Tag Archives: Job Fair

August 18, 2016 • Newsletter

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. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Weekly Update:

  • Driveways located near Chick-Fil-A and the Vitamin Shoppe are inaccessible until 6 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 20) to allow crews to rebuild this portion of Bell Road. Entrances at West Point Parkway and Towne Center Drive are maintained.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • 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

2016 College Baseball and Spring Training Update

Community Recreation and Service Director Mark Coronado provided an update on spring baseball season. The spring 2016 Celebration of Baseball began with the return of college baseball to the Surprise Recreation Campus – Campus of Champions with two NCAA collegiate baseball tournaments: the Surprise Spring Training Baseball Classic that was held February 19-22 and the BIG 12-PAC 12 Spring Training Baseball Challenge that was held February 25-29. The NCAA college tournaments generated over 1,200 room nights between the teams and guests.

This past March, we celebrated the 14th Spring Training season in Surprise. This season was a record breaking year for both attendance and gross revenue, with just over 206,000 attendees and an overall gross revenue of approximately $7.9 million.

Formal Creation of Audit Committee

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth developed an Audit Committee consisting of two Council Members, City staff, local business representatives and residents to strengthen the internal audit function. The purpose is to provide independent and objective assurance and ensures compliance with auditing standards and best practices.

Update on Bell and Grand Intersection Improvement Project

Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart provided an update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Since early June, we’ve been in Phase 3B of the project, and we are still on target to conclude this phase in early November.

Bell and Grand Project Phase 3B information slide

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided a financial update that focused on the local sales tax figures from December 2015 through May 2016. It was anticipated through the applied economics study, completed last year, that there would be a reduction of general fund sales tax collections. This has proven to be accurate; however, the loss will be offset by construction sales tax collections that are utilized for one time capital purposes.

Business outreach efforts have continued throughout the project. Economic Development is hosting a marketing class on September 8 as part of their business education efforts. For more information on the class, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.


City Council Meeting

Sierra Verde PAD Zoning Amendment Public Hearing

Rezoning of Parcel 8 of the Sierra Verde Planned Area Development (PAD) was requested to allow residential rental units. The project parcel is presently an undeveloped, 14.83 acre site located at the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield Roads within the Sierra Verde PAD. The current proposal is for a rental project that will provide a mix of one, two and three bedroom single-story attached and detached single family homes.

The gated housing facility plans to provide 29,727 square feet of amenity common open space and each unit will provide 473 square feet of private open space. Typical desert landscaping will occupy much of the site. There will be 5.62 acres of undeveloped space that is currently unplanned, but is likely to facilitate a small commercial enterprise.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Amendment

The adoption of the FY2017 budget occurred prior to the completion of FY2016. To ensure that the new fiscal year had enough budget authority for all potential expenditures, conservative FY2016 expenditure estimates were used and remaining balances for items such as grants and CIP projects were carried forward into FY2017 and included in the adopted budget. With FY2016 final accounting nearing completion, the remaining balances are reexamined and adjustments to the FY2017 budget are made as necessary.

The action identifies three main categories of amendments for FY2017. The first category involves the change of budget authority that was carried forward from FY2016. The amendments are made due to actual expenditures varying from estimates for FY2016. The second category is budget adjustments for various operating items and to assign separate project numbers to various capital items for tracking purposes. The third category involves transfer of actual funds to support the reallocation of appropriations from the first two categories.

The action taken, by approval of the Council, updates budget amounts to allow for improved management of the City’s funds. As the audit of FY2016 financials is currently underway, further changes to FY2016 may impact FY2017 carry forward amounts and require future action by the Mayor and Council.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns 2017 Legislative Resolutions

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance briefed the City Council on the 2017 League Resolutions. Annually, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns drafts legislative policy resolutions for adoption by all 91 cities and towns at the annual League Conference. These resolutions are a result of ideas submitted by municipalities or from issues that have arisen during the preceding year. Some of the resolutions include, but are not limited to, the creation of the Economic Development Reimbursement Authority (EDRA).


Events & Meetings

Bell Road Construction Tour

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I took a tour of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue construction area on Thursday, August 11. We were able to make a few stops, look at the progress and thank the workers for their hard work. A special thank you to Armando Lopez for acting as our guide.

Councilman Hall and Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva

Career Workshop and Surprise Job Fair

The City hosted a career workshop on Friday, August 12. I was impressed by the information available to the attendees. A total of 26 people attended the workshop.

On Tuesday, August 16, the City hosted a job fair at the Communiversity. Thirteen companies were represented. Another job fair is scheduled for November.

Audit Committee Meeting

The Audit Committee met on Wednesday, August 18 at City Hall. We reviewed the first audit of Stadium concessions. Recommendations were made. Two ordinances for the Audit Committee will be presented to the full City Council for adoption at the September 6, 2016 Regular City Council meeting.


Mark Your Calendar

Primary Election

The Primary Election is this month! With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation so please make sure you vote! Independent voters – you will not automatically be mailed a ballot as the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well. For more information, please take time to review our fact sheet.

The City Clerk’s Office is open for early voting through Friday, August 26 (8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday). Anyone registered in Maricopa County can visit the Clerk’s office to vote early. We are one of only 21 satellite sites in Maricopa County for early voting!

Polling Locations on Election Day Only in Surprise – The County has set up 18 sites throughout the City of Surprise (mandated by State Law for Jurisdictional elections). Voters should have received a notice of which polling location to utilize. You can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department (602-506-1511) to find out which polling location to visit or you may call the City Clerk’s Office (623-222-1200). Please do not rely on the location for your last voting issue, as the locations may have changed.

Election Day Only – Tuesday, August 30th – City Hall will be a polling location for the voters who would have previously gone to the Library on Bullard. However, City Hall polling location will have a ballot drop off box for those voters needing to drop off their ballots.

All polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on this date only. Proper voting signs will be up for the entire period of early voting and Election Day.


