September 27, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Sonoran Institute Discussion on Water

On Wednesday, September 19, Surprise Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe and I met with Ian Dowdy of the Sonoran Institute to discuss water issues in the West Valley, and specifically Surprise. We talked about ways the Sonoran Institute could help with water conservation education and ideas for increasing our water resources.

RideChoice Transportation Meeting & Open House

On Thursday, September 20, city staff and I met with members of ALC’s management team. ALC is the transportation company that will be the new Surprise RideChoice provider when the enhanced program launches October 1. I also attended the RideChoice open house at City Hall this week. It was the last of three open houses that the city and Valley Metro co-hosted to answer questions about the upcoming changes to the RideChoice program. If you missed the open houses, you can learn more about the new RideChoice here: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=9366

Additionally, Valley Metro will be giving a presentation at the City Council Work Session on October 2 at 4 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall.

Paradise Honors Elementary School Meeting

On Friday, September 21, I met with the Executive Director of Paradise Schools, Dr. Schrader, and toured the school. We plan to meet again to discuss ways to promote literacy, including the “Read On Greater Surprise” program.

Boy Scout Troop Q&A

On Monday, September 24, I had the opportunity to spend some time with local Boy Scout Troop #921. I was part of a Q&A session on City Government & Civic Engagement and received a lot of great questions! Thank you to the troop leader, Shawn Palmer, for his hospitality and introduction.

Chamber Breakfast – Downtown Discussion

On Tuesday, September 25, I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the West-MEC Northwest Campus in Surprise. The discussion surrounded the vision for downtown Surprise and included an interactive workshop, which was facilitated by Scott Phillips with Carefree Partners Investors. This was the first in a series of planned workshops to seek public input on creating a dynamic and vibrant city center. Dates of future workshops will be announced when they become available.

Councilman Skip Hall attending the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast


Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium Featuring Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 Sept. 29

Come watch a free showing of Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 on the Surprise Stadium jumbotron!

Join us Saturday, September 29 at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and the movie will begin at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn blanket and watch the movie from the stadium field. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect; concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For event information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or contact the Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000.

Food & Beverage Policy

Surprise Stadium allows food to be brought into the stadium. The food must be presented in a clear, sealed plastic bag (factory, Ziploc, etc) and must be able to fit under a standard stadium seat. One clear, sealed one (1) liter plastic water bottle or empty plastic water/sports bottles will be allowed, as will single serving juice boxes, baby food and formula. No beverages, other than water or boxed juices will be allowed.

Surprise Fiesta Grande Celebration Oct. 13

Celebrate our city’s cultural heritage with good food, music and fun at the fifth annual Surprise Fiesta Grande!

This street-style celebration, presented by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina, will be held Saturday, October 13 from 5 – 10 p.m. in the Original Town Site, located on Hollyhock Street, north of Grand Avenue. Event admission and parking are free!

Attractions and activities include a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, flavorful food trucks, festive beverages, free play zone for kids, piñata plaza and a vendor village, organized by local contributing organizations and sponsors.

The Surprise Fiesta Grande entertainment lineup will include live Latin musical performances at the listed times:

Main Stage:

  • 5:15-6 p.m. Tradiciones Dance Company*
    *Featuring a performance by Surprise Youth Folklorico Class
  • 6:15-7 p.m. Banda La Llegadora – “Cumbia Show”
  • 7:15-8 p.m. Grupo Caribe
  • 8:15-9 p.m. Soul Persuasion
  • 9:15-10 p.m. Str8up

Community Stage:

  • 5:15-7 p.m. Mariachi Fuego de Phoenix

Schedule is subject to change.

For parking, event location and additional information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services Special Events Division at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection set for Oct. 13

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, October 13.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio-medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.1900.


Did You Know?

