Tag Archives: Surprise Swap Meet

September 28, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Military Appreciation Night at Willow Canyon High School

Willow Canyon High School hosted crosstown rival Valley Vista for a football showdown on September 22. Immediately prior to the game, Willow Canyon seized the opportunity to recognize our veterans and active military as part of the Military Appreciation Night. I joined several of our West Valley veterans and active military on the field during the ceremony as we stood together on the field during the National Anthem. A special thank you to Willow Canyon for this opportunity to recognize us!

Valley Metro RPTA Board Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board meeting on Thursday, September 21. The fifth express bus from Surprise to downtown Phoenix was approved.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, September 26. The meeting focused on effective marketing. Chamber President Raoul Sada briefed the membership on the city’s sign policy and Firehouse Subs owner Ed Cunningham provided the group with his inspirational story on how his networking skills have led to his successes.

Decide Surprise GO Bond Meeting

Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. The city is hosting several public meetings, and the first meeting kicked off on Tuesday, September 26 in the City Council Chamber. City staff utilizes the meetings to provide facts related to the bond election. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 5 at 10 am at Sun Village, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway. Learn more about the projects and additional meeting dates at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.


Mark Your Calendar

Dick McComb Park Renaming

Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony this Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South. The park features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open House

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is hosting an open house at Fire Station 304 (24900 N. 163rd Avenue) on Saturday, September 30, from 9 am until 12 noon. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is set for Saturday, November 18 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

Vendor spaces for the event are now available to rent. Proceeds from the rental fees support senior programs. Space is limited and reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or visit the Surprise Senior Center at 15832 Hollyhock Street.


Did You Know?

Veterans Day Art Show – Call for Artists

The City of Surprise and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission would like to invite all veterans who are painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, wood workers or work in any other medium to submit their artwork to be included in a display for the November 11, 2017 Veterans Day Parade. You need not be a professional artist. This show made its debut last year and was enjoyed by all who saw it. For further information about the show, please contact Susan deJong at 623-214-7537.

City’s Lock It or Lose It Campaign Wins National Award

An important community safety message is now award-winning! The City of Surprise Lock It or Lose It took top honors at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA) Government Programming Awards, held two weeks ago in Seattle, Washington. Lock It or Lose It placed first in the Public Service Announcement (PSA) category (Operating Budget Under $200,000).

The campaign was created by our Marketing and Communications team to support the Surprise Police Department’s efforts to reduce theft from vehicles. The PSA features a would-be thief trying to open several vehicles in a parking lot and in two cases the doors are unlocked and the thief is then seen casually walking away with his stolen goods. The campaign, first launched in 2007, was recently updated to introduce this important message to a new audience and remind the public that they are the “key” to preventing this type of crime.

Approximately 60 percent of all thefts from vehicles are the result of people leaving their car doors unlocked or leaving items of value in the car where would-be thieves can easily spot them. The message- if thieves can see it, they will steal it. By simply locking the doors of your vehicle and by taking valuable items with you or hiding them in a locked trunk, you can dramatically reduce the risk of being a crime victim.

You can view the PSA and learn more about Lock It or Lose It at www.surpriseaz.gov/lockit. See the list of NATOA Award winners at www.natoa.org. To report a crime or suspicious activity, call Surprise Police at 623.222.4000. If an emergency or dangerous situation, dial 911.

Surprise Community & Recreation Services Receives National Accreditation

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services (CRS) Department has received accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association. The Association recognized Surprise’s efforts to provide high quality parks and recreation services and experience to its residents and visitors.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has issued a five-year accreditation to the city’s Community & Recreation Services Department after meeting more than 140 standards ranging from hiring practices to marketing techniques, from park planning to program implementation. The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months. The final step was a hearing through the commission earlier this month.

The public will benefit from the accreditation by knowing that the city is adhering to best practices in the field of parks, facilities and programs. It also shows partners, potential funders and the public that Surprise operates under such standards. Congratulations, CRS!


Contact Me

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

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April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Pure Physique PilateZ Studio and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Center on Thursday, April 20. The Center is located at 14815 W. Bell Road. Pure Physique PilateZ offers a variation of pilates equipment and a full barre studio. Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation offers IV nutrition, anti-aging, injury management, medical weight loss and much more. Welcome to District 5!