Did You Know?

Temporary Lane Restrictions

Palm trees within the city’s Bell Road medians will be receiving landscape maintenance (trimming and pruning) beginning Monday, August 22. Temporary inside lane restrictions are expected during the overnight hours.

Landscapers will begin working in the area between the canal, west of Cotton Lane, and Reems Road; they will continue west through August 31, stopping at Grand Ave. Drivers may experience temporary inside lane restrictions between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The City of Surprise is accepting applications for vendor space and promotional booths at the Surprise Fiesta Grande celebration on Saturday, October 15 from 3-9 p.m. in the city’s Original Town Site. The festival-style event will take place throughout the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex, located at 15660 N Hollyhock St, and will feature live bands, dancing, mariachis, a classic car show, authentic Mexican food, a kid zone and much more!

Promotional vendors will have the opportunity to advertise products and services throughout the day’s event. The cost of a 10’x10’ booth space is $500 and will include a 10’x10’ tent, (1) table and (2) chairs. Food vendors can reserve a 10’ x 10’ space with (1) table and (2) chairs for $150.

All vendors requesting participation in Surprise Fiesta Grande must complete an application online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or in person at the Community Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Spaces are limited. For more information regarding additional special event promotional and sponsorship opportunities at the Surprise Recreation Campus, please contact Regina Miller at 623.222.2249 or regina.miller@surpriseaz.gov.

For more information on food vendor space, please contact Steve Castillo at 623.222.2267 or steve.castillo@surpriseaz.gov.

AZ League of Cities Conference

The City Council will be attending the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference next week so I will not issue a newsletter until the following week, September 1. Thank you!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

August 11, 2016 • Newsletter

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. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Work Monday through Saturday includes:

  • Grand Avenue FULL CLOSURE from 10 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 12) to 5 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 13) to pour the concrete for the bridge deck. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.
  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.
  • Continue to build the bridge deck over Grand Avenue.

Bell & Grand Project week 28 progress images

** 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.

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Meeting

I joined City staff and business representatives at the Bell-Grand Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, August 9. Economic Development provided an outreach update on the ShopSurprise text campaign initiative. The ShopSurprise number has officially been changed to 85100. To date, more than 125,000 actual messages have been sent making the ShopSurprise campaign Dex Media’s most successful text outreach campaign in the United States! The initiative to expand the campaign to the Sun City and Sun City West communities will begin in a couple of weeks.

A career workshop is scheduled for Friday, August 12 from 9 am until 12 noon at the Communiversity, followed by a job fair on Tuesday, August 16 from 9 am until 12 noon at the Communiversity. Further details can be found below. Businesses are encouraged to contact our Economic Development Department to reserve table space.

ADOT provided an update on the status of the bridge project. Mechanically stabilized earthen wall panels with agave patterns are being placed and the fill material that will become the ramps to the bridge is being hauled to the site. The team is also constructing the 134th Ave cul-de-sac and will begin to pour bridge decks later this month.

The businesses were reminded that Grand Ave will be closed between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 10 p.m. on Friday, August 12 to 5 a.m. on Saturday, August 13. Electronic message boards have been placed along Grand Ave informing drivers of the closure and the designated detour route. Off duty officers will assist with patrolling the detour during the overnight closure.

The driveways adjacent to Chick-fil-A and Vitamin Shoppe will be closed beginning 10 p.m., Saturday, August 13 to 5 a.m. on Friday, August 19 for the following activities on the roadway: demolishment, drainage construction, utility relocation, grading and repaving. Business access will be maintained at the Bell Rd and West Point Pkwy intersection and Compass Bank.

Businesses in the area are being informed of the closures by the project outreach team.

ADOT will conduct a field visit to review lane configurations and current access points for businesses located on the south side of Bell Rd at 134th Ave that are concerned about the left turn movements into their businesses.


Events & Meetings

Council Conversation

With Veteran’s Day only three months away, I taped a new Council Conversation last week that focuses on Veteran’s initiatives from a local and regional level as well as our 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade. My guests include Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado, Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson, Veterans Tim Suan and Alfredo Reyes as well as Steve Yamamori, Vice President of Veterans Initiatives with Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation.

Skip Hall Council Conversations Show

The taping is now live on Surprise TV and available online. View the episode

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise met on Tuesday, August 4 and focused on the planning of the Taste of Surprise. This event will take place on April 8 at Surprise Stadium. Keep an eye out for more information!

SunWest Federal Credit Union

SunWest Federal Credit Union hosted a ribbon cutting for their 8th branch, first branch in Surprise, on Friday, August 5. Council Members Roland Winters and Todd Tande were also present to welcome them to Surprise. SunWest is open for business at 14865 W. Bell Road.

Surprise Honda

Surprise Honda is coming to town! I met with General Manager Leon Lee to discuss the dealership. Surprise Honda will be located in Prasada, the dealership will have a soft opening for the public on August 22. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission

The Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, August 9. Items discussed included an update on sports tourism including state, regional and national tournaments; a presentation regarding the 2016 Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival and the status of the Designated Marketing Organization (DMO) application for the City with the Arizona Office of Tourism.


Mark Your Calendar

Primary Election

The Primary Election is this month! With less than three candidates running for each of our open Council seats, the Primary will decide your representation so please make sure you vote! Independent voters – you will not automatically be mailed a ballot as the ballot is consolidated to include state and county issues as well. For more information, please take time to review our fact sheet.

The City Clerk’s Office is open for early voting through Friday, August 26 (8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday). Anyone registered in Maricopa County can visit the Clerk’s office to vote early. We are one of only 21 satellite sites in Maricopa County for early voting!

Polling Locations on Election Day Only in Surprise – The County has set up 18 sites throughout the City of Surprise (mandated by State Law for Jurisdictional elections). Voters should have received a notice of which polling location to utilize. You can contact the Maricopa County Elections Department (602-506-1511) to find out which polling location to visit or you may call the City Clerk’s Office (623-222-1200). Please do not rely on the location for your last voting issue, as the locations may have changed.

