Tag Archives: veterans

May 25, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable

The Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on the link between water and economic growth on Thursday, May 18.

Senator Jon Kyl kicked off the meeting, speaking on how water has been the driving force that shaped the prosperity of the Phoenix metro area, from the construction of the Salt River Project system through the Central Arizona Project’s impact on the life in the Valley.

Ana Lopez, an ASU graduate intern for the Kyl Center, then provided insight into a new Center study. The study’s focus evaluated how corporate leaders, site locators and residential developers value water. Lopez provided an overview of the interview and survey results, that were based on information received by individuals who were responsible for determining if a company should relocate, if a development should be constructed, or if a piece of land should be purchased for development. Nearly all felt the risk of water is something that could not be gambled on. If the water supply of an area is doubtful, those interviewed would stop considering an area in question, believing the risk to future success is too great.

Grady Gammage, a land use attorney, water advocate, and Advisory Board Member of the Kyl Center, spoke about the misconceptions about water and the Phoenix Metro region. He cited several recent news articles and publications that inaccurately referenced the region as a particular area that should not have been developed or that was running out of water. Sound water management is what Arizonans do, dating back to when people began to inhabit the region. He cited the 1980 Groundwater Management Act as having a significant impact on new development. He concluded that looking to the future, Arizona is not going to run out of water, as long as Arizonans maintain a proactive and responsible approach to water policy.

As a member of the Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable, the City of Surprise is committed to researching and analyzing opportunities to ensure sound water stewardship.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission Special Meeting, May 18, was facilitated by Eric Bailey, President of Bailey Innovations Group. The session included a series of activities and exercises designed to help pave the tourism framework of the Commission’s Strategic Plan. Tourism Commission members and staff identified a common focus while evaluating the current mission statement established in the Tourism Advisory Strategic Plan. Members were asked to assemble into groups to identify key terms and areas of importance regarding the impact of tourism and its effect on our community.

Commission members and staff developed the following statement: “With the consistent growth of the City of Surprise, it is imperative to create a strategic plan for tourism that will enhance the quality of life for residents through increased economic development and partnership opportunities creating an identity that the community is proud of.” The Commission also identified several key areas of focus including: funding, annual events, entertainment, identity development, medical tourism and destination attractions.

Commission members and staff were asked to evaluate and use the statement as an enhancement to the Strategic Plan. Commission members will complete the strategic plan at the next meeting to be held on August 8 at 9 a.m.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting, May 18, where the Board approved the FY18 budget which will begin on July 1. Discussion included the community outreach plan concerning the paratransit changes that take effect on July 1. Please note there will be two meetings in Surprise. The first meeting will be held at the Surprise Senior Center for those that exclusively utilize the current Dial-a-Ride system for Senior Center trips only, and the second meeting will be June 14. Details are under the Mark Your Calendar section of this newsletter.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club celebrated their one-year anniversary with an Open House Celebration, May 18. Council Members Ken Remley and myself were honored to attend. Several Job Club Alumni also joined new members in the celebration.

The City of Surprise launched the Surprise Veteran Job Club on May 16, 2016 to serve Veterans and their families with career services. Too many Veterans find it difficult to transition to civilian employment after their military service.

In their first year, the Surprise Veteran Job Club collaborated with 31 businesses and membership grew to 70 members – over 70% of those members successfully transitioned into a diverse range of occupations and industries. The club is completely run by volunteers who are Veterans and spouses. The club aims to help veterans, active military, their spouses and family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career. This group provides help with such things as creating effective resumes, employment assistance, guest speakers and networking opportunities.

Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. The next meeting is Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd. Bldg. A, Ste. #124. Please call 623-222-1600 or email April.Irish@surpriseaz.gov for more information.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 23. Remember Media expert Sean O’Neill was the featured speaker. He provides corporate seminars that are known to have boosted the careers of thousands of employees and executives. The information was very useful and appreciated.


Mark Your Calendar

6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony

The Veterans Memorial Hall Memorial Day 2017 Committee is hosting their 6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony on Monday, May 29. The ceremony will be held at Radiant Church, at 15522 W. Paradise Lane. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.

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

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

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting.

Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

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

Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.


Did You Know?

City Relocates City Hall Recycling Containers

The large recycling containers at City Hall, 14534 W. Tierra Buena Lane, have been relocated, due to upcoming planned development in the area. One of the containers will be moved to the gravel area next to the parking lot at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, and another container will be relocated to the Public Works Yard, 13430 W. Westgate Drive.

A reminder that it is illegal to dump trash or recycling materials at non-designated drop-off locations. It is also illegal to dump unapproved items into the bins. If you witness someone performing these illegal acts, please call the police non-emergency number (623-222-4000). A list of approved items is available on the bins.

