Tag Archives: Audit Committee

September 8, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project.

Work continues as follows:

  • Grand Avenue will be closed between Litchfield and Dysart roads from 8 pm on Thursday, September 8 until 5 am on Friday, September 9.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being constructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

Grand Avenue Full Closure information

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

City Council Work Session

Dial-a-Ride Fare Discussion

Public Works staff provided Council with an outline of the fare revision timeline which began last November with a Council action item to increase the ridership cap to 160 one-way weekday trips and culminated with the adoption of the current fares of $2.00 in the City and $4.00 outside of the City including the Regional ADA service which started on July 1, 2016.

Staff also reviewed fares across the Valley and presented facts regarding ridership and cost of service for FY2016. Council then discussed the options of revising the fares. Discussion included the option of lowering the cost of one-way trips outside of the city to $2.50; fares inside the City and Regional ADA service would remain the same at $2.00 and $4.00 respectively.

Staff will return to Council on the September 20 with a revised Dial-a-Ride fare schedule for their consideration and possible action. Below is a condensed summary of the Dial-a-Ride services and costs performed in FY2016. For the full presentation, please view the Council Work Session for September 6 2016 online at www.surpriseaz.gov/1592/Watch-Council-Meetings-Online.

FY 2016 Summary

774 Residents took 34,846 trips totaling 180,138 miles
Trips inside of City 21,115 – Outside of City 13,731
Fewest Trips 1 – Most Trips 485

Trips Purpose Percentages:

  • Medical & Dialysis 44% – (27% & 17%)
  • Senior Center 12%
  • Shopping 6%
  • Work 10%
  • Leisure 27%

Gross Cost for service $799,250:

  • Passenger Fares $38,403.50 – 5%
  • Federal New Freedom Grant monies $74,016.26 – 9.7%
  • Prop 400 monies applied to service $23,847.04 – 3.1%
  • Net City Billings $662,983.50 – 87% ($350,000 Arizona Lottery Funds – $312,983.50 City’s General Fund)

Cost Inside City $352,273 – Outside City $310,711

Potential Changes to fare schedule pending Council action

Service Type Current Fee Revised Fee
Dial-A-Ride (In city) $2.00 $2.00 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride (Outside city) $4.00 $2.50 Per Ride
Dial-A-Ride ADA Regional Service $4.00 $4.00 Per Ride

City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved the reappointments of Susan deJong and Kathie Morgan for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission; Ira McCullough for the Personnel Appeals Board and Dennis Smith for the Planning & Zoning Commission. The aforementioned members were approved for a 4 year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

City Council also unanimously approved two vacancies on Planning & Zoning Commission – Eric Cultum and Mitchell Rosenbaum; two vacancies for the Tourism Commission representing restaurants – Chris Hall and Mario Rana; one vacancy for the Tourism Commission representing Hotels – Della Brendenburger; one vacancy for the Board of Trustees – Aaron Bacon; two vacancies for the Disabilities Advisory Commission – Brenda Renou and Dan Moore; two vacancies for the Personnel Appeals Board – Rayana Mariland and Valerie Serrano. The aforementioned members were approved for a four year term to expire on September 6, 2020.

Thank you to all of the Boards and Commission Members for your time and service!

Surprise Community Outreach Program Grant Recommendation

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson and Council Assistant Jodi Tas presented the Surprise Community Outreach Program (SCOP) funding recommendations from the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants to the full City Council for consideration. This year, there were 22 applicants with requests totaling over $188,000. The Committee’s recommendations were unanimously approved.

The FY17 approved budget for the Human Service and Community Vitality Department included a total of $75,000 for community outreach activities which included up to $65,000 for SCOP. This year, the Committee’s total award recommendation is $62,000. The one-time awards are paid to non-profit organizations on a reimbursement basis upon completion of their project. The deadline for project completion and spending is June 15, 2017.

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

The City is strengthening its internal audit function and as such the finalization of the formal creation of an Audit Committee and Internal Audit Program was considered and unanimously approved. The services provided are designed to add value, improve the organizational operations, identify opportunities to minimize organizational risks, maximize efficiency and effectiveness and strengthen public confidence and accountability. Councilman Roland Winters and I are both honored to serve on this committee.

