Tag Archives: spring training

March 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, March 8. Commission Member Mario Rano was selected as the Vice Chair of the Commission. Staff provided suggestions on the Strategic Plan with a focus on four key areas, which included events and entertainment, marketing, partnership and facility development and funding. In addition, staff discussed the goals for each key area. Commission members and attendees were provided an overview of the most recent sales tax report for FY18. Staff from the Arizona Office of Tourism were also in attendance and provided a presentation.

Hall of Fame Induction for Jim Mallon

Jim Mallon Prior to the spring training game on the evening of Monday, March 12, Jim Mallon was inducted into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. Mr. Mallon served as the Surprise Stadium Operations Division Manager from July 2001 until his retirement in 2014. He is currently the only Operations Manager to have opened and managed two different Cactus League facilities. His enthusiastic personality and dedication to success helped shape Surprise Stadium into the world class facility it is today. Thank you, Jim!

Surprise Friends of the Library Meeting

I attended the Surprise Friends of the Library meeting on Friday, March 9. Amongst many agenda item discussions was the approval of a more than $2,300 donation to Marley Park Elementary School for books and special education curriculum and $247 to Desert Oasis Elementary School for books for a classroom teacher.

Spring Training Event

Several Councilmembers and I joined Economic Development staff to welcome members of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to a spring training game suite on Friday, March 9. The game provided us an opportunity to learn about economic development prospects for Surprise and the Valley.

Benevilla Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch

Benevilla held their 2018 Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch on Tuesday, March 13 at Briarwood Country Club. West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop received a Business Leadership Award for their generosity to many non-profits, including Benevilla. Mr. Larry Vering, a Surprise resident, received the Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award for his dedication and service to Benevilla and several other non-profits. Congratulations, Larry!

Mr. Larry Vering and Benevilla staff

Mark Your Calendar

Free Educational Series Teaches How to Raise a Reader

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development and First Things First to host a free eight-week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help their children learn to read.

Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, at the end of each week participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books and a certificate of completion.

Courses will be taught from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning March 27 through May 15, at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.

To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.1672.

Taste of Surprise

Mark your calendars for a fantastic event! Showcasing some of the West Valley’s best restaurants and eateries, the Taste of Surprise is a fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation to support projects and charitable services in the local community. The Taste of Surprise features dozens of food, beer, wine and spirit vendors, including local culinary talents from award-winning restaurants and local emerging chefs.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. Tickets are available at www.tasteofsurprise.com or at the door. I hope to see you there!


Did You Know?

National Citizens Survey Is Online Through Monday, March 19

If you did not receive a National Citizens Survey (NCS) by mail, you can take the survey online! You can visit http://bit.ly/surprise2018 and share your thoughts on Surprise as a place to live and work. We want your feedback on transportation, public safety, youth services and so much more! The NCS is conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado. Survey results are anonymous. The city only receives the aggregate results.

Your feedback helps the city to identify services in which we are performing well and lets us know the areas in which we have the opportunity to improve. It also helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

For those households that did receive a paper survey by mail, please complete the paper version and mail back using the postage-paid envelope.

Vote on Surprise’s Water Future

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a Special Election on May 15. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings.

The city is seeking authorization to purchase Circle City Water Company (CCW), a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent, helping to plan for future growth. The purchase of CCW would be offset through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

The water election website, www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, now includes a short informational video, downloadable fact sheet, frequently asked questions, important election dates, voter information and public meeting dates and locations.

We are holding public meetings on the following dates:

April 4, 6 p.m.
Desert Oasis Elementary Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room, 17161 W Bajada Road

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

The voter registration deadline for this election is April 16. To register, please visit http://maricopa.vote/. The Surprise City Clerk’s Office also offers in-person registration.

All registered households in Surprise will receive a mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Election Day is May 15. For more information, please contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.


Contact Me

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

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March 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project

Last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) released a final weekly update. The opening of the new Grand Avenue ramps connecting to the Bell Road overpass on February 16 was the last major milestone for the project. While there is still some work to complete, ADOT and its partners are pleased to have opened all the new connections at the interchange, allowing much-improved traffic flow for the region.

The project team will complete permanent lane striping on sections of new pavement along Grand Avenue on March 5 and March 6. Crews also will finish minor work on signage, landscaping and signals as the project comes to an end.

While the construction took place in Districts 4 and 5, it affected people throughout the city. I wanted to personally thank each of you for your patience during the project. The major project went off with relative ease thanks to ADOT and members of our internal project team who effectively communicated weekly status reports to our residents and provided City Council, staff and residents with monthly updates at City Council meetings as well as attended dozens of HOA meetings to ensure our residents’ questions were answered. Thank you to each and every one of you.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Arizona Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of their Surprise branch on Thursday, February 22 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event. This is their first branch in the Northwest Valley. They are a member-owned financial service organization with 14 branches throughout the valley.

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual Party

I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Party on Saturday, February 25. The event was well-attended and provided me an opportunity to talk to many constituents.