For more information about recycling in Surprise visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recycle.

City pools open this weekend!

The City of Surprise pools will open on Saturday, May 27 for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are noon – 5 p.m., including Memorial Day Monday, May 29. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 6 p.m. and Friday from noon – 4 p.m.

The Hollyhock Pool is located at 15808 N Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are noon – 4 p.m., including Memorial Day. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 3 p.m.

Daily admission for Surprise residents is $1 per child (age 17 and under) and $2 per adult (must show residency); non-resident admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person (age16 or older) at all times.

Pool passes are available for Surprise residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (age 17 and under) and $40 for adults (age 18 and older); family passes (2 adults and 3 children) are $80.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/aquatics or call the Hollyhock Pool at 623.222.2530 or the Surprise Aquatic Center at 623.222.2500.

115th Avenue & Union Hills Drive Summer Work Hours

Construction activities on the 115th Ave and Union Hills Drainage Improvement Project began last week and will continue throughout summer 2017.

The 115th Ave and Union Hills Drive project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, to construct two miles of drainage improvement designed to intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River, decreasing flood hazards to communities in the project area. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018.

Current activities on the project include placing concrete in the channel on the south side of Bell Road.

The project team is mindful of the communities in the area and is committed to minimizing inconvenience to residents and business during construction activity.

For questions or concerns, call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

City Offices Closed for Memorial Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day all week. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

If you have any questions, please contact City of Surprise Public Works at 623.222.1900.


Contact Me

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

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May 11, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May inviting all faiths to pray for our nation and elected officials. Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Member Raymond Grim hosted a morning event May 4 in honor of National Day of Prayer on the front lawn of our public safety building. The event included pastors, business leaders, residents and elected officials.

Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted the Taste of Surprise Celebration Dinner on Tuesday, May 9 at City Hall, to recognize those involved with the very successful Taste of Surprise Charity Event, held on April 8 at Surprise Stadium. This was the first year the event was held at this location, and it turned out to be even more successful than originally anticipated. The restaurant line-up was very impressive, and the entertainment was equally as good! Proceeds from the event benefitted five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, the Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

The dinner was an opportunity to thank the vendors, restaurants, sponsors and the city for their support. During Tuesday’s dinner, the aforementioned non-profits were each given a check in the amount of $8,000. Congratulations to the Rotary for a fruitful event!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Seeks Public Input on Libraries

How can we improve or transform the libraries in the city of Surprise? Share your thoughts at a public meeting and through our online survey. The city currently has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library and Hollyhock Library. The city hired Orcutt Winslow, an architecture and planning firm, to conduct a library feasibility study that will help guide future library operations, library renovation projects and potential new libraries.

Resident input is key to the process. Please join us for a community meeting on Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m., in the Surprise Community Room of the Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N Bullard Avenue.

Residents are also encouraged to take an online survey available at www.surpriseaz.gov/librarysurvey.

The results of the study will be completed in August and will be presented at a City Council meeting late August or early September. For questions or more information, call the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Anniversary Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will be hosting a One Year Anniversary Open House on Thursday, May 18 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The Open House will take place at the Surprise Resource Center which is located at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124.

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Classes

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes this summer. CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

A morning and afternoon class will be held on each of the following dates:

  • June 7
  • July 19
  • August 1

The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.


Did You Know?

City Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (JSAC) – 1 vacancy
Board of Trustees – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

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

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March 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

At the Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting on March 9, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented on staffing for the upcoming fiscal year – explaining the need for additional staff and the potential financial impact. The committee provided feedback for the CFO to consider.

West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

West Valley Arts Council celebrated their 35 year anniversary at Arts HQ on March 9. The event featured live music, food and art. I attended, along with Vice Mayor Tande and Council Members Winters and Remley. Following the reception, guests were invited to enjoy the “Neu Art Exhibit” at Surprise City Hall. The exhibit is on display through April 20. Stop by the first floor of City Hall to check it out!

“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel

The Kyle Center for Water Policy hosted a panel of speakers on March 10 who addressed the future of desalination by sharing their experience with and knowledge of the process, as well as the associated costs. Desalination is the process of removing salt from saltwater. Desalinated water is produced by either using seawater or brackish water (water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater). Shawn Bradford with Epcor talked about how the desalination plants in Goodyear deal with brackish water; Chuck Collum with Central Arizona Project spoke about next steps for dealing with brackish water throughout Arizona and gave insight into how North San Diego County is using desalination plants to supply 8 percent of that county’s water; Bob Lotts with APS spoke about his work on the Governor’s appointed Water Augmentation Council, which includes desalination; and Sharon Magdel, Ph.D., Director of University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, shared what Israel is doing with desalination, as they possess leading technology in this field.

Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting

I am a member of the Veteran Success Project Advisory Board. The Veterans Success Project is a program spearheaded by the Maricopa Community College District that is designed to provide support to military personnel, veterans and their families as they move from active duty to civilian life. I attended a meeting on March 15 where the board discussed the kickoff of a pilot program at Luke Air Force Base that will help those transitioning out of the air force find employment. We also discussed an outreach program for both active duty military and veterans. The program would involve a self-assessment that would help to identify the person’s current needs and their goals so the program can support their next steps. Lastly, we talked about the opening date for the new Veterans Resource Center – which will occupy the former Visitor’s Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center would provide various social services for veterans, with employment assistance being a major component. The center will open in the near future, but the exact date has not yet been determined.


Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes, Mar. 22 & 29

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 are two public meetings remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

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 Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22

Spend a morning discovering various art exhibits and experiences in the city of Surprise! On March 22, the Surprise Arts and 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, including the Joe Tyler Learning Tree!

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise, and will end at the same location at noon. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Reservations can be made by calling Benevilla 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, which includes a meal, soft drink, tip and tax. Please note if you would like the optional lunch when you reserve your spot for the bus tour. Payment is due at the time of reservation.

Community Pride Day, April 8

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.


Did You Know?

Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

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

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Municipal Property Corporation Board – 1 vacancy

All board/commission positions are voluntary.

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are immediately available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

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

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20

The city of Surprise 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, service projects, 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, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

Applications are being accepted now – 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 Mike Cassidy by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with cityofsurpriseyouth@gmail.com.

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

For questions or more information, please contact Mike Cassidy at 623.222.1033 or mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey is open! Help bring in new shopping & dining; vote for local favorites

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey!

We want to know how we can make our city a one-stop shopping and dining destination, and we’ll be giving away $20 Visa gift cards to five randomly-selected survey-takers just for offering their thoughts!

The survey will help the city to identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

In the 2015 Surprise Retail Survey, we asked what restaurants and retailers you wanted us to target, and two of your top ten picks have already opened in Surprise – Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Texas Roadhouse! We are still actively engaging with others on the list, and hope to see more of your favorites open up shop in Surprise.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The survey runs through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.


Contact Me

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

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February 2, 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 this month.

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

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving is anticipated for completion on Grand Avenue by the end of this week.
  • Grand Avenue ramps to and from Bell Road are anticipated to open, weather permitting, by February 16.
  • Painting, landscaping and sidewalk work is ongoing.

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

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Traffic Pattern Update

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 northwest on 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 (by Carl’s Jr.) 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.


Events & Meetings

Citizen Outreach Meeting

Staff hosted a Citizen Outreach meeting on January 26 regarding a proposed amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development which would allow MexMetro to develop a residential community on approximately 10.8 acres at the northeast corner of Reems and Waddell roads. There were residents in attendance who voiced their concerns and discontent over the proposed change.

Citizen Outreach Meeting

Bullard Avenue Task Force Meeting

With a state engineer on board, design work is underway on the transformation of Bullard Avenue, between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue, city staff informed the Bullard Avenue Task Force, on Thursday, January 26.

Per task force recommendation, this stretch of Bullard Avenue will be restored to two travel lanes in each direction, while maintaining the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit. Traffic signals will also be added at the Acoma and Sweetwater intersections, to complement existing crosswalks.

With five schools located in the area and more than 600 students crossing Bullard during the school year, the city secured $1.7 million in federal grant money, including a $500,000 city match, for a total of $2.2 million to fund safety improvements. As a federally-funded project, it must be administered through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Bike lanes and cycle tracks (safety buffers), along with landscaping are included in the project.

Design and drainage plan drafts and an environmental assessment are expected to be completed this summer. Final reports are scheduled for completion this fall. The project bid is expected to be advertised in early 2018, with construction planned for May 2018 – October 2018. The previously announced tentative construction start date of late 2017 was pushed back to allow for the selection of a project engineer and for securing additional grant money to cover the costs of installing a landscaped median.

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

AdvancED Community Leader Meeting

The AdvancED team asked to meet with me and seven key community representatives to receive input regarding Dysart’s continuous improvement efforts and provide insight about the quality of Dysart’s educational program. AdvancED is the non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site reviews of schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. The AdvancED team presented their findings and recommendation for accreditation at a special Governing Board meeting on February 1.

AdvancED Focus Group Meeting

Following the Community Leader meeting, we met at the Canyon Ridge Elementary School campus to further speak to the AdvancED certification team about the great happenings with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). An eclectic group of professionals were part of the focus group as well as representatives from Northern Arizona University who named Canyon Ridge one of the top STEM schools in Arizona.


