Tag Archives: Surprise Citizens Patrol

April 13, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Vista High School – Local Government Presentations

Government and U.S. History teacher John Hastings invited me to speak to Valley Vista students on local government on Thursday, April 6. There were four sessions totaling a few hundred students who learned about the duties of our Surprise City Council and our city departments and how we work with various state, regional and local agencies. The students were impressively engaged and asked several questions afterwards.

Surprise Citizens Patrol 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner

The Surprise Citizens Patrol held their 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 7. Sergeant Curtis James, the founder of the Citizens Patrol in 1997, was a guest speaker along with Jim Joye, the first “President,” as the Commander was called in the early days. Since the program’s inception, Citizens Patrol volunteers have contributed more than 323,303 hours at a cost savings to the city of more than $8 million.

Chief Terry Young expressed his heartfelt thanks for the volunteers’ hard work and dedication to the Police Department and to the city. In addition to celebrating this milestone achievement, 2016 service awards and individual achievement awards were presented. Those receiving awards were:

Others that received awards included: Wayne Gebhart, Squad A Person of the Year; John McMahon, Squad B Person of the Year; Charles Ivey, Squad C Person of the Year and Mike Dolce, Squad D Person of the Year.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted their Annual Taste of Surprise event on Saturday, April 8 at Surprise Stadium. There were 43 local restaurants represented and 13 different entertainers providing live music during the event. There were 1,063 tickets sold. All proceeds will benefit five local charities including One Step Beyond Inc, Benevilla, Surprise Youth Foundation, a New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

A special thank you to Chris Judd and Amanda Sanchez for their hard work and dedication to this event as well as all the Rotarians for their countless hours of preparing and volunteering for the event.

Tourism Advisory Commission

As spring comes to a close, the Tourism Advisory Commission continues to work hard towards the expansion of tourism in Surprise as discussed at the quarterly meeting on April 11. Agenda items included a detailed overview of the Tourism fund; a history of events recommended by the commission; an overview of the Tourism fund application process; and the Sports Tourism Strategic Plan for which the commission has organized a workshop session to take place Thursday, May 18 to strengthen its current goals.

Additionally, commission members had the opportunity to review recommended projects proposed for state-issued Prop 302 tourism funding for fiscal year 2018. Items included college baseball tournaments, youth baseball tournaments, Spring Training, and Surprise Regional Chamber projects, including the visitor’s guide, website and city map. Recommended items are scheduled to be submitted by June 2017.

Friends of the Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of the Library held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12. I have been participating with the non-profit as a liaison to the City of Surprise since February. Friends of the Libraries support local public and school libraries, teachers, and reading and literacy programs. Since 2003, they have donated $506,278.87 to our community. Agenda items for the meeting included, but were not limited to, the Luke Air Force Base outreach program and discussion of a strategic plan with Dysart Unified School District.

Friends of the Libraries recently partnered with us for the Surprise Literacy Program and donated books to the winning class. Below is a picture of Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt accepting one of the books.

Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt
Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt

Mark Your Calendar

Spring Egg-stravaganza this Saturday

Join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the Surprise Spring Egg-stravaganza on Saturday, April 15. The celebration is being held on the Kansas City Practice Fields, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, just west of the Surprise Stadium.

The event runs from 7:30 – 10 a.m. The first egg hunt begins at 8 a.m. with the 2 years and under age group. New hunts will follow approximately every 20 minutes by age group with an open hunt at the end for those who missed their age group. Children participating in the hunt should bring baskets or bags to hold their treats and eggs.

For more information about the Spring Egg-stravaganza, including the egg hunt schedule, please call 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Poetry Slam at WHAM

Mark your calendars and join your neighbors at the Poetry Slam at WHAM on Friday, April 21 from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road. This free event features open mic night for poetry, free verse and storytelling.

Registration is not required. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. For more information, please contact Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vice Chair Margaret Lieu at 623.334.5271.

