Tag Archives: recycling

Councilmember Jack Hastings August Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my monthly newsletters! I am honored to serve you as your Surprise District 5 Councilman. One of my goals is to provide you with important city updates and information. I am always available to speak with you at jack.hastings@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623.222.1325. Please also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/councilmemberhastings. To receive my newsletters by email each month, please sign up on my website, d5.surpriseaz.gov, and click the “Notify Me” link.

Neighborhood Grant Program

Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program, providing eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions, or community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY22. For more information about the grant, visit surpriseaz.gov/NGP

SK Lounge Now Open

On the evening of Friday, July 9, Mayor Hall and Council Members Roland Winters, Aly Cline, and myself joined SK Lounge for a ribbon-cutting. Owner Dennis Tran of Saigon Kitchen hosted the ceremony in honor of the opening of SK Lounge, located at 14071 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, AZ 85374.

Surprise City Council and Saigon Kitchen cut a ribbon for the grand opening of SK Lounge.

Valley Metro RideChoice Update

An elderly man and woman step into a Valley Metro van.Discounted transportation options are now available to more Surprise residents! Our Valley Metro RideChoice program has been expanded to veterans, and the FY2021 Income Limit Category has been changed. People 65 and over and people with disabilities still automatically qualify for this program.
Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3xVZjMR

Ready, Set, Go!

Ready Set Go! Emergency evacuation plan infographic.Are you prepared to evacuate if necessary? It’s always a good time to be reminded of “Ready, Set, Go!” a program designed to help keep you safe from seasonal threats. Take some time to read about emergency preparedness and the 5 P’s of Evacuation. Learn more at https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go

Drop-off Recycling

A City of Surprise employee gives a tumbs-up over a container of recycled plastic bottles.Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Rd. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

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

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

Know What’s Below

A front yard is marked with red, yellow and orange utility markings.Have you ever wondered what the different colored markings on roads or in yards are? They’re a sign that a homeowner or contractor has put safety first and had utility lines identified before excavation. Utility lines that serve the community, such as natural gas, electricity, sewer, and water, can be buried anywhere. Striking a utility line not only poses a safety risk but can also cause an interruption of service to customers. The City of Surprise and Southwest Gas encourage homeowners and contractors to call 811 or go online at call811.com at least two full working days before digging to request a utility line locate. Be safe…always know what’s below before digging!

Meet and Greet

Councilmember Hastings meeting thumbnailPlease join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on Saturday, August 14, at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my Notify Me mailing list on my city webpage at d5.surpriseaz.gov so you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is August 17 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Dr. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance, or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Councilmember Jack Hastings March Newsletter

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

Now Open

Player 1 Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, had its Grand Opening on February 19! Player 1 Arcade specializes in retro arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s, and has a wide selection of pinball machines. You can check them out at www.p1arcade.com.

A row of pinball machines line the wall and dining table are centered in the room at Player 1 Arcade.

District 5 Ribbon Cuttings

Berkshire Diamonds and Design

Mayor Hall and I had the privilege of attending the One Year Anniversary Ribbon Cutting for Berkshire Diamonds & Design, located at 15609 W. Bell Road. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!

Zona Wyyered

Zona Wyyered, an Arizona-based company that provides high-speed internet and telephone services, just opened at 14273 W. Grand Avenue. Thank you for inviting Mayor Hall and me to your Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Hastings stand behind a red ribbon holding up their ceremonial scissors.

Recycling Update

Please take a moment to watch my new Council Conversations show for an update on recycling. I interview Deputy City Manager & Public Works Director Mike Gent about the current recycling climate and how Surprise is working to find a fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable solution. You can find the video on my website at d5.surpriseaz.gov.

Councilmember Jack Hastings speaks with Deputy City Manager & Public Works Director Mike Gent on the Council Conversations show.

Drop-off Recycling

A city of Surprise public works employee gives a thumbs up over a container full of recyclable plastics.Surprise residents can drop-off clean/dry acceptable recyclable materials in District 5 at the Public Works Yard, located at 17274 N. Litchfield Road on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

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

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

Spring Training

Surprise Stadium logoTickets for Spring Training are now on sale! The game schedule has been modified from what was previously released and can be found at www.surprisestadium.com. The following health and safety protocols are in place to provide fans with additional safety:

  • Limited seating capacity of under 2,000 fans per game
  • Physically-distancing seating pods
  • Required face coverings, unless eating/drinking
  • Reduced touchpoints (contactless ticketing, cashless transactions)
  • New intensified cleaning protocols.

Fans can purchase tickets online through SurpriseStadium.com, by phone at 623.222.2222, and in-person at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note that box office transactions will be cashless. Accepted forms of payment at the box office include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Surprise Stadium baseball field.

Budget Update

The kicked off the Fiscal Year 2022 budget building process on February 2. At the February 16 Council Work Session, Council received an overview on Budget Revenues. The chart below shows Citywide revenues and the percentages that they make up out of the whole budget.

