Tag Archives: Stormwater Utility

April 7, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update


The City, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses have partnered to give you even more reasons to ShopSurprise during the Bell Road full closure. Launching ahead of schedule, the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign is helping to promote businesses in the Bell Road construction area by offering daily deals for shoppers so they continue to spend money in their hometown.

Businesses on all sides of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue intersection are open and have created incentives so that you ShopSurprise!

Daily deals are available now and opting-in for deals is simple. There are multiple ways for you to participate; just pick the one, or two, that are right for you:

  • Visit shopsurpriseaz.com to view the daily deals online;
  • Text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 40518 to have daily deals sent to your phone;
  • Like the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and have the deals appear in your timeline; or
  • Follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter to have deals tweeted to you daily.

A Construction Business Access Map is also available online to help you find the best ways to enter the shopping, dining and service centers to claim your deals.

The Bell & Grand ShopSurprise daily deals are only available during the Bell Road full closure. The Chamber will consider a more comprehensive, citywide campaign in the future.

For more information about the Bell & Grand ShopSurprise campaign, contact the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at 623.583.0692. To learn more about the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange project, visit surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

City Council Work Session

Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan

As an entitlement city, Surprise received a yearly allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG administration and neighborhood improvement activities are administered by city departments. These projects address neighborhood infrastructure improvement needs identified in the city’s Consolidated Plan 2015-2019. CDBG funds will be utilized to implement projects that will improve the safety and quality of life of the residents within the Original Town Site area of Surprise since it meets three national objectives (benefits low to moderate income persons, provides area benefit, limited clientele).

The funding amount for 2016-2017 is $585,139. The public hearing and recommendation for funding to the City Council is scheduled for the Regular City Council meeting on April 19.

Review of Capital Projects and Potential Capital Funding

Budget Manager Jared Askelson provided a review of the FY2017 capital projects which were part of a recommendation by the Capital Improvement Exploratory Committee last year. Some of the projects include a permanent fire station, a new property and evidence facility, and the implementation of the Parks Master Plan which includes, but is not limited to, a field house, a competitive aquatic facility, a new community park, pickleball courts and 8-Acre Park improvements.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth discussed the possibility for another bond opportunity for November 2016. The bond amount discussed was $60 million (25%) of current capacity with a 20 year term. City Council requested input from the community prior to further discussion.

City Council Meeting

Austin Ranch West Parcel 1 & 4

After much discussion and an Executive Session, City Council approved, subject to alternative approval directions, the final plat entitled “Austin Ranch West Parcel 4” and “Austin Ranch West Parcel 1”, a 36.55 acre, 138 lot, single family subdivision generally located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 2.4 miles west of Grand Avenue and a 114.28 acre, 420 lot, single family subdivision located on the northern side of West Deer Valley Road, 1.6 miles west of Grand Avenue. This is the first and second phase of a multi-phased project known as Austin Ranch Planned Area Development (PAD) that was approved by the Mayor and City Council on May 13, 2004.

Stormwater Utility Discussion

City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the “Notice of Intent” declaring the City’s intent to adopt a Stormwater Utility Rate and setting the public hearing on May 17, 2016 at 6 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers.

Revenue Projections and Expenditure Recommendations

Jared Askelson discussed General Fund sources for fiscal year 2016 which is currently at $96.9 million which is .5% less than what was estimated due to a decrease in local sales tax and transfers in. Our Finance Department is expecting revenue reduction of approximately $900,000 due to Bell/Grand Intersection construction. There is no change in projections for property taxes. General Fund sources for fiscal year 2017 is projected to be $101.6 million due to an increase in local sales tax since there will be additional car dealerships, an increase in State Shared revenue, Franchise Fees, Transfers in and property tax due to increase in population. General Fund Uses for FY2016 is $96.9 million which is 2.1% less than what was estimated.

Next week, the City Council will receive the City Manager’s Recommended Budget for FY2017. Public Safety needs have been discussed in previous Council meetings. In order to properly fund those needs, there is a $2.4 million need. Four revenue options were reviewed. Final decisions have not been made at this time. The recommended budget review will take place at the Regular City Council meeting on April 19 in the City Council Chamber at 6 pm.

