All posts by admin

Councilmember Jack Hastings July Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/councilmemberhastings. To receive my newsletters by email each month, please sign up on my website, d5.surpriseaz.gov, and click the “Notify Me” link.

Citizen Patrol Annual Recognition Dinner

City of Surprise Citizens Patrol badge.Surprise Citizen Patrol is a volunteer-based program comprising 62 highly trained individuals who donate their time and skills to further the Police Department Mission. Saturday, June 19, I attended the Surprise Citizen Patrol annual recognition dinner at Briarwood Country Club. This event recognizes the individual efforts of all the highly dedicated City of Surprise members and congratulates recipients with special awards.

Chance Shelter Donation

Chance Shelter is a non-profit that was founded in 2015 to meet the needs of animals, their owners, and the community of Surprise and surrounding cities. They are a no-kill shelter providing crisis intervention, education programs, community involvement, outreach programs, and pet food assistance. I had the pleasure of presenting Chance Shelter with a $500 check from my Council discretionary funds. Thank you, Chance Shelter, for the work you do for our residents and their pets!

Councilmember Hastings gives a donation to Chance Shelter.

Dungeon Gaming Center Ribbon Cutting

Thank you to Dungeon Gaming Center, located at 15557 W. Bell Rd., Suite 409, for inviting me to participate in your ribbon cutting celebration! Dungeon Gaming Center offers board games, collectible card games, role-playing games, war games, gaming tournaments, league and open gaming, miniature figures, and much more. Welcome to Surprise!

BADAZ Axes Ribbon Cutting

BADAZ Axes, located at 16630 W. Greenway Rd. #309, had its Grand Opening on February 19! They specialize in axe games and have an axescape room coming soon. You can check them out at badazaxes.com.

Judges Reappointed

Presiding Judge Louis Frank Dominguez and Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau.Congratulations to Surprise City Court Presiding Judge Louis Frank Dominguez and Associate Judge Catherine A. Gaudreau. Council has reappointed them to new 4-year terms beginning July 1. Thanks to both judges for their continued service to the City of Surprise! Click here for more information https://bit.ly/3gxg6Q0.

Sanitation Customers

Surprise sanitation customers will see a change on their city utility statement beginning July 1, 2021, as a rate increase determined by a structured schedule is implemented. Beginning July 1, single-family solid waste (trash) customers will pay a monthly base rate of $23.50, increasing $0.10 per month. There will be no change to residential wastewater and water utility rates. The Utility Rate study was approved in February 2019, and created a five-year structured schedule to obtain the revenues required to operate utilities and maintain infrastructure while also considering asset replacement and emergency funding needs. If you would like to learn more about the utility rate and the utility rate study, please visit the City’s website at surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.

Surprise Budget 2022

FY2022 Budget thumbnail.Surprise City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2022 City Budget. The budget is focused on maintaining our current level of service as the City continues to see steady growth. This budget includes 25.5 full-time positions in the General Fund and eight new employees in water, sewer, sanitation, and sports and tourism to address the City’s growth. More information on the City’s budget can always be found on our website at surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Banner Del E Webb Nursery

Council Members Aly Cline, Roland Winters, and I joined Banner Del E Webb Medical Centers Louisa Kellam Center for Women’s Health for a ribbon cutting! Banner Health, Sharon Lind, CEO of Banner Del E Webb Medical Center, Gina Ore, CPO of Sun Health, and their Nursery nurse team hosted the ceremony in honor of the center’s new Nursery, located at 14502 W. Meeker Blvd.!

Staff at the Banner Del Webb Medical nursery wing.

Surprise Heat Relief Stations

The City of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during Arizona’s hot summer months. Listed below are the Surprise locations:

  • Surprise Resource Center: Refuge & hydration – 12425 W. Bell Rd., Building A, Suite 124
  • Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301: Hydration – 16750 N. Village Dr. East
  • The Salvation Army: Refuge & hydration – 17420 N. Avenue of the Arts Blvd.

You can help those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats at either the Surprise Resource Center or Surprise Fire Medical Station #301.

Also, the City of Surprise Police Department wants you to remember, Hot Cars Can Kill! Never leave a child alone in the car, check for kids, pets, and vulnerable persons before you lock your vehicle, and call 911 if you see a child alone in a car.

Meet and Greet

Councilmember Hastings meeting thumbnailPlease join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on July 10, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest city issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my Notify Me mailing list on my city webpage at d5.surpriseaz.gov so that you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is August 17 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Drive. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance, or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings June Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/councilmemberhastings. To receive my newsletters by email each month, please sign up on my website, d5.surpriseaz.gov, and click the “Notify Me” link.

New Surprise Police Chief

The City of Surprise welcomes our new Police Chief, Benny Pina, who has served as the Peoria Deputy Police Chief since 2014. Pina previously served 25 years with the Phoenix Police Department. Congratulations, Benny Pina, and welcome to the City of Surprise!

Gaines Park Dedication

A baseball with a Floyd Gaines Park symbol.A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, May 15, to celebrate the completion of Floyd Gaines Park. The park, located at 16001 N. Nash St., in the City’s Original Town Site, includes a lighted youth ball field, netting, fencing, restrooms, and a lighted and paved parking lot. Floyd Gaines was a pioneer in our community and an avid champion of its youth and parks and recreation services.

City Pools Open!

Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Community Pool are now open for limited-capacity swim lessons and open swim. Open swim fees for residents are $2 for youth (6 months-17 years) and $3 for adults; the non-resident fee is $5 per swimmer. Children 10 years and younger must be accompanied by a guardian 16 years or older. For more information, please contact the Parks & Recreation office at 623.222.2000 or visit surpriseaz.gov/aquatics.

Surprise Aquatic Center pool

Surprise Rotary Club

The Surprise Rotary Club donated a new tree at Dick McComb Park near the splash pad. Our contractors planted the tree on April 29 in honor of Arbor Day. As a thank you, the city presented a plaque to the Rotary Club.