Opening Day @ Surprise Stadium

Councilmembers and our Spring Training volunteer organization, Surprise Sundancers, celebrated opening day at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, February 25 along with a full stadium of attendees. Welcome back, Rangers & Royals!

Surprise Youth Council Event

On the night of Saturday February 25, you may have seen an array of multi-colored lights in the sky and heard the sound of laughter and dance music cascading down from the 4th floor of the Civic Center parking garage. This was Level 4; the first annual social event planned and executed by the Surprise Youth Council, featuring music, dancing, a host of games like air hockey and old school arcade favorites, live art, food, and much more. From 6 to 9 p.m., more than 220 teenagers from high schools all around Surprise came to dance, eat, and socialize with friends in a positive and unique environment unlike any other in the City. Part dance club, part rooftop party, Level 4 provided teens with the experience of an exciting big city event here in their hometown. The City of Surprise’s Youth Services Division is committed to developing Level 4 into one the City’s signature youth events, growing our youth’s sense of connection to their community and the City’s reputation as an innovative and forward thinking organization that is truly invested in the quality of life of our youth. Stay tuned for more exciting events, programs, and initiatives coming out of Surprise’s Youth Services Division.

Economic Development Event @ Surprise Stadium

I attended an event hosting the retail industry during a spring training game on Wednesday, March 1. The event provided elected officials and city staff the opportunity to network with several retailers in advance of the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference later this spring.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip-A-Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 p.m.

The Explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc

Citywide Text Amendment to Chapter 113

The City is currently in the process of updating its Sign Code and seeks your input.  A series of outreach meetings are being scheduled during the month of March.  The first of those meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8 at the Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue.  View meeting details…


Did You Know?

Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Wins State Title

Valley Vista High School Girls basketball won the 6A Conference state championship at Grand Canyon University Arena on February 28. They beat Goodyear Millennium High School 44-36 in the championship game! Congratulations to all of you on this exciting win!

West Valley Agencies Join Together To Enhance Police Services

In April 2016, the Surprise Police Department and many other police departments located throughout the West Valley came together to form a coalition to enhance their efforts in serving citizens experiencing a mental health crisis.

The importance of enhancing these police services and providing additional training was recently highlighted in the 2015 release of the Final Report of the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing”. The report outlined six pillars; including Pillar Five: Training & Education. This pillar discusses training of police officers in many different areas of discipline, but particularly outlined the importance of providing proper training to police officers in regard to their response to crisis intervention and other mental health issues.

As a result, the West Valley Crisis Intervention Team Coalition (WVCIT) was formed. The coalition is currently comprised of the following police agencies: the Surprise Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Goodyear Police Department, the Peoria Police Department, the Avondale Police Department, the Tolleson Police Department, the El Mirage Police Department, and the Buckeye Police Department.

City Ambulance Service Grows

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department now has a second city-run ambulance in operation, advancing its goal of becoming the primary provider of emergency transport in the city. Surprise Fire-Medical launched its ambulance service in November 2015 with one ambulance running out of Fire Station 305 at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. In just one year of operation, that ambulance responded to nearly 2,500 calls for service.

Funding for two new ambulances was approved by City Council through the 2017 budget. One of those ambulances now operates out of Fire Station 302 near Reems Road and Mountain View Boulevard. The other new ambulance has replaced the one at Fire Station 305. The used ambulance from station 305 now serves as a backup when one of the new ambulances needs to be serviced. Private ambulance companies continue to supplement the coverage needed throughout the city.

“Our community is growing and our needs are changing,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. “We are constantly analyzing those needs and taking action to ensure we can continue to deliver the best possible response times and premier patient care.”

Learn more about Surprise-Fire Medical at www.surpriseaz.gov/fire.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Budget Discussion For Fiscal Year 2018

On February 21, the Council had its second in a series of work sessions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus was on the sources of funds for the General Fund. The General Fund’s unassigned fund balance is $2.5 million higher than estimated due to greater revenues and lower expenditures than expected for last fiscal year. These funds can be used for one time uses such as capital projects. Revenues for the current fiscal year are also currently 4% or $1.8 million above budgeted amounts. Impacts to local sales tax collections within the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement project area are smaller than anticipated. These impacts are further offset by greater collections in other areas of the City.

Also reviewed were the city’s reserves which total $35.2 million for the current fiscal year. A revision to establish separate Operating, Budget Stabilization, and Emergency reserves within the General Fund was discussed. This will help to clarify the purpose of the General Fund reserves, identify when they can be used, and establish timelines to replenish them when they are used.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1.

Discussion of Adoption of Public Art Plan

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong provided an overview of the proposed Public Art Plan. The purpose of the plan is to identify and refine how art is integrated into City Hall. Commission members have worked in partnership with Consultant Architekton. The Commission would like to utilize some of this fiscal year’s funding to cover some of the priority projects. The goal is to proceed with the highest impact projects for the lowest cost.