Community Outreach Program Funding Awarded

On Tuesday, September 18, Surprise City Council took action to grant funding to 23 organizations through the Surprise Community Outreach Program. The program is a City Council led initiative to assist non-profit 501(c)3 organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents. Council set aside $100,000 for the FY2018-2019 Surprise Community Outreach Program. To see the list of organizations, programs, and events that received funding, please visit: surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; new traffic pattern in place Oct 4

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Weekend work will occur on Saturday, September 29 and Saturday October 6, weather permitting, to keep the project on schedule. Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

Overnight work to move vehicle traffic to lanes on the west side of the medians begins at 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 3.

The following traffic control change will be in place Thursday, October 4 through mid-November.

  • Beginning at the Bullard and Peoria avenues intersection, motorists traveling northbound will proceed through the intersection and follow barricades which will transition traffic to the temporary northbound travel lane on the west side of the median. Signage will also be in place to assist with the traffic control change.
    • The same traffic formation will be in place at the Waddell and Cactus roads intersections.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on Bullard, Greenway Road to Peoria venue, will use the designated southbound lane adjacent to the protected bike lane curb.
  • Left and right turn movements will be maintained at all intersections on Bullard Avenue. The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!
  • Sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the roadway.

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Parent & Tot Tennis class open for registration

The City of Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex is now registering for its Parent & Tot Tennis class!

This introductory 45-minute tennis class is for children ages 2-4 and a parent. Registration is open for the October and November sessions that meet on Tuesdays from 9 – 9:45 a.m. Class will focus on FUN interaction between parent and child. It’s a perfect way to spend quality time together and meet new friends!

Register at the Tennis & Racquet Complex located at 14469 W. Paradise Lane or online at https://bit.ly/2xumMaL.

For more information, please call 623.222.2400.

City partners to offer entrepreneurship training program for veterans & their spouses

Surprise is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide a business boot camp program for veterans and their spouses interested in owning a small business.

Boots to Business | Reboot is a two-step entrepreneurial program offered by the SBA through the Arizona Veterans Business Outreach Center with the goal of helping veterans navigate the process of becoming business owners.

Step one of the program is an introduction to entrepreneurship led by SBA advisors and partners. Step two is a series of online courses, instructed by professors in the SBA Network.

Reboot participants will receive an overview of what it means to be a small business owner, training on developing and writing a business plan, opportunity recognition and information regarding available resources.

If you’re ready to make the transition from boots to business, plan to attend the Reboot:

  • October 10-11, 2018
  • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • AZ TechCelerator
  • 12425 W Bell Rd, Building D
  • Surprise, AZ 85378

Space is limited to the first 40 registrants; register online to reserve your seat.

For more information, email mevangelesta@turnanewleaf.org or call 480.322.4634.

All SBA or co-sponsored programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. Contact SBA at 602-745-7200.

September 20, 2018 • Newsletter

Transportation Updates

There are several ongoing and future transportation projects that I would like to include in my newsletters moving forward when updates are provided. I reached out to Maricopa County last week and inquired about two of those projects, Williams Drive and Northern Parkway, both of which would provide our residents with additional east/west routes.

Deer Valley Road, including Williams Drive from El Mirage to 109th Avenue is scheduled to begin construction in September 2019. The County discovered native artifacts which have delayed the start time from early 2019.

Northern Parkway, from Dysart Road to 11th Avenue, has advertised for construction. Funds are available, and the Northern Parkway partners which include Glendale, El Mirage, Peoria, and Maricopa County are contributing annually. The County expects construction to begin December 2018 with a 13-month construction duration.

The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete in mid-November, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.

Project crews will be onsite Saturday, September 29 to keep the project on schedule.

Work hours for the week of September 24 are Monday – Saturday, 4:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather permitting; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

Traffic signal foundation construction continues at the Bullard and Sweetwater intersection. Project crews will be working on all four corners of the intersection for the next three weeks; sidewalks may be closed intermittently while the work is occurring.

Looking ahead, a traffic switch is tentatively scheduled to occur overnight on October 4. Information about the upcoming change will be shared in next week’s project update.