IGA for Safe Route to School Grant

The City of Surprise in partnership with five elementary schools and the Dysart Unified School District were awarded three Transportation Alternative Non-Infrastructure grants. These grants will help develop a Safe Routes to school Action Plan for Marley Park, Rancho Gabriela, Parkview, Countryside and Ashton Ranch Elementary Schools. It also provides funding for the procurement of Crosswalk Safety Equipment.

City Council unanimously approved the Intergovernmental Agreement to accept and utilize the funds.

City-wide Temporary Sign Policy

In order to assist businesses while the City updates the City Sign Code, City staff has developed the City-wide Temporary Sign Policy. The new Temporary Sign policy includes some of the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign policy and also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker. The temporary policy was approved with a 5-2 vote.

Regular Council Meeting CHANGE

City Council unanimously approved a date change for the Regular City Council meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 to Wednesday, May 4, 2016 due to the grand opening ceremony of IRIS USA.

Events & Meetings

City Café Express Gallery Grand Opening

The Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a grand opening ceremony for the City Café Express featuring the artwork of John W. Clark art on Wednesday, March 30. Mayor Wolcott, Vice Mayor Biundo and I all attended the fantastic event and admired the Air Force artwork of John W. Clark.

Sierra Verde HOA Meeting

Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, Community Policing Officer Tim Klarkowski and I attended the Sierra Verde HOA meeting on Wednesday, March 30. We discussed preventative measures, crime stats and participated in a Q&A with the residents in attendance.

The Orchards Block Party

I attended the Orchards HOA block party on Friday, April 1. I thoroughly enjoy attending these events and engaging with my constituents!

Surprise Literacy Challenge Pizza Parties

As part of the grand finale for the Surprise Literacy Challenge, I attended two pizza parties for the 4th and 5th grade winning classes this week. The 5th grade winners, Ms. Frazier’s class from West Point Elementary, read an average of 683 minutes per student for an approximate total of 19,124! They received their pizza party on Monday, April 4. The 4th grade winners, Ms. Gore’s class from Arizona Charter, received their pizza party on Wednesday, April 6. Ms. Gore’s students read an average of 866 minutes per student for an approximate total of 21,640 minutes over the course of the challenge.

HOA Summit

The City of Surprise hosted an HOA Summit on Wednesday, April 6. Various City Directors, including those from Public Works, Human Service & Community Vitality and the Chief of Police provided updates and were available to answer questions. More than 60 residents attended. Thank you to everyone, including the staff that participated!

Mark Your Calendars

Job Fair Coming to Surprise

The City of Surprise and Arizona@Work are teaming up to present both a job seeker workshop and a job fair! The workshop will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the Communiversity@Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Parkway. The workshop will include tips on resume building, interviewing, social media networking and much more.

The job fair will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 am until 1 pm at the same location. This fair will have more than a dozen employers from Surprise and our neighboring cities. The employers scheduled to attend represent a variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, banking, automotive and much more. For more information, please contact Julie Neal at 623.222.3322.

Did You Know?

ADOT’s National Household Travel Survey

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are asking households, most of them outside of metro Phoenix and Tucson, to participate in the National Household Travel Survey. Up to 30,000 households, chosen at random, will be contacted via letter over the next year. This survey is conducted every five to seven years and provides an essential snapshot of transportation behaviors and trends.

ADOT has created an online survey which is available at azdot.gov/NHTS. Information gathered by your participation in this survey will also help create a more valuable transportation system for all.

Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

March 4, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Weekly Update – Week of March 7, 2016

The Grand Avenue/Bell Road Interchange Project is using the design-build contracting method, which provides flexibility while the contractor’s designers work side-by-side with the construction team to deliver an improved connection between the two roadways. The project is scheduled to be completed over the next 14 months (in spring 2017).

Utility relocation work in the area, mostly during overnight hours, is already under way. In order to reduce the project’s length and lessen the overall impacts of construction, ADOT has worked with the city of Surprise and local businesses to schedule a full closure of Bell Road near Grand Avenue. The full closure will allow Bell Road to be reconstructed as an overpass traveling over Grand Avenue and the parallel railroad tracks, providing a significant improvement for traffic flow.

The preliminary activities below are preparing the team for the April 1 Bell Road closure.

Schedule of On-site Activities*

  • Underground utility surveying on eastbound Grand Avenue overnight between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Excavation and installation of drainage pipes on the east side of Grand Avenue within the right-of-way. No impact to traffic.
  • Excavation for utilities trench. No impact to traffic.
  • Surveying limits for new 134th Avenue.

