Tag Archives: economic development

September 14, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) will be closed Sept. 18-24 for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps will be closed from 1 a.m. Monday (Sept. 18) to 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 24), according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Drivers can use detour routes along Dysart and Litchfield roads to make connections between Bell Road and Grand Avenue. Bell Road will remain open for traffic traveling over the bridge. During the week, crews will be removing the median island along westbound Grand Avenue near the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

The change is designed to provide improved guidance for drivers making left turns onto Bell Grande Drive while clearly separating that traffic from vehicles using the westbound off-ramp at the Bell Road overpass. Drivers should use caution in the work zone and expect restrictions along westbound US 60 and left-turn closures at the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

Crews also will add sections of what are known as mountable, rounded curbs near the ends of the existing barrier walls separating the on- and off-ramps near the crosswalks on the Bell Road overpass. As an additional safety measure, yellow flexible safety posts will be placed near the ends of the ramp barrier walls. The changes are designed to help drivers with turning angles between Bell Road and the ramps.

The ramps first opened to traffic in February as part of ADOT’s $42 million project to build a new interchange connecting Bell Road and Grand Avenue. The improvements are the result of feedback from local drivers as well as staff at ADOT and the city of Surprise.

Economic Development Update

Our Economic Development team has been busy! Over the last few months the following new businesses have opened:

Boba Craze (16630 W. Greenway), 3 Minute Express Car Wash (11516 W. Bell Road), Salad and Go (17137 N. Litchfield Road), Subaru Superstore (13090 N. Autoshow), Sumo Snow (16487 W. Bell Road), Denny’s (16487 W. Bell Road), Casa De Papa Taco (13761 W. Bell Road, Suite 211), Innovative Health Clinic (12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126), Pure Physique Pilates and Reflexion Medical Center (14851 W. Bell Road, Suite 104)

Permits for construction have been issued for businesses that include:

Thompson Thrift, which includes Raising Canes, Pieology, Menchies Yogurt, Starbucks, Tokyo Joes (near Bell Road and Civic Center Drive), Sonic Drive-In (17181 W. Greenway Road), Hayashi Restaurant (16525 W. Bell Road), Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken (16411 W. Bell Road), Maximus Nutrition (13601 N. Litchfield Road), Ono Hawaiian BBQ (13864 W. Bell Road), Max Automotive (13515 W. Foxfire Drive), Greulich’s Automotive (16641 W. Bell Road), Skyway Commons (11470/11560 N. Dysart Road), Phoenix Distribution Center (10947 N. 132nd Avenue), Milam Glass (10801 N. 132nd Avenue), Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital (17300 N. Dysart Road), West-MEC (13201 W. Grand Avenue)

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Committee met on Tuesday, September 12. The Committee expressed great enthusiasm about the city’s development of a new Sports and Tourism Department. Donna Miller, Community and Recreation Services Director, provided an update on the organizational changes the new department would bring and announced that Director candidate interviews were taking place this week.

Community Development Planner, Joshua Mike, provided commission members with an overview of the Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan. With the plan still in the public input phase, he explained the opportunity for the Tourism Advisory Commission to get involved and integrate tourism initiatives into the potential art and culture initiatives and outreach.

The Tourism Advisory Commission has also decided to adjust their current meeting times from quarterly to monthly scheduled meetings. Beginning in October, the Tourism Advisory Commission will meet every second Thursday at 6 p.m. and meetings will take place in the City Council Overflow Room. Location may vary depending on availability.

Commission members chose a new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Resident DeAngelo Hall will be Chairperson, and hotel representative Ms. Della Brandenberger will be Vice-Chairperson.

The October Tourism Advisory Commission meeting will take place Thursday, October 12 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall – Council Overflow Room.

Innovative Healthcare Ribbon Cutting

Councilman Ken Remley and I attended the ribbon cutting for Innovative Health, located at 12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126 on Tuesday, September 12.

