Tag Archives: Ribbon Cutting

June 14, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

In-N-Out Burger Now Open

The much anticipated opening of In-N-Out occurred on Friday, June 8. The newest Valley location (14321 W. Bell Road) hosted a soft opening for staffers, Surprise local officials and community leaders on Thursday, June 7. Welcome to Surprise, In-N-Out!

Councilmember Skip Hall with In-N-Out Burger staff member during the soft opening in Surprise

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Feedback Meeting

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Board President Scott Phillips and CEO Raoul Sada met with me on Friday, June 8 to discuss feedback regarding the Tourism symposium that was held earlier this month. The meeting also provided us with an opportunity to discuss other partnering enhancements.

AZ TechCelerator’s 5th Annual Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Youthful innovation was on display June 8 at Surprise City Hall in culmination of the AZ TechCelerator’s 5th Annual Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. Fourteen students from Paradise Honors, Willow Canyon, Valley Vista, Shadow Ridge and Dysart high schools worked in teams at the city’s business incubator to identify a community need and develop a product or service to address that need.

The finale of the weeklong camp was a marketing pitch before a panel of judges in the Surprise City Council Chambers. The teens’ ideas included a new option for mobile resources to help the homeless, a foundation to help fund the research for synthetic organs and an eco-friendly and low cost water filtration system using thermal distillation. But, the big winner was Linked, an app that fully disables a driver’s ability to access messaging apps and social media while driving. Congratulations to Nickolas Robertson, Jack Platacz, Sean Cox and Sebastian Bednarek from Paradise Honors High School on their win!

Since 2009, the AZ TechCelerator has fostered local start-ups, resulting in 20 businesses and nearly 300 jobs. For more information, please visit www.aztechcelerator.com or call 623.222.TECH.

Mark Your Calendar

Task Force To Discuss Honoring Late Veteran Resident

At the request of the Surprise City Council the Honoring an Exceptional Leader Task Force will reconvene, Thursday, June 28, to begin the process to identifying possible ways in which to honor the late Brian Mancini. Mr. Mancini was a medically retired Sergeant First Class, Combat Wounded Veteran who served as a Combat Medic with two tours in Baghdad, Iraq. He served over 12 years in the United States Army. He was the recipient of two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge and Flight Medic Badge.

In 2007, Brian suffered life-threatening injuries from a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Following years of surgeries and rehabilitation, the Surprise resident founded Honor House, a place where wounded veterans could go for therapy and counseling.

Suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mancini ended his life at the age of 38 in 2017. His story and combat injuries were the focus of an April 2018 60 Minutes story detailing new medical studies surrounding PTSD and the brain impacts suffered during explosions.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m., in the Community Room of City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The public is encouraged to attend. This task force will select a chairperson as their first order of business. All members shall participate in discussion and decision making.

Here is the remainder of their business process:

  • Within 30 days of the first meeting, conduct second public meeting to select at least two options to be vetted by city staff. Staff will, at a minimum; explore costs, legal environment, consistency, pros & cons, potential opportunity costs, etc. Within 30 days of the second meeting, Special Task Force will hold third public meeting to weigh all the information presented by city staff, and select the best two/three options. Again, the Special Task Force will use all avenues available, market the meeting in a way that encourages Surprise residents to attend and submit ideas and discuss pros and cons of each idea. Special Task Force will present its recommendations to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled City Council Workshop. City Council will either recommend that the action item be brought forward at the next City Council Meeting, or ask that the Special Task Force perform additional work. The Special Task Force will be dismissed after City Council Action.

Did You Know?

City Opens Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Process

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council has set aside $65,000 for FY2018-2019 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 3, and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality
Attention: Jodi Tas
City of Surprise
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Tuesday, July 10, at 11:00 a.m. at Surprise City Hall, Council Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise is Seeking Instructors

Do you have a special skill or hobby you would like to teach others? The City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department is now recruiting instructors and proposals for special interest classes; such as, dance and fitness, art, preschool, cooking and STEM.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal or becoming an instructor with the City of Surprise, please contact us at 623.222.2000 or email recreation@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 5, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Surprise Youth Council Update

As the end of the school year approaches each year, our Surprise Youth Council provides City Council with an update of their activities, accomplishments and future plans. Last May, new members were inducted to SYC. SYC Administrator Mike Cassidy wanted to increase the outreach to youth in Surprise by increasing the Youth Council membership.

This most definitely proved successful. In doing so, community events were also expanded. In addition to participating in the Surprise Veterans Day Parade and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day of Celebration and Service, SYC participated in several service projects including but not limited to the Adaptive Recreation Buddy Ball program, Surprise Fiesta Grande preparation, Taste of Surprise, Project Connect and the District 4 Block Party. The group is passionate about many concerns we all share including mental and emotional health and wellness of their peers. As such, they participated in Bloom 365 and partnered with Eve’s Place which both involved education of teen violence.