Surprise City Council presents a plaque to the Surprise Rotary Club.

Phased Re-opening at the Senior Center

The City of Surprise is re-opening programs at the Senior Center in a phased approach, with limited front desk access and exercise classes available now. The Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock St., is a hub for connection and activities for those age 50+ and adults with disabilities.

The Senior Center meal program has also returned to in-person sit-down meals. Call 623.222.1500 two days in advance to reserve your spot. A home-delivered meal option is available through Banner Olive Branch if you cannot participate in the in-person program. To see if you qualify, please call 602.264.4357.

Veterans’ Services

The Vetlink Foundation is offering a monthly Coffee for Vets event on the last Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the City of Surprise AZ TechCelerator located at 12425 W. Bell Rd. Come enjoy free coffee and bagels and build connections with other veterans. Each event will have a guest speaker who will discuss a veteran-related topic. RSVP by calling 623.303.4355.

New! “Council Conversations” Show

Please take a moment to watch my latest “Council Conversations” episode for an update on summer programming and special events. I interviewed Sports & Tourism Director Kendra Pettis and Interim Parks & Recreation Director Paul Frie about the fun summer programs and special events happening here in Surprise. You can find the video on my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov.

Council Conversations Show June 2021

Retail Survey Results

The 2021 Surprise Retail Survey Results are in! Did your retailer/restaurant make the list? The city uses the survey data to identify our retail strengths and opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Select survey insights are listed below, and the full results are available at surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

2021 Surprise Retail Survey results summary

National Day of Prayer

I was humbled to have the opportunity to pray for our city at the National Day of Prayer on May 6. Dozens of worshipers joined as we gathered outside the Surprise Public Safety complex.

Councilmember Hastings gives prayer on a stage set up in front of the Surprise public safety building.

Surprise Water Update

Surprise Water Resource Management logoYou may have heard talk in the news media recently about the Colorado River and a potential shortage declaration. The Western United States, including Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area, has been experiencing a drought for more than 20 years, with an official drought declaration in June 1999. Drought is a normal occurrence in the southwest desert. However, as the drought in the Colorado River Basin continues to extend, the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Nevada along with Mexico may face reductions in their Colorado River water deliveries through a “Tier 1” declaration by the Bureau of Reclamation.

What does this mean for Surprise water customers? A Tier 1 shortage declaration will not affect Surprise’s water allocation or its deliveries to customers. Although there will be no immediate impact on municipal water supplies, Surprise remains committed to water resource management and water conservation measures. Shortage on the Colorado River does not mean shortage for Surprise’s customers at the tap. Being efficient with water has been part of our long-term water management strategy, and our water conservation program provides resources to assist customers.

Furthermore, Surprise is not directly delivering its Colorado River allocation. Instead, we use our Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allocation to recharge the aquifer, storing water for future groundwater pumping. As always, water users must follow water-efficient practices to protect our precious resources. Find out more information about drought and how it affects Surprise water customers on our Drought Resiliency and Preparedness website: surpriseaz.gov/droughtmgmt.

You may be wondering how you can save water. Here are some water-saving tips:

  • Visit Surprise’s water conservation page surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation for water-saving guides, tips, and advice.
  • Surprise customers can track their water use through a WaterSmart portal and use real-time tracking to establish a water use baseline and set leak alerts. Customers can access the WaterSmart portal through the “pay my bill” option on Surprise’s Utility Billing website surpriseaz.gov/waterbill.
    WaterSmart logo

Meet and Greet

Councilmember Hastings meeting thumbnailPlease join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on June 12, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest city issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my Notify Me mailing list on my city webpage at d5.surpriseaz.gov so that you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is June 15 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Dr. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

New Council Conversations Show – Summer Recreation Programming & Special Events

Watch Councilmember Jack Hastings’ new Council Conversations show for an update on the city’s summer recreation opportunities and upcoming special events. He interviews Interim Parks & Recreation Director Paul Frie about everything from fun aquatics programs to an exciting Fourth of July event! He also talks with Sports & Tourism Director Kendra Pettis about the sports tournaments headed to Surprise, and why more visitors mean more revenue for the city.

Councilmember Jack Hastings May Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/councilmemberhastings. To receive my newsletters by email each month, please sign up on my website, d5.surpriseaz.gov, and click the “Notify Me” link.

Surprise Day of Service

In April, we celebrated National Volunteer Week with the City’s annual “Bean Bag Day” event. Volunteers helped to bag 6,000 lbs of bulk beans for distribution to those in need through the Valley View Community Food Bank. Thank you to Seeds of Hope International Ministries for donating the pinto beans!

Councilmember Hastings bags pinto beans for National Volunteer Week with the City’s annual “Bean Bag Day” event.

If you would like to help out in your community, please consider joining the next Surprise Day of Service on May 26. For details or to volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1522.

New West Valley Hub for Military & Veteran Services

flag thumbnailThe West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center has a new home within the Surprise Resource Center, located at 12425 W. Bell Rd., Suite 124! The center provides military and veteran support services and resources to service members (active duty, Guard, and Reserve) and their families. This new West Valley location is in partnership with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Northern Arizona University, Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, and Rio Salado Community College and was made possible by the generous support of many partner organizations and all West Valley cities. To learn more about the West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center and the resources available, please call 623.222.1658 or visit the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov/veterans.

Passport Services Return

Passport booksPassport services have returned to Surprise City Hall by appointment only. Regular business hours for passports are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office. City staff can accept applications for first-time passport books and passport cards and review paperwork for renewals. They do not offer passport photos, so be sure to have your photos with you at your appointment. To make an appointment or for questions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/passport or call the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Free Arizona Small Business Association Membership!

In recognition of the continued small business recovery process resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Surprise Economic Development Department is teaming up with the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) to offer Surprise small businesses a free year of ASBA membership now through May 10! To sign up, please visit asba.com/surprise. Please also see the City of Surprise Economic Development webpage to learn about many other resources available for Surprise businesses!