Public Art Bus Tour

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is offering a free public art bus tour to the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg to see the Cowgirl Up exhibit on Saturday, April 22 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. You will start and end at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road, where you can stay to enjoy their Recycle Arts Festival.

Parking is available just south of the WHAM facility in the rear lot of the post office. There will be a museum entry fee of $9 per person.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association is hosting their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event is scheduled from 4 – 9 p.m. and will include a Recycle Arts Exhibit and the Eco Styles Fashion Show, a creative art display that underscores the possibilities of working with reusable post-consumer materials.

Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. Enjoy food, music, free activities for kids and the spirit of community and collaboration at the Recycle Arts Fest– where creative expression goes green! If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2017 Recycle Arts Fest send an email to whamartassociation@wham-art.org.


Did You Know?

Surprise Resource Center Partners to expand Veteran Assistance Services

The City of Surprise has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Arizona@Work Department of Economic Security to expand the assistance services available to veterans and their families through the Surprise Resource Center.

The following services are available every Tuesday at the Resource Center:

  • Employment Assistance: Meet one-on-one with a workforce development expert to go over career opportunities, resume assistance, interview tips and more
  • Homeless Veterans Assistance: Veterans can connect to resources through the VA Community Resource and Referral Center, which offers assistance to Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness by providing connections to permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and VA benefits

The city also has a Surprise Veteran Job Club that meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center. The center is located at on the AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Ste. #124 in Surprise.

All programs and services are available to the public at no-cost. For more information, please visit the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 19, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 30.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.

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

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


City Council Work Session

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Update

The ramps connecting Grand Avenue to the Bell Road Bridge are set to reopen before the end of February! City staff reported to City Council, in Tuesday’s Work Session, that these improvements will result in driving pattern changes. The city has created a map to help you navigate the area and safely access the new connections.

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending the westbound Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Update

Last December, the city entered into a multi-year membership and facility use agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce through June 30, 2019 which is funded annually subject to budget appropriations. As part of the membership agreement, regular updates to the City Council on the partnership, accomplishments and any upcoming programming was expected.

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an overview of the City member benefits and Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Raoul Sada provided a year in review. The Chamber will have an Annual Meeting as part of their January breakfast meeting agenda next week and will discuss 2016 financials and the future for the Chamber which includes diversification of revenue stream (corporate income and contributions, fees for services, etc.) and the growth of the membership with approximately 75 new members and 17 new companies that have joined the Chairman Circle.


City Council Meeting

Nomination of Vice Mayor

The Surprise City Council selected District 6 Councilmember Todd Tande to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.

Tande was elected to City Council in the August 2013 election to serve an extended five-year term beginning January 2014.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2016 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. While the outcome was positive, the city will continue to improve internal control policies.


Events & Meetings

MLK Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The city, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 14. Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC 15 News Steve Irvin emceed the event and retired USAF Colonel Richard Toliver provided the uplifting keynote address. The spectacular event was quite motivating and even better was the opportunity to volunteer for community service projects afterwards. Approximately 350 people attended the programs and 300 volunteers, with a total of 600 unduplicated participants involved in the day’s festivities. Volunteers gave their time to 10 service projects.

Thank you to the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department, led by Seth Dyson, for their dedication and investment into this event which we certainly hope will become an annual event in Surprise! Thank you to the volunteers for serving and continuing to build a wonderful city! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Use me, God, show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”

WESTMARC’s State of the State Luncheon

WESTMARC hosted a State of the State Luncheon on Tuesday, January 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. Governor Doug Ducey continues to emphasize education funding and increasing teachers’ salaries as well as increasing our education attainment rates with the “Achieve60AZ” education initiative. In addition to his commitment to cutting taxes, he briefly spoke about instituting a welfare provision.

Sun Village Lion’s Club

The Sun Village Lion’s Club invited me to speak to their membership during their meeting on Tuesday, January 17. I provided a city update on economic development and the Bell/Grand interchange project, as mentioned in this newsletter.