  • Median work progresses; landscape irrigation, backfill and paving along the medians will continue.
  • Asphalt removal for modified curbs continues; crews will begin to pour new curbs for protected bike lanes this week.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

Learn more about the project at surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


City Council Work Session

WESTMARC Update

WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, is a non-profit organization created in 1990 to promote and advocate for the key issues that raise the West Valley profile and promote the region for economic viability. WESTMARC is public-private partnership of all 15 West Valley communities and the education and business sectors. The organization focuses on three key priorities: promote the West Valley, enhance economic development and increase member value; therefore, increasing the West Valley’s quality of life, growing amenities and skilled workforce.

Sintra Hoffman, President and CEO of WESTMARC, provided an update on their workforce development strategy. The West Valley has seen significant growth in recent years, and we expect even more population growth by 2030. Approximately 40% of Phoenix residents live west of I-17 and approximately 62% of the West Valley population is workforce age. The average income of the West Valley population is $64,634.


City Council Meeting

Friends of the Library Donation

Nonprofit organization Friends of the Surprise Libraries has graciously donated $15,000 to the City of Surprise, which will be utilized to continue Saturday hours (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at Hollyhock Library. In September 2017, the organization donated $15,000 to support the Saturday hours. The extended hours have been well received by the community, with a 50% increase in participation since they were implemented last fall. Friends of the Surprise Libraries has spent just over $220,000 on Surprise Libraries since 2003.

The City currently has a contract with Maricopa County Library District (MLCD) to operate the library. The donation will be utilized to pay the additional expense to MLCD for the extra hours. The City of Surprise thanks the Friends of the Surprise Libraries for their partnership and continued support.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program

The Surprise Community Outreach Grant program was established by City Council to provide a supplemental funding source to non-profit organizations providing direct services to our residents. For FY19, the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants recommended a total award of $100,000, an increase from the $65,000 granted in FY18, which was approved by the full City Council unanimously. There is also $10,000 in additional funds for the Neighborhood Grant Program.

City Council awarded funding to 23 non-profits. To see the full list of organizations, programs, and events please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

City of Surprise Transit Study

As part of the City of Surprise’s goal to grow into a vibrant community, it finds itself needing to provide a greater range of mobility services. These service are essential to ensuring its reputation as an attractive place in which to live, work, and visit. The Surprise Transit Feasibility Study is part of this effort to develop a comprehensive understanding of the City’s current and future transit needs.

To ensure that these needs and desires have been gathered from its residents, the City and its consultant team have made a concerted effort to reach out to the public over the full course of the study. As part of the concluding efforts of the study, the City held a final Transit Feasibility Study public workshop hosted at Surprise City Hall. The study team members reviewed recommendations with workshop attendees, had various transit busses on site to view and ride, and sought feedback on funding sources through a survey conducted both in person and online.

Notable information gathered during the entire public outreach period included:

  • Major Grid Routes service improvements
  • Neighborhood Routes-connect neighborhoods to destinations within Surprise
  • Express Route service enhancements through additional midday trips

Recommendations from the study provide a phase approach that will allow flexibility in the future to move service types forward or back, and increase service to implemented routes as needed; all through a combination of neighborhood route, major grid route, and express route services. Every service recommendation will be in conjunction with the already established ADA and senior services that are provided through the City’s Paratransit services. Each phase has been designed to provide both local and regional circulation options to meet the City’s diverse needs.

The Surprise Transit Feasibility Study is just the first step in the City’s effort to provide alternative modes of transportation to its residents and visitors. Once the City accepts the study and its findings, additional steps will have to be taken to create a service plan that will help establish future budget needs and possible funding sources and transit partners.

For additional project information, please contact the study team at: transitstudy@surpriseaz.gov or visit the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit and Finance Committee Meeting

The Valley Metro Audit and Finance Committee met on Thursday, September 13. We discussed the performance of the Chief Finance Officer and the Internal Auditor.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair

The Surprise Industrial Job Fair was held on Friday, September 14 at West-MEC Northwest Campus in Surprise. The fair went incredibly well! We had 13 employers participate, not including staffing agencies who represented a handful of additional companies. Our Economic Development Department reported that 20% of the job seekers in attendance have either been hired or offered positions! Many thanks to those of you who attended, spread the word and to our Economic Development team for their efforts!

