Tag Archives: Sign Ordinance

March 8, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Recycling Trends

City staff and representatives from Waste Management provided an update on the recycling industry. The industry is facing challenges due to new import restrictions from China and an increase in recycling. China is the largest importer of recyclables in the world and the single largest consumer of recyclable materials generated in North America. The quality of our recycling (making sure we are not contaminating our bins with non-recyclable items) will impact pricing and movement, so quality is important. Suggestions to improve quality included recycling all empty bottles, cans and paper; and eliminating food and liquids as well as plastic bags from recycling containers.

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Finance staff completed the third in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY19 budget. The focus of this session was on the City’s reserve polices and General Fund revenue sources. In FY2018, the City had a total of $38.6 million in reserves across all funds. Per City policy, each individual fund must maintain either a minimum dollar amount or percentage of expenses in reserve. For example, the General Fund has a two-month reserve policy (16.67%) that is broken into three components; 10% for operations, 5% for budget stabilization, and 1.67% for emergencies.

The FY2018 budget includes $124.9 million in General Fund sources which is comprised of intergovernmental revenue, charges for services, local sales tax, primary property tax, and franchise fees. Based on discussion held during this work session, the Finance Department will move forward with the preparation of the City Manager’s Recommended Budget under the assumption that the City will maintain the property tax rate of $0.7591 in FY2019.

City Council Meeting

Text Amendment Regarding Signs

Earlier last month, City Council conducted a public hearing to consider action pertaining to the approval of a text amendment to Chapter 113 of the Surprise Municipal Code regarding signs. At that time, Council directed staff to bring the matter back for further discussion and consideration on March 6, allowing staff time to revise the draft code to address Council’s concerns. On Tuesday, Council discussed the text amendment which included the amendments to A-frame signs and the future installation of billboards along Grand Avenue and Loop 303 to enhance marketing for businesses. City Council voted 5-2 to approve the text amendment with the removal of billboards. The amendments will go into effect on April 5, 2018.

To read the full updated sign code, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Heritage Farms Preliminary Plat

City Council voted 6-1 to approve the Preliminary Plat entitled Heritage Farm located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Waddell Road. The proposed plat will provide 137 lots on approximately 33 acres.

Approval of Agreement Regarding White Tank Mountain Regional Park

City Council unanimously approved an agreement related to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, which included annexation of the Park and the inclusion of the Park in the planning areas of Buckeye and Surprise and our respective general plans, subject to the approval of Maricopa County. In the future, the parties may consider joint development of trails or similar amenities, whether inside or outside the Park.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park rendering

Events & Meetings

Canyon Ridge Elementary School Tour

Young members from Canyon Ridge National Elementary Honor Society visited me to tour City Hall on Wednesday, February 28. We toured the City Council Department and the City Council Chambers where students learned updates about that City and were provided with an opportunity to ask questions about local government.

Canyon Ridge STEAM Night

Canyon Ridge School hosted their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) on Thursday, March 1. The community was welcome to attend the event where all grade levels showcased the STEAM curriculum including coding, astronomy, physics and rocketry. Following a tour by Principal Jill Hoppe, I attended several displays and talked to students about their respective studies, including conversations with the sixth grade class and their “Invention Convention.” The caliber of inventions from some of our youngest entrepreneurs was impressive!

Read Across America

Countryside Elementary School hosted a Read Across America event in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Friday, March 2. I was invited to read to the first grade students in Mrs. Fallon’s class. I am grateful for the opportunities to engage with our youngest residents and encourage literacy!

Councilmember Skip Hall reading to first grade students at Countryside Elementary School

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Event

The Surprise Police Department held their Annual Appreciation Celebration on Friday, March 2 at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. Police employees, volunteers, Councilmembers and family members enjoyed dinner and the awards ceremony. The following employees and volunteers were recognized for their selfless service and commitment to our residents and community.

Rookie of the Year Officer Christopher Smith
Supervisor of the Year Lieutenant Norman Owens
Civilian of the Year Kenneth Augusto
Detective of the Year Kristy Coats
Officer of the Year Richard (Rick) Malone
Volunteer of the Year George Busch
Citizens Patrol Member of the Year Kathryn Jonas
Distinguished Service Award Tina Jennings
Lifesaving Award Officer Christopher Smith
Lifesaving Award Officer Russell Jurn

Surprise Spring Training 5k

The city hosted its inaugural Spring Training 5K on Friday, March 2 at Surprise Stadium. A total of 284 participants ran the course. More than 100 of the participants lived outside of Surprise; 38 were from outside of Arizona; and four were from outside of the US. The race started and ended in the Stadium and highlighted our fantastic recreation campus including the Community Park, tennis complex and Ottawa University Arizona sports field. Other highlights included a fun atmosphere with music, snacks and beverages. Staff plans to make this race an annual event and grow the number of participants.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Clean Up Event

Calling all Surprise residents! The city will be hosting our next free residential waste drop-off for you on Saturday, March 10. This event allows residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste, free of charge, at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road. The event will be held from 7 am until 1 pm. Acceptable items include lawn waste and other typical household refuse.

Please note that proof of Surprise residency is required. Additionally, hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this time. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event on April 14 from 8 am until 12 noon at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive. For more information, please call our customer service line at 623.222.1900.