Election Day Only – Tuesday, August 30th – City Hall will be a polling location for the voters who would have previously gone to the Library on Bullard. However, City Hall polling location will have a ballot drop off box for those voters needing to drop off their ballots.

All polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on this date only. Proper voting signs will be up for the entire period of early voting and Election Day.


Did You Know?

Surprise Youth Foundation

Earlier this year and after almost two years of planning, the City discovered that a Boys and Girls Club in Surprise was not feasible in the immediate future. Hence, the Surprise Youth Foundation (SYF) was formed by a group of concerned and passionate business leaders and residents. Since forming this summer, the Foundation kicked off its first event in partnership with Walmart located at Grand Avenue. SYF choose to help WestPoint Elementary School in the “Fill the Bus” campaign on Saturday, July 23.

“Fill the Bus” campaign

During the event, Walmart and SYF received 18 carts full of generously donated school supplies and pallets of products from Coke and Pepsi. It’s truly a wonderful thing when the community comes together for the betterment of our youth and other community members! I was proud to be part of the event, and as a Councilmember and resident of Surprise, I am so grateful and inspired by the volunteers who helped and the residents who donated. Thank you! In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Veterans Day Parade Participants Wanted!

The city of Surprise is looking for patriotic-themed parade entries for the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade, which will be held on Friday, November 11. The parade, which will honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near the Surprise Recreation Campus.

The city is seeking clubs, organizations, groups or residents who would like to participate in the parade. There is no fee to participate. Interested parties may obtain an entry form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Community & Recreation Services Offices located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave.

Come show your patriotic spirit by becoming a parade entry! For more information, contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000. Entries are due by October 28.

Surprise Job Fair

The City of Surprise and Arizona @ Work Maricopa County are partnering this August to present both an employment workshop and career fair!

The workshop will be held on Friday, August 12 from 9 a.m. – Noon in the Community Room at City Hall, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Please stop in and get tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and more.

On Tuesday, August 16, join us for a career fair! Meet with more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities from 9 a.m. – 12 noon at the Communiversity@Surprise, located at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from City of Surprise Human Resources and Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 21, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

Columns that will support a $41.9 million overpass and interchange at Bell Road and Grand Avenue (US 60) have begun rising on the east side of the project now that nine shafts have been drilled, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Work has proceeded steadily since Bell Road closed April 1 between 134th Drive and West Point Parkway, with crews clearing the project area, relocating utilities and more. Among the latest progress, forms have been assembled to create bridge panels with an agave pattern.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

Bell & Grand road construction images April 20, 2016


City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Update

Eight members of SYC attended a week long immersive civic education program in Washington D.C. from March 13 through March 18, 2016 along with over 250 students from across the nation. This program was done in partnership with Close Up, a successful 45 year old company that leads thousands of students each year by turning the nation’s Capital into a living classroom.

Members of SYC launched an awareness campaign, “Be Yourself. Find Your Crowd. Get Along”, for teens on April 4, 2016 to help spread the message that everyone belongs. Promoting the idea of finding your crowd encourages students to break out of their comfort zones and expand their horizons when it comes to making friends.

Surprise Youth Council (SYC) member showing off their new campaign shirts
Some of our SYC members embracing their great campaign

Utility Partners Update

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided a utility update. The utility partners discussed included EPCOR, Southwest Gas and APS.

EPCOR has a planned investment in excess of $500 million primarily for the repair and/or replacement of aging infrastructure in addition to support for new homes and businesses. Some of EPCOR’s impending projects include the installation of new pumps to replace aging wastewater infrastructure and improve operational safety at the Bell Road Lift Station (June 2016); the relocation of water and sewer lines (October 2016); and the replacement of approximately 3.5 miles of water main that is consistently prone to issues in Coyote Lakes. Additional projects include the Bell Road Lift Station connection with the Northwest Valley Water Reclamation Facility (end of 2016); the installation of 3.4 miles of new 12 to 16 inch water main to support new development and ensure adequate water pressure and fire flow at Water Plant 8 to Zanjero Trails (2017+ pending developer activity) and the expansion of capacity at the White Tanks Water Treatment Plant (late 2016).

EPCOR has been ordered by ACC to file a new wastewater rate case by April 29, 2016. They will be required to provide 2015 date/costs to examine three rate design scenarios. Once the application is accepted, EPCOR will be holding community open houses. EPCOR would like to create one large rate district to mitigate the impact that infrastructure replacements and increasing operating costs will have on customers.

Mrs. Lance provided an APS construction update which included a project update occurring immediately outside the City limits. This project will connect the Sun Valley Substation near Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye to the Morgan Substation located near SR74 in Peoria. In fall of 2016, APS will begin to build roads needed to access parts of the line with an in-service date of spring 2018. Additionally, APS filed a 120-day Notice of Intent to File a rate case with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). In June 2016, APS plans to file a general rate case which will identify details. A decision regarding the case is expected in 2017. Public input will be a cornerstone in this process. The last rate case was approximately 5 years ago. For updates, you can visit http://www.azenergyfuture.com/rate-review.

Southwest Gas is in the process of relocating facilities to accommodate the pending construction of the bridge on Bell Road. No other projects within Surprise limits are planned at this time. Southwest Gas has partnered with the Salvation Army for the Energy Share program which is an emergency fund that provides direct utility assistance to qualified customers with unexpected difficulties.


City Council Meeting

Grant Funding Priorities – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs

City Council unanimously approved the grant funding priorities for CDBG’s Second Year Annual Action Plan for year 2016-2017. The organizations approved included Ability 360 ($27,560), Aid to Adoption to Special Kids ($5,000), Central Arizona Shelter Services ($7,000), Benevilla ($22,560), Mentally Ill Kids in Distress ($5,000), Potter’s House ($7,650) and Surprise Youth Employment Program ($13,000). Improvements to the AZ TechCelerator were also included in the funding strategy. The anticipated cost is less than $380,000 which will help expand programming options.