The Surprise Industrial Job Fair at West-MEC Northwest Campus

Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo

Our Surprise Police Department hosted a bike rodeo in the parking lot of Target on Saturday, September 15. There were 30 participants in the bike rodeo and 22 participants in the car seat installation and inspection. Build A Bike has ordered a new bicycle for our raffle winner as well!

Surprise Police Officer Nathaniel Miller securing a helmet during the SPD Bike Rodeo

Special Joint Planning Meeting

Members of the Planning and Zoning, Tourism Advisory, Community and Recreation Services Advisory and Arts and Cultural Advisory Commissions met on Monday, September 17. Discussion surrounded ways to identify common areas of interest between the Commissions. In addition, Communications Director Diane Arthur provided a presentation on the city’s promotional efforts, communication resources and branding for the city.


Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival Series is Back!

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, kicks off the fall 2018 Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival series on September 23! The event takes place at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue from 4 pm until 8 pm.

Catch live music performed by the Sugar Thieves, and choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. This family-friendly event will also feature various yard games, inflatables and face painting.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be on leashes. Plus, mark your calendar for all of the festival dates:

Sunday, October 21 – The Jan Petrie Band, 4-8 p.m., Mark Coronado Park Sunday November 18 – Flashback, 4-8 p.m., Surprise Stadium Sunday, December 16 – Dirt Road Kings, 12-4 p.m., Mark Coronado Park

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

RideChoice Update: Choice to enroll in new program or keep existing program thru Nov.

On October 1, Valley Metro will launch an enhanced RideChoice service for qualified participants in Surprise.

Currently, RideChoice offers qualified seniors and people with disabilities in Surprise up to forty taxi trips per month. The participant pays $3 for up to a $21 trip.

The redesigned RideChoice program will offer more service and more transportation options, including additional wheelchair-accessible vehicle providers and the popular rideshare service Lyft. At the outset, taxicab providers will not be available, but they will be added beginning in December. Eligible participants will receive up to fifty trips per month, with each trip costing $3 for up to eight miles and $2 for each mile above that.

According to a letter sent to current RideChoice customers in Surprise earlier this month, customers will be able to choose to remain in the current RideChoice program through November 30 or join the new program, beginning October 1. This approach will help ensure a smooth transition, and it will enable current customers to use the taxicab companies who are part of the current RideChoice program until it sunsets on November 30. At that time, any customers remaining in the old RideChoice program will be automatically transitioned to the new program. In addition, current RideChoice providers will have the opportunity to operate service for the new program.

Highlights of the New Program

As touted in the letter and brochure sent to Surprise RideChoice customers earlier this month, Valley Metro’s new RideChoice program will feature:

  • Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
  • Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining the RideChoice program. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
  • More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
  • Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip that is up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
  • Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or check account and routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.

The Choice – Enrolling in the New Program or Waiting

Beginning October 1, current RideChoice customers who reside in Surprise can either remain in the current RideChoice program through November or enroll in the new program by calling Valley Metro at 602.716.2100. Once a customer is enrolled in the new program, Valley Metro will close the rider’s account in the old program, and will return any unexpended funds in the customer’s old RideChoice account.

Learn more about the service enhancements in Surprise from Valley Metro and city staff at one of the following open houses:

  • September 25:
    Benevilla, 16752 N Greasewood St., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 26:
    Surprise City Hall – Community Room. 16000 N Civic Center Plaza, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional information about the service model changes will be shared at surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.

For questions about the RideChoice program, please contact Valley Metro at 602.716.2100.


Did You Know?

ADOT Loop 303 Pavement Preservation Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation is preparing for a pavement-preservation project on the Loop 303 (Bob Stump Memorial Parkway) in the cities of Goodyear, Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise in Maricopa County. Work will occur on the Loop 303 between the Interstate 10 and west Happy Valley Parkway traffic interchanges and will impact travel in both directions, and all the on-and off-ramps in this work zone.