A pie chart displaying a breakdown of citywide revenue.
Click to view larger image

One area of this revenue pie chart that is often talked about is property tax. The City of Surprise has a Primary Property tax rate of $0.7591 (per $100 Assessed LPV), which is a tax levy used for general government operations and a Secondary Property Tax rate of $0.3880, which is a voter-approved tax levy limited to pay for General Obligation (GO) bonds. It is also important to note that the majority of the primary property tax rate that is collected by the County goes to entities other than the City of Surprise. Below is a graphic that represents the property tax distribution.

A slide from a powerpoint showing a dollar bill segmented into color coded sections.
Click to view larger image

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include presentations related to expenses and department operation budget development. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review. The final budget adoption is scheduled for June 1. Fiscal Year 2022 begins July 1, 2021.

For the complete presentation that was shared at the February 16 Council Work Session, please visit Surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Drive-Thru Meals

Chef Peter’s Bistro, located at 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy, is providing drive-thru meal service on Wednesday nights from 4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. I will be helping to hand out meals the first Wednesday of each month. Stop by and say hi!

Police Tour

I recently had the opportunity to tour the Surprise Police Department and participate in a training simulation used by our officers. The simulation allows officers to practice in a virtual environment, with controls that allow them to see where they can improve and where they have done well. Officers are required to participate in these trainings on an annual basis.

Council Committees/GPEC

Council Committee Assignments

Mayor Hall has assigned Councilmembers to subcommittees for 2021. I have been assigned to two committees:

  • Tourism Fund Subcommittee, which is responsible for reviewing applications that request Tourism Fund allocations to attract eligible tourism activities within the City of Surprise.
  • Subcommittee on Community Outreach, Partnerships, and Grants, which works to identify grant opportunities, prioritization, and coordination with community outreach opportunities to facilitate and promote council objectives and policies.

I look forward to serving on these committees and will keep you updated on my work with each.

GPEC

The City of Surprise works closely with The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), which provides education and networking opportunities to its members. By participating in the educational webinars offered, I have earned Ambassador status. The GPEC Ambassador events provide business development forums and workshops that feature industry experts.

Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors

In January, I attended the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors and had the opportunity to fellowship and pray with other community leaders. Local pastors host this event, and Mayor Hall was a guest speaker.

Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Youth Council logoMembers of the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) have been interviewing Councilmembers as a part of their civic engagement process. I participated in an interview in February and answered questions regarding my job as a City Councilperson and the role of youth in Surprise.

The City of Surprise is currently recruiting new members for the SYC. Make a difference for youth in your community! The Surprise Youth Council meets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 p.m.; meetings are currently virtual. The SYC is open to those in grades 7-11 who attend a school within the City of Surprise or a Dysart Unified School District school or reside in Surprise. For additional information, or to find out how to apply, please visit surpriseaz.gov/SYC.

COVID-19 Update

The Maricopa County Department of Health reports that as of 2/23/2021, over 633,000, or over 18% of Maricopa County adult residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and that almost 260,000 Maricopa County residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. It further states that about half of those vaccinated in Maricopa County are 65 years or older, and 61% of those who are aged 75 or older have been vaccinated. This information is available and updated frequently on the Maricopa County website at https://www.maricopa.gov/5671/Public-Vaccine-Data.

A chart displaying COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to Maricopa County residents.
Click to view larger image

The graph below, also from the Maricopa County Department of Health website, shows the current case counts of those diagnosed with COVID-19.

A graph displaying the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Maricopa County over the past year.
Click to view larger image

Vaccinations are open to those in group 1B, which includes individuals age 65 and older. The Arizona Department of Health Services website has information on finding a vaccination site and registering for a vaccination. Please visit ADHS – Highlighted Infectious Diseases for Arizona – Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Find Vaccine (azdhs.gov).

A graphic displaying the potential COVID-19 vaccination prioritization phases.
Click to view larger image

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

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

From March 16-26, Surprise residents can schedule an appointment to have their household hazardous waste picked up from their homes. Pick-ups will occur March 29-April 9. To schedule a pick-up, you can request an appointment through the My Surprise App or call Customer Service at 623.222.1920. The following is a list of accepted items:

  • Antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, diesel, and fuel additives (5 gallon limit per household)
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers (5 gallon limit per household)
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, and gas cylinders
  • Car and household batteries
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Oil-based paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives (10 gallon limit per household)
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other lawn chemicals
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos

Surprise Day of Service

Surprise is looking for volunteers for its Day of Service, on Saturday, March 20. If you would like to volunteer to help with projects throughout the city, please contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or by email at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov.

The City of Surprise often hosts a Day of Service each month. If you are not able to participate this time, please visit surpriseaz.gov for information on other opportunities.

Meet and Greet

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

City Council Meetings

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

Councilmember Jack Hastings February Newsletter

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

Supporting Local Business and First Responders

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

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

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

Coming Soon!