Surprise Retail Survey

Surprise Retail Survey thumbnailThe 2021 Surprise Retail Survey is now open! Tell us what shopping and dining establishments you want to see in Surprise – plus, vote for current favorites so we can recognize the local businesses you love! Click on the link below to take our 2021 Retail Survey by May 9: surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey

FY 2022 Recommended Budget

The City Manager’s Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Budget was presented at the Special City Council Meeting on April 16. The budget continues to focus on Council’s commitment to maintaining quality public services and infrastructure. As such, the City of Surprise’s recommended budget includes funding for Countryside Park, Fire Station 308, $1 Million to attract new jobs and businesses, and a $4.5 Million increase in police funding.

To learn more about the budget process, please visit the City of Surprise Annual Budget page. All of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget presentations that the Council has received to date are located on this webpage, along with the City Council Budget Retreat video presentation.

A public hearing and tentative Budget adoption is scheduled for the May 4 Regular City Council Meeting, with final budget adoption planned for the June 1 meeting.

Property Tax Rate

There will be no change to your property tax rate! The primary tax rate in the City of Surprise is $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property value, plus the secondary property tax rate (from the voter-approved 2017 GO Bond) of $0.3880 per $100 of assessed property value. These rates multiplied by the assessed value of your home determine what you pay in property taxes. If the value of your home increases, you will see an increased tax bill; however, that is not due to an increase in the property tax rate but rather an increase in the assessed value of your home.

An infographic display for primary property taxes.

Surprise Ranked #6 Safest City

Surprise is the #6 safest city in Arizona, according to a new SafeWise report. Congrats to our community on this accomplishment, and thank you, Surprise PD and Surprise Fire-Medical, for making this possible! Here is a list of Arizona’s 10 Safest Cities: www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-arizona/.

COVID-19 Update

The Maricopa County Department of Health reports that as of 4/27/2021, over 2.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents. It further states that Maricopa County residents have received an average of 30,000 doses of vaccine per day. This information is available and updated frequently on the Maricopa County website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5671/Public-Vaccine-Data.

A Chart displaying the number of covid-19 vaccine doses administered to Maricopa County residents.

Surprise Vaccination Numbers

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported the overall number of Surprise COVID-19 cases at 13,585 on April 15. Below are the number of vaccination totals for ZIP codes in Surprise as of April 15.

  • 85374 – 20,841
  • 85379 – 13,001
  • 85388 – 8,398
  • 85378 – 3,090

State of the City Video

State of the City video thumbnail.State of the City video thumbnail.The 2021 State of the City video premiered on April 13. Please take a few moments to view it, if you have not had the opportunity. It is available for on-demand replay a surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted so many people last year, and in this video, we highlighted the resilience of our community. This message captures how our strength, effort, and strategic planning place the City’s trajectory toward future success. The State of the City video will also replay on Cox 11 cable channel at select times. To see a schedule, please visit surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/schedule.

Full Browsing Access Now Available at Surprise Libraries

The Maricopa County Library District is moving into the next phase of reopening at all county-run libraries. Customers can stop by the library during Pop-In Pick-up hours to browse every shelf and all selections, rather than a limited collection. The Northwest Regional Library, located at 16089 N. Bullard Ave., has Pop-In pick-up hours Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday. For more information, please visit mcldaz.org/locations/northwest/.

Community Baby-Shower

Monday, May 10, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Benevilla & Friends will be hosting a drive-thru baby shower for expecting moms and moms with infants up to 6 months old. Drive-thru and pick-up at Arizona Charter Academy parking lot located at 16025 N. Dysart Rd., Surprise, AZ 85537.

Meet and Greet

District 5 community meeting banner.Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on May 8, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my Notify Me mailing list on my city webpage at d5.surpriseaz.gov so that you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are May 4 and 18 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Dr. City Council meetings are now open to in-person attendance or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meeting live.

Councilmember Jack Hastings April Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings. To receive my newsletters by email each month, please sign up on my website, d5.surpriseaz.gov, and click the “Notify Me” link.

Surprise’s Face Covering Mandate Lifted

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise. You can read the full proclamation here.

Please note that based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-06, there are some exceptions.

The city retains the right to set and enforce mitigation policies in our city government buildings and on public transportation. Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended within city facilities, with the exception of Surprise City Court, where they are required.

Per the Governor’s order, private businesses may institute and enforce face covering policies and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies.

Per federal mandate, face coverings are still required while riding public transportation.

Events of 50+ no longer need city approval

With the state of Arizona hitting several important public health benchmarks, Governor Doug Ducey announced several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures, including on events, businesses and local ordinances.

Several key data points contributed to these changes:

  • Mass distribution of the vaccine: 3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
  • 10 weeks of declining cases.
  • Hospitalizations at the lowest level since the end of September/beginning of October.
  • Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans 16 years of age and older.
  • A recent evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that ranks Arizona among the best states in the nation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
  • President Biden’s recent promise that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May 1.

Under the changes announced by Governor Ducey:

  • Events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments. These events should continue to follow safe practices and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing. This includes youth sports.
  • The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Governor Ducey is providing businesses with the ability to continue requiring masks and social distancing.
  • Bars have already been allowed to operate as “dine-in” at full capacity. They will now be allowed to resume regular operations, with the ability to require social distancing and masks.
  • Unlike some other states, Arizona never issued a statewide mask mandate, and instead encouraged personal responsibility with an aggressive educational campaign — resulting in more widespread mask usage than states with mandates. Some local governments have implemented “mandates,” however, they have rarely, if ever, been enforced. Under this latest action, those local mandates will be phased out. Mask usage is still encouraged, especially in groups that are not vaccinated.

View the Governor’s Executive Order HERE.

City Hall Re-opens/Council Meetings Re-open to In-person Attendance

On Monday, April 12, Surprise City Hall and other city administrative buildings will re-open to the public. Additionally, City Council meetings and all board and commissions meeting will open to in-person attendance effective that date.

