City Council Work Session
Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Membership Agreement
City Council reviewed the new draft membership agreement from the Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of President Melissa Holdaway and CEO Raul Sada. The agreement will be brought forward for Council consideration and action in December.
Surprise City Code Chapter 54 Revision Discussion
Surprise Police Lieutenant Harold Brady presented on recommended changes to the City’s Large Vehicle Parking City Codes. Some of the suggested changes include adding a definition for “curb return” to utilize in defining where large vehicles should park relative to intersections; amending the definition of “truck” to capture the scope of vehicles that can safely park within residential zones; the addition of verbiage to include a large vehicle can only be parked on a residential street if it leaves 20′ of roadway available for traffic; and, adding wording to clarify that, while parked on the street, recreational vehicles cannot be slept in or lived in.
Surprise Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program
Earlier this year, Neighborhood Association Committees were discussed. At that time, City Council designated $10,000 for the purpose of establishing a Neighborhood Grant Pilot Program. The purpose of the program is to increase community engagement, interest and involvement within the City.
The proposed program would allow neighborhoods the opportunity for monetary assistance for funding community events, neighborhood functions or even some improvements. The outlet would provide neighborhoods the opportunity to request assistance with the goal of building community engagement and stronger relationships with the City. The program will be discussed with the Committee on Community Outreach, Grants and Partnerships and presented to the City Council at a later date.
City Council Meeting
Parkview Elementary School
In a continued effort to recognize students, our schools and their importance to our community, fifth grade students from Ms. Swenson’s class at Parkview Elementary School led the pledge. A few students were afforded the chance to speak to Council about their school and classmates. Parkview Elementary School is located in District 5 and led by Dr. Roz Fisher and Assistant Principal Robin Hollowell.
1936 Ramola Plat Resolution
Staff, in an effort to improve safety and connectivity in the community, attempted to obtain Rights-of-Way donations for Cactus Road between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue. The request was made because this section of Cactus Road is unpaved. The City has budgeted $500,000 to pave two lanes within this section. Staff has been able to obtain Rights-of-Way donations from all but two property owners; which have been unwilling to grant such right-of-way. Through research, staff has determined that Right-of-Way does exist on Cactus Road per the 1936 Ramola Plat so staff requested that the City Council recognize the 1936 Ramola Plat so that the City may annex the public roadway pursuant to A.R.S. Section 9-471(N) which allows for an alternative annexation method for county roadways. City Council unanimously approved the request.
City Attorney General Release Agreement
After a brief Executive Session, City Council voted unanimously to take no action on the General Release Agreement proposed by the former City Attorney Misty Leslie.
City Attorney Reporting Authority Municipal Code Amendment
The City Council approved, with a 4-3 vote, action on Ordinance 2015-24, an ordinance approving amendments to Chapters 2 and 3 of the Surprise Municipal Code relating to the reporting authority of the City Attorney. The action moves the City Attorney under the City Manager’s direction. Per previous discussions, the appointed officials of the City will now consist of the City Manager, City Clerk and the City Court judge.
Events & Meetings
3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference
Water Resource Portfolio Manager Fred Stevens and I attended the 3rd Annual Local Colorado River Conference. Represented at the Conference were the US Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project (CAP), and the Arizona Water Banking Authority. We covered the history behind the Law of the River.
Challenges on the Colorado River were also discussed including the probability of shortages. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation models, there is a 0% probability in 2016, 18% probability in 2017, 52% in 2018, 65% in 2019 and 57% in 2020. On a Tier One shortage (Lake Mead below 1075 feet), Arizona would be impacted with a reduction of 320,000 acre feet, all in agriculture. The current models show that cities could be impacted in 2026.