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

The Surprise Police Department held their annual Police Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Roland Winters and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today.

Chief Terry Young expressed his sincere appreciation for the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the employees and volunteers to the Police Department and to the City of Surprise. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo-Vallet.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association hosted their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event was well attended and included a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show. Thank you to WHAM’s Executive Director, Connie Whitlock, and her team for having this event each year!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 25. The meeting included a panel discussion on Economic Development led by featured speaker and moderator Jim Rounds. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic served as a panelist. Discussion surrounded how cities have been prioritizing economic development opportunities with limited financial resources and how the West Valley cities are taking a regional approach to attracting companies and jobs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

The Surprise Police Explorer Post #2236 is partnering with a local business, Chipotle, for an upcoming fund raising event. The event will be held at Chipotle, 13869 West Bell Road in Surprise, on Friday, April 28 from 5 – 9 p.m.

Please remember to bring in a copy of the flyer (view flyer) or show a copy of the flyer on your smart phone or other electronic device in order to help the Explorers raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Surprise Police Explorers).

Chipotle is located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Bell Road in Surprise.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Come shop at the semiannual Surprise Super Swap Meet on Saturday, April 29. More than 50 vendors will have new and used treasures on display from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatics Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

The Surprise Swap Meet is sponsored by the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee met on April 19. The Committee was briefed by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council in a May Work Session. Pending Council approval, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Portillo’s
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas
Whataburger
Rubio’s

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Costco
Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
IKEA
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Oregano’s
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Kohl’s
Musical Surprise
Target
Son Glow Boutique
Walmart
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot
Ross

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.


Contact Me

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

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November 3, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, to paint the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

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

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


City Council Work Session

FY2016 Financial Status Report

Assistant Finance Director Jared Askelson presented the 2016 fiscal year end Financial Status Report. Local sales tax exceeded original estimates by $400,000; state shared revenue increased by $200,000 due to stronger than expected vehicle license tax; charges for services exceeded original estimates by $1.4 million due to increases from spring training, community development, and public works revenues. Due to the approximate increase in revenues and decrease in expenditures, the estimated General Fund balance is $3.3 million higher than originally anticipated.


City Council Meeting

Neighborhood Grant Program Recommendations

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson provided the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants funding recommendations for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The Committee recommended funding for Marley Park (Veteran Commemorative Plaza) for $3,000 and Sanalina HOA (water conservation and playground equipment) for $3,000. The City Council unanimously approved funding.

The Committee has extended the grant program through November 30, 2016. If you are interested, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3406/Neighborhood-Grant-Program.

Reopening of Bell Road – Celebration Activities

The City of Surprise is preparing activities to celebrate the reopening of Bell Road and thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their patience during the closure. The activities are scheduled for November 21. Specific event details will be available soon. Arizona Department of Transportation announced earlier last month that the target date for the reopening is scheduled for November 22.

The Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor is still an active construction zone. While Bell Road will reopen on November 22, Grand Avenue will be inaccessible from the Bell Road bridge and vice versa. A detour route will be in place to allow for connection between those roads until project completion in early 2017.


Events & Meetings

New Real Estate Brokerage Office – Ribbon Cutting

Council Members Jim Hayden, Todd Tande and I joined members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting celebration of the Leolinda Realty office in Sun City Grand on Wednesday, October 26. We wish her the best in her new office!

ribbon cutting

Torque Trends Unveils Electric City Truck

President and CEO of Torque Trends, located in the AZ TechCelerator, hosted the unveiling of the converted City of Surprise Ford F-150 work truck to an electric engine on Wednesday, October 26. The conversion allows the truck to travel between 50 to 75 miles before requiring a charge, therefore saving money and reducing our carbon footprint.

City of Surprise electric truck

Annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting

City Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Jim Hayden and I joined staff, state legislators and local business leaders at our Annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, October 27 at Surprise Stadium. This year, the focus was on economic development partnerships, our Veteran Job Club success, and our upcoming legislative agenda. The state legislators included State Senators Don Shooter and Judy Burges as well as State Representative David Livingston.