City Council Meeting

Major Amendment to the Sycamore Farms PAD

Sustainability Engineering Group, on behalf Taylor Trust Farms LLC, sought approval of an amendment to the zoning of the Sycamore Farms PAD to modify land uses and to adjust certain commercial development standards. These proposed amendments demonstrated intent to develop the site to better represent the current needs of the residential and commercial development community that has transformed since the adoption of the Sycamore Farms PAD 16 years ago. The amendment passed unanimously.

Sycamore Farms PAD Map

Approval of Annexation

Staff requested the approval of an annexation of a 3.34 acre portion of Peoria Avenue, located between Sarival Avenue and Reems Road. Based on a previous Intergovernmental Agreement, Maricopa County expanded and constructed this proposed annexation section of Right-of-Way on the south side of Peoria Avenue between Reems Road and Sarival Avenue. This annexation will transfer ownership and maintenance to the City of Surprise and provide a safe transportation option and improve connectivity. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Council repeals City-wide Temporary Sign Policy; and Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy

The city of Surprise has a history of responding to business needs. During the last economic recession, City Council adopted a citywide temporary signage policy, in 2009, to temporarily allow for a-frame signs, building banners and ease restrictions for sign walkers.

Council extended it for one year in 2012 and agreed to keep it in place during the Bell-Grand Construction Project in 2016.

Eight years later with an improving economy, Council approved removing the temporary policy, at their February 21 Regular Meeting. This move is aimed at eliminating the clutter of too many temporary signs that have popped up along city sidewalks and other locations throughout the city.

Businesses citywide have until April 22, 2017 (60 days following Council action) to comply with the original signage policy.

Under the original policy:

  • A-frames are not permitted.
  • Building banners are only allowed twice per year, for 30 days.
  • In the event of a Grand Opening, the building banner is permitted for a 60-day period.

The city also realized that closing Bell Road for seven months during the Bell-Grand intersection work would impact area businesses, so Council adopted a temporary Bell-Grand Signage Policy, for businesses surrounding the construction zone that allowed for more temporary signage during construction and waived temporary use permit fees.

Now that the work is complete, Council has voted to repeal this policy as well. Bell-Grand businesses have until April 22, 2017 to comply with the original signage policies as listed previously. In addition, Bell-Grand area businesses will once again be required to obtain a building permit for directional signage and special events may also require a Temporary Use Permit. These two items were temporarily lifted under the temporary Bell-Grand policy.

The ultimate goal is to remove clutter from our city streets and sidewalks and create an atmosphere that aims to make business signage more impactful.

The Sign Code is available online at:

https://www.municode.com/library/az/surprise/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIILADEOR_CH113SI

Questions? Call Community Development at 623.222.3000.

Purchase of Real Property in Original Town Site

The City Council has identified the Surprise Heritage District as an important area to the City’s heritage and as such to expand current city services in the area. The City owns the majority of property surrounding the site and thus has identified the Do Norma property as a property to acquire as an investment for City services in the future. The Council unanimously agreed to purchase the 5.84 acres.

Budget Amendment for Pickleball Courts and Shade Structures

In February 2015, City Council formed a Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee to review potential use of general obligation bonds to fund specific capital improvements. Construction of eight additional lighted Pickleball Courts was included in the review of the committee and the courts were supported by the Community and Recreation Services Advisory Commission. It was later decided to remove the courts from the bond package and look for other sources to fund this $500,000 project.

Construction of the additional courts adjacent to the existing courts will require the relocation of the sand volleyball courts at Community Park. Conservative estimated project completion would be August 2017.

Separately, over the years City Council approved the construction of a wide variety of Park and Recreation facilities including sports fields and courts, playgrounds, water features, dog parks, and open space. These facilities are a gathering place for all ages. During much of the year, the heat from the shade makes it difficult to fully enjoy our facilities. Equipment is hot to the touch, flooring too hot for bare feet, and without shade of any kind, there is no way to find respite other than leaving the facility and heading inside.

Shade structures may be constructed throughout the city at a cost of approximately $20,000 for a 30’x30′ and $40,000 for a 40’x40′. Staff will specifically analyze the needs citywide and recommend the best mix of structures to maximize the benefit from a $200,000 investment in shade. City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment to proceed.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board unanimously voted to officially make an offer for an Internal Audit Manager.

Surprise Becomes a College Town!

Ottawa University and the City of Surprise announced on Friday, February 17 that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in our state, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona.

Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The future 35-acre campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Communiversity at the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves to the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

Ottawa University Dedication
City Council Members with Dr. Kevin Eichner and Dr. Dennis Tyne

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

Despite the inclement weather, the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival took place this past weekend. Although there were a few cancellations, 67 artists participated. There were six wineries and a distillery as well as three musicians. There were approximately 1700 patrons on Friday and a few hundred the remainder of the days.