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 March 11 with live music performed by The Spirited Lads. The event will be held from 4 – 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park (formerly 8-Acre 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.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and unique food trucks that the whole family will love! Don’t forget a blanket or a 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.

Did You Know?

National Citizens Survey Is Online Now

If you did not receive a National Citizens Survey (NCS) by mail, you can take the survey online! You can visit http://bit.ly/surprise2018 and share your thoughts on Surprise as a place to live and work. We want your feedback on transportation, public safety, youth services and so much more! The NCS is conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado. Survey results are anonymous. The city only receives the aggregate results.

Your feedback helps the city to identify services in which we are performing well and lets us know the areas in which we have the opportunity to improve. It also helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

For those households that did receive a paper survey by mail, please complete the paper version and mail back using the postage-paid envelope.

Our last NCS was conducted in 2015 and 90% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” surveyed cities of our size. Residents told us Safety, Mobility and the Economy were most important to them. Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation/transit options, local job choices, education and resident volunteer opportunities.

Since the 2015 survey 3,000 new jobs have been created in Surprise. In addition the Bell-Grand Intersection Improvements were completed in partnership with ADOT; Greenway Road was widened; residents passed a General Obligation Bond to fund projects in Public Safety, Transportation and Pavement Preservation; and our Human Service and Community Vitality Department continues to grow volunteer opportunities, most recently hosting nearly 400 volunteers during the city’s 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration of Service.

On the education front, Ottawa University opened a campus at City Center; West-MEC’s new northwest valley campus opened last summer and Highland Prep began classes last fall.

The last day to take the survey is March 19!

Surprise Baseball Bat Contest Winners

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission sponsored their annual baseball bat decorating contest for students in fifth through eighth grade earlier this year. The theme for this year’s context was science and exploration. Commission Chair Susan de Jong acknowledged the winners at the City Council meeting held on March 6. The winners included grand prize winner Christian Do, 1st prize winner Sydney Do, 2nd prize winner Tiffany Seich and 3rd prize winner Ryan Henderson.

Congratulations to our winners on their creative artwork!

August 3, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

New Enterprise Department Discussion

The mission statement for our city’s Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Department is to “enrich and complement the lives of Surprise residents through stewardship of our resources while providing responsive programs which promote and prioritize diversity, cultural, neighborhood, family, education, recreation and wellness opportunities.” At the same time, CRS is responsible for operating and staffing two world class facilities (baseball and tennis) and coordinating with the Surprise Tourism Commission. City Manager Bob Wingenroth recognizes the opportunity to further enhance the quality of life for our residents and proposed a potential organizational change to create a new department.

Staff is proposing a new Enterprise Department, possibly named the Sports and Tourism Department. This new Department would be business focused with the following primary responsibilities: operation of Surprise Stadium and the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, establish public/private partnerships to construct an aquatics center and a regional recreation complex, coordinate the usage of city sports facilities with Ottawa University and our school district, and work in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Commission to bring regional and national events to Surprise that would increase overnight stays and increase local restaurant and retail business.

The majority of the staffing necessary to build the Sports and Tourism Department would come from CRS divisions. In addition, it will be necessary to establish a director position and a coordinator position at an estimated annual cost of $318,900. There would be estimated start-up costs of $20,000. The potential gains from utilization and tourism dollars flowing to the city with this increased focus will outweigh the increased cost.

Shop Local Program

In 2016, the City partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce on an award-winning “Shop Local” campaign as part of our efforts to help businesses that were impacted by the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge construction. The campaign proved to be successful and as such, staff has received direction from City Council to partner again to explore a citywide Shop Local campaign, leveraging the best practices learned.  The campaign is consistent with the Council’s Strategic Plan to promote jobs and enhance the needs of small businesses, particularly through business retention and expansion activities.

Bell Road and Grand Avenue Monument Signage

Council discussed and provided staff with some direction relative to signage in and around the Bell and Grand overpass. With the construction of the overpass, signage was removed due to expansion of right-of-way and relocation of utilities and easements from properties at the intersection. Staff was able to work with two of the property owners to replace signage along Grand Avenue; however, the signage requested along Bell Road is higher than allowed by code and prior approvals. Council instructed staff to work with those property owners at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Bell Road to find amenable solutions to signage to provide visibility to the businesses while looking at impacts relative to the view shed.

Temporary Signage Discussion

A discussion on temporary signage was brought to the City Council during Tuesday’s Work Session. City Council had received concerns from residents and business owners relative to signage directing traffic to businesses and public services such as churches and events in and around the City. Currently, the City sign code does not allow for temporary signage such as A-frames and sandwich boards. City staff has been working on revising the sign code. Under the draft code, the City is looking to allow signage for lawful temporary events that would include signage such as A-frames and sandwich boards.

Staff presented Council with the option to enact the temporary sign portion of the draft code prior to the full code being adopted. This would assist business during the update process and allow staff to obtain data on how best to address temporary signage in the final sign code adoption.

Council voiced their understanding of the need for signage to promote businesses and events around the City and instructed staff to “beta-test” the temporary signage portion of the draft sign code under a new Temporary Sign Policy. That Temporary Sign Policy will be discussed and deliberated upon by City Council at their September 5, 2017 meeting.

I also want to share a bit of history with you on the city’s use of temporary sign policies to give you a better picture of how we got here.