COVID Relief Funding

For over a year now, the city of Surprise has been working hard to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Our city has been fortunate to receive federal, state and county financial assistance to provide meals, rental/mortgage payments, and utility assistance through our Senior Center and Surprise Resource Center.

Here is a snapshot at how $10.88 million in federal funds has helped our community during the COVID crisis:

Federal funds allocation.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program provided billions of dollars in payroll assistance funding for businesses through two rounds of funding.

While these programs have helped, the city identified some funding gaps in meeting certain needs and in some cases, noticed some needs were not being met at all.

On September 1, 2020 and November 2, 2020, the Surprise City Council approved resolutions to support $555,000 for Surprise COVID Community Relief Packages for addressing community and business needs because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic. Utilizing some of our AZ CARES ACT dollars, we were able to allocate $180,000 to address the following human service needs:

AZ CARES ACT allocation.

The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:

Surprise small business relief funds allocation.

The city will continue to explore additional needs as we anticipate another round of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act in the future. We have a good plan in place to monitor where the needs are and address as appropriate.

Small businesses are encouraged to review updated COVID business resources available on www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp or to reach out to the Surprise Economic Development Department at econdev@surpriseaz.gov.

Community Resources are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/communitycare, or call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

District 5 Ribbon Cuttings

Lucky House Chinese Cuisine, located at 14291 W. Grand Avenue, opened in Surprise last summer. Recently, they celebrated with a ribbon-cutting and were kind enough to invite Mayor Hall and me to participate. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate with you, and I wish you continued success!

Thank you also to Player One Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, for inviting Mayor Hall and me to participate in your ribbon cutting celebration! Player 1 Arcade is a family-friendly entertainment business new to Surprise!

Property Maintenance Ordinance

Public comment is being requested for the draft Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO). This document establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the city. The goal of the PMO is to keep the City of Surprise safe, healthy, and blight-free. Public comment will be accepted through Sunday, May 2, 2021. If you would like to learn more about the document, please join the public meeting that is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, or view the March 2 Property Maintenance Ordinance Work Session Presentation. To access the public meeting online or to leave a comment on the document, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

A presentation and vote on the item is scheduled for the June 15, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting. If adopted, the PMO will be effective July 15, 2021.

State of the City Video Premiere

State of the City thumbnailPlease tune in on April 13 at 6 p.m. for the 2021 State of the City Video Premiere, live online at surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV. The 2021 State of the City will reflect on our community’s resilience and look forward to what’s on the horizon!

Surprise Day of Service Event

If you are looking for a way to give back to your community, please consider volunteering for a Day of Service event. The next Day of Service event is scheduled for April 24 and is the “4th Annual Bean Bag Day” event. In celebration of National Volunteer Week 2021, Seeds of Hope International Ministries has purchased 6,000 pounds of dry pinto beans for this annual event! Participants will help bag bulk pinto beans into individual packaging for distribution through the Valley View Community Food Bank. Register to volunteer during one of four two-hour time slots between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. COVID-19 CDC guidelines will be in place, and masks are required. To volunteer, please call 623.222.1522 or email Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov.

The City of Surprise usually hosts a Day of Service each month. If you are not able to participate this time, please visit surpriseaz.gov for information on other opportunities..

Ottawa Tour

Councilmember Aly Cline, Councilmember Jack Hastings, Ottawa’s president, Dennis Tyner, and new Vice President of University Advancement, Todd Simpson.Councilmember Aly Cline and I had the opportunity to tour the Ottawa campus and meet with Ottawa’s president, Dennis Tyner, and new Vice President of University Advancement, Todd Simpson. Ottawa University is a great partner for the City of Surprise, and I appreciated having some time to sit down and hear from their leadership.

Budget Retreat

FY22 Budget thumbnailThe Surprise City Council will be participating in a Budget Retreat on April 16, beginning at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers. The intent of the retreat is to continue the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget. The retreat will be open to public attendance and will be televised for public viewing on surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise and Cox channel 11.

New Southwest Gas Customer Information System

Beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021, Southwest Gas is transforming their customer information system to provide an improved customer experience, along with enhanced security. For more information on how this could impact you and the way your account will be serviced, please visit www.swgas.com/new4u.

COVID-19 Update

The Maricopa County Department of Health reports that as of 3/31/2021, almost 1.2 million, adult residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It further states that Maricopa County residents have received an average of 26-28,000 does of vaccine per day. This information is available and updated frequently on the Maricopa County website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5671/Public-Vaccine-Data.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to Maricopa County residents.

The graph below, also from the Maricopa County Department of Health website, shows the current case counts of those diagnosed with COVID-19.

Graph of COVID-19 cases reported each day in Maricopa County

Vaccinations are now open to those 16 and older! The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Meet and Greet

District 5 community meeting banner.Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on April 10, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are April 6 and 20 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings will be re-opened to in-person attendance beginning with the April 20 meeting. For the April 6 meeting, please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meeting live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings March Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.

Now Open

Player 1 Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, had its Grand Opening on February 19! Player 1 Arcade specializes in retro arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s, and has a wide selection of pinball machines. You can check them out at www.p1arcade.com.

A row of pinball machines line the wall and dining table are centered in the room at Player 1 Arcade.

District 5 Ribbon Cuttings

Berkshire Diamonds and Design

Mayor Hall and I had the privilege of attending the One Year Anniversary Ribbon Cutting for Berkshire Diamonds & Design, located at 15609 W. Bell Road. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!

Zona Wyyered

Zona Wyyered, an Arizona-based company that provides high-speed internet and telephone services, just opened at 14273 W. Grand Avenue. Thank you for inviting Mayor Hall and me to your Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Hastings stand behind a red ribbon holding up their ceremonial scissors.

Recycling Update

Please take a moment to watch my new Council Conversations show for an update on recycling. I interview Deputy City Manager & Public Works Director Mike Gent about the current recycling climate and how Surprise is working to find a fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable solution. You can find the video on my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov.