The project is scheduled to begin late Friday, Sept. 21, and is scheduled for completion by 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

What to expect:

  • Northbound and southbound Loop 303 will be closed between I-10 and the west Happy Valley Parkway interchange – including on- and off-ramps in the work zone – beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. Rolling openings will occur as work is completed, with all closures lifted by 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
  • The traffic interchanges at I-10 and Loop 303 and the southbound traffic interchange at Loop 303 and Happy Valley Parkway will be closed while work is underway.

Drivers should plan for heavy traffic and delays and plan to use alternate routes.

Alternate Routes for Non-Commercial Vehicles:

  • Northbound local traffic between I-10 and U.S. 60 (Grand Avenue) will be routed to Sarival Road.
  • Southbound local traffic between U.S. 60 and I-10 will be routed to Cotton Lane.
  • Northbound local traffic between U.S. 60 and west Happy Valley Parkway will be routed to 99th Avenue

Attention Commercial Vehicles:

  • Heavy commercial vehicles must use Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) or Interstate 17 as alternate routes.

See Project Map.

Stay Informed:

For questions or comments, call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.

September 13, 2018 • Newsletter

Special City Council Meeting

The Surprise City Council met for a Special City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 11 to canvass the votes of the recent primary election. The election results passed unanimously. Incumbent Councilmembers Nancy Hayden, Patrick Duffy and I, Districts 2, 3 and 5 respectively, won the election in the primary. Chris Judd won the election in the primary for District 6.

In order to determine a winner in the Primary, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected to a seat (50% plus one vote). Per state law, a “majority of votes cast” is calculated by first determining the total number of actual votes cast for candidates whose names were lawfully on the ballot for the office, dividing that sum by the number of seats to be filled for that office, and finally dividing that sum by two and rounding up to the highest whole number.

In the case of the District 1 race, no candidate received 50% plus one vote, so the top-two candidates, Jim Cunningham and Roland F. Winters Jr., will square off in the November 6 General Election.

Districts 1, 5 and 6 carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2022. District 3 carries a 2-year term to expire December 31, 2020. This election fills the remainder of the term left vacant due to a 2017 resignation. District 2 carries a 2-year term to expire December 31, 2020. This election fills the remainder of the term left vacant due to the passing of Jim Hayden in 2017.

For the results to all County and State ballot issues please visit https://recorder.maricopa.gov/electionresults/.

Events & Meetings

Willow Canyon High School Military Appreciation Ceremony

Before the Willow Canyon High School and Shadow Ridge High School football game at Willow Canyon, both schools honored area veterans and military personnel as part of their Military Appreciation Night on Friday, September 7. I was honored to be recognized for my service to the country, along with so many local heroes. I would like to extend a special thank you to the administration of both schools, including Assistant Principal John Williams.

West Valley Cities and Towns CAP Dinner

Central Arizona Project (CAP) President Lisa Atkins and General Manager Ted Cooke, along with several other CAP Board Members, hosted a dinner meeting on Wednesday, September 12 in Glendale for West Valley elected officials. Vice Mayor Ken Remley and Councilmembers Todd Tande, Nancy Hayden, Roland Winters and I joined our colleagues to get an update on the water issues facing our state. Given the information shared, I have asked staff to provide details at an upcoming City Council Work Session.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Department Bike Rodeo

Are you looking for a fun event this weekend? Would you like to make sure your child knows what they need to know on bicycle safety? Then please join your Surprise Police Department on Saturday, September 15 for a bike rodeo. Children 4 years old and up are encouraged to participate.

The event includes a helmet fitting, bicycle inspection, safety instructions and a fun-filled safety course. Children are encouraged to bring a bike or they may borrow one from us, although our supply may be limited. We also highly recommend that all children wear helmets for the event and any time they are riding their bicycle.

The event will be held in the parking lot of Target, located at 13731 W. Bell Road, from 4 pm until 8 pm. I have contributed funding for one lucky child to win a new bike too! If you have questions about the event, please call 623.222.4422.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival Series is Back!

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, kicks off the fall 2018 Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival series on September 23! The event takes place at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue from 4 pm until 8 pm.