Mark Your Calendar

City Begins FY18 Budget Discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2018 budget-building process begins at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 7. This is the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. This presentation will give a general overview of the city’s budget and review the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis will be placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2018 budget. The presentation will also discuss outside issues that will influence the outcomes of the budget process.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/ at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Lunchtime Theatre Series

The City of Surprise and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theatre Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are excited to offer another performance, “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends”. The performance will be held on February 9, 2017. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

Veteran Resource Navigator Training

The City has partnered with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) to bring their Veteran Resource Navigator training to Surprise on February 9. The desired outcome will be greater awareness of veteran resources so we can connect service members, veterans and their families with the right resource at the right time. Choose from either a morning or afternoon session. The sessions are 9 a.m. – noon or 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The training is free and open to the public. If you or anyone you know would like to attend, please have them send a RSVP e-mail to Deb Perry at Deborah.Perry@surpriseaz.gov.

Free Career Success Workshop for Women

The city is hosting a career success workshop for women who are looking for tips on finding a job or advancing their career.

The workshop, taught by expert Lisa Blue, will cover the following topics:

  • Interview do’s and don’ts
  • How to improve your resume
  • How to identify and overcome challenges
  • How to align yourself with your passion

The workshop will be held Thursday, February 23 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124.

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.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.


Did You Know?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise MPC Bonds to A+

Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) bonds to ‘A+’ from ‘A’. These bonds, which total $35.7 million, were issued for the South Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, which doubled citywide treatment capacity to nearly 18 million gallons per day (mgd). Fitch believes this is ample capacity to meet future growth needs. In 2016, the plant treated an average of 8.4 mgd.

In determining the upgrade, Fitch credits affordable system user fees, which “register just 0.4% of median household income (MHI).” Fitch maintains a 1% MHI affordability threshold.

Wastewater system user fees were last increased in Fiscal Year 2010 and management does not foresee any wastewater rate adjustments for the next five years. Net revenues are expected to continue to support debt service on the series 2007 bonds.

Fitch also championed prudent financial management in which the city pays an annual prepayment principle in lieu of waiting for the large bullet payments that are due in fiscal years 2022 and 2032. 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.

The agency also issued a rating outlook of Stable.


Contact Me

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

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November 17, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

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

Grand Avenue:

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

Bell Road:

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

134th Avenue:

  • Open to traffic

ADOT Phase 3C Detour Handout

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

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

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


City Council Meeting

Magnolia Annexation Public Hearing

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

FS-16-427 Magnolia annexation map

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

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

Associate Judge Appointment

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

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

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


Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Veterans Day Concert

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

WESTMARC Best of the West Awards

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

HSCV staff accepting award

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

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

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

City of Surprise 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade

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

Kids Count Career & Education Fair

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


Mark Your Calendar

Pre-Bell Road Reopening Event

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

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

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

KC Royals and Texas Rangers Announce Spring Training Schedule

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

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

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

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

** 2017 World Baseball Classic preparatory games – Team Venezuela

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Launches Virtual Tour of City’s Public Art

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

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


Happy Thanksgiving

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

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


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 10, 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.

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.


Events & Meetings

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

West Valley Arts Council hosted a block party at their office located on the City Hall campus, on Friday, November 4. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event. Attendees experienced the creation of art, enjoyed live music, food from a variety of local food trucks and much more. The event was free and sponsored by the Surprise Community Outreach Program.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee met on Monday, November 7 to interview candidates for the Valley Metro internal auditor position.  A recommendation by the Committee was made for an offer to be extended.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting on Monday, November 7. Items discussed included the painting of a third bench at Dreamcatcher Park, an update on the mini baseball bat decorating contest for FY17, a recap of the Surprise Fiesta Grande event that was held on October 15 and discussion of participation in a Black History Month project.

Dysart Heartbeat Hero Recognition

The Dysart Unified School District recognizes a variety of different people each year for their positive contributions to the District. I am honored and humbled to be selected as a Dysart Heartbeat Hero Award winner for October for Canyon Ridge Elementary School in the Rachel’s Challenge Initiative. Thank you, Dysart, for the recognition!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Veterans Day Parade

Join us in honoring our service men and women at the City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and Pancake Breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by Nick’s Diner, will be held 7-9 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 80 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park, located at 15953 N Bullard Ave. Please note, in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil way will be closed at 9 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m. For more information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

Bell Road Reopening Event

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

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

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


Did You Know?