Innovative Health group cutting ribbon at grand opening

Sports & Tourism Director Meet & Greet

City Council and management met with the seven finalists for the Sports and Tourism Director position on Tuesday, September 12 at Babbo Italian Eatery. All seven candidates were impressive and had a variety of experience for the position.

Mark Your Calendar

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Class

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is offering a free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) class. 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.

Class is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 from 2-4 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

West Valley Healthcare Career Expo

Are you looking for an exciting career in the healthcare field or know someone who is? The West Valley Healthcare Career Expo event will be held on September 20 from 10 am until 1 pm at the Avondale Sports Center. Employers like Banner Health, Sun Health, Rapid Recovery Centers, Dignity Health and much more will be there to offer hundreds of jobs. Registration is required. Register at WorkWest.org.

Stay Informed

There are so many new and exciting things happening in Surprise. We want you to stay informed. Please follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Skip-Hall/100010609816668. You can also get the latest city news through the Surprise City Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise and our city webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive Opens Friday

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive from Bell Road to Paradise will open Friday, September 15 at 6 a.m. The project includes one travel lane in each direction with a center median and provides a direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road.

Annual Pavement Preservation Program

The City of Surprise Public Works Department kicks off its annual Pavement Preservation Program this week. This annual program identifies city streets to receive appropriate applications to lengthen the lifetime of the street surface. The approved budgeted amount for the FY18 Pavement Preservation Program is $4.5 million. The scheduled work is to be performed on 200.2 lane miles of city streets through June 30.

Residents can expect road restrictions during the work. Residents living in areas targeted for treatment will receive 48-hour notice before the work begins via a door hanger. The only application where residents will not receive a 48-hour notice is Crack Sealing, which is a quick drying and steady pace process. However, residents are asked to be aware of temporary “Fresh Oil” signs and mobile work crews installing the treatment. Residents requiring special assistance during the street treatments will find contact information on the door hangers.

Street treatments include Crack Sealing, Master Seal MTR or PMM, Chip Seal, Mill & Rubberized Asphalt Overlay, Micro Surfacing, and Type II Slurry Seal. Maps detailing the roads scheduled to receive treatment and the types of treatment they will receive are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

City Council Will Vote on D3 Appointee – September 19

City Council conducted interviews of all six applicants for the District 3 appointment at a public hearing held during a Special Meeting in the City Council Chamber on September 5. City Council will vote to fill the seat at our regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. For more information on the applicants, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants.

Contact Me

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

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June 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Canadian Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce Initiative

Surprise, Arizona could be the next top destination for Canadian medical travel. Guest speaker Marc Kealey, CEO of Kealey & Associates in Toronto, Canada co-presented with Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic on the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise aimed at patients who desire the excellence of Canadian standards without the increasingly challenging wait times for services.

Arizona is home to more than 350 Canadian companies and more than 1.1 million Canadians visit our state annually, spending approximately $1.1 billion and staying here for an average of 20 days. Canadians tend to be highly satisfied with their healthcare quality, but they tend to have longer wait periods to receive healthcare services compared to their peers in other countries. This is most likely due to their physician shortage, and the fact their medical schools are at capacity with 1,500 studying abroad. Their healthcare system is publically funded but privately delivered. We are well positioned here. There are approximately 15,000 Canadian residents in Surprise.

Next steps for expanding healthcare services to our Canadian neighbors include the establishment of a taskforce and several roundtables that would make up the regulatory analysis and market feasibility. The finding recommendation should be presented to the City Council by the end of the year.

Ottawa University Arizona Update

Ottawa University Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner provided an update on the University. To date, 45 people have been hired to work at the University with more hires expected after July. Ottawa University was founded 152 years ago in Ottawa, Kansas. They have had a 40-year presence in the Phoenix market and have been serving Surprise community for 8 years at the Communiversity. Currently, the university is transitioning existing programs into a residential campus with a full blown athletic model. Dr. Tyner stated over 350 students have submitted letters of intent for Fall 2017; their registration target was 150 students. It is the goal of the University to have 3,000 residential students within 10 years.