Members of SYC continue to have opportunities to thrive, serve and further develop. They’ve participated in a variety of workshops and screenings, radio appearances, panel discussions and camps. We have members who serve on the Governor’s Youth Commission, a member that has been successfully growing her own charities and has been featured on TV and magazines, a member that has been given the opportunity to attend Harvard University this summer as part of a leadership event. Many have been given scholarships and who are attending top universities in our country.

I am very proud of this group of incredible young leaders who are giving back and making a difference in our city. Please join me in congratulating them on their hard-earned successes.

Ambulatory Enterprise Fund and Sports & Tourism

This was the fifth in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY2019 Budget. This presentation focused on the Ambulance Enterprise Fund and the new Sports and Tourism Department’s FY2018 status and the action items for the upcoming fiscal year. The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) began ambulance service for Surprise residents in FY2016. As of December 31, 2017, there are three ambulances in service. In the fall of 2018 SFMD plans to put the fourth ambulance in service.

The new Sports & Tourism Department was formed in fall of 2017. An overview presentation was given of accomplishments over the first year of operations to include tennis tournaments, Arizona Fall League, college baseball and Major League Baseball Spring Training. For the FY2019 budget, the Finance Department will work with Sports & Tourism and Community & Recreation Services to separate the departments’ finances and assets that are currently comingled. The respective departments will also be updating their cost recovery philosophy and user fees in FY2019 and bringing them to council for consideration.

City Council Meeting

General Obligation Bond Purchase

City Council authorized staff to proceed with the first bond sale related to the General Obligation Bond Election approved by voters last fall. Tuesday night’s vote coincided with Standard and Poor’s (S&P) upgrade of the city’s General Obligation (GO) Bond rating from AA- to AA. The higher the rating, the lower the investment risk to the bond purchasers and the interest rate to the city on the borrowed funds.

This first sale of bonds will not exceed $40 million and will be used to fund public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation projects. The remaining nearly $20 million in bonds will be sold at a later time to meet with future project timelines. The expected next sale would be in summer 2020.

The principal and interest payments will be paid for through a secondary property tax. The first bond issuance will result in a secondary property tax of $0.42 per $100 of assessed limited property value, which will begin in the next fiscal year, starting July 1, 2018.

Events & Meetings

Arizona Charter Academy Annual Community Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

Arizona Charter Academy (ACA) hosted their annual Community Volunteer Appreciation lunch on Thursday, March 29. CEO Melissa Holdaway acknowledged her appreciation of the city and partners who help ACA each year.

Surprise Police Department Retirement

The Surprise Police Department held a retirement ceremony at the Public Safety Auditorium on March 29, 2017 to honor Officer Terry Vernon-Reppert. Terry joined the Surprise Police Department in February 1993 and served 25 years.

Officer Terry Vernon-Reppert retirement ceremony from Surprise Police Department

Pinnacle Vein & Vascular Center Ribbon Cutting

Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center hosted a ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 29. They are located at 12361 W. Bola Drive, Suite 100 in Surprise. Dr. Baljeet Uppal has been provided vein and vascular services for almost 25 years. Welcome, Dr. Uppal!

Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center Grand Opening

Read On Greater Surprise Steering Committee Meeting

I was invited to attend the Read On Great Surprise Steering Committee meeting on Friday, March 30 at Northwest Regional Library. Donna Davis provided an update from Expect More Arizona. Updates were also provided on the Raising a Reader program, summer kinder readiness through Nadaburg School District and participation in upcoming vendor events.

Mark Your Calendar

Taste of Surprise

The much anticipated Taste of Surprise is this Saturday, April 7 from 4 pm until 9 pm at Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. More than 50 local restaurants, beer, wine and spirit vendors will be ready for the crowd! There is also an incredible line-up of entertainment scheduled for the entire event. Plan on bringing your dancing shoes because there will be a dance floor too! Last year, this event raised well over $40,000 for five local non-profit organizations.