Surprise Voters Reject General Obligation Bond

Surprise voters rejected a $63 million General Obligation bond initiative in the November 8th General Election that would have funded nine capital improvement projects over the next five years. The bond initiative was rejected by 52% of the voters (19,342 votes). 48% (17,855) voted in favor of the bond.

The projects that were included in the bond initiative were:

Fire Station 308- Design & build a permanent 10K square foot Community Fire Station at the corner of Cactus and Litchfield Roads.

Permanent Fire Station 304- Design & build a permanent 15K square foot Community Fire Station at 163rd Ave and Happy Valley Rd to replace the current temporary, modular facility.

Police Property & Evidence Facility- Design and construct a larger facility, which would include expanded storage, new walk-in refrigerators/freezers to assure preservation of biological evidence. Includes additional outdoor secured evidence storage.

Land for Police Substation/Fire Station/Park- Acquire 16 acres of land for future location of shared Police Substation/Fire Station & a local park in city’s growing southwest portion.

Public Works Operations Facility- Design and construct a new facility to house the Solid Waste, Street Maintenance, Traffic Signal Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance operations of Public Works in a centralized location. Centralization will result in two vacated buildings that will be used to serve Police and Fire-Medical needs.

Greenway Rd Improvement- This project will finish the south half of Greenway Rd from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303. Improvements will include two additional travel lanes, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, street lighting, landscaping and turn lanes.

Litchfield Rd Improvement- Improvements will provide two travel lanes each in north and south direction, drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lane, turn lanes, lighting and landscaping.

Regional Recreation Complex- The city would purchase 70 acres of land for a variety of lit ball fields and sports courts, playgrounds, ramadas, restrooms and reserved land for a future rec center/fieldhouse.

Aquatic Center Expansion- Regional aquatic facility with an 8-¬lane 50 meter pool, diving area, shaded bleachers for up to 1200 spectators, concessions and more.

If approved the bond would have authorized the city to levy a secondary property tax to repay the bond debt used to finance the projects. That amount was estimated at $0.4642 per $100 of Assessed Limited Property Value. The city currently does not have a secondary property tax dedicated to the repayment of debt.

The results are unofficial, with the County having a maximum of 15 days to canvass the votes after the election.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

October 13, 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.

Work continues as follows:

  • Installation of new median on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
  • Installation of sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

**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.


Events & Meetings

West-MEC Northwest Campus Groundbreaking

The Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) hosted a groundbreaking for their Northwest Campus located on Grand Avenue and Dysart Road on Thursday, October 6. West-MEC was created to help students find a faster way forward in life through career and technical education. West-MEC serves over 29,000 students within their 46 member district high schools. The graduation rate for students who complete a CTE program was 98% compared to 76% for all students in Arizona.

The Surprise campus will feature adaptable learning environments, global academic collisions, storm water movement, high efficient building systems, diverse programs and a reduction of the carbon footprint. Anticipated programs include cosmetology, IT security, law, public safety and security, medical assisting and additional health, physical therapy technician, automotive and industrial trades.

Project Appreciation

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I donated pizzas to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction team on Thursday, October 6 to show our gratitude for their continued hard work as they work diligently to complete the bridge construction so Bell Road can re-open on the anticipated target date of November 22, 2016.

Councilmembers Hall and Villanueva handing out pizza to Bell and Grand construction workers

Kingswood Place – City Update

City staff and I attended a meeting at Kingswood Place, a senior living community in Surprise, to provide a city update which included a summary of the Surprise Forward campaign and an economic development update. Thank you to the staff who attended!

Benevilla Retirement Celebration

Benevilla hosted a retirement celebration for Michelle Dionisio on Thursday, October 6 at Birt’s Bistro. Many business and community leaders from throughout the Valley attended the event including Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and me. For more than 25 years, President and CEO Michelle Dionisio has served Benevilla and built it into the multigenerational non-profit organization it is today. She is a well-respected leader who has left an indelible mark not only in our city and the valley, but in our state.

Bell Road-Grand Avenue Business Outreach Meeting

City staff and representation from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted their monthly outreach meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, October 11. Economic Development provided an update on the Bell/Grand community outreach and education initiative. An employment workshop will be held on Monday, October 31 at the Communiversity followed by an employer workshop on Tuesday, November 1 and a career fair on November 2. More information will soon follow.

The Business Education Series will continue. The next event will be held on October 25 at the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. The topic is “How to grow your business by ensuring your customers are getting the right message.”

ADOT gave an update on the Phase 3C map and project activities. Currently, the project team is putting up street lights on the bride; paving activities on the ramps and bridge center will start this month and continue thru early November.

