Tag Archives: Surprise Retail Survey

April 19, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

City Center Development Update

Last month, I requested that City Council receive an update from City staff and the land owner about the City Center development components and any future plans. At a Council meeting last year, City Council denied a resident development by Mattamy Homes as part of the said development and a request for a Master Plan had been initiated. City Council hosted a joint planning meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss needs and desires for City Center in November and until this meeting, an update had not been provided to the entire City Council.

Over the last two years, City Council has approved two developments – Surprise Medical and Thompson Thrift Development (southwest corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive). Staff has worked towards a draft circulation plan, draft roadway cross-sections, a master drainage study, a fiscal impact analysis and the donation of 20 acres from the property owner to the City for higher education use by Ottawa University. With this being said, there is still a lot to achieve, and to do so, we need to work together to build a downtown for the future while incorporating the desires of our residents.

City Manager’s FY2019 Recommended Budget

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan presented the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 City Manager Recommended Budget that is built on the foundation of safety for residents, city infrastructure/technology, and the city’s financial position. The most notable change in the $387.8 million budget is the inclusion of new capital projects with the passing of the General Obligation (GO) Bond election from last November. The bonds will fund $59.5 million of needed public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation projects beginning in FY2019. You can learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Increased operating expenditures are focused on public safety, security, inflation factors, mandated and contractual obligations. Public Safety was the largest recipient of increases to ensure the safety of residents. The Recommended Budget includes the expansion of the city’s ground ambulance service to include a fourth ambulance. The SAFER grant which was awarded to the Fire-Medical Department in 2017 ends in FY2019. The costs for these positions will be fully absorbed by the General Fund mid-year to maintain the enhanced service for residents. In addition, the budget addresses new safety/security needs with the funding of two additional police officers, an emergency manager, an information technology security analyst, and a court compliance coordinator.

With the new requirements of Proposition 206, additional funding is programmed for the minimum wage increase of part-time employees and for paid sick time. The budget also includes additional funding for costs which increase over time such as costs of living, medical premiums, pension contribution rate increases and service-related increases; including water user rates, software licenses, library intergovernmental agreements, and transit intergovernmental agreements.

The Recommended Budget includes funding for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of $71 million. This includes utilizing $13 million in FY2019 for land, design, and/or construction of some of the GO Bond projects. The budget commits $21 million to maintain, secure, preserve, and/or replace infrastructure including roads, buildings, equipment and aged vehicles. The remaining capital is divided between utility-related projects ($15 million) and the functional areas of transportation, public safety, general government, and parks and recreation. Funding carried forward (approximately $22 million) from the prior year will continue the work on Desert Oasis water supply facility phase 2, special planning area 1 recharge expansion, and City Center public infrastructure.

Funding for additional operations and capital improvements is generated from growth in general fund revenue. General fund revenues are expected to increase by 10% or approximately $10.9 million above the current adopted budget. Recent escalations in housing activity as well as growing local sales tax account for most of the increase. A five-year forecast of city resources compared to uses helps ensure long-term financial sustainability and secures safety of the city’s financial position. The FY2019 Recommended Budget is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City Council is scheduled to adopt a final budget in June.

City Council Meeting

Community Development Block Grant Program FY18-19

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson presented funding priorities and recommendations for the Community Development Block Grant Program Annual Action Plan and public service activities for FY18-19. As an entitlement city, Surprise receives a yearly allotment of CDBG funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The anticipated funding amount for our Annual Action Plan is $638,560.

CDBG public service funds can be utilized to provide a variety of public services such as child care, health services, job training, youth services and more for low to moderate income individuals and families. The funding amount for this category is $95,784. CDBG Public Service funding is limited to 15% of the annual CDBG allocation for the program year. Council approved the 2018-2019 Community Development Block Grant Public Service Funding as recommended.

