The Ottawa University Arizona ground breaking on the O’Dell Center for Athletics

February 22, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

HURF and Utility Fund Overview Summary

This presentation marked the second in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY2019 Budget. This presentation focused on the operations of the Water, Wastewater, Stormwater, and Solid Waste Enterprise Utilities as well as the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). It reviewed the purpose of each fund, FY2018 Budget vs Actuals through December 2017 and discussed key issues for each fund as well as an upcoming rate study planned during FY2019.

City of Surprise Transit Feasibility Study & Implementation Plan

Late last year, City staff requested the approval of City Council to proceed with a request for proposal for a Transit Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan to help ensure that the City sustains its high quality of life as we continue to grow. The City has since hired HDR to develop the study and plan which will supplement and, in other cases, supersede studies which have been conducted as part of the broader Northwest Valley and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) regional studies.

As part of the Transit Feasibility Study, the City is seeking public input to determine what forms of public transportation will be most successful in Surprise. The Transit Feasibility Study will look at demographics, socioeconomic characteristics of the city, and how people travel in the Surprise area. The goal is to understand how transit can best serve Surprise residents and visitors, including what type of service will be needed and where transit will be most successful.

Public participation is needed to determine current traveling habits and top travel destinations such as schools, medical facilities, shopping and other activity areas that could be served with public transportation. Residents are encouraged to visit to complete the online survey when it is published in March and to learn more about the Transit Feasibility Study, upcoming public meeting dates and more.

The study is anticipated to conclude later this year and provide recommendations and options that can be used to develop transit strategies that support short and long-term transportation needs.

Arts & Culture Master Plan Draft

In February 2017, the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Community Development Department hired a consultant to begin developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan. This team has conducted stakeholder meetings, participated in public outreach events, and conducted multiple surveys that evaluated the current conditions and identified the needs of the City. This development team has drafted strategies intended to bolster the community’s sense of place by expanding public art and promoting more cultural experiences.

The draft reflects ideas and opinions captured through public meetings, surveys and written comments. While the draft is plain text, the final copy will include graphics, samples, and visual aids. Both the master plan draft and an online comment form are available at

We are also hosting several public meetings where the draft will be presented and there will be an opportunity for discussion and Q&A:

  • Monday, Feb. 26 – 1 p.m. at Sierra Montana Rec Center, 14861 N Spring Ln
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – 6 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N Bullard Ave
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28 – 1 p.m. at Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Ave

Following these meetings, comments and suggestions will be compiled and presented to the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission at a special meeting, which is also open to the public. That meeting will be held:

  • Thursday, Mar. 1 – 4:30 p.m. at Surprise City Hall – Community Room 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

To learn more about the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan, please visit For questions or more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134 or

City Council Meeting

General Obligation Bond Project Update and Budget Amendment

The presentation discussed the timeline and bond process of the projects approved by voters in the November 7, 2017 Special Election, which includes six public safety projects, three traffic congestion mitigation projects, and pavement preservation. The Council took action to approve amending the budget by reallocating $5,058,800 from contingency in the grant fund to seven of the Special Bond Election projects in order to begin design in FY2018.

Honoring the Late CRS Director Mark Coronado

City Council unanimously agreed to recognize the late Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado’s service to Surprise in the following ways:

  • 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 road will remain Bullard Avenue for all other purposes. (8 signs at an approximate cost of $300 total)
  • Brand the Mark Coronado Legacy Seat at Surprise Stadium *Change the color of the seat that Coronado purchased every Spring Training Season and add a logo identifying it as such (approximate cost is $1,000)

The recommendations were presented by the Honoring An Exceptional Leader Task Force. The group was created by the Surprise City Council, on an ad-hoc basis, to identify ways to recognize great women and men who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit of the city. The Task Force was comprised of Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Ken Chapman; Community and Recreation Advisory Commission Chair Wayne Turner; Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong; Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier; City Attorney Robert Wingo and Public Works Director Mike Gent. The group is dismissed with this City Council action.

Mr. Coronado, who passed away in June 2017, led CRS beginning in 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. During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director.

Mark will be inducted into the Surprise Stadium Hall of Fame at a March 17 Spring Training game, and the other naming recognitions will be announced at that time.