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

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

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

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

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

BadAz Axes and Axescape Room logos

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

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

Recycling Update

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

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

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

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

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

Short Term:

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

Long Term:

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

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

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

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

Drop-off Recycling

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

Accepted materials are:

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

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

NEW Council Conversation

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

Surprise City Academy

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

Small Business Help

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

Spring Training

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

COVID-19 Update

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

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

Meet and Greet

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

City Council Meetings

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

Councilmember Jack Hastings January Newsletter

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

2020 Wrap Up

There is no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we still have many things to celebrate. The City of Surprise has seen many positive accomplishments this year. Below is a list of just a few of the great things that happened in our community this year:

Opened/Completed:

  • Abrazo Hospital
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Fire Station 304
  • Waddell Road
  • Litchfield Road
  • Drop-off Recycling Program

Broke Ground:

  • Amazon Delivery Station
  • Fire Station 308
  • Public Safety and Evidence Facility
  • Greenway Road

City Center Development

Surprise City Center is continuing to develop and bring exciting opportunities to Surprise. The “Quarter at Surprise” retail marketing plan, located in the area of Bell Road and Bullard Avenue is now available. This 78-acre site plan lays the groundwork for a vibrant entertainment, retail, restaurant, grocery, and fitness destination! Additionally, a Marriott Springhill Suites has been approved for the northwest corner of Civic Center Drive and Elm Street. Keep an eye on our City Center webpage for current updates.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan for the Town at Surprise Center project at their December 17 meeting. Town at Surprise Center is a gated rental townhome community on 5.4 acres located along Bell Road near Civic Center Drive. Site improvements will include 114 units, ranging from 1,200-1,367 square feet, paving, sidewalks, a pool, and landscaping. The final plat for this project is anticipated to go to Council on February 2, 2021.

New Park Coming Soon!

Surprise has continued to see growth in housing permits and retail sales collections. As a result, the City Council voted at the December 15 meeting to fund several parks-related projects. Included in this funding is the design for a new eight-acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place that will begin construction by the end of June 2021! This project will provide more programmable and rental field space. Additionally, Gaines Youth Baseball Field will be completed ahead of the original timeline thanks to additional funding, and Council also voted to establish a $3 million budget for enhancements to the Surprise Community Park. Enhancements could include adding a restroom, improving dog park drainage, and exploring new lighting. A final project list will be determined following design and submittal of actual costs. Keep an eye on the City’s website for updated information. All of these projects will advance the goals of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Recycling Update

Recycle Wise in Surprise logo.Please tune in for a recycling update at the January 19 Council Regular Session. Regular sessions typically begin at 6 p.m. Please check the agenda for specific times. To watch live on Surprise TV visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 also carry the meetings live.

Surprise Small Business Relief Grant

The Surprise Small Business Relief Grant program provided grants to qualifying local businesses to help with rent, utilities, payroll expenses, and other operating costs. Through the program, 79 local businesses were supported, and 483 jobs were retained! This program was funded in two phases, using CARES Act money, to help local businesses that have been impacted by the current health crisis. While the funds for this program have been fully utilized, the City’s Economic Development Team is always here to help support local businesses. For more information on resources available, please visit the COVID-19 Business Resources page on our website.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The City of Surprise Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Service is being held virtually on January 16. Please tune in at 9 a.m. to Surprise TV or the City of Surprise social media channels for a virtual program featuring a variety of local musicians, performers, and speakers. Community service projects are also being scheduled throughout the day, but advanced registration is required due to COVID-19 gathering limitations. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1522.

COVID-19 Update

Vaccinations for health care workers and residents of long term care facilities, has begun. Distribution to these groups could take several months to accomplish and will likely be followed by distribution to essential workers such as police, critical infrastructure workers, and teachers. The general population could receive the vaccine sometime in the spring of 2021. The vaccine distribution is prioritized by the US Centers for Disease Control. For more information on how the vaccine distribution was prioritized, please visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.html.

A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing location has opened in Surprise at St. Clare of Assisi, located at 17111 W. Bell Road. To schedule an appointment, you can visit https://embrywomenshealth.com/testing-blitz/

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

Maricopa County has free temporary isolation housing available for individuals who are unable to isolate with a bedroom or bathroom that nobody else can use or are high-risk individuals who live with infected family or roommates. To find out additional information, or to see if you are eligible, call 2-1-1 and dial 6 for COVID-19 assistance, or visit https://www.maricopa.gov/5565/COVID-19-Positive.

Community Resources

St. Mary’s Food Bank now has a home delivery option. Maricopa County residents that are unable to travel to a local food bank may be eligible for this program. For more information, call 602-242-3663, or visit St. Mary’s Food Bank – Covid Relief Home Delivery Sign-Up.

Meet and Greet

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

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are January 5 and 19 at 6 p.m. Please note that Council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.