Governor Ducey’s Arizona Water Initiative from October 2015 addresses these issues. The first track is to prioritize and evaluate all of the 22 planning areas identified in the Arizona Department of Water Resources Strategic Vision. Arizona Department of Water Resources will work closely with planning areas to identify issues that are resulting in demand and supply imbalances and to develop strategic goals that are likely to be successful in addressing them. The second track will involve establishing a team appointed by the Governor to investigate long term augmentation strategies in addition to conversation, funding and infrastructure needs. The team will be led by the Arizona Department Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke.
Veteran’s SMART Memory Research Program Event
On Monday, November 2, I attended a special event for veterans, the SMART Memory Research Program. The program is part of a research study for veterans that are targeting the early onset of Dementia/Alzheimer’s from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dr. John W. Denboer, Clinical Neuropsychologist, was the guest speaker.
A special thank you to Debbie Lee with America’s Mighty Warriors for initiating the event and for covering the cost of the workbooks for the program.
Arts & Cultural Commission Meeting
The Arts & Cultural Commission met on Monday, November 2 to review their annual budget and make adjustments to accommodate the City Hall art display plan. They also discussed any potential aesthetics on the Bell/Grand Avenue intersection project. The Commission will soon begin to work on their annual mini bat design contest in partnership with the Community & Recreation Services Department.
Mark Your Calendar
Second Sunday in the Park
The City of Surprise continues its Second Sundays in the Park series this Sunday, Nov. 8. Shake, rattle, and roll from 2-4p.m. as the “8 Tracks” perform jukebox hits from the 50’s and 60’s in the center of Surprise Community Park.
This free family event, presented by Surprise Toyota, is a great opportunity to picnic and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors while listening to live musical entertainment. Surprise Community Park is located at 15953 N. Bullard Avenue.
Inaugural Surprise Veterans Day Parade
The City cordially invites you to join us in honoring our service men and women at the inaugural City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade and pancake breakfast on November 11. The breakfast, catered by The Links Neighborhood Grill, kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus and will feature pancakes, sausage, and breakfast refreshments. Tickets are $4 per plate and available for purchase at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Reserved parade viewing is included with the purchase of a breakfast ticket.
The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature more than 75 community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.
Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Please note in preparation for parade, Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Statler Avenue will be closed at 6:30 a.m. and Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane will be closed at 9 a.m.
Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Art Encounter
The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission invites the public to an Art Encounter at Surprise City Hall to explore the architecture of the building through a creative lens and explore the areas of city history and government. This free public event will be held Thursday, November 12. The encounter begins at 5 p.m. in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, and guests will then be escorted to other locations throughout the building.
Attendees will hear from the Surprise City Manager, City Clerk, and members of both the City Council and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission as they experience the following:
- A walking tour of Surprise City Hall’s architectural interest points
- The telling of the history of Surprise
- A description of how local government works
- An explanation of city management operations
Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings
The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.
The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.
The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.
There will be bus transportation available to the public for both ribbon cutting ceremonies. The bus will depart from the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, at 8:45 a.m. To reserve a seat on the bus, please contact Stacy Cieszynski at 623.222.2268 by November 9. Space is limited to the first 60 residents/participants. Subject to availability.
Did You Know?
Grand Avenue Overnight Closures
Several overnight closures are scheduled for Grand Avenue (U.S. 60) beginning Tuesday, November 10, so that the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) may continue construction on the Loop 303 bridge.
Grand Avenue will be closed overnight in both directions between RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard and Loop 303 on Tuesday, November 10, Wednesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 12; the closures are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and conclude at 5 a.m. the following mornings.
The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. Monday, November 15.
The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016. For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Ambulance Service Launches
The City began running its first city-owned and operated ambulance this week. After receiving approval of its Certificate of Necessity application this past summer, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department purchased a paramedic ambulance that is now running out of Fire Station 305, at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. The Department now has responsibility for the oversight of all ambulance service within the city and, as the fleet grows, Surprise Fire-Medical will also become the primary provider of emergency transport.
This set-up will allow Rural Metro to continue its long-standing partnership with the city by providing hospital-to-hospital transport, care facility transport and back-up emergency transport.