Councilmember Jack Hastings speaks with Deputy City Manager & Public Works Director Mike Gent on the Council Conversations show.

Drop-off Recycling

A city of Surprise public works employee gives a thumbs up over a container full of recyclable plastics.Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

  • Plastic bottles #1 and #2 (including milk gallons, soda bottles, condiment bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent containers)
    Please be sure to screw all lids on the bottles or remove them completely
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum and tin cans

A city staff member will be available to help sort recyclable materials and ensure that the recyclables are not contaminated.

Spring Training

Surprise Stadium logoTickets for Spring Training are now on sale! The game schedule has been modified from what was previously released and can be found at www.surprisestadium.com. The following health and safety protocols are in place to provide fans with additional safety:

  • Limited seating capacity of under 2,000 fans per game
  • Physically-distancing seating pods
  • Required face coverings, unless eating/drinking
  • Reduced touchpoints (contactless ticketing, cashless transactions)
  • New intensified cleaning protocols.

Fans can purchase tickets online through SurpriseStadium.com, by phone at 623.222.2222, and in-person at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note that box office transactions will be cashless. Accepted forms of payment at the box office include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Surprise Stadium baseball field.

Budget Update

The kicked off the Fiscal Year 2022 budget building process on February 2. At the February 16 Council Work Session, Council received an overview on Budget Revenues. The chart below shows Citywide revenues and the percentages that they make up out of the whole budget.

A pie chart displaying a breakdown of citywide revenue.
Click to view larger image

One area of this revenue pie chart that is often talked about is property tax. The City of Surprise has a Primary Property tax rate of $0.7591 (per $100 Assessed LPV), which is a tax levy used for general government operations and a Secondary Property Tax rate of $0.3880, which is a voter-approved tax levy limited to pay for General Obligation (GO) bonds. It is also important to note that the majority of the primary property tax rate that is collected by the County goes to entities other than the City of Surprise. Below is a graphic that represents the property tax distribution.

A slide from a powerpoint showing a dollar bill segmented into color coded sections.
Click to view larger image

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include presentations related to expenses and department operation budget development. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review. The final budget adoption is scheduled for June 1. Fiscal Year 2022 begins July 1, 2021.

For the complete presentation that was shared at the February 16 Council Work Session, please visit Surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Drive-Thru Meals

Chef Peter’s Bistro, located at 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy, is providing drive-thru meal service on Wednesday nights from 4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. I will be helping to hand out meals the first Wednesday of each month. Stop by and say hi!

Police Tour

I recently had the opportunity to tour the Surprise Police Department and participate in a training simulation used by our officers. The simulation allows officers to practice in a virtual environment, with controls that allow them to see where they can improve and where they have done well. Officers are required to participate in these trainings on an annual basis.

Council Committees/GPEC

Council Committee Assignments

Mayor Hall has assigned Councilmembers to subcommittees for 2021. I have been assigned to two committees:

  • Tourism Fund Subcommittee, which is responsible for reviewing applications that request Tourism Fund allocations to attract eligible tourism activities within the City of Surprise.
  • Subcommittee on Community Outreach, Partnerships, and Grants, which works to identify grant opportunities, prioritization, and coordination with community outreach opportunities to facilitate and promote council objectives and policies.

I look forward to serving on these committees and will keep you updated on my work with each.

GPEC

The City of Surprise works closely with The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), which provides education and networking opportunities to its members. By participating in the educational webinars offered, I have earned Ambassador status. The GPEC Ambassador events provide business development forums and workshops that feature industry experts.

Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors

In January, I attended the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors and had the opportunity to fellowship and pray with other community leaders. Local pastors host this event, and Mayor Hall was a guest speaker.

Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Youth Council logoMembers of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) have been interviewing Councilmembers as a part of their civic engagement process. I participated in an interview in February and answered questions regarding my job as a City Councilperson and the role of youth in Surprise.

The City of Surprise is currently recruiting new members for the SYC. Make a difference for youth in your community! The Surprise Youth Council meets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 p.m.; meetings are currently virtual. The SYC is open to those in grades 7-11 who attend a school within the City of Surprise or a Dysart Unified School District school or reside in Surprise. For additional information, or to find out how to apply, please visit surpriseaz.gov/SYC.

COVID-19 Update

The Maricopa County Department of Health reports that as of 2/23/2021, over 633,000, or over 18% of Maricopa County adult residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and that almost 260,000 Maricopa County residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. It further states that about half of those vaccinated in Maricopa County are 65 years or older, and 61% of those who are aged 75 or older have been vaccinated. This information is available and updated frequently on the Maricopa County website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5671/Public-Vaccine-Data.

A chart displaying COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to Maricopa County residents.
Click to view larger image

The graph below, also from the Maricopa County Department of Health website, shows the current case counts of those diagnosed with COVID-19.

A graph displaying the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Maricopa County over the past year.
Click to view larger image

Vaccinations are open to those in group 1B, which includes individuals age 65 and older. The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).

A graphic displaying the potential COVID-19 vaccination prioritization phases.
Click to view larger image

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

From March 16-26, Surprise residents can schedule an appointment to have their household hazardous waste picked up from their homes. Pick-ups will occur March 29-April 9. To schedule a pick-up, you can request an appointment through the My Surprise App or call Customer Service at 623.222.1920. The following is a list of accepted items:

  • Antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, and fuel additives (5 gallon limit per household)
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers (5 gallon limit per household)
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, and gas cylinders
  • Car and household batteries
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Oil-based paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives (10 gallon limit per household)
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other lawn chemicals
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos

Surprise Day of Service

Surprise is looking for volunteers for its Day of Service, on Saturday, March 20. If you would like to volunteer to help with projects throughout the city, please contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or by email at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov.

The City of Surprise often hosts a Day of Service each month. If you are not able to participate this time, please visit surpriseaz.gov for information on other opportunities.

Meet and Greet

District 5 community meeting banner.Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on March 13, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are March 2 and 16 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings February Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters. I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Representative. I look forward to the opportunity to provide you with city updates, and I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.