For more information and tickets, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/. Tickets are available at the gate as well. General admission tickets include unlimited food samples and entry into the drawing for an Australian vacation for two.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, presents Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival on April 8 with live music performed by Notes from Neptune! Please join us from 4 – 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N Bullard Avenue.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be on leashes. For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Surprise SciTech Festival

Have fun with science and technology, while celebrating Earth Day, at the Surprise SciTech Festival on April 21! The event is free and has something for all ages! Come check out interactive SciTech booths, an incredible line-up of speakers, music and more! Plus, we’ll have delicious food options from local vendors available for purchase.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Outside Courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.Demonstrations and displays include:

  • City of Surprise Fire-Medical, Police, Public Works, Water Resources and other departments
  • Local businesses and colleges (including ASU and Ottawa University)
  • Dysart School District Solar Go Kart and Robotics teams

We also have a variety of amazing speakers lined up for this event. Make plans to watch these exciting and informative presentations in the Surprise City Hall Council Chambers:

  • How the Brain Works (9:00 – 9:50 a.m. and 10:10 – 11:00 a.m.) – Presentation will identify the main parts of the brain and what they do, explore sensory illusions, and teach how to enhance the formation of memories by our brain.
  • When Even The Walking Dead Refuse to Conserve Energy: Sustainable Innovations from the Developing World (11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.) – This talk is aimed at encouraging creative, innovative thinking about sustainability and energy innovations at all scales, in all places, and for all our communities.
  • Science the Earth (12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.) – A discussion on how to bridge cultures through science and human discovery, and how logic and innovation unite our planet in a quest for knowledge.
  • U.S. Manned Space Flight (1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.) – Who were the early astronauts? What ‘firsts’ were accomplished by American astronauts? What happened to the American space program after the moon landings? These and many other questions will be answered and discussed in this presentation.

For more information on the event, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/scitech

Did You Know?

Micro-Enterprise Grants Available to Eligible Surprise Businesses

Applications are currently being accepted for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Micro-enterprise Grant. Under the 2017-2018 CDBG program funding, Micro-enterprise Grant funds were set aside to support innovative small businesses licensed within the city of Surprise that provide services that benefit low income clients.

Eligible city of Surprise-based businesses can apply to receive one of three $20,000 awards to grow their small business. To be considered for the award, applicants must meet eligibility requirements which include:

  • Must have a valid city of Surprise business license
  • Applicants must meet AZ TechCelerator business incubator tenant requirements
  • Business owner is low or moderate income and has five or fewer employees, or business benefits low income clients in the city of Surprise
  • Business objective must focus on scalable technological advancement and innovation as evidenced in an executive plan

Application and supporting documents are due by 2 p.m. Monday, April 30, 2018. For more information about the Micro-enterprise Grant, contact Julie Neal, julie.neal@surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise TV Website Boasts New Layout

Surprise TV, the official channel of the City of Surprise, has a new website with responsive design making it easier for you to watch shows on all your devices! The new layout features a user-friendly schedule guide and recent videos are easily located on the homepage. Plus, descriptions of Surprise shows and city meetings make finding the program you’re looking for more simple.

Watch the channel LIVE from most internet browsers; viewers using Internet Explorer 11 can view archived videos but will need to use a different browser to watch the livestream.

From bi-weekly City Council Meetings to special programs – Surprise TV has what you need to stay informed with city activities. That informative city public service announcement you saw on Facebook @CityofSurprise a couple of weeks ago and can’t remember where it was? It’s on Surprise TV! Watch it again and share it with your friends. Tune in 24-7 to watch your favorite series and stay up to date on the latest city news at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 29, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New Taping of Council Conversations

Late last week, I taped a new Council Conversation for Surprise TV with Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe. The focus of our conversation was centered on the future of Surprise’s water system and the upcoming special election to purchase and acquire Circle City Water Company. You can watch the conversation on Surprise TV, my website or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riUPuNmYLDI&feature=youtu.be.

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of this company in a Special Election on May 15. Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide the city with Circle City’s existing water infrastructure and grow our allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Council Conversations - Skip Hall - Surprise's Water Future

Shops at Elm Street Grand Opening

Thompson Thrift hosted a grand opening celebration for the Shops at Elm Street on Friday, March 23. This development is home to Raising Cane’s, Starbucks, Tokyo Joes, Pieology and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Welcome to District 5, we are excited to have you here and look forward to welcoming your new neighbor to the east- In-N-Out Burger soon!

Shops at Elm Street Grand Opening with Mayor Wolcott, Vice Mayor Tande, Councilmember Remley, Councilmember Duffy, Councilmember Winters and Councilmember Hall.

Cal Ripken Parade of Teams

The 16th Annual Cal Ripken Baseball/Babe Ruth Girls Softball/Bambino Buddy Ball Day was held at the Spring Training game on Saturday, March 24. The day featured a parade of teams and coaches consisting of almost 2,000 athletes and volunteer coaches. Book Downs, a 10 year old softball participant, read the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Pledge and Jacob Divis from our Buddy Ball program threw out the first pitch! Many thanks to our Community and Recreation Services team for their work with these successful programs each year!