Events & Meetings

Southwest Gas Update Meeting

Southwest Gas representatives, Councilman Roland Winters and I met on Wednesday, September 7 to discuss their proposed rate increase. The proposed increase is approximately $1.14 per month for the average residential customer or 2.8% over existing rates. The proposal maintains the current rate design that has been in place since January 2012, with no changes to the basic service charge. At this time, SWG is not requesting any changes to the existing Incremental Contribution Method which calculates the economic feasibility of service and main extensions.

Questions have been asked regarding the Energy Efficiency Enabling Provision (EEP) Monthly Weather Adjustment. The EEP is part of the delivery charge portion of customer’s bills. The rate per unit of gas sold consists of both gas costs and delivery charges. The EEP balances the delivery charge portion of the customer’s bill to ensure that customers only pay for the charges associated with the service they receive. The EEP was approved in December 2011 because it was found to financially protect both the customer and the company. According to SWE, since the EEP was approved, customers have received annual refunds of $25.4M, with another $8.3M pending. With the company’s improved credit ratings, customers are realizing the benefit of lower debt costs in the pending rate case; debt costs in this case are $20M lower than they would have been absent the improved credit profile for the company.

The company’s application will be thoroughly examined by the Arizona Corporation Commission, Commissioners, the Residential Utility Consumer Office and others prior to approval which is expected in May 2017. More information on the request can be found by visiting www.swgas.com/investedinaz.

Mark Your Calendar

Open House – Fire Station 305

Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be hosting an open house this Saturday, September 10 from 9 am until 1 pm. The station is located at 15571 N. Parkview Place. Firefighters will be available to provide a tour, show medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls and much more.

Surprise Fire 305

2016 Drug Symposium

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 6-9 pm, the Surprise Police are partnering with the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Drug Free AZ Kids, and the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) to host a community drug awareness symposium. This highly informative program will be hosted at the CCV Church located at 14787 West Cholla Street in Surprise.

We have learned through past experiences how very important it can be to increase the public’s awareness of drugs and how drugs can negatively impact our community. This particular program is aimed at providing a clearer understanding of the dangers of drugs and providing those in attendance with tools on how to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse. This is a community problem we all need to work together to solve. Please come join your police department and their community partners at this free program.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

Did You Know?

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. at the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex located at 15660 N. Hollyhock Street. This festival-style event will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more.

The City is now accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths. For more information, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 18, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Weekly Update:

  • Driveways located near Chick-Fil-A and the Vitamin Shoppe are inaccessible until 6 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 20) to allow crews to rebuild this portion of Bell Road. Entrances at West Point Parkway and Towne Center Drive are maintained.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

City Council Work Session

2016 College Baseball and Spring Training Update

Community Recreation and Service Director Mark Coronado provided an update on spring baseball season. The spring 2016 Celebration of Baseball began with the return of college baseball to the Surprise Recreation Campus – Campus of Champions with two NCAA collegiate baseball tournaments: the Surprise Spring Training Baseball Classic that was held February 19-22 and the BIG 12-PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge that was held February 25-29. The NCAA college tournaments generated over 1,200 room nights between the teams and guests.

This past March, we celebrated the 14th Spring Training season in Surprise. This season was a record breaking year for both attendance and gross revenue, with just over 206,000 attendees and an overall gross revenue of approximately $7.9 million.

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth developed an Audit Committee consisting of two Council Members, City staff, local business representatives and residents to strengthen the internal audit function. The purpose is to provide independent and objective assurance and ensures compliance with auditing standards and best practices.

Update on Bell and Grand Intersection Improvement Project

Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart provided an update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Since early June, we’ve been in Phase 3B of the project, and we are still on target to conclude this phase in early November.

Bell and Grand Project Phase 3B information slide

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided a financial update that focused on the local sales tax figures from December 2015 through May 2016. It was anticipated through the applied economics study, completed last year, that there would be a reduction of general fund sales tax collections. This has proven to be accurate; however, the loss will be offset by construction sales tax collections that are utilized for one time capital purposes.

Business outreach efforts have continued throughout the project. Economic Development is hosting a marketing class on September 8 as part of their business education efforts. For more information on the class, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

City Council Meeting

Sierra Verde PAD Zoning Amendment Public Hearing

Rezoning of Parcel 8 of the Sierra Verde Planned Area Development (PAD) was requested to allow residential rental units. The project parcel is presently an undeveloped, 14.83 acre site located at the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield Roads within the Sierra Verde PAD. The current proposal is for a rental project that will provide a mix of one, two and three bedroom single-story attached and detached single family homes.

