Tag Archives: Surprise Pops Band

March 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Luke Air Force Base Activity Update

Brigadier General Brook Leonard provided an update on the activities at Luke AFB. The presentation began with the heritage of the base and how it received the name. Luke AFB is named after 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr who was a Phoenix native, a Fighter Ace and a Medal of Honor Recipient.

Thunderbolt Nation is comprised of four different locations including Luke AFB. There are over 5,600 people that make up the 56th Fighter Wing. Approximately 10,000 people are on and off Luke AFB each day. Lockheed Martin employs 400 people as part of the F-35 program. Between the 56th Fighter Wing and the 944th Fighter Wing, they make up 66% of the world’s F-35 pilots, 97% of the United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 pilots and 100% of the USAF F-15 pilots.

Other items of discussion included the Barry M. Goldwater Range, recent contributions and wins including the Luke Valley Leadership and Development Center, mission assurance programs and the significant economic impact of Luke AFB.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The Council had its fourth work session related to the upcoming FY2018 budget on Tuesday afternoon. The focus was capital improvements, including the projects, their priorities, and sources available to fund them.

The sources used to fund capital improvements were discussed first. For FY2017, the sources included $4.7 million in revenue, $14.2 million in fund balance, and $34.1 million in transfers from operating funds for a total of $53.0 million. The revenues are made up largely of construction sales tax, which is a volatile source that historically has seen various increases and declines in collection dependent on the development within the City. Fund balance is predominately used to fund projects from the prior fiscal year and does not represent a viable source for new projects. The transfers from the operating funds were largely one time in nature and are dependent on future operational savings.

The projects were then broken down into seven categories and prioritized within each. The categories included Public Safety, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, General Government, Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater. The projects were prioritized based on current planning documents, expected development within the City, and staff input. The Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater categories are all supported largely by the City-run utilities associated with them. The decision to fund these projects will be tied to discussions about future anticipated rates. While the Public Safety, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and General Government categories do include some specific funding sources, they are all dependent on construction sales tax received in the General Capital Fund and operational savings within the General Fund. Discussions on these categories included utilizing the current Public Safety Master Plan and upcoming Development Impact Fee processes to refine the need, location, and timing of projects; identifying projects that could be phased to allow “biting off” smaller sections for funding; planning of projects to leverage partnership opportunities; and focusing on ways to improve and properly maintain the current facilities to maximize their value to the community.

The budget discussions will continue with the presentation of the City Manager’s Recommended Budget on April 18 and culminate in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1, 2017.

To watch this and other past budget presentations, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.


City Council Meeting

Lions Club Proclamation

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Lions Clubs International, Mayor Sharon Wolcott recognized the Sun Village and Surprise Lions Clubs with a Lions Clubs Centennial Celebration Proclamation. Lions Clubs is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. The clubs are comprised of volunteers who dedicate their time to the betterment of our communities and aiding those in need. We appreciate what the organization continues to do locally! Thank you!

Friends of the Libraries Annual Spring Contest

Friends of the Surprise Libraries has been supporting art and literacy since 2006 with their annual book mark contest! As in years past, 6th, 7th & 8th grade students from local public, charter and home schools within the Greater Surprise area participated. The students created their bookmarks and submitted them to a panel of judges. This year, Friends of the Surprise Libraries partnered with the City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission to judge the entries and to present the awards at the City Council meeting. The judges, including members of the Commission, local managers from Wells Fargo Bank and volunteers from Friends of the Surprise Libraries, selected six award winners from more than 250 entries. Also new this year – all of the bookmark entries will be displayed in the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise beginning today in the children’s area. The public is welcome to come in and view the entries.

From left to right the winners are Christie Zhang, Elizabeth Lysy, Erika Arevalo, Destiny Lambert, Jacqueline Lozano and Abygail Tracey.
From left to right the winners are Christie Zhang, Elizabeth Lysy, Erika Arevalo, Destiny Lambert, Jacqueline Lozano and Abygail Tracey.

Minor General Plan Amendment to the General Plan 2035 & CampCorp Rezoning

The two projects known as the Sun City West General Plan Amendment and CampCorp rezoning work together to provide a means for businesses in an isolated part of the city to expand and provide employment opportunities for the residents of Surprise.