City Manager’s FY2017 Recommended Budget

The City Council reviewed the City Manager’s recommended FY2017 budget that focuses on continuing the Council’s commitment to maintaining the quality public services and infrastructure our residents value most. The recommended budget, which totals $298.6 million, includes 23 new positions across the public safety services of Police, Fire-Medical, Emergency Management, Prosecution, and City Court. These positions are financed through a combination of a reduction in the city’s transaction privilege tax (“sales tax”) base from 2.2% to 2.12%, a slight reduction of the property tax from $0.7591 to $0.7413 per $100 of assessed valuation, and an addition of a food for home consumption tax of 2.12% to generate an estimated $2.4 million. The City Council will discuss and adopt changes to the tax rates on May 17.

The recommended budget includes transitioning water, wastewater and sanitation utility billing services in-house to better control the customer experience as well as providing for more efficient and effective operations than currently provided. For this purpose, 11 positions are added to the FY2017 budget, which will be offset by the reduction of the current billing provider’s contract costs. Six other positions are added to support the areas of fleet, information technology, human resources, community development, finance, and the senior center.

The recommended budget increases funding for maintaining the city’s roads through the pavement preservation program to $4.5 million; invests $6.8 million in communications, facility, information technology, recreation, and utility infrastructure; and replaces $10.5 million of aged vehicles minimizing future maintenance costs.

During the discussion, the City Council gave direction on some changes that will be brought back with the tentative budget that will be adopted on May 4. That will be followed by the adoption of the final budget on June 7.


Events & Meetings

Audit Committee Meeting

Earlier this year, City Manager Bob Wingenroth formed an Audit Committee whose goal is to provide advice to the City Council with respect to fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the integrity of the financial statements of the city. The Committee will also assist and advise the Internal Auditor and City Council on matters relating to the City’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, systems of internal controls, management of city-wide risk environment and the performance of internal and external auditors. The Committee consists of 7 members appointed by the City Manager. In addition to the City Manager, the Committee members are Councilman Roland Winters and me, Finance Director Lindsey Duncan, IT Director Tammie Hollowell and Surprise citizens Sharon Ward, Melissa Holdaway and Arden Engmark.

The Committee met on April 14 and will hold our first official meeting on Thursday, May 19 at 2 pm in the Overflow Room of City Hall. The public is welcome to attend!

Surprise Job Workshop and Job Fair

I attended the Surprise Job Fair Workshop at the Surprise Communiversity on Friday, April 15. The event was made possible through partnerships with Arizona @ Work, Rio Salado College, LinkedIn and the Communiversity. The workshop provided attendees with tips on updating their resumes, having a successful interview, and much more.

The Surprise Job Fair took place at the Surprise Communiversity on Tuesday, April 19. The event was overwhelmingly successful thanks to the team effort of our Economic Development Department, Human Service and Community Vitality Department, and the many businesses who participated. During the time I stopped by, there were over 140 people and one company alone made four offers for employment.

Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza

The Surprise Police Department hosted the 2016 Employee Appreciation Awards Bonanza at the Surprise Stadium on Friday, April 15. Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Council Members Todd Tande, Roland Winters and I attended. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Rick D’amico, a host on FOX 10’s “Morning Show”.

During the award ceremony, Chief Terry Young presented Mr. Michael Walker, a cab driver for West Valley Cab Company, with a Certificate of Appreciation. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to a citizen who takes it upon themselves to “get involved” when many would not. In January 2015, Mr. Walker contacted the police and provided information on how to locate a residence, where he dropped off a female fare. As the woman exited the cab, she told Mr. Walker she was in fear for her life. Once officers arrived at the residence, they heard a female screaming inside, entered the home and found the husband strangling the victim to the point where she could no longer breathe. Mr. Walker, thank you!

In special recognition, Chief Young formally recognized several employees, both sworn and civilian, and several other volunteers, for their personal dedication, professionalism and commitment to excellence. At the top of that list, Officer Ray Johnson was bestowed with the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor. To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an individual must have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

Highlighting some other achievements, Detective Antonio Martinez was awarded the Medal of Merit. Additionally, Officer Matthew Barker, Officer Craig Scartozzi, Officer Joanna Massimillo-Vallet, and Detective Joshua Waldeck were each presented with a Life Saving Award. Officer Jason Lewis received a Department Commendation and the Training and Recruitment Unit was recognized as the Unit of the Year.

Several annual awards were also presented including the following; Officer of the Year – Officer James Jennings, Rookie of the Year – Officer Morgan Williams, Detective of the Year – Detective Michael Forbrook, Civilian of the Year – Kim Davies, Volunteer of the Year – Barbara Jones, Citizen Patrol Member of the Year – Jim Gearns, and the Supervisor of the Year – Public Safety Communication Supervisor Emily Pepe.


Mark Your Calendar

Utility Payment Assistance Event

The City of Surprise Resource Center, in partnership with the City of El Mirage, Maricopa County and APS, is hosting a Gas and Electric Utility Payment Assistance event on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the El Mirage Senior Center, located at 14010 N El Mirage Rd.

Southwest Gas and APS customers who qualify are encouraged to attend! This event is open for residents of Surprise and El Mirage who meet the income qualifying guidelines. Specific documents must be provided in order for an application to be taken. The income guidelines and document requirements are available here: http://bit.ly/1oCmSWu.

Please note, applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and an interview is not a guarantee of assistance. If your household has received utility assistance from a CAP office in the last 12 months, you are not eligible for utility assistance at this time.