The gated housing facility plans to provide 29,727 square feet of amenity common open space and each unit will provide 473 square feet of private open space. Typical desert landscaping will occupy much of the site. There will be 5.62 acres of undeveloped space that is currently unplanned, but is likely to facilitate a small commercial enterprise.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Amendment

The adoption of the FY2017 budget occurred prior to the completion of FY2016. To ensure that the new fiscal year had enough budget authority for all potential expenditures, conservative FY2016 expenditure estimates were used and remaining balances for items such as grants and CIP projects were carried forward into FY2017 and included in the adopted budget. With FY2016 final accounting nearing completion, the remaining balances are reexamined and adjustments to the FY2017 budget are made as necessary.

The action identifies three main categories of amendments for FY2017. The first category involves the change of budget authority that was carried forward from FY2016. The amendments are made due to actual expenditures varying from estimates for FY2016. The second category is budget adjustments for various operating items and to assign separate project numbers to various capital items for tracking purposes. The third category involves transfer of actual funds to support the reallocation of appropriations from the first two categories.

The action taken, by approval of the Council, updates budget amounts to allow for improved management of the City’s funds. As the audit of FY2016 financials is currently underway, further changes to FY2016 may impact FY2017 carry forward amounts and require future action by the Mayor and Council.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns 2017 Legislative Resolutions

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance briefed the City Council on the 2017 League Resolutions. Annually, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns drafts legislative policy resolutions for adoption by all 91 cities and towns at the annual League Conference. These resolutions are a result of ideas submitted by municipalities or from issues that have arisen during the preceding year. Some of the resolutions include, but are not limited to, the creation of the Economic Development Reimbursement Authority (EDRA).

Events & Meetings

Bell Road Construction Tour

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I took a tour of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction area on Thursday, August 11. We were able to make a few stops, look at the progress and thank the workers for their hard work. A special thank you to Armando Lopez for acting as our guide.

Councilman Hall and Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva

Career Workshop and Surprise Job Fair

The City hosted a career workshop on Friday, August 12. I was impressed by the information available to the attendees. A total of 26 people attended the workshop.

On Tuesday, August 16, the City hosted a job fair at the Communiversity. Thirteen companies were represented. Another job fair is scheduled for November.

Audit Committee Meeting

The Audit Committee met on Wednesday, August 18 at City Hall. We reviewed the first audit of Stadium concessions. Recommendations were made. Two ordinances for the Audit Committee will be presented to the full City Council for adoption at the September 6, 2016 Regular City Council meeting.

Mark Your Calendar

Primary Election

The Primary Election is this month! With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation so please make sure you vote! Independent voters – you will not automatically be mailed a ballot as the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well. For more information, please take time to review our fact sheet.

The City Clerk’s Office is open for early voting through Friday, August 26 (8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday). Anyone registered in Maricopa County can visit the Clerk’s office to vote early. We are one of only 21 satellite sites in Maricopa County for early voting!

Polling Locations on Election Day Only in Surprise – The County has set up 18 sites throughout the City of Surprise (mandated by State Law for Jurisdictional elections). Voters should have received a notice of which polling location to utilize. You can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department (602-506-1511) to find out which polling location to visit or you may call the City Clerk’s Office (623-222-1200). Please do not rely on the location for your last voting issue, as the locations may have changed.

Election Day Only – Tuesday, August 30th – City Hall will be a polling location for the voters who would have previously gone to the Library on Bullard. However, City Hall polling location will have a ballot drop off box for those voters needing to drop off their ballots.

All polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on this date only. Proper voting signs will be up for the entire period of early voting and Election Day.

Did You Know?

Temporary Lane Restrictions

Palm trees within the city’s Bell Road medians will be receiving landscape maintenance (trimming and pruning) beginning Monday, August 22. Temporary inside lane restrictions are expected during the overnight hours.

Landscapers will begin working in the area between the canal, west of Cotton Lane, and Reems Road; they will continue west through August 31, stopping at Grand Ave. Drivers may experience temporary inside lane restrictions between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The City of Surprise is accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths at the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. in the city’s Original Town Site. The festival-style event will take place throughout the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex, located at 15660 N Hollyhock St, and will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more!