What to Expect > Traffic Restrictions*

  • Business access remains available from both Bell Road and Grand Avenue.
  • Eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue left turn lane restrictions overnight for underground utility surveying and traffic signal head changes between Towne Center and Bell Grande drives:
    • Eastbound and westbound Grand Avenue reduced to one lane for traffic signal change
    • No right turn from eastbound Grand Avenue to westbound Bell Road
    • Single left turn lane from westbound Grand Avenue to westbound Bell Road and from eastbound Grand Avenue to eastbound Bell Road
    • Right curb lane closure on eastbound Bell Road approaching Grand Avenue

*schedule subject to change based on design schedule, weather, or unforeseen conditions

Stay Informed – Keep In Touch

For more information or if you have questions:

ADOT’s project hotline: (855) 712-8530, press option #1
Project email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov
Project website: www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand
Media inquiries: (800) 949-8057; email: news@azdot.gov

City Council Work Session

Temporary Sign Policy – Bell/Grand Interchange Project

The City of Surprise, in order to assist businesses through the construction of the Bell and Grand project, is looking to allow increased signage for businesses which may be impacted by the project. Signage included in the policy consists of: A-frames, banners, sign walkers and off site directional signs. The policy would also remove the requirements for Temporary Use Permits in the area for special events.

Stormwater Utility

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented an update to Mayor and Council on the development of the proposed Stormwater Utility. This presentation was intended to be the last workshop session to solicit Council input and feedback prior to staff seeking approval on March 15 to begin the adoption of the Utility and its rate.

In response to the storm events of 2014, Council asked staff to investigate options to deal with problems Surprise faces after severe storm events. The formation of a Stormwater Utility was chosen as the most fair and equitable way to develop and devote resources dedicated to Stormwater related activities. Staff commissioned a study to evaluate the different methods by which Stormwater Utilities are administered. The impervious surface area method proved to be the most consistent and fair approach, where customers were charged a fee based on the amount of impervious surface area that is on their property.

An equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) is established based on the average impervious surface area for all single family residents in Surprise. This EDU value (3,420 sq. ft.) is then used to calculate the commercial customer fee based on the size of the impervious surface area on the parcel. For example, a commercial property with 100,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface area is equal to 100,000/3,420 or 29.24 EDUs. Based on the forecasted costs necessary to fund necessary stormwater activities, such as infrastructure maintenance, regulatory compliance, and capital improvement, the value of an EDU is determined to be equal to $2/month. Therefore, every home in Surprise will be charged $2/month and every business will be charged their calculated EDU equivalent. In the previous example, the business with 100,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface area will be charged $2 x 29.23 EDUs or $58/month.

Review of Capital Projects

Budget Manager Jared Askelson continued discussion regarding the FY2017 capital budget. The conversation focused on asset maintenance and replacement including vehicles and pavement preservation. Links to videos of this and past budget presentations are available at www.surprise az.gov/budget.

City Council Meeting

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project Phasing & Project Update

ADOT Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart provided Council with detailed phasing of the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. Phase I of the project, which included the reduction of two lanes on Grand Avenue in each direction as well as the removal of the median between Litchfield and Dysart Roads, has been complete. This past week, Phase II began and is expected to last through April 1, 2016.

Phase 2 includes road construction at 134th Avenue. Grand Avenue westbound construction will begin between Litchfield and Dysart Roads and Grand Avenue eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share eastbound lanes. Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained through this phase.

Phase 3A will begin with the full closure of Bell Road between West Point Parkway and 134th Drive on April 1, 2016. This phase is expected to last to early June. This phase will also include the relocation of 134th Drive and Bell Road to 134th Avenue and Bell Road. Grand Avenue will continue to be reduced to two lanes in each direction with Grand Avenue westbound construction occurring between Litchfield and Dysart Roads.

Phase 3B will begin in early June 2016 and it is expected to conclude in early November 2016. Grand Avenue eastbound construction will begin between Litchfield and Dysart Roads and Grand Avenue eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share the westbound lanes. Bell Road will still be closed at this point; however, business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained with signalized intersections for entering and exiting. Business access from Bell Road to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained via Litchfield Road, West Point Parkway, 134th Drive and Dysart Road.

Phase 3C is scheduled to begin in early November 2016 and last through February 2017. Bell Road will be open to traffic. Grand Avenue eastbound construction will continue and eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to share the westbound lanes. Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace will be maintained with signalized intersections and right-turn entering and exiting.

