

I attended the First Things First Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center on Monday, August 28. The Summit brought together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and practices that help our youth get ready for school and build a strong foundation for life. The conference included sessions on child health and development, early learning and very important to me – early literacy and community awareness.

Homeschool Educators of Surprise

The Homeschool Educators of Surprise held their kick-off event at Northwest Regional Library on Monday, August 28. I was honored to speak at the event and engage with this passionate group of parents. Educating our youth is one of our greatest responsibilities. It is amazing to see how many parents are utilizing their time and talent to invest in the education of their children. This group consists of approximately 120 parents who homeschool their children.

Council Conversation on Surprise TV

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong, Commissioner Lee Whitehead and City Planner Joshua Mike joined me for my latest Council Conversation taping regarding a variety of topics involving arts and events in Surprise on Wednesday, August 30. The show will be available to watch on Surprise TV beginning next week, you can find it at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. If you have any ideas for future show topics, please let me know!

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Tour

West-MEC Superintendent Greg Donovan provided me with a tour of the new West-MEC campus on Wednesday, August 30. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. The campus will open later this fall to high school students. This particular campus will focus on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty and medical industries.

Ottawa University Competition Field Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Councilmembers joined administrators from Ottawa University at the August 31st groundbreaking ceremony for the competition field. The competition field will be located south of the tennis complex on Tierra Buena and it will accommodate the OUAZ football and soccer programs.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Labor Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of September 4-8. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday and so forth. Please note that not all Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, hence, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service provider(s). If you have any questions, please call our customer service line at 623.222.6000.

Fall Cleanup Event – Free

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 16. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, October 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Help Our City Collect Water Bottles for Hurricane Harvey Survivors

The City is partnering with Highland Prep High School to collect 100,000 water bottles to benefit the survivors, volunteers and first responders in Houston, Texas. We will be accepting cases of water in the City Hall lobby (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 5. Please feel free to deliver the water immediately behind our information desk at City Hall or the Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm but we are closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4. Thank you in advance for your generosity to this cause!

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. An information session will be held September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.


Contact Me

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

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May 18, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Community Outreach Program and Neighborhood Grant Program Update

The City Council designated $75,000 from the FY2017 budget for community outreach programs. From that total, $65,000 has been allocated for the Surprise Community Outreach Program and $10,000 for the Neighborhood Grant Program. With this investment, 21 local non-profits and neighborhood groups were supported which led to 15,500 residents being served between both programs.

Potential General Obligation Bond Discussion

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.


City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominguez

Surprise Municipal Code provides a reappointment process for incumbent presiding judges whereby the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council after investigation and evaluation. This process has occurred, and the Committee is recommending reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominquez to Surprise Municipal Court.

City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2017-46 reappointing Presiding Judge Dominguez for a term of four years.

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Art in Public Places Plan

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission was first tasked by City Council to develop a display plan for the city in 2014. The purpose of the request was to update and enhance the look of City Hall and the surrounding campus with the inclusion of art and artistic elements and to create a space that residents and visitors alike will enjoy. The first draft of the plan revealed that a more comprehensive and detailed look was needed with the help of multiple resources and stakeholders. In March 2016, the Commission worked with a consultant to proceed.

After a very thorough process and after input by the City Council following a City Council Work Session in February 2017, the Commission provided City Council information regarding the plans, priorities and associated costs. Recommended projects include, but are not limited to, a new lobby seating area, art exhibit signage, LED lighting, new paint in highlighted areas, relocation of a few existing art pieces and a mural near the city cashier area.

City Council unanimously approved the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s plan for Art in Public Places at City Hall.


Events & Meetings

WESTMARC Economic Development Summit

WESTMARC infographicWESTMARC Economic Development Summit was held on Thursday, May 11. Guest speakers included Land Advisors CEO and Founder Greg Vogel, EMSI Economic Development Consultant Matthew Miller, ASU Senior Sustainability Scientist Dr. Shade Shutters, Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick. Conversation and panel discussion surrounded today’s workforce strategy and labor trends. Discussion also included the need for more accurate educational and labor data to provide to interested businesses. Currently, standard labor market information does not appropriately capture this information because the data is reported based on where people are employed versus where they reside.

West Valley Arts HQ – New Exhibit

West Valley Arts HQ hosted the opening of their high school student art exhibit on Thursday, May 11. The exhibit features impressive art work of high school students from throughout the West Valley. Their work will be on display through May 25.

crowed listening to music performance at Arts HQ gallery

Subaru Superstore of Surprise Grand Opening

Subaru Superstore of Surprise hosted their grand opening and community event on Saturday, May 13. The newest auto dealer in the Prasada Auto Mall is located at 13090 N. Autoshow Avenue. Welcome to Surprise!

Image of the Subaru Superstore of Surprise


Mark Your Calendar

Parenting with Purpose

The City of Surprise will be hosting a Parenting with Purpose workshop at the Surprise Resource Center on May 30 and June 6 at the Surprise Resource Center from 6 – 7:30 pm. During this workshop, you will discover how you can raise successful children and much more. The Surprise Resource Center is located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124.

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Charlotte Confer at 623.222.1600.


Did You Know?

Volunteers Needed

Are you interested in volunteering or completing your internship with the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department? We need you! Please contact a volunteer coordinator in one of our three divisions to determine what opportunities are available at this time. The divisions include Neighborhood Services (Jason Hughes – 623.222.3239), Senior Services Division (Trisha Weston – 623.222.1544) and our Surprise Resource Center (Muriel Gutierrez – 623.222.1600).

