Category Archives: D5 Newsletters

New Council Conversations Show – Council Collaboration

District 5 Councilmember David Sanders hosted a Council Conversations show on the topic of Council Collaboration as his final show before his term ends in November. In this episode, he talks with Vice Mayor Chris Judd and District 3 Councilmember Patrick Duffy about their experience as councilmembers, lessons they have learned along the way, and some of their proudest accomplishments.

District 5 Newsletter • October 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Small Business Resources

The application for the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant is now available! To apply, go to www.supriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant before October 16. Applicants will need to create an account with Arizona Community Foundation as part of the application process and have their Surprise Business Registration License & W-9 form to apply. For questions, please email SurpriseRelief@azfoundation.org or call 623-222-3300.

Surprise Day of Service

If you are looking for an opportunity to help others in the community, the Surprise Day of Service is a great way to do just that! Volunteers are needed on October 10 to help with revitalization and cleanup events to assist neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes. Volunteers will help with landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal and more. To get involved, you can register as an individual or as a group, by contacting Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov, or calling 623-222-1522.

Honoring Our Heroes

Thank you to Dysart Unified School District for their beautiful tribute to our first responders and military. On September 11, students from Valley Vista High School police and fire programs placed 100 flags on the lawn of the school to honor first responders and military. The 100 is in representation of Dysart’s Centennial, which it celebrates this year. Dysart Unified School District has been a tremendous partner to work with and I am proud to have worked so collaboratively with them throughout my term.

Dysart Unified School District's Honoring Our Heroes flyer.

Veterans Day Tribute

The City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting Veterans Day tribute submissions in the form of a video or sign. The City of Surprise will not be able to put on a parade for Veterans Day this year, due to COVID-19, but will be using signs and videos to create a virtual alternative. To participate, please record a video tribute, no more than 15 seconds, thanking our veterans. Videos can be uploaded to surpriseaz.gov/veteranvideo. This compilation of community messages will be featured on Veterans Day on the Surprise TV cable channel, our Parks & Recreation social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov. Entries must be received by October 29 at 5 p.m.

You can also participate by making a sign to display your gratitude. Signs will be displayed on Bullard Ave. near Surprise Stadium on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 10 – Thursday, November 12 until 5:00 p.m. Blank signs are available for pick up Monday, October 12 through Friday, October 30 at the Parks and Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and should be returned to the Parks and Recreation Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 6 so that they can be included in the display. For more information, you can contact Steve Castillo at 623-222-2267, or by email at steve.castillo@surpriseaz.gov.

7th Annual Fiesta Grande goes virtual

Celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the seventh annual Surprise Fiesta Grande-To Go style! This virtual celebration, presented by the City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina, includes a line-up of fun all this week! Enjoy authentic Mexican food, cooking and dance classes, crafts, games and more! Please see the schedule of events below:

  • October 5, at 6:30 p.m.: Holy Guacamole & Salsa Dippin’ Virtual Cooking Class (view at facebook.com/SurpriseRec and Surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV). While this event is over, you can see the video online at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande
  • October 6, at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Folklorico Class/Performance (view at facebook.com/SurpriseRec and Surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV)
  • All day on October 6, Let’s Taco ‘bout a Good Meal! Where local restaurants will be offering discounts!
  • October 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Nacho Average Virtual Bingo! Register at surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov by clicking on ‘Special Events’ by 12 p.m. on Wednesday 10/7 for a chance to win fun prizes!
  • October 8, at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Arts and Crafts, featuring WHAM (to participate, pick up your craft kit at the Parks & Recreation office, Monday 10/5 through Thursday 10/8 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 15960 N Bullard Ave Surprise, AZ 85374).
  • October 9, at 5 p.m.: Fiesta Food Truck Friday & Swag Bag (Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N Hollyhock St, Surprise, AZ 85378. Register for swag bags at http://surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov by clicking on ‘Special Events’).

City Council Meeting Schedule

Our next regularly scheduled meetings for the month of October will be Tuesday, October 6 and October 20. The Surprise City Council meetings have reopened to limited in-person public participation. In keeping with CDC guidelines, in-person participants will be required to wear a facial covering when entering or exiting the chambers, but may remove it while seated, if they so choose. Capacity will be capped at 50 people, and physical distancing measures will be in place. Virtual participation options will remain available and instructions for that are posted on each meeting’s agenda at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.

District 5 Newsletter • September 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook.com/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses, I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Small Business Resources

The Surprise City Council voted Tuesday night to disperse $430,000 in funding to address coronavirus-related community and business needs.

More than half of the funding will be allocated to a new Small Business Relief Grant program, with the rest supporting meal programs, water utility assistance, and homeless outreach.