The 16th Annual Cal Ripken Baseball/Babe Ruth Girls Softball/Bambino Buddy Ball Day

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Mock Crash

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) was awarded a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to enhance DUI Alcohol Education and Awareness throughout the city. SFMD partnered with Surprise Police Department, Native Air (medical helicopter service), the Dysart Unified School District and Willow Canyon High School to coordinate a drunk/distracted driving mock crash for more than 2,000 students at Willow Canyon High School. Last year, through the same funding mechanism and partners, the event took place at Valley Vista High School.

Mark Your Calendar

Lunchtime Theater

The City of Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the West Valley Arts Council in partnership with Theater Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are hosting the last musical of the 2017-2018 performing arts luncheon series. Forever Plaid is one of the most popular musicals in recent memory. It is chock full of classic barbershop and pitch-perfect harmony about four men who share their love of music.

The event is scheduled for April 5 at Noon at the West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, in Surprise. Tickets are $10. For tickets, please contact 623.935.6384.

Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan – Feedback Requested

Thank you to everyone who submitted comments on our Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan draft! Staff utilized that feedback to create a revised version. We would also like your feedback on this version. Once this last round of feedback is incorporated, the plan will be presented to the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and in June, to the City Council for discussion, consideration and possible adoption.

The master plan is intended to set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in our community. You can visit it at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsmasterplan to read the revised draft and offer your comments by April 8. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134 or joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov.

2018 Surprise Retail Survey

It’s time to take the 2018 Surprise Retail Survey and recognize your favorite local restaurants and retailers! Since 2015, the city has conducted an annual retail survey. In odd years, we ask for your wish list of restaurants and retailers; and every year we ask you to tell us what establishments top your list of local favorites.

Your TOP 10 restaurants and TOP 5 retail stores and/or service providers will get certificates and window clings that recognize them as a 2018 Local Favorite! Please take a couple of minutes to answer our brief, two-question survey before April 13 to show some love for your local businesses.

Take the survey

Fun Fact: Did you know that the community’s number one “Most-desired Restaurant” in both the 2015 and 2017 retail surveys is opening soon? In-N-Out Burger is under construction on Bell Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue. Plus, other top picks, including Texas Roadhouse and Oregano’s, have already opened up shop in Surprise!

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, April 14. This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires)
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio-medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.1900.

Did You Know?

AZ TechCelerator Welcomes New Global Concierge Program Clients

The AZ TechCelerator recently welcomed two new Global Concierge Program clients, MagQu, LLC and Meditar! MagQu, LLC is a Taiwanese company that has developed dozens of products, such as in-vitro diagnostic assay kits and analyzers for colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s Syndrome, and more. They plan to identify an early diagnosis blood marker for Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.

Meditar joins the AZTechCelerator as an Affiliate Member through our Global Concierge Program. Meditar is an advanced managed healthcare company in Latin America, headquartered in Argentina. Meditar will focus on becoming a leading provider of advanced medical care on an international level by offering high-complexity medical care to national and international patients without the wait and at a price they can afford.

Welcome to Surprise!

The Impact of Surprise Sundancers

Did you know it takes about 200 volunteers each Surprise Spring Training game to create the ultimate fan experience? The Surprise Sundancers are the official volunteer organization for the city’s Spring Training activities and other special events… and they are always looking for new team members!

Watch this short video to meet some of our amazing Sundancers and see how you can get involved!

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PitwfSJ9kA&feature=youtu.be

The Sundancers are an incredible organization. Thank you for all you do for Surprise!

Early Voting Open at Surprise City Hall

Beginning March 28, Surprise City Hall is open for early voting for Congressional District 8 seat and the May 15 Special City Election. Ballots have been mailed to all voters on the Permanent Early Voter (PEV) list so if you haven’t already received your ballot, you soon will.

Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, will be open for voting Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on the following Saturdays: March 31, April 7 and April 14, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Polls are closed on Sundays. Friday, April 20 is the last day for early voting. On Election Day, Tuesday, April 24, polls will be open 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/2018election.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Pure Physique PilateZ Studio and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Center on Thursday, April 20. The Center is located at 14815 W. Bell Road. Pure Physique PilateZ offers a variation of pilates equipment and a full barre studio. Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation offers IV nutrition, anti-aging, injury management, medical weight loss and much more. Welcome to District 5!

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

The Surprise Police Department held their annual Police Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Roland Winters and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today.

Chief Terry Young expressed his sincere appreciation for the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the employees and volunteers to the Police Department and to the City of Surprise. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo-Vallet.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association hosted their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event was well attended and included a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show. Thank you to WHAM’s Executive Director, Connie Whitlock, and her team for having this event each year!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 25. The meeting included a panel discussion on Economic Development led by featured speaker and moderator Jim Rounds. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic served as a panelist. Discussion surrounded how cities have been prioritizing economic development opportunities with limited financial resources and how the West Valley cities are taking a regional approach to attracting companies and jobs.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

The Surprise Police Explorer Post #2236 is partnering with a local business, Chipotle, for an upcoming fund raising event. The event will be held at Chipotle, 13869 West Bell Road in Surprise, on Friday, April 28 from 5 – 9 p.m.

