Category Archives: D5 News

The Lastest News From the City of Surprise District 5

Voters ok city water election

Voters have approved the May 15th Water Election, authorizing City Council to complete negotiations with the Circle City Water Company (CCW) for the possible acquisition of the utility.

According to preliminary results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office tonight 80% (14,676) of registered voters voted yes; 20% (3,615) voted no.

CCW is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition, which would require City Council approval, would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls.

The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

Official final results are expected from the county by Friday, May 18.

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at a Special Council Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22.  This meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., and will be held in the Community Room of City Hall, as Council Chambers will be closed for pre-scheduled equipment upgrade work.

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

January 18, 2018 • Newsletter

Decide GO Bond Update

The city has released the anticipated procurement schedule for some of the bond projects approved by voters last November. As you recall, the voters of Surprise approved General Obligation bond funding for 10 projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation last November.

The advertisement for Design-Build Professional Services for the Public Works Operations Facility will open February 15, 2018.

The advertisement for Design Professional Services for the three Traffic Congestion Mitigation projects opens February 22, 2018. This includes improvements to sections of Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads.

The advertisement for Design Professional Services for Fire Station 304 and Fire Station 308 begins February 15, 2018.

The complete schedule, project timeline details and additional information is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise. To view the formal bid posting, visit Anticipated Procurement Schedule for Bond Projects.


City Council Work Session

Proposed Amendment Regarding Signs

City Council heard a presentation regarding the city’s draft sign code on Tuesday evening. City staff has been working to bring forward a new sign code that will balance business needs and community aesthetics, in a manner that is consistent with the 1st Amendment and recent changes to the law. While this was only a discussion item, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hear the issue at a public hearing to be held here at City Hall on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM. The City Council is also scheduled to hear the matter at a public hearing on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM, at City Hall. If you have any questions regarding the proposed sign code, please don’t hesitate to call Planner Robert Kuhfuss at 623-222-3137.


City Council Meeting

Amendment of Municipal Code – Wireless Facilities

Due to recent legislative action from State and Federal lawmakers, revisions to Section 122-112, Wireless Facilities, of the Surprise Municipal Code are necessary to ensure compatibility when constructing Wireless Facilities in the city. House Bill 2365 was adopted in 2017 which now allows wireless providers to install and operate wireless facilities in city rights-of-way. HB 2365 also provided an application process for said facilities (most applicants are exempt from zoning review) and requires the establishment of terms and conditions for the wireless providers. The bill allows cities to require reasonable appearance and concealment requirements. Timing, submittal requirements, design standards and the review process have been modified and unanimously approved by City Council.

Vice Mayor Selection – 2018

City Council selected District 4 Councilmember Ken Remley to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30 each year. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence. Congratulations, Ken!

FY2018 Financial Status Report

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update of the financial activity through the month of October 2017. General fund resources, year to date, are higher than budgeted at $5.3 million. The largest portion of the increase is from local sales tax as well as the charges for services due to the increase in activities by developers. Expenses were approximately $900,000 less than budgeted.

City Council Supports Legislation Regarding Street Light Districts

Arizona Revised Statutes (48-616, and others) authorize cities to form special taxing districts known as Streetlight Improvement Districts (SLIDs) for the presently limited purpose of purchasing electricity for street lights in a specified area. The City of Surprise currently requires these districts for streetlights on all roadways except parkways, major arterials, and minor arterials, and administers over 100 SLIDs at present. With a growing city, the number of SLIDs continues to expand causing a greater need for administration of the districts and coordination with the energy provider. In addition, each district has a different taxing rate resulting in a wide variety of taxes for property owners.

The creation of these districts throughout the development of the city has led to over 100 taxable districts citywide. The variability in the number of properties and lights in each district can lead to very different tax bills for each property owner. In addition, the administration of these districts and coordination with the energy provider is both time and work intensive.

The city is seeking a solution to optimize the use and to streamline the efficiency of administration of the districts in terms of assessment of costs and maintenance of the facilities. The goal is to create greater consistency for tax payers and to reduce the burden of administration. As a result, city staff has engaged outside Counsel along with two other cities and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to draft a bill allowing cities to expand and consolidate street lighting districts and add powers to acquire, construct, and maintain street lighting facilities.

Amendments to the City Council Policies and Procedures Manual

The current City Council Policies and Procedures Manual expressly requires that “this manual will be reviewed by the City Council to consider recommendations and update it as necessary in August of odd-numbered years.” This item was brought forth for discussion and action in November but tabled for further review prior to action. Consequently, the City Attorney’s Office reviewed the policy and identified changes based on issues that have arisen implementing the current policy.