The Small Business Relief Grant program seeks to distribute $250,000 to businesses in Surprise with fewer than 25 employees and less than $2 million in revenues. The businesses must have experienced economic distress and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures compliant with Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders. The grant dollars are intended to assist for-profit businesses with rent, utilities, payroll expenses and other necessary operating costs. Grant amounts will be determined by business category, ranging from $1,500 in Category 1 to $10,000 in Category 5. Administration of the grant will be facilitated by a third party, so up to an additional $25,000 has been approved for that purpose, for a total program allocation of $275,000. Council may choose to add additional funding to the program, pending demand.

A table with business relief grant information, showing eligibility requirements and amounts.

The city anticipates the accepting of applications to begin on September 14. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant.

The remaining $155,000 in funding will be used in support of the following social service programs:

  • Surprise Senior Center Meal Program – $25,000 to continue free senior meal services at the Surprise Senior Center.
  • Home Delivered Meal Program & Group Supported Workers – $60,000 to a local non-profit delivering meals to homes and employing adults with disabilities.
  • Homeless Outreach – $55,000 to pay for a non-profit homeless services provider to conduct outreach, provide services, and to purchase a van to transport guests.
  • Water Utility Assistance – $15,000 to help qualifying residents pay their water bills. For assistance, please call the Surprise Resource Center HOPE line at 623.222.4673.

AZ CARES money distributed to the city of Surprise provides the ability to offer these programs.

Maricopa County is also offering grants for small businesses and non-profits that are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For-profit and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations located in Maricopa County (excluding those located in Phoenix or Mesa) are eligible for grants up to $25,000. Applications for this program will be accepted through October 2, 2020. For additional information, please visit www.azfoundation.org/Grants-Loans/Maricopa-County-Relief-Grants

The City of Surprise’s AZ TechCelerator is here to help your business. Just one of the many ways you can take advantage of their services is by attending free virtual workshops! Upcoming workshop topics will include: What Does the New Norm Look Like for Small Business? And a series on Social Media for Small Business (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Keep an eye on the AZ TechCelerator website, www.aztechcelerator.com/, for more details as they become available.

Community Resources

Rental & Utility Assistance Available Now!

A happy family.The Surprise/El Mirage CAP office at the Surprise Resource Center has received a significant amount of federal CARES Act funding to help residents who have been impacted by the pandemic with rent and utilities. We have expanded our capacity to serve individuals and families who are eligible, so call our HOPE line today. 623-222-HOPE (4673). Due to the pandemic, eligibility has expanded to serve families with higher incomes, up to 300% poverty level. (Example – family of 4 is eligible if their gross monthly income is $6,550 or lower). Bilingual staff are ready to help.

Surprise CARES Housing Mortgage Assistance

Surprise CARES Housing Stability ProgramOn July 13th, the Neighborhood Services division launched the Surprise CARES Housing Stability program to assist Surprise residents who have experienced a loss of income directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents needing assistance with mortgage payments are encouraged to visit the participant portal on the City’s website to apply. Call the Surprise CARES Housing Hotline for more information: 623.222.1640.

DevelopNext

The city is simplifying and modernizing its development and design standards. A draft of the new standards is now available for the general public and community stakeholders to provide comments related to the Land Development Ordinances (LDO) and Planning and Engineering Design Standards (PEDS). You can review and comment on these documents on the city’s website at surpriseaz.gov/developnext. In addition, several meetings will be held to present the changes and gather additional input.

Following is the timeline for those meetings (dates are subject to change):

  • Development Community Stakeholder Meetings – held virtually in August and September
  • Public Outreach Meetings – held virtually September 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. Instructions to participate are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/developnext
  • Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council Presentations – Several presentations in September, October and November
  • Public Hearings – at Planning and Zoning in November, and City Council in December (for final action)

The DevelopNEXT update will allow the city to align ordinance and design standard with the values described in the city’s General Plan 2035, implement new state statutes and federal guidelines, and improve the city’s standards for site, open space, and architectural design. Further, the update will consolidate the city’s design standards guides into one document and simplify and clarify the structure and organization of documents and the rules within them, making them easier to read, administer and enforce.

To learn more about DevelopNEXT, and for additional details on meeting times and dates, please visit surpriseaz.gov/developnext.

Surprise Aquatic Center Mural

The Surprise Aquatic Center has a new mural! “Swimming with a Porpoise” was voted on by Surprise residents, and now covers the wall at the Aquatic Center. Thank you to street artist “BacPac” who painted the mural. I also want to thank all the residents that voted!

A painted mural of swimming dolphins.

City Council Meeting Schedule

Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, September 15th at 6 pm. While our meetings are still not open to the public, you can always watch them live on Surprise TV at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.