Toll at Prasada Preliminary Plat

City Council approved a Preliminary Plat for Toll at Prasada, which is generally located west of Cotton Lane, between Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue. The Preliminary Plat covers approximately 772 gross acres and anticipates a maximum of 2,207 lots in eighteen (18) development parcels or “pads” to be developed over ten (10) phases. Phase 1 will include 463 of those lots in addition to roadway improvements to Cactus Road from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue and Peoria Avenue from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue. Phase I also includes five different lot products intended to reach a variety of customers. Amenities will include a club house, recreation center and golf course with abundant, beautifully-landscaped open space.

Events & Meetings

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Thursday, April 12 at West-MEC Northwest Campus. Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce led interviews with both Congressional District 8 candidates, former State Legislator Debbie Lesko and Dr. Hiral Tipirneni. The Special General Election for the seat will take place Tuesday, April 24.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, April 12. Items of discussion included the adoption of the Commission’s Strategic Master Plan with staff recommendations.

The Tourism Advisory Commission, Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Community and Recreation Services Commission will be hosting a joint meeting at 6 p.m. on April 30 in the Community and Recreation Services meeting room, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss collaboration opportunities between the commissions.

Friends of the Surprise Libraries

On Friday, April 13, I attended the Friends of the Surprise Libraries meeting at the Surprise Chamber of Commerce. Included in the discussion was the approval of audio book sets in the amount of $450 to Imagine Rosefield Charter School for 29 students.

WHAM Recycled Arts Festival

WHAM hosted their annual WHAM Recycled Arts Festival on Saturday, April 14. This year’s event gave local artists, local musicians, and dancers, a place to gather to showcase their talents. The art activities for kids were free and gave them ideas on what they can do with the repurposed material in their homes.

I was honored to be asked to introduce the Recycled Arts fashion show and witness the talent of all those involved.

WHAM Recycled Arts fashion show

State of the City

Growing a downtown, building community wealth, enhancing public transit via autonomous vehicle options and highlighting ways to maintain a connected Surprise, were all addressed in Mayor Sharon Wolcott’s 2018 State of the City speech, on Monday, April 16. Mayor Wolcott talked about how the city has performed well in previous years to build the foundation that will allow the city to grow responsibly in the future for all generations.

Furthermore, she elaborated on the attributes for what is required to create a true downtown such as walkability to comfort and access. The goal is to achieve a downtown Surprise that creates a sense of place for residents and visitors alike. You can read the speech and watch the video at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise SciTech Festival

Have fun with science and technology, while celebrating Earth Day, at the Surprise SciTech Festival on April 21! The event is free and has something for all ages! Come check out interactive SciTech booths, an incredible line-up of speakers, music and more! Plus, we’ll have delicious food options from local vendors available for purchase. The event will take place from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Outside Courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Demonstrations and displays include:

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

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

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

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

Surprise Senior Services Senior Prom

Get your dancing shoes ready because the City of Surprise Seniors Prom is happening on Tuesday, May 1! “Starry Night” is the theme for this year’s annual Seniors Prom, which will be held Tuesday, May 1 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St.

In addition to music and dancing, prom attendees will enjoy a delicious catered lunch. A prom king and queen will also be crowned. Come in formal or casual attire. Both singles and couples are welcome. Please make reservations at the Surprise Senior Center front desk by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 27. The cost is $7 for Senior Center members and $15 for non-members.

Seniors Prom is hosted by the City of Surprise Human Service & Community Vitality Department’s Senior Services Division. For more information, please call 623.222.1500 or visit the Senior Center Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Did You Know?

2018 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March asking the community to vote for their favorite locally-owned businesses; both their top restaurant and top retailer. In just three weeks, the survey garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Congratulations to following businesses for earning the title “Local Favorite”:

Top 10 Local Restaurants

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

Top 5 Local Retailers

Musical Surprise
Son Glow Boutique
Kimbur Pet Wash
PinkaBella Cupcakes
Gifts to Go

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey!

Surprise Public Transit Study Continues

Although the Transit Feasibility Survey is closed, there are other opportunities for you to be involved in deciding the future of public transportation in Surprise. In addition to the online public comment form, two community engagement and education opportunities are planned for later this year.