Mark Your Calendar

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

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

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

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

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX


Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission 1 – vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 12, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Current Activities

View the weekly construction photos and additional information on the project website.

  • Grand Avenue narrowed to one lane in each direction at times beginning 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, between Dysart and Litchfield roads for paving work. Please be prepared for lane restrictions, allow extra travel time and use caution in work zone.
  • Bell Road narrowed to one lane in both directions between Litchfield and Dysart roads nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 16, to Wednesday, Jan. 18, for pavement work.
  • The driveways at Bell Grande and Towne Center Drive along Grand Avenue will be closed at times as paving continues on eastbound Grand Avenue through Jan. 19.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road. 

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving eastbound Grand Avenue. Paving anticipated to last through Jan. 19.
  • 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 email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting met on Monday, January 9. Items discussed included finalizing plans for sponsoring bus tours to City Hall and West Valley Arts HQ for students of Dysart Unified School District and local charter schools so they can view art and learn about Black History Month. City Hall has a gallery of local art on display year-round, and West Valley Arts HQ will be featuring a new exhibit “Vision & Sound: An African American Experience” from Feb. 2-26 The Commission’s Strategic Plan and the possible pursuit of sponsoring a community centered public art event known as Chalk it Up was also discussed. The draft Surprise Public Art Policy and Procedures Guide as well as the Display Plan were approved and are now ready for City Council consideration and possible action.

Citizen Review Meeting

On the night of Monday, January 9, CampCorp and City Staff held a Citizen Review meeting for the Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezone of the CampCorp, located north of the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue. In the past, this area was a residential assembly plant for Del Webb, a truss factory for Foxworth-Galbraith, and is now the site of CampCorp – a builder of portable manufacture structures. The existing zoning of Regional Commercial and the General Plan Use of Commerce and office make this site legal nonconforming (grandfathered), and limits expansion capabilities. In a joint effort with the City to initiate the General Plan Amendment and with CampCorp applying for rezone to General Industrial (IG), it is anticipated that the plant can expand, providing more opportunities for jobs in the Surprise area.

Tourism Advisory Commission

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, January 10. Commissioners selected a new Chair and Vice Chair. Congratulations to DeAngelo Hall and Kristen Peck, respectively. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover provided an economic development update.

The Commission also discussed the upcoming 2017 College Baseball Classic Tournament. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 17
1 p.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
5 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Saturday, February 18
10 a.m. – Gonzaga University vs. Duke University
2 p.m. -Gonzaga University vs. Oregon State University
6 p.m. – Duke University vs. Indiana University

Sunday, February 19
9:30 a.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
1:30 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Monday, February 20
11:00 am Indiana University vs. Oregon State University

Game times and schedules are subject to change. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library board meeting on Wednesday, January 11. The Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc. is a non-profit, independent organization. The group supports literacy and programs at the Northwest Regional Library, the Hollyhock Library and local schools.


Mark Your Calendar

Martin Luther King, Jr. day of celebration & community service

I am honored to be speaking at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday. I hope you will join me rain or shine!

The program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at City Hall. In the case of rain, the program will move to the Communiversity (next to the courtyard). Following the program, there will be an opportunity to serve your community through various service projects.

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

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

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

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

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

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX


Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 19, 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*

Prepare for traffic switch on Grand Avenue:

  • roadway paving,
  • apply new lane striping,
  • modify the traffic signal at Town Center Drive/Bell Grande Drive, and
  • install temporary concrete barrier to establish work zone

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue will be closed between Litchfield and Dysart roads Sunday (Feb. 21) from 7 a.m. to Monday (Feb. 22) 3 a.m.
  • Business access available from Bell Road; no turning movements to eastbound Grand Avenue.

SUGGESTED DETOUR: Eastbound Grand Avenue traffic use Reems to Greenway to Dysart roads back to eastbound Grand Avenue.

