Service Award winner Steve Somers

September 22, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

Work continues as follows:

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

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

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

City Council Work Session

Fighter Country Partnership Update

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

School Parking Discussion

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

City Council Meeting

Service Award

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

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

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

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

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

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide

Events & Meetings

Special City Council Meeting

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

West Valley Council Mixer

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

Achieve60AZ Movement

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

Achieve60AZ logo

Mark Your Calendar

Mental Health Advocacy Event

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

HOA Academy

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

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

Surprise Swap Meeting

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

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

Did You Know?

Surprise Dial-A-Ride Rate Reduction

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

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

For more information on the Dial-A-Ride program, please visit

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Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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