Promotional vendors will have the opportunity to advertise products and services throughout the day’s event. The cost of a 10’x10’ booth space is $500 and will include a 10’x10’ tent, (1) table and (2) chairs. Food vendors can reserve a 10’ x 10’ space with (1) table and (2) chairs for $150.

All vendors requesting participation in Surprise Fiesta Grande must complete an application online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or in person at the Community Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Spaces are limited. For more information regarding additional special event promotional and sponsorship opportunities at the Surprise Recreation Campus, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov.

For more information on food vendor space, please contact Steve Castillo at 623.222.2267 or steve.castillo@surpriseaz.gov.

AZ League of Cities Conference

The City Council will be attending the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference next week so I will not issue a newsletter until the following week, September 1. Thank you!

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 16, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting

The city and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) hosted the monthly Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting on Tuesday. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended, along with three business representatives including the property manager that represents both shopping centers at the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

Economic Development provided an outreach update on the Bell/Grand ShopSurprise text campaign initiative. To date, approximately 1,500 people have opted-in and 64,000 actual messages have been sent. The next steps for the campaign include creating a business directory listing and expanding advertising to businesses on the east side of the project near Sun City West. Economic Development and ADOT will continue to canvas businesses in the project area.

The amendment to the temporary signage policy that allows power centers to install signage at strategic corners along the detour route was shared with the group.

ADOT provided an update on the status of the project. The cause of last week’s accident is still under investigation. A new girder is being prepared and at this time; there is no anticipated impact to the overall project schedule. Crews can continue other project work, while the new girder is being built and delivered. Work to create curbs and gutters and utility relocation continues on Bell Rd west of Grand Ave; and paving on the new 134th Ave is scheduled for this week, or early next week. ADOT also continues discussions with BNSF on right-of-way access to complete the girder work.

In early July, Grand Ave traffic will shift to the westbound lanes and non-signalized business access driveways along Grand Ave (Taco Bell/Office Max, Bank of America, Olive Garden, Del Taco) will be temporarily closed until early 2017. Mechanically stabilized earthen walls will be erected on Bell Rd and Grand Ave (walls that will support the ramps) in the coming months.

The summer issue of Progress magazine, scheduled to be mailed out on June 29, will include information about the Grand Ave switchover and will also have an updated business access map.

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.

Events & Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

The Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp took place the week of June 6. This year we hosted 16 students from three schools: Arizona Charter Academy, Paradise Honors, and Imagine Prep.

After a week of great speakers who covered the colors personality assessment, marketing and small business accounting, the students prepared their business plans for their future school-run business. With the help of local active business professionals offering their expertise as mentors, they then started on their “Shark Tank” pitches.

Friday, June 10 was the big day! Four teams competed for $2,000 seed money to start their business at their school. The teams pitched their respective business concepts in the Council Chambers at City Hall to three judges, including Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic, Shelly Bade from My Office Suites and me! They were all fantastic, but of course, there can only be one big winner. The prize went to Zender, a team from Arizona Charter Academy. Zender will be implementing a smoothie station in their student lounge area “The Bulldog Zen.” It was a great week for all of the teams as they learned about entrepreneurship and walked away with some amazing prizes.

Local entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to panel

Veteran’s Parade Discussion

Community and Recreation Services staff and I met with a few residents to discuss the Veteran’s Day Parade slated to occur on Friday, November 11 at 9:30 am in Surprise. Registration to participate will open soon.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee met on Wednesday, June 15 and approved the Audit Committee Charter, Internal Audit Charter, Audit Committee Ordinance and Internal Audit Ordinance. The next meeting will take place on August 17 at 2:30 pm in the Council Overflow Room at City Hall.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Heritage District Public Meetings

The city continues to host public meetings regarding the proposed Surprise Heritage District which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS). The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by the City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather and draft the proposed ordinance. That draft ordinance was presented at public meetings over the past several months. Now, the ordinance will go before Council for consideration and action at the following public hearing:

June 21 – City Council Public Hearing for Consideration and Action 6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

The draft ordinance is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict and you may offer your comments online. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134.

Community Pride Day – Volunteers Needed

The City of Surprise is still looking for volunteers for a Community Pride Day event on June 18 from 7a.m. – noon! Volunteers can sign up to help at one of two locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank or Imagine Preparatory High School, and will spend the morning painting, gardening and sorting food boxes. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up by contacting Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov.