FY2018 Financial Status Report Through November 2017

Staff reported that revenue is higher than expected through November 2017 in the General Fund. Local sales tax is trending upwards due to increased activity in many categories. Growth is trending upwards thus increasing the amount of revenue collected for development related growth (permitting, planning, inspections). There has also been a change in timing for intergovernmental revenue that has increased what we have received from the Arizona Department of Revenue when compared to budget. Uses through November for the General Fund are less than expected by $900,000.

Bullard Avenue Construction Update

City Council approved construction funding to restore Bullard Avenue to two vehicle lanes in each direction (Greenway-Peoria), with additional features for bicycle and pedestrian safety. The project funding was presented to City Council by staff on Tuesday evening.

In additional to the travel lanes, traffic signals will be installed at the Acoma and Sweetwater intersections, to complement existing crosswalks. Bike lanes and cycle tracks (separated bike lanes), along with a raised median (Greenway-Waddell), and landscaping are included in the project. Bullard Avenue will maintain the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit.

Based on the final design, the construction cost estimate is approximately $3.3 million; the city’s contribution is approximately $343,000 with the remaining funds being provided by federal awards. The project will be sent to bid with an anticipated start date of summer 2018. You can learn more about the Bullard Avenue Improvement project at

Events & Meetings

Ottawa University – O’Dell Center for Athletes Groundbreaking

Ottawa University Arizona broke ground on the O’Dell Center for Athletics on Friday, February 16 at the University’s newest residential campus, made possible by a $6 million donation from alumni Jim and Jeanne O’Dell. The 35,000-square-foot, three-story O’Dell Center for Athletics will be designed to house locker rooms, training facilities, coaches’ offices and student support services. The center will be immediately adjacent to the new Spirit multi-sport athletic field, near the Surprise Civic Center and Recreation Campus, and will include a new press box and entertainment area. Officials expect construction on the O’Dell Center for Athletics to be finished in the fall 2018.

The Ottawa University Arizona ground breaking on the O’Dell Center for Athletics

OUAZ is fielding 21 varsity men’s and women’s athletic teams. Since opening the campus in fall 2017, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf and also track and field have all qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Nationals. OUAZ has had 11 NCCAA Player of the Week honors and three All-Americans. OUAZ has also been accepted into the Sooner Athletic Conference for Football, which will begin in the fall of 2018.

Poetry Slam @ WHAM Art Association

WHAM Art Association and the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission partnered for another Poetry Slam on Friday, February 16. This event features open mic night for poetry, free verse, and storytelling. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. This event is free and open to the public.

Councilmember Skip Hall speaking to attendents at the Poetry Slam @ WHAM Art Association

There are two more Poetry Slams planned for this spring – March 16 and May 18 – from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The 2017 – 2018 Surprise Literacy Challenge ran from October 1, 2017 – December 15 and included 14 participating schools from Dysart Unified School District as well as local charter schools. Over 3,200 students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades participated. The students earned a total of 1,119 Book Buck vouchers from Friends of the Surprise Libraries (FOTSL) for completing 5-in-a-row Bingos. They then redeemed these vouchers for previously loved books at the FOTSL area inside the local library.

There were 142 students across the challenge that completed the entire card which gave them entry into a drawing to receive new books, Kindles or sets of Spring Training tickets. Through the challenge, many students got their first-ever library card and also met with and talked to librarians. Among the favorite challenges, students reported that they enjoyed sharing recommendations with friends and also creating their own superheroes based on the protagonists from books they read during the challenge.

Councilmember Skip Hall congratulating Mrs. Mohaupt’s 5th grade class from Cimarron Springs Elementary School.

Congratulations to Mrs. Mohaupt’s 5th grade class from Cimarron Springs Elementary School.

Mark Your Calendar

Free Cleanup Event

Now is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Spring Cleanup Event on Saturday, March 10. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, April 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit

Did You Know?

Spring Training Games Begin Saturday

Surprise Stadium opens for the official start of spring training with the season opener this Saturday, February 24, when the Kansas City Royals take on the 2017 NLC Champions – the Los Angeles Dodgers! Games are scheduled through March 25.

Grab a lawn seat for as low as $8 or purchase a ticket package! Packages include Full Season, Home Team Half Season, Home Team 7-packs and Flex 7-packs. All packages include priority seating and VIP Parking. Full Season and Half Season packages also include a VIP Season Ticket Holder Reception.

Ready To Order? Here’s how:

Online: or Service charges may apply

By Phone: 888.755.2583. Serviced by Service charges may apply

Box Office: Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue

For the latest information on Spring Training tickets and scheduling, please visit or call 623.222.2222.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975

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