Overnight Westbound Grand Avenue Restrictions

Westbound Grand Avenue restricted to one lane on Monday (Feb. 22), Tuesday (Feb. 23) and Wednesday (Feb. 24) nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

NOTE: Tuesday (Feb. 23) morning eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue traffic will be in a new configuration with two lanes in each direction.

*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

FY2017 Budget Capital Revenue and Process Overview

The discussion on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget continued this week with separate presentations on the capital and operating areas. The capital budget discussions focused on available revenue sources. The current fiscal year’s capital budget of $78.0 million is highly dependent on fund balances carried over from savings in prior years. These balances will be utilized to complete the Clubhouse Renovations and various transportation projects throughout the city this fiscal year. With the fund balances reduced, future capital budgets will rely more heavily on other revenue sources which total about $23.1 million for the current fiscal year. With this scarcity of resources, prioritization of projects will be the main emphasis of the capital budget going forward. Continuing from last fiscal year, a high value will be placed on maintaining our current infrastructure through maintenance, replacement, and pavement preservation efforts.

The operating budget discussion highlighted the programs of public safety with specific presentations on the Police and Fire-Medical departments, the City Attorney’s Office, and the Surprise City Court. The common theme was that staffing levels have been held relatively flat over the last seven years as population, calls for service, and other workload measures have increased. All four areas have been exceptionally effective and efficient in maintaining a safe city over this time period. Proactive efforts have been declining over the last few years which will inevitably lead to higher instances of property crime, less coordinated and effective prosecution of crimes, and longer timelines to resolve cases without an infusion of additional resources. Also discussed was a program to centralize emergency management to coordinate the city’s response to natural or manmade disasters. As outlined, the public safety needs exceed the current expected resources of the city. The discussion of how the city will look to meet its operating needs will continue throughout the budget process that will culminate with the adoption of the FY2017 budget in June before the new fiscal year is rung in on July 1.


City Council Meeting

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2015 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. The city has made a number of improvements in internal controls and corrected many of the identified areas from the prior year. The city will continue to improve internal controls and processes to eliminate the remaining auditor comments.

FY2016 Budget Reallocation for Bullard Avenue

Director of Public Works Mike Gent and Assistant Public Works Director Karl Zook provided an update on Bullard Avenue based on the input from the Bullard Avenue Task Force and the surveys received from residents. The strongest recommendation was the return of four lanes of travel on Bullard Avenue.

The recommended solution incorporates a full median from Greenway to our southern city limits. Currently there is not a raised median between Greenway to Waddell so we will be installing a raised landscaped median. South of Waddell, the median will need size modifications to allow for maintaining the bike lane throughout the corridor. The bike lines, 3 miles in each direction, will be maintained. There will be a curb separation from the bike lane to the traffic lane and two new traffic signals (Acoma and Bullard /Sweetwater and Bullard).

Since this project was not approved as part of the FY2016 budget, a reallocation of $220,000 from the Transportation Improvement Fund contingency to Bullard Avenue Multimodal project for the design portion of this project was requested. The remaining funds needed to complete this project will be programmed into the FY2017 Capital Improvement Plan. The city was awarded the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant ($1,551,300) for some of the enhancements, and staff has applied for additional grants that could possibly pay for approximately 95% of the project.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Review of Public Safety

Budget Manager Jared Askelson’s discussion focused on operating programs, predominantly the General Fund ongoing uses for fiscal year 2017 in Public Safety including Police, Fire-Medical, City Attorney and City Court. General Fund ongoing uses is $96.7 million for FY16 with almost half spent on Public Safety (Police – 25%, Fire – 18%, City Attorney – 2%, City Court – 2% and all others – 53%).

Police Chief Terry Young provided an overview, considered key components including service demands, increased training, and staffing ratio comparisons. Surprise has one of lowest staffing ratios (1.06 compared to the highest at 2.20) of sworn personnel per 1,000 persons. Since 2010, Surprise has seen an 8.5% increase in residents, a 4% calls for service increase from 2014-2015 and a 6% overall increase in crimes from 2014-2015.