An overnight closure of Grand Ave between Dysart and Litchfield roads is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November (Friday 11/4 & Saturday 11/5) to place fencing and paint the bridge. Specific dates and activities will be sent in the ADOT project weekly update that precedes the closure.

When Bell Rd reopens on November 22, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017.

The designated detour route that reflects the opening of Bell Rd has been drafted and is under final review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Rd however drivers will need to use Bell-Reems/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

The Business Stakeholder Meeting in November will be postponed to Tuesday, December 13 due to the November 8 Election Day.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration – This Weekend

The Surprise Fiesta Grande is here! The festivities are scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3 pm until 9 pm on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Admission and parking are free.

Fiesta Grande parking map

The line-up is as follows:

  • 3 -3:15 p.m. – DJ/Opening Welcome
  • 3:15-4 p.m. – Mariachi Los Caballeros
  • 4:15-5 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico – Fiesta Mexicana Dance
  • 5:15-6 p.m. – Mariachi Rubor
  • 6:15-7 p.m. – Grupo Caribe
  • 7:15-8 p.m. – Banada La Llegadora
  • 8:15-9 p.m. – Powerdrive

We hope to see you there!

Surprise Veteran Job Club Meeting

The Surprise Veteran Job Club will host their next meeting on October 20 from 6 until 7:30 pm at the Surprise Resource Center located at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to provide veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to pursue a new career or obtain a job.


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Explorer Wins Top Honors

Earlier this month, the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 competed in the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition which was held in Marana, Arizona. The post participated in over 15 different events which included: traffic stops, bus assaults, white collar crime investigations, officer down rescue, tactical tracking operations, and an active shooter scenario. They competed against posts from all across Arizona and California.

Explorer Post #2236 represented the Surprise Police Department and City of Surprise exceptionally well. The Explorer Post brought home seven trophies and one medal. The trophies/medal they received were:

  • 3rd place in the team obstacle course (Medal)
  • 2nd place in the use of force scenario
  • 2nd place in white collar crime investigations
  • 1st place in report writing and courtroom testimony
  • 1st place in traffic stops
  • 1st place in bus assaults
  • 1st place overall
  • The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Explorer Competition Cup for the overall best team at the competition

For more information about the Surprise Police Department Explorer Post #2236 please visit: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/1101/Explorers-Program.

Explorer Post #2236 winners represented the Surprise Police Department
Pictured from left to right: Explorer Peter Phillips, Explorer Davis Wright, Explorer Cesar Chavez, Officer Nate Miller (background), Explorer Mycala Anderson, Officer Jennifer Boothe (background), Explorer Breonna Colon, Explorer Gilber Chavez, Explorer Trey Williams, Explorer Clayton Bailey

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 15, 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:

  • 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.

Bell & Grand Business Stakeholders Outreach Meeting

The City and ADOT hosted a monthly Business Stakeholders Outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended along with staff and business representatives. Economic Development provided on update on outreach and education initiatives and ADOT provided a project update.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart introduced Phase 3C (see map below) of the project where Bell Rd reopens; a specific target date will be presented at the September 20 City Council meeting. The goal is to open all three lanes of Bell Rd in late November.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide

Due to continued work on tie-ins, there may be occasional curb lane restrictions and overnight work on Bell Rd after the reopening. The project team will work hard to ensure that at least two lanes in each direction remain open on Bell Rd during daytime work.

When Bell Rd reopens, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge and vice versa. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017. A signal at the intersection of 134th Ave and Bell Rd will be up and operational.

Reconfiguration of the designated detour route to reflect the opening of Bell Road is under review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Road, however drivers will still need to use Bell-Litchfield/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

Now that deck pours have been completed on the BNSF bridge, ADOT does not anticipate any major Grand Ave closures until mid-October.

ShopSurprise has sent 171,000 messages to date and more than 25 businesses have participated. There has been 3,100 opt-in and 35 email subscribers as well. The Economic Development department plans to develop a direct marketing campaign to draw Sun City consumers back to Surprise. The department recently won the Gold Prospector Award, Multi-media Production at the Arizona Association of Economic Developers for their efforts on the ShopSurprise campaign. Congratulations to our amazing team!

The city hosted a job fair in August with 13 employers present. Approximately 100 job seekers also took advantage of the fair. Another employment workshop is being planned for late October. Additionally, another career fair and business information session will occur in November. More details will soon follow!


Events & Meetings

AZ STEM School Community of Practice Meeting

As part of the team representing our local STEM school, Canyon Ridge, Dr. Shelley Isai and I joined staff from Canyon Ridge and several other representatives from STEM schools at Grand Canyon University on September 8. Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Don Covey and Provost for Grand Canyon University Dr. Hank Radda joined us. Breakout topics included discussions on barriers, solutions and commitments schools are facing. Opportunities to meet with representatives from any of the 44 STEM schools participating were available to those who took part in the meeting.