Review of Operating Programs

The upcoming fiscal year 2017 was a topic of Council discussion this week as we move closer to the July 1 start date. Topics included maintaining our current infrastructure and expanding public safety services in the upcoming year. City Council reviewed a plan to dedicate $12 million of capital funding to pavement preservation, vehicle, equipment, and other infrastructure maintenance and replacement. Maintaining our current infrastructure was identified as the highest capital priority for the upcoming year which will allow the city to continue providing services at levels that residents have come to expect. The funding for the plan will come from various funding sources to include sales taxes dedicated for capital purposes and savings in various operating funds.

The discussion regarding public safety needs included a plan to add 23 public safety employees across Police, Fire-Medical, City Prosecution, and City Court. The plan has an estimated total cost of $2.8 million; however, it was discussed that the plan’s cost could be reduced to a $2.4 million annual cost through staging the timing of recruitments to better coincide with training and recruitment. From there, the conversation moved to identifying funding for this plan. Options on the table included multiple property tax and sales tax variations. Council will continue to discuss options over the next few meetings culminating with the adoption of the FY2017 budget on June 7.

Administration of Public Utilities Billing

Following a year’s worth of continued issues by the city’s contracted billing services provider American Water, the City Council unanimously voted Tuesday evening, to not appropriate the full contract with the company in the next fiscal year. The city and American Water will work together over the next seven to eight months to transition to the new billing arrangement. Over that time, the city will hire up to 15 new positions to include customer service and billing representatives and utilize new internal billing software. The ongoing costs for the city to provide this billing service is approximately $1.73 million annually, similar to the $1.8 million currently paid to contract the service annually.

Approximately 45,000 customers will receive new bills from the City of Surprise beginning in December that display November usage and costs. Additional transition details will be provided to customers prior to the change-over, including the creation of a dedicated customer service number. For now customers are reminded to call American Water with current billing questions at 888-300-3569.

Events & Meetings

Monheit Frich Group PLC Grand Opening

I attended the grand opening for a new business in the city, Monheit Frich Group PLC. They are located near the AZ TechCelerator. Welcome to Surprise!

Surprise Chamber of Commerce Annual Legacy Awards

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilmembers Roland Winters Jr. and Todd Tande and I attended the Surprise Chamber of Commerce Annual Legacy Awards on Friday, February 26. Mutual Bank of Omaha won the award for small business and First Bank won the award for large business. Sun Health received the award for large non-profit and Surprise Rotary received the award for small non-profit. Congratulations to all the winners!

Amanda Garcia and August Heiss with the Rotary Club of Surprise
Amanda Garcia and August Heiss with the Rotary Club of Surprise.

West Valley Veterans Center

Vice President of Veterans Initiatives for Maricopa Community Colleges Steve Yamamori met with Vice Mayor Biundo, Councilman Winters and I to discuss a project that will assist veterans in finding direction after serving our military. Mayors in the West Valley had been consulted this fall as part of this fantastic regional effort. The proposed center is part of the Veterans Success Project.

Read Across America

I was honored to read to two classes at Countryside Elementary School on Wednesday, March 2 as part of Read Across America Week which celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Councilman Hall read to Countryside Elementary School for Read Across America

Surprise Stadium Clubhouse Ribbon Cutting

City Council attended the ribbon cutting to celebrate the recent renovations of the Surprise Stadium clubhouses. A special thank you to Mark Coronado and his team for all of their hard work and dedication to this completed project which also extended the term to the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers contracts through 2030.

City Council and guests cut ribbon at the opening of the new Surprise Stadium Clubhouse

Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro Meeting

Valley Metro is hosting a community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, on March 9 from 9-11 a.m. to share information about bus and light rail services available to residents in the Northwest Valley. Information will be provided on Dial-a-Ride, the door-to-door transportation service for qualified seniors, people with disabilities and other residents.

Valley Metro staff will be present to assist residents with Dial-a-Ride applications, discuss other available transportation programs and to answer any questions or concerns about using public transportation in the Northwest Valley.

Spring Household Hazardous Waste Event

The date to dispose your household hazardous waste has been changed by two weeks. The spring 2016 Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is now scheduled for Saturday, March 26 at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive from 8 am until 12 noon, to avoid potential traffic conflicts that may arise due to the full closure of Bell Road (between West Point Parkway west and 134th Avenue east) on April 1.