Fire–Medical Chief Tom Abbott also provided an overview and focused on the multiple factors used to consider proper staffing including call volume, response times, etc. In the last six years, SFMD has witnessed an increase of 6,175 calls for service which equates to a 60.1% increase. In 2009, there were 126 members of the Department, including administration. In November of 2015, six new members were hired which brought the total number of staff to 128. Surprise again has one of the lowest staffing ratios (.11 compared to highest at .26) of sworn personnel per 1,000 persons.

Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier discussed the need for an effective Emergency Management Program. The purpose of the program is to mitigate, prepare, plan for, respond to and recover from a natural or manmade disaster. These potential disasters would include flooding, health emergencies such as outbreaks, etc. Staff recommends the hiring of two new full-time employees (FTEs) which would include an Emergency Manager and an Administrative Specialist. The Emergency manager would work directly with the Police, Fire-Medical, Public Works and Communication Departments.

City Attorney and City Court provided a brief overview. The Departments are directly impacted by the work of the Police Department which has increased; hence two new FTEs (one for each) have been requested.


Special City Council Meeting

The City Council held a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 18. The sole agenda item was the discussion and action pertaining to the City of Surprise vs. Surprise Center Development Company (SCDC). The City Council voted unanimously to begin the process to end litigation and work to achieve a final settlement.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting on Thursday, February 11. Some of the items discussed included the Request for Proposal (RFP) for financial audit services and transit performance review. For FY15, 77.5% of the total Valley Metro ridership was bus transit followed by 19.6% light rail, 1.5% vanpool and 1.4% paratransit (such as Dial-A-Ride). The bus saw a 2.29% decrease in total boardings.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Banquet

The Surprise Citizens Patrol (CP) hosted their annual awards dinner on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Sun City Grand Cimarron Center. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo and I were honored to attend the banquet to help honor and thank our outstanding CP volunteers. Sergeant Tim Klarkowski presented the Citizens Patrol with a plaque and expressed the Department’s sincere appreciation for the volunteers’ continued dedication and selfless service.

In 2015, the Citizens Patrol volunteered 25,806 hours. The Citizens Patrol has been in existence since 1997 and has volunteered a total of 170,372 hours, which is a significant cost avoidance to the City.

Those receiving awards were: Patrick Kellison – Patrol Person of the Year, June Dower – Administrative Person of the Year, Bill Crain – Support Person of the Year, Charles Manning – Command Staff Person of the Year, and Henry Saunders – Rookie of the Year.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Transportation Community Meeting

Valley Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, March 9 from 9 am until 11 am at the Surprise Senior Center (15832 N. Hollyhock Street) to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley, including 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.

The Surprise Senior Center is located near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Nash Street. For driving directions, contact the center at (623) 222-1500. To arrange your trip on Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride, call (602) 266-8723.

Surprise Park-And-Ride Temporary Relocation – April

The Surprise Park-and-Ride will be temporarily relocated beginning April 4 due to construction activity related to the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement.

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.

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.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road & Bullard Avenue Intersection Closure

The intersection of Greenway Road and Bullard Avenue will be closed as part of the Greenway Road Improvement Project beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, February 26 through 5 a.m. on Monday, February 29.

There are several detours planned during the closure:

  • Bell Road (eastbound and westbound) to southbound Bullard Avenue to access the Surprise Recreation Campus
  • Eastbound Greenway Road traffic will take northbound Reems Road to access Bell Road to continue heading east.**For those visitors planning to attend the 2016 Surprise Big 12 / Pac 12 Baseball Challenge tournament and Food Truck Festival at Surprise Stadium that weekend, you will remain on eastbound Greenway Road to Parkview Place and head north to event parking.
  • Motorists who ordinarily travel westbound on Greenway Road can take Litchfield Road north to access westbound Bell Road.**Visitors heading to Surprise Stadium on Greenway Road will continue westbound on Greenway Road and head north on Civic Center Drive; turn left onto Tierra Buena Drive to northbound Bullard Avenue.