District 5 Newsletter • August 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook.com/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Census

If you have not yet responded to the Census, there is still time! It is critical that the city has an accurate Census count. The Census helps in planning for critical infrastructure, like roads and hospitals. It determines our Congressional representation and local political boundaries, and guides the distribution of state shared revenues that our city receives. To respond to the Census, you can go online to my2020census.gov, or respond by phone at 844-330-2020 for English, or 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or mail back a paper questionnaire, if you received one in the mail.

Between August 11 and October 31, U.S. Census Bureau workers will begin visiting homes to interview households that have not responded to the 2020 Census. All Census workers are provided with personal protective equipment, and have been trained to practice physical distancing. They will also have official ID badges that will include their name, photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Please note that Census Bureau workers will never ask you for social security numbers, bank information, donations, or credit card information. If fraud is suspected, call 1-800-923-8282 to speak to a local Census Bureau representative.

Kansas City Royals Groundbreaking

Councilmember Sanders holds a golden shovel in front of a Kansas City Royals backdrop.

I am very pleased to announce that the KC Royals have broken ground on their player housing facility, located across the street from the Surprise Stadium in the Surprise City Center. When complete, this four story housing complex will have 47 apartment units, meeting space, a classroom, and dining and lounging areas. Outside amenities will include a swimming pool, covered seating areas and BBQ stations. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Restaurant Survey

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Thank you to everyone that responded to the Surprise Annual Retail Survey. There were 4,300 responses to this year’s survey! These results are used to identify the city’s retail strengths, and opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. The results for Top 10 Desired Restaurants, and Top 10 Desired Retailers are:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

  1. Cracker Barrel
  2. Cheesecake Factory
  3. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
  4. El Pollo Loco
  5. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
  6. Portillo’s
  7. Claim Jumper
  8. Dillon’s Kansas City BBQ
  9. Pita Jungle
  10. Bobby-Q BBQ

Top 10 Desired Retailers

  1. Whole Foods Market
  2. Hobby Lobby
  3. Aldi
  4. JoAnn’s Fabrics
  5. AJ’s Fine Foods
  6. TJ Maxx
  7. Home Goods
  8. Total Wine & More
  9. Old Navy
  10. Bath & Body Works

Additionally, the survey asks participants to recognize current favorite local businesses. Congratulations to the Top 10 Local Favorite Restaurants and Retailers, listed below!

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

  1. Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
  2. Babbo Italian Eatery
  3. Vogue Bistro
  4. Saigon Kitchen
  5. Rio Mirage Cafe
  6. State 48 Brewery
  7. Angry Crab Shack
  8. Nick’s Diner II
  9. Big Buddha Restaurant
  10. Bonfire Craft Kitchen & Tap House

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

  1. Son Glow Boutique
  2. PinkaBella Cupcakes (Note: PinkaBella Cupcakes has closed their retail location)
  3. Joe Streckfuss Plumbing
  4. Kimbur Pet Wash & Suites
  5. Surprise Comics
  6. Musical Surprise
  7. Gifts to Go
  8. Rocket Fizz
  9. Spencer’s Place
  10. Dale’s Town and Country

For the complete results of the survey, please visit surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Small Business Resources

For the most up-to-date information on resources available to small business, please don’t forget that the City of Surprise has a COVID-19 Business & Workforce Resources page! This page is managed by the Economic Development team, and is designed to help all of our local businesses. The webpage, www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp is full of updated information for customers, businesses and job seekers. There are also video resources aimed to help small businesses with topics such as the CARES Act, Small Business Marketing Tools during COVID-19, the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act and much more. If you’ve visited this page in the past, please check it out again, as it is updated frequently.

Grand Openings/Ribbon Cuttings

Lucky House Chinese Cuisine, located at 14291 W. Grand Avenue, on the corner of Grand Avenue and Parkview Place in District 5 opened just last month. Welcome to Surprise, Jerry Li!

City Council Meeting Schedule

Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, August 18 at 6 pm. While our meetings are still not open to the public you can always watch them live on Surprise TV at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.

Virtual Meet and Greets

Until CDC guidelines change, I will be using Facebook LIVE to host my monthly meetings. My next monthly meeting is scheduled for August 29 at 9 am. Please check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to this meeting schedule.

District 5 Newsletter • July 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook.com/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at https://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Ribbon Cutting Contest

As you know, I am pro-business, and very proud of our businesses in the City of Surprise. The City’s Virtual Ribbon Cutting program, initiated to help support the re-opening of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, was a great success. Now, the Economic Development Department wants your help to pick the best Virtual Ribbon Cutting video! Participants can also be entered into a drawing to win a $30 gift card! Please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ribboncutting to view and vote on your favorite restaurant or retail business video, and get entered into the gift card drawing by answering fun questions related to the videos. New videos will be posted each Monday for five weeks, so be sure to check back for new videos. The winning business will receive a trophy! This is another great way to support our local businesses. Thanks Surprise!

Grand Openings/Ribbon Cuttings

Two people hold oversized scissors up to a purple ribbon for Best Western's business opening.