Truth in Taxation Hearing

In compliance with Section 42-17107, Arizona Revised Statutes, the city has notified property taxpayers of the intention to raise property taxes over last year’s rate. The city is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $588,173 or 8.7%.

For example, the proposed tax increase will cause the primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $74.13 (total taxes that would be owed without the proposed tax increase) to $80.59 (total proposed taxes including the tax increase).

All interested residents have been invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled to be held on June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.

City of Surprise 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise welcomes you to celebrate the 4th of July at the Surprise Recreation Campus-Surprise Stadium at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue on Monday, July 4th. The event will kick off with a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Throughout the game, families can enjoy in-game contests, music, and family giveaways leading up to a firework spectacular! Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Gates will open at 4:30pm and game will begin at 5:30pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. The stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30pm.

For additional event information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Did You Know?

Traffic Restrictions at Greenway & Litchfield Roads

The left hand turning movements from Greenway Road to north and southbound Litchfield Road will be prohibited Friday, June 24 at 9 p.m. through Monday, June 27 at 5 a.m.

Following this restriction, the two west bound lanes along Greenway Road will be complete. The remaining construction activities along Greenway Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue will restore the existing pavement on the southern section of Greenway Road. This will be completed in mid-July.

The work is part of a project to widen Greenway Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue, providing two lanes of travel in each direction. It also includes sidewalks, bike lanes, a raised median and drainage improvements.

If you have any questions, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Warns Against Leaving Children and Pets in Hot Vehicles

With temperatures expected to rise, possibly as high as 120 degrees this weekend, Surprise Police are reminding residents of the deadly dangers of leaving kids and pets in cars through their “Hot Cars Can Kill” campaign.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. A child’s temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult’s, and when a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.

The NHTSA says to keep in mind that even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees, the temperature inside your car can reach 110 degrees, and in just 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees.

As a reminder to check the backseat for kids and pets, place something you’ll need in the back, like a purse or briefcase, to remind yourself to look back before leaving your vehicle. Anyone who sees a child alone in a vehicle is asked to call 911 immediately.

The “Hot Cars Can Kill” campaign was introduced by the Surprise Police Department last spring. Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hotcarscankill for more information, resources and to watch a 30-second public service announcement.

Heatstroke infographic

Contact Me

Shop Bell and Grand local

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

Ask a Question

May 26, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Traffic switch on Bell Road between 134th Drive and Dysart Road. Traffic will travel on the south side of Bell Road.
  • Completion of sewer main on Bell Road east of 134th Drive.
  • Preparation to pave and form the curb and gutters to build the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Continuation of the building of bridge columns and support beams on the east and west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

Thank you again for your patience during this project.

Events & Meetings

Networking Breakfast Meeting

On Thursday, May 19, I met with a Christian networking group and spoke about leadership, challenges and values.

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board met on Thursday, May 19 and approved FY2017 annual budget.

Audit Committee Meeting

The Audit Committee met on Thursday, May 19 at City Hall. A decision was made that City Council Members should not be officers on the Committee. Councilman Roland Winters and I are part of the Committee. Director of IT Tammie Hollowell was elected Chair of the committee and Melissa Holdaway with Arizona Charter Academy was elected Vice Chair. The next audit committee meeting is June 15 at 2:30 pm in the Council Chamber Overflow Room and we are scheduled to discuss the Internal Audit Charter and the Audit Committee Charter. This meeting is open to the public and I encourage you to attend.

Meeting with Animal Shelter Fundraising

Animal Shelter Fundraising, a Surprise-based fundraising company, recently received the 2016 International Business Excellence Award for Best Animal Welfare Fundraising Organization from Acquisition International. The company is a two-time winner of this award which is given to a business that demonstrates excellence in fundraising within this particular industry.

Councilman Hall with Tim Crum

Company founder and CEO Tim Crum formed the company in 2008. His company is another successful graduate of the AZ TechCelerator. Animal Shelter Fundraising has raised in excess of $200 million for more than 200 national and local animal shelters and humane societies.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 24. Patrick McDermott, APS Community Affairs Manager, provided an update. APS is Arizona’s largest and longest serving utility. APS services 11 out of 15 counties and has 1.2 million customer accounts (89% residential). Mr. McDermott also briefly discussed the rate case submittal planned for June 1, 2016. This rate case will determine how rates will be structured as the utility looks at demand charges that bill customers based on the amount of power they are using at a given time.

