City Council Work Session
West Valley Military & Veteran Success Center
Steve Yamamori, Director of Military & Veteran Programs at Rio Salado College, provided an update on the West Valley Military & Veteran Success Center including recent accomplishments, success stories and future opportunities. The Maricopa Community Colleges host two Military and Veteran Success Centers that offer free services and resources for transitioning military members, veterans and their dependents.
The centers are conveniently located in the East Valley and at Luke Air Force Base in the West Valley. Each center has full-time staff available to assist veterans with their VA benefits, education and employment opportunities, and to help with the transition back to civilian life. The West Valley Center focuses on transitioning military, employment and VA claims. Between the two centers, they support more than 200 transitioning military, veterans and spouses each month.
General Obligation Bond Project and Capital Improvement Project Update
City staff presented updates on various projects underway or being planned around the city. This included the General Obligation Bond projects approved by voters in November 2017, as well as several other projects.
The bond pavement preservation projects scheduled for 2018 have been 99 percent completed, with only permanent striping remaining. Those roads include: Reems Road between Bell Road and Grand Avenue and again between Waddell Road and Cactus Road; Greenway Road between Reems Road and Bullard Avenue; Waddell Road between Reems Road and Bullard Avenue and again between Litchfield Road and Dysart Road; Dysart Road between Bell Road and Greenway Road; and Cactus Road between Reems Road and Bullard Avenue. A similar amount of work is scheduled for next summer and fall, with the most notable section being on Bell Road between Grand Avenue and our eastern city limits. The blue lines on the map indicates the projects nearly complete, and the red indicates projects scheduled for 2019.
The road widening projects approved in the Bond are also moving forward with construction on Waddell Road between SR303 and Reems Road, as well as Litchfield Road between Waddell Road and Peoria Avenue, scheduled to be complete by Summer of 2020. The Greenway Road widening between Cotton Lane and Sarival Avenue will follow those projects, with completion expected by Spring of 2021.
Construction is underway on the Public Works Operation Facility with completion expected by January 2020. Land acquisition for the permanent Fire Station 304 will be complete in November 2018 with construction complete by fall of 2020. Up-to-date, detailed information on the bond projects is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.
Construction of the Asante Library is being scheduled with completion expected by December 2019.
The Bullard Avenue safety project will be substantially complete in November 2018 with the new traffic signals scheduled for activation on December 3. And finally, a new traffic project was announced for the full buildout of the 163rd Avenue and Jomax Road intersection, including installation of traffic signals with construction projected for 2021.
Utility Rate Study for Fiscal Years 2020-2024
Surprise City Council was presented with the proposed Utility Rate Study that, if approved, would adjust city-provided solid waste utility base rates in fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Water and wastewater utility rates would remain unchanged in FY 2020. The city reviews utility base rates and creates a five-year structure schedule based on the revenues required to operate utilities and maintain infrastructure while also considering asset replacement and emergency funding needs. Economic influences such as increases in operational resources and future growth are also considered when adjusting the rates. The last Rate Study was implemented in FY 2014.
If the Utility Rate Study is approved in February, city-serviced single-family residential solid waste customers would see one of two new base rate options presented to Council. The first is a base rate of $22.40 per month, a $5.44 per month increase. The rate schedule would also raise the solid waste rate by $0.30 each fiscal year beginning in 2020, bringing the rate to $23.60 in FY 2024. The second option is a base rate of $20.70 that would also begin on July 1, 2019, a $3.74 per month increase; the rate would increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The schedule would then increase the solid waste rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 in FY 2024.
During the discussion Council reached a consensus favoring Option 2.
View the Option 1 and Option 2 rate schedule table
If the base rate increase is approved in February, this would be the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. There were no increases for more than 8 years between 1/1/2010 and 7/1/2018.
Residents who are serviced by private solid waste providers (Park and Sons, etc.) would not be impacted by the Surprise solid waste adjustment; learn who provides your solid waste utility services at surpriseaz.gov/mysurpriseaddress.
