Tag Archives: Public Arts Master Plan

June 1, 2017 • Newsletter

City Updates

Truth in Taxation Notice

Many of you have been inquiring about the recent press release pertaining the Truth in Taxation Hearing Notice that was distributed on Friday, May 26 (See Press Release). The city is required by state law to post annually a Truth in Taxation Notice. The verbiage is very specific and may lead to confusion. To clarify, the city is not raising property taxes. The City Council can only set the property tax rate, which we have agreed will remain at $0.7591 per $100 of assessed limited property value for the upcoming year.

The Truth in Taxation statement is showing the results of applying the same rate to the latest assessed limited property values for the city. The average assessed limited property value, as determined by the Maricopa County Assessor, increased by 3.7%. Applying this same rate to the new assessed limited property values results in the 3.7% increase in the amount referred to the aforementioned statement. While the rate is not increasing, the assessed property values are.

You are invited to attend and speak at the June 6 Regular City Council Meeting, 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, should you have any comments on this topic. At that meeting, Council will vote on our intention to levy primary property taxes in the amount of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed valuation and set the property tax levy adoption for the June 20 Council Meeting.

City Development

I have also been receiving inquiries about the construction occurring at Bell Road and Civic Center Drive. The property is known as Thompson Thrift which consists of a 9-acre small retail center that will include Raising Canes and In & Out Burger.

Civic Center Drive Expansion

Road construction to extend Civic Center Drive to one lane in each direction between Paradise Lane and Bell Road is scheduled to begin next month. When complete in September 2017, the much anticipated roadway will provide direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.


Events & Meetings

Memorial Day Activities

Last weekend, I was honored to participate in multiple Memorial Day events including the following:

  • Wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Memorial outside the Northwest Regional Library coordinated by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with American Legion Post 96 and the Marine Corps League White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Nick Bacon Memorial located at City Hall that was hosted by VFW Post 285 led by Commander Glen Stark
  • The Sun Village Memorial Day Remembrance led by resident Tomas Garcia and a host of volunteers
  • 6th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Radiant Church organized and coordinated by the Veterans Memorial Hall Committee led by Larry Brown and George Van de Langeryt. This particular ceremony included a tribute to Bill Lipscomb who was instrumental in the planning of ceremonies in years past.

Review of Appointed Officials’ Goals

Councilman John Williams and I met to review and discuss the FY18 goals of the City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney. The final edition of said goals will be forwarded to the rest of City Council for review and discussion in Executive Session at the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6.

Surprise Police Department Celebration of Gail Kuhn

image of Officer Gail Kuhn
Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement celebration honoring Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn on Wednesday, May 31. CSO Kuhn began employment with the Surprise Fire Department in January 2005 and joined the Surprise Police Department in June 2009. CSO Kuhn received many commendations throughout her employment and also received the Police Department “Civilian of the Year” award in 2012.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting. Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

Share Your Thoughts on Arts & Culture Master Plan

The city in the process of developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. We are asking for your help in shaping that plan, and there are several opportunities to do that!

Please take our online survey, available at www.surpriseartsplan.com/survey, and join us for one of the following roundtable discussions:

Tuesday, June 6
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Avenue

Tuesday, June 6
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

Wednesday, June 7
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Sonoran Plaza at Sun City Grand – Palms Room, 19753 N Remington Drive

Thursday, June 8
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

The survey results and public input meetings will help us create a draft Arts and Culture Master Plan that will be presented to the community, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Surprise City Council for review and feedback.

For more information on the plan, process and timeline, please visit our Arts and Culture Master Plan webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsplan. For questions, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Did You Know?

Surprise Joins Heat Relief Network

The city of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the hot summer months. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network – a network of service providers, faith-based groups, municipalities, businesses, and caring citizens mobilizing to provide hydration and heat refuge for people in need. The ultimate goal of the Heat Relief Network is to help prevent heat-related deaths. The Heat Relief Network will run from May through September.

Designated hydration stations in Surprise include the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W Bell Road Building A Suite 124, and Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301), 16750 N Village Drive East. FS 301 is also a place of refuge to cool off during the day. You can help those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either of the heat relief locations.

City Seeking Donations for Homeless

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success! Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

You can help by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov if you have questions about the event.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 6, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting


City Council Work Session
City Council held a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission in the Community Room on Tuesday, February 3.  Community Development Director Eric Fitzer discussed the recent community meetings with regards to the development of the city-initiated General Plan Amendment.  The City is updating key elements of General Plan 2035 including land use, economic development, roadway systems, housing, and recreation/open space.  Kevin Kugler, a consultant with Michael Baker International, shared some stats concerning our population and economic development.  At some of the recent meetings that were held in Marley Park and Willow Canyon and led by Mr. Kugler, residents indicated that they treasured the safety, diverse architecture, parks and open spaces in the City but there was a lack of community, pedestrian connectivity and arts and culture that presented a challenge to them as well.  Residents also appreciated the access to healthcare, small business incubator space and the public sector jobs that Surprise offers, but they were challenged by the lack of higher quality, higher income jobs and transportation infrastructure in the City.