Please remember to bring in a copy of the flyer (view flyer) or show a copy of the flyer on your smart phone or other electronic device in order to help the Explorers raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Surprise Police Explorers).

Chipotle is located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Bell Road in Surprise.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Come shop at the semiannual Surprise Super Swap Meet on Saturday, April 29. More than 50 vendors will have new and used treasures on display from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatics Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

The Surprise Swap Meet is sponsored by the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee met on April 19. The Committee was briefed by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council in a May Work Session. Pending Council approval, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Musical Surprise
Son Glow Boutique
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.

Contact Me

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

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March 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotional ceremony on March 23, 2017 to recognize the promotions of Lieutenant Norman Owens, Sergeant Michael Jalbert and Property and Evidence Supervisor Sarah Welch.

Lieutenant Norman Owens began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Throughout his service with MCSO, Norm served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and a narcotics detective with the MCSO Special Investigations Division. Lieutenant Owens joined the Surprise Police Department in 2001 and has served as the Off-Duty/Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer, Detective, Training Unit Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and most recently as the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Sergeant Michael Jalbert joined the Surprise Police Department in August of 2005 and has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Detective. Sergeant Jalbert is currently serving as a Field Training Officer and is on the Department’s SWAT team.

Sarah Welch began employment with the Police Department in February 2007 and has been an integral part of the Property and Evidence Unit for the past 9 years. Sarah was instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s gun trade-in program and the electronic barcode evidence tracking system.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch
Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch

Congratulations to all of them on their promotions!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Stadium hosted a parade for our city’s Cal Ripken players on Saturday, March 25 prior to the regularly scheduled spring training game. This is one of my favorite events every year as it provides Council an opportunity to welcome the players for another season. This year, there are 140 teams, 1,800 participants and 350 volunteer coaches. Thank you to Paul Frie, Community and Recreation Services Recreation Division Manager and Arizona Cal Ripken Commissioner, and his team for their work each year putting together this successful program!

National League of Cities Debrief

I met with staff on Monday, March 27 for a post-trip debrief on the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the sessions attended by staff and Councilmembers, we had a series of highly productive meetings aimed at accomplishing several objectives. Some of those objectives included the request of support from our Congressional representatives for opportunities related to funding the transportation needs of our growing city and collaborating to identify ways to meet transit and transportation needs in Surprise in a fiscally pragmatic manner.

In order to continue the conversation relative to transit and transportation needs in Surprise, Council will consider a request in the FY18 budget discussions to fund a demand study which will identify both transit demands and appropriate solutions to meet those demands. This item will be considered along with the other requests for funding in the coming fiscal year.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast Meeting

Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Ken Remley and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Scott Phillips, Vice President of Carefree Partners Investments, provided an update on City Center. The goal of Carefree Partners, in partnership with the City, is to create a downtown, walkable city center from scratch.

A project of this caliber will take patience and perseverance as we try to build the right mix of commerce, culture, recreation, entertainment, ingenuity and energy. Retail trends have changed due to the popularity of online shopping, and we are diligently working on an ever changing model. The future downtown will include major employment, Ottawa University, dense residential living, a multitude of entertainment and food options plus much more. In summary, this is a very unique public private partnership for a project of this size in the state, if not the entire country.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The Surprise Literacy Challenge this year utilized partnerships with Surprise Friends of the Library and the local branch of the Maricopa County Library District to bring an engaging program to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Surprise. Through the use of bingo cards with 25 various challenges, students were engaged in literacy in many new and unique ways beyond just reading a book.

Ten schools participated this year with more than 2,200 students taking part of the challenge. I’m happy to report that the winners are Arizona Charter Academy’s 4th grade class led by Mrs. Wernet, Cimarron Springs’ 5th grade class led by Ms. Mohaupt and Kingswood Park Elementary’s 6th grade class led by Ms. Johnson. Congratulations!

Celebrating Expansion in Surprise

Luv 2 Play hosted a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Luv 2 Play is an indoor playground and arcade for children ages 0-12. They also have menu options for parents and kids alike! For more information, please visit http://luv2play.com/surprise/.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool. There will be 56 one-bedroom and 80 larger two-bedroom floor plans.

Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste; mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, April 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio–medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

The 2017 Taste of Surprise proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.

Did You Know?

Greenway Road – Litchfield Road Intersection Improvement Work to Begin

Drivers can expect lane restrictions around the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads from March 30 through May 8 as crews perform utility work and correct a dip in the intersection.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for the final weekend of the project. The intersection will close Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. and reopen Monday, May 8 at 5 a.m.

