Tag Archives: Grand Avenue

November 6, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Membership Agreement

City Council reviewed the new draft membership agreement from the Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of President Melissa Holdaway and CEO Raul Sada. The agreement will be brought forward for Council consideration and action in December.

Surprise City Code Chapter 54 Revision Discussion

Surprise Police Lieutenant Harold Brady presented on recommended changes to the City’s Large Vehicle Parking City Codes. Some of the suggested changes include adding a definition for “curb return” to utilize in defining where large vehicles should park relative to intersections; amending the definition of “truck” to capture the scope of vehicles that can safely park within residential zones; the addition of verbiage to include a large vehicle can only be parked on a residential street if it leaves 20′ of roadway available for traffic; and, adding wording to clarify that, while parked on the street, recreational vehicles cannot be slept in or lived in.

Surprise Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program

Earlier this year, Neighborhood Association Committees were discussed. At that time, City Council designated $10,000 for the purpose of establishing a Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program. The purpose of the program is to increase community engagement, interest and involvement within the City.

The proposed program would allow neighborhoods the opportunity for monetary assistance for funding community events, neighborhood functions or even some improvements. The outlet would provide neighborhoods the opportunity to request assistance with the goal of building community engagement and stronger relationships with the City. The program will be discussed with the Committee on Community Outreach, Grants and Partnerships and presented to the City Council at a later date.

City Council Meeting

Parkview Elementary School

In a continued effort to recognize students, our schools and their importance to our community, fifth grade students from Ms. Swenson’s class at Parkview Elementary School led the pledge. A few students were afforded the chance to speak to Council about their school and classmates. Parkview Elementary School is located in District 5 and led by Dr. Roz Fisher and Assistant Principal Robin Hollowell.

Parkview Elementary student recognition

1936 Ramola Plat Resolution

Staff, in an effort to improve safety and connectivity in the community, attempted to obtain Rights-of-Way donations for Cactus Road between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue. The request was made because this section of Cactus Road is unpaved. The City has budgeted $500,000 to pave two lanes within this section. Staff has been able to obtain Rights-of-Way donations from all but two property owners; which have been unwilling to grant such right-of-way. Through research, staff has determined that Right-of-Way does exist on Cactus Road per the 1936 Ramola Plat so staff requested that the City Council recognize the 1936 Ramola Plat so that the City may annex the public roadway pursuant to A.R.S. Section 9-471(N) which allows for an alternative annexation method for county roadways. City Council unanimously approved the request.

City Attorney General Release Agreement

After a brief Executive Session, City Council voted unanimously to take no action on the General Release Agreement proposed by the former City Attorney Misty Leslie.

City Attorney Reporting Authority Municipal Code Amendment

The City Council approved, with a 4-3 vote, action on Ordinance 2015-24, an ordinance approving amendments to Chapters 2 and 3 of the Surprise Municipal Code relating to the reporting authority of the City Attorney. The action moves the City Attorney under the City Manager’s direction. Per previous discussions, the appointed officials of the City will now consist of the City Manager, City Clerk and the City Court judge.

Events & Meetings

3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference

Water Resource Portfolio Manager Fred Stevens and I attended the 3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference. Represented at the Conference were the US Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project (CAP), and the Arizona Water Banking Authority. We covered the history behind the Law of the River.

Challenges on the Colorado River were also discussed including the probability of shortages. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation models, there is a 0% probability in 2016, 18% probability in 2017, 52% in 2018, 65% in 2019 and 57% in 2020. On a Tier One shortage (Lake Mead below 1075 feet), Arizona would be impacted with a reduction of 320,000 acre feet, all in agriculture. The current models show that cities could be impacted in 2026.

Governor Ducey’s Arizona Water Initiative from October 2015 addresses these issues. The first track is to prioritize and evaluate all of the 22 planning areas identified in the Arizona Department of Water Resources Strategic Vision. Arizona Department of Water Resources will work closely with planning areas to identify issues that are resulting in demand and supply imbalances and to develop strategic goals that are likely to be successful in addressing them. The second track will involve establishing a team appointed by the Governor to investigate long term augmentation strategies in addition to conversation, funding and infrastructure needs. The team will be led by the Arizona Department Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke.

Veteran’s SMART Memory Research Program Event

On Monday, November 2, I attended a special event for veterans, the SMART Memory Research Program. The program is part of a research study for veterans that are targeting the early onset of Dementia/Alzheimer’s from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dr. John W. Denboer, Clinical Neuropsychologist, was the guest speaker.

A special thank you to Debbie Lee with America’s Mighty Warriors for initiating the event and for covering the cost of the workbooks for the program.

Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Commission met on Monday, November 2 to review their annual budget and make adjustments to accommodate the City Hall art display plan. They also discussed any potential aesthetics on the Bell/Grand Avenue intersection project. The Commission will soon begin to work on their annual mini bat design contest in partnership with the Community & Recreation Services Department.