Specifically, the suggestions that have been drafted clarify that Council Members do not “check their constitutional rights at the door” by being an elected official and this policy does not supersede any constitutional rights that members enjoy. The purposed amendments also include an obligation, corollary to the obligation to report a violation, to refrain from making false, frivolous, or otherwise harassing allegations of violation. The suggested amendments passed with a 4-2 vote.

Amendments to Surprise Municipal Code

At a Council meeting on November 7, 2017, City Council voted to postpone the consideration of specific proposed amendments to Surprise Municipal Code, Chapter 2, Article II, Section 2-22. The suggested amendments included:

(1) Clarify what a public comment is in the context of the Clerk accepting public comments for posting on the City’s website during a council vacancy;

(2) Apply a “resign to run” obligation to boards and commissions members in order to ensure parity in Arizona State Law as it applies to City Council and Boards and Commissions (i.e., Board Members or Commissioners would need to resign their seats to run for City Council);

(3) Distinguish between excused and unexcused absences in the context of boards and commissions attendance and allow the Boards and Commissions Nomination Committee to resolve attendance issues;

(4) Streamline the Nomination Committee’s process for submitting names of applicants when a new vacancy opens within ninety days of a qualified applicant completing the application process through interview.

(5) Provide the Nomination Committee with the authority to resolve allegations of nonfeasance and malfeasance of boards and commission members, short of removal.

After much discussion, City Council voted 3-3. The motion to approve the amendments failed with the tie vote.


Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, January 11. Discussion included identifying tourism priorities for existing facilities and the approval of international cooperative marketing opportunities available through the Arizona Office of Tourism Coop and Brand USA. This collaboration is the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote travel to the US. The collaboration has marketing initiatives in 40 markets reaching more than 90% of inbound travel to the US. In addition to these items, staff stated the city’s website has been updated to include the new Sports & Tourism department.

Arizona Charter Academy Spelling Bee

On Friday, January 12, I was asked to judge the spelling bee competition at Arizona Charter Academy. Congratulations to the following winners:

Overall winners:

1st Place: Alexis Kohatsu
2nd Place: Confidence Nkol
3rd Place: Sister Nkol

Grade Level Winners:

1st grade: Alan Castillo
2nd grade: Amani Glover
3rd grade: Emmanuel Etukudoh
4th grade: Divine Etukudoh
5th grade: Christopher Buenaventura
6th grade: Johanna Delgado
7th grade: Alexis Kohatsu
8th grade: Confidence Nkol


Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park

The City of Surprise and State 48 Brewery are partnering to add food trucks and craft beer once again for the Sundays in the Park concert series. Event admission is free. Food and drinks are available for purchase. There will be 15 delicious food trucks as well as an assortment of craft beers provided by State 48 Brewery and live music. This is a great event for the entire family. There will be free face painting and bounce house along with several other fun activities for children.

The event is this Sunday, January 21 at 8 Acre Park, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue from 12 noon until 4 pm.

City Schedules Meetings to Discuss Future Development in OTS

As a follow-up to the implementation of the Heritage Overlay District in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS), the city is hosting public engagement meetings in January and February to discuss new development opportunities in the area. Most meetings will be held in the Roy Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street, at 6 p.m. on the following dates:

Monday, January 22 (CRS Advisory Board Meeting, City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza); Wednesday, February 7; Wednesday, February 28

City staff and development partners will present information about future housing, recreation and retail amenities that are being considered for the OTS, in the general area bounded by Santa Fe Drive, Rimrock, Hollyhock and Nash streets. For more information, please call 623.222.3134.

Surprise POPS Band Concert

Expect big sounds from the Surprise Pops Band as they present a “Salute to the Big Bands” concert on Sunday, January 28, 3 p.m., Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place. Doors open at 2:15 p.m. The performance will feature the music of Count Basie, George Gershwin and other Big Band favorites.

The performance is open to the public and is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. All Pops Band’s donations help support the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, visit www.surprisepopsband.com.


Did You Know?

2018 City Academy

Want to learn about the structure of city government, get updated on local issues and get to know your city leaders? Register for the 2018 Surprise City Academy! The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the mayor, councilmembers, city manager and upper-level city staff. Plus, you will hear from city partners like Ottawa University and West-MEC.

The Surprise City Academy begins on March 5 and meets weekly through April 16. Most classes will meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

It’s free to participate, but space is limited. Registration is required by February 26! For an application or information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or you can contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

Military Appreciation Night at Willow Canyon High School

Willow Canyon High School hosted crosstown rival Valley Vista for a football showdown on September 22. Immediately prior to the game, Willow Canyon seized the opportunity to recognize our veterans and active military as part of the Military Appreciation Night. I joined several of our West Valley veterans and active military on the field during the ceremony as we stood together on the field during the National Anthem. A special thank you to Willow Canyon for this opportunity to recognize us!