These nearly 76 acres of land are located generally north of the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Bell Road. When this area was annexed in 1996, many of the facilities in the area were operating as manufacturing facilities for a home building complex. Due to robust home sales and the build out of the community, most of the facilities ceased operations and other industrial uses moved in. In the case of CampCorp, the use of manufacturing building product never ceased.

The General Plan Map revision changes the Character Area for this land from Commerce and Office to Employment. This change allows existing business in this area, now considered legal nonconforming (grandfathered), to be legal conforming. This status allows these businesses to expand their business model and utilize the parcels to their full potential.

CampCorp is the first rezone, of about 25 acres, from Regional Commercial to General Industrial. This rezone will allow expansion as well as utilizing the existing railroad spur at this site to bring raw material into the facility for processing while reducing truck traffic on Bell Road. CampCorp Plans for this parcel include expanding from simply commercial and industrial structures to the residential construction market.

Both items were unanimously approved by City Council.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes

The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

There is one public meeting remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.

To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band will present “A Touch of Class” featuring light classics at their next performance on Sunday, April 2. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place.

Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank.

Match Your Skills for Meaningful Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking for meaningful ways to use your talents to make a difference, please considering attending an upcoming free Experience Matters information session on April 12.

Experience Matters is an organization that connects talented, experienced people with nonprofits. Experience Matters Talent Engagement Manager Cathy Gaudio will provide information on the organization and help you match your passion and skills with compelling new volunteer or stipend paid opportunities designed specifically for experienced adults.

The session will be held Wednesday, April 12, 10-11:30 a.m. at Surprise City Hall – Conference Room 150, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more 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?

Free Block Party Trailer Rentals Available

Surprise offers free rentals of its Block Party Trailer, and we’ll even deliver it to you! The block party trailer includes chairs, tables, coolers, canopy tents, sports equipment, name tags, garbage bags, a PA-stereo system, lighting and a generator.

You can add some extra excitement by requesting a Block Party Kit! The kit includes flyers and posters to help spread the word about your party and a $75 reimbursement to a local grocery store to assist with refreshment costs. Plus, the city will cover up to $125 towards the cost of renting a bouncy house! For more information, please call Neighborhood Services at (623)222-3241 to request an application.


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

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

February 5, 2016 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Luke Air Force Base Update

Rusty Mitchell, Director of Community Initiatives for Luke Air Force Base, provided an update on activities at the base. Luke AFB is a major contributor to our local economy with an approximate economic impact of $2 billion per year. The 944th Fighter Wing has over 1,350 personnel; however, Luke AFB has 3,600 active duty personnel, 600 reserves, 800 civilians, 300 pilots and 300 DCCs (Lockheed Martin) which will soon increase to 2,000. In addition, there are 30,000 retirees within 50 miles receiving $55 million in retiree payments on an annual basis. Their annual payroll totals $448 million and initiates contracts totaling $52.7 million.

To build an F-16 pilot, one requires 305 hours of academic studies, 148 training days, 110 student sorties, 54 simulator events which takes approximately 8 months to complete. To build an F-35 pilot, one requires 360 hours of academic studies, 105 training days, 18 student sorties, 42 simulator events which takes approximately 5 months to complete.

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

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project update for the Grand Avenue/Bell Road Interchange Project, which includes upcoming traffic restrictions and a schedule of on-site activities for the week of February 8.

The update is as follows:

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:

  • remove asphalt pavement,
  • excavate and haul away the median and roadway materials,
  • modify the traffic signal at Town Center Drive/Bell Grande Drive, and
  • work on Saturday Feb. 13 to prepare roadway for paving.

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. This will be a 24/7 set up through the week of Feb. 15.

*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

Director of Economic Development Jeanine Jerkovic made City Council aware of her department’s reprioritization due to the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. To help the businesses that will be impacted by the Bell Road closure, the city will focus on the Bridge Buddy Program and a Shop Local promotion.

As part of the plan to mitigate the construction impact, the city, in partnership with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, has co-authored “Getting Your Business Across the Finish Line” brochures and will be instituting several communications initiatives.