State of the City Address

In her message to residents, businesses, partners and volunteers on Wednesday, February 22, Mayor Sharon Wolcott demonstrated that when we work together in the spirit of community pride we enhance quality of life for all ages and establish a solid foundation for future generations. She cited examples of success in transportation, including the on-time completion of the Bell-Grand intersection improvements; public safety; job growth; and social-service support that have all improved quality of life in Surprise.

As part of the Surprise International initiative, Mayor Wolcott announced the creation of a cross-border task force to study innovations in the $100 billion health tourism industry and to explore whether Surprise can play a role in “setting a new standard in medical tourism delivery.” The task force will be comprised of Canadian and Arizonan industry partners, and will be co-chaired by Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic.

She reminded the audience that Surprise remains a growing community and that will increase the demands in maintaining a safe and vibrant city and cited the continued need to support transportation improvements, educational opportunities and securing space for future public safety locations, parks and open space.

Watch the video of the speech or read the transcript at www.surpriseaz.gov/sotc.


Mark Your Calendar

Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch

Mayor Wolcott will be hosting the 15th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon to celebrate the return of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 2 from 11 am – 1 pm. The event will take place at Surprise Stadium – Sanderson Ford 1st Base Concourse, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission will include a catered lunch provided by State 48 Brewery; 1 plaza level ticket to the Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals scheduled game; and a 15th anniversary commemorative gift. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming season from team staff. For more information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip A Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 pm.

The explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc


Did You Know?

15th Annual Spring Training Season Starts This Weekend!

We are thrilled to kick off the 15th Annual Spring Training Season in Surprise! If you haven’t secured your tickets for the Kansas City Royals or Texas Rangers games, it’s not too late! The first game begins on February 25, at 1:05 pm, with a hometown match-up between the Royals and Rangers to support our local youth sports programs!

This season, there is something for everyone! Here are a few of the fun promotional event dates:

February 26 – KC Royals Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 2 – KC Royals Mascot “Slugger” visits Surprise Stadium
March 5 – Texas Rangers Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 12 – Ronald McDonald visits Surprise Stadium
March 25 – Budweiser Clydesdales visit Surprise Stadium

With craft brew all the rage these days… For $30 you have access to the Four Peaks Pavilion in right field, a catered meal and a beverage! Other options include the Boulevard Craft Brew tent and our local State 48 craft brew stand! New on the food menu includes grilled corn on the cob and the Triple Play- a hot dog inside a hamburger, wrapped in bacon!

For a complete game schedule and more, visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 15, 2016 • 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
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps

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 the Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


Events & Meetings

AZ TechCelerator Open House

AZ TechCelerator hosted a “Tech the Halls” Holiday Open House on December 8. This event was an opportunity to look at the latest advancements from Surprise’s technology start-ups, including electric vehicle conversions, water desalination and electric skateboards.

Since 2009, the TechCelerator has fostered local start-ups resulting in 16 businesses, over 200 jobs graduated and a local Google corporate office. This year, the TechCelerator reached worldwide with its Global Concierge Services program which helps international businesses establish local operations in Surprise and has thus far generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Dunkin’ Donuts Grand Opening

The City is happy to welcome Dunkin’ Donuts to District 6.  Dunkin’ Donuts, located at 13953 W. Waddell Road near the intersection of Litchfield and Waddell roads, opened on Friday, December 9.

Rockin’ Holiday Celebration

Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace hosted a “Rockin’ Holiday Celebration” on Saturday, December 10. This well-attended event provided free activities and entertainment for the entire family. I want to personally thank our residents who continue to patronize our local Surprise businesses! Please continue to ShopSurprise!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, December 12. Betty Drake with Drake and Associates presented draft policies and procedures relative to public art in Surprise. Commission members were given an opportunity to provide feedback.


Mark Your Calendar

WHAM Bowls of Home Program

WHAM Art Center will be hosting a “Bowls of Hope” program on Saturday, December 17 from 8 am until 2 pm. Bowls, created by local artists, will be sold at this event. This event will raise money for local organizations that help needy families in the West Valley. Last year, WHAM raised $1,900 which was split between St. Mary’s Food Bank, Valley View Food Bank and Eve’s Place.

WHAM is located 16560 N. Dysart Road. Learn more at www.wham-art.org.

Coffee with a Cop

Surprise Police will be hosting a “Coffee with a Cop” event on Saturday, December 17 from 10 am until 12 noon at Sunsational Coffee, 15643 N. Reems Road. This community event offers an opportunity to speak to police representatives in a social setting with hopes to make stronger and lasting connections to our residents and community as a whole.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

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.

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.


Did You Know?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Volunteers Needed

A New Leaf, in partnership with Valley of the Sun United Way is looking for volunteers to support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the West Valley during the tax season (from late January through April 15). Volunteers will assist individuals and families in preparing their tax returns, claiming benefits for which they are eligible and being connected to financial education and asset building opportunities. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, please contact Ann Picchione at APicchione@TurnaNewLeaf.org.