The City offers the Household Hazardous Waste event twice a year so Surprise residents may properly dispose of items that contain chemicals which may be harmful to the environment. The event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license and a utility bill to show proof of a Surprise residential address. For more information including a list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Encore Public Art Bus Tour

Due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural Surprise Public Art Bus Tour, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has organized a second tour! Join the Arts Commission on Tuesday, March 22, and experience the art of Surprise.

Participants will visit locations and exhibits such as the WHAM Art Gallery, Arts HQ, the Joe Tyler Learning Tree, and many more. The bus departs Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 8:30 a.m. and will return at noon.

For questions about the tour or to reserve a seat, contact Susan de Jong, 623.214.7537. The deadline to reserve a spot is Tuesday, March 15.

Did You Know?

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @skiphall2! I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question

December 4, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Meeting

Fall 2016 Elections

Kristi Passarrelli, Assistant Elections Director with Maricopa County Elections Department, updated the City Council on the fall 2016 election cycle. In 2012, Legislature amended A.R.S. 16-204 which states that city/town candidate elections must be held on the same day as the Primary or General election in even-numbered years, effectively banning all municipalities from holding candidate elections on any other statutory election date. Since Surprise is a non-charter city, we must hold our candidate elections during even numbered years in August and November.

With the fall 2016 primary election, there will be a separate ballot for each party entitled to participate in the primary. For a voter who is registered as an Independent, or no party preference, the voter will designate the ballot of only one political party that is represented on the ballot. A 90 day notification will be sent to Independent voters on the Permanent Early Voting List requesting the selection of a political party (Republican or Democrat).

The first day to request an early ballot is 93 days prior to each election; hence, May 29, 2016 for the August 30, 2016 Primary Election. Voters can request for both Primary and General elections on this date. Voters can request an early ballot by August 7, 2016 for the November 8, 2016 General Election. This is the earliest date a General Election Only request can be made. The last day to request a ballot to be mailed is 11 days prior to each election; therefore, August 19, 2016 for the August 30, 2016 Primary Election and October 28, 2016 for the November 8, 2016 General Election.

If you would like to request an early mail ballot, you can do so via phone at 602.506.1511, online at www.recorder.maricopa.gov/EVRequest or in writing (Maricopa County Elections, Attn: Early Voting, 510 S. 3rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003).

Southgate at Canyon Ridge West

Approval for a rezone/Major PAD Amendment was requested to change land use of a 15.77 acre portion of Parcel 1, Lot 2 of Canyon Ridge West for Southgate (115th Avenue & Bell Road) from PAD (High Density Residential 9-22 DU/Ac) to PAD (Low Density Residential 2-6 DU/Ac.). The proposal for Southgate at Canyon Ridge includes development standards that meet or exceed standards for Canyon Ridge West and includes a reduced street cross-section which omits the park strip between the curb and sidewalk.

The Preliminary Plat for this proposal was also reviewed. After no public comments, the both items were approved unanimously.

Recent Changes in City Ordinances

The City of Surprise adopted several changes to ordinances related to animal ownership. In an effort to ensure all citizens are made aware of the new changes, the Surprise Police provided the following review of the effected ordinances or city codes.

To begin with, the definition of “at large” was changed in Surprise City Code 10-19. The code also requires a dog owner to contain their pet within a structure (home), an enclosure (fenced rear yard), or restrain and control the animal (leash) at all times. While away from their premises, the dog owner has the same requirements; however there continues to be an exemption for a dog park.

Within the same city code, there was also a change for homeowners in gated communities. A previous exception stating dogs were not at large anywhere within a gated community has been deleted. At this time, gated communities are treated the same as any other location within the City of Surprise.

Surprise City Code 10-24 also was modified. The code penalizes all owners who: do not get their dog licensed, counterfeit a dog license, remove a valid license from a dog, or place a license for another animal on their dog which is not valid.

Also, the Surprise Police would like to remind citizens of Surprise City Code 10-26. This code states an owner who wants to continue keeping an animal previously declared vicious by a court must obtain liability insurance, have the animal spayed or neutered, and muzzle the animal when taking it off the owner’s premises.

Other changes were also made to Surprise City Code 10-56. The change states an animal found running around a neighborhood may cause the owner to have to pay food and housing charges, if the owner was negligent in allowing the animal to get out. Proof of negligence is more than just a dog getting out – it would come from the dog getting out multiple times or proof the owner is not taking reasonable steps to keep the animal contained.

