Events & Meetings
Community Meeting on Bullard Avenue
City staff hosted a public community meeting on the traffic changes along Bullard Avenue. At the start of the school year a few weeks ago, the City added three new crosswalks on Bullard Avenue to provide safe access for the students attending the five schools within that area. With the new crosswalks in place, the speed limit was reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph and a second lane for traffic in each direction was eliminated. A bike lane was also added, as was a golf cart lane to help provide a safety buffer between the traffic lane and bike lane.
Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts about the recent changes in an online survey which is linked off of the homepage at www.surpriseaz.gov. The survey closes on Sunday, August 30 at midnight. Survey results and possible solutions addressing the concerns will be presented to the City Council at the next regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 1 at 6 p.m. Staff will also share the feedback in a second public meeting on Tuesday, September 8 at Marley Park Elementary School, 15042 W. Sweetwater, at 6 p.m.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference
Last week, City Council attended the 2015 League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference in Tucson. This conference is always well attended by State legislators, elected officials and staff and provides us with networking opportunities that we may not ordinarily be given.
The League provides cities and towns with important services and tools while it focuses on representing the interests of the 91 incorporated cities and towns in Arizona before the legislature. They also provide members with legal and technical assistance.
Besides attending the Resolutions Committee meeting, I partook in sessions on: Forest Health and its impact in our State; how we can better help our veteran population; emergency preparedness; community based entrepreneurship; and water issues, including the crisis in California and how we can lessen the impact of drought in Arizona.
Veterans Mentoring and Entrepreneurship Seminar
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a free Veterans Mentoring/Entrepreneurship seminar at the Parkwood Assisted Living facility on Tuesday, August 25. The seminar began with a SCORE presentation on the ABC’s of starting a business, followed by a panel discussion by Veteran business owners who spoke about their personal experiences.
After the event, there were several mentors available to speak with Veterans covering numerous topics including legal, business coaching, insurance, accounting, advertising, operational logistics and social media.
WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee
I attended the WESTMARC Water & Energy Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 26. Mitch Haws, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Study Manager, gave a briefing on the WESTCAPS West Salt River Valley Basin Study. Mr. Haws discussed the laws and funding mechanisms supporting the study, the current status of the study – including four mandatory study elements, the purpose of the study and the study task team leaders. He talked about the Climate Change modeling and scenarios, the Recharge Screening Analysis, the Economic Analysis and the next steps. Two task team leaders gave briefs on their team tasks, Christine Nuñez, City of Surprise Environmental Manager, presented on the supply portion of the study, and Jake Lenderking, EPCOR Water Resource Manager, on the demand portion of the study. Mr. Haws also gave an overview of the WESTCAPS organization, its members, study partners, study advisors and some of the organizations past key accomplishments.
Following Mr. Haws, Mr. Guy Carpenter of Carollo Engineers and also the National WateReuse Association’s Board of Director’s First Vice President, discussed Direct Potable Water Reuse also known as DPR. He talked about the current technologies, the pros and cons, the cost implications, the current water laws on the use of DPR, as well as the public’s negative perception and misconceptions about DPR. Mr. Carpenter gave a synopsis on the WateReuse Research Foundation report on Examining the Criteria for Direct Potable Water Reuse that included removal of viruses, bacteria and protozoa in water being a priority over the public concern of endocrine disruptors. Also, Mr. Carpenter gave the group an overview of the Big Spring DPR facility in Texas which is currently the only DPR in operation in the nation.
Sierra Verde Community Meeting
Police Chief Terry Young and I attended the Sierra Verde Community meeting on Wednesday, August 26. The meeting was very productive. Officer Tim Klarkowski discussed crime statistics stating there has been a 4 ½ percent decrease in crime within the HOA. Based on discussions, police will be enforcing the area monitoring for speed.
Councilman Jim Biundo and I took a tour of the AZ Techcelerator with Julie Neal, Economic Development Coordinator. Earlier this year, the City Council approved funds to be utilized towards improvements for the space. The work should be completed by early October.
Mark Your Calendar
Surprise Senior Idol
The 10th Annual Surprise Senior Idol Show and Contest will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at 1 pm at Valley Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place. The contest is open to non-professional entertainers, 50 years of age or older. Past winners are not eligible for competition but are allowed to participate in the show. Performances are limited to three minutes. Prizes will be awarded.
Contestant registration forms can be acquired at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, or by sending an email to email@example.com. All forms are due no later than Friday, September 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 1.
Did You Know?
Arizona Charter Academy Recognition
Please join me in congratulating Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) as they’ve just been named one of Arizona’s top companies to work for. This is the second year that ACA has won the award.
The City would like to thank the residents and staff members who participated in its Back to School Supply Drive! Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we were able to donate an estimated $1,500 worth of school supplies to several local elementary schools.