In 2009, during the great recession, Council enacted Resolution 09-151 which allowed temporary signs; Council extended it in 2012 for one year. Then, in March of 2016, the City enacted the Bell Road Temporary Sign Policy (Resolution 2016-42) in order to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell and Grand Overpass Project. The City Wide Temporary Sign Policy was then approved again in April of 2016 under resolution 2016-43 for the entire City limits. In February 2017, after the completion of Bell and Grand Avenue Overpass construction, the City approved resolutions 2017-20 and 2017-21. These resolutions repealed the City Wide Temporary Sign Policy and the Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Temporary Use Permit Policy.

City Council Meeting

2017 Summer Youth Interns

Each year, the City’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department sponsors a Summer Youth Employment Program for teens residing in Surprise. This year, 25 interns were selected to participate from over 70 applicants. Interns were permitted to work up to 25 hours a week. Each Monday, they received Life Skills training which included information on how to prepare for interviews, how to put together resumes, interviewing and job readiness skills and much more. All 25 interns were recognized at the City Council meeting. Many thanks to our HSCV team led by Director Seth Dyson for their dedication to this fantastic program that grooms our teens for life!

Surprsie Summer Youth Interns group photo
2017 Summer Youth Interns

Maricopa County Work Force Development Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Maricopa County is a designated as a Local Workforce Development Area under the federal WIOA.

The County operates two (2) comprehensive Workforce Development One Stop Career Centers (Centers) under WIOA. The Centers provide employment-related services to job-seekers and employers in Maricopa County. Job seekers can access services such as workshops on job search and job retention skills; assessment tools for measuring interests, aptitude and skills; career exploration; vocational counseling, funding assistance for occupational skills training and job placement assistance. Resources such as computers, fax machines and copiers are available to assist in job search activities. The Centers hold job fairs for local employers recruiting employees to fill vacant positions. The Centers also provide transition assistance for local employers who experience a reduction in force and, therefore, must lay-off employees. The City will house a satellite office for the County through the approval of this Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa County. The services provided in the Resource Center will benefit job seekers and employers who cannot travel to access services in the County’s Centers.

The Intergovernmental Agreement was approved on Consent Agenda. This action will allow our HSCV Department to offer Workforce Development Services from the Surprise Resource Center with a full-time Workforce Development Coordinator.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Plan

The city received an allotment of Community Development Block Grant funding of $638,560 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for year 2017-2018. Of this amount, $95,784 is being awarded to non-profits to provide social services to Surprise residents. These non-profits include Aid to Adoption of Special Kids, Benevilla, CASS, Surprise Community Action Program, Mentally Ill Kids in Distress, SoJourner, St. Mary’s Food Bank, and the Sun Health Foundation. Remaining funds will be utilized for neighborhood infrastructure improvements, micro-enterprise grants, emergency home repair, and associated administrative costs.

Events & Meetings

Project Connect

The city’s Human Service & Community Vitality Department (HSCV) recently partnered with Salvation Army and United Way for the comprehensive event, Project Connect, which provided the homeless with basic services and connection to resources. The event was held on Wednesday, July 26 at Salvation Army in Surprise. HSCV Director Seth Dyson was informed that we had 216 guests.

Project Connect infographic

Water Resource Management Department Meeting

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I attended our Water Resource Management Department’s “All Hands” quarterly meeting on Wednesday, July 26. Director Terry Lowe provided an update on the department and an overview of their budget while Department managers also provided updates on their respective areas. Afterwards, we were given a tour of a demonstration project.

Decide Surprise 2017 Bond Meeting

2017 Decide Surprise Bond Election banner

Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I were asked to join Mayor Sharon Wolcott on Tuesday, August 1 at Marley Park for a meeting with a select group of residents to discuss the Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Election that will be on the November ballot. Surprise voters will decide three separate bond questions in the areas of public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation. The mail-ballot only election will be November 7, but ballots will be mailed in early October.

For more information on the projects and costs, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Mark Your Calendar

Raise a Reader Series

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development to host a free eight week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help children learn to read. Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books at the end of each week. Courses will be taught from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on consecutive Fridays beginning August 11 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite 124. To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Lizette Garced at LGarced@swhd.org.

Free Educational Presentation on Older Adults and Series

Suicide rates of older adults are higher than any other age group in Maricopa County. The City of Surprise has partnered with Area Agency on Aging and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition to provide a free educational presentation.

A Matter of Life is a presentation created to educate and help people recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It encourages help-seeking behaviors by connecting people with resources and tools to access help for themselves or someone they know.

This program will be held on Wednesday, August 23 at 9 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It will run approximately one hour. Please register with Trisha Weston at 623.222.1544 or trisha.weston@surpriseaz.gov

Senior Services is a division of the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and is designed to provide programs to strengthen the community and better serve Surprise residents. Located in the heart of Surprise, in the Heritage District, at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. The Surprise Senior Center is the hub of activities for citizens age 50 and better and adults with disabilities. The membership fee for a resident of Surprise is $12 per year, and for non-residents it’s $15 per year. The Senior Center also offers a gym membership for an additional fee (some rules and restrictions apply). Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Disclaimer: Information in seminars and classes sponsored by the City are a public service and should not be construed as advice or representation of any specific business, company, individual business owners, brokers or affiliations. The City does not endorse any particular business, product or speaker. Any information presented does not reflect the opinion or position of the City.