Mark Your Calendar

Teen Nights – Club Rec Nights

Club Rec Nights, for students in 6th through 8th grades, are back for the summer featuring live DJ’s, video games, dodgeball, dancing & more! The next Club Rec Night will be held on June 17 from 7 until 10 pm at the Sierra Montana Rec Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane. Entry is $5 per person.

33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise is hosting its 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration on Monday, July 4th. Gates open at 5 pm. The Seattle Mariners will be playing the Kansas City Royals at the Surprise Stadium at 6 pm. Please note that the rookie teams are playing. Fireworks will begin after the game at approximately 8:30 pm. Admission is free with a canned food donation. The event is limited to the first 10,000 fans.

Did You Know?

Surprise and Maricopa County Partner to Launch Program

Income eligible parents in Surprise and El Mirage will soon have access to a pilot program called Strengthening Working Families, which combines opportunities for workforce development training, childcare support and rental and utility assistance.

The program, being piloted by the City of Surprise and Maricopa County, leverages Federal and State funds to support families in need by providing access to and coordination of the following services:

Workforce Development – Arizona@Work Maricopa County:

Parents can participate in a free short-term job training program to enter a new career path or advance in their current career. Parents must meet income eligibility requirements and have children under the age of 5.

Child Care – Head Start/Early Head Start Partnerships:

Head Start services will fill the child care need for eligible parents who are engaged in the program’s employment education and training activities. The child care will be provided at no cost.

Service Coordination – Community Action Program (CAP) of Surprise:

CAP of Surprise will provide long-term case management and service coordination to program participants. Parents will have a single point of contact to help them navigate through services that aim to support their efforts to increase their self-sufficiency as they improve work skills and increase income.

Interested residents of Surprise and El Mirage should register for and attend the Strengthening Working Families information and enrollment meeting on May 20 from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Surprise Resource Center, located at 12425 W. Bell Road. To register for the meeting, please call 623.222.1600.

Learn more about each of the partners and the full range of services they offer:

Arizona@Work Maricopa County


Head Start/Early Head Start


Community Action Program of Surprise


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 21, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

Columns that will support a $41.9 million overpass and interchange at Bell Road and Grand Avenue (US 60) have begun rising on the east side of the project now that nine shafts have been drilled, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Work has proceeded steadily since Bell Road closed April 1 between 134th Drive and West Point Parkway, with crews clearing the project area, relocating utilities and more. Among the latest progress, forms have been assembled to create bridge panels with an agave pattern.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

Bell & Grand road construction images April 20, 2016

City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Update

Eight members of SYC attended a week long immersive civic education program in Washington D.C. from March 13 through March 18, 2016 along with over 250 students from across the nation. This program was done in partnership with Close Up, a successful 45 year old company that leads thousands of students each year by turning the nation’s Capital into a living classroom.

Members of SYC launched an awareness campaign, “Be Yourself. Find Your Crowd. Get Along”, for teens on April 4, 2016 to help spread the message that everyone belongs. Promoting the idea of finding your crowd encourages students to break out of their comfort zones and expand their horizons when it comes to making friends.

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) member showing off their new campaign shirts
Some of our SYC members embracing their great campaign

Utility Partners Update

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided a utility update. The utility partners discussed included EPCOR, Southwest Gas and APS.

EPCOR has a planned investment in excess of $500 million primarily for the repair and/or replacement of aging infrastructure in addition to support for new homes and businesses. Some of EPCOR’s impending projects include the installation of new pumps to replace aging wastewater infrastructure and improve operational safety at the Bell Road Lift Station (June 2016); the relocation of water and sewer lines (October 2016); and the replacement of approximately 3.5 miles of water main that is consistently prone to issues in Coyote Lakes. Additional projects include the Bell Road Lift Station connection with the Northwest Valley Water Reclamation Facility (end of 2016); the installation of 3.4 miles of new 12 to 16 inch water main to support new development and ensure adequate water pressure and fire flow at Water Plant 8 to Zanjero Trails (2017+ pending developer activity) and the expansion of capacity at the White Tanks Water Treatment Plant (late 2016).

EPCOR has been ordered by ACC to file a new wastewater rate case by April 29, 2016. They will be required to provide 2015 date/costs to examine three rate design scenarios. Once the application is accepted, EPCOR will be holding community open houses. EPCOR would like to create one large rate district to mitigate the impact that infrastructure replacements and increasing operating costs will have on customers.