In addition to the General Plan Update meetings, two other public meetings took place last month.  The Heritage District Overlay meeting was held at the Surprise Senior Center on January 21. The purpose of this particular meeting was to establish alternative development requirements while managing appropriate, compatible development for the area.  It is the goal of the City to develop incentives for converting incompatible uses to more appropriate activities in the Original Town Site and to ensure quality housing combines with appropriate consumer-oriented retail and service functions, such as mixed use.  Preservation, education, recreation and economic revitalization are the OTS Heritage District goals.

The last public meeting concerned the Public Arts Master Plan, and the purpose of this meeting was to guide the development of public art and culture opportunities in the City that will enhance our quality of life, create a sense of place, provide venues for community art, help to become an economic driver and assist in revitalization efforts throughout our City.

City Council Meeting Budget Update
Lindsey Duncan, Finance Director, provided a budget status report with data as of November 2014.  Sales tax, excluding construction, is 10.9% higher than FY2014 actuals and FY2015 actuals are 5.3% higher than FY2015 budget.  Construction sales tax is 28.8% lower for FY2015 than FY2014 actuals and 45.8% lower than FY2015 budget.  FY2015 actual expenditures are significantly lower than the FY2015 adopted budget from savings with personnel, supplies and services.

Procurement
Mrs. Duncan and Dana Garr, Procurement Manager, also provided a procurement update to Council.  A formalized policy and procedure for surplus personal property disposal was reviewed.  The Finance Department developed the policy and procedure which has achieved negotiated contract savings and ensured responsive, detailed and complete bids.  A Notify Me link has been established so residents can receive notifications of upcoming solicitations.  The surplus personal property disposal for FY2015 year-to-date is $131,000.

Water Acquisition Policy
Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe discussed the proposed Water Acquisition Policy, which is the third policy in a series of water-related policies that staff has recommended and approved by the Committee on Water Resource Planning.  The main purpose of this particular policy will allow for strategic investment in Surprise’s water future.  Several different strategies for water acquisition were discussed including CAP (Central Arizona Project) allotment and CARGD membership, extinguishment credits, long-term storage credits, physical water such as groundwater importation, water leases, water transfers and exchanges, as well as future land development.

Development Agreements
City Attorney Misty Leslie requested consideration of a Development Agreement between the City of Surprise and 371 on 163rd LLC, regarding the development of property located on the northwest corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and 155th Avenue and a Development Agreement between the City of Surprise and Verdugo Land, LLC regarding the development of property located on the northwest corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and 163rd Avenue.  Both Development Agreements were approved unanimously by City Council.

Zoning Text Amendment
Bart Wingard asked the City Council to consider a zoning text amendment regarding the height of structures within the Industrial General Zoning District.  The current Surprise Municipal Code provides a maximum height of structure in this particular district.  This district is described as areas for concentrated manufacturing, fabrication and other industrial uses. Due to various requests from prospective industrial businesses, staff is proposing this zoning text amendment to increase the building height from 60 to 85 feet.

Events & Meetings


Surprise Youth Council
The Surprise Youth Council (SYC) held their team building retreat on January 30th & 31st at the Public Safety Training Center.  The SYC is comprised of 25 students ranging in age from 6th grade – 11th grade representing five local high schools & nine local middle schools.  The retreat was facilitated by Deanie Wlodek from Opening Minds, LLC with assistance from three local school staff:  Arthur Greenway (Asst. Principal – Willow Canyon High), Jan Fellow (Guidance Counselor – Shadow Ridge High), Diosa Holmes (Student Council Advisor – Paradise Honors High).  This brand new council quickly bonded as a team after learning about their personal lives, fears and leadership styles.  Other topics explored included issues at school, human rights and Surprise as a community.  Council members also took time out to attend the Surprise Celebrity Flag Football Challenge, create various crafts representing the retreat and enjoy some dancing!

SYC Retreat January 2015

SYC Retreat 2015 group

Celebrity Flag Football Game
The Celebrity Flag Football game was held on Saturday, January 31 at Surprise Stadium.  According to Mark Coronado, Community and Recreation Services Director, approximately 4,000 people were in attendance.  The event had over 10 million national and local media impressions.

Mayor and Council at 2015 Celebrity Flag Football

2015 Celebrity Flag Football game

Councilmember Hall with Quinton Aaron

Imagine Prep Science Fair
Councilman Jim Biundo and I were judges for a regional science fair at Imagine Prep in Surprise.  The group science fair is scheduled on February 19.

Mark Your Calendars


3rd Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival
The Thunderbird Artists will be hosting the 3rd Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival for artists to exhibit and sell their work and for art buyers to make a direct connection to the artists and the vast selection of art.  The Festival will take place February 6-8 from 10 am until 5 pm each day at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 15940 N. Bullard Avenue.  Admission is $3; or $10 for a Wine Tasting Ticket with souvenir glass.  For more information, please visit www.thunderbirdartists.com/surprise.

Second Sundays in the Park Concert
The Second Sunday in the Park series will continue on Sunday, February 8 from 2 pm until 4 pm at the Surprise Community Park (15953 N. Bullard Ave). Please come and enjoy a free concert from Retirement Rocks! You can bring a picnic or purchase food from one of the onsite vendors and enjoy the show!

Contact Me


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

Ask a Question