Surprise Seeks National Anthem Performers

The city is looking for experienced vocalists and musicians to perform the National Anthem at Surprise Stadium for the 2017 Cactus League Spring Training games. To be considered, please submit an audio recording via DVD or audio CD to the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Recordings may also be submitted electronically by .mp3 or YouTube link to regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov by Jan.16, 2017.

All submissions must include the performer’s name, address, phone number and email address, along with their performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Due to the number of demos received, you will only be contacted if you are selected. Limited spots are available.

For more information, please contact Regina Miller of the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2249.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 8, 2016 • 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 Grand Avenue ramps

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


City Council Work Session

Chance Shelter Presentation

Representatives from Chance Shelter provided an overview of their non-profit organization located in Surprise. This no-kill animal shelter provides compassionate care to animals through adoptions, education, crisis intervention and community involvement. Some of their future endeavors include kindergarten-12th grade summer camps and classes, an alliance with West-MEC in addition to internships. They are hoping to get a facility to expand their services and enhance the community.


City Council Meeting

Public Hearing for Rezoning of Property

Community Development staff presented on a request for rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue. The designation does not allow for residential uses in the area that is located beneath the Luke AFB 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level noise contour. Staff indicated the proposal is consistent with the Surprise General Plan 2035.

rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request. City Council unanimously approved the request after no public comment.

2016 State Legislative Agenda

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance discussed the City’s 2017 Draft Legislative Agenda for the first session of the 53rd Arizona State Legislature. This year’s agenda focuses on economic development, land use planning, public safety, transportation, environmental resources and military preservation. City Council agreed with Mrs. Lance’s approach of utilizing partnerships and intentional engagement as well as the agenda which was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on December 1, 2016 honoring the promotions of Sergeant Adam M. Brown and Sergeant Garrick “Rick” Boxberger. Sergeant Brown began employment with the Police Department in 2005 and Sergeant Boxberger joined the Department in 2011. Both Sergeants served in the Field Operations Division, are members of the SWAT team and have served as Field Training Officers. Prior to joining the SWAT team, Sergeant Boxberger served as a negotiator for SWAT and is trained in Crisis Intervention and as an Evidence Tech.

Congratulations on your well-deserved promotions, and thank you for all you do to keep Surprise a safe city!

15th Annual Surprise Party

The 15th Annual Surprise Party was held last weekend. The annual celebration has become a fantastic holiday tradition for many of our Surprise families. The tree lighting ceremony kicked off the weekend festivities and was followed by live musical performances, great food, fireworks and visit from Santa!

Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council
Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, December 5. Agenda items included, but were not limited to, a review of their budget and approval of a partnership with Friends of the Library for a bookmark contest.

Prior to the meeting, I attended a reception hosted by the Commission that showcased the amazing artwork of our charter school students. If you have an opportunity, I would encourage you to visit the art hallway at City Hall to personally see the admirable artwork of our creative students.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Shops hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” Event

Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace are hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” event this Saturday, December 10 from 12 noon until 3 p.m. at Surprise Towne Center located at 13716 W. Bell Road. The family-friendly event includes a free live concert featuring 80’s cover sensation Rock Lobster. In addition, there will be free photos with Santa, many giveaways, festive face painters, balloon artists, holiday arts & crafts and much more.

In the spirit of the season, guests are encouraged to bring a can of food or non-perishable food item that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance of Surprise. I hope to see you there!

Spring Training 2017

The 15th annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Saturday, February 25 at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium featuring Surprise’s home teams: the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

The Surprise Stadium will host 33 games this season, including two World of Baseball preparatory games against Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 8 (1:05 p.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (1:05 p.m.).

There will be a special online pre-sale at www.surprisespringtraining.com starting this Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 a.m. (MST). Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders.

The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 beginning at 7 a.m. (MST). The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Awarded GOHS Grants

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) recently awarded the Surprise Police Department with several grants totaling $44,665. A majority of the funds granted, $30,000, will pay for overtime costs involved in DUI investigations and aid in the completion of many scheduled DUI Task Force operations throughout the West Valley.

The additional money from the GOHS grant will be used to purchase new equipment to assist officers in the area of DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement and for the Surprise Police Department’s participation in the “Know Your Limit” campaign. Click here to learn more about the “Know Your Limit” campaign: http://ow.ly/lsYJ306Dibe


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 17, 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.

Please note that the project will be entering the third and final stage beginning November 22 through late February 2017. Phase 3C includes the following:

Grand Avenue:

  • No direct access to Bell Road until late February 2017. The Bell-Grand interchange ramps are inaccessible until the end of construction. Motorists needing to access Grand Avenue from Bell Road will need to use the revised designated detour route (see attached).
  • Grand Avenue will continue to be reduced to 2 lanes in each direction from Litchfield to Dysart roads until Late February 2017.
  • Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace maintained at the signalized intersections at Towne Center and Bell Grande drives.

