Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the upcoming Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.
The Bell-Grand project is almost complete! While we’re experiencing lane closures on both Bell and Grand over the next few weeks, let’s continue to be good neighbors and avoid creating personal detours through neighborhoods to avoid additional traffic.
- Bell Road narrowed to one lane in each direction nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, Saturday, Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 12.
- Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
- The traffic signal at Bell Road and Grand Avenue will be activated Monday, Feb. 13.
- The Grand Avenue ramps to and from Bell Road will be opened Thursday, Feb. 16.
City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.
For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Workshop
City Budget Kick-Off for Fiscal Year 2018
The first budget presentation regarding the development of the FY2018 budget began on Tuesday afternoon. This particular presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget and a review of the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis was placed on the areas of policy making and the impact it can have on the FY2018 budget. The presentation also discussed outside issues that will influence the outcome of the budget process, such as public safety retirement, cost increases and workload increases.
Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.
City Council Meeting
City Manager Recognitions
Three special youth were recognized by City Manager Bob Wingenroth at the beginning of the City Council meeting on Tuesday.
Sisters, Shelby and Tabitha Caetano, were acknowledged by Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott for their heroic actions while providing life saving measures during a medical emergency for a family member.
Makenna Breading-Goodrich, an eighth grade student at Canyon Ridge Elementary School, was recognized as a Distinguished Finalist as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award program. There were over 31,000 young volunteers who were considered. This is the first time a student from Surprise has won the award. She is an exceptional individual with a genuine heart for community service. I commend her for her work and for inspiring her peers to contribute to the community!
Events & Meetings
“Drive Wise, Surprise” Campaign
The Surprise Police Department launched a new traffic safety campaign aimed at encouraging safe driving habits. The slogan: “Drive Wise, Surprise.”
“In recent years, traffic accidents in our city have increased by 8-to-10 percent amid a growing population,” says Police Chief Terry Young. “This campaign is designed to create a culture of safe driving in Surprise, whether you are a resident or a visitor driving through the city.”
The campaign uses play on words and bright, creative imagery to deploy safety reminders via new street signage. While the campaign may sound playful, the intention behind it is more serious.
“When you are practicing good driving habits, you are helping to make the road safer for everyone,” says Chief Young. “Getting to your destination faster is not worth a serious injury; driving distracted or under the influence is not worth a life.”
This message is especially relevant as accident statistics increase and bad driving behaviors continue, not only in Surprise, but across Arizona and the country:
- Surprise saw an 8 percent increase in accidents from 2014 to 2015 and a 10 percent increase in accidents from 2015 to 2016.
- Arizona Department of Transportation reported a statewide increase of more than 6 percent from 2014 to 2015.
- About 87 percent of drivers engage in unsafe behaviors behind the wheel, according to national research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
- Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in a one year period, according to a national study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In addition to street signs, the campaign includes community and media engagement, social media messaging, ads, a public service announcement and various other marketing tools.
Watch the public service announcement and see images of the street signage at www.surpriseaz.gov/drivewise.
Mark Your Calendar
County Seeking Input on Multi-Year Health Improvement Plan
Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is seeking the public’s input on defining its health priorities for a three-year plan that will be implemented starting in 2018. Various public meetings are being held throughout the county where the public will be presented with the top 10 health priorities that have come out of this year’s assessment and asked to whittle them down to the top 3-5.
All sessions will provide snacks & refreshments, free childcare service and are ADA-accessible.
Interested West Valley community members should attend the public forum listed below:
Tuesday, February 28
5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
No Spanish translation
Surprise City Hall, Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza
For more information, contact Sonia Charry at 602-679-3098.
HOA Connection Classes
The city is hosting a series of HOA Connection Classes, which are designed to strengthen the city’s HOA communities. Residents and HOA board members are invited to attend the following upcoming classes:
February 28 – Proposed Legislation and Information on Fraud in HOAs
Community association attorney Beth Mulcahy will provide a general overview of Arizona community association law and the new bills that have been introduced in the Arizona Legislature in 2017. There will also be a brief discussion on how to prevent theft and fraud of association funds.
The class will be held from 1- 2:30 p.m. in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85374.
March 8 – HOA Open Meeting Laws
The Arizona Legislature has passed laws requiring planned communities and condominiums to conduct all of their meetings in a manner that is open to the community. This well-intentioned law is sometimes viewed as an unreasonable burden upon board members, which can result in violations. This class will cover:
- Importance of Arizona’s open meeting laws
- Overview of the open meeting laws and how they operate
- Burdens on volunteer board members created by the law
- Typical violations of the law and how they are best addressed
The class will be taught by Steve Cheifetz. Mr. Cheifetz has practiced law in Phoenix for 30 years, with the last 15 years of his practice having focused on homeowners association issues and disputes.
The class will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85374.
For more information on either of the classes or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or email@example.com.
Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.
Did You Know?
Property Tax Distribution
The city collects approximately 9.5% of the primary property tax rate. The rest goes to schools, the county and other entities.