Supporting Local Business and First Responders

Councilmember Hastings in front of city hall.It is a blessing to be able to support our local businesses and first responders by donating my 2020 Council salary. Here’s where the money went:

  • Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway, received $778
  • Sweet Tea Café, 15278 W. Bell Road, received $667
  • Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, received $439
  • Gathered Grounds, 15800 N. Litchfield, received $439
  • Lunch for all seven Surprise Fire Stations, $460
  • Lunch for Surprise Police, $105

Councilmember Hastings hands an envelope to the owner of Sweet Tea.

Coming Soon!

Overeasy restaurant.Over Easy is coming to Surprise District 5! They will be taking over the former Mucho Burrito space on Bell Road by In-N-Out Burger. This local breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot will be a fantastic addition to District 5 and City Center!

What’s going next to Costco? Here are some restaurants that are currently under development review in the area:

Various restaurant logos: Whataburger, Black Rock Coffee Bar, Arby's, Jersey Mike's, Aloha.

  • Whataburger
  • Black Rock Coffee
  • Arby’s
  • Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade
  • Jersey Mike’s

Also, coming soon to Surprise is BadAZ Axes and Axescape room! This axe-throwing/escape room concept is underway at the Southeast corner of Greenway Road and the Loop 303.

BadAz Axes and Axescape Room logos

The Dungeon Gaming Center has opened at 15557 W. Bell Road. The Dungeon Gaming Center is a game retailer and soon-to-be gameplay location. Check it out at www.dungeongaming.com.

The Springs at Surprise, located at the southwest corner of Bullard Avenue and Bell Road, is currently in development review. This project is a 204-unit multi-family development from Continental Homes that will sit across the street from The Quarter at Surprise site, which will feature retail, restaurants, grocery, and fitness locations.

Recycling Update

Recycle Wise in Surprise logo.It might be easier, or even more politically beneficial for us to tell you that curbside recycling has returned. Some other cities have done this, right? They even have a second truck go around to pick up the blue bins separately. But where do all of those recyclables go? The landfill, with the trash.

Why would your recycling go to the landfill? They would go there because our one vendor (and only option) cannot guarantee that ANY material in our blue bins will be recycled. This is in part because China is refusing to allow any of their businesses to accept U.S. recyclables.

Most of us would be willing to pay a little more to truly recycle. However, we would be paying a LOT more to still NOT recycle. In addition, we’d be paying for another truck to go around to collect the blue bins to pretend like we are recycling, when we wouldn’t be. This would be dishonest and wrong. Speaking of cost, in addition to not being environmentally conscious, it would not be fiscally responsible or sustainable.

Looking at the graphic below, in 2017 “recycling” cost the city $90,000 annually. If we had continued at that pace, in 2020 the cost would have skyrocketed to $1.3 MILLION, if not more. That is an increase of over 1,300%. This cost would then (wrongfully) be passed onto you, through the city being forced to add more and more rate fee increases in the midst of a pandemic, which I do not support.

In conclusion, I know this information is frustrating, and not what we wanted to hear. I am personally disappointed at the current situation and lack of alternatives. That being said, there is hope down the road and we do have options, but it won’t happen overnight:

Short Term:

  1. I have added an item to a future City Council Work Session to discuss expanding our current Drop-Off Recycling Program’s days, hours and locations to better serve residents.
  2. We can work with our current vendor to negotiate a fair contract for curbside recycling where we are truly recycling at a reasonable rate to ratepayers

Long Term:

  1. We can work with other vendors to expand their capacity so they are able to take our recyclables.
  2. We can look into building our own Surprise MRF (Material Recovery Facility) to process our own materials and also materials of other cities in the West Valley as well to enhance revenue.

I promise you we are working around the clock to find a solution. However, we are going to find a solution that is right: Environmentally, Economically, and Ethically.

If you did not have a chance to watch the January 19 Council meeting, below is a link to a recording, beginning with the Recycling discussion.

https://surpriseaz.ompnetwork.org/sessions/160821?embedInPoint=2491&embedOutPoint=10545&shareMethod=link

Drop-off Recycling

Recycling drop-off center banner.Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

  • Plastic bottles #1 and #2 (including milk gallons, soda bottles, condiment bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent containers)
    Please be sure to screw all lids on the bottles or remove them completely
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum and tin cans

A city staff member will be available to help sort recyclable materials and ensure that the recyclables are not contaminated.

NEW Council Conversation

In early February, I will be hosting a Council Conversation, where I will interview Deputy City Manager Mike Gent regarding recycling. Please check my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov for the video once it is released!

Surprise City Academy

Surprise City Academy logoLearn more about the City of Surprise from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager, and upper-level city staff! The Surprise City Academy is an excellent way for residents, students, and business owners to learn about municipal government structure, processes and funding, and engage in community affairs and local issues. This virtual 10-session course begins on February 22 and will meet via WebEx on Monday nights from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The Academy is FREE to attend, but you must register. For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.

Small Business Help

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced a new round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Our Economic Development Department maintains a summary of the PPP information on their website at www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp.

Spring Training

Spring Training 2021 is scheduled to begin on February 27, however, the Cactus League would prefer to delay Spring Training for a month. The hope is that a delay would allow more time for people to get vaccinated and to hopefully see a decline in new COVID cases. No decision has been made about changing the February 27th start of the season. Right now, the Texas Rangers are set to take on the Kansas City Royals on February 27 at 1:05 p.m.! For a complete schedule of games and updated information on ticket sales and safety protocols, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or call 623.222.2222. Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the Spring Training Schedule and information is subject to change.

COVID-19 Update

Vaccinations can now be scheduled for Phase 1C, individuals age 65 and older. The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Meet and Greet

District 5 community meeting banner.Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on February 13, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are February 2 and 16 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings January Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters. I am thankful and honored to serve you as your District 5 Representative. I look forward to the opportunity to provide you with city updates, and I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.