Did You Know?

Monsoon Safety Tips

Monsoon season, June 15-September 30, is characterized by increased thunderstorm and lightning activity, high winds, dust storms and flooding. Having a plan of action and knowing what to do in each of the weather conditions can help save your life.

During any major storm event, the safest place to be is indoors. If you are at home, turn off all unnecessary power equipment and refrain from using landline phones. Make sure your home is equipped with flashlights, batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items.

Dust storms and rain events can decrease visibility and increase road hazards when driving. If you are in your vehicle during a storm, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road as far as possible and turn off your engine and lights. Be sure to take your foot off the brake pedal.

Never drive through flooded intersections or washes! Even shallow flowing water has enough power to sweep your vehicle off the road or stall your engine. If you approach a flooded intersection, safely turn your vehicle around and find an alternate route.

Monitor weather reports and listen for potential flood warnings in your area. When flooding is imminent, knowing where to find sand and bags is essential to protecting your home and family. Sand and bags are provided free of charge to Surprise residents at multiple locations throughout the city; you will need to bring your own shovel to fill the bags. Sand and bag locations

To report downed trees, roadway debris or clogged storm drains, contact the Public Works department at 623.222.6000; crews will be on call and available to provide assistance during major storm events. If reporting after hours or on a holiday, please call the Surprise Police Department Non-Emergency Line at 623.222.4000.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/monsoon for a complete list of monsoon safety tips and resources.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Luke Air Force Base Activity Update

Brigadier General Brook Leonard provided an update on the activities at Luke AFB. The presentation began with the heritage of the base and how it received the name. Luke AFB is named after 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr who was a Phoenix native, a Fighter Ace and a Medal of Honor Recipient.

Thunderbolt Nation is comprised of four different locations including Luke AFB. There are over 5,600 people that make up the 56th Fighter Wing. Approximately 10,000 people are on and off Luke AFB each day. Lockheed Martin employs 400 people as part of the F-35 program. Between the 56th Fighter Wing and the 944th Fighter Wing, they make up 66% of the world’s F-35 pilots, 97% of the United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 pilots and 100% of the USAF F-15 pilots.

Other items of discussion included the Barry M. Goldwater Range, recent contributions and wins including the Luke Valley Leadership and Development Center, mission assurance programs and the significant economic impact of Luke AFB.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The Council had its fourth work session related to the upcoming FY2018 budget on Tuesday afternoon. The focus was capital improvements, including the projects, their priorities, and sources available to fund them.

The sources used to fund capital improvements were discussed first. For FY2017, the sources included $4.7 million in revenue, $14.2 million in fund balance, and $34.1 million in transfers from operating funds for a total of $53.0 million. The revenues are made up largely of construction sales tax, which is a volatile source that historically has seen various increases and declines in collection dependent on the development within the City. Fund balance is predominately used to fund projects from the prior fiscal year and does not represent a viable source for new projects. The transfers from the operating funds were largely one time in nature and are dependent on future operational savings.

The projects were then broken down into seven categories and prioritized within each. The categories included Public Safety, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, General Government, Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater. The projects were prioritized based on current planning documents, expected development within the City, and staff input. The Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater categories are all supported largely by the City-run utilities associated with them. The decision to fund these projects will be tied to discussions about future anticipated rates. While the Public Safety, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and General Government categories do include some specific funding sources, they are all dependent on construction sales tax received in the General Capital Fund and operational savings within the General Fund. Discussions on these categories included utilizing the current Public Safety Master Plan and upcoming Development Impact Fee processes to refine the need, location, and timing of projects; identifying projects that could be phased to allow “biting off” smaller sections for funding; planning of projects to leverage partnership opportunities; and focusing on ways to improve and properly maintain the current facilities to maximize their value to the community.

The budget discussions will continue with the presentation of the City Manager’s Recommended Budget on April 18 and culminate in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1, 2017.

To watch this and other past budget presentations, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City Council Meeting

Lions Club Proclamation

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Lions Clubs International, Mayor Sharon Wolcott recognized the Sun Village and Surprise Lions Clubs with a Lions Clubs Centennial Celebration Proclamation. Lions Clubs is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. The clubs are comprised of volunteers who dedicate their time to the betterment of our communities and aiding those in need. We appreciate what the organization continues to do locally! Thank you!

Friends of the Libraries Annual Spring Contest

Friends of the Surprise Libraries has been supporting art and literacy since 2006 with their annual book mark contest! As in years past, 6th, 7th & 8th grade students from local public, charter and home schools within the Greater Surprise area participated. The students created their bookmarks and submitted them to a panel of judges. This year, Friends of the Surprise Libraries partnered with the City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission to judge the entries and to present the awards at the City Council meeting. The judges, including members of the Commission, local managers from Wells Fargo Bank and volunteers from Friends of the Surprise Libraries, selected six award winners from more than 250 entries. Also new this year – all of the bookmark entries will be displayed in the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise beginning today in the children’s area. The public is welcome to come in and view the entries.