Additionally, in regard to Surprise City Code 10-79, the code now requires only one person to file a formal complaint with the police about a barking dog prior to enforcement action being taken.

If you have additional questions in regard to these city ordinances, please contact the Surprise Police Department at 623.222.4000. Click here for more information or to review current Surprise City Ordinances: http://ow.ly/VlWvV

Events & Meetings

Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital Ribbon Cutting & Open House

I attended the Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday, November 19. The $17.5 million rehabilitation hospital with 40 beds is specifically designed for treating devastating head injuries that general hospitals may not be equipped to handle. The hospital brings 140 jobs to Surprise ranging from neurologists to registered nurses and other key staff positions. The hospital recently hired Dr. Raj Singh as its medical director. He is also the medical director for the Barrow Neurosurgical Associates NeuroSpine and Rehab Center and the Rehabilitation Institute of Scottsdale. Patients are expected later this month.

ADOT Meeting

Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva and I met with representatives from ADOT on Friday, November 20 to discuss the best possible communication roll-out for businesses and residents with regards to the upcoming Bell/Grand Intersection project scheduled to begin this spring. We are working with ADOT to find ways to help businesses with the closure as well. The entire city will be impacted by this construction and it is my intent to provide whatever communication and assistance I can provide to ease the project pains of all involved. Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, has taken a proactive role with city management to address the concerns of our businesses and residents as well.

2016 Legislative Breakfast Meeting

State Senator Judy Burges, Representative Phil Lovas and Representative David Livingston attended the City’s 2016 Legislative Breakfast meeting at the AZ TechCelerator on Tuesday, December 1. The focus of the conversation was economic development, bringing higher wage jobs to the City of Surprise and our City’s contribution to the State’s economy. Our State Legislators discussed their initiatives, which included better veterans benefits, HOA issues, State Land concerns and Governor Ducey’s education plan that will be a May ballot initiative.

Stormwater Utility Outreach Meeting

On Wednesday, December 2, I attended the Stormwater Utility meeting at City Hall. The City began hosting a series of public meetings beginning last month to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

City Council will consider the Stormwater Utility at a regular City Council meeting early next year. For more information, please refer to our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/stormwater.

Valley Metro Special Meeting

Due to the recent news about Valley Metro expenses and documentation and the resignation of CEO Steve Banta, Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who is also Chair of the Valley Metro Rail and the Valley Metro RPTA that I serve on has requested a formal audit of the Valley Metro travel and employee expenses from January 2010 to present. The audit will focus on making sure that proper organizational controls, oversight and accountability measures are in place for the future. Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher indicated the audit would begin as soon as possible.

Valley Metro held a special meeting on Thursday, December 3 at their offices in Phoenix. We accepted the resignation of Mr. Banta and requested an outside audit in addition to the audit that the City of Phoenix will be conducting. Eric Anderson, Transportation Director for Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), has been named temporary interim Director.

Mark Your Calendar

14th Annual Surprise Party

Please come celebrate the upcoming holidays at our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 ( 5 pm – 9 pm) and Saturday, December 5 (11 am – 5 pm) at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences. Admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus.

The schedule for Friday includes a hot air balloon glow, Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers, a traditional tree lighting ceremony, great food, live musical performances from “Steppin’ into Tomorrow” and “Gonzology” plus fireworks. Santa’s Workshop, presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry, will offer a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit Santa & Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts & crafts, cookies and much more!

Saturday’s festivities include an arts & crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, carnival, gingerbread house contest and much more. There will be a variety of entertainment throughout the day including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs. Saturday’s events will be held at Surprise Recreational Campus, 8 Acre Park, just north of the Stadium.

Did You Know?

Increased Air Activity @ Luke Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base has advised us of upcoming increased air activity. The increase began on December 1 and is expected through December 13. The purpose of the exercise is to provide the Singapore armed forces an opportunity to exercise and train their full spectrum of command, control and execution.

Spring Training 2016

The Spring Training schedule is now available! Get your tickets when our online pre-sale begins on December 12 or you can purchase them in person when the box office opens its windows on January 9. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/1XEyd32.

Economic Development Update

The October statistics are in! There were 3 large business inquiries, 1 small business inquiry, 2 AZ TechCelerator inquiries, 2 large business site visits, 12 small business assists and 14 AZ TechCelerator tenant requests.

