Tag Archives: ribbon cuttings

Councilmember Jack Hastings January Newsletter

Happy New Year and 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.

Groundbreaking for Village at Prasada

Friday, December 3, I, along with Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Duffy, and Councilmembers Winters, Cline and Judd joined SimonCRE for a Ground Breaking ceremony! Josh Simon, President of SimonCRE, held the ceremony in honor of the beginning of the Village at Prasada near Loop 303 & Waddell Rd.! The Village at Prasada is the first major power center on the West Coast in over a decade! Thank you for choosing Surprise!

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Duffy, and Councilmembers Hastings, Winters, Cline and Judd joined SimonCRE for a Ground Breaking ceremony.

Paws & Relax

Councilmember Hastings with a Pet Partners Therapy Animal.On Tuesday, December 7, I joined Ottawa’s student activities team along with Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program in the Student Union at their Paws and Relax event. Pet Partners’ mission is to improve human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. Visit petpartners.org to learn more.


Surprise Party

The Surprise Party Christmas tree.Friday, December 3, Mayor and Council attended the tree lighting ceremony to kick off the Annual Surprise Party in front of Surprise Stadium. Thank you to the community for coming out to enjoy another successful holiday celebration, and to our Surprise Parks and Recreation team for all they do to make this a Winter Wonderland in the desert.

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

The 10th annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, presented by Thunderbird Artists and the City of Surprise, returns January 7-9, 2022.

The event will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Admission is $3 and is cash only.

Live music and a variety of food trucks will add to the atmosphere of the art arena. In addition to tasty meals, there will be plenty of goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth, including kettle corn, caramels and ice cream.

For more information about the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, please contact Thunderbird Artists at 480.837.5637 or visit thunderbirdartists.com.

Surprise Christmas Tree Drop-Off

Christmas tree disposalThe City of Surprise is offering four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience now through January 18, 2022 at the following locations:

  • Bi-Centennial Park
    16705 N. Nash St. (south end of the parking
  • Surprise Recreation Campus / Youth Baseball Complex
    15795 N. Parkview Pl. (across from Valley Vista High
  • Dick McComb Softball Park
    17894 Westpark Blvd. (parking lot on corner of 180th Ave & Westpark Blvd.)
  • Asante Community Park
    16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (parking lot at the north end of the park)

Please be sure to remove all decorations before dropping off trees, and place them in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. For more information, please call 623.222.1900.

Fire Stations 304 & 308

On Tuesday, December 14, the City of Surprise held a shared Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in celebration of two Surprise fire stations built in 2021; Fire Station 304 in our northern area and 308 in southeast Surprise. The ceremony included remarks from Mayor Skip Hall, Councilmember Roland Winters, Councilmember Chris Judd and Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. Thank you to all Surprise voters who made these projects possible!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.The City of Surprise is excited to announce two events honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January 2022. The programs are for all ages and will include a variety of local musicians, performers and speakers.

  • Wednesday, January 12 – MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections
  • Saturday, January 15 – MLK Day of Celebration & Service

Stay up to date on these events at surpriseaz.gov/MLK

2022 Spring Training Packages

Season ticket and mini-plan packages for the 2022 Spring Training Season are on sale now at SurpriseStadium.com. Each ticket option will offer unique perks, savings over the individual game ticket price, choice of the best available seating locations and exclusive access to special season ticket plan holder events and pre-sale opportunities.

Package Pricing:

  • Full Season Plan: Starting at only $210
  • Half Season Plan: Starting at just $105
  • 7 Game Mini-Plans: Starting at ONLY $49

Sunday in the Park

Sunday in the Park returns to Mark Coronado Park in January! Join us on January 23 from 3 – 7 p.m. for live music, various food trucks, an assortment of beer and wine and family-friendly entertainment such as bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train and more! View event details: bit.ly/3sw1lBr. Future dates are February 13 and April 3.

Meet and Greet

Councilmember Hastings meeting thumbnailPlease join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on Saturday, January 8, at 9 a.m. at Sweet Tea, 15278 W. Bell Rd. Suite 102. 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 meetings are January 4 & 18 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.