For questions, please contact the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Citizen Corps Council Workshop on Protection

With concerns about personal safety and security at an all-time high, the Surprise Citizen Corps Council is inviting women in the Northwest Valley to an informative workshop on ways to protect yourself and your family. The workshop will be held at the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm on April 27. Tuition is $25 and can be paid at the door. You can make your reservation by emailing crfire@surpriseaz.gov.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is scheduled for April 23 at Willow Canyon High School’s football field, 17001 W. Lundberg Street from 12 noon until 10 pm. This marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Surprise! The public is invited to participate in the walk. If you’d like to sign up for this annual event, please do so at http://relayforlife.org/SurpriseAZ.


Did You Know?

Deal of the Day

Please remember the new “ShopSurprise” incentive program is in full gear during the Bell/Grand interchange project. This program offers you special coupons and shopping promotions as well as prizes and drawings. You just need to text “ShopSurprise” – one word – to 40518. If you don’t have a smart phone, you are welcome to see all the daily deals at www.shopsurpriseaz.com. Thank you for your assistance to help support our businesses impacted by this construction project!

Shop Bell and Grand local

Public Meetings Scheduled for Proposed Surprise Heritage District

The public is invited to attend several upcoming meetings on a proposed Surprise Heritage District, which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS) – a one square mile area bounded by Bell, Greenway, El Mirage and Dysart roads. The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city has collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather input and draft this proposed ordinance, which supports a unique sense of place and character.

The next meeting (Citizen Review Meeting) is scheduled for April 27 at 5 pm at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street. You can also review the Draft Surprise Heritage District Ordinance and offer your comments online at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict.

For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 14, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction Schedule

Construction at the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue continues to progress. The current activities have been as follows:

  • Installation of 54-inch drainage pipes along the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Demolition of Bell Road and along the right-of-way on the west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Drilling of 66-foot deep shafts for the new bridge columns on the east side of Grand Avenue (see photos below). The columns are filled with 122 cubic yards of concrete.

As always, the project team appreciates your understanding and continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project hotline at 855.712.8530 and press option #1. You may also send an email to bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov.

Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach Meeting

City staff hosted the monthly Bell-Grand Business Stakeholder Outreach meeting on Tuesday, April 12. Approximately five business representatives were in attendance including the Property Manager that represents both shopping centers on both sides of Bell/Grand.

ADOT reviewed the business access and phasing maps and informed the businesses that the project is on track. They are still reviewing traffic configurations and making necessary adjustments. In preparation for shifting traffic to share the westbound lanes of Grand Ave in Phase 3B, the non-signalized business access driveways along Grand Ave will close in mid-May (Taco Bell, Bank of America, Olive Garden, Del Taco).

The city will be making adjustments to favor the detour at the Dysart and Greenway roads intersection. As early as next week, southbound Dysart Rd at Greenway Rd will have one thru lane and a dedicated right turn only lane onto westbound Greenway Rd.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce shared information about the ShopSurprise text campaign. Currently, 600 people have opted-in to receive the deal of the day via text message and the ShopSurprise Facebook page has had more than 5,000 visitors. Beginning next week, the Chamber will begin to distribute ShopSurprise fliers to each of the businesses which they can distribute to their customers; in June, the Chamber will distribute a ShopSurprise magazine with coupons for the businesses in the Bell-Grand area.


Events & Meetings

Meeting with ASU Student

On Thursday, April 7, I met with a student who is enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at Arizona State University.  We discussed City Council’s approach to responding to constituents and other important topics that include budgets and maintaining the vision of our community.

Kingswood Park HOA Spring Fling

I was invited to attend Kingswood Park HOA’s Spring Fling on Saturday, April 9. There were a few hundred residents in attendance as we enjoyed a concert and barbeque. A special thank you to the Kingswood Park HOA Board for the invitation!

City employees attending HOA event


Mark Your Calendar

Job Fair Coming to Surprise

The City of Surprise and Arizona@Work are teaming up starting tomorrow to present both a job seeker workshop and a job fair! The workshop will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Parkway. The workshop will include tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and much more.

The job fair will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the same location. This fair will have more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities. The employers scheduled to attend represent a variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, banking, automotive and much more. For more information, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

Police To Host Citizen Safety Forum

The Surprise Police Department, in partnership with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, will be hosting a Citizen Safety Forum from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016. This event will be held at the Sun City Grand Sonoran Plaza at 19753 N. Remington Drive in the Sagebrush Ballroom.

The event will include free safety presentations on safely handling, storing and disposing of prescription medication as well as home security and fraudulent scams. The program will include presentations by and a chance to ask questions of leaders such as Surprise Police Chief Terry Young and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Attendees also can bring and safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medication at the event. Please note that police will be unable to accept thermometers, liquids, needles, ointments/lotions, inhalers, or aerosol cans.

The event is entirely free and lunch will be provided. Registration is required to attend. To register please visit www.maricopacountyattorney.org/CSF or call 602-506-7621.

Utility Payment Assistance Event

The City of Surprise Resource Center, in partnership with the City of El Mirage, Maricopa County and APS, is hosting a Gas and Electric Utility Payment Assistance event on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the El Mirage Senior Center, located at 14010 N El Mirage Rd.

Southwest Gas and APS customers who qualify are encouraged to attend! This event is open for residents of Surprise and El Mirage who meet the income qualifying guidelines. Specific documents must be provided in order for an application to be taken. The income guidelines and document requirements are available here: http://bit.ly/1oCmSWu

Please note, applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, and an interview is not a guarantee of assistance. If your household has received utility assistance from a CAP office in the last 12 months, you are not eligible for utility assistance at this time.

For questions, please contact the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Citizen Corps Council Workshop on Protection

With concerns about personal safety and security at an all-time high, the Surprise Citizen Corps Council is inviting women in the Northwest Valley to an informative workshop on ways to protect yourself and your family. The workshop will be held at the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm on April 27. Tuition is $25 and can be paid at the door. You can make your reservation by emailing crfire@surpriseaz.gov.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is scheduled for April 23 at Willow Canyon High School’s football field, 17001 W. Lundberg Street from 12 noon until 10 pm. This marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Surprise! The public is invited to participate in the walk. If you’d like to sign up for this annual event, please do so at http://relayforlife.org/SurpriseAZ.