Mark Your Calendar

Second Sunday in the Park

The City of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series this Sunday, Nov. 8. Shake, rattle, and roll from 2-4p.m. as the “8 Tracks” perform jukebox hits from the 50’s and 60’s in the center of Surprise Community Park.

This free family event, presented by Surprise Toyota, is a great opportunity to picnic and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors while listening to live musical entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

Inaugural Surprise Veterans Day Parade

The City cordially invites you to join us in honoring our service men and women at the inaugural City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and pancake breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by The Links Neighborhood Grill, kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, sausage, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate and available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Reserved parade viewing is included with the purchase of a breakfast ticket.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 75 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Statler Avenue will be closed at 6:30 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Art Encounter

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission invites the public to an Art Encounter at Surprise City Hall to explore the architecture of the building through a creative lens and explore the areas of city history and government. This free public event will be held Thursday, November 12. The encounter begins at 5 p.m. in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, and guests will then be escorted to other locations throughout the building.

Attendees will hear from the Surprise City Manager, City Clerk, and members of both the City Council and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission as they experience the following:

  • A walking tour of Surprise City Hall’s architectural interest points
  • The telling of the history of Surprise
  • A description of how local government works
  • An explanation of city management operations

Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings

The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

There will be bus transportation available to the public for both ribbon cutting ceremonies. The bus will depart from the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, at 8:45 a.m. To reserve a seat on the bus, please contact Stacy Cieszynski at 623.222.2268 by November 9. Space is limited to the first 60 residents/participants. Subject to availability.

Did You Know?

Grand Avenue Overnight Closures

Several overnight closures are scheduled for Grand Avenue (U.S. 60) beginning Tuesday, November 10, so that the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) may continue construction on the Loop 303 bridge.

Grand Avenue will be closed overnight in both directions between RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard and Loop 303 on Tuesday, November 10, Wednesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 12; the closures are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and conclude at 5 a.m. the following mornings.

The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. Monday, November 15.

The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016. For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email projects@azdot.gov.

City Ambulance Service Launches

The City began running its first city-owned and operated ambulance this week. After receiving approval of its Certificate of Necessity application this past summer, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department purchased a paramedic ambulance that is now running out of Fire Station 305, at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. The Department now has responsibility for the oversight of all ambulance service within the city and, as the fleet grows, Surprise Fire-Medical will also become the primary provider of emergency transport.

This set-up will allow Rural Metro to continue its long-standing partnership with the city by providing hospital-to-hospital transport, care facility transport and back-up emergency transport.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 19, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Colorado River Shortage Presentation

The Colorado River system has experienced drought conditions for nearly 15 years, resulting in the water level of Lake Mead dropping to historically low levels. Water levels in Lake Mead determine how much Colorado River water our State receives on an annual basis. The river supplies nearly 40% of Arizona’s total water use. A large portion of Surprise’s renewable water supply is from the Colorado River and delivered by the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The Colorado River supply is of upmost importance and it has a direct impact on the City’s water portfolio and future.

Frank Fairbanks, CAP Board Member, provided a presentation on the challenges a future Colorado River shortage will have on central and southern Arizona and how CAP is collaborating with the state and others to develop solutions. There is a significant chance that a water shortage could be declared in 2016 with greater likelihood it could occur in 2017. The US Secretary of the Interior determines the status of Colorado River water supplies in one of three categories; normal, surplus or shortage. The primary factor of determination is the water level in Lake Mead.

explanation of CAP
An explanation of CAP
Impact on Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water
Impact on Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water

Government and Community Partnerships

Government and community partnerships are critical to the health and progress of our City. These partnerships include working with local, county, state and federal officials to creatively address issues and ensure optimal return on taxpayer-funded initiatives. In Surprise, Nicole Lance, Deputy City Manager for Government and Community Partnerships oversees this function. Ms. Lance provided a presentation regarding some of our partners including Luke Air Force Base, Valley Partnership, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Dysart School District and many more.

Ms. Lance also discussed a few legislative agenda items which include a City Council education initiative that is led by Vice Mayor John Williams known as Impact ED, as well as EDRA which is similar to TIF (tax increment financing) utilized in many states.

Council Policy and Procedure Manual Discussion

On September 2, 2014, City Council unanimously adopted the Surprise City Council Policy & Procedures Manual which contains Conduct and Demeanor, Parliamentary Procedure, Use of City Resources, and Subcommittees and Working Groups. Over the last month, the Rules Committee met to discuss possible agenda-related additions to the City Council Policy and Procedure Manual. Discussion was had concerning supporting information and attachments for agenda items, use of the consent agenda, as well as having an additional Council Member, the Vice Mayor or his/her designee, in the agenda review. This item will be further discussed with possible action at a City Council meeting in August.

City Council Meeting

Marley Park Elementary School Recognition

Marley Park Elementary School was recognized for being named a 2015 A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Ms. Dana Kaye, Principal of Marley Park Elementary School, was present for the City Council recognition as well as Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick and others from Dysart Unified School District.