Ottawa University Surprise expansion plan rendering

Degree programs will be available from the Schools of Business, Arts & Sciences and Education. Degrees from the School of Health and Applied Sciences should be available next year, and accreditation to have Engineering and Accounting degrees will go before the State this year. Ottawa University promotes a life of significance with engagement in quality work in the community and much more.

City Council Meeting

Major Zoning Amendment to Cotton Gin PAD

The applicant, NexMetro, requested an amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development (PAD) to allow multi-family residential as a permitted land use on the 10.8 acres (approx.) parcel located on the northeast corner of Waddell Road and Reems Road. Additionally, the applicant proposed to create new development standards for multi-family residential uses. This proposed PAD Amendment will allow for 127 single-story attached and detached rentals units. The PAD and site plan were approved with a 4-2 vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The project was unanimously approved by City Council.

Board and Commission Appointments

City Council unanimously approved appointments of William Coniam (Board of Trustees) to serve remainder of a term that expires June 30,2018; Renee Pastor to the Board of Trustees to serve a four year term with an expiration of June 30, 2021; Kathryn Chandler to serve on the Disability Advisory Commission with a four year term to expire on June 30, 2021; Edward Hanzel to the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a four year term expiring on June 30, 2021; and Marco Daleo to serve on the Tourism Commission to represent Hotels. He will complete the remainder of a term to expire on June 30, 2019.

Additionally, unanimously approved were the reappointments of the following members for four-year terms which will expire on June 30, 2021: David Sanders, Mark Brown and Ron Jenson for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; Robert Monahan for the Disability Advisory Commission; Kristin Peck and DeAngelo Hall for the Tourism Commission and Brooke Gaunt as the State Bar Representative for the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office for all appointments and reappointments. Thank you to these gracious appointments for volunteering the time to serve our city.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 15. As a subcommittee, we approved the fare policy change regarding ticket partnerships and the FY17/18 audit plan for Valley Metro RPTA Board consideration. The request to authorize an amendment to the regional fare policy will allow for additional ticket partnerships with events and event venues. For example, the cost of the ticket for an event will include the transportation through Valley Metro, so only one ticket would be required for admission and transportation.

Valley Metro COO Rob Antoniak provided an update of vendor contracts to ensure uninterrupted customer services for those customers that call or text Valley Metro seeking assistance through their automated customer service system. The current vendor unexpectedly terminated its contract effective June 30.

Highland Prep High School

Highland Prep Principal Ken Schlinger and I met on Thursday, June 15. Highland Prep is a tuition free public charter preparatory STEM high school that will be located at 15600 W. Hearn Road. They broke ground on Wednesday, June 21 and will open in a temporary facility this fall to a freshman class of 125 students. The school will open its new building in fall 2018 that will host freshman and sophomore classes. Each year, they will add another freshman class and hope to host 500 students.

Meet & Greet with Kealey and Associates

On June 20, I met with Kealey and Associates CEO Mark Kealey. Mr. Kealey is working with our Economic Development department to determine the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise.

Memorial Service for Mark Coronado

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado
Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado

It is with the heaviest heart that we learned about the passing of our

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado. Mark was only 59 years old.

Mark was hired by the City of Surprise in 2000 to lead the CRS Department, which was a three-person team at the time. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. In addition, he served as the Cactus League President for two consecutive terms from 2012-2016.

Surprise has lost one of our biggest assets who has left a lasting legacy for our city. He will be sorely missed.

Mark Your Calendar

Project Connect

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success!

Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

Help us make Project Connect in Surprise a success by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov for questions about the event.

Back to School Drive at Surprise City Hall

Please consider joining Surprise employees and show your support for our Surprise youth by donating back-to-school supplies that will benefit local kindergarten through 8th graders. All types of school supplies are needed and can be dropped off in the donation bins located in the lobby of City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) until July 31. For more information, please contact Stephen Chang at 623.222.3136.