Social Media

You can now follow me on Facebook under Skip Hall! Click the link to visit my new page: http://on.fb.me/1TGE4o5. I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

November 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update

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

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

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

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

City Council Meeting

Legacy Traditional School Recognition

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

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

FY2016 Budget Status

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

FY2016 Budget Amendment for Dial-A-Ride Cap Increases

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

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

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

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa Water District (MWD)

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

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

Events & Meetings

New Park Dedications

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

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

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

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

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

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

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

Mark Your Calendar

Stormwater Public Hearings

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

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

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

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

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

General Plan Amendment Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

General Plan Summit

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

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

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

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

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

14th Annual Surprise Party

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

Did You Know?

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality – New Director

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

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

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

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

Newsletter Update/Office Closing

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

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

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

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 4, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

City of Surprise Integrated Water Master Plan Phase II Update

Staff completed the second phase of the update to the Integrated Water Master Plan (IWMP). With guidance from the Committee on Water Resource Planning, Terry Lowe, Water Resource Management Director, provided Mayor and Council an update on the status of the IWMP and gave each elected official a copy of the updated Water Resource section (Volume 1) of the IWMP. The goal of Phase II was to incorporate the finding of Phase I and the newly adopted Water Management Policies into Volume 1. The next step for staff is to update Volume 2 (Infrastructure) of the IWMP which is based on the direction and plan of the Water Resource section. It is intended for this project to take approximately a year, and it will be developed utilizing in-house staff.

City of Surprise Stormwater Utility

On September 1, 2015, Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe presented to Mayor and Council the next findings of a yearlong effort to develop and establish a Stormwater Utility. The FCS Group was hired to assist staff with the development of this utility. Their scope includes the development of fiscal policies, revenue requirements, operation and maintenance requirements, analyze capital improvement needs, establish a rate structure and rate, and public outreach prior to adoption. Currently, other funds, including the General Fund, HURF fund, and Wastewater Utility are funding activities related to stormwater management. The creation of a stormwater utility is the most fair, reliable, and adequate funding mechanism to pay for stormwater management. The study identified an equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) equal to 3,420 square feet which was derived from averaging the areas of the impervious surfaces (roves, patios, and driveway) for all single family residents in Surprise. The purpose of this calculation is to establish a means to understand each parcel’s impact to the City’s stormwater management responsibilities. The study calculated a charge of $2 per month per EDU would be required to properly establish the utility, develop a fund balance, and to cover the cost of the City’s stormwater management responsibilities. These responsibilities include street maintenance, underground storm drain maintenance, and regulatory compliance as mandated by the Federal and State agencies. Staff will begin the public outreach phase of the Utility’s development which will occur of over the next few months. City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to establish the stormwater utility later this year.

City Council Meeting

Recognition of Surprise Sundancers Board Recipients

Each spring training season, the Sundancers conduct a 50/50 raffle for the sole purpose of making charitable donations. This year, approximately $20,900 was collected and given to several organizations and local nonprofit community organizations. Some of the organizations include Rachel’s Challenge, Dysart Education Foundation, WHAM, Arizona Charter Academy, West Valley Arts Council, Surprise Fire and Police Departments, El Mirage Firefighter Charities and various youth scholarships.

The Sundancers receiving checks for their charitable donations

The Surprise Sundancers, founded in 2002, have played an instrumental role in our City. A special thank you to them for all they do for so many organizations, projects and programs!

Surprise Police Officer Receives National Award from VFW

Surprise Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski was recognized as an honored recipient of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 285’s National Law Enforcement Public Service Citation during Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting. Officer Klarkowski is currently assigned as a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Shadow Ridge High School. She became a police officer in 2010 and was selected to serve as an SRO in 2012.

Officer Wendy Klarkowski was recognized as an honored recipient of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 285’s National Law Enforcement Public Service Citation

Officer Klarkowski is regularly recognized for her dedication, commitment and exemplary service to our community. It’s an honor to have her in Surprise!

Bullard Avenue Community Feedback

At the end of July, the City implemented a traffic calming strategy on Bullard Avenue from Greenway Road to Peoria Avenue. Safety was the primary objective. The modifications included a reduction in the speed limit from 45 to 35 miles per hour, the reduction of travel lanes from two in each direction to one, the addition of four miles of bike lanes and three school zone with school crosswalks and the addition of a neighborhood electric vehicle lane.