A community workshop is tentatively planned for the afternoon of June 13, 2018 and will introduce the service alternatives available to Surprise and which ones should be priorities for the next five to ten years. Various public engagement tools are planned for this phase of community engagement, including WikiMapping – an online tool that provides users the opportunity to view, at their leisure, draft transit route concepts and comment on them.

During the fall 2018 public meeting, the project team will share the recommended short-term and long-term service alternatives based on information received from the Transit Feasibility Survey and initial public meeting. Public comments shared at both meetings will be included in the final implementation plan.

For more information regarding Transit Feasibility Study and stay informed about future updates and meeting details at surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

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

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

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

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

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

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

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

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

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

Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

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

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

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

Surprise Super Swap Meet

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

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

Surprise Safety Day

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

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

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

Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

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

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

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

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

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

Top 10 Desired Retailers

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

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

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

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

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

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

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 2, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Installation of curb, gutter and grading for new 134th Avenue.
  • Installation of storm drain on Bell Road east of 134th Drive.
  • Preparation to pave and form the curb and gutters to build the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Continue to build the bridge columns and support beams on the east and west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at Bell Road and Grand Avenue.

Please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1. Pictures below courtesy of ADOT.

Bell & Grand Project progess image June 2016

Events & Meetings

Celebrating Former City Manager Dick McComb

A recognition ceremony was held at City Hall for Richard W. (Dick) McComb, who served as City Manager for the City of Surprise from 1990-2000, on Wednesday, May 25. He was our longest tenure City Manager. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, he came to us with over 30+ years of municipal experience beginning in Colorado then moving to Arizona to serve as the City Manager for Gila Bend, Coolidge, and El Mirage before coming to Surprise.

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilmembers Todd Tande, Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I joined City Manager Bob Wingenroth, City Clerk Sherry Aguilar, and several former Council Members along with many city employees to recognize the insurmountable contributions of this fine man. Thank you, Dick, for everything you’ve done for us!

Surprise Citizens Corps Council Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Corps Council met on Thursday, May 26. Conversation included a review of the bylaws, which will be forwarded to Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott and the city’s legal department for review, and the upcoming Ham radio classes that will begin this week and continue each Wednesday through July 20 from 7:30 pm until 9 pm at the Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on Thursday, May 26. Councilman Roland Winters and I attended the event. Newly promoted are Enemecio Felix (Sergeant), Steve Turchin (Public Safety Communications Supervisor), and David Wood (Public Safety Communications Supervisor). Congratulations to all three of these hardworking men!

Police Promotional Ceremony invite materials

Dysart 101

I attended the Dysart 101 workshop at Dysart Unified School District on Thursday, May 26. The workshop provided an overview of District operations and included topics of financial, educational and district resources.

Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony

On May 28, the Surprise West Valley Veterans, in partnership with the City of Surprise, hosted a wreath laying ceremony to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country. Thank you to all our veterans and their family members for what you do to keep this country great.

5th Annual Commemorative Memorial Day Program

Radiant Church hosted the 5th annual Commemorative Memorial Day program on Monday, May 30. This program was sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Hall Memorial Day 2016 Committee which is a nonprofit organization comprised of several local veteran organizations and posts. Army Sergeant James Witkowski became the first recipient of the Arizona Gold Star Military Medal. I was honored to be present to see his parents, Jim and Barbara Witkowski, accept the honor. Army Sgt. Witkowski laid on a grenade, which killed him instantly to save the lives of his fellow soldiers in the Humvee and the rest of the convey he had been travelling with in Iraq.

A special thank you to Larry Brown and the Committee for always putting together a moving and deserving ceremony for our fallen soldiers and veterans.

Mark Your Calendar

33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration

The City of Surprise is hosting its 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration on Monday, July 4th. Gates open at 5 pm at Surprise Stadium. Rookie teams from the Seattle Mariners will be playing the Kansas City Royals at 6 pm. Fireworks begin after the game at approximately 8:30 pm. Admission is free with a canned food donation. The event is limited to the first 10,000 fans. Call 623-222-2000 for more details.