Did You Know?

Surprise PD Officer Receives School Resource Officer of the Year Award

Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas
Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas

Congratulations to Officer Chris Thomas for being named the “The 2017 Arizona School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year” award; an award recognized by the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers. Officer Thomas currently serves at Valley Vista High School and is a key part of the Monsoon family.

The Arizona SRO of the Year Award is given to officers who exhibit the qualities and goals of the School Resource Officer position. Through the triad approach to school policing (teaching, counseling, policing), the SRO attempts to bridge the gap that exists between police and the youth of today, teach law-related education to deepen their understanding of civic responsibility, and to develop their respect for the justice system.

Officer Thomas was nominated by Officer Wendy Klarkowski, several students, school staff members, and administrators at the Valley Vista High School; including Karen Winterstein, the Director of Student Services, at the Dysart Unified School District.

Presentation on Urban Design and Well-being

Earlier last month, Mr. Charles Montgomery, author of the book “Happy City” provided an overview of the relationship between urban design and well-being to the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) Regional Council. The MAG Regional Council Report indicated that he explored how these principles can be incorporated into regional mobility planning as well as deliver economic and public health benefits.

According to the report, Mr. Montgomery said the top four components for urban health and happiness are social connections, freedom to move, belonging to a neighborhood and the inclusion of systems and spaces for everyone. These concepts will be integral in the development of regional planning efforts moving forward, according to MAG.

Contact Me

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

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March 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project

Last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) released a final weekly update. The opening of the new Grand Avenue ramps connecting to the Bell Road overpass on February 16 was the last major milestone for the project. While there is still some work to complete, ADOT and its partners are pleased to have opened all the new connections at the interchange, allowing much-improved traffic flow for the region.

The project team will complete permanent lane striping on sections of new pavement along Grand Avenue on March 5 and March 6. Crews also will finish minor work on signage, landscaping and signals as the project comes to an end.

While the construction took place in Districts 4 and 5, it affected people throughout the city. I wanted to personally thank each of you for your patience during the project. The major project went off with relative ease thanks to ADOT and members of our internal project team who effectively communicated weekly status reports to our residents and provided City Council, staff and residents with monthly updates at City Council meetings as well as attended dozens of HOA meetings to ensure our residents’ questions were answered. Thank you to each and every one of you.

Events & Meetings

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Arizona Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of their Surprise branch on Thursday, February 22 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event. This is their first branch in the Northwest Valley. They are a member-owned financial service organization with 14 branches throughout the valley.

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual Party

I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Party on Saturday, February 25. The event was well-attended and provided me an opportunity to talk to many constituents.

Opening Day @ Surprise Stadium

Councilmembers and our Spring Training volunteer organization, Surprise Sundancers, celebrated opening day at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, February 25 along with a full stadium of attendees. Welcome back, Rangers & Royals!

Surprise Youth Council Event

On the night of Saturday February 25, you may have seen an array of multi-colored lights in the sky and heard the sound of laughter and dance music cascading down from the 4th floor of the Civic Center parking garage. This was Level 4; the first annual social event planned and executed by the Surprise Youth Council, featuring music, dancing, a host of games like air hockey and old school arcade favorites, live art, food, and much more. From 6 to 9 p.m., more than 220 teenagers from high schools all around Surprise came to dance, eat, and socialize with friends in a positive and unique environment unlike any other in the City. Part dance club, part rooftop party, Level 4 provided teens with the experience of an exciting big city event here in their hometown. The City of Surprise’s Youth Services Division is committed to developing Level 4 into one the City’s signature youth events, growing our youth’s sense of connection to their community and the City’s reputation as an innovative and forward thinking organization that is truly invested in the quality of life of our youth. Stay tuned for more exciting events, programs, and initiatives coming out of Surprise’s Youth Services Division.