The proposed timeline for the Rate Study is:
- December 4, 2018: Public ‘Notice of Intent to Increase Rates’
- February 5, 2019: Public hearing; Council vote on Rate Study
- July 1, 2019: If approved, new base rates effective
Follow the Rate Study and learn more information about the proposed adjustments at surpriseaz.gov/utilityrateinfo.
City Council Meeting
Approval of New City Manager Contract
The Surprise City Council unanimously voted to appoint Michael Frazier as the Surprise City Manager Mr. 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.
He will replace Bob Wingenroth as City Manager. City Manager Wingenroth, who has served as the Surprise City Manager since 2014, announced earlier this month that he was resigning for personal reasons. His last day with the city is November 16, with Mr. Frazier assuming the City Manager position the following day.
Michael 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, Mr. 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.
Mr. Frazier earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University in Justice Studies and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He is married and has three children.
Mayor Wolcott Announced Resignation
City of Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott announced her intention to resign. Mayor Wolcott was first elected as mayor in November 2011 and re-elected in August of 2016. Prior to her service as Mayor, she was a member of the Surprise City Council. Her final day as mayor will be Friday, November 16.
Per city code, all remaining members of the council are eligible candidates to fill a mayoral vacancy. The mayoral candidate must be selected no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the creation of the vacancy.
Selection process: Any council member may nominate any eligible candidate, with no second required. All nominations must occur prior to voting. Voting will be by written ballot. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes will fill the vacancy. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of votes, the two candidates receiving the highest votes will be considered in a run-off vote. The first candidate receiving an affirmative majority of the votes cast will fill the vacancy. The meeting may not adjourn until the vacancy has been filled. No later than the next regularly scheduled council meeting following the mayoral selection, the city clerk must administer the oath of office.
The selection of mayor under this section will trigger a vacancy in the district from which the mayor-select previously served, setting the stage for an appointment process for that district until the next election in which that seat would be on the ballot.
With two years left on Mayor Wolcott’s term, the council’s selection, will serve as mayor until December 31, 2020. The next election for the mayor’s seat would be the Primary Election in 2020, and the winning candidate would then begin a new four-year term on January 1, 2021.
Events & Meetings
Chance Shelter Meeting
Chance Shelter staff and I met with residents at Sun Village to review a map of the future dog shelter. Please refer to summary in the “Did You Know” section for more information.
Salvation Army Annual Kettle Kick-Off
Vice Mayor Ken Remley, Councilmember Nancy Hayden and I attended the Salvation Army Annual Kettle Kick-Off luncheon in Surprise on Wednesday, November 7. Each year, Salvation Army hosts this luncheon immediately prior to the holiday season to kick-off the Christmas kettle campaign for their volunteers.
West Valley Arts HQ Exhibit
West Valley Arts HQ hosted a VIP reception on Wednesday, November 7 for their new exhibit, A Brush with Victory 2.0. The exhibit features artist Bill Patterson and his famous NASCAR paintings. His art will be on display through November 16.
Mark Your Calendar
Surprise Super Swap Meet
The semi-annual Surprise Super Swap Meet will be held on Saturday, November 10. More than 60 vendors will have new and gently used treasures on display from 8 am until 1 pm in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatic Center. Parking and admission are free.
Surprise Veterans Day Events
Our 4th Annual Veteran’s Day Parade and pancake breakfast will be held on Monday, November 12. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will travel along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.
The breakfast will be catered by Puffy Taco Food Truck, the breakfast kicks off at 7 a.m. in the center field plaza at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Ave., and will feature pancakes, a choice of sausage or bacon and breakfast refreshments. Pre-purchased tickets are $4 per plate and available at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue or at www.surpriseaz.gov. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Tickets will be sold the day of for $5.
Parking will be available at the Surprise Recreation Campus. Please note Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil Way and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.
City Hall will be closed in honor of Veterans Day and the holiday trash and recycling schedule will be in effect for City of Surprise customers.
