Tag Archives: city academy

Councilmember Jack Hastings February Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters. I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Representative. I look forward to the opportunity to provide you with city updates, and I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/councilmemberhastings.

Supporting Local Business and First Responders

Councilmember Hastings in front of city hall.It is a blessing to be able to support our local businesses and first responders by donating my 2020 Council salary. Here’s where the money went:

  • Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway, received $778
  • Sweet Tea Café, 15278 W. Bell Road, received $667
  • Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, received $439
  • Gathered Grounds, 15800 N. Litchfield, received $439
  • Lunch for all seven Surprise Fire Stations, $460
  • Lunch for Surprise Police, $105

Councilmember Hastings hands an envelope to the owner of Sweet Tea.

Coming Soon!

Overeasy restaurant.Over Easy is coming to Surprise District 5! They will be taking over the former Mucho Burrito space on Bell Road by In-N-Out Burger. This local breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot will be a fantastic addition to District 5 and City Center!

What’s going next to Costco? Here are some restaurants that are currently under development review in the area:

Various restaurant logos: Whataburger, Black Rock Coffee Bar, Arby's, Jersey Mike's, Aloha.

  • Whataburger
  • Black Rock Coffee
  • Arby’s
  • Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade
  • Jersey Mike’s

Also, coming soon to Surprise is BadAZ Axes and Axescape room! This axe-throwing/escape room concept is underway at the Southeast corner of Greenway Road and the Loop 303.

BadAz Axes and Axescape Room logos

The Dungeon Gaming Center has opened at 15557 W. Bell Road. The Dungeon Gaming Center is a game retailer and soon-to-be gameplay location. Check it out at www.dungeongaming.com.

The Springs at Surprise, located at the southwest corner of Bullard Avenue and Bell Road, is currently in development review. This project is a 204-unit multi-family development from Continental Homes that will sit across the street from The Quarter at Surprise site, which will feature retail, restaurants, grocery, and fitness locations.

Recycling Update

Recycle Wise in Surprise logo.It might be easier, or even more politically beneficial for us to tell you that curbside recycling has returned. Some other cities have done this, right? They even have a second truck go around to pick up the blue bins separately. But where do all of those recyclables go? The landfill, with the trash.

Why would your recycling go to the landfill? They would go there because our one vendor (and only option) cannot guarantee that ANY material in our blue bins will be recycled. This is in part because China is refusing to allow any of their businesses to accept U.S. recyclables.

Most of us would be willing to pay a little more to truly recycle. However, we would be paying a LOT more to still NOT recycle. In addition, we’d be paying for another truck to go around to collect the blue bins to pretend like we are recycling, when we wouldn’t be. This would be dishonest and wrong. Speaking of cost, in addition to not being environmentally conscious, it would not be fiscally responsible or sustainable.

Looking at the graphic below, in 2017 “recycling” cost the city $90,000 annually. If we had continued at that pace, in 2020 the cost would have skyrocketed to $1.3 MILLION, if not more. That is an increase of over 1,300%. This cost would then (wrongfully) be passed onto you, through the city being forced to add more and more rate fee increases in the midst of a pandemic, which I do not support.

In conclusion, I know this information is frustrating, and not what we wanted to hear. I am personally disappointed at the current situation and lack of alternatives. That being said, there is hope down the road and we do have options, but it won’t happen overnight:

Short Term:

  1. I have added an item to a future City Council Work Session to discuss expanding our current Drop-Off Recycling Program’s days, hours and locations to better serve residents.
  2. We can work with our current vendor to negotiate a fair contract for curbside recycling where we are truly recycling at a reasonable rate to ratepayers

Long Term:

  1. We can work with other vendors to expand their capacity so they are able to take our recyclables.
  2. We can look into building our own Surprise MRF (Material Recovery Facility) to process our own materials and also materials of other cities in the West Valley as well to enhance revenue.

I promise you we are working around the clock to find a solution. However, we are going to find a solution that is right: Environmentally, Economically, and Ethically.

If you did not have a chance to watch the January 19 Council meeting, below is a link to a recording, beginning with the Recycling discussion.

https://surpriseaz.ompnetwork.org/sessions/160821?embedInPoint=2491&embedOutPoint=10545&shareMethod=link

Drop-off Recycling

Recycling drop-off center banner.Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

  • Plastic bottles #1 and #2 (including milk gallons, soda bottles, condiment bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent containers)
    Please be sure to screw all lids on the bottles or remove them completely
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum and tin cans

A city staff member will be available to help sort recyclable materials and ensure that the recyclables are not contaminated.

NEW Council Conversation

In early February, I will be hosting a Council Conversation, where I will interview Deputy City Manager Mike Gent regarding recycling. Please check my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov for the video once it is released!

Surprise City Academy

Surprise City Academy logoLearn more about the City of Surprise from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager, and upper-level city staff! The Surprise City Academy is an excellent way for residents, students, and business owners to learn about municipal government structure, processes and funding, and engage in community affairs and local issues. This virtual 10-session course begins on February 22 and will meet via WebEx on Monday nights from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The Academy is FREE to attend, but you must register. For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.

Small Business Help

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced a new round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Our Economic Development Department maintains a summary of the PPP information on their website at www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp.

Spring Training

Spring Training 2021 is scheduled to begin on February 27, however, the Cactus League would prefer to delay Spring Training for a month. The hope is that a delay would allow more time for people to get vaccinated and to hopefully see a decline in new COVID cases. No decision has been made about changing the February 27th start of the season. Right now, the Texas Rangers are set to take on the Kansas City Royals on February 27 at 1:05 p.m.! For a complete schedule of games and updated information on ticket sales and safety protocols, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or call 623.222.2222. Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the Spring Training Schedule and information is subject to change.

COVID-19 Update

Vaccinations can now be scheduled for Phase 1C, individuals age 65 and older. The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).

Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) – https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing

Meet and Greet

District 5 community meeting banner.Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on February 13, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are February 2 and 16 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.