Best Western Plus held a ribbon cutting on June 11 to celebrate the grand opening of their location at 13337 W. Grand Ave. The Best Western Plus hotel has 86 guest rooms, including six Parlor Suites, and a pool.

Two people hold oversized scissors up to a purple ribbon for ATL Wings' business opening.

ATL Wings, located at 13732 W. Bell Road, Suite 2 held their ribbon cutting on June 12.

Please join me in welcoming both of these businesses to Surprise!

City Council Meeting Schedule

There are no Council meetings scheduled for July. Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, August 18 at 6 p.m. While our meetings are still not open to the public, you can always watch them live on Surprise TV at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV and find instructions to participate in the online agendas.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.

Recycling Update

Drop-off recycling will be available on July 7 at the city’s Public Works North Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road. The city has been working hard to find a cost effective and sustainable solution to recycling and this is the first step towards that goals.

Residents will be able to drop-off recyclable materials Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m.- 11a.m. and 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. A city staff member will be available to help sort materials and ensure that recyclables are not contaminated. Residents are encouraged to pre-sort recyclable materials before arriving at the center to expedite the process. At this time, the acceptable materials are plastic bottles #1 and #2 (these may include: milk, soda, condiment, water, shampoo, detergent, etc.). Lids must either be screwed on the bottle, or completely removed. If the lids are removed, please do not recycle the lids. Cardboard, aluminum and tin cans will also be accepted.

Solid Waste and Stormwater Utility Rate Increase

Single family residential solid waste (trash) customers will pay a monthly base rate of $23.40 beginning on July 1. This rate is scheduled to increase by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2023. This rate change was part of a Utility Rate Study that was approved in February 2019. This study created a five-year structured schedule to obtain revenues required to operate utilities and maintain infrastructure while also considering asset replacement and emergency funding needs.

In addition, single family residential homes in Surprise will see a $0.75 increase on your utility bill for stormwater, bringing your stormwater utility fee to $2.75 each month. A stormwater hotline has been set up for individuals that have questions about this increased fee. The hotline number is 623.222.6200.

For more information on the utility rate study, please visit surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo. To learn more about the Stormwater Utility, please visit surpriseaz.gov/stormwater.

Roadwork

Litchfield Road and Bell Road

  • APS is still working along Bell Road, but anticipates finishing work over the next couple of weeks.
  • The remainder of the City’s project, consisting of all the signal improvements at the intersection, will begin early August. The work is anticipated to be completed by the beginning of September.

Litchfield Road Improvements

  • The majority of the Litchfield Road widening project is completed.
  • In July, the contractor will be completing punchlist items and finishing the signal at Litchfield Road and Sweetwater Avenue.

Please check www.surpriseaz.gov/100/ for more information on this project timeline.

Virtual Meet and Greets

Thank you to those of you who reached out and requested that I continue my Meet and Greet sessions during this time. Until CDC guidelines change, I will be using Facebook LIVE to host my monthly meetings. My next monthly meeting is scheduled for July 25 at 9 a.m. Please check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to this meeting schedule.

District 5 Newsletter • June 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Senior Center Meals

Finding a way to help others, especially in this time of uncertainty, is always a rewarding experience. The City of Surprise has many resources to help those in need. One program is administered through our Senior Center. The Surprise Senior Center provides up to 160 meals daily, Monday-Friday, to seniors in our community. These meals are designed to assist those age 60 and better, and adults with disabilities. The Council and I enjoyed an afternoon volunteering with our Human Services and Community Vitality team to pass out these meals. For more information on this program and many others that are available please visit our COVID-19 Community Cares Resource page https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3804/COVID-19-Community-Care-Resources

Councilmember Sanders places lunches in an insulated case for senior citizens.Councilmember Sanders hands lunch to a senior citizen in their car.

Virtual Ribbon Cuttings

Many businesses are reopening in District 5. Our Economic Development team has put together an innovative Virtual Ribbon Cutting campaign to celebrate our businesses!

Please join me in celebrating the reopening of the following District 5 businesses!

Berkshire Diamonds And Design
Chef Panda
Executive Cuts
U.S. Pizza
1:12 Nutrition
Haldi Indian Cuisine
Party Planet
China Buffet
Streets of New York
V.Nam Pho
Booty’s
Surprise Pho Vietnamese Restaurant
Hairdays
SalonOscar’s Taco Shop
Sunny Valley Grooming & Boarding
Barro’s Pizza
Richi’s Diner
Chef Panda business owner cuts a purple ribbon in front of her business for re-opening.Executive Cuts business owner cuts a purple ribbon in front of his business for re-opening.Berkshire Diamonds & Design business owner cuts a purple ribbon in front of his business for re-opening.
From Left to Right: Chef Panda, Executive Cuts, Berkshire Diamonds and Design

To view a complete gallery of photos and videos from all of the virtual ribbon cuttings completed to date, please click on the links provided below.