Economic Development Event @ Surprise Stadium

I attended an event hosting the retail industry during a spring training game on Wednesday, March 1. The event provided elected officials and city staff the opportunity to network with several retailers in advance of the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference later this spring.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip-A-Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 p.m.

The Explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc

Citywide Text Amendment to Chapter 113

The City is currently in the process of updating its Sign Code and seeks your input.  A series of outreach meetings are being scheduled during the month of March.  The first of those meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8 at the Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue.  View meeting details…

Did You Know?

Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Wins State Title

Valley Vista High School Girls basketball won the 6A Conference state championship at Grand Canyon University Arena on February 28. They beat Goodyear Millennium High School 44-36 in the championship game! Congratulations to all of you on this exciting win!

West Valley Agencies Join Together To Enhance Police Services

In April 2016, the Surprise Police Department and many other police departments located throughout the West Valley came together to form a coalition to enhance their efforts in serving citizens experiencing a mental health crisis.

The importance of enhancing these police services and providing additional training was recently highlighted in the 2015 release of the Final Report of the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing”. The report outlined six pillars; including Pillar Five: Training & Education. This pillar discusses training of police officers in many different areas of discipline, but particularly outlined the importance of providing proper training to police officers in regard to their response to crisis intervention and other mental health issues.

As a result, the West Valley Crisis Intervention Team Coalition (WVCIT) was formed. The coalition is currently comprised of the following police agencies: the Surprise Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Goodyear Police Department, the Peoria Police Department, the Avondale Police Department, the Tolleson Police Department, the El Mirage Police Department, and the Buckeye Police Department.

City Ambulance Service Grows

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department now has a second city-run ambulance in operation, advancing its goal of becoming the primary provider of emergency transport in the city. Surprise Fire-Medical launched its ambulance service in November 2015 with one ambulance running out of Fire Station 305 at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. In just one year of operation, that ambulance responded to nearly 2,500 calls for service.

Funding for two new ambulances was approved by City Council through the 2017 budget. One of those ambulances now operates out of Fire Station 302 near Reems Road and Mountain View Boulevard. The other new ambulance has replaced the one at Fire Station 305. The used ambulance from station 305 now serves as a backup when one of the new ambulances needs to be serviced. Private ambulance companies continue to supplement the coverage needed throughout the city.

“Our community is growing and our needs are changing,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. “We are constantly analyzing those needs and taking action to ensure we can continue to deliver the best possible response times and premier patient care.”

Learn more about Surprise-Fire Medical at www.surpriseaz.gov/fire.

Contact Me

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

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March 24, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

BELL ROAD CLOSURE IS 8 DAYS AWAY! To accommodate APS utility work, Bell Road will have a single-lane closure in each direction around Grand Avenue on Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is after the conclusion of Spring Training and during non-peak commute hours. Grand Avenue at Bell Road will be restricted to one lane in each direction on March 31 from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for median removal work, weather permitting.

Beginning at 10 pm on April 1, Bell Road will be closed. This will begin Phase 3A of the project. Please see Illustration below as well as the detour map.

I encourage you to shop the businesses along the Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor, read my newsletter for updates and monitor the updates on the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand. In addition, ADOT established a hotline for the project which you can utilize, 1.855.712.8530, press option #1. Please note that ADOT releases their weekly updates on Friday afternoons.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 17. Valley Metro opened the Northwest Light Rail Extension on March 19. The project came in ahead of schedule and on budget thanks to the effective partnership of Valley Metro, the city of Phoenix and the construction contractor. The $327 million project broke ground on January 12, 2013. The Northwest Extension includes 3 stations – Dunlap, Northern, Glendale, with a Park and Ride at the southwest corner 19th Avenue and Dunlap. Approximately 7 miles of track were installed.

Board members discussed the proposed refunding of the 2009A tax exempt bond that would provide Valley Metro with an estimated savings of $1.3 million. Recent changes in market conditions have created an opportunity to reduce debt service.