From left to right the winners are Christie Zhang, Elizabeth Lysy, Erika Arevalo, Destiny Lambert, Jacqueline Lozano and Abygail Tracey.
From left to right the winners are Christie Zhang, Elizabeth Lysy, Erika Arevalo, Destiny Lambert, Jacqueline Lozano and Abygail Tracey.

Minor General Plan Amendment to the General Plan 2035 & CampCorp Rezoning

The two projects known as the Sun City West General Plan Amendment and CampCorp rezoning work together to provide a means for businesses in an isolated part of the city to expand and provide employment opportunities for the residents of Surprise.

These nearly 76 acres of land are located generally north of the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Bell Road. When this area was annexed in 1996, many of the facilities in the area were operating as manufacturing facilities for a home building complex. Due to robust home sales and the build out of the community, most of the facilities ceased operations and other industrial uses moved in. In the case of CampCorp, the use of manufacturing building product never ceased.

The General Plan Map revision changes the Character Area for this land from Commerce and Office to Employment. This change allows existing business in this area, now considered legal nonconforming (grandfathered), to be legal conforming. This status allows these businesses to expand their business model and utilize the parcels to their full potential.

CampCorp is the first rezone, of about 25 acres, from Regional Commercial to General Industrial. This rezone will allow expansion as well as utilizing the existing railroad spur at this site to bring raw material into the facility for processing while reducing truck traffic on Bell Road. CampCorp Plans for this parcel include expanding from simply commercial and industrial structures to the residential construction market.

Both items were unanimously approved by City Council.

Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes

The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

There is one public meeting remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.

To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band will present “A Touch of Class” featuring light classics at their next performance on Sunday, April 2. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Place.

Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank.

Match Your Skills for Meaningful Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking for meaningful ways to use your talents to make a difference, please considering attending an upcoming free Experience Matters information session on April 12.

Experience Matters is an organization that connects talented, experienced people with nonprofits. Experience Matters Talent Engagement Manager Cathy Gaudio will provide information on the organization and help you match your passion and skills with compelling new volunteer or stipend paid opportunities designed specifically for experienced adults.

The session will be held Wednesday, April 12, 10-11:30 a.m. at Surprise City Hall – Conference Room 150, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Please register early since space is limited.

Did You Know?

Free Block Party Trailer Rentals Available

Surprise offers free rentals of its Block Party Trailer, and we’ll even deliver it to you! The block party trailer includes chairs, tables, coolers, canopy tents, sports equipment, name tags, garbage bags, a PA-stereo system, lighting and a generator.

You can add some extra excitement by requesting a Block Party Kit! The kit includes flyers and posters to help spread the word about your party and a $75 reimbursement to a local grocery store to assist with refreshment costs. Plus, the city will cover up to $125 towards the cost of renting a bouncy house! For more information, please call Neighborhood Services at (623)222-3241 to request an application.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

At the Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting on March 9, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented on staffing for the upcoming fiscal year – explaining the need for additional staff and the potential financial impact. The committee provided feedback for the CFO to consider.

West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

West Valley Arts Council celebrated their 35 year anniversary at Arts HQ on March 9. The event featured live music, food and art. I attended, along with Vice Mayor Tande and Council Members Winters and Remley. Following the reception, guests were invited to enjoy the “Neu Art Exhibit” at Surprise City Hall. The exhibit is on display through April 20. Stop by the first floor of City Hall to check it out!

“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel

The Kyle Center for Water Policy hosted a panel of speakers on March 10 who addressed the future of desalination by sharing their experience with and knowledge of the process, as well as the associated costs. Desalination is the process of removing salt from saltwater. Desalinated water is produced by either using seawater or brackish water (water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater). Shawn Bradford with Epcor talked about how the desalination plants in Goodyear deal with brackish water; Chuck Collum with Central Arizona Project spoke about next steps for dealing with brackish water throughout Arizona and gave insight into how North San Diego County is using desalination plants to supply 8 percent of that county’s water; Bob Lotts with APS spoke about his work on the Governor’s appointed Water Augmentation Council, which includes desalination; and Sharon Magdel, Ph.D., Director of University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, shared what Israel is doing with desalination, as they possess leading technology in this field.

Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting

I am a member of the Veteran Success Project Advisory Board. The Veterans Success Project is a program spearheaded by the Maricopa Community College District that is designed to provide support to military personnel, veterans and their families as they move from active duty to civilian life. I attended a meeting on March 15 where the board discussed the kickoff of a pilot program at Luke Air Force Base that will help those transitioning out of the air force find employment. We also discussed an outreach program for both active duty military and veterans. The program would involve a self-assessment that would help to identify the person’s current needs and their goals so the program can support their next steps. Lastly, we talked about the opening date for the new Veterans Resource Center – which will occupy the former Visitor’s Center at Luke Air Force Base. The center would provide various social services for veterans, with employment assistance being a major component. The center will open in the near future, but the exact date has not yet been determined.

Mark Your Calendar

Public Meetings on Proposed Sign Code Changes, Mar. 22 & 29

The city is in the process of updating its Sign Code and wants your input! The proposed code aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

There are two public meetings remaining where you can learn more and give your feedback on the proposed changes:

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

The code changes will also be presented to the Surprise City Council at their Regular Meeting on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers.

To learn more, view the proposed sign code text or submit online comments, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22

Spend a morning discovering various art exhibits and experiences in the city of Surprise! On March 22, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Benevilla are joining together to offer a free public art bus tour.