This work will complete the final phase of the Greenway Road Improvement Project. Last summer, the city completed the widening portion of the Greenway Road project between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue; the project also included landscaped medians, drainage improvements and sidewalks.

For more information, please call 623.222.6000.

Contact Me

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

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March 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project

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

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

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

Events & Meetings

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

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

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual Party

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

Opening Day @ Surprise Stadium

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

Surprise Youth Council Event

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

Economic Development Event @ Surprise Stadium

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

Mark Your Calendar

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

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

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

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

Citywide Text Amendment to Chapter 113

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

Did You Know?

Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Wins State Title

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

West Valley Agencies Join Together To Enhance Police Services

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

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

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

City Ambulance Service Grows

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

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

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

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

Contact Me

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

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November 3, 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. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, to paint the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

**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

FY2016 Financial Status Report

Assistant Finance Director Jared Askelson presented the 2016 fiscal year end Financial Status Report. Local sales tax exceeded original estimates by $400,000; state shared revenue increased by $200,000 due to stronger than expected vehicle license tax; charges for services exceeded original estimates by $1.4 million due to increases from spring training, community development, and public works revenues. Due to the approximate increase in revenues and decrease in expenditures, the estimated General Fund balance is $3.3 million higher than originally anticipated.

City Council Meeting

Neighborhood Grant Program Recommendations

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson provided the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants funding recommendations for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The Committee recommended funding for Marley Park (Veteran Commemorative Plaza) for $3,000 and Sanalina HOA (water conservation and playground equipment) for $3,000. The City Council unanimously approved funding.

The Committee has extended the grant program through November 30, 2016. If you are interested, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3406/Neighborhood-Grant-Program.

Reopening of Bell Road – Celebration Activities

The City of Surprise is preparing activities to celebrate the reopening of Bell Road and thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their patience during the closure. The activities are scheduled for November 21. Specific event details will be available soon. Arizona Department of Transportation announced earlier last month that the target date for the reopening is scheduled for November 22.

The Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor is still an active construction zone. While Bell Road will reopen on November 22, Grand Avenue will be inaccessible from the Bell Road bridge and vice versa. A detour route will be in place to allow for connection between those roads until project completion in early 2017.

Events & Meetings

New Real Estate Brokerage Office – Ribbon Cutting

Council Members Jim Hayden, Todd Tande and I joined members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting celebration of the Leolinda Realty office in Sun City Grand on Wednesday, October 26. We wish her the best in her new office!

ribbon cutting

Torque Trends Unveils Electric City Truck

President and CEO of Torque Trends, located in the AZ TechCelerator, hosted the unveiling of the converted City of Surprise Ford F-150 work truck to an electric engine on Wednesday, October 26. The conversion allows the truck to travel between 50 to 75 miles before requiring a charge, therefore saving money and reducing our carbon footprint.

City of Surprise electric truck

Annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting

City Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Jim Hayden and I joined staff, state legislators and local business leaders at our Annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, October 27 at Surprise Stadium. This year, the focus was on economic development partnerships, our Veteran Job Club success, and our upcoming legislative agenda. The state legislators included State Senators Don Shooter and Judy Burges as well as State Representative David Livingston.

GAIN Night

GAIN Night was held on Saturday, October 29 at 8-Acre Park, and the event had record-breaking attendance. Representatives from public safety and city management were present, and the Water Resource Management Department provided a demonstration on solid waste and water resources.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for Saturday, November 19. More than 70 vendors will be onsite at the popular community-wide swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave.

Annual Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is scheduled for Friday, December 2 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. This free event features fun for the entire family. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Did You Know?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise Revenue Bond and Long Term Default Ratings

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’. A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”

Contact Me

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

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September 1, 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 continues as follows:

  • 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.

Events & Meetings

Youth Services Administrator Interviews

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I joined staff to interview the final three candidates for the Youth Services Administrator on Monday, August 22. Former Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has accepted a promotional opportunity within the city which led to this opening. Congratulations to Paul!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, August 23. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided a city update. With many thanks to him and the staff, there are many great things happening in Surprise.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference began on Tuesday, August 23. This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with other Council Members throughout the state, network with agencies who work with Surprise and help build the momentum the City Council has been able to achieve.

Part of this year’s conference included meetings with Cox Communications regarding digital contour and EPCOR regarding their plans to combine their water districts. In addition, I was able to attend several sessions including the impact of military bases in Arizona, how communities can make progress toward a future workforce, and innovative programs that have shown success for cities. City Council attended a focus group discussion on why our youth leave the State; Surprise was represented by our very own Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Member Samantha Salazar. Following the youth session, members of SYC competed in the Democraseed Challenge and placed third in the challenge. The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship partnered to with the Challenge to foster creative civic engagement projects. Congratulations to our SYC team!