View a map of the recommended alternate routes. Event parking and directional signage will be displayed. For more information please call 623.222.6000.

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. 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.

New Council Conversation Interview

My new Council Conversation with CRS Director Mark Coronado is online and on Surprise 11.

Check it out at: http://surpriseaz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=f2b8e37e-d692-11e5-8170-f04da2064c47.

It includes footage of the improvements to the Stadium clubhouse!

Social Media

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


Contact Me

January 8, 2016 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Rancho Mercado Unit 1 Preliminary Plat

Following a presentation from staff and a public hearing, City Council unanimously approved the preliminary plat entitled “Rancho Mercado Unit 1”. The plat is a 1,897-lot, 19-parcel, 5-phase preliminary plat within the Rancho Mercado Planned Area Development which is located north and south of Happy Valley Road between Bullard Road and Litchfield Road alignments.

The amenities included will provide recreational opportunities for residents of the community and once developed, the population base generated will contribute to enrollment in the local schools while providing incentive to bring much-needed retail to the area. Additionally, significant regional traffic constraints will be addressed by the developer through the construction of Happy Valley Road, both on- and off-site.

FS15-069 Rancho Mercado Unit Map

Appointment of Vice Mayor

Each year, the City Council is required to appoint a Vice Mayor prior to January 30 of that year. This year, Councilman Jim Biundo was unanimously voted as the Vice Mayor for 2016. I look forward to working with Vice Mayor Biundo in this capacity, and I am grateful to Councilman John Williams for his leadership in this role over the past year.

Jim Biundo being sworn in as Vice Mayor

West Valley Pops Band Sponsorship/Name Change

The West Valley POPS band performs free concerts in Surprise and the surrounding community. They collect canned food items which are distributed by the Valley View Community food bank to those in need.

Staff had a preliminary discussion with the West Valley Pops Band regarding a potential sponsorship opportunity, and City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented the opportunity to City Council in December. City Council unanimously approved the sponsorship agreement with the West Valley Pops Band and their name change to the Surprise Pops Band. The annual sponsorship is estimated at $1,500 and would be managed through the City Manager’s budget via general funds.

2016 State Legislative Agenda

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance discussed the City’s legislative agenda priorities for State Legislators which includes, but is not limited to, fiscal sustainability, economic development, transportation and military preservation.

Surprise Neighborhood Grant Program

City Council unanimously approved the Surprise Neighborhood Grant pilot program for fiscal year 2016. The program’s purpose is to engage residents and increase community engagement, interests and involvement within the city of Surprise for neighborhoods that wouldn’t qualify for the Surprise Community Outreach Program because they are not 501(c)3 organizations.

To receive support, projects must provide a public benefit, have the approval of the City and/or community HOA (if applicable), emphasize neighborhood self-help and help build the community amongst several other criteria. Applications will be available on the city’s website (www.surpriseaz.gov) next week, and once completed, they will be reviewed by the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants. Recommendations for funding will be made to the full City Council. The City Council has set aside $10,000 for this purpose.

FY2016 Financial Status Report Through November 2015

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided Council with a financial status report through November 2015. Beginning with General Fund resources, we have a favorable variance of $2.3 million ($28.9 was budgeted with actuals at $31.2). Our local sales tax actuals exceed the budget by $1 million. Construction sales tax is up 77% over budget and all other sources are up 5.2% over budget. With regards to expenses, we have a favorable variance of $6.3 million ($39.9 was budgeted with actuals at $33.6).


Events & Meetings

General Plan Amendments Approved

City Council approved several amendments to some land use elements of the Surprise General Plan 2035 at a Special Council Meeting on December 19. Key changes include replacing the Village Plan requirements from the development process with a “character area” approach, to provide more flexibility in establishing land-use concepts and building forms to create a more unified city. Wildlife corridors remain within the conservation element and the overall General Plan. Open space is designated within the land-use plan.