Retail Services Openings: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNdDbsS and https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNkHCfx

Restaurant Openings: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNeBNFB and https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNkSCnu

City Hall reopens June 1/Select recreation amenities phase in

On June 1, Surprise City Hall and some park amenities will be reopening to the public. At City Hall, the cashier, and Development Services counters will be open. Also, the AZ TechCelerator, and Fire Administration Office will open. Please note that preparations are being made at our city facilities to frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, add additional hand sanitizing stations, install plexiglass barriers at service counters, and promote physical distancing. Wearing of face coverings/masks remains a voluntary option for city employees and visitors, with the exception of Surprise City Court where they are required.

Some cost-mitigated city-run recreation programs and amenities will also be opening. These are, club swim team practices at the Surprise Aquatic Center, sand volleyball courts, the skatepark at Dick McComb City Park, park playgrounds, and park restrooms.

Beginning June 8, water aerobics, and lap swim (by appointment) for ages 15 and older, at the Surprise Aquatic Center & Hollyhock Pool will resume. To register for lap swim or water aerobics, please visit surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov.

Open swim and splash pads are not reopening at this time. Also, City Council and board and commissions meetings will remain closed to the public until August, and will reopen if federal and state guidance allows for increased gathering numbers at that time.

To view the complete City of Surprise COVID-19 Reopening Plan, please visit surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19.

Celebrating July 4th with a modified fireworks display

While we share in our community’s excitement to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s important to do so responsibly. As a result of COVID-19 concerns, this year’s Fourth of July Celebration will be greatly modified in an effort to avoid mass gatherings and maintain physical distancing, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

On Saturday, July 4th, the city will feature a 20-minute fireworks display beginning at 8:40 p.m. The display will be staged in the area around Bullard Avenue and Paradise Lane.

The city encourages people to observe the fireworks show remotely from their homes or vehicles, as the display will be visible from vantage points across the community. Limited surface parking is available at Surprise Stadium, Surprise Aquatic Center and Dreamcatcher Park. While not recommended, should observers chose to drive to the Civic Center and Recreation Campus area, parking will be first come, first served and must be done in accordance with state and local traffic laws.

Unlike past celebrations, there will be no baseball game, food trucks, beverage sales, or any additional entertainment. The Aquatic Center will not be open. Ramada rentals and grill use at Surprise Community Park will be unavailable. Personal grill use is prohibited within the Civic Center and Surprise Recreation Campus. In compliance with Arizona State law, the consumption of alcohol in vehicles or in public spaces is not permitted.

Please remember to follow all CDC guidelines for protecting yourself against COVID-19, including limiting gatherings to less than 10 people and keeping a minimum of 6 feet physical distancing between your gathering and others.

Roadwork

The first two phases of work on the intersection of Bell Road and Litchfield Road have been completed ahead of schedule! Work at the intersection is taking place to improve the safety and functionality of the intersection.

The project includes three phases. Phase one was the partial removal of the median on westbound Bell Road to allow for more cars in the turn lane at the intersection. Phase two was the partial removal of the median bullnoses at the intersection to allow for better visibility when turning left. The third phase of the project, will include updates to the signal at the intersection to implement flashing left arrows, as well as upgrades to the existing equipment. Underground work for this part of the project is scheduled to begin in late June or early July, and above ground work is scheduled to begin in early September.

Please check https://www.surpriseaz.gov/100/Road-Closures-Traffic-Restrictions for more information on this project timeline.

Virtual Meet and Greets

Thank you to those of you who reached out and requested that I continue my Meet and Greet sessions during this time. Until CDC guidelines change, I will be using Facebook LIVE to host my monthly meetings. My next monthly meeting is scheduled for June 27 at 9 a.m. Please check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to this meeting schedule.

District 5 Newsletter • May 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

#SurpriseUnites- Show of Gratitude

As a ‘thank you’ to first responders and our healthcare workers, Mayor and Council (observing social distancing guidelines) delivered baked goods to Surprise Fire and Police, as well as Banner hospitals located in Surprise. We referred to this as #SurpriseUnites, and it was all about showing our gratitude to those on the front lines of this pandemic. Thank you for your service!

Shop Surprise Banners & Open for Business List

The Surprise Economic Development team has two new resources to help non-restaurant businesses get the word out that they are open for business. Businesses can now request a free purple “Open for Business” #ShopSurprise banner to increase their visibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, please visit the Surprise Business Promotion Campaign webpage, https://www.surpriseaz.gov/FormCenter/Economic-Development-17/Surprise-Business-Promotion-Campaign-88, to complete a registration form to have your business promoted on the Surprise Economic Development website and social media sites.

A purple “Open for Business” #ShopSurprise banner.