2020 Wrap Up

There is no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we still have many things to celebrate. The City of Surprise has seen many positive accomplishments this year. Below is a list of just a few of the great things that happened in our community this year:

Opened/Completed:

  • Abrazo Hospital
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Fire Station 304
  • Waddell Road
  • Litchfield Road
  • Drop-off Recycling Program

Broke Ground:

  • Amazon Delivery Station
  • Fire Station 308
  • Public Safety and Evidence Facility
  • Greenway Road

City Center Development

Surprise City Center is continuing to develop and bring exciting opportunities to Surprise. The “Quarter at Surprise” retail marketing plan, located in the area of Bell Road and Bullard Avenue is now available. This 78-acre site plan lays the groundwork for a vibrant entertainment, retail, restaurant, grocery, and fitness destination! Additionally, a Marriott Springhill Suites has been approved for the northwest corner of Civic Center Drive and Elm Street. Keep an eye on our City Center webpage for current updates.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan for the Town at Surprise Center project at their December 17 meeting. Town at Surprise Center is a gated rental townhome community on 5.4 acres located along Bell Road near Civic Center Drive. Site improvements will include 114 units, ranging from 1,200-1,367 square feet, paving, sidewalks, a pool, and landscaping. The final plat for this project is anticipated to go to Council on February 2, 2021.

New Park Coming Soon!

Surprise has continued to see growth in housing permits and retail sales collections. As a result, the City Council voted at the December 15 meeting to fund several parks-related projects. Included in this funding is the design for a new eight-acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place that will begin construction by the end of June 2021! This project will provide more programmable and rental field space. Additionally, Gaines Youth Baseball Field will be completed ahead of the original timeline thanks to additional funding, and Council also voted to establish a $3 million budget for enhancements to the Surprise Community Park. Enhancements could include adding a restroom, improving dog park drainage, and exploring new lighting. A final project list will be determined following design and submittal of actual costs. Keep an eye on the City’s website for updated information. All of these projects will advance the goals of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Recycling Update

Recycle Wise in Surprise logo.Please tune in for a recycling update at the January 19 Council Regular Session. Regular sessions typically begin at 6 p.m. Please check the agenda for specific times. To watch live on Surprise TV visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 also carry the meetings live.

Surprise Small Business Relief Grant

The Surprise Small Business Relief Grant program provided grants to qualifying local businesses to help with rent, utilities, payroll expenses, and other operating costs. Through the program, 79 local businesses were supported, and 483 jobs were retained! This program was funded in two phases, using CARES Act money, to help local businesses that have been impacted by the current health crisis. While the funds for this program have been fully utilized, the City’s Economic Development Team is always here to help support local businesses. For more information on resources available, please visit the COVID-19 Business Resources page on our website.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The City of Surprise Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Service is being held virtually on January 16. Please tune in at 9 a.m. to Surprise TV or the City of Surprise social media channels for a virtual program featuring a variety of local musicians, performers, and speakers. Community service projects are also being scheduled throughout the day, but advanced registration is required due to COVID-19 gathering limitations. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1522.

COVID-19 Update

Vaccinations for health care workers and residents of long term care facilities, has begun. Distribution to these groups could take several months to accomplish and will likely be followed by distribution to essential workers such as police, critical infrastructure workers, and teachers. The general population could receive the vaccine sometime in the spring of 2021. The vaccine distribution is prioritized by the US Centers for Disease Control. For more information on how the vaccine distribution was prioritized, please visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.html.

A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing location has opened in Surprise at St. Clare of Assisi, located at 17111 W. Bell Road. To schedule an appointment, you can visit https://embrywomenshealth.com/testing-blitz/

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Maricopa County has free temporary isolation housing available for individuals who are unable to isolate with a bedroom or bathroom that nobody else can use or are high-risk individuals who live with infected family or roommates. To find out additional information, or to see if you are eligible, call 2-1-1 and dial 6 for COVID-19 assistance, or visit https://www.maricopa.gov/5565/COVID-19-Positive.

Community Resources

St. Mary’s Food Bank now has a home delivery option. Maricopa County residents that are unable to travel to a local food bank may be eligible for this program. For more information, call 602-242-3663, or visit St. Mary’s Food Bank – Covid Relief Home Delivery Sign-Up.

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on January 9 at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are January 5 and 19 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings December Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters. I am thankful and honored to serve you as your District 5 Representative. I look forward to the opportunity to provide you with city updates, and I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.

Surprise Police Department Awarded Reaccreditation

The Surprise Police Department has received their fifth accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA®)! Agencies receive their accreditation awards after participating in a four-year process where all aspects of an agency’s policies, procedures, management, operations, and support services undergo a comprehensive examination. The CALEA accreditation process has proven to be of great benefit to both the agency and the community, by requiring agencies to conform to procedures that are consistent with internationally recognized and progressive law enforcement standards. The Surprise Police Department voluntarily participates in the law enforcement accreditation process and will continue to do so into the future.

Congratulations to our Surprise Police Department!

Surprise Police Department Toy Drive

The Surprise Police Department Toy Drive is underway! New, unwrapped toys in the manufacturer’s original packaging can be dropped-off at the following locations until Dec. 14:

  • The Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza Suite #103
  • Irish Wolfhound Restaurant & Pub, 16811 N. Litchfield Road
  • Sun Village Community, 14300 W. Bell Road
  • Sunflower RV Resort, 16501 N. El Mirage Road
  • Arizona Traditions, 17221 N. Citrus Road
  • Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 19509 N Sunrise Blvd. Suite #8
  • Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 19232 N. R H Johnson Boulevard (Sun City West)
  • Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road #B101
  • Walmart, 13770 W. Bell Road
  • Vista de la Montana Independent Senior Living, 18510 N. Parkview Plaza

Surprise Party 2020, At-home Style

Surprise Party at HomeI hope you have had an opportunity to check out the video of the virtual tree lighting ceremony that kicked-off our virtual Surprise Party this year! If you haven’t had a chance to view it, please take a moment to do so at surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty.

