City Council Work Session
Transportation Projects Update
Earlier this year, City Council requested an update regarding the Right of Way status associated with Dale Lane and adjacent transportation projects. The residents in the northern portion of Surprise have a limited number of roads for entry and exits and during rain accumulation, they experience issues with flooding. The city has acquired multiple Right of Way deeds but there are 20 left to obtain. The city continues to look at other options to allow for improved access into the area.
As part of future planning, improvements will be made to Dynamite Road, Dale Lane, Peak View and Tierro Rico Lanes.
Veteran Focused Commission Discussion
A month ago, at the suggestion of a Surprise resident, I suggested staff research potential frameworks for establishing a veterans-focused commission for Surprise. City staff presented the results of that research and proposed a framework for a new commission serving the residents of Surprise, including veterans and residents experiencing a disability.
A number of Arizona cities have veterans commissions; as well as commissions focused on broader human services and quality of life issues. The goals of these commissions are to bring veterans and residents together with experts and service providers in the areas of housing advocacy, accessible transportation, education, and health to discuss and solve the challenges faced by residents.
The vision for the vity of Surprise is to magnify the voices of individual groups for a larger impact with a proposed Veteran, Accessibility and Human Services Commission. This commission will be responsible for advising the Surprise City Council, assisting with and expanding city and external services offered, and advocating for residents including veterans and those experiencing a disability. The commission will champion education and outreach to residents and coordinate communication and events to connect target groups with service providers. In order to achieve its goals of connecting residents in need to the best services, the commission will include members who are residents active in military service, veterans or family members, and individuals with disabilities, along with representatives from human service, veterans, and disability service organizations in the West Valley. This blend of personal experience and professional expertise, supported by Surprise’s Human Services and Community Vitality Department, will allow the commission to strengthen and expand services for City of Surprise residents in new and exciting ways. The Surprise City Council and staff are enthusiastic about taking the next steps towards the establishment of a Veteran, Accessibility and Human Services Commission.
City Council Meeting
Planning & Zoning Commission Vacancy
City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Scott Krous to fill the vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission with a term expiration of June 30, 2020. Thank you, Scott, we appreciate you!
Purchase of Underground Long Term Water Storage Credits
The 2015 Integrated Water Master Plan Water Resources Update identified the need to aggressively seek further acquisition of any available CAP water for future allocation to the city’s portfolio, wherever available. The city has identified an amount of up to 2,000 acre-feet annually of CAP Long Term Storage Credits through a 30-year sale and purchase agreement with the City of Eloy. City Council unanimously approved the approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement with Eloy.
Approval of New Positions
City Manager Bob Wingenroth requested the approval of an amendment to the FY19 budget by reallocating appropriations within the General Fund to add five regular full-time positions. These positions include Internal Auditor and Management Assistant (City Manager’s Office), Senior Administrative Specialist (Economic Development), Construction Inspector (Public Works) and GIS Analyst (Information Technology). The request was approved.
Facility Use Agreement with Ottawa University
As Ottawa University (OUAZ) continues to build its residential college campus in Surprise, City Council, Tuesday night, approved a new shared-use facility agreement with the school that supports the city’s Strategic Plan and the Parks & Recreation Master Plan to expand facilities to meet community needs. This 10.5 year facilities-use agreement will provide the city with 8,000 hours per year of use of Ottawa’s future recreation/fitness center, gymnasium complex and other facilities including the existing outdoor competition field.
Ottawa is constructing $48 million of new facilities for student housing, student union, classrooms, and athletics. The O’Dell Center for Athletics, which will include an 11,000 square foot fitness/rec center and a 32,000 square foot gymnasium complex are the primary facilities in the agreement. Upon completion of the O’Dell Center, the city will make an initial $5 million payment for residents to have access to this and other university facilities up to 8,000 hours annually for five years. In years six through 10 of the agreement, the city will pay $1 million a year for 8,000 annual use-hours. In exchange for the city waiving $300,000 in preconstruction fees, Ottawa will provide 4,000 hours of facilities use to the city for six months in year 11.