Tour participants will visit art locations such as WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ and City Hall; they will also view public art pieces, including the Joe Tyler Learning Tree!

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at Benevilla, located at 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise, and will end at the same location at noon. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Reservations can be made by calling Benevilla at 623.584.4999.

At the conclusion of the bus tour, there will be an option to enjoy lunch at Birt’s Bistro on Benevilla’s campus. The lunch package is $15 per person, which includes a meal, soft drink, tip and tax. Please note if you would like the optional lunch when you reserve your spot for the bus tour. Payment is due at the time of reservation.

Community Pride Day, April 8

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Did You Know?

Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Municipal Property Corporation Board – 1 vacancy

All board/commission positions are voluntary.

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are immediately available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20

The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of groundbreaking teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 6-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

Applications are being accepted now – Mar. 20. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds, and should include the following information:

  • Your name, grade and school you attend
  • Why you want to be on the SYC
  • If you could bring one thing to this city or change one thing, what would it be? What can you and a group like SYC do about it?
  • Of these three words: fearless, creative, hardworking – which one best describes you and why? Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.

The videos should be sent to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy by uploading your application video from your Google Drive and sharing it with cityofsurpriseyouth@gmail.com.

Applicants must also have a parent or guardian complete and return a Parent Acknowledgement Form.

For questions or more information, please contact Mike Cassidy at 623.222.1033 or mike.cassidy@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey is open! Help bring in new shopping & dining; vote for local favorites

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to see open in Surprise? What about a unique shopping experience that you want added to your hometown? Tell us in our 2017 Surprise Retail Survey!

We want to know how we can make our city a one-stop shopping and dining destination, and we’ll be giving away $20 Visa gift cards to five randomly-selected survey-takers just for offering their thoughts!

The survey will help the city to identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

In the 2015 Surprise Retail Survey, we asked what restaurants and retailers you wanted us to target, and two of your top ten picks have already opened in Surprise – Oregano’s Pizza Bistro and Texas Roadhouse! We are still actively engaging with others on the list, and hope to see more of your favorites open up shop in Surprise.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The survey runs through April 9 and is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

March 9, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Continued FY18 Budget Discussion

City Council heard the third presentation in a series of discussions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus of this particular discussion was the enterprise utility funds and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). The enterprise utilities include the Solid Waste, Stormwater, Wastewater, and Water services. Rates are set for each of those funds to recover the costs of the services provided.

The Solid Waste utility revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M ahead of the FY2017 budget. In the upcoming fiscal year, there will be a focus on vehicle and equipment replacement, renegotiation of the landfill services contract, and reviewing the efficiency of bulk trash scheduling.

The Stormwater utility is new in the current fiscal year with estimated year end revenues of $1.3M. Establishing its reserve and starting the construction of stormwater related infrastructure are the priorities for this utility.

The Wastewater utility revenues are currently 5 percent or $0.4M above FY2017 budgeted amounts. FY2018 will see an evaluation of current debt to identify potential refinancing opportunities; a review of current capacity, most specifically the recharging of treated water; and an update of the development impact fees.

The Water utility revenues are currently 15 percent or $0.9M above the budget through six months. Like the Wastewater utility, an update of the development impact fees is on the horizon, along with capital projects enhancing system interconnectivity and expanding arsenic treatment capacity. Management of the water portfolio, specifically the expansion of water rights, is also an important priority for the upcoming year. For FY2018, the Water utility is scheduled for an 8.25 percent rate increase adopted by Council in June of 2014.

HURF receives the majority of its revenue from gasoline tax collected by the state and distributed to the cities. The revenues are currently 3 percent or $0.1M above its budgeted amount. Key issues for HURF in the upcoming budget year include replacement of equipment and vehicles, as well as the continued maintenance of our streets through the pavement preservation program.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1, 2017.

If you missed the live presentation, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget to watch it. All of the budget presentations are posted to the website following the City Council Work Session or Regular Meeting at which they are presented.

Surprise Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide

Members of the Arts & Cultural Commission elaborated on the Public Art Policies and Procedures Guide that was originally introduced at a City Council Work Session last month. The purpose of the guide is to establish a process for the selection, acquisition, placement and maintenance of works of public art, including policies for public art management, acceptance of donations and deaccession procedures.

City Council Meeting

Boards & Commissions Appointments

City Council unanimously approved three appointments that included Dustin Gardy (Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission), Robert Monahan (Disability Advisory Commission) and Ken Wright (Municipal Property Corporation Board). Congratulations!

Budget Amendment for Fencing at 8-Acre Park

The 8-Acre Park is the multi-purpose field located North of Surprise Stadium on Bullard Avenue. This field is used extensively throughout the year for youth sports such as soccer, flag football, tee-ball, baseball and softball practices. In addition, the area is utilized for City special events such as the annual Surprise Party.

Community and Recreation Services requested a FY17 budget amendment by reallocating appropriations and an actual transfer of $300,000 within the General Fund to the General Capital Projects Fund to facilitate the construction of fencing around the park for several pertinent reasons. The fence would provide a safety barrier for users of the field from Bullard Ave and Paradise Lane; allow for a greater span of control during special events; and would create a venue for ticketed events throughout the year. The fence would also allow maintenance staff to close the area during times of maintenance or over-seeding. 8-Acre Park would remain open to the public when the field is not being used for programming or closed for maintenance.