Grand Opening of Benevilla’s Helping Partners Program

The Helping Partners Program, run by local nonprofit Benevilla, has moved into a space at City Hall. To welcome the program, a grand opening ceremony took place on Monday, September 12, followed by a tour of the office space. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I joined city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

The Helping Partners Life Enrichment Program was designed for adults with intellectual or development challenges. The program provides volunteer and employment opportunities that enable members to contribute in their respective communities.

Councilmembers Hall, Villanueva, Winters & Tande with city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Agenda items included an update on sports tourism and future baseball tournaments and a discussion pertaining to the Western Heritage Trail Society. Western Heritage Trail Society is an association striving to develop, promote and showcase events, programs and destinations truly unique to our beautiful State.

Annual Fiscal Year Water Resource Management Meeting

On Wednesday, September 14, the Water Resource Management Department held its Annual New Fiscal Year (FY) Kick-off All Hands Lunch for staff. The intent of the lunch is to give staff an opportunity to reflect on FY16 accomplishments through presentations made by division managers that recognize outstanding performers and provide staff with a look at what the department will be doing in FY17. Director Terry Lowe thanked everyone for coming and reminded his staff about the keys to a successful business: People… Processes… Product. This philosophy has led to the completion of the new Gateway Training Center and the successful coordination and teamwork in the commencement and completion of nearly a dozen other major projects. The training center, which will have its Grand Opening on October 26, is the place where staff will broaden its knowledge and understanding of their careers and assist the department in better serving the community. The department’s division managers: Lee Lambert, Water; Warren Dancer, Wastewater; Christine Nunez, Environmental Compliance; Paul Mohr, Business Process; and Fred Stevens, Resource Portfolio, each gave those in attendance a little deeper look into the work they do, their teams, and their initiatives for next year.


Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

Movie Night will be held at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, September 17 featuring “Hotel Transylvania 2” (Rated PG). The event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan in Surprise, and admission is free!

Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Bring your blankets and pillows and stretch out on the grass at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect. Concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For more information, please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

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.


Did You Know?

Veteran’s Day Art Show

Are you a veteran with artistic talent? The city is seeking veteran-produced artwork for inclusion in an art show display during its Veterans Day Celebration on November 11. Professional and amateur artists are invited to display at this event. Paintings, photography, sculpture, illustrations or any other medium is welcome; there is no charge to participate. Interested artists should contact Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair, Susan deJong, at 623.214.7537 or sandbapple@msn.com.

The artwork will be on display from 8-11 a.m. in front of Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. In addition to the art show, the city’s Veterans Day celebration includes a parade that will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near Surprise Stadium. Both the art show and parade are free to attend.

For $4, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the stadium before the parade from 7-9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Community and Recreation Services Office, located at the stadium.

Learn more about the Veterans Day Celebration at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Contact Me

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

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August 11, 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. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Work Monday through Saturday includes:

  • Grand Avenue FULL CLOSURE from 10 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 12) to 5 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 13) to pour the concrete for the bridge deck. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.
  • Continue to build the bridge deck over Grand Avenue.

Bell & Grand Project week 28 progress images

** 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.

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Meeting

I joined City staff and business representatives at the Bell-Grand Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, August 9. Economic Development provided an outreach update on the ShopSurprise text campaign initiative. The ShopSurprise number has officially been changed to 85100. To date, more than 125,000 actual messages have been sent making the ShopSurprise campaign Dex Media’s most successful text outreach campaign in the United States! The initiative to expand the campaign to the Sun City and Sun City West communities will begin in a couple of weeks.

A career workshop is scheduled for Friday, August 12 from 9 am until 12 noon at the Communiversity, followed by a job fair on Tuesday, August 16 from 9 am until 12 noon at the Communiversity. Further details can be found below. Businesses are encouraged to contact our Economic Development Department to reserve table space.

ADOT provided an update on the status of the bridge project. Mechanically stabilized earthen wall panels with agave patterns are being placed and the fill material that will become the ramps to the bridge is being hauled to the site. The team is also constructing the 134th Ave cul-de-sac and will begin to pour bridge decks later this month.

The businesses were reminded that Grand Ave will be closed between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 10 p.m. on Friday, August 12 to 5 a.m. on Saturday, August 13. Electronic message boards have been placed along Grand Ave informing drivers of the closure and the designated detour route. Off duty officers will assist with patrolling the detour during the overnight closure.