Oracle ITA National Fall Tennis Tournament and Community Events
The nation’s top singles and doubles players will gather in Surprise, Arizona, to compete in the finale tournament of the fall collegiate season at the 2018 Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Fall Championships! The community can get involved too, with fun events and learning opportunities planned for tennis coaches, kids, and teens looking to play in college. Plus, there’s a doubles shootout competition, with a cash prize, that’s free and open to anyone!
The tournament will feature a 64-player Men and Women’s singles draw, and 32 Men and Women’s doubles draw. Matches will take place at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, located at 14469 W. Paradise Lane, from Wednesday, November 7 thru Sunday, November 11. Admission to the event is free!
The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships is the only collegiate tennis tournament to feature student-athletes from all five divisions: NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO. Members of the University of Florida, Texas, Miami, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Georgia, Stanford, USC, Illinois, Ohio State, Wake Forest, and many more nationally ranked teams from across the country, will be represented at the tournament. Draws, schedule of play, and daily recaps can be found on the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships event page at www.itatennis.com.
There will be opportunities for coaches, players and families to take part in various events over the course of the tournament, including:
- Oracle Unifying Tennis for Everyone Phoenix $1K Doubles Shootout – Free to enter!, Sat. Nov.10 – Sun. Nov. 11
The Oracle UTR Phoenix $1K Shootout is an open, winner take all, doubles tournament at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex. No entry fee required, and the winning team from each division will each take home $500. The tournament (Men and Women) is open to players of any level, and each draw is limited to 16 doubles teams. It’s a great opportunity to compete for $500! Register Now!
- Community Kids Day, Sat. Nov. 10, 9-10:30 a.m.
Spend the morning playing with college coaches and stay afterwards for the semifinals of the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Register Now!
- College Tennis Recruiting Info Session, Sat., Nov. 11, 10-11:30 a.m.
Learn the road to college tennis with ITA CEO Tim Russell. Stay after for the finals of the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships! Register Now!
- Coaches Workshop, Sun., Nov. 11, 10-11:30 a.m.
High School Coaches Workshop – Learn from the top college coaches at an on-court workshop and Q & A panel. Register Now!
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing men’s and women’s varsity at all levels – NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. Over the past four decades, ITA has worked hard to ensure the long-term prosperity of college tennis as one of the most vibrant college sports.
Did You Know?
Chance Shelter is a non-profit 501(c)(3) no-kill shelter that has been successfully providing our community with services for animals in crisis situations since 2016. They do this through the help of wonderful fosters and volunteers.
They have been actively providing pet safety and awareness programs, continually participating in community events and hosting fundraisers throughout the city.
Chance Shelter is not a public intake. Instead, they serve as a resource for first responders for animals in crisis situations. They do everything possible to help pets remain with their family members. In cases where there is no other resource or next of kin, then Chance Shelter finds the pet a new forever home.
With a new facility, they will be a stronger resource for pets in crisis situations and be able to assist with longer hold times for stray pets in order to be reunited with their families.
The approximate 12,000- 15,000 square foot building is projected to have kennels located on the back side of the buildings on the East and South side of the land parcel. This is to provide a cushion of space for noise control.
The facility’s daily operations will be provided by Chance Shelter volunteers 7 days a week. Hours of operation are to be determined, but are not to exceed a 50 hour week.
Bullard Ave Improvement Project weekly update; traffic signal work at Acoma rescheduled to Nov 11 & 12
The Bullard Avenue Improvement Project remains on schedule to be substantially complete later this month, weather permitting; full project completion will be achieved in early 2019.
Surprise police officers will be onsite Monday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 13, to assist with traffic control while crews stand the signal poles at the Bullard Avenue and Acoma Drive intersection.
Crews will continue to work weekends through mid-November to keep the project on schedule.
Scheduled work hours for this week are Monday – Saturday, 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.
- Crosswalk paint removal is scheduled for early in the week; the crosswalks will be repainted following roadway slurry seal.
- Expect temporary right lane closures on Thursday, November 15 while crews work to slurry seal the roadways.
- 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.