Councilman John Williams and I received service awards during the Legislative and Service Award Luncheon on Thursday, August 25. Congratulations to John on his years of service. I have enjoyed serving with you!

Boards & Commissions Interviews

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I interviewed candidates for the City’s current Boards & Commissions vacancies. Recommendations will be made to the full City Council at the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 6. There are two vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission, one vacancy on the Board of Trustees, two vacancies on the Personnel Appeals Board, two vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission and three vacancies on the Tourism Advisory Board.

Desert Premier Home Realty Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

District 5 has another new business! Desert Premier Home Realty celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, August 30. Desert Home Premier is a real estate agency that focuses on homes for sale in Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria, Goodyear, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale and other areas near Phoenix. Best wishes to the owners, Jay and Lynn Otlewski, on their new location!

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Civic Center Hosting Two Art Events

It’s an evening of art at Surprise Civic Center on September 8. Experience a showcase of fine art photography at Surprise City Hall, followed by an art exhibition at Arts HQ.

The City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is hosting an event featuring the photography work of artist Archie Tucker in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, from 4-5 p.m. Then from 5-7 p.m., Arts HQ presents the opening reception for its exhibit, Exhibicion de Arte, at its gallery located at 16126 N Civic Center Plaza.

Both events are free. For more information on the showcase, please call 623.214.7537. For more information on the Arts HQ exhibit, please call 623.584.2626.

Free Marketing Workshop

If you are looking for tips and tactics to promote your business free of charge, the city is hosting a Guerilla Marketing workshop on September 8. The workshop will be taught by marketing and business author Al Lautenslager, and each attendee will receive a copy of his book, “Market Like You Mean It”.

The workshop will be held from 10-11:30 am at the AZ TechCelerator-Building D, located at 12425 W. Bell Road. To reserve a spot, please call 623.222.3322.

Did You Know?

Primary Election Results

Surprise voters elected two new city councilmembers in Districts 2 and 4, returned an incumbent to District 3 and re-elected the mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The news is based on preliminary, unofficial results reported by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Running unopposed, Sharon Wolcott was re-elected as mayor, having received 14,243 votes or 97% of the vote.

In District 2, Jim Hayden defeated incumbent Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, with a vote tally of 3,289 votes (57%), versus Biundo’s 2,483 votes (43%).

In District 3, incumbent Councilmember John Williams defeated Gisele Norberg. Williams received 1,057 votes (57%) to Norberg’s 781 votes (43%).

In District 4, with 998 votes (57%), Ken Remley defeated incumbent Rachel Villanueva who received 754 votes or (43%).

All positions carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2020. New terms begin on January 1, 2017.

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by September 5th, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Contact Me

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

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IRIS USA Ribbon Cutting

The Surprise City Council helped IRIS USA mark the opening of their new 400,000+ sq ft facility on May 3, 2016. The Council participated in the official ribbon cutting, along with IRIS Ohyama Inc. President Kentaro Ohayama, IRIS USA Chairman Akihiro Ohyama and IRIS USA President Chet Keizer.

November 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update

The City of Surprise has a unique and largely undeveloped planning area full of potential for recreation amenities such as open space, trails and new facilities. With the assistance of Community & Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff, a consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, while benchmarking locally and nationally, and summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations.

In 2014, a public survey was completed, and over the past few months our CRS Department held several workshops with the CRS Advisory Commission led by chairman Wayne Turner. Workshops included setting master plan goals, and establishing standards as well as general design guidelines and principals. Some of the goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks, promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which would include one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space.

A draft plan has been reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission (October 2015) as well as stakeholders such as the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The goal is to update the plan and align with the General Plan update for approval in December 2015.

We are committed to providing quality parks and recreation programs and facilities while contributing to the economic well-being of the city.

City Council Meeting

Legacy Traditional School Recognition

The newest school in our community led the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening, Legacy Traditional School. Four students – Samantha Morris, Arianna Diaz, Jason Miller and Sasha Soto – who are part of their National Junior Honor Society were able to discuss the school for a few minutes.

Legacy Traditional School began in 2007 with the first campus in Maricopa, AZ. It was formed from a simple concept of education excellence and patriotism. Today, all Legacy campuses are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education and in 2015, Legacy was voted the #1 charter school by Ranking Arizona. Congratulations to Legacy for their successes, and best wishes for many more!