 

June 15, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Sixteen local students participated in the AZ TechCelerator’s 4th Annual Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp this last week. They were challenged to assess community needs and brainstorm products or services that could address those needs. The students learned from local business leaders who spoke about marketing, accounting and public speaking and then began their project research.

The students broke into four teams:

  • Surprise Transit Systems, who addressed the need for local public transportation
  • Drive Safe, who addressed the problem of distracted driving
  • A Little Surprise, who addressed the lack of healthy food available for low to moderate income families
  • Commune, who addressed the need to have one application that could keep residents informed on City Government, events and local business

Each team prepared an executive business summary to aid in creating their final pitch. The teams also created, designed and printed either their prototype or an object that was symbolic to their project on 3D printers that they had helped to build at the beginning of the week. The boot camp ended with a pitch competition at City Hall, and the presentations were quite impressive!

The big winner was the Drive Safe team. Congratulations to Nickolas Robertson and Jack Platacz from Paradise Honors High School, and to Alaina Smith and Justice Smith from Valley Vista High School on their win! They each received an HD Fire tablet and each winning school took home one of the student-built 3D printers.

Thank you to Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal for putting together the boot camp each year and to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy for assisting!

Community and Recreation Services National Accreditation

The Community and Recreation Services Department (CRS) is in the last step of the accreditation process through the Commission of Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The department has been working towards the accreditation for the past year. Council Members were invited to meet the CAPRA evaluators on Tuesday, June 13 at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.

CAPRA accreditation is a five-year cycle that includes three phases: development of the agency self-assessment report, the on-site visitation, and the Commission’s review and decision. The on-site visitation follows the agency’s development of its self-assessment report. If accreditation is granted by the Commission at its meeting following the on-site visit, the agency will develop a new self-assessment report and be revisited every five years. Within each of the four years between on-site visits, the agency will submit an annual report that addresses its continued compliance with the accreditation standards.

Friends of Surprise Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of Surprise Libraries held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, June 14. Since the non-profit organization’s inception, they have made community contributions totaling $516,424 .Agenda items included a financial report and grant update and much more. Friends of Surprise Libraries is currently looking for new Board Members. For more information on the organization, please visit www.friendsofthesurpriselibraries.org.

Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride Transition Public Meeting

Valley Metro hosted a public meeting at Surprise City Hall on Wednesday, June 14 to review the upcoming changes to their paratransit models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.


Mark Your Calendar

34th Annual Fourth of July Celebration

Please join us for our 34th annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Surprise Recreation Campus! Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. The Rookie League baseball summer matchup featuring the Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers will begin at 5:30 pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. Fireworks will begin immediately following the game at 8:30 p.m.

Fourth of July Pool Party

Bring the family out to the Surprise Aquatic Center for a fun filled evening. The poolside celebration will feature music, games, nighttime swimming, crafts and raffle prizes! The event begins at 6 p.m. and will conclude after the city’s fireworks show, which begins at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Surprise residents may purchase tickets beginning June 20 at 8 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Ave., or at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Tickets are $6, and the event will be limited to the first 400 Surprise residents.

Regular pool hours on Tuesday, July 4 will be noon – 5 p.m.


Did You Know?

Bulk Trash Pickup Program Changes Effective July 1

Changes are coming to the Bulk Trash Pickup program offered to residents who are serviced by the city of Surprise Solid Waste Department. Bulk trash will continue to be picked up by-appointment and at no additional cost to the customer; but, the rules for placement of the trash are changing.

Effective July 1, 2017, customers need to place their trash in the street, up against the curb (gutter) in front of their property. Where there is no curb, material must be placed at the edge of the street, not the sidewalk. Do not place your pile within ten feet (10’) of any fixed object or in any manner which would interfere with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, or fire hydrants.

Bulk trash can no longer be placed on private property, unless the home is located on a major roadway – streets like Bell Road and Litchfield Road or streets that feed into neighborhoods, also known as collector streets. If trash must be placed on private property, due to location, the city will provide a liability release form that needs to signed.

To find out how to schedule a pickup appointment, which items are acceptable, what the pickup limit is, and when to place your trash at the curb, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bulktrash or call 623.222.1900.