Mrs. Lance provided an APS construction update which included a project update occurring immediately outside the City limits. This project will connect the Sun Valley Substation near Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye to the Morgan Substation located near SR74 in Peoria. In fall of 2016, APS will begin to build roads needed to access parts of the line with an in-service date of spring 2018. Additionally, APS filed a 120-day Notice of Intent to File a rate case with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). In June 2016, APS plans to file a general rate case which will identify details. A decision regarding the case is expected in 2017. Public input will be a cornerstone in this process. The last rate case was approximately 5 years ago. For updates, you can visit http://www.azenergyfuture.com/rate-review.

Southwest Gas is in the process of relocating facilities to accommodate the pending construction of the bridge on Bell Road. No other projects within Surprise limits are planned at this time. Southwest Gas has partnered with the Salvation Army for the Energy Share program which is an emergency fund that provides direct utility assistance to qualified customers with unexpected difficulties.

City Council Meeting

Grant Funding Priorities – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs

City Council unanimously approved the grant funding priorities for CDBG’s Second Year Annual Action Plan for year 2016-2017. The organizations approved included Ability 360 ($27,560), Aid to Adoption to Special Kids ($5,000), Central Arizona Shelter Services ($7,000), Benevilla ($22,560), Mentally Ill Kids in Distress ($5,000), Potter’s House ($7,650) and Surprise Youth Employment Program ($13,000). Improvements to the AZ TechCelerator were also included in the funding strategy. The anticipated cost is less than $380,000 which will help expand programming options.

City Manager’s FY2017 Recommended Budget

The City Council reviewed the City Manager’s recommended FY2017 budget that focuses on continuing the Council’s commitment to maintaining the quality public services and infrastructure our residents value most. The recommended budget, which totals $298.6 million, includes 23 new positions across the public safety services of Police, Fire-Medical, Emergency Management, Prosecution, and City Court. These positions are financed through a combination of a reduction in the city’s transaction privilege tax (“sales tax”) base from 2.2% to 2.12%, a slight reduction of the property tax from $0.7591 to $0.7413 per $100 of assessed valuation, and an addition of a food for home consumption tax of 2.12% to generate an estimated $2.4 million. The City Council will discuss and adopt changes to the tax rates on May 17.

The recommended budget includes transitioning water, wastewater and sanitation utility billing services in-house to better control the customer experience as well as providing for more efficient and effective operations than currently provided. For this purpose, 11 positions are added to the FY2017 budget, which will be offset by the reduction of the current billing provider’s contract costs. Six other positions are added to support the areas of fleet, information technology, human resources, community development, finance, and the senior center.

The recommended budget increases funding for maintaining the city’s roads through the pavement preservation program to $4.5 million; invests $6.8 million in communications, facility, information technology, recreation, and utility infrastructure; and replaces $10.5 million of aged vehicles minimizing future maintenance costs.

During the discussion, the City Council gave direction on some changes that will be brought back with the tentative budget that will be adopted on May 4. That will be followed by the adoption of the final budget on June 7.

Events & Meetings

Audit Committee Meeting

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth formed an Audit Committee whose goal is to provide advice to the City Council with respect to fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the integrity of the financial statements of the city. The Committee will also assist and advise the Internal Auditor and City Council on matters relating to the City’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, systems of internal controls, management of city-wide risk environment and the performance of internal and external auditors. The Committee consists of 7 members appointed by the City Manager. In addition to the City Manager, the Committee members are Councilman Roland Winters and me, Finance Director Lindsey Duncan, IT Director Tammie Hollowell and Surprise citizens Sharon Ward, Melissa Holdaway and Arden Engmark.

The Committee met on April 14 and will hold our first official meeting on Thursday, May 19 at 2 pm in the Overflow Room of City Hall. The public is welcome to attend!

Surprise Job Workshop and Job Fair

I attended the Surprise Job Fair Workshop at the Surprise Communiversity on Friday, April 15. The event was made possible through partnerships with Arizona @ Work, Rio Salado College, LinkedIn and the Communiversity. The workshop provided attendees with tips on updating their resumes, having a successful interview, and much more.