Conversation also took place regarding the Chief Executive Officer recruitment. An electronic survey was created and sent to Valley Metro board members and staff last month. The data and summary of the survey were shared at the March 17 meeting.

The 2015 Origins and Destinations Study was conducted last spring and results of the study were shared. The survey gathered updated passenger travel data from transit users in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The study encompassed all rail and bus fixed route services. The goal was to obtain 15,600 surveys from passengers; however, 21,800 surveys were received (12,450 bus and 9,350 rail passengers). Travel demographics can be found in the profile below:

Valley Metro Rider Profile

I also serve on the Valley Metro Budget & Finance Committee. Valley Metro will be adding a member from Valley Metro Rail Board to sit on the Committee to adequately represent both bus and rail boards.

Cal Ripken Day

Surprise City Council was honored to greet the players in the city’s Cal Ripken League during Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium last Saturday. This year, there were more than 2,100 registrations! Many thanks to our team in Community & Recreation Services (CRS) for their continued hard work and dedication to this program and all the programs that our city offers to residents! We couldn’t do it without you!

Cal Ripken Day 2016

Tour of Grandview Terrace

Bhakti Gosalia, Executive Director of Sun Health Senior Living, gave me a tour of Grandview Terrace on Monday, March 21. Grandview Terrace is a LifeCare community which is part of Sun Health. Sun Health, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Surprise, owns and operates three out of the 14 Life Care communities in Arizona. Sun Health was recognized for their accomplishments during the Legacy Award for Business Excellence late last month. For additional information on Sun Health, please visit www.sunhealth.org.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Lunch at the Ballpark

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Chamber lunch at the Ballpark on Tuesday, March 22. Representatives from the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spoke. Raoul Sada, President and CEO of the Chamber, distributed the 2016 Surprise Official Visitors Guide Book. Impressive collateral for our tourists! I encourage you to stop by the Chamber and get a copy for out of town guests!

Economic Development Hosts Brokers at the Ballpark

Economic Development staff, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Todd Tande and I took part in an opportunity to host brokers and developers at a spring training game on Wednesday, March 23.

Economic Development VIP Event

The city’s Economic Development team hosted an event for City partners, stakeholders and businesses at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday, March 24. Over 180 people attended. This event provided City Council and staff an opportunity to network and thank these groups of dedicated people who work diligently to continue to make Surprise successful!

Mark Your Calendars

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center Parking lot located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free. Vendor spaces are available to rent. For more information or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or email terri.serein@surpriseaz.gov.

Did You Know?

COX Transitioning to Digital Television Service

Between May and September of this year, Cox will convert to an entirely digital platform. When this occurs, only customers with televisions that are directly connected to the cable wall out let will stop receiving Cox’s cable signal. Customers with televisions that currently use a Cox cable box will not be affected by this change. For more information, please contact Cox at 866.961.0416 or you can visit www.cox.com/GoAllDigital.

Contact Me

Shop Bell and Grand local

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

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June 5, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New Council Conversation on Surprise 11

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe and I taped a Council Conversation on Thursday, June 4, regarding his new department and other water resource related items. Please tune in on Surprise 11 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11 to watch!

Council Conversations

Surprise Entrepreneurial Boot Camp

The City is proud to announce the winners of the second annual Surprise Youth Entrepreneurial Boot Camp, Bulldog Drives. After completing the five-day boot camp on June 5, Bulldog Drives team members Jeremy Lomas, Juan Ramos, Pablo Zazueta, Shekira Jackson and Shyanne Black, pitched their business idea, along with two other teams, to Vice Mayor John Williams, Councilman Todd Tande and me in a Shark Tank-style program conclusion. Among other prizes, Bulldog Drives received Samsung Galaxy IV tablets for each member and $2,000 to launch their business on the Arizona Charter Academy campus next year.

Bulldog Drives will offer a certified four week drivers permit preparation course for $60, which is approximately half the cost of the average permit preparation course. Once established, this permit course will be the only program in Surprise taught on a school’s campus.