Catch live music performed by the Sugar Thieves, and choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. This family-friendly event will also feature various yard games, inflatables and face painting.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be on leashes. Plus, mark your calendar for all of the festival dates:

  • Sunday, October 21 – The Jan Petrie Band, 4-8 p.m., Mark Coronado Park
  • Sunday November 18 – Flashback, 4-8 p.m., Surprise Stadium
  • Sunday, December 16 – Dirt Road Kings, 12-4 p.m., Mark Coronado Park

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Surprise Ranked a Top 10 “Best For Vets Places to Live”

Surprise was ranked a Top 10 “Best for Vets Places to Live” by the Military Times in the medium cities category! Maybe that’s why 13% of adults in Surprise are veterans! The ranking was based on veteran culture & services, economic indicators & livability.

Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force Recommendation

The City’s Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force was presented with first-draft concepts to honor the late Brian Mancini, at their meeting on September 11. The following options were based on input received at the June 28th meeting, in which family and friends described Mancini as a selfless person who enjoyed helping fellow veterans and loved fishing and spending time in nature.

  • Establish a Veterans Reflection Circle, in honor of Brian Mancini, next to the Northwest Regional Library. The circular area is just west of Surprise Lake, an area that Mancini visited often to fish and relax. A plaque telling his story and the “Pity” poem that he wrote would be located on site, along with a tranquil water feature.
  • Name the Surprise Resource Center’s conference room after Mancini and showcase posters telling his story and self-authored “Pity” poem in the room. The center houses various veteran employment programs including the Surprise Veteran Job Club and weekly veteran employment assistance from the Veterans Administration and the state’s Disabled Veteran Outreach Program.

City staff will also review additional input received at the September 11 meeting, including other potential memorial locations within the city; new water feature and plaque designs.

Mr. Mancini was a medically retired Sergeant First Class, Combat Wounded Veteran who served as a Combat Medic with two tours in Baghdad, Iraq. He served over 12 years in the United States Army. He was the recipient of two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge and Flight Medic Badge. In 2007, Mancini suffered life-threatening injuries from a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Following years of surgeries and rehabilitation, the Surprise resident founded Honor House, a place where wounded veterans could go for therapy and counseling. Suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mancini ended his life at the age of 38 in 2017.

The Task Force will meet again to review cost estimates and finalize concepts on Tuesday, October 9, 6 p.m., in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend.

Here is the remainder of their business process following the October 9th meeting:

  • Special Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled City Council Work Session. City Council will either recommend that the item be brought forward at the next City Council Meeting for action, or ask that the Task Force perform additional work.
  • The Task Force will be dismissed after final City Council Action.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 6, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Transit Study Update

Last fall, the city awarded a contract to HDR to perform a transit study and implementation plan. As part of the study, the city emphasized public participation and involvement as a key component to the project. The goal was to inform and develop an early knowledge base from those who might utilize a future transit system, what would be required to promote ridership as well as key origins and destinations to service those users.

City of Surprise Transportation Planning Manager Martin Lucero provided an overview of previous studies, as well as existing condition and survey highlights. There were 1,743 surveys completed and 81% of those who completed the survey were Surprise residents. The majority of those stated they had a fair or even better chance to use transit if it were offered. The feedback received pointed to many wanting a major grid service followed by a centralized/local service and an express service, especially for those wanting to connect to Phoenix for employment.

As part of this study, there will be one final Transit Study Public Workshop on Tuesday, September 18 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Based on the public responses from the study and Wikimap surveys conducted earlier this year, staff has compiled recommendations for various types of transit and transit routes that would best serve residents. Operational costs associated with the recommendations and possible financing options will also be discussed at this workshop. I encourage you to attend!

Surprise Stormwater Utility

On Tuesday, September 4th, Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented to Council the history of the development of the City’s Stormwater Utility that was unanimously adopted by Council in November of 2016. This new service utility is dedicated to the management of the City’s stormwater-related activities.