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3574/Volunteer-Internship-Opportunities.

Current Curfew Ordinance Reminder

As students are released for summer break, the Surprise Police Department reminds residents about our curfew ordinance for those under the age of 18. According to the city ordinance, it is unlawful for any minor to remain upon, go or be upon any public street, alley or other public place of the city between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday unless accompanied by a legal guardian.

Often times, crimes occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are either committed by juveniles or against juvenile victims. To ensure the safety of minors, starting Friday, May 26, the Surprise Police will be heavily enforcing the curfew ordinance. Violation of this ordinance is a class 1 misdemeanor. Parents may also be cited for their children being out after curfew if they allowed the juvenile to violate the ordinance.

Review this city ordinance in detail

Promotional Vendors Needed for Annual 4th of July Celebratione

The City of Surprise invites promotional vendors to participate in the 34th Annual 4th of July Celebration at Surprise Recreation Campus! Businesses and organizations can reserve promotional booth space for a fee of $500, which includes a 10 x 10 vendor space, (1) table, (2) chairs and an in-game public announcement during a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.

Event attendees will enjoy in-game contests, music and giveaways – all leading up to a fireworks spectacular!

Surprise Recreation Campus is located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. This annual event is expected to draw 12,000 – 15,000 participants. Interested vendors should contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov.


Contact Me

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

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January 5, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

Work continues on the following:

  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue. Paving anticipated to begin this week.
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Spreading landscape rock along westbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps
  • Painting BNSF bridge

For the latest updates visit www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand.

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

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


City Council Meeting

Mayor and Councilmembers Take Oath of Office

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office for Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Councilmember Jim Hayden (District 2), Councilmember John Williams (District 3) and Councilmember Ken Remley (District 4), all of whom were elected in the August 2016 Primary Election. Each official was sworn to a four-year term. Congratulations to all!

Mayor & Councilmembers swearing in

Reporting Authority of City Attorney

After a healthy discussion, City Council voted to repeal Ordinance #2015-24 with respect to the reporting authority of the City Attorney. In June 2015, the majority of City Council voted to change the reporting structure of the City Attorney from the City Council to the City Manager. With the repeal, the City Council will resume the reporting authority of the City Attorney.

Neighborhood Grant Program Recommendations

The Surprise Neighborhood Grant Program was designed to increase community engagement, resident interest and involvement within the city. The Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants recently reviewed the second round of applications and made funding recommendations to the full City Council. The Committee made the recommendations to approve an application for Benevilla for their Surprise Community Garden in the amount of $1,485 and an application from WHAM for their Recycled Arts Festival in the amount of $3,975. City Council unanimously approved the specified awards. The first round of awards went to Marley Park HOA for their Veterans Commemorative Plaza ($3,000) and Sanalina HOA for water conservation efforts and playground equipment ($3,000).

Worker’s Compensation Internal Service Fund

The City is now poised to transition to a self-insured and self-administered worker’s compensation program. The transition will require the recruitment and hiring of one full-time position. The total program implementation cost is $800,000 but the city will realize substantial savings by offsetting policy premiums by increasing risk tolerance. With the implantation, we will save $2.1 million dollars over the next three fiscal years.


Events & Meetings

Sierra Verde Self Storage Citizen Outreach Meeting

The city hosted a Citizen Outreach meeting at the Residence Inn on Wednesday, December 28. The meeting was held to obtain residents’ input on a proposed storage facility that would be located on 5.24 acres north of the Fry’s development along Litchfield Road. I attended the meeting to listen to resident feedback in advance of consideration by the City Council.

Sierra Verde Plat


Mark Your Calendar

Lunchtime Theatre “Sound of Music”

West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works, West Valley Symphony and Phoenix Opera have partnered for the Lunchtime Theatre series. On January 12, 2017, the performance of Sound of Music is scheduled at 11:30 am and again at 1:30 am at the Arts HQ (16126 N. Civic Center Plaza). Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or they can pre-order one from the City Café.

Veteran Job Club

The next meeting of the Veteran Job Club is scheduled for January 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center located at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. The Veteran Job Club provides veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need for job employment or to pursue a new career.

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 7 until 10 am. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10am or until the shred trucks have been filled up.


Did You Know?

Surprise Service Event

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Surprise, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, is hosting a day of celebration and service on Saturday, January 14, 2017. A program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at Surprise City Hall, located at 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. It will feature a keynote address by Colonel Richard Toliver, retired USAF, author and renowned speaker with ties to the King family. Emceeing the program will be Steve Irvin, Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC15 News. Come early, and enjoy a free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast is limited to the first 500 attendees.

Following the program, at 9:45 a.m., volunteers will be sent out into the community to complete service projects that include food sorting, painting, landscaping, trash collection and more. Projects will last approximately 1-4 hours. There is still plenty of time to sign up and serve!

MLK Day event promo

How to get involved:

  • Individuals/Families – Join us for the breakfast, the program and the day of service! If you can only attend the service project portion of the day, please arrive at 9:45 a.m. to receive an assignment. Advanced registration is not required.
  • Groups – If you plan on bringing your group/club/congregation and would like to participate in the service projects, please RSVP your group name and estimated number of people to Ervin Cutwright at Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.
  • Sponsorships – If your business or organization would like to help sponsor the event, please contact Christina Ramirez at Christina.Ramirez@surpriseaz.gov to hear about opportunities available.
  • Service Project Ideas – If you would like to suggest service projects to complete, please contact Christina Ramirez at Christina.Ramirez@surpriseaz.gov.

For more information, including a parking map, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question