GAIN Night

GAIN Night was held on Saturday, October 29 at 8-Acre Park, and the event had record-breaking attendance. Representatives from public safety and city management were present, and the Water Resource Management Department provided a demonstration on solid waste and water resources.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for Saturday, November 19. More than 70 vendors will be onsite at the popular community-wide swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave.

Annual Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is scheduled for Friday, December 2 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. This free event features fun for the entire family. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise Revenue Bond and Long Term Default Ratings

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’. A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”


Contact Me

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

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September 22, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project.

Work continues as follows:

  • Grand Avenue closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. on Friday, September 23 to 5 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 to remove scaffolding from the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.
  • Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 to install a new storm drain pipe.
  • Installing sidewalk and hand railing on the new bridge.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue is being reconstructed.
  • Construction of the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue for the next few months.

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

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


City Council Work Session

Fighter Country Partnership Update

President and Executive Director of Fighter Country Partnership (FCP), Ron Sites, provided an update to City Council on his organization. The mission of FCP is to support the men, women and families of Luke Air Force Base and enhance the life for our military. FCP has a non-profit 501(c)4 organization that allows the organization to advocate on behalf of Luke AFB while supporting it. It also has a non-profit 501(c)3 Foundation that affords the organization the opportunity for donations to be tax deductible from donors. This past year, funds collected supported various health and human services events, helping to support the culture and tradition of Luke AFB and the sustainability of their mission.

School Parking Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer discussed current issues involving school parking at some of our local elementary and middle schools, which include: blocking of driveways, litter, parking in private drives, vehicle conflicts, etc. Current city code was reviewed, as was action taken to remedy these issues in the cities of Tempe and Phoenix. Solutions, drawbacks and next steps were discussed.


City Council Meeting

Service Award

City Council recognized two outgoing Planning and Zoning Commissioners, Steve Somers and Jerry Hoyler, with service awards during Tuesday evening’s meeting. Mr. Somers, previously the Chair for the Commission, spent ten years on Planning and Zoning. Mr. Hoyler spent four years on the Commission. Thank you both for your service to the City!

Service Award winner Steve Somers
Community Development Director Eric Fitzer with Service Award winner Steve Somers

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

An update regarding the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction project was provided to Council. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an update on the ShopSurprise campaign. There were 100,000 flyers distributed in July and August and more than 171,000 text messages have been sent. To date, more than 125 businesses have participated.

Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Director of Communications Brock Barnhart provided an update with a focus on the last phase of the project, Phase 3C, which is slated to begin in November. According to Mr. Barnhart, the contractor has provided ADOT with a target reopen date for Bell Road of November 22.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide


Events & Meetings

Special City Council Meeting

A Special City Council meeting was held on Thursday, September 15 to declare and adopt the results of the Primary Election that was held on August 30, 2016. Resolution No. 2016-109 was approved and recorded.

West Valley Council Mixer

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended the West Valley Council Mixer at Goodyear Ballpark on Thursday, September 15. Councilmembers from throughout the West Valley were present to network and provide updates on their respective cities.

Achieve60AZ Movement

More than 60 community, business, philanthropic and education organizations formed the Achieve60AZ alliance to support a goal of 60 percent of adults ages 25-64 having a professional certificate or college degree by 2030. Governor Doug Ducey made the announcement on Friday, September 16 at Franklin Police and Fire High School. Councilmembers John Williams, Todd Tande and I attended the announcement, along with other municipal leaders, organizations and agencies throughout the state.

Achieve60AZ logo


Mark Your Calendar

Mental Health Advocacy Event

Author and mental health advocate Erin Callinan will take part in an event, “Beautifully Bipolar – From Trauma to Triumph,” at the Communiversity on September 26, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with Erin’s family, mental health resource tables and a book signing. Erin will share her personal journey of finding hope after her mental illness diagnosis at the age of 17.

HOA Academy

The popular Surprise HOA Academy will begin this October, and registration is now open until October 10, 2016! The goal of the Academy is to provide expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Topics include contracts, fiduciary duty, CC&R enforcement and code compliance.