Did You Know?

Surprise Farms Park Phase II Selected For Prestigious Awards

The Surprise Farms Park Phase II has been selected as one of the American Public Works Association’s Public Works Projects of the Year for 2016. Formal recognition will take place in August. I continued to be honored to work with such incredible city staff that make recognitions like this possible.

ADOT’s National Household Travel Survey

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are asking households, most of them outside of metro Phoenix and Tucson, to participate in the National Household Travel Survey. Up to 30,000 households, chosen at random, will be contacted via letter over the next year. This survey is conducted every five to seven years and provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends. ADOT has created an online survey which is available at http://azdot.gov/NHTS. Information gathered by your participation in this survey will also help create a more valuable transportation system for all.


Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

April 7, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

ShopSurprise

The City, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses have partnered to give you even more reasons to ShopSurprise during the Bell Road full closure. Launching ahead of schedule, the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign is helping to promote businesses in the Bell Road construction area by offering daily deals for shoppers so they continue to spend money in their hometown.

Businesses on all sides of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue intersection are open and have created incentives so that you ShopSurprise!

Daily deals are available now and opting-in for deals is simple. There are multiple ways for you to participate; just pick the one, or two, that are right for you:

  • Visit shopsurpriseaz.com to view the daily deals online;
  • Text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 40518 to have daily deals sent to your phone;
  • Like the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and have the deals appear in your timeline; or
  • Follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter to have deals tweeted to you daily.

A Construction Business Access Map is also available online to help you find the best ways to enter the shopping, dining and service centers to claim your deals.

The Bell & Grand ShopSurprise daily deals are only available during the Bell Road full closure. The Chamber will consider a more comprehensive, citywide campaign in the future.

For more information about the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign, contact the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at 623.583.0692. To learn more about the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


City Council Work Session

Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan

As an entitlement city, Surprise received a yearly allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG administration and neighborhood improvement activities are administered by city departments. These projects address neighborhood infrastructure improvement needs identified in the city’s Consolidated Plan 2015-2019. CDBG funds will be utilized to implement projects that will improve the safety and quality of life of the residents within the Original Town Site area of Surprise since it meets three national objectives (benefits low to moderate income persons, provides area benefit, limited clientele).

The funding amount for 2016-2017 is $585,139. The public hearing and recommendation for funding to the City Council is scheduled for the Regular City Council meeting on April 19.

Review of Capital Projects and Potential Capital Funding

Budget Manager Jared Askelson provided a review of the FY2017 capital projects which were part of a recommendation by the Capital Improvement Exploratory Committee last year. Some of the projects include a permanent fire station, a new property and evidence facility, and the implementation of the Parks Master Plan which includes, but is not limited to, a field house, a competitive aquatic facility, a new community park, pickleball courts and 8-Acre Park improvements.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth discussed the possibility for another bond opportunity for November 2016. The bond amount discussed was $60 million (25%) of current capacity with a 20 year term. City Council requested input from the community prior to further discussion.


City Council Meeting

Austin Ranch West Parcel 1 & 4

After much discussion and an Executive Session, City Council approved, subject to alternative approval directions, the final plat entitled “Austin Ranch West Parcel 4” and “Austin Ranch West Parcel 1”, a 36.55 acre, 138 lot, single family subdivision generally located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 2.4 miles west of Grand Avenue and a 114.28 acre, 420 lot, single family subdivision located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 1.6 miles west of Grand Avenue. This is the first and second phase of a multi-phased project known as Austin Ranch Planned Area Development (PAD) that was approved by the Mayor and City Council on May 13, 2004.

Stormwater Utility Discussion

City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the “Notice of Intent” declaring the City’s intent to adopt a Stormwater Utility Rate and setting the public hearing on May 17, 2016 at 6 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers.

Revenue Projections and Expenditure Recommendations

Jared Askelson discussed General Fund sources for fiscal year 2016 which is currently at $96.9 million which is .5% less than what was estimated due to a decrease in local sales tax and transfers in. Our Finance Department is expecting revenue reduction of approximately $900,000 due to Bell/Grand Intersection construction. There is no change in projections for property taxes. General Fund sources for fiscal year 2017 is projected to be $101.6 million due to an increase in local sales tax since there will be additional car dealerships, an increase in State Shared revenue, Franchise Fees, Transfers in and property tax due to increase in population. General Fund Uses for FY2016 is $96.9 million which is 2.1% less than what was estimated.

Next week, the City Council will receive the City Manager’s Recommended Budget for FY2017. Public Safety needs have been discussed in previous Council meetings. In order to properly fund those needs, there is a $2.4 million need. Four revenue options were reviewed. Final decisions have not been made at this time. The recommended budget review will take place at the Regular City Council meeting on April 19 in the City Council Chamber at 6 pm.

IGA for Safe Route to School Grant

The City of Surprise in partnership with five elementary schools and the Dysart Unified School District were awarded three Transportation Alternative Non-Infrastructure grants. These grants will help develop a Safe Routes to school Action Plan for Marley Park, Rancho Gabriela, Parkview, Countryside and Ashton Ranch Elementary Schools. It also provides funding for the procurement of Crosswalk Safety Equipment.

City Council unanimously approved the Intergovernmental Agreement to accept and utilize the funds.

City-wide Temporary Sign Policy

In order to assist businesses while the City updates the City Sign Code, City staff has developed the City-wide Temporary Sign Policy. The new Temporary Sign policy includes some of the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign policy and also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker. The temporary policy was approved with a 5-2 vote.

Regular Council Meeting CHANGE

City Council unanimously approved a date change for the Regular City Council meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 to Wednesday, May 4, 2016 due to the grand opening ceremony of IRIS USA.