The city is also continuing it’s “See Red, Get Fed” free banner program for restaurants. To request a restaurant or retail banner be delivered, or to coordinate a pickup, please call 623.222.3329 or email kris.cassens@surpriseaz.gov.

Budget update

Council is in the midst of budget season, and was given a presentation on the proposed FY21 budget during the Council Work Session on April 21. Some key goals of the budget process this year are to be mindful of the current economy and to have flexibility to provide a balanced budget at the end of the year. Some steps that have already been taken towards these goals are:

  1. A hiring freeze on non-essential positions
  2. Furloughs of part time seasonal workers
  3. A reduction in non-essential spending

The City’s Finance Department will be updating Council regularly and looking into potential funding for disaster relief. The tentative budget adoption is scheduled for the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on May 5 at 6 p.m., and the final budget adoption is scheduled for the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on June 2 at 6 p.m. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions that you might have. I can be reached by phone at 623.222.1325, or by email at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov.

Development in District 5

A permit is currently under review for the new Kansas City Royals Housing Facility, generally located north of Greenway Road and east of Bullard Avenue. The site for this facility is approximately 2.5 acres and will include a four-story, 82,000 SF housing facility and a 4,000 SF separate storage building. The housing facility will contain 47 units, a pool, BBQ area, fire pit and ramada.

Construction just began on the Mera City Center apartments, located at 15510 North La Cometa. Mera City Center is an active adult community for adults aged 55 and over. The complex will have 193 units and include a pool, dog park, fitness center, media lounge, library, and clubhouse.

State of the City

Surprise celebrated its 60th Anniversary this year! If you haven’t had a chance to watch the State of the City video presentation, which premiered on April 15, please check it out at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. I hope you can watch and see the many achievements we’ve accomplished as a city.

Virtual Meet and Greets

Thank you to those of you who reached out and requested that I continue my Meet and Greet sessions during this time. Until CDC guidelines change, I will be using Facebook LIVE to host my monthly meetings. My next monthly meeting is scheduled for May 23 at 9 a.m. Please check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to this meeting schedule.

District 5 Newsletter • April 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

COVID-19

Given the constant fluidity of information during this global pandemic, it is important that we all rely on current, official, and reliable sources for our information. The City of Surprise has a webpage devoted to giving residents up-to-date and accurate information on the topic www.surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19. Please check our website frequently, as it is updated as information becomes available.

For health information you can visit the Maricopa County Department of Health website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019, the Centers for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/COVID19 and the Arizona Department of Health Services website at https://www.azdhs.gov/.

Restaurant Banner Program

If you own a restaurant in the City of Surprise, please take advantage of our new Restaurant Banner Program! Restaurant owners can choose from two different banners that let residents easily identify what services are available at your location. Banners are FREE, and available for pick-up outside the main entrance of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, or to request a banner be delivered, you can email kris.cassens@surpriseaz.gov.

Red Business Sign which reads, "Open During COVID-19."

I want to thank AZPRO (azprogroup.com), who provided the concept and material, for partnering with the city on this great program!

COVID-19 Business & Workforce Resources

Mayor Skip Hall and I have been diligently working with our Economic Development team to exchange ideas to help our businesses at this time. As such, our Economic Development team has created a website with information for our local businesses and workforce. Please check it out at www.surpriseaz.gov/3802/COVID-19-Business-Workforce-Resources.

If you are a customer looking for ways to help out local business, a business owner looking for the most up to date information from the Governor’s office, or a job seeker looking for employment opportunities, this website has links to current information and resources to help you. Please check back often, as the website is updated as new information becomes available.

Virtual Meet and Greets

Thank you to those of you who reached out and requested that I continue my Meet and Greet sessions during this time. Until CDC guidelines change, I will be using Facebook LIVE to host my monthly meetings. Please join me on Facebook, www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for my next regularly scheduled Meet and Greet on April 25 at 9 a.m.

State of the City

Tune in for the video premier of Mayor Skip Hall’s State of the City Address on April 15 at 6 p.m. on Surprise TV, the Surprise TV website www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or via Facebook LIVE on the City of Surprise Facebook page. Surprise is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year! I hope you can watch and see the many achievements we’ve accomplished as a city.

District 5 Newsletter • March 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

2020 Surprise Retail Survey

The 2020 Surprise Retail survey is now open until Sunday, March 15. I can assure you that participating in the survey truly makes a difference. Many of our Top 10 most requested restaurants have already opened in Surprise including Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, Texas Roadhouse and In-N-Out Burger. Café Rio, Raising Canes and Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken have all held grand openings since the survey first launched and each one appeared on surveys we received. Furthermore, Costco was consistently at the top of the most desired retailers list on every survey we conducted and thankfully, they are opening soon!

