City Council Work Session
Recommendations to Honor the City’s Late CRS Director Mark Coronado
Last fall, City Council requested that a special task force convene to discuss opportunities to honor the late Mark A. Coronado. Mark passed away this past June, having led our Community and Recreation Services Department since 2000. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.
The task force hosted three public meetings and heard several suggestions made by the public and fellow task force members. At their last meeting held on January 9, the task force members narrowed the list to three recommendations for City Council’s consideration. Their recommendation included the following:
- Rename 8-Acres Park “Mark Coronado Park” and include a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate (approximate cost $1,100)
- Place honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue (Bell to Greenway Roads) to read “Mark Coronado Way.” The official street name would remain Bullard Avenue, and have no impact on physical addresses (8 signs at an approximate cost of $300 total)
- Brand the Mark Coronado Legacy Seat at Surprise Stadium by changing the color of the seat that Mr. Coronado purchased every Spring Training Season and add a logo identifying it as such (approximate cost is $1,000).
City Council may vote on one or a combination of all the suggestions at a future meeting.
Surprise-Canada Cross-Border Healthcare Update
As part of Tuesday’s Surprise City Council Work Session discussion on the Surprise-Canada Cross Border Healthcare Initiative, highlights of a new feasibility study were presented, and The Right Honorable John N. Turner, 17th Prime Minister of Canada, spoke to Council. The Report on the Feasibility of Cross-Border Healthcare for Canadians in Surprise, Arizona is a result of research, discussions and an online survey of Canadian citizens, which received 657 responses.
- Arizona remains a popular travel destination for Canadians across Canada, and estimates indicate the healthcare market potential will increase
- The existing Arizona healthcare market for Canadians seeking care in the State represents 17,500 patients and $42 million (USD) annually without any proactive medical travel marketing
- Surprise provides an optimally hospitable environment to support this pilot project as a willing host, offering: a significant concentration of Canadian part-time residents and visitors; outstanding proximity to regional healthcare centers of excellence; a dedicated Canada-focused economic development strategy; solid growth projections; stability of climate and market accessibility; and a community emphasis on wellness, health, education and caring
- The current cohort of mostly Western Canadian, extended-stay visitors to Arizona who responded to the City of Surprise survey are already receiving healthcare outside of Canada, and making it easier to access Canadian healthcare in Arizona and receive reimbursement from their respective Provinces would be of interest to them by a factor of 97% approval.
You can find the full feasibility study and background on the healthcare initiative at www.surpriseaz.gov/crossborderhealthcare.
Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Presentation
The City of Surprise FY19 budget-building process has officially begun. Finance staff provided a first in a series of presentations. This first presentation was a general overview of the City’s budget, which included revenue sources, city funds and expenditures, as well as a review of the calendar for the upcoming fiscal year 2019 budget development. Emphasis was placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2019 budget and known pressures, which include PSPRS (Public Safety retirement) and cost increases that will influence the outcome of the budget process.
Future City 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. The Recommended Budget is schedule for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY19 budget in June. FY19 will begin July 1, 2018.
City Council Meeting
District 2 Council Vacancy
City Council voted 4-2 to appoint Nancy Hayden to serve as the councilmember for District 2 (D2) on Tuesday evening. The seat was vacated following the death of Councilmember Jim Hayden this past December. Ms. Hayden immediately took the Oath of Office and joined the council for the remainder of the meeting. In all, six applicants were interviewed by the council in a January 23rd Special Meeting. You can watch the applicant interviews here.
Nancy Hayden has lived in Sun City Grand for 15 years and is the wife of the late Councilmember Jim Hayden. She cited wanting to develop a strong relationship between the city and residents and be part of the community’s development among her reasons for wanting to serve. You can read the complete candidate applications here, listed in order in which they were received by the City Clerk.
Councilmember Hayden’s appointment term will end December 31, 2018. The candidate that wins the August 28 Primary Election will then serve out the remaining two years of the four-year term, beginning January 1, 2019. D2 includes the following neighborhoods: Sun City Grand, Bell West Ranch, Park Rowe and a significant portion of Arizona Traditions. For more information about the August election visit www.surpriseaz.gov/2018election.
Appointment of New Members to Boards & Commissions
Residents Krista Watson and Connie Bowers were unanimously appointed to fill vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission and Audit Committee, respectively. Thank you to the both of them for utilizing their talent and knowledge to serve our city!
Austin Ranch East Preliminary PLAT
Austin Ranch continues to grow with the approval of a 707-lot Preliminary Plat located on the southwest corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and 175th Avenue in the northern part of the city, west of Grand Avenue. The Preliminary Plat, referred to as “Austin Ranch East” will consist of seven parcels containing 707 residential lots ranging in width from 48 feet to 58 feet with a central 3.98 acre active recreation park served by numerous trails throughout the community.
Sign Code Ordinance
At a public hearing held on January 18th, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a draft sign code to the City Council. The City Council heard the matter at a separate public hearing held during our last City Council meeting. After much discussion, Council asked staff to bring the matter back to the Council for further consideration and discussion at our City Council meeting on March 6. I expressed my concern for a proposal to completely ban A-frame signs, as there are businesses that truly need A-frame signage to attract customers, due to the lack of visibility at their locations. If you have any questions regarding the proposed sign code, don’t hesitate to call Planner Robert Kuhfuss at 623-222-3137.
Events & Meetings
West Valley Arts Council Opening Reception
The West Valley Arts Council hosted an opening reception, Vision & Sound: An African American Experience on Thursday, February 1. The exhibit will be on display until March 16. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am until 5 pm and Friday from 10 am until 2 pm.
This particular exhibit celebrates Black History Month with eclectic artists from New York, Maryland and Arizona. The West Valley Arts HQ is located at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting
The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission meeting was held on Monday, February 5. Items of discussion included the first review of the Arts Master Plan.
Mark Your Calendar
Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival
The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, presents Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival on February 11 with live music performed by The Steven P Project. I hope you can join us from Noon – 4 p.m. at 8-Acres Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.
Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. You can choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery.
This is a great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and unique food trucks that the whole family will love! Don’t forget a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs must be on leashes. For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.
Did You Know?
Surprise Resource Center Expands Services
The Surprise Resource Center has partnered with local agencies to provide Arizona residents with more social service options in the Northwest Valley! The Resource Center, in partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank – The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), now distributes emergency food boxes to help eligible low-income individuals and households supplement their nutritional needs. Food boxes are available weekly, Mondays and Thursdays, between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.
Appointments are not required; however, recipients must show valid identification and meet self-declared income status eligibility requirements. Eligible recipients are permitted one food box per individual, or household, per month.
Medicare and Medicaid support counseling provided by a certified SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) counselor is also now available with many thanks to a partnership with the Area Agency on Aging. A certified SHIP counselor will be at the Center each week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., to answer Medicare and Medicaid questions. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 623.866.4214.
Do you need to connect with additional social services? Programs currently available at the Resource Center include Veteran Employment Assistance, the Community Action Program (CAP), WIC services, Arizona@Work employment assistance, and much more. The Surprise Resource Center hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon; the Center is closed on city-observed holidays.
You can receive the latest information about the Surprise Resource Center, and other support programs, directly in your inbox by subscribing to the Human Service and Community Vitality Notify Me email list.
City Council Agendas
Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days prior to the scheduled meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Session are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. Additionally, all meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.