In a developing community, the management of stormwater runoff is an often forgotten necessity that is realized during and after heavy rains that leave flooded streets throughout the City. In fact, the management of stormwater runoff takes many forms; most of which must occur whether or not it rains at all. In most developed areas throughout the country, an underground storm sewer system was constructed to convey stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops to natural outfall locations such as lakes, rivers, and streams.

However, in the Phoenix metro area, centralized storm sewer systems are rare, leaving the responsibility of stormwater management to be shared by the development community and local municipality. Also similar to many valley communities, anyone who develops a parcel of land is responsible for retaining an average amount of water, usually an amount equal to runoff generated from a 100 year / 2 hour storm event. Volumes that exceed the 100 year / 2 hour event enter the municipal conveyance system. For Surprise, this system consists primarily of the curb and gutter portion of city streets, manmade channels, and natural washes. In some cases, minimal underground piping is also installed to convey runoff to natural outfalls or to other systems in adjoining municipalities.

Mr. Lowe explained that prior to Surprise City Council’s adoption of the Stormwater Utility, the City of Surprise experienced many storms that caused significant flooding around the City. City Council asked staff to investigate ways to mitigate the flooding. It was soon realized that the rapid growth of the City had caused gaps in the storm system’s infrastructure and that the burden of Stormwater management was shared by many divisions and funding sources. To safeguard that Stormwater management activities remained constant, the formation of a new Utility was recommended. The Utility would generate a dedicated and reliable funding source to ensure consistent maintenance of existing infrastructure and committed funding source for the development of capital improvement projects to close the gaps. The Utility would also centralize the citywide stormwater regulatory responsibilities, adhering to the guidelines mandated by the Federal Clean Water Act, the State of Arizona, and Maricopa County.

Affordable Housing Development Update

In support of expanding affordable housing options in Surprise, the Housing Authority of Maricopa County is proposing the development of 100 multifamily units in the Heritage District (Original Town Site) in Surprise. The proposed development would bring a multi-million dollar investment into the Heritage District while providing Surprise and West Valley residents with affordable housing options. The proposed site is the current youth baseball field at Gaines Park. The field would be relocated across the street utilizing secured grant funding.

City Council Meeting

New Volunteer Members for Boards and Commissions

City Clerk Sherry Agular administered the Oath of Office to three new volunteers who will fill vacancies on a few of our Boards and Commissions. Congratulations to Rhiannon Miett (Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission with a term expiring June 30, 2020), Jacob Thomas (Disability Advisory Commission with a term expiring June 30, 2020) and Benjamin Boedecker (Personnel Appeals Board with a term expiring June 30, 2019). Thank you for your commitment to Surprise!

Amendment to Confinement of Animals Ordinance

Earlier this spring, I asked Surprise Police Chief Terry Young to research opportunities to expand upon our Confining Animals Ordinance (Chapter 10, Article II, Division 2, Section 10-82). This ordinance penalizes unsafe and unhealthy practices and highlights conditions such as temperature, access to food and water, and tethering, which impact animal health and safety. The ordinance includes provisions for severability, to establish an effective date and to repeal conflicting ordinances.

This approved amendment now provides better guidance for our residents as they pursue the safe and healthy confinement of animals and discourage conduct and actions that do not lead to a safe and healthy result. In addition, it provides guidance to assist our police department personnel as they provide guidance and perform enforcement.

Surprise Marketplace and Surprise Town Center Comprehensive Sign Program

After several meetings, including City Council Work Sessions, City Council approved the application for a major amendment to the Surprise Marketplace and Surprise Town Center Comprehensive Sign Program. The request is the result of signage that was lost due to the Bell Road bridge project which improved traffic operations and safety in the immediate vicinity of both shopping centers.

The city enacted the Bell Road temporary sign policy in March 2016 to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell and Grand bridge project. The project was completed in November 2016. We have since received numerous inquiries for permanent monument signage to replace signs which were removed due to the right-of-way expansion and utilities easement relocations along Bell Road. Originally, the sign program approved by the city allowed for signage along Bell Road to be at a maximum of 15 feet in height. Due to the topography of the road, amongst several other issues, the owners and operators of the shopping centers requested the maximum height of the signs increase to 45 feet and 36 feet, in addition to electronic messaging at the bottom of two of the signs.