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Please complete the survey at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Heritage District Art Hour

Earlier last month, WHAM and Gorman USA hosted a tile painting hour with community leaders and guests. Each attendee painted one mosaic tile that will be utilized in the new art feature at Heritage at Surprise. I look forward to seeing the finished project!

2020 Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch

The City of Surprise hosted the 2020 Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch on Friday, February 14. Representatives from both the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers provided updates on their respective teams. I hope you are able to stop by the award winning Surprise Stadium to catch a game this spring training season!

Ottawa University Campus Ribbon Cutting & Dedication

Ottawa University-Arizona hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication for their three new campus buildings. The O’Dell Center for Athletics is a 97,000 square foot athletic complex adjacent to Spirit Field to the west, just north of Tierra Buena Lane. The complex includes a recreation center, four court gymnasium, locker rooms, an athletic training room, the Spirit Performance Center, five classrooms, and the faculty and athletic department offices. The OUAZ Student Union is a two story, 27,000 square foot building that houses the cafeteria, an outdoor and indoor dining space, the Spirit Fan Shop, campus mailroom, student lounge with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, conference center and designated quiet study spaces. Lastly, there’s Residence Hall, which is 76,000 square foot, four story residence hall to the east of Spirit Field. This 83 room, 332 bed dormitory features fully furnished, four person suites, four student lounges and the campus security office.

Congratulations to OUAZ on their expansion and continued success! I’m elated to have them in District 5!

Rangers Village Ribbon Cutting

City Council joined Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis and Texas Rangers staff to cut the ribbon on Rangers Village on Friday, February 21. Rangers Village is a three-story, 36 suite, 70,000 square foot team housing complex along Bullard Avenue, just north of Greenway Road. It also includes a 13,000 square foot sports-training lab next door for the players.

Surprise City Council, Rick Davis and Texas Rangers staff hold scissors in preparation of the ribbon cutting.

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on their new housing and training facitilies!

Chamber of Commerce State of the Cities 2020

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual State of the Cities on Tuesday, February 25 at West-Mec Northwest Campus. Mayor Skip Hall joined Mayors Michael LeVault, Alexis Hermosillo and County Supervisor and Chair Clint Hickman as each presented their future goals, accomplishments and business updates for their respective cities.

Recent Openings in Surprise

Amigo’s Authentic Mexican Grill and Bar hosted a ribbon cutting on February 3. They are located at 13621 N. Litchfield Road, Suite 131.

De Boa Jiu Jitsu Academy hosted their ribbon cutting on February 26. They are located at 14763 W. Cactus Road.

Community Needs Forum

The City of Surprise’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted another Community Needs Forum at Dysart Unified School District Administration Building on Friday, February 28. Local leaders and representatives from the business, education, non-profit, faith community and government sectors were invited to hear presentations regarding the human service needs assessment that was completed in December.

Economic Development VIP Spring Training Event

Our Economic Development Department hosted more than 200 businesses for our Annual Spring Training Home Run Legends Deck Event on Friday, February 28. Everyone was able to network and talk about Surprise amenities as we watched the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals.

Mountain Vista Ranch Block Party

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA hosted their annual block party on Saturday, February 29. Mayor Hall and I were able to talk to many residents and engage with the great community!

Homeowner Associations

I have enjoyed meeting so many of you at the community HOA meetings. If you would like me to attend your HOA meeting, please contact the Council Office at 623-222-1300. Representing you is very important to me and attending your meetings provides me with the opportunity to hear your voice and listen to your concerns.

Meet and Greet

My Meet and Greet events are held at Starbucks, 14369 W. Bell Road, from 9 – 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of each month. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

Please make sure to mark your calendars for the State of the City address on March 26, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall. This special event marks the city’s 60th Anniversary and will include a video presentation, art wall unveiling, live music and entertainment in the Courtyard. For more details, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

District 5 Newsletter • February 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Each month, I conduct a Facebook Live interview that highlights different businesses, institutions, and people in District 5. Be sure to tune in! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Meetings with Local Youth

Last month, I had the opportunity to hold two different meetings with some of our finest youth residents. I had a meaningful conversation with members of the Student Youth Council regarding a few of their projects, and I was able to provide an updated on current happenings in the city. I truly appreciate having open discussions with these future leaders to learn more about them and how they envision their future.

Councilmember Sanders and members of Surprise Youth Council have a discussion in a conference room.

Mayor Skip Hall, Councilman Duffy and I had the pleasure of meeting with a local high school student from Shadow Ridge to discuss her concerns about recycling in Surprise. We appreciate the opportunity to hear her thoughts and discuss sustainable, long-term solutions.

Public Works Director Mike Gent, Councilmember Duffy, a Shadow Ridge High School student, Mayor Hall and Councilmember Sanders.