Bell Road:

  • Open to traffic starting November 22, 2016
  • Access from US 60 (Grand Avenue) between Litchfield Road and Dysart Road available via detour route at:
    • Reems Road
    • Dysart Road

134th Avenue:

  • Open to traffic

ADOT Phase 3C Detour Handout

Additionally, the pick-up and drop-off locations for Route 571 – Surprise Express will relocate back to the Surprise Park-and-Ride at 13327 W Bell Road, effective December 5.

**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.


City Council Meeting

Magnolia Annexation Public Hearing

Mark Reddie of LVA Urban Design Studio, on behalf of AZ Community Development LLC, seeks annexation of several parcels generally located between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue, Waddell Road and Cactus Road in anticipation of a new residential development. The annexation proposal includes all unincorporated lands located within the aforementioned boundaries except for two (2) properties owned by Paragon Management, LLC, the latter being associated with Paradise Honors High School.

FS-16-427 Magnolia annexation map

The properties all zoned Maricopa County Rural-43 zoning and commercial zoning. If annexed, the properties will assume similar R1-43 zoning and commercial zoning; however, most of the properties involved are part of a proposed rezone and preliminary plat referred to as Magnolia, which are being processed under two cases to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council on later dates.

The blank petition was recorded with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office on October 25, 2016. Per the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), signatures of property owners may not be collected until 30 days after the recording of the blank petition and a public hearing must be held within the last ten days of the 30 day waiting period. Once the public hearing is held, and the 30 day waiting period has expired, state statute requires that an excess of 50% of the land owners and assessed valuation for all real and personal property sign the petition in order to validate it. The statute allows up to one year to obtain the signatures; staff anticipates obtaining all of the necessary signatures with the final signed petition being heard by the City Council in December of 2016. In accordance with statute, this request is for Council to hold the public hearing.

Associate Judge Appointment

City Council unanimously appointed Catherine Ann Gaudreau to serve as the new Associate Judge for the Surprise City Court. Gaudreau has served as an Assistant Prosecutor II with the City of Scottsdale since 2006 and was an Assistant District Attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office from 1991 to 2002. She also has past experience as an Associate in California and Florida. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from Florida International University.

The Associate Judge position was approved by City Council in the FY2017 Budget, as part of one of 21 new public safety positions to be funded. Following an open-recruitment process the city’s Judicial Selection Advisory Commission conducted public interviews with five candidates in October. They then referred three of the candidates to Presiding Judge Dominguez for final interviews, of which he selected Gaudreau as his recommendation for Council consideration. Gaudreau’s first day with the city will be December 19. Her annual salary will be $152,000.

Surprise Municipal Court adjudicates criminal and civil violations occurring in the city, and provides orders of protection and other legal services to Surprise residents as part of the statewide court system.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Veterans Day Concert

Arizona Charter Academy hosted a Veterans Day concert on Thursday, November 10. Councilman Jim Hayden and I were both honored to participate as speakers for this incredible tribute to our veterans. Several local veterans were also present for the concert which was performed by the 6th grade students.

WESTMARC Best of the West Awards

It was an award-winning night for the City of Surprise at Westmarc’s Annual Best of the West Awards banquet at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday, November 10. The Surprise Resource Center, a center focused on social services, took first place in the West Valley Quality of Life Award category and the AZ TechCelerator, the city’s business incubator, was runner-up in the West Valley Economic Engine Award category.

HSCV staff accepting award

The Surprise Resource Center opened in December 2015 as a means to strengthen the community by supporting and serving its people. The center began with one program- the Community Action Program (CAP). Through a partnership with Maricopa County and El Mirage, CAP assists with utility and mortgage/rent payments. To date, CAP has served more than 600 families, totaling $370,455 in assistance. Today, the center houses 13 partnerships that offer a range of services from employment assistance to food resources. The center also offers veteran services. About 12% of the city’s population is comprised of veterans; now, employment assistance from Veterans Affairs, Department of Economic Security and the city’s new Veteran Job Club can be accessed from one location.

The AZ TechCelerator continues to offer affordable rent and a collaborative environment that helps young companies build up their business plans, creating new products, services and jobs in Surprise. The TechCelerator has 16 client start-ups, two onsite service providers, a track record of over 200 jobs graduated, and the only Google corporate office presence in the State of Arizona, following Google’s purchase of AZ TechCelerator-grown Athena Wireless. The program has also been able to offer temporary corporate office space for new international company locations to Surprise, such as IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical, RioGlass Solar and Gestamp Solar Steel, which combined have generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Congratulations to all of our staff involved with both outlets. The recognitions could not have happened without your hard work and dedication to the programs. This was a team effort led by the continued leadership of City Manager Bob Wingenroth. Thank you!

City of Surprise 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade

The City hosted the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade on Friday, November 11. This year, there were 110 entries and hundreds of residents participating in the parade or as spectators. Thank you to Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his team for making this annual event possible that honors the veterans of this community and builds community spirit and pride!