City Council Meeting

Community Acknowledgement

City Manager Bob Wingenroth and City Council acknowledged Dr. Gail Pletnick, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District, on Tuesday evening. Dr. Pletnick was selected as Arizona’s Superintendent of the Year, and she will serve as the Arizona representative to the American Association of School Administrator’s (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year Program.

Surprise City Council with Arizona Superintendent of the Year Dr. Gail Pletnick
The Surprise City Council recognized Dr. Gail Pletnick for her achievement as Arizona Superintendent of the Year at their Feb. 2 meeting.

Under Dr. Pletnick’s leadership, Dysart Unified School District has earned a national reputation for its 21st Century learning environment and for its consistent support of a digital transformation that continues to change teaching and learning. Congratulations, Dr. Pletnick. We are proud of you!

Operating Revenue Sources for FY2017

City Council began discussing the fiscal year 2017 budget that will begin on July 1, 2016. The focus was on General Fund operating sources, which total $96.9 million for the current fiscal year. Key issues included proposed legislation, the economy, and choices that we have available at the local level.

Proposed legislation is currently being reviewed at the state level that puts $6.8 million of the City’s current residential rental and contracting sales taxes at risk. The passage of this legislation would potentially result in service reductions locally. Historically, periods of growth lasting seven to ten years have been followed by recessionary periods of reduced growth or economic decline. Our economy has seen steady growth over the last five years, so the City will need to begin planning for this eventual reduction. Future discussion will look at creating an operating surplus to help minimize future service reductions.

Revenue sources were also reviewed to clarify which areas can be directly impacted by the Council’s decisions on rates and policies. Timelines on when and how decisions on rates and policies can be made was also discussed. City Council will be prepared to discuss balancing available resources with service needs, and be aware of how their decisions can affect each side of that balance.

The budget discussion will continue at each Council meeting through June, culminating in the Council adoption of the FY2017 budget. Budget presentations will be available following the City Council Work Session or Regular Meeting at which they are presented on our budget webpage.


Events & Meetings

Lunchtime Theater

I attended the Theater Works production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” on Thursday, January 28. There were back-to-back shows held at the West Valley Arts Headquarters with approximately 65 people in attendance. This show was a group of vignettes depicting love at different stages of life. It was a musical with fantastic voices and great comedy. Everyone could relate.

West Valley Council Mixer

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilmembers Todd Tande, Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I attended the 2nd West Valley Council to Council Mixer at Rio Vista Recreation Center on Thursday, January 28. Councilwoman Villanueva spearheaded the first mixer which was held at Surprise Stadium as a way to better get know our fellow West Valley Councilmembers, share ideas, update each other on things occurring in our city and just network. Councilmembers from Peoria, Glendale, Tolleson, and Avondale were also present.

Surprise POPS Band Concert

Several Councilmembers and I attended the Surprise POPS band on Saturday, January 30 at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center. Over 1,000 people attended and listened to the roaring 20’s concert.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, February 1. The agenda included discussion on the upcoming bus tour in partnership with Benevilla, the baseball bat decorating context, the purchase of a potential art piece and much more.

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Road Show

I continue to meet with the District 5 HOAs and businesses with city staff and ADOT representatives to discuss the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. This week, we met with Chaparral Winds Retirement Community staff, provided them an update on the construction project and answered their questions and concerns.


Mark Your Calendar

Art Show @ Benevilla

Benevilla’s Annual ‘Love of the Arts’ exhibition show begins Friday, February 5 through March 2 at Birt’s Bistro, 16752 N. Greasewood Street. All artwork is created by members from Benevilla’s Life Enrichment Day Programs in various mediums.

Second Sundays in the Park

The City continues its “Second Sundays in the Park” concert series on Friday, February 14 from 2 until 4 pm. 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.