Academy classes will begin on Monday, October 17 and occur every Monday through Monday, November 21, with the exception of October 31. Classes will be held at the Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3242.

Surprise Swap Meeting

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council, will be held at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

In addition, vendor spaces are now available to rent. For more information, or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or visit the Surprise Senior Center at 15832 Hollyhock Street.


Did You Know?

Surprise Dial-A-Ride Rate Reduction

Beginning October 1, rates for Surprise Dial-A-Ride trips to select destinations outside of the city will be reduced from $4 one-way per person to $2.50.Trips affected include those from Surprise to Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and the medical offices near Boswell Hospital.

To offset the anticipated loss in collected fares, the cap in daily trips will be decreased from 160 to 155. Surprise City Council approved the changes at their September 20 Council Meeting. Dial-A-Ride trips within city limits remain at $2 per ride, and regional ADA trips, for medical and work trips well beyond the city’s limits, remain at $4 per ride.

For more information on the Dial-A-Ride program, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/dialaride.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 24, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

BELL ROAD CLOSURE IS 8 DAYS AWAY! To accommodate APS utility work, Bell Road will have a single-lane closure in each direction around Grand Avenue on Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is after the conclusion of Spring Training and during non-peak commute hours. Grand Avenue at Bell Road will be restricted to one lane in each direction on March 31 from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for median removal work, weather permitting.

Beginning at 10 pm on April 1, Bell Road will be closed. This will begin Phase 3A of the project. Please see Illustration below as well as the detour map.

I encourage you to shop the businesses along the Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor, read my newsletter for updates and monitor the updates on the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. In addition, ADOT established a hotline for the project which you can utilize, 1.855.712.8530, press option #1. Please note that ADOT releases their weekly updates on Friday afternoons.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 17. Valley Metro opened the Northwest Light Rail Extension on March 19. The project came in ahead of schedule and on budget thanks to the effective partnership of Valley Metro, the city of Phoenix and the construction contractor. The $327 million project broke ground on January 12, 2013. The Northwest Extension includes 3 stations – Dunlap, Northern, Glendale, with a Park and Ride at the southwest corner 19th Avenue and Dunlap. Approximately 7 miles of track were installed.

Board members discussed the proposed refunding of the 2009A tax exempt bond that would provide Valley Metro with an estimated savings of $1.3 million. Recent changes in market conditions have created an opportunity to reduce debt service.

Conversation also took place regarding the Chief Executive Officer recruitment. An electronic survey was created and sent to Valley Metro board members and staff last month. The data and summary of the survey were shared at the March 17 meeting.

The 2015 Origins and Destinations Study was conducted last spring and results of the study were shared. The survey gathered updated passenger travel data from transit users in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The study encompassed all rail and bus fixed route services. The goal was to obtain 15,600 surveys from passengers; however, 21,800 surveys were received (12,450 bus and 9,350 rail passengers). Travel demographics can be found in the profile below:

Valley Metro Rider Profile

I also serve on the Valley Metro Budget & Finance Committee. Valley Metro will be adding a member from Valley Metro Rail Board to sit on the Committee to adequately represent both bus and rail boards.

Cal Ripken Day

Surprise City Council was honored to greet the players in the city’s Cal Ripken League during Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium last Saturday. This year, there were more than 2,100 registrations! Many thanks to our team in Community & Recreation Services (CRS) for their continued hard work and dedication to this program and all the programs that our city offers to residents! We couldn’t do it without you!

Cal Ripken Day 2016

Tour of Grandview Terrace

Bhakti Gosalia, Executive Director of Sun Health Senior Living, gave me a tour of Grandview Terrace on Monday, March 21. Grandview Terrace is a LifeCare community which is part of Sun Health. Sun Health, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Surprise, owns and operates three out of the 14 Life Care communities in Arizona. Sun Health was recognized for their accomplishments during the Legacy Award for Business Excellence late last month. For additional information on Sun Health, please visit www.sunhealth.org.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Lunch at the Ballpark

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Chamber lunch at the Ballpark on Tuesday, March 22. Representatives from the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spoke. Raoul Sada, President and CEO of the Chamber, distributed the 2016 Surprise Official Visitors Guide Book. Impressive collateral for our tourists! I encourage you to stop by the Chamber and get a copy for out of town guests!