2016 HOA Academy

Registration is now open for the popular Surprise HOA Academy! The goal of the Academy is to provide expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Topics include contracts, fiduciary duty, CC&R enforcement and code compliance.

Academy Class Dates:
Monday, October 17
Monday, October 24
Monday, November 7
Monday, November 14
Monday, November 21

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Public Safety Building Auditorium
14250 W. Statler Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Registration closes on October 10, 2016. Please register early since seating is limited. You can download the HOA Academy registration form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/HOAacademy. For more information, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Did You Know?

2016 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The city recently launched a retail survey asking the community to vote for their favorite local businesses at which they dine, shop or have services provided. In just two weeks, the survey garnered more than 1,500 responses! Congratulations to the following businesses for earning the title of “Local Favorite”:

Top 10 Local Restaurants
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Big Buddha
Rio Mirage
New York Flavor
Nick’s Diner II
Babbo Italian Eatery
Irish Wolfhound
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Birt’s Bistro

Top 5 Local Retailers
Musical Surprise
Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Gifts to Go
Son Glow Boutique
Bling Tour

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey!

And last month, the Residence Inn by Marriott in Surprise won the Hotel of the Year award from Marriot International, Inc. This hotel was selected out of more than 700 hotels worldwide, receiving a total of five awards.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

May 19, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Installation of storm drain and sewer main on Bell Road east of 134th Drive
  • Installation of gas line in new alignment of 134th Avenue
  • Preparation to pave and form the curb/gutters to build the east side of Grand Ave
  • Building of the bridge columns and support beams on the east side of Grand Ave
  • Relocation and installation of utilities on Bell Road and Grand Ave

Utility work on 134th Drive began on Tuesday, May 17th and is expected to last through Friday, May 20th. The utility work will merit additional traffic control and possible delays. Access through 134th Drive will be maintained during the utility work with Dysart Road as an alternate route. Please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project.

Bell & Grand Update week 16

City Council Work Session

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa County Library District

The Maricopa Library District and the City of Surprise entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the operation of the Northwest Regional Library in 2001. The term of the agreement was ten years, with an option to renew an additional five years. The first ten years, the county paid for operating the library. After that the city began to fund a percentage of the operating costs paid by the library district until the city became responsible for 100% of the cost to operate the Northwest Regional Library FY2016.

The current IGA expires June 30, 2016 but the agreement is needed to continue to provide library services to residents. Pending FY2017 budget allocation; the CRS Department plans to conduct a feasibility study which will determine future library needs as well as explore possible options for the city to take over future library operations. This renewal will allow continuation of library programming at the Hollyhock and Northwest Regional libraries. The total cost for one year is approximately $1.8 million. The city currently has full funding for the operation of both libraries. Reduction scenarios were discussed for cost savings purposes only.

Surprise Heritage District

Planning staff provided a presentation for discussion pertaining to a zoning text amendment and rezoning application to create a new Surprise Heritage District (SHD) zoning overlay for the Original Town Site (OTS). The SHD is designed to preserve, protect and enhance the types of uses that are indicative of historic residential neighborhoods and to provide and promote the local arts and culture as well as business opportunities that are compatible with the overlay.

Unique to the SHD is the introduction of the “Cottage Industry” in a residential setting. By definition, a cottage industry in an accessory use to the single-family dwelling unit and must retain the residential architecture and character.

Public hearings for the Zoning Text Amendment will be held in June.

Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict

City Council Meeting

National Public Works Week

Mayor Sharon Wolcott issued a Proclamation to Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe and Public Works Director Mike Gent in honor of National Public Works Week. This national recognition is utilized to energize and educate the public on the importance of public works in our daily lives: planning, building, managing and operating the heart of our community to improve everyday quality of life. Thank you to all of our employees in this critical department…I greatly appreciate everything you do!