The Surprise Entrepreneurial Boot Camp is a partnership between Surprise charter high schools and the AZ TechCelerator, led by Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal. The goal of the program is to foster entrepreneurial thinking and provide an opportunity for participants to think strategically about the needs of the students at their school. Camp participants were divided into three teams and, with direction from mentors and guest speakers, taught how to identify service needs, create a plan and present a business concept. Additionally, the students learned business fundamentals including marketing, economics and most importantly, teamwork.

Congratulations to all the teams that participated. I’m very proud of you! Also, I would like to personally thank Julie Neal and all of the sponsors including Rioglass Solar, Intrepid Tools, MD24 House Call, Sheitelman Chiropractic Center, Cobalt Medical, and the Surprise Lions Club.

Economic Development Meeting

Councilman Todd Tande, Councilman Roland Winters and I met with staff from Economic Development and potential businesses interested in locating to Surprise.

Earlier last month, Texas Roadhouse picked up their permits and began grading their location on Grand Avenue near Trader Joe’s. The Surprise Economic Development team is working diligently to add businesses and restaurants to our great City!

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp Students
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp Medal

WHAM Exhibit Opening at Birt’s Bistro

I attended the WHAM Exhibit Opening at Birt’s Bistro on Thursday, June 11. This reception was a great opportunity to support our local west valley WHAM artists.

Mark Your Calendar

Traffic Restrictions

Crews have continued to pave near the interchange of Loop 303 and El Mirage Road. Work will continue nightly Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19. For more information about this work, please call 855.712.8530 or you can email projects@azdot.gov.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has also issued an update regarding construction at Grand Avenue and the Loop 303. The US 60 (Grand Avenue) will be restricted in both directions from 1 am until 12 noon on Saturday, June 13 near Loop 303 while traffic is switched to the new on- and off-ramps to and from southbound Loop 303. Following Saturday’s work, drivers will utilize the new signalized intersection to make US 60 ramp connections to and from southbound Loop 303.

Southwest Invitational

The Southwestern Invitational which exhibits the work of 48 contemporary Arizona artists will travel to five galleries around the state this year and through 2016. The exhibits first stop is the West Valley Art Council (16126 N. Civic Center Plaza). This exhibit will be on display June 16 through July 23, and the gallery is open from 10 am until 3 pm Tuesday through Thursday. Admission is free! We hope to see you there!

Crime Prevention Fair

The Surprise Police are hosting a Crime Prevention Fair on Saturday, June 27, from 1 pm until 5 pm in the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza. The event will feature information on a new property theft reduction program, facts about substance abuse, an opportunity to drop-off unwanted or expired medications, and much more.

A representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Division Chief Scott Blum, is the keynote speaker and he will be available to answer your questions! Representatives from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will also be in attendance to discuss crime prevention tips and provide helpful advice.

This event will mark the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of a new MedReturn Drug Collection Unit. This unit will be located in the lobby area of the Surprise Police Department, and it will provide the community with a safe, simple, secure and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of unwanted or expired medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine.

Did You Know?

Certificate of Necessity

The City received notification from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) that the Surprise Fire-Medical Department was awarded with a Certificate of Necessity (CON) to provide ground transportation of emergency patients. We are the first fire department outside of Phoenix to receive a CON in 30 years. This is a huge achievement for the City and our Fire-Medical Department! We could not have done it without the help of Chief Tom Abbott and our City Management team! Thank you!

City is Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 2 vacancies
  • Community & Recreation Services Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Health Trust Fund Board – 3 vacancies
  • Personnel Appeals Board – 1 vacancy
  • Planning & Zoning Commission – 1 vacancy
  • Tourism Commission – 2 vacancies (1 hotel industry and 1 restaurant industry)

All Board/Commission positions are voluntary. Applications are available for pick-up immediately. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday, from 8 am until 5 pm or online at www.surpriseaz.gov. Please submit your applications to the City Clerk’s office in person or via email at clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

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