The Surprise Job Fair took place at the Surprise Communiversity on Tuesday, April 19. The event was overwhelmingly successful thanks to the team effort of our Economic Development Department, Human Service and Community Vitality Department, and the many businesses who participated. During the time I stopped by, there were over 140 people and one company alone made four offers for employment.

Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza

The Surprise Police Department hosted the 2016 Employee Appreciation Awards Bonanza at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 15. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Council Members Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I attended. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Rick D’amico, a host on FOX 10’s “Morning Show”.

During the award ceremony, Chief Terry Young presented Mr. Michael Walker, a cab driver for West Valley Cab Company, with a Certificate of Appreciation. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to a citizen who takes it upon themselves to “get involved” when many would not. In January 2015, Mr. Walker contacted the police and provided information on how to locate a residence, where he dropped off a female fare. As the woman exited the cab, she told Mr. Walker she was in fear for her life. Once officers arrived at the residence, they heard a female screaming inside, entered the home and found the husband strangling the victim to the point where she could no longer breathe. Mr. Walker, thank you!

In special recognition, Chief Young formally recognized several employees, both sworn and civilian, and several other volunteers, for their personal dedication, professionalism and commitment to excellence. At the top of that list, Officer Ray Johnson was bestowed with the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor. To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an individual must have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

Highlighting some other achievements, Detective Antonio Martinez was awarded the Medal of Merit. Additionally, Officer Matthew Barker, Officer Craig Scartozzi, Officer Joanna Massimillo-Vallet, and Detective Joshua Waldeck were each presented with a Life Saving Award. Officer Jason Lewis received a Department Commendation and the Training and Recruitment Unit was recognized as the Unit of the Year.

Several annual awards were also presented including the following; Officer of the Year – Officer James Jennings, Rookie of the Year – Officer Morgan Williams, Detective of the Year – Detective Michael Forbrook, Civilian of the Year – Kim Davies, Volunteer of the Year – Barbara Jones, Citizen Patrol Member of the Year – Jim Gearns, and the Supervisor of the Year – Public Safety Communication Supervisor Emily Pepe.

Mark Your Calendar

Utility Payment Assistance Event

The City of Surprise Resource Center, in partnership with the City of El Mirage, Maricopa County and APS, is hosting a Gas and Electric Utility Payment Assistance event on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the El Mirage Senior Center, located at 14010 N El Mirage Rd.

Southwest Gas and APS customers who qualify are encouraged to attend! This event is open for residents of Surprise and El Mirage who meet the income qualifying guidelines. Specific documents must be provided in order for an application to be taken. The income guidelines and document requirements are available here: http://bit.ly/1oCmSWu.

Please note, applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and an interview is not a guarantee of assistance. If your household has received utility assistance from a CAP office in the last 12 months, you are not eligible for utility assistance at this time.

For questions, please contact the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Citizen Corps Council Workshop on Protection

With concerns about personal safety and security at an all-time high, the Surprise Citizen Corps Council is inviting women in the Northwest Valley to an informative workshop on ways to protect yourself and your family. The workshop will be held at the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm on April 27. Tuition is $25 and can be paid at the door. You can make your reservation by emailing crfire@surpriseaz.gov.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is scheduled for April 23 at Willow Canyon High School’s football field, 17001 W. Lundberg Street from 12 noon until 10 pm. This marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Surprise! The public is invited to participate in the walk. If you’d like to sign up for this annual event, please do so at http://relayforlife.org/SurpriseAZ.

Did You Know?

Deal of the Day

Please remember the new “ShopSurprise” incentive program is in full gear during the Bell/Grand interchange project. This program offers you special coupons and shopping promotions as well as prizes and drawings. You just need to text “ShopSurprise” – one word – to 40518. If you don’t have a smart phone, you are welcome to see all the daily deals at www.shopsurpriseaz.com. Thank you for your assistance to help support our businesses impacted by this construction project!

Shop Bell and Grand local

Public Meetings Scheduled for Proposed Surprise Heritage District

The public is invited to attend several upcoming meetings on a proposed Surprise Heritage District, which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) – a one square mile area bounded by Bell, Greenway, El Mirage and Dysart roads. The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city has collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather input and draft this proposed ordinance, which supports a unique sense of place and character.

The next meeting (Citizen Review Meeting) is scheduled for April 27 at 5 pm at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street. You can also review the Draft Surprise Heritage District Ordinance and offer your comments online at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict.

For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question