Economic Development Hosts Brokers at the Ballpark

Economic Development staff, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande and I took part in an opportunity to host brokers and developers at a spring training game on Wednesday, March 23.

Economic Development VIP Event

The city’s Economic Development team hosted an event for City partners, stakeholders and businesses at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday, March 24. Over 180 people attended. This event provided City Council and staff an opportunity to network and thank these groups of dedicated people who work diligently to continue to make Surprise successful!


Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking lot located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free. Vendor spaces are available to rent. For more information or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or email terri.serein@surpriseaz.gov.


Did You Know?

COX Transitioning to Digital Television Service

Between May and September of this year, Cox will convert to an entirely digital platform. When this occurs, only customers with televisions that are directly connected to the cable wall out let will stop receiving Cox’s cable signal. Customers with televisions that currently use a Cox cable box will not be affected by this change. For more information, please contact Cox at 866.961.0416 or you can visit www.cox.com/GoAllDigital.


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Shop Bell and Grand local

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

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November 13, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Transportation Open House

Residents were briefed on the current and upcoming transportation projects at the November 5th Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Projects Open House at City Hall. Staff from the city and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) answered questions about more than 10 projects that are in progress or scheduled to begin in the near future.

While all of the project displays generated questions, attendees were most interested in the ADOT Bell and Grand Interchange Improvements project that will transform Bell Road into a bridge that raises traffic above Grand Avenue and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad track. Construction for the Bell and Grand project is scheduled to begin next spring, immediately following spring training.

A complete list of CIP projects discussed at the meeting and related maps can be found on the Transportation and Traffic webpage.

Marley Park Elementary School

Marley Park Elementary School students hosted a veteran’s tribute on Friday, November 6. Mr. Dennis Grau of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West and Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame 2014 inductee was the key-note speaker. More than 50 veterans were honored and served lunch immediately following the ceremony. A special thank you to the Marley Park Elementary School administration and students for the invite to this wonderful event!

Surprise Eagles #4534 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Councilman Roland Winters and I along with Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault attended the Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting on Saturday, November 7. This successful event was truly symbolic of the great partnership between the city and the Eagles who recently filled a vacant eyesore storefront with their new location.

Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting

I want to personally thank the volunteers who did such outstanding work cleaning and making tenant improvements to the former Palms Desert Restaurant at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. Thank you!

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Discussion Continues

Approximately 120 residents attended a meeting at the Northwest Regional Library on Monday, November 9 to listen to details about the Bell Road/Grand Avenue upcoming construction project. After a short presentation by ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart, the remainder of the time was dedicated to questions and answers from the residents of Surprise and Sun City West.

ADOT is currently focused on project schedule and communicating the closure. More specific information regarding the closure and detours will be communicated when the contractor is selected later this year. Additional information will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Bell RD. and Grand Ave. discussion Nov. 2015

Sun Village Community Appreciation Day

I took part in Sun Village’s Community Appreciation Day on Monday, November 9. Events included a golf tournament, pickle ball, shuffleboard, water volleyball, billiards, darts and duck derby. The day ended with a barbeque dinner and music. A great time was had by all. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the day so successful!

Canyon Ridge Elementary School Veteran’s Commemoration Ceremony

Canyon Ridge Elementary School hosted their annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration Ceremony on Tuesday, November 10. I am always honored to be included in this special ceremony with several other Surprise veterans. Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Policy Advisor for Public Safety and Military Affairs for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and former Governor Jan Brewer, was the special guest speaker followed by VFW Guest of Honor, Dennis Grau.

This ceremony was initiated by Christopher Raso, Social Studies Teacher at Canyon Ridge, and Dr. Shelley Isai, Principal of Canyon Ridge as well as a team of teachers at the school. Thank you for your annual recognition of our veterans and for including me in this honor.

Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Skip Hall
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Councilman Skip Hall

Camino del Sol Celebration

On Tuesday, November 10, I attended the United States Marine Corps 240th Birthday Celebration and Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony. Guest speaker was Luke Koerner, Past Commandant of the White Tank Mountain Detachment #246 of the Marine Corps League.

Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony

City Council attended the Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony at Council Chambers- City Hall, on Tuesday, November 10. Many of our brave firefighters were promoted. They are as follows: Assistant Chief Brenden Espie, Battalion Chief Julie Moore, Battalion Chief Jesus Rivera, Battalion Chief Wade Rodgers, Battalion Chief Scott Smith, Battalion Chief Kevin Spirlong, Captain Douglas Hamrick, Captain Kevin Johnston, Captain Michael Payne, Engineer David Hackett, Engineer, Robert Jenkins, Engineer Jason Leboeuf, EMT Sophie Bellinger, EMT Jeremy Sbordoni, EMT Cody Swagel, Paramedic Michael Clayton, Paramedic Russell Lindholm and Paramedic Daniel Quirin.

Congratulations to each and every one of you and best of luck in your new positions!

Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade

Surprise hosted its first inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11. There were approximately 70 parade entries and 4,500 attendees. All the entries showed their patriotic appreciation for our veterans. We are very pleased with the success of this event. I’d like to thank the community for their support of our veterans and to Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services and his team for their hard work preparing for it!

Navy Color Guard at 2015 Verterans Day Parade

Verterans Day Parade float

Prior to the parade, the Links Neighborhood Grill – Sun Village hosted a pancake breakfast for approximately 400-500 people. What a great turn-out!

Thank you to all veterans, past – present – future, for defending our freedom. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for your sacrifices.

Please visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskpdGTgv to see photos of the event.

Sun City Grand Veterans Day Ceremony

Sun City Grand hosted their Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, November 11. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the event. The keynote speaker was Col. David Shoemaker, Vice Commander of the 56th Wing, Luke Air Force Base. A proclamation by Mayor Wolcott from the City of Surprise was given to retired Brig. General David Woellner, a WWII veteran.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings

The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, dog park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for this Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, across from Surprise Stadium. Admission and parking are free.

General Plan Amendment Meetings

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at three upcoming public hearings. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meetings:

November 18 & 19 at 6 p.m.
AZ TechCelerator
12425 W. Bell Road Suite D-100
Surprise, AZ 85374

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. To submit written comments, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or for questions call 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.


Did You Know?

Weekend Closure – Grand Avenue

The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. on Monday, November 15. The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016

For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email projects@azdot.gov.

Dysart Superintendent wins Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick for being selected as the ASA Arizona Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Pletnick is a true leader who collaborates and partners to better her school district for the growth of all students! Congratulations, Dr. Pletnick!


Contact Me

Surprise Swap Meet - Nov. 14th

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

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October 2, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

West Valley Council to Council Mixer

The City of Surprise hosted the first ever West Valley Council to Council Mixer on Thursday, September 24 at Surprise Stadium. Eleven cities from throughout the West Valley were invited with ten of those cities represented. The successful event was the brainchild of Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and transpired as a way for Council Members to informally get together, get to know each other better and discuss things happening in our respective cities. Other cities agreed to share the hosting, and the event is now being planned once a quarter.

West Valley Council to Council Mixer
Councilwoman Villanueva addressing some of the Council Members

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

The Bullard Avenue Task Force met last Thursday, September 24 to determine the long term traffic management and safety improvements for the section between Greenway and Peoria Avenue. The 13 member task force consists of residents, developers, business professionals and Dysart Unified School District staff who represent various opinions on the design of Bullard.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth facilitated the discussion and advised the group that their goal was to achieve a consensus recommendation on the final design while considering the balance of safety, efficiency and quality of life.

During the initial presentation, two city-developed design alternatives were discussed as starting points for discussion with the understanding that their task force could create a new alternative or construct a hybrid alternative that combines elements from the City’s design. The design alternatives, including keeping the 35 MPH speed zone were:

  • Restore TWO LANES of travel in each direction using 11′ lanes, relocate crosswalks 300 feet from intersection and install “push button” activated pedestrian signals with overhead flashing red lights.
  • Maintain ONE LANE of travel in each direction and 15 MPH school zones. Replace Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) lane with painted diagonal striped buffer between travel lane and bike lane. Add or clarify right turn lanes.