Surprise Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commission

Applications for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. If you are interested, please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

The current FY18 budget is supported in part by direct charges for services provided by the city. These charges for services fall into three broad groups including utility rates, development impact fees, and user fees. With that being said, the revision of utility rates and development impact fees is highly regulated by state law. Though less regulated, user fees do have state mandated posting requirements and Comprehensive Financial Management Policies call for a periodic examination of user fees to determine an acceptable rate of cost recovery. In order to ensure compliance with state mandates and to facilitate a more consistent user fee policy process, a consolidated user fee schedule was adopted by City Council in FY16. User Fees make up $9.8 million of the estimated User Fee Revenue for FY18. Community Development fees are $2.4 million of that amount. The Community Development Department has not conducted a formal overhaul of the Community Development User Fees since 2010, under Resolution 2010-23, which had an effective date of April 1, 2010. There have been subsequent minor modifications in 2012 and 2016 but not a thorough review of the fees. The Department’s goal is to recover all or part of program costs associated with development; some of which include various other departments.

Community Outreach consists of a written notice of the proposed fee schedule on our city website, distribution of information via the city’s social media outlets with a notice of intent and the potential City Council adoption on August 15, 2017.


Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing on Budget, Truth in Taxation and Property Tax Levies

The city is required to hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures and tax levy in which any taxpayer may appear and be heard in favor of or against any proposed expenditure or tax levy. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 42-17107, any increase in the primary property tax levy, exclusive of new growth, must go through a Truth in Taxation hearing. Statute requires that a public hearing is held prior to the levy of property taxes for street light improvement districts (SLIDS). A public hearing was conducted with no comments from the public.

The resolution adopting the FY18 final budget and the notices of intent to levy primary and street light improvement districts property tax levies were adopted as part of this meeting. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The FY18 Budget, approved at $275.8 million, maintains city services and the primary property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money.

The property tax levy adoption is scheduled for discussion and action for the City Council meeting on June 20.


City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided an overview of the preliminary plat for City Center, a 56.38 acre property located along Statler Boulevard west of Litchfield Road, which included a multi-phased, attached and detached, single-family lot subdivision. The applicant proposed a total of 369 residential lots on 50.7 acres for a density of 7.28 dwelling units per acre. The lots would consist of a combination of 50 foot by 60 foot detached, 46 foot by 80 foot detached, and 50 foot by 60 foot duplex parcels. The plat also included 9.9 acres of land that would provide 17.6 open space for the development.

City Council voted to deny the approval of the Mattamy preliminary plat by a 4-3 vote.

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

City Council unanimously approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail. Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s meeting that was held on April 19.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month. ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month). You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

City Clerk Employment Contract

At the request of the Performance Evaluation Leaders Committee consisting of Councilman John Williams and myself, an employment contract for City Clerk Sherry Aguilar was drafted. Her former contract was set to expire on June 30, 2017. Her employment contract is now in harmony with the other Council appointed positions and it was approved unanimously.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, June 5. Several items were discussed including the Arts & Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. Planner Joshua Mike and Designing Local consultant Josh Lapp provided an overview of their current community outreach plans that consists of several roundtable discussions with arts and cultural stakeholders. The discussions were held this week.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.


Did You Know?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

The City of Surprise has been selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. Since 2012, the awards program has recognized 24 innovative communities across America that are leading the way by incorporating intergenerational solutions that engage the wisdom and vitality of all generations. Surprise was recognized for its intergenerational workforce development partnerships that promote a greater sense of community while establishing and tapping into our current and future talent pool.

Those programs include:

Surprise City Court Explorers Program – an interactive worksite-based career education program affiliated with the Boys Scouts of America that introduces high school students to career opportunities in the judicial and legal lines of work

Helping Partners Program – a vocational training program for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities that is offered by nonprofits Benevilla and One Step Beyond in partnership with the city

Summer Youth Employment Program – a summer jobs program for teens where they to receive professional development training through city internships; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors

Other programs and services included the Surprise Citizen Patrol, Surprise Community Pride Day, Crisis Response Team and the Block Party Trailer Program.

The award entry also cited how volunteerism in the city engages all generations to share their time and talent to maintain and grow community vitality. Our volunteers assist our police and fire-medical departments, beautify the community through clean up events, help raise money for college scholarships and more.

The winning community is Two Harbors, Minnesota. The other National Finalists are: Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Oklahoma, and the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Presentation of this year’s awards will occur at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference on June 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council set aside $65,000 for FY2017-2018 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 11 and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Department
City of Surprise
Attention: Jodi Tas
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Surprise City Hall- Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

It’s time to Decide Surprise as Council sends 3 bond questions for Nov ballot

At their June 6th Regular Meeting, City Council approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build  a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize  operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have.   If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month.  ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month).  You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting:  https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Council oks FY18 budget that maintains services & property tax rate

The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.

The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands.  Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

This budget maintains the city’s current property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money. The primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.

The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.

The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.