New Council Conversations Show – Surprise Youth Council

Councilmember Duffy and I hosted a Council Conversations show with our Surprise Youth Council. Hear from our youth about what the Surprise Youth Council is and what projects they are working on. Plus, get their perspective on what’s important to them, some of city’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, and their favorite places to visit in Surprise.

Check out the episode here:
https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=tWUDZWhXIP8

FY21 Budget

City Council recently started the budget building process for FY21. There will be an ongoing series of presentations to City Council by the Finance Department regarding the process and overall development of the budget. Additional presentations related to department operating and capital budget development are planned for future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings. Each of the staff budget presentations can be viewed at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget on the following day.

The Recommended Budget will be released in April. There will be a Council and public review before the adoption of the balanced FY21 budget in June. The fiscal year begins July 1.

City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. Please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas for Council agendas which will be posted no later than two business days before the meeting. Also, meetings are broadcast live on Surprise TV for cable customers and also streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Martin Luther King Jr Day of Celebration & Service

The 3rd Annual MLK Day of Celebration and Service was held on Saturday, January 18. Each year, I look forward to this special event. It is both humbling and inspiring to see so many members of the community come together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s distinguished legacy and volunteer for community projects. Thank you to Congresswoman Debbie Lesko’s State Director Lisa Gray, Arizona State Senator Rick Gray and State Representative Kevin Payne for joining us.

2020 Cactus League Spring Training

There are many upcoming events to celebrate the 2020 Cactus League Spring Training season.

The Annual Welcome Back Luncheon will kick off the Spring Training season on Friday, February 14, at 11 a.m. at Surprise Stadium. Event admission includes hors d’oeuvres, a special commemorative gift and a complimentary entry into the College Baseball Classic at 1 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 623-222-2222.

The Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic takes place February 14-17 at Surprise Stadium and features the Gonzaga Bulldogs, New Mexico Lobos, Oregon Beavers and Brigham Young Cougars. Individual tickets and tournament passes are available for purchase at https://www.surprisestadium.com/events/college-baseball.

Spring Training games begin Friday, February 21, and continue through Saturday, March 21. There are many promotions and special events such as Military Appreciation Days and Coca-Cola Family Four Pack Fridays. Also, kids can run the bases after every Sunday game. For schedule and ticket information, please visit https://www.surprisestadium.com/tickets.

On March 6, Jimmy John’s is sponsoring the Surprise Spring Training 5K/1K at 7 p.m. All participants receive a race shirt, medal and a discount coupon for the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Please visit https://www.surprisestadium.com/events/5k for more information.

Surprise Police

YOUR Surprise Police Department recently promoted three of its finest. Congratulations to Sergeant John Wiehn, Sergeant Joshua Waldeck and Lieutenant Tim Klarkowski! Our community appreciates all that you do for the residents of Surprise.

Recent Openings in Surprise

City Council joined many other community members to celebrate the official opening of the Toll Brothers Sterling Grove community. Sterling Grove will include over 2,000 new homes spanning over 780 acres. The next phase of development will bring such amenities as a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center, pools and an 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf course. Welcome to Surprise!

The brand new Asante Library, 16755 W. Vereda Solana Drive, opened on Saturday, February 1. This is the third library in the City of Surprise and is the first to offer study and meeting rooms. The 10,000 square foot space offers such amenities as self-check kiosks and specific areas for adults, children and teens. I appreciate the partnership we have with the Maricopa County Library District which made the addition of this new facility possible.

Homeowner Associations

I have enjoyed meeting so many of you at the community HOA meetings. If you would like me to attend your HOA meeting, please contact the Council Office at 623-222-1300. Representing you is very important to me and attending your meetings provides me with the opportunity to hear your voice and listen to your concerns.

Meet and Greet

My Meet and Greet events are held at Starbucks, 14369 W. Bell Road, from 9 – 10 a.m. on the last Saturday of each month. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

If you are looking for a great family event, the Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival is Sunday, February 9, from noon – 4 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. The park is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. There will be live music from Steven P & Diversity Jukebox, a variety of food trucks and lots of fun entertainment for the family. Event admission is free. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

The Artisan Treasures Cool Daze Food Truck & Handmade Market opens at 9 a.m. at Mark Coronado Park on Saturday, February 15. The first 100 shoppers will receive a free Treasure Bag. For more information, please visit www.woodnme.com.

There will be a co-ed Sand Volleyball Teen Tournament for ages 12-17 on Saturday, February 29. The tournament will be held at the Surprise Community Park volleyball courts at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue from 4 – 7 p.m. Please call 623-222-2000 for more information or you can register here.

Please make sure to mark your calendars for the State of the City address on March 26, 2020 at 6p.m. at Surprise City Hall. This special event marks the city’s 60th Anniversary and will include a video presentation, art wall unveiling, live music and entertainment in the Courtyard. For more details, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

Please remember that city offices will be closed on Monday, February 17, in honor of Presidents’ Day.