Board and Commission Members Reappointment

Several members of the City’s Boards and Commissions were reappointed including Dennis Hansen, Margaret Lieu and Jean Dibner (Arts Commission); Wayne Turner, Charlie Woodland and Mike Planeta (Community & Recreation Services Commission); Nicole Jeffords and Joseph Poschner (Disability Advisory Commission); Kevin Brucher (MPC Board); Stanley Mucha, Tyson Gage and Harry Grove (Personnel Appeals Board); Matthew Keating, Ken Chapman and Peter Pervi (Planning and Zoning Commission); Stephen Wright, Robert Paisley and Gabriel Rivas (Tourism Commission); and Judge Joseph Kreamer to fill the Superior Court vacancy on the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission.

New board and commission members

I would like to congratulate all of them and thank them for their time and dedication to our City!

Code Change Discussion Regarding City Attorney

At the end of the last City Council meeting, I had requested this item be agendized to discuss if it’s in our best interest to keep the current structure, which has the City Attorney reporting to the City Council, or to amend it so that the City Attorney reports to the City Manager, which is how cities such as Phoenix and El Mirage are set-up. This discussion bears no reflection of the person in this position, but rather the most effective way for legal to operate within our municipality. A motion was made to table this discussion until the appointees are evaluated later this week, so further discussion will occur at an August City Council meeting.

General Obligation Bond Election Discussion

The City Council received a final report from the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee at our regularly scheduled meeting on May 19. The report included recommendations for three packages of projects and methods for Council to consider. Based on the input from the aforementioned meeting, two options were assembled for review and discussion. The majority of Council agreed that this was not the right time to proceed with a bond election.

Events & Meetings

Dump the Pump

Councilman Roland Winters and I participated in Dump the Pump events on Tuesday, June 16. We met and greeted bus riders and talked about the importance of public transportation. A special thank you to Kathy Chandler and Bonnie Boyce-Wilson for coordinating the event!

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast Meeting

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber breakfast meeting on Tuesday, June 16. Diane McCarthy, Chair of the Chamber, announced Raul Sada as the new President and CEO of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Sada is a West Valley resident with an extensive background in the nonprofit industry. Dr. Jerry Burns from Burns Dentistry was a featured speaker regarding his practice and dental health.

Dr. Burns addressing the attendees

For Our City Initiative

The Mayor, Councilman Todd Tande and I met with staff to discuss the For Our City initiative in Surprise. For Our City is a catalyst for constructive change at community grassroot levels. It serves to create a level field where the municipal, business and faith leaders initiate community projects through establishing a host committee that networks to develop and collaborate into an alliance.

Reba’s Vision Networking Breakfast

On Wednesday, June 17, I attended “Reba’s Vision Networking Breakfast”. Reba Mason is the Marketing Manager for Texas Roadhouse and has played a role with bringing a Texas Roadhouse to Surprise. Ms. Mason also has breast cancer and held a networking breakfast at Parkwood Senior Living to raise money for 3-D digital mammography units in the West Valley.

Quarterly Transportation Meeting

Councilman Todd Tande and I met with staff to discuss updates regarding Valley Metro, Arizona Department of Transportation and Maricopa County Department of Transportation. The City is set to begin working on a short-range transit plan. Staff will be meeting with Valley Metro representatives to begin the planning process.

Staff provided an update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue project. The City engineers are working with our regional partners to coordinate efforts including schedules, alternative routes and traffic control plans.

Mark Your Calendar

Traffic Restrictions

Due to construction, Grand Avenue will be closed in both directions on Saturday, June 27 from 4 a.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 29 from the Loop 303 to Sunrise Boulevard/RH Johnson Boulevard.

Southeast bound traffic on Grand Ave. approaching the Loop 303 will have access to the 303 and be able to go north to El Mirage Rd. or south to Bell Rd. as a detour route.

Northwest bound Grand Ave traffic will be directed to Reems Rd. to westbound Bell Rd. to the Loop 303 as a detour. Access to Sunrise Blvd. and RH Johnson will still be maintained.

The Arizona Department of Transportation works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at az511.gov or call 5-1-1. For those outside of Arizona, dial 1.888.411.ROAD (7623).

Did You Know?


With the Fourth of July fast approaching, please be sure you are aware of the laws regarding the use and sale of fireworks within the City of Surprise.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • The minimum age for purchasing consumer fireworks is 16.
  • Consumer fireworks use is allowed on private property within city limits, with the property owner’s consent, during these dates only:
    • June 24 – July 6 and December 24 – January 3.
  • Consumer fireworks use is prohibited January 4 – June 23 and July 7 – December 23.

While the use of consumer fireworks is permitted on private property within the city limits, it is still illegal to use consumer fireworks anywhere on public property, including areas like streets, sidewalks and parks.

Residents living in HOA communities should also look into what types of restrictions are in place in their neighborhoods as they relate to fireworks use in driveways and yards.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question