The driveways adjacent to Chick-fil-A and Vitamin Shoppe will be closed beginning 10 p.m., Saturday, August 13 to 5 a.m. on Friday, August 19 for the following activities on the roadway: demolishment, drainage construction, utility relocation, grading and repaving. Business access will be maintained at the Bell Rd and West Point Pkwy intersection and Compass Bank.

Businesses in the area are being informed of the closures by the project outreach team.

ADOT will conduct a field visit to review lane configurations and current access points for businesses located on the south side of Bell Rd at 134th Ave that are concerned about the left turn movements into their businesses.


Events & Meetings

Council Conversation

With Veteran’s Day only three months away, I taped a new Council Conversation last week that focuses on Veteran’s initiatives from a local and regional level as well as our 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade. My guests include Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado, Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson, Veterans Tim Suan and Alfredo Reyes as well as Steve Yamamori, Vice President of Veterans Initiatives with Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation.

Skip Hall Council Conversations Show

The taping is now live on Surprise TV and available online. View the episode

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise met on Tuesday, August 4 and focused on the planning of the Taste of Surprise. This event will take place on April 8 at Surprise Stadium. Keep an eye out for more information!

SunWest Federal Credit Union

SunWest Federal Credit Union hosted a ribbon cutting for their 8th branch, first branch in Surprise, on Friday, August 5. Council Members Roland Winters and Todd Tande were also present to welcome them to Surprise. SunWest is open for business at 14865 W. Bell Road.

Surprise Honda

Surprise Honda is coming to town! I met with General Manager Leon Lee to discuss the dealership. Surprise Honda will be located in Prasada, the dealership will have a soft opening for the public on August 22. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission

The Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, August 9. Items discussed included an update on sports tourism including state, regional and national tournaments; a presentation regarding the 2016 Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival and the status of the Designated Marketing Organization (DMO) application for the City with the Arizona Office of Tourism.


Mark Your Calendar

Primary Election

The Primary Election is this month! With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation so please make sure you vote! Independent voters – you will not automatically be mailed a ballot as the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well. For more information, please take time to review our fact sheet.

The City Clerk’s Office is open for early voting through Friday, August 26 (8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday). Anyone registered in Maricopa County can visit the Clerk’s office to vote early. We are one of only 21 satellite sites in Maricopa County for early voting!

Polling Locations on Election Day Only in Surprise – The County has set up 18 sites throughout the City of Surprise (mandated by State Law for Jurisdictional elections). Voters should have received a notice of which polling location to utilize. You can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department (602-506-1511) to find out which polling location to visit or you may call the City Clerk’s Office (623-222-1200). Please do not rely on the location for your last voting issue, as the locations may have changed.

Election Day Only – Tuesday, August 30th – City Hall will be a polling location for the voters who would have previously gone to the Library on Bullard. However, City Hall polling location will have a ballot drop off box for those voters needing to drop off their ballots.

All polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on this date only. Proper voting signs will be up for the entire period of early voting and Election Day.


Did You Know?

Surprise Youth Foundation

Earlier this year and after almost two years of planning, the City discovered that a Boys and Girls Club in Surprise was not feasible in the immediate future. Hence, the Surprise Youth Foundation (SYF) was formed by a group of concerned and passionate business leaders and residents. Since forming this summer, the Foundation kicked off its first event in partnership with Walmart located at Grand Avenue. SYF choose to help WestPoint Elementary School in the “Fill the Bus” campaign on Saturday, July 23.

“Fill the Bus” campaign

During the event, Walmart and SYF received 18 carts full of generously donated school supplies and pallets of products from Coke and Pepsi. It’s truly a wonderful thing when the community comes together for the betterment of our youth and other community members! I was proud to be part of the event, and as a Councilmember and resident of Surprise, I am so grateful and inspired by the volunteers who helped and the residents who donated. Thank you! In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Veterans Day Parade Participants Wanted!

The city of Surprise is looking for patriotic-themed parade entries for the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade, which will be held on Friday, November 11. The parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near the Surprise Recreation Campus.

The city is seeking clubs, organizations, groups or residents who would like to participate in the parade. There is no fee to participate. Interested parties may obtain an entry form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Community & Recreation Services Offices located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave.

Come show your patriotic spirit by becoming a parade entry! For more information, contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 28.

Surprise Job Fair

The City of Surprise and Arizona @ Work Maricopa County are partnering this August to present both an employment workshop and career fair!

The workshop will be held on Friday, August 12 from 9 a.m. – Noon in the Community Room at City Hall, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Please stop in and get tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and more.

On Tuesday, August 16, join us for a career fair! Meet with more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities from 9 a.m. – 12 noon at the Communiversity@Surprise, located at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from City of Surprise Human Resources and Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

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

Ask a Question