Christopher Todd Community on Mountain View

City Council unanimously approved the Christopher Todd Community on Mountain View rezone from a Planned Area Development (PAD), Residential Ranch (RR), and Community Commercial (CC) to Residential High (RH-15) with a PUD (Planned Area Development) Overlay limiting the density to 11.15 dwelling units an acre and a final plat that abandon unimproved city right of way that will allow a site plan for approximately 223 single story rental units to develop while also providing a public access easement through this site and maintaining the pedestrian connection to the commercial center for the resident to the south of the development. The site plan is scheduled to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on September 20, 2018.

Unlike the typical vertical apartment complexes that are two or more stories, horizontal communities are single story, and in the case of this particular community, are small luxury homes that are for rent. Buildings are grouped to create intimate courtyards, anchored by shade trees to support healthy neighborhood interaction.


Mark Your Calendar

Distracted Driving Law in Effect Beginning Today

Driving and using mobile devices that are not operating in a hands-free mode, is illegal within Surprise city limits effective today. The ordinance, which Council approved last month, penalizes driving and using a mobile communications device unless usage is in hands-free mode or if the driver is communicating an emergency situation to emergency personnel.

Ordinance violators will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 plus any other assessments authorized by law. Public safety personnel operating in their professional capacity are exempt from the ordinance. Drivers can continue to use two-way radio communication as long as they continue to safely operate the vehicle.

To read the ordinance, please visit: http://bit.ly/2MHsDTI. This ordinance is another tool in the city’s Drive Wise, Surprise campaign to encourage safe driving habits.

Surprise Fall Cleanup Event

The City receives many calls for this popular event each year! Fall is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 8. 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.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair

Mark your calendar for the Surprise Industrial Job Fair on Friday, September 14 from 9 a.m. until noon. The fair will be held at West-MEC Northwest Campus in the Lightbox, 13201 W. Grand Avenue. Several Surprise employers will be there! For more information, please contact Andrew Witzel at 623.222.1630.

Surprise Industrial Job Fair flyer


Did You Know?

RideChoice Transportation Program Enhancements

Surprise customers of Valley Metro’s RideChoice transportation program will soon see simplified ride booking and payment experiences, increased trip allowances, and an expanded provider network – including a new partnership with Lyft. RideChoice provides transportation at a deeply discounted rate to qualified seniors and people with disabilities, and Valley Metro has chosen Surprise as an early rollout partner for their new, enhanced program.

Beginning October 1, the following RideChoice changes will go into effect for qualified residents of Surprise:

  • Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
  • Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining the RideChoice program. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
  • More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
  • Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip that is up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
  • Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or check routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.

These program enhancements come in response to customer feedback, and the city is excited to work with Valley Metro to deliver on what our residents told us was important to them and to move forward on an expedited timeline.

2019 Surprise Spring Training Schedule

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, announced the 31-game 2019 Surprise Stadium Spring Training schedule. The City of Surprise will begin its 17th season of Cactus League Spring Training on Saturday, February 23 with the Royals taking on the Rangers.

The 2019 schedule features games every day from February 23 through March 24, with a double header on March 11. The Kansas City Royals will face each Cactus League team at home except the Oakland Athletics; and the Texas Rangers will face each team except the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. The Surprise Stadium schedule also features multiple visits from the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies. Game times, theme nights, promotions, and television coverage will be announced in the coming months.

Online tickets sales open Saturday, October 20 for season tickets, mini plans, and specialty ticket packages. Online sales for individual game tickets begin Saturday, November 17. All online tickets will be available for purchase at SurpriseSpringTraining.com. Group packages will be available beginning October 20 and can be purchased by calling the City of Surprise Sports & Tourism Department at 623.222.2222.

The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for walk-up sales beginning Saturday, January 5.

2019 Surprise Stadium Spring Training Schedule

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

Keep updated on Surprise Spring Training news and ticket information by following @SurpriseStadium on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by visiting www.SurpriseSpringTraining.com.