Through the agreement residents and city staff will have specified hourly access to:
- 3 basketball courts
- 3 studios/classrooms
- 3,000 square feet of space for cardio/weightlifting
- Men’s and women’s showers/restrooms
- Indoor walking track
- Outdoor Competition Field w/ spectator seating & lights
- Conference space to host various municipal events
Under the agreement, Ottawa’s athletic coaches will provide instruction in at least 12 different sports at city-organized sports leagues and camps. In addition to the city saving money by not having to construct new facilities and fund the ongoing operations; the construction of the O’Dell Center for Athletics and student housing and student union (breaks ground in November) projects are estimated to generate $1 million in construction tax and fees for the city.
Events & Meetings
Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting
The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, October 11. Commission members reviewed an update to the Tourism Fund application. Future agenda items include a discussion on the city store currently located in the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce office.
AZ Fry Guy Ribbon Cutting
Vice Mayor Ken Remley, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Todd Tande and Nancy Hayden joined me at the ribbon cutting and grand opening for the AZ Fry Guy. AZ Fry Guy is located at 15226 W. Bell Road. Welcome to Surprise!
Mark Your Calendar
Poetry Slam at WHAM
The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and WHAM are partnering for another Poetry Slam at WHAM this Friday, October 19 from 6 pm until 9 pm. WHAM is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road. All are welcome to participate as performers or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Surprise Super Swap Meet
The city’s popular community-wide garage sale featuring vendors selling new and used goods is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at the Surprise Aquatic Center. The address is 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. The event will be held from 8 am until 1 pm. Admission and parking is free. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.
Surprise Veterans Day Parade 2018
The City of Surprise 4th Annual Veterans Day Parade honoring the service and sacrifices of our veterans is Monday, November 12. The parade will start at 9:30 am. There will be a pre-parade pancake breakfast from 7 am until 9 am at the Surprise Recreation Center, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. More details will follow in my newsletter. For more details, you can call our Recreation office at 623.222.2000 or you can also visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.
Following the parade, there will be a Surprise Police and Fire Medical Charity Softball game beginning at 11:30 am at Surprise Stadium. Admission is free. Gates will open at 10:30 am.
Did You Know?
Drive Wise Surprise Reminder
Are you new to the city or returning to your Surprise home to enjoy the fall temperatures and upcoming winter weather? Surprise has a new hands-free device ordinance that you should be aware of. Effective September 6, 2018, motorists who are cited for using a hand-held mobile communications device are subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 plus any other assessments authorized by law. By prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices, Surprise is helping to reduce the number of distracted drivers on our roadways.
Drivers are permitted to utilize hand-held devices when in hands-free mode or when communicating to safely operate the vehicle. Public safety personnel operating in their professional capacity are exempt from the ordinance. New Drive Wise, Surprise signs have been posted throughout our Surprise entry points to remind drivers of the new ordinance. You can read the ordinance at http://bit.ly/2MHsDTI
Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; weekend work continues through the month of October
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 is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 and Saturday, October 27, weather permitting.
Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.
- Asphalt removal for modified curbs east of the medians continues; crews are scheduled to begin pouring new curbs on October 22.
- Traffic signal work at Acoma Drive continues; 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.
- Work in the medians, including landscape irrigation, paving and median signage, continues.
- 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.
To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bullard.
City Manager Bob Wingenroth Resigns; Council to take action to name Michael Frazier next CM
Earlier this month, City Manager Bob Wingenroth tendered his resignation effective next month. It is with great sadness and much support that he is leaving us. With many thanks to him, he has accomplished many wonderful things for Surprise. Please join me in wishing Bob the best of luck and thanking him for his overwhelming support of City Council, city staff and the city as whole.
The Surprise City Council will consider an employment contract to name Michael Frazier as the Surprise City Manager at the November 6th Regular Meeting.
Frazier has served as the city’s Assistant City Manager since July 2015, with the following departments reporting to him: Police; Fire-Medical; Public Works; Finance; Water Resource Management; and Marketing and Communications.
He first joined the city in 2011 as Police Chief.
Frazier has a long and distinguished career in Arizona law enforcement, which began in September 1975. From October 2007 until accepting the role as the Surprise Police Chief in 2011, Frazier served as the Police Chief for the City of El Mirage. He began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department, where he served for 32 years, retiring as the Executive Assistant Police Chief after working his way through the ranks and having served in nearly every division of the police department.
The November 6th City Council Regular Meeting is open to the public. The meeting begins at 6 p.m., City Hall – Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. All meetings are carried live at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and streamed live on the Surprise City Gov Facebook page.