Kids Count Career & Education Fair

Kids Count, a local non-profit, in partnership with the City of Surprise hosted a career and education fair at the Communiversity on Saturday, November 12. The fair focused on skill building. I was honored to provide a welcome on behalf of the city. More than 30 youth were present. Attendees received free clothing and shoes at the event as well.


Mark Your Calendar

Pre-Bell Road Reopening Event

The City of Surprise invites residents and local businesses to attend a 2016 Holiday Season kickoff and “thank you” event to show our appreciation for your patience and continued patronage of businesses during the Bell Road closure between West Point Parkway and 134th Avenue.

The event will take place in the Surprise Marketplace Target parking lot (just west of BBVA Compass Bank), 13731 W. Bell Road, on Monday, November 21 with the brief ceremony beginning at 4 p.m.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection, the first 300 residents will receive a city of Surprise shopping bag! The money you spend here stays here, so continue to ShopSurprise this holiday season.

KC Royals and Texas Rangers Announce Spring Training Schedule

The 15th Annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Saturday, February 25 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. The Surprise Stadium will host 33 games this season, including two World of Baseball preparatory games against Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 8 (1:05 p.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (1:05 p.m.).

There will be a special online pre-sale at www.surprisespringtraining.com starting Saturday, December 10 at 8 a.m. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders. The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, January 7, 2017 beginning at 7 a.m. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

2017 Spring Training Schedule
Schedule and times subject to change | Premium Games (P)
(Dynamic pricing may apply to select premium games)

Feb 25 Kansas City Royals vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Feb 26 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Feb 27 Milwaukee Brewers vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Feb 28 Arizona Diamondbacks vs.Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 1 Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m. (P)
Mar 2 Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 3 Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 4 San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 5 Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m. (P)
Mar 6 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 7 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 8 Team Venezuela vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.**
Mar 9 Team Venezuela vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.**
Mar 10 Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals 6:05 p.m.
Mar 11 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 12 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 13 San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 14 Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 15 Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 16 Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 17 Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 18 Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 19 Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 20 Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 21 Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers 6:05 p.m.
Mar 22 San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 23 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 24 San Diego Padres vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 25 Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 26 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 27 Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers 1:05 p.m.
Mar 28 Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals 1:05 p.m.
Mar 29 Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals 12:05 p.m.

** 2017 World Baseball Classic preparatory games – Team Venezuela

For questions or additional information, contact the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office at 623.222.2222.


Did You Know?

Surprise Launches Virtual Tour of City’s Public Art

The city’s website now offers a virtual tour of our community’s public art. The website provides a new interactive map showing the location of the art displays, along with photos and descriptions.

The map is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts, which also offers information about local arts venues and performance companies and includes a calendar of upcoming arts and cultural events.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I am especially thankful for each of you and your continued support.

In light of the holiday, there will not be a newsletter issued on Thursday, November 24. Thank you for your understanding!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 10, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Work to build a Bell Road bridge over Grand Avenue continues this week. For weekly traffic updates on this project visit www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. They are updated every Friday afternoon.

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Stakeholder Meeting

Councilman Todd Tande and I joined ADOT representatives and city staff for the second monthly Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, March 8. Approximately 10 business representatives were in attendance.

Economic Development provided an update on the Bridge Buddy program and noted that the Business Education Series begins on March 17. Businesses are encouraged to attend the seminars that will be held at the AZ TechCelerator. There will be a job fair at the Communiversity on Tuesday, April 19 and businesses are encouraged to contact the city to reserve a space.

Community Development presented information on the temporary Bell-Grand sign policy and the changes that will be taken to City Council on March 15. If approved, the revised policy will allow businesses in the designated Bell-Grand shopping areas to utilize a-frames, banners, sign walkers and directional signs. Businesses not located in the Bell-Grand area can use banners and sign walkers. Following Council action, the city will share the revised policy on the website and create printed materials to share with the local businesses.

Business Education Series Launching for Local Businesses

To help support the businesses in the area of Bell Road/Grand Avenue, as well as other local businesses and entrepreneurs, the city is launching a Business Education series.

Launching on March 17, the first Business Series course will provide local entrepreneurs with the inside scoop on how to start and grow a new business venture. Future topics range from effective hiring practices to innovative marketing strategies.

Seminars in the series include:

March 17: The ABC’s of Starting Your Business, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

March 31: The Inbound Disruption: A New Way of Marketing Your Business, 10 a.m. – noon

April 7: Five Things Companies with Less than 10 Employees Need to Know, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

April 28: No More Bad Hires, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Future sessions are under development for topics on social media management and small business accounting. All Business Series sessions will be held at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. Businesses interested in attending should RSVP to Julie Neal at 623.222.8324


Events & Meetings

International Businesses Hosted at Ballpark

I joined staff from our Economic Development team at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 4. We networked with several international businesses located in Surprise including Rioglass and Gestamp which are situated in our industrial park.

KC Royals World Series Celebration – Surprise Style

Mayor Wolcott and Surprise City Council took the field with the 2015 World Series Champions, the Kansas City Royals, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Saturday, March 5 as part of the World Series celebration held at Surprise Stadium. What an incredible event our city hosted, and even better, what incredible teams! We are lucky to have them on our home field!

