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.
**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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.