Events & Meetings

City Café Express Gallery Grand Opening

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a grand opening ceremony for the City Café Express featuring the artwork of John W. Clark art on Wednesday, March 30. Mayor Wolcott, Vice Mayor Biundo and I all attended the fantastic event and admired the Air Force artwork of John W. Clark.

Sierra Verde HOA Meeting

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, Community Policing Officer Tim Klarkowski and I attended the Sierra Verde HOA meeting on Wednesday, March 30. We discussed preventative measures, crime stats and participated in a Q&A with the residents in attendance.

The Orchards Block Party

I attended the Orchards HOA block party on Friday, April 1. I thoroughly enjoy attending these events and engaging with my constituents!

Surprise Literacy Challenge Pizza Parties

As part of the grand finale for the Surprise Literacy Challenge, I attended two pizza parties for the 4th and 5th grade winning classes this week. The 5th grade winners, Ms. Frazier’s class from West Point Elementary, read an average of 683 minutes per student for an approximate total of 19,124! They received their pizza party on Monday, April 4. The 4th grade winners, Ms. Gore’s class from Arizona Charter, received their pizza party on Wednesday, April 6. Ms. Gore’s students read an average of 866 minutes per student for an approximate total of 21,640 minutes over the course of the challenge.

HOA Summit

The City of Surprise hosted an HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. Various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police provided updates and were available to answer questions. More than 60 residents attended. Thank you to everyone, including the staff that participated!


Mark Your Calendars

Job Fair Coming to Surprise

The City of Surprise and Arizona@Work are teaming up to present both a job seeker workshop and a job fair! The workshop will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Communiversity@Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Parkway. The workshop will include tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and much more.

The job fair will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 am until 1 pm at the same location. This fair will have more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities. The employers scheduled to attend represent a variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, banking, automotive and much more. For more information, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.


Did You Know?

ADOT’s National Household Travel Survey

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are asking households, most of them outside of metro Phoenix and Tucson, to participate in the National Household Travel Survey. Up to 30,000 households, chosen at random, will be contacted via letter over the next year. This survey is conducted every five to seven years and provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends.

ADOT has created an online survey which is available at azdot.gov/NHTS. Information gathered by your participation in this survey will also help create a more valuable transportation system for all.


Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

May 1, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings


Ribbon Cutting
I attended the Farmer’s Insurance-Boyle Agency ribbon cutting at the Gateway to Surprise Business Suites (11503 W. Bell Road) on Monday, April 27. Several residents and members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce were present.

Farmers Insurance Boyle Agency
Farmers Insurance Boyle Agency Ribbon Cutting

 

Committee on Water Resource Planning Meeting
The Committee on Water Resource Planning met on Wednesday, April 29. Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe provided an overview of the Water Resource Strategic Vision Policy presentation that he will present to the City Council on May 19, 2015 for consideration and approval of the water policies that were provided to Council over the course of several months. The Committee unanimously agreed to recommend these policies to the entire City Council.

Maricopa Community College East Valley Veterans Center Tour
Mayor Wolcott, Human Service and Community Vitality Director Michael Celaya, City Manager Bob Wingenroth and I toured the Maricopa Community College East Valley Veterans Center on Thursday, April 30. As part of the tour, we discussed partnership development that will help deliver resources to our Veterans.

Did You Know?


Surprise Community Garden is Growing!
Benevilla, a West Valley nonprofit human services agency located in Surprise, announced that Rebuilding Together and DMB are providing new features and accessibility upgrades in the Surprise Community Garden, a Community of All Ages project at Benevilla. Currently, the organic garden has 100 gardeners working on 34 raised-soil beds.

Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit, and local Valley builder DMB join together once a year to select one Valley community project they would like to support. This year, representatives discovered and selected the Community Garden.

Benevilla was started in the community in 1981. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, intellectually disabled adults, children and families.

Mark Your Calendar


Surprise Safety Day
Surprise Safety Day will be held from 8 am – 11 am on Saturday, May 2 at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. The event will feature free swim lesson assessments, water safety skits, CPR demonstrations, safety vehicle tours by Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments, McGruff the Crime Dog, car seat and bike helmet inspections. The Surprise Aquatic staff, Police and Fire will be on-site to answer questions regarding water safety and prevention, as well as vehicle and fire safety.

For more information about Surprise Safety Day, please call 623.222.2000.

Surprise City Hall to host Job Fair
Six companies will be recruiting for open positions on Friday, May 8 at Surprise City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). The companies participating in the job fair include Cobalt Medical Development (Surprise location will open in late 2015), Empereon Marketing, Gestamp Solar, Intrepid Tools, Rio Glass Solar and Winco. The job fair will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the Mayor’s Atrium.

For more information, please contact Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

NCAA 2015 Tennis Championships
The City of Surprise will be hosting the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships May 13 through May 16 at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, 14469 W. Paradise. For more information, please call 623.222.2400 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Contact Me


Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

 

 

April 24, 2015 • Newsletter

Council Work Session


Department of Human Service and Community Vitality
Department of Human Service and Community Vitality Director Michael Celaya briefed the Council on the growth of the new department, the programs and services currently provided and possible expansion of the department’s services.

Surprise Transportation Plan
Martin Lucero, Transportation Planning Manager, provided a presentation on the Surprise Transportation Plan.  This plan includes a speed limit map, street network map, truck route map and pedestrian map.  As of now, no official citywide speed limit designation has been made.  Mr. Lucero would like to create a five-tiered speed limit map for the City that would be based on roadway classification and engineering design standards.  As future roadways are built, the speed limits would be automatically set through the normal development process.  Changes could still be made through policy changes or Engineering and Corridor Studies.

Mr. Lucero requested City Council consider the creation of a new corridor, along Bullard Avenue, that electric vehicles can legally travel.   State law currently states they can travel on any road less than 35 mph.  This change would create a new electric vehicle and bicycle lane.  Staff would mitigate hazards with signs, access and parking restrictions.