SURPRISE SPRING TRAINING COLLEGE BASEBALL CLASSIC: Feb. 19-22 OREGON STATE // BALL STATE // UTAH // MINNESOTA // UTAH VALLEY

Friday, Feb. 19
1 p.m. Ball State University vs. Oregon State University, Surprise Stadium
5 p.m. University of Utah vs. University of Minnesota, Surprise Stadium
5 p.m. Ball State University vs. Utah Valley University, Kansas City Practice Field

Saturday, Feb. 20
10 a.m. Utah Valley University vs. University of Minnesota, Surprise Stadium
2 p.m. Utah Valley University vs. Oregon State University, Surprise Stadium
6 p.m. Ball State University vs. University of Utah, Surprise Stadium

Sunday, Feb. 21
9 a.m. University of Minnesota vs. University of Utah, Surprise Stadium
10 a.m. Utah Valley University vs. Ball State University, Kansas City Practice Field
1 p.m. University of Minnesota vs. Oregon State University, Surprise Stadium

Monday, Feb. 22
12 p.m. University of Utah vs. Oregon State University, Surprise Stadium

Individual Tickets: Adult $10, Senior $8, Youth/Student $5
Tournament Passes: Adult $30, Senior $25, Youth/Student $15

BIG 12 – PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge: Feb. 25-29
OREGON STATE // KANSAS STATE // UTAH // KANSAS

Thursday, Feb. 25
1 p.m. Oregon State University vs. Kansas State University, Surprise Stadium

Friday, Feb. 26
1 p.m. Oregon State University vs. Kansas State University, Surprise Stadium
5 p.m. University of Kansas vs. University of Utah, Surprise Stadium

Saturday, Feb. 27
1 p.m. Oregon State University vs. University of Kansas, Surprise Stadium
5 p.m. Kansas State University vs. University of Utah, Surprise Stadium

Sunday, Feb. 28
10 a.m. University of Kansas vs. Oregon State University, Surprise Stadium
1:30 p.m. University of Utah vs. Kansas State University, Surprise Stadium

Monday, Feb. 29
11 a.m. University of Kansas vs. University of Utah, Surprise Stadium

*SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Individual Tickets: Adult $10, Senior $8, Youth/Student $5
Tournament Passes: Adult $30, Senior $25, Youth/Student $15

For more information, call the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office at 623.222.2222 or visit www.surprisespringtraining.com.


Did You Know?

2015 National Citizen Survey

The 2015 National Citizen Survey (NCS) results are in and nearly 90% of residents rate Surprise as a great place to live and would recommend living here.

The NCS serves as the city’s service report card, and the collected data assists in setting future city priorities. The survey captures residents’ opinions within three community pillars: Community Characteristics, Governance & Participation. These are broken down into eight categories: Safety, Mobility/Transportation, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation & Wellness, Education & Enrichment and Community Engagement. Across these eight categories the city’s results were similar to over 200 peer cities across the United States.

According to the survey, the areas that are most important to Surprise residents are safety, mobility/transportation and the economy.

The city rated above the national benchmark in the following categories: (% selected excellent/good)

88% overall appearance of the city (cleanliness)
86% recommend Surprise as a place to retire
84% Street lighting
83% Street cleaning
82% Sidewalk maintenance
81% Overall built environment
76% Affordable quality housing
74% Public parking
69% Cost of living

Survey results also indicate a need for more public transportation options and local job creation- two areas that rated below the national benchmark.

Residents were asked how likely they would be to support a separate funding source to pay for new Police and Fire-Medical personnel, which would reallocate General Fund dollars towards other projects. Sixty-six percent of residents strongly/somewhat support this proposal.

Nearly three-quarters of the surveyed residents are confident in local government, and 89% are pleased with the quality of city services.

Since the 2012 NCS, residents noted significant improvements in traffic flow, crime and fire prevention, shopping opportunities/economic development, drinking water and overall national environment. Ratings fell in the number of residents who volunteered, visited a park or watched a local public meeting.

The 2015 NCS was conducted by Boulder, Colorado-based National Research Center from October-November 2015. The survey was sent to 1,400 randomly-selected Surprise households. The overall response rate was 26%, which is average for this type of survey. The margin of error is +/- 5%. Results are weighted as to not have one particular demographic (age, sex, race, etc…) skew results.

The City of Surprise would like to thank those residents who participated in the survey. The city’s next NCS is on target for 2017.