Tune in on Surprise TV online and the City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Facebook Page for more fun Surprise Party At-home virtual events scheduled this week! Below is a list of events:

DATETIMEEVENT
Mon, Dec. 7 6:30 p.m. Virtual Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus**
Tues, Dec. 8 6:30 p.m. Virtual Bingo – Holiday Edition (must pre-register)
Space is limited; secure your spot by signing up for this Special Event online at surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov.
Wed, Dec. 9 5:30-8:30 p.m. Zoom Calls with Santa (must pre-register)
Space is limited; secure your spot by signing up for this Special Event online at surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov.
Thurs, Dec. 10 6:30 p.m. Virtual Holiday Themed Art & Craft featuring WHAM**
Craft kits will be available for pick up beginning Monday, November 30 to Thursday, December 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Parks & Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave, while supplies last.
Fri, Dec. 11 6:00-8:00 p.m. Santa Drive-Thru at Surprise Stadium
Download a colorable letter for Santa at surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty. Participants must remain in the car during this event. Santa’s helpers will hand out goodie bags to the first 200 participants.
Sat, Dec. 12 –
Sun, Dec. 13
Evening Light up the Night House Decorating Contest w/ map

** Denotes a video event.

If you are planning to decorate your home or business’s exterior with holiday decorations, you can enter the Light up the Night House Decorating Contest. Complete an online entry form at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/FormCenter/Applications-3/House-Decorating-Contest-Entry-Form-94 , or call 623.222.2000 by December 9 to enter.

Judging takes place on December 12-13. Structures will be judged in the following categories: best theme, best show, best traditional holiday décor, and best business.

The City will create a map and post it to surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty on Thursday, December 10 so residents can drive around and view the contest participants.

Merry Christmas from your Surprise City Council!

2021 Spring Training Games Announced

2021 Spring TrainingThe Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals have released their 2021 Spring Training schedule. Their season opener, featuring the Texas Rangers vs. the Kansas City Royals, is scheduled for Saturday, February 27! While ticket sales information is not available yet, you can sign up for the waitlist to receive more information when it is available. To see a complete schedule of games, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4995.

Please note, additional health and safety protocols are being developed with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, local and international health authorities, Major League Baseball and destination partners. Surprise Stadium has taken additional steps to protect your safety, including reduced touch points, contactless ticketing, new intensified cleaning protocols and reduced seating capacity for social distancing.

Economic Development in District 5

Now open!

Bath & Body Works, 13727 W. Bell Road
HoneyBaked Ham Pop-Up Retail Store, 13980 W. Bell Road
Midwest Burger Company, 17221 N. Litchfield Road

Opening Soon!

Player One Arcade, 17239 N. Litchfield Road

Under Construction:

KC Royals Player Housing, N. Bullard Avenue
Mera City Center, 15510 N. La Cometa

City Center Development

I recently had the opportunity to film a Council Conversation on City Center Development with the City of Surprise Economic Development Director, Jeanine Jerkovic and Surprise City Center Development Company’s Scott Phillips. The conversation focused on recent development and what we can expect in the future. You can view the episode at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=d8drHOg3msY.

The Surprise City Center “Quarter at Surprise” marketing brochure is now available. This 78-acre site is located at the southeast corner of Bullard Avenue and Bell Road and is planned for retail and restaurant uses. View the site plan and marketing materials on the Economic Development City Center webpage.

City Bond Projects Breaking Ground

Work to complete the 10 voter-approved Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond projects continues!

  • Construction has begun on the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center at 134th
  • Greenway Road widening near the Loop 303 has just begun! The project will finish the south half of Greenway Road from 800 feet west of Loop 303 to 1600 feet east of Loop 303 (approximately Cotton Lane to Sarival Avenue), adding two travel lanes and eliminating areas of the roadway that have multiple lanes merging into one lane.

    In addition to more travel lanes, the project includes turn lanes, drainage infrastructure, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting and landscaping. This project is anticipated to be complete in November 2021, weather permitting.
  • Fire Station 308 at Litchfield and Cactus roads broke ground today and is anticipated to be complete in late 2021. Fire Station 308 will be a nearly 16,000 square foot multi-bay facility that will house an Engine Company, Hazardous Materials Response Team and future ambulance. In addition to constructing the building, the bond approval also authorized purchase of a fire engine for the station. This new station will meet the growing needs of the community and help to ensure timely and appropriate response times into the future.

Citizen Review Meeting (Virtual)

A Citizen Review Meeting is scheduled to be held on December 22, at 6 p.m. via Zoom, to discuss a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow for the expansion of an existing mini-storage facility located north of Waddell Road and east of 140th Drive in the Sierra Verde Planned Area Development. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this project, please plan to attend this meeting. To access the meeting, please use the information below:

Online Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88630827666?pwd=RVpQZ3JtRmpaL1UvbDV6VkFQS3N4dz09
Phone Access: +1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID (access code): 886 3082 7666
Passcode: 450173

Project Location

COVID-19 UPDATE

As of December 3, for the state of Arizona, there were 346,421 confirmed cases and 6,821 deaths. According to the AZDHS data dashboard, the positivity rate is now at 10.3%.

For your information, statistics are updated daily at https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/covid-19/dashboards/index.php. Maricopa County still has a mask mandate in effect.

For information on COVID-19 testing locations, please see the link below:

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Community Resources

Home Delivered Meal Program- the City of Surprise has partnered with the Area Agency on Aging, and Banner Olive Branch to provide residents aged 60 and better, or adults with disabilities, home delivered meals. For more information, or to register for this service, please call 602.264.4357 or 623-974-9430.

Community Christmas Drive-thru at Radiant Church- Saturday, December 12, from 9 a.m. to noon. FREE groceries, shoes, socks, underwear and toys for children ages 3-12, while supplies last. Children must be present to receive gifts. Radiant Church is located at 15522 W. Paradise Lane.

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on December 12 at 9 a.m. Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is December 15 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.