City Council Meeting


Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Mike Boyle, Chair of the Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee provided an overview on the Boys & Girls Club of America and introduced the new Boys & Girls Club of Surprise logo that was recently approved by the Club’s national headquarters.  In 1989, the Surprise City Council began initial discussions for establishing a Club in the City.  Although there has been discussion for nearly 25 years, it was not until the current Council voted, in 2014, to set aside $2 million in the FY2015 General Capital Fund to build a Club facility that something transpired.  Shortly after that action, the Boys and Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee was formed.  The Committee representatives include local community and business leaders working together, utilizing their expertise and valuable time, to establish the Club.

The City Council approved authorization of the expenditure of the funds designated in the FY2015 budget for the Boys & Girls Club to the Arizona Community Foundation revenue fund, opened on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee, for future operating costs associated with the Boys & Girls Club of Surprise.

The City Council did move to delay any action identifying the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex as the proposed location for the Club until the entire City Council reviews additional data provided in the past.

City Manager’s FY2016 Recommended Budget
City Council received the $294.7 million FY2016 City Manager Recommended Budget on Tuesday night which was crafted to address immediate operational needs, continue service increases and to further prepare for the future. The recommended budget includes funding for pavement preservation, maintaining mid-year Dial-A-Ride service expansion, a mid-decade census, 18 new full-time positions (including Public Safety, Utility Operations and general government operations), Surprise Regional Library operations as required by a previous agreement with the County, continuation of Express Route 571, and vehicle and asset replacement.  Furthermore, it also includes policy recommendations to increase fund balance reserves.  As a result, the General Fund balance reserve will increase by over 15% from the prior fiscal year to $17 million.

Regulation of Donation Bins
A zoning text amendment (FS15-013) for the regulation of donation bins within the City was unanimously approved.  This amendment will require facilities to register the donation bins with a Temporary Use Permit that would require an annual application and notarized signature of the property owner.  The bins are limited to Commercial, Business Park, Industrial and Public Facility Zoning Districts.

The text amendment also regulates the location, size, maintenance and identification of the bins.  The quantity and grouping of these bins will also be restricted.  These parameters are determined by the size of the property or commercial center.  In no case will groupings of greater than 2 donations bins be allowed or located within 1,000 feet of other bins or groupings.

Major General Plan Amendment-General Plan Elements Update
In lieu of the development of Village Plans, a holistic approach to developing a “One Surprise,” while respecting the City’s unique character areas, is being developed. Staff recommended an update to elements of General Plan 2035, including Land Use, Growth, Roadway Systems, Economic Development, Housing and Implementation.  After initial public input was received, comments and baseline data were presented at a joint meeting with the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission in February 2015.  Based on that input and the input from stakeholders, alternative concepts for updating the Land Use Element of the General Plan were prepared.

Two approaches were discussed; the Character Approach and the Conventional Approach.  The “Character Area” approach is an integration of land use concepts and built form when determining a common vision of development and land use pattern.  With fewer land use categories, this approach utilizes planning concepts that depend on form and function.  This approach could have more flexibility in determining the intent of an area or development proposal.

The “Conventional Area” approach utilizes a more familiar and traditional land use map with corresponding policy, which would allow better coordination and compatibility with adjacent municipality land uses.  This approach is more intuitive and requires less education to implement.

Events & Meetings


Surprise Police Appreciation Bonanza
I attended the Police Appreciation Bonanza on Friday, April 17 at the Surprise Stadium.  This event honored and recognized our Police Department staff.  Awards were given to Officer Robert Mulligan (Rookie of the Year), Officer Matthew Barker (Officer of the Year), Detective Juan Diaz (Detective of the Year), Sergeant Mark Filler (Supervisor of the Year), Training Coordinator Kim Davies (Civilian of the Year), Victim Advocate Barbara Jones (Volunteer of the Year), Jim Gearns (Citizens Patrol Recognition) and Sergeant Mike Ferrara (35 Years of Service).  Please join me in congratulating and thanking the aforementioned employees for their exemplary hard work and dedication to our City.

WHAM Art Recycle Arts & Youth Festival
On Saturday, April 18, I attended the WHAM Recycle Arts & Youth Festival.  The morning was very busy with families and local kids enjoying art activities.  WHAM estimates that approximately 2,400 people attended the event.
Models from the WHAM Recycle Arts Fashion Show

WHAM Recycled Art
Models from the WHAM Recycle Arts Fashion Show

 

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, April 21.  Nate Nathan, founder of Nathan & Associates, was the key-note speaker.  Nathan & Associates focuses on brokering land acquisitions for master-planned communities, commercial, retail and multi-family deals throughout the Valley.  Mr. Nathan believes the future of the West Valley is bright!  The population for Maricopa County is expected to increase by 1 million within the next 10 years with much of the growth expected to head towards the West Valley.

Chamber Breakfast Speaker Nathanson

Mountain Vista Ranch Well Celebration
Councilman Roland Winters, Councilman Todd Tande and I, along with staff from the Department of Water Resource Management, celebrated the completion of the Mountain Vista Ranch Well on Tuesday, April 21.  A big thank you to Director Terry Lowe, Water Manager Lee Lambert and Senior Project Manager Michael Boule for their incredible work seeing this residential well through to successful completion.

Councilmember Winters and I with the construction crew
Councilmember Winters and I with the construction crew
Mountain Vista Ranch Well
Mountain Vista Ranch Well
Getting Ready to hit the button to start the well with Kevin Larson
Getting Ready to hit the button to start the well with Kevin Larson

Did You Know?


Surprise City Hall to host Job Fair
Six companies will be recruiting for open positions on Friday, May 8 at Surprise City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza).  The companies participating in the job fair include Cobalt Medical Development (Surprise location will open in late 2015), Empereon Marketing, Gestamp Solar, Intrepid Tools, Rio Glass Solar and Winco.  The job fair will take place from 8 am until 12 noon in the Mayor’s Atrium.

For more information, please contact Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

Contact Me


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

Ask a Question

Shop Surprise