Thank you to all of the residents who shared their thoughts on this important city growth plan! I also need to thank the Planning & Zoning Commission for their hard work with the amendments, to our City Attorney’s office and to Community Development Director Eric Fitzer and his team for their incredible talent, perseverance and dedication to getting this accomplished. We could not do it without you! Thank you!

Desert Diamond Casino

Councilman Roland Winters, Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva, Mayor Wolcott and I attended the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, December 19. The casino creates more than 500 new jobs and, once fully completed, it will create more than 3,000 permanent jobs in the community and have an annual economic impact of more than $300 million.

Surprise Police Department Retirement Ceremony

I attended the retirement ceremony in the Public Safety Auditorium on January 4, honoring Officer Hector Heredia for his service with the Surprise Police Department. Hector was employed with the Department from November 5, 1995 – January 4, 2016, and served in both the Field Operations Division and the Criminal Investigations Division.

Over break on December 21, Officer John Jones also retired. John was employed as a Transportation Officer with the Surprise Police Department from July 11, 2005 – December 30, 2015. John’s prior employment included 1 year as a Detention Officer and 19 years as a Transport Officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, January 4. The Commission is working with Drake & Associates to draft policies and procedures for public art. Betty Drake, consultant from Drake & Associates, gave a presentation focused on information relative to typical best practices and establishing an infrastructure of policies and procedures to support the Commission’s work. Examples of public art from all over the country and internationally were shared and discussion was had pertaining to next steps for establishing policies and procedures for public art in Surprise. The Commission will work with Drake & Associates in the coming months to produce a recommended set of policies and procedures for Council consideration and possible adoption.

Per the City Council’s direction, staff has been working on creating a program that includes the development of a design for Gateway Entry Monument signs throughout the City. Preliminary ideas have been gathered from internal staff to assist the contracted consulting firm in developing working drafts of the design concepts. On Monday, January 4, staff presented an update on the design process to the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and will return later in the month to obtain the Commission’s feedback on the design concepts. Once the design concepts are ready, the public will have an opportunity to provide input before they are brought to the City Council for their review and possible adoption.

The Commission is collaborating with Benevilla for an upcoming public art bus tour on February 18. The City will publish additional information regarding the tour as it becomes available.


Mark Your Calendar

Utility Work at Bell Road/Grand Avenue

Early construction activities related to Bell Road / Grand Avenue interchange improvements have resulted in temporary nighttime traffic restrictions at the intersection. As crews work to relocate APS utilities, motorists can expect the following traffic restrictions from 9 p.m. – 5 a.m.:

  • Bell Road will be restricted to a single lane east & west bound on both sides of Grand Avenue, as needed.
  • The dual left turn lanes at southbound Grand Avenue to east bound Bell Road will be restricted to one left turn. All other left turns will not be affected.

The interchange project, led by the Arizona Department of Transportation, is designed to improve congestion at the busy Bell Road / Grand Avenue intersection. ADOT will construct a bridge to carry traffic over Grand Avenue and the adjacent railroad tracks. With this new interchange, through traffic on Grand will no longer stop at Bell. Instead, the two roadways will be connected via new on- and off-ramps constructed within the Grand Avenue median.

Major construction activity will begin in April. The work will involve up to an eight month full closure of Bell Road. Closing Bell Road during construction allows the contractor to complete the work more quickly, improves safety for construction workers and motorists, and minimizes traffic impacts during peak travel periods such as Spring Training and the holiday shopping season. Grand Avenue will remain open. Specific closures, detours and business access information will be announced prior to the start of construction.

The city encourages continued support of local businesses located around the intersection during construction. Remember, shopping locally keeps sales tax dollars within your community to help fund public safety, street improvements and park maintenance.