FY2016 Budget Status

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update on our financial status through September for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The actual collections for our General Fund revenue budget through September totaled $12.1 million which is a positive variance of 7% above the budgeted amount of $11.3 million. Local sales tax collections are currently continuing the trend that FY2015 ended on, with actuals exceeding the budget by $0.2 million (FY16 budget is $3.1 million compared to $3.3 million actual). Construction sales tax is up 57% over budget and all other local sales taxes are up 3.5% over budget. State shared revenue actuals exceed budget by $0.1 million which is slightly better than expected, as is the vehicle license tax revenue. Actuals for charges for services have exceeded the budget as well, as FY16 budget is $1.9 million compared to FY16 actuals of $2.4 million. General Fund uses are tracking $4.1 million below budget, but most of that variance is due to timing of payments rather than actual savings. Though too early to modify year end estimates, the General Fund is performing better than budgeted through the end of the first quarter.

FY2016 Budget Amendment for Dial-A-Ride Cap Increases

The City currently contracts with Valley Metro for our Dial-a-Ride service. The current cap for weekday one-way trips is 140. By increasing the cap, the City will have the ability to provide more demand service for transit to ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities.

The annual impact of increasing the weekday cap for one-way trips is $116,000 which will support an additional 5,040 one-way trips for ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities, as well as the general public. The $68,900 increase approved by this item will support an additional 3,000 one-way trips through the end of FY2016.

The City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment of $68,900 from the General Fund Contingency (one-time) to the General Fund Transit contract services. The annual increase will be submitted as part of the FY2017 budget process.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa Water District (MWD)

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe requested consideration and action authorizing the City Manager to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Maricopa Water District (MWD) for use of MWD’s Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) to store Surprise’s Central Arizona Project (CAP) water.

By entering into this agreement with MWD, the City would avoid annual CAP underground storage charges of approximately $10 per acre foot for 2016 for water delivered to MWD’s GSF. In addition to the expected savings from annual CAP storage charges, MWD also pays for waters delivered to their service area to offset their groundwater usage. The actual amount of savings and revenue generated is dependent on the amount of power MWD saves by not having to pump groundwater. The agreement was unanimously approved.

Events & Meetings

New Park Dedications

The Surprise City Council attended the ribbon cutting celebrations for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14. Veramonte Community Park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue and this park now features restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and several other park amenities. The Surprise Farms Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

I’d like extend my appreciation to Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and the remainder of the CRS team and CRS Advisory Commission for all of their efforts planning and building these parks for our residents.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Veterans were the focus of this meeting and the key-note speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Frana who is the Commander of the 62nd Fighter Squadron with Luke Air Force Base.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, November 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting with Seth Dyson, the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality, and Christina Ramirez, Neighborhood Services Manager. The City team focused on the Neighborhood Services programs such as the Surprise Academies, HOA Continuing Education, the Mediation Program, the Block Party Trailer Program, and the Summer Youth Employment Program. City sponsored events such as Community Pride Day were also discussed.

Additional conversation pertained to income-qualified programs offered by the City for painting of the exterior of houses.

Mark Your Calendar

Stormwater Public Hearings

We have begun hosting a series of public meetings to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

Additionally, the implementation of a Stormwater Utility will allow the city to better comply with the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the National Pollutant Discharge Systems Permit which is administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Currently, all stormwater activities, including regulatory compliance, asset management, and capital improvement, are funded by the wastewater fund, general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). A designated Stormwater Utility will relieve burden from those funds and will be responsible for revenue generation, operational costs and Capital Improvement Project development and management.

Residents are encouraged to attend the following public meetings to learn more about the proposed Stormwater Utility and rate structure. For the residential customer, the proposed rate would be an approximate $2 line item added to your monthly utility bill.

The next meetings will take place on December 2 from 6-7:30 pm at the Community Room at City Hall and on December 3 from 6-7:30 pm at the Villanueva Recreation Center (15660 N. Hollyhock Street). The Water Resource Management Department intends to bring this before Council in the 1st quarter of next year for action.

General Plan Amendment Meeting

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at an upcoming public hearing. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meeting:

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. For questions or to submit a written comment, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

14th Annual Surprise Party

The City will host our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Please join us welcome the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, live music, balloon glow, skydivers and fireworks on Friday, December 4 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 8 Acre Park – 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. The party will continue on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation.

Did You Know?

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality – New Director

Seth Dyson was recently hired as the new Director for the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. This Department hosts the Neighborhood Services, Senior Services and Grant Administration divisions with the overall goal of building partnerships to improve the overall quality of life for all of our Surprise residents.

Mr. Dyson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. Before joining the City, Seth served as the Community Partnerships & Workforce Development Director for the Maricopa County Community College District. He is an Arizona native and now lives in Surprise with his family.

Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality
Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality

Please join me in wishing Seth the best of luck with his new career endeavor!

Newsletter Update/Office Closing

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, City Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. I will not distribute a newsletter next week.

I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and your continued support. I wish you a wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live them.” JFK

Contact Me

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

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