8 Acres Park fence project

The fence installation will consist of wrought iron fencing, brick pillars with lights and rolling gates to match existing stadium fencing. The fencing would be 2,300 linear feet of 8′ high ornamental fencing with six 20′ x 8′ rolling gates, one 40′ x 8′ iron double roll gate and one 8′ x 8′ double drive gate for accessibility. The resolution for the budget amendment utilizing savings was unanimously approved.

Discussion of Proposed Text Amendment of Surprise Municipal Code on Signs

The city’s Community Development Department is currently working to re-write our sign code. The goal is to balance business needs with community aesthetics, while complying with recent court decisions regarding free speech. Some of the highlights of the draft code include:

  • A content-neutral approach to sign regulation
  • A provision that serves to replace all previous sign codes while leaving intact any currently approved through the Comprehensive Sign Program
  • Robust definitions with illustrations and graphics
  • Clear articulation of permitted and prohibited signs
  • More opportunities for permanent business signage through increased wall and monument sign area
  • A provision for vertical (blade) signage in certain circumstances
  • Increased community aesthetics through a reduction in certain types of temporary signage
  • Limited use of Electronic Messaging Centers
  • A provision that will allow unique and creative designs through a Council-approved Comprehensive Sign Program

The draft code has been released to the public for review and comment, and outreach meetings have been scheduled as follows:

March 15
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 22
6-7 p.m. Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

March 29
6-7 p.m. Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue

More information is available on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode. You are encouraged to attend any of these meetings and to contact staff for more information or to submit comments.

Events & Meetings

Read Across America Day

I was invited to participate in Read Across America Day at Countryside Elementary School on March 2. Read Across America Day celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the joys of reading. I was honored to read a Dr. Seuss book to the second grade students of Ms. Igoe’s class.

Councilman Skip Hall reading to students

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, March 6 to discuss the Public Art Master Plan timeline which is scheduled for completion in July 2018. In addition, the winner of the baseball bat contest was chosen.

Youth Services Update

Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy and I met earlier this week to discuss the status of youth services. It is the goal of the City Manager’s department to ensure that we are: reaching a diverse group of youth within our community; engaging the disengaged; making 20 Surprise Youth Council Members feel like the outreach is significantly more; facilitating academic, technical and interpersonal skill-building so we are positioning Surprise for the future.

Mark Your Calendar

Second Sundays in the Park – March 12

The city continues its Second Sundays in the Park concert series this Sunday, March 12 with Celtic music performed by “Kilted Spirit” from 4 until 6 p.m. in the center of Surprise Community Park. The event is free. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.

Community Pride Day

Looking for an opportunity to better your community? The city invites all residents to participate in our Community Pride Day Cleanup Event. This event will have volunteers helping with landscaping projects and trash removal.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the city park located on 183rd Avenue, south of Enoch Drive (24303 N. 183rd Avenue) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 to receive cleanup assignments. Volunteers will meet back at the park for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at noon. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Did You Know?

Southwest Gas Rate Case Update

Southwest Gas has recently filed a base rate adjustment request with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued his recommended opinion and order approving the proposed settlement agreement which was signed by, among others: Arizona Corporation Commission staff, the Residential Utility Consumer Office, the Arizona Community Action Association, Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West. The ACC is expected to vote on the order during either their March or April open meeting. The recommended order can be modified by the Commissioners.

The recommended order adopts a $16 million revenue increase –the average residential customer will experience a 1.09% (or $0.40/month) increase. The recommended order adopts the Company’s proposed expansion of its Customer Owned Yard Line (COYL) program and Vintage Steel Pipe (VSP) Replacement Program. The COYL expansion will allow the Company to include a more proactive, systematic approach to replacing COYLS, whether or not they are leaking. The VSP program will facilitate the accelerated replacement of VSP (specifically, pre-1970s VSP). The agreed-upon VSP replacement program will enhance public safety by facilitating a proactive approach to the replacement of aging infrastructure, but will also offer rate impact protections to customers by including a reasonable cap on the annual rate adjustment that they will experience.

The recommended order adopts a modification to the Company’s decoupling mechanism to remove the monthly weather adjustment provision. Additionally, the mechanism will be renamed the Delivery Charge Adjustment Provision. For low income customers, the Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA) program eligibility is increasing to 200% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

If you are not in favor of the recommended order, now is your time to notify the Commissioners. You can find their information at www.azcc.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

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

Ask a Question

September 25, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Sign Ordinance Discussion

The City of Surprise is in the process of amending City Code Chapter 113 regarding signs. At a previous Council meeting, City Council requested a series of workshops and business outreach on the proposed amendment to the Sign Code.

Sign codes are complex in nature and evoke discussion on aesthetics and community values. The ultimate approval of a Zoning Text Amendment to the Municipal Code with respect to signage has the potential of increasing business exposure through effective signage, which in turn has the potential of generating more sales tax revenue through increased sales volume. The Text Amendment also has the potential of minimizing visual clutter and increasing traffic safety. Furthermore, the ultimate approval of the Amendment has the potential of reducing staff review time as a result of a clearer, concise, more user-friendly document.