The City hosted a community meeting on August 17 to allow residents the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions of the changes. More than 100 residents were in attendance. There were 55 speakers with only one in favor of the changes. Staff provided some background information at that time including factors considered, project goals and next steps.

Following the aforementioned meeting, a community survey was available for additional feedback. While the survey closed on August 30, the City received more than 1,900 responses. Again, an overwhelming percentage of input received was in opposition to the changes.

Details of the next public meeting are noted below.

AZ TechCelerator Renovation Project Update

Last April, City Council approved a budget amendment for a significant renovation project at the City-owned business incubator and accelerator program. This project was carried forward to the FY16 budget within the General Fund. Renovations include new exterior paint, landscape rehabilitation, upgraded wireless internet, a new monument sign and directional signage, as well as interior renovations and access control in buildings C and D. A re-launch is tentatively scheduled for October.

2016 Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

City Council approved the allocation of tourism funds, not to exceed $30,000, to the Thunderbird Artists for the Fourth Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival. The event is scheduled for January 22 through January 24, 2016.

Meetings & Events

Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee Meeting

The Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee met on Wednesday, September 2 to discuss the next phase of becoming a charter club. Momentum continues to build as we continue to progress and see the club into fruition.

Mark Your Calendar

Bullard Avenue Public Meeting – September 8

Residents are encouraged to attend the next public meeting regarding the Bullard Avenue changes in which survey results will be discussed. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 8 at 6 p.m. at Marley Park Elementary School, 15042 W. Sweetwater Avenue. I hope to see you there!

Fall Youth Sports Registration

Registration for fall youth sports, including girls’ volleyball, Babe Ruth softball and Cal Ripken tee-ball and baseball will begin next week. Registration will be offered from September 8 through September 25, with a special Saturday registration on September 26 from 8 until 11 a.m. at the Community and Recreation Services office located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also register online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Fall Clean-up Event

The Surprise Fall Clean-up Event is scheduled for Saturday, September 12 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. This event allows residents the opportunity to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill located at 19401 W. Deer Valley Road. Acceptable items include lawn waste and other typical household refuge.

Please note hazardous waste items will not be accepted at this time. The City has scheduled a household hazardous waste event for October 10 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call 623.222.6000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Did You Know?

Traffic Restrictions

Due to the 115th Avenue drainage improvement project, weekend road closures have been scheduled beginning Friday, September 11 at 9 p.m. through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 14.

  • 115th Avenue north and southbound lanes from Beardsley Road to Union Hills Drive
  • 115th Avenue northbound lanes will be closed north of Avenue of the Arts

Please note the same restrictions will be in place the following weekend from 9 p.m. on Friday, September 18 through 6 a.m. on Monday, September 21. Please consider alternative routes such as 99th Avenue during these closures. For the most current information on traffic restrictions, visit the traffic restriction webpage at http://ow.ly/RKXZJ.

Farmer’s Market is Coming to Surprise!

Pitchfork Farmer’s Market is coming to the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 W. Bell Road, beginning on Saturday, October 10 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and each Saturday thereafter.

Project Hydrate

Earlier last month, Surprise Police Officer Wendy Klarkowski learned about a severe water bottle shortage occurring at the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Extreme temperatures and a water contamination situation on the Navajo Reservation had led to the current shortage. Upon learning of the shortage, Officer Klarkowski, members of the SRO Coin Challenge and Student Council at Shadow Ridge High School created “Project Hydrate”.

When Project Hydrate began, the group set a goal to collect 5,000 bottles of water and set a deadline for collection of August 31. The group recently announced they’ve collected over 15,000 bottles of water, therefore tripling their original goal. Their success is due in part to three major donations, coming from parents of Shadow Ridge students who work for Walmart (1,920 bottles), Target (3,744 bottles) and an anonymous local company who donated 3,864 bottles.

Kids unloading water for Project Hydrate

I truly admire how the community came together for a fantastic cause!

Volunteers Needed

If you are looking for an opportunity to better our community, we invite you to participate in the Pride Community Clean-up event on October 10. In true demonstration of civic pride, this community-wide event will have volunteers cleaning neighborhoods across the city, from repairing and painting neighborhood fences to landscaping.

All volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot of the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 7:30 am to receive assignments. The entire group will return to the Senior Center parking lot for lunch at 11:30 a.m. If you are interested, please contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.3241 or muriel.gutierrez@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question