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, March 7. Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Surprise Public Art Bus Tour, the Commission has organized a second tour! You can 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.

The Commission members requested approval for a reception to celebrate the opening of the new gallery space in the Café Express and the recent display of John Clark’s art at City Hall. The Café Express grab and go coffee shop opened in the City Hall lobby in November 2015.

Read Across America @ Thompson Ranch Elementary School

I was honored to read to first and third graders at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, March 7 as part of the annual Read Across America event for Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Councilman Hall reads to first and third graders at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, March 7

Summerfield HOA Meeting

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart and city staff joined me at the Summerfield HOA meeting on Tuesday, March 8. An update on Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project was provided, and detour maps were distributed. In addition, we listened to the residents’ concerns regarding increased traffic and continued speeding through their community. City staff will discuss their concerns and work together to help mitigate their issues.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart and city staff attending Summerfield HOA meeting
Brock Barnhart and I at Summerfield HOA Meeting.

Valley Metro Community Meeting

Valley Metro hosted a community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center on March 9 to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley. Information was provided on Dial-a-Ride, the door-to-door transportation service for qualified seniors, people with disabilities and other residents.


Mark Your Calendars

Pavement Preservation Work

The city continues our pavement preservation work this week with work at the following locations through March 14:

  • Mountain Vista Blvd (Bell Rd to Vista Ranch Rd)
  • Paradise Ln (157th Ave to Reems Rd)
  • Young St (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)
  • Mondell Rd (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)
  • Honeysuckle Ln (Reems Rd to Parkview Pl)

The treatment will leave some debris in the form of slurry chips. Sweepers will continue to sweep the loose chips as the product cures and compacts. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and proceed slowly during the application.

The pavement preservation work schedule and maps will be available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp, as they become available throughout the various phases of the work. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Pops Band Concert – April 3

The Surprise Pops Band will be performing at Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place on Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm. Doors open at 2:30 pm. The line-up includes music from The Twilight Zone, MASH, Happy Days, Mr. Ed, The Lone Ranger and much more.

The performance is open to the public and is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. All donations help support the Valley View Community Food Bank.

HOA Summit

The City of Surprise is proud to host the next HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear the latest news from the City Manager and various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police. You will also have a chance to share your opportunities, issues, concerns and solutions with your Surprise neighbors.

HOA board members and management company representatives are encouraged to attend, as are HOA community members. The HOA Summit will be held in the Community Room of the Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The summit will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude around 8 p.m. A light meal will be served.

For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Please register early since space is limited.


Did You Know?

Newsletter Distribution

The distribution of my newsletters has changed. Moving forward, I’ll be sending them at 5 pm on Thursdays!

Park-and-Ride Temporarily Relocating in April

As a reminder, the Surprise Park-and-Ride will temporarily relocate beginning April 4 due to construction activity related to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Project. The facility will remain open at its current location at 13327 W Bell Road through Friday, April 1. Beginning on Monday, April 4, the Park-and-Ride will be temporarily relocated to DreamCatcher Park, located at 14534 W Tierra Buena Lane. It is expected to return to its original location following the completion of the project, estimated to be no later than Feb. 2017.

If you have any questions, please call Valley Metro Customer Service at 602.253.5000 or TTY 602.251.2039, or the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications

The city is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community! SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits or a Dysart Unified School District high school.

Applications are being accepted Feb. 22 – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:

  • Your name, grade and school you attend
  • Why you want to be on the SYC
  • If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
  • Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.

The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo using one of the following methods:

Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.

For questions or more information, please contact Paul Bernardo at 623.222.1029 or paul.bernardo@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

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

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!


Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

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

February 12, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

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

Weekly Update #3—Week of February 15, 2016

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

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

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

Schedule of On-site Activities*

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

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

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

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

Stay Informed – Keep In Touch

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

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

Construction phasing details:

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

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

Phase 2: late Feb – April 1

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

Phase 3A: April 1 – early June

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

Phase 3B: early June – early Nov

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

Phase 3C: early Nov – late Feb

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

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


Events & Meetings

Rotary Club of Surprise

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

Council Conversation with Mark Coronado

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

Surprise Gateway Training Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

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

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

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


Mark Your Calendar

Litchfield Road Widening

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

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

Cactus League Lunch @ Surprise Stadium

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

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

Second Sundays in the Park

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

Public Art Bus Tour

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

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

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

Surprise Stadium to Host Two Collegiate Baseball Tournaments

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

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

2016 Surprise City Academy

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

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

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Stadium Renovations

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

Pavement Preservation Projects Are Underway

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

Feb. 13-15:

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

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

Feb. 16-18:

Greenway Rd (Verde Vista Dr to 183rd Dr)

Feb. 19-23:

Waddell Rd (Litchfield Rd to La Cometa)

140th Dr (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

La Cometa (Greenway Rd to Waddell Rd)

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

Social Media

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


Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question