Staff will be conducting stakeholder meetings and community outreach throughout this amendment process. These meetings will follow a parallel track with the policy and general direction discussion with the City Council. Staff will also invite stakeholders and the general public to provide comments and feedback throughout the process. Stakeholder meetings will occur in October and November, with possible council action in December. Please look for further information regarding these dates in my newsletter or on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Events & Meetings

Kingswood Park HOA Meeting

Staff from the Surprise Police Department and I attended the Kingswood Park HOA meeting earlier last week. Several residents were in attendance. One of the residents raised concerns regarding vandalism at Kingswood Park Elementary School. Possible solutions to the vandalism issues were discussed. Kingswood Park Elementary School Principal Jeremy St. Germaine was also present and vocalized his concerns and shared the plan for how the school will work with the HOA and the Surprise Police Department to address the issues. The background of the history between the HOA and the school was provided. Lastly, Lt. Mike Donovan reported a drop in crimes in the area of more than 30%.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, September 16, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting. Assistant Police Chief Geoff Leggett and Sergeant Tim Klarkowski were also in attendance. Sergeant Klarkowski reported an almost 6% drop in crime in the area.

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer was also present and discussed ways to discourage vehicles from cutting through the empty lot contiguous to Mountain Vista Ranch.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors met on Thursday, September 17. We discussed possible changes to route 571 due to upcoming construction of Thunderbird this fall. More details will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Additionally, I was appointed as a member of the Valley Metro Budget and Finance Subcommittee.

MD24 Clinic Ribbon Cutting

Dr. Linh Nguyen, founder and CEO of MD24 Clinic, hosted a ribbon cutting and open house for his new 10,000 square foot office location on Mountain View Boulevard in District 5 in Surprise. MD24 was the first start-up business to leave our AZ TechCelerator incubator.

MD24 is a network of Physicians, Specialists, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants that provide medical services to residents in senior retirement communities. They currently serve more than 240 community locations across Maricopa County. Best of luck to Dr. Nguyen and his team on his success and with his new location!

West Valley Leaders Water Summit

On Wednesday, September 23, West Valley Central Arizona Project (WESTCAPS) held its 2nd Annual West Valley Leaders Water Summit at Estrella Mountain Community College. The event kicked-off with the Keynote address delivered by Grady Gammage. Mr. Gammage spoke about the history and current state of water in Arizona, and he outlined the efforts Arizona has taken to ensure long term water sustainability, stressing the need for collaboration in the West Valley on water issues as the area grows.

Ms. Marie Pearthree, with the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and Mr. Dave Roberts, with the Salt River Project (SRP), addressed those in attendance on role their organizations play in the West Valley. Ms. Pearthree provided an overview of CAP, the Colorado River, and the drought and the efforts being taken to mitigate its effects in the CAP service area. Mr. Roberts summarized opportunities SRP has that would help the West Valley overcome its future water resource challenges.

Mr. Jeff Tannler, with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), discussed Active Management Area Plans and Goals in relation to subsidence monitoring and water supply and sustainability. Ms. Leslie Meyers, of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), spoke about the Bureau’s mission and objectives to help solve water resource problems and to protect the environment in the desert Southwest. She discussed funding structures for water resource management planning efforts, and the current Basin Study process. The WESTCAPS Basin Study is currently underway with a few steps needed to complete the study.

Mr. Guy Carpenter from Carollo Engineers discussed the importance of regional collaboration relating the value of water, its impact on growth, and the West Valley’s need to work together to ensure continued economic viability. He cited two case studies that outlined projects on which Carollo Engineers has worked and the positive water related outcomes from those projects. Mr. Carpenter closed with a clear message that the West Valley Leaders need to work together to ensure long term water sustainability.

Mark Your Calendar

G.A.I.N. Night 2015

Surprise Public Safety officials invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). The engaging community event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 3 from 6-9 pm at 8-acre park located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

This event supports the Arizona Special Olympics organization so please come out and join us for this great cause. There will be free raffles and many great prizes to be won!

I hope to see you there!

Lunchtime Theater Series

The City of Surprise, in collaboration with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony announced a new 2015-2016 performing arts series, Lunchtime Theater, which will feature four lunchtime performances that will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. The season includes:

  • October 29, 2015: “Almost, Almost Maine” – Theater Works presents a whimsical story of the joys and perils of romance.
  • January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony.
  • January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”.
  • March 3, 2016: “City of Angels” – Theater Works presents a musical homage to the classic film.

All performances begin at Noon, at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or they can pre-order one from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance. The price is $9.85 including tax.

Did You Know?

City Wins National Awards for Public Awareness Videos

The City of Surprise received two awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) during their Government Programming Awards earlier this month. The City took first and second place in the Public Service Announcement category:

The annual awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year, NATOA received over 800 entries submitted by local governments across the country.

Congratulations to our Communication crew who put these award winning videos together! To view additional City of Surprise videos and programming, including the coverage of Surprise City Council Meetings, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11.

Surprise Boards & Commissions

The City is looking for volunteers to fill vacancies for a few of our Boards and Commissions. The vacancies are as follows:

Arts & Cultural Commission – 1 vacancy Tourism Commission – 1 Restaurant vacancy Board of Trustees – 2 vacancies

If you are interested in any of these positions, please apply at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall. You can also apply at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question