After deliberation, the group agreed that Bullard Avenue should maintain the 35 MPH speed limit; however, they requested that City staff compile additional data and create modeled layouts of both alternatives before they decide whether Bullard should remain one lane of travel in each direction or return to two lanes.

The Bullard Avenue Task Force will meet for a second time on Monday, October 19 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall for further discussion. The meetings are open to the public. For more information about the task force, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Rio Salado Update

Councilman Jim Biundo and I met with Greg Pereira, Director at the Communiversity at Surprise and the Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College on Friday, September 25. We received an update on enrollment and contracts with other community colleges. Further we discussed future interactive learning concepts that the college is currently considering.

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Commission held a breakfast meeting at City Hall on Saturday, September 26. Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the meeting with local business representatives, art organizations and members of the Arts & Cultural Commission.

Catherine “Rusty” Foley, Executive Director of Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts was the guest speaker who presented on “What Makes a City an Art Destination: The Future of Art in Surprise”. This presentation set the stage for a mapping exercise to help identify possible locations for art, types of arts, and art and cultural facilities. We discussed value of arts in the community and its effect on economic development, quality of life and how it promotes overall positive wellbeing. The event was a huge success.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Update

On Monday, September 29, I met with Raoul Sada, President and CEO of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Sada began his career with the Chamber this past July and is currently working on several projects including a Chamber-generated Visitor’s Guide and a new and improved website. In addition, he is looking into the possibility of starting a business luncheon with renowned speakers for the membership.

The City and the Chamber are working to together on a mutually beneficial contract which would focus on concrete deliverables for the City.

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Stakeholders Meeting

City staff and ADOT representatives met with stakeholders from the business community on Wednesday, September 30. Well over 100 business representatives were in attendance. City Manager Bob Wingenroth facilitated the meeting followed by ADOT’s Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart who discussed closure options. Attendees were given time for a very active question and answer session.

You can view new renderings and video at www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

City Manager Wingenroth addressing the crowd.
City Manager Wingenroth addressing the crowd.

Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

The City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection event will take place on Saturday, October 10 from 8 am until 12 noon. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to entrance off Foxfire Drive). This event is free and for Surprise residents only.

Acceptable items include antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, fuel additives, pool chemicals, stain, paint, pesticides and much more. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or you can call 623.222.6000.

Surprise Swap Meet

Mark your calendars for the Fall 2015 Surprise Super Swap Meet, the very popular community-wide garage sale, scheduled for Saturday, November 14 in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue from 8 am until 1 pm. Parking and admission are free.

If you have new or used items you are looking to sell, there is also vendor space available. For more information on space, please call 623.222.1500 or you can visit the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 Hollyhock Street.

Surprise Swap Meet


Did You Know?

Texas Roadhouse Opens in Surprise

Texas Roadhouse, located at 14175 W. Grand Avenue, opened its doors in Surprise earlier this week. The new restaurant brings 180 new jobs to the City! Congratulations to Todd Cunningham, Managing Partner, and his team on the opening and best of luck to them in Surprise!

Important Election Dates for November 2015

The City of Surprise has been designated as an Early Voting Site for the Northwest Valley. All registered voters within Maricopa County will be able to vote at City Hall, including Surprise, El Mirage, Waddell, Wittman, etc. Please note the following dates:

  • October 5 – Voter Registration Closes
  • October 7 – Early Voting begins at Surprise City Hall, City Clerk’s Office
  • October 23 – Last day to request an Early Ballot be mailed to you
  • October 30 – Early Voting ends at City Hall at 5 pm.

Please note no voting will take place at City Hall on Election Day. All voters must go to their designated polling locations to vote in person. Polls will be open from 6 am until 7 pm on Election Day only. For information on your polling location for Election Day, you can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department at 602.506.3535 or visit our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/electionnews.


Contact Me

G.A.I.N. Night logo
Saturday, 10/3 6-9 p.m.
at 8 Acre Field
15960 N. Bullard Ave.

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

Ask a Question