To see the complete results visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ncs.

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

Ask a Question

January 29, 2016 • Newsletter

Transportation Update

The city is currently working on several significant transportation improvement projects to meet the needs of our expanding city. The various projects range from constructing additional lanes, to paving new areas, to enhancing safety through new medians. To help guide our residents, especially taking into account the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection project, the city has created a 2016 transportation projects map for your reference. This map focuses on the areas where the work is happening and their expected timelines. A picture of the map is located below or you can find it at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

2016 Transportation Projects Map
city of Surprise 2016 Transportation Projects

The following projects are currently underway:

Original Town Site (OTS) Infrastructure Improvement: This project will replace old asphalt with pulverized asphalt in the OTS. The project began in December 2015 and is scheduled to conclude February 2016.

Cactus Road (north half) from 140th Avenue to Bullard Avenue: This project includes half street improvements with a median. DMB (Marley Park developer) is the project owner, with the City contributing to median costs. The project is underway and is expected to conclude in spring 2016.

Waddell Road Median (Litchfield Road to 1200 feet west): Work to add a landscaped median west of Litchfield Road began in January 2016 and is expected to run through February 2016.

Peoria Avenue (Reems Road to Sarival Avenue): Project will provide two travel lanes in the westbound direction. Lennar has started construction, which is expected to conclude in February 2016.

Greenway Road (Bullard Avenue to Litchfield Road): Project will add an additional lane in each direction. This project began in January 2016. Work is scheduled to conclude in June 2016, weather permitting.

The following are upcoming projects:

Cactus Road (south side) from Litchfield Road to Rail Road Tracks & Litchfield Road (east side) from Cactus Road to Desert Cove Road: The project will provide two travel lanes in one direction along Cactus (eastbound) and Litchfield (northbound). Construction is expected to begin in February 2016.

Landscaping Median (various locations): The project focuses on completing medians in the following locations:

Reems Road—Peoria to Cactus (1 mile) Bullard Avenue—Peoria to Cholla (1/2 mile) Waddell Road—175th to Citrus (1/2 mile) Sarival Road—Bell to Northwest Ranch Parkway (900 feet)

Construction is expected to begin in March/April 2016 with the individual sections prioritized as listed above.

Peoria Avenue (south side) from Greer Ranch Parkway to Reems Road: The project will provide two travel lanes in the eastbound direction. Construction will begin in April 2016.

Additionally, the Arizona Department of Transportation is managing several major improvement projects in and around the city. Loop 303 interchange connections at both U.S. 60 (Grand Ave) and El Mirage Road are expected to be completed this summer. Early work on the Bell Road bridge, which will carry traffic over Grand Avenue and the adjacent railway tracks, has begun with utility relocation. The project is scheduled to conclude over the next 14 months (in spring 2017). The full closure of Bell Road between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway is scheduled to begin April 1 and will be in place for 6 – 8 months. For more information on this project, please visit www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can call ADOT’s project hotline at 1.855.712.8530.

All project timelines are weather permitting. Please note, this list does not include regular (short duration) pavement preservation and maintenance or sidewalk maintenance projects.


Budget Discussions

Budget discussions will soon begin! Budget Manager Jared Askelson and Finance Director Lindsey Duncan will kick-off the discussions next week by providing the City Council with the Fiscal Year 2017 budget review of operating revenue at this upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 2 beginning at 6 p.m.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Board Meeting

On Thursday, January 21, I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting. Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith was hired as Valley Metro’s interim CEO to help guide Valley Metro as we work to find a permanent replacement. Mr. Smith will officially fill the interim position on February 1.

Scott Smith spent 25 years in public accounting as a certified public accountant. He also served as the Mayor of Mesa from 2008 until 2014. He is well known for his advocacy of the light-rail expansion.

HOA Road Tour

As part of my promise to communicate to my constituents and the community regarding the upcoming Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection project, I attended several HOA meetings this week, including the communities of Kingswood Parke, Litchfield Manor and West Point. I will continue the District 5 HOA tour to discuss the project with City staff and ADOT representation and keep all my constituents aware of any updates through my newsletter and webpage.