For additional project information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand or www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. Stay up to date on the project’s progress and any planned closures and restrictions by signing up to receive email updates at www.azdot.gov/projects.

Waddell Road Median Project Begins

Safety improvements are happening at Waddell Road. Work to add a landscape median west of Litchfield Road began on January 6. Motorist will notice reduced speed limits and lane restrictions between Litchfield Road and 140th Drive during construction which is expected to last through February.

Farmer’s Market at Surprise Senior Center

A mobile produce market offering a variety of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables will be coming to the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, on Thursday, January 14. The market, provided by Gregory’s Fresh Market, will be stationed at the Center from 9-10:30 a.m. Payments can be made with cash, EBT card, debit and credit cards. For information, you can visit www.gregoryfreshmarketplace.com or call Diana at 602.468.0404.

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

A new traffic design plan for the section of Bullard Avenue between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue will be presented to the Bullard Avenue Task Force later this month.

The city worked with a grant-funded Safe Routes to School design team to create a plan that incorporates the recommendations decided on by the task force this past fall. The recommendations included retaining the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit and restoring two travel lanes in each direction. Also, due to heavier pedestrian crossings at the intersections at Acoma and Sweetwater, the group requested some traffic signals be added, along with crosswalks.

The community is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held Monday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m., at the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue. In addition to discussing the new design plan, staff will share funding options and a projected timeline.

For questions, please contact Mike Gent at mike.gent@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.6223. For background information on this project, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruiting Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting on January 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Consider joining the internationally acclaimed volunteer service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as Vacation Watch, the “We Care” Program, vehicle impounds, and neighborhood notifications on sex offenders. So, come join our Citizens Patrol at the Open House and learn more about the program.

Learn more about the Surprise Citizens Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX

Lunchtime Theater in Surprise Continues

The City of Surprise in collaboration with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony’s Lunchtime Theater season will continue in 2016. The remaining three lunchtime performances will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. Performances includes:

January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony. View event

January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”. View event

All performances begin at Noon, at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch or pre-order from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance.

World Series Day

Surprise Stadium will be recognizing the Kansas City Royals for the 2015 World Series win at the 1:05 pm game scheduled for Saturday, March 5!


Did You Know?

Passport Services Available at City Hall

Are you looking to apply for a passport book or card? Maybe you need a new passport photo? Passport services are now available at Surprise City Hall. Applications will be accepted for first-time passport books and passport cards or for passport renewals. This includes adult, adolescent and child passports.

Passport photos are an option as well for $10 at the City Clerk’s Office. Normal business hours for passports will be: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note, any fees paid to the Department of State must be paid by check or money order. Fees paid to the City of Surprise for Executive Fees or in-house photos can be made by check, cash or debit/credit card.

For additional information, please visit the Department of State website at travel.state.gov. The website has detailed guidelines, a fee chart, passport forms and other requirements to prepare for your passport submission.

To make an appointment or for questions, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Election Information – Candidate Packets Now Available

The City of Surprise ballot issues (Mayor & Districts 2, 3 & 4) will be on the same ballot as County, State and Presidential in 2016. The Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, August 30 and the General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8.

Candidate Packets with Petitions are now available.

Offices to be filled – four (4) year terms to expire 2020: Mayor and 3 Council Seats: Districts 2 (Cottonwood), 3 (Mesquite) & 4 (Mulberry).

Candidate Packet Filing Deadline: Nomination paper, financial disclosure statements, affidavit of qualifications and petitions are due no earlier than Monday, May 2, 2016 and no later than Wednesday, June 1, 2016 – 5:00 p.m. Candidate packets need to be filed at the City Clerk’s Office – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, Arizona 85374.

Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, August 1, 2016 – 5:00 p.m.

Early Voting/Satellite Location – The Surprise City Clerk’s Office will be a Satellite Early Voting and Ballot Drop Off location – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, Arizona 85374.

For further information, please call the City Clerk’s Office at 623-222-1220.

Social Media

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


Contact Me

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