Bell & Grand project detour map

West Point HOA Meeting January 2016

Dysart Unified School District Tour

On Friday, January 22, the Dysart Unified School District hosted a community tour of three of the twenty-four schools. Vice Mayor Biundo and Councilmembers Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I took part in this educational and informative excursion.

We first visited Canyon Ridge Elementary School where we experienced how the schools are adopting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum into project based teaching before visiting Valley Vista High School. At Valley Vista, we were led by student leaders who showed us the importance of Career and Technical Education through the law enforcement, fire sciences, and culinary programs. Our group was also treated to a rousing musical rendition from the play “Hamilton” where the choir was utilizing hip hop to share the experiences of our Founding Fathers before being treated to lunch by the exemplary culinary arts program. The conclusion of the tour was at Luke Elementary where we witnessed how students are adopting the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” through their leadership in the community through projects and programs like the Global International Academy.

A special thank you to Dr. Gail Pletnick, the Dysart Unified School District Board of Education and Dysart Communication Director Zachery Fountain for putting together this enlightening experience.

Council tour with students from Luke Elementary School
Part of the tour with students from Luke Elementary School

4th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

Thunderbird Artists and the city hosted the 4th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival this past weekend at the Surprise Recreation Campus. The featured artist for the event was Batik artist, Paul Nzalamba. I stopped by the festival on Saturday, January 23, patronized some of the vendors and spoke to several residents. Overall the event continues to grow and is quite successful.

Meeting with Representative Phil Lovas

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance and I met with Representative Phil Lovas on Monday, January 25 at the State Capitol to discuss two proposed bills he is sponsoring concerning HOAs. I will continue to follow these bills with Mrs. Lance through this current legislative session.

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

City staff provided the Bullard Avenue Task Force with a traffic design plan, funding and project timeline information regarding Bullard Avenue, from Greenway to Peoria avenues, during a public meeting on Monday, January 25. Councilmembers Todd Tande, Rachel Villanueva and I were in attendance.

The city worked with a grant-funded Safe Routes to School design team to create a plan that incorporates the Task Force’s recommendations to retain the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit and restore two travel lanes in each direction. Also, due to heavier pedestrian crossings at the intersections at Acoma and Sweetwater, traffic signals will be added to complement existing crosswalks.

Since the beginning of the school year, staff research indicates the number of students crossing Bullard Road has dramatically increased, with as many as 600 students crossing per school day.

The city has secured $1.55 million in federal grant dollars, with a nearly $349,000 city match, for a total of $1.9 million to pay for the improvements. Bike lanes and cycle tracks will also be added along the road. Cycle tracks are bicycle lanes with a safety buffer that separates the bike lane from the main vehicular travel lanes. The funding was awarded due to the bike lanes providing multi-model use of the roadway.

Currently, final design will begin in February, with the required Environmental Assessment (EA) expected to be complete by the end of this calendar year, setting a tentative construction start date of fall 2017 and completion in early 2018. The EA is anticipated to take nine months, however construction may begin earlier if the EA is approved sooner.

To further attempt to expedite the construction start, the city is also working to secure year-end Federal Close-out funding through the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) that may push the construction start date up by two to three months.


Mark Your Calendar

Neighborhood Grant Program Information Session

If you are interested in applying for a grant through our Neighborhood Grant Program, please join our Assistant to the Council Jodi Tas and Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson for an information session regarding this pilot program to help build community engagement. The session will be held in the City Council Overflow Room (enter through the Mayor’s Atrium) on Saturday, January 30 at 9 a.m.

Surprise Pops Band

The Surprise Pops band will be performing a free roaring 20’s concert on Saturday, January 30 at 3 p.m. at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place. If you plan on attending, please bring a nonperishable food item for the Valley View Community Food Bank. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. I hope to see you there!


Did You Know?

New City Website

The city launched a redesigned website, www.surpriseaz.gov, to enhance mobile functionality and make it easier for our users to connect to the information they are seeking. I encourage you to visit the website which now truly captures the beauty of our city.

Thank you to our Communications team led by Director Diane Arthur as they have put numerous hours working to get the website ready and more informative.

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

Ask a Question