Storm Water Service Rates

Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe discussed the action needed for the adoption of rates for stormwater services with an effective date of November 1, 2016. City Council unanimously approved Resolution #2016-60 after a public hearing. Specific fee information can be found online at: http://www.surpriseaz.gov/3405/Public-Notices#stormwater

White Tank Mountain Conservancy

The White Tank Mountain Conservancy is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve the resources in the White Tank Mountains for posterity. Regional partners include Sonoran Institute, DMB, City of Buckeye, Maricopa County, WESTMARC, and many more. The organization intends to focus on five specific areas of impact in support of the White Tank Mountains and their resources which include: regional planning and partnerships; stewardship and volunteerism; advocacy and public policy; research, education and training; and tourism and public attraction.

The Conservancy will protect the White Tank Mountains by seeking pragmatic solutions that will enhance the economy of the West Valley while ensuring the sustainability of the natural resources the White Tanks have to offer. There is a one-time membership fee, which was included in the FY17 tentative budget, of $25,000 to include the City of Surprise as a regional partner.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Valley Metro Budget & Finance Subcommittee met on Thursday, May 12.

Surprise Police Department Retirement Celebration

The Surprise Police Department honored Detective James Parr and Officer Morgan Bastien at a retirement ceremony on May 12, 2016.

Detective James Parr was employed by the Surprise Police Department from January 2000 – January 2016. Throughout his career with the Department, Jim served in the Field Operations Division, Criminal Investigations Division, and as a School Resource Officer. Jim was employed with the Arizona Department of Corrections prior to joining the Police Department.

Officer Morgan Bastien joined the Surprise Police Department in August 2000 and served in the Field Operations Division and as a Motor Officer with the Support Services Unit. Morgan retired on April 30, 2016. Prior to joining Surprise Police, Morgan was employed as an officer in Page, Arizona.

Thank you for your service to the city of Surprise and best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy retirement!

WeMAR West Valley Economic Development Forum

On Monday, May 16, I attended WeMAR’s West Valley Economic Development Forum along with several other elected officials from the West Valley. Over 250 attendees were present for the panel discussions led by Moderator Liz Recchia. Surprise Community Development Director Eric Fitzer and Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic were panelists and provided insight on the future of West Valley economic development; city and state economic development plans, including the 303 corridor; as well as commercial development.

Public Outreach Meeting for Bond Program

City Manager Bob Wingenroth and staff hosted one of seven public outreach meetings for a proposed bond program at the Northwest Regional Library on Monday, May 16. Councilman Todd Tande and I both attended along with five residents. You can read more about the proposed projects and costs at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward, as City Council plans to discuss whether to send a bond package to the voters on the November 2016 ballot at our June 21 meeting.

Surprise Networking Group Presentation

I provided a city update on economic development to the Surprise Networking Group on Tuesday, May 17.  I greatly appreciate the invite and was happy to attend to report the recent successes of the city.

SKip hall speaks to Surprise Networking Group members

Mark Your Calendar

An Art Encounter with Eric Mengel

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission will host “An Art Encounter with Eric Mengel” on Saturday, May 21, from 11 am until 1 pm. The event will be held at Barnes & Noble, 13719 W. Bell Road. Mr. Mengel is a writer, artist and publisher of OCHO Comics.

An Art Encounter with Eric Mengel - flyer

Did You Know?

Surprise Water Resource Management Department Receives Safety Awards

Our very own Water Resource Management (WRM) Department was presented with four safety awards at the 2016 AZ Water Association Annual Water Conference for amassing more than 1,400 concurrent days without losing a man-day due to injury.

The Department was recognized during the May 11 awards ceremony for their safety record on specific systems in both water and wastewater utilities. For water, the city received two awards for the Mountain Vista Water System Treatment and Distribution. Wastewater was presented with two awards for the SPA1 and SP2 Water Reclamation Facilities (WRFs). The WRM team credits its success to reinforcing a safety culture in all of their facilities.

Many thanks to Water Resource Management Director Terry Lowe for his leadership with this fairly new department and congratulations to the staff for their success with safety!

2016 Retail Survey

The city is working hard to bring you the shopping and dining amenities that you want here. Since the last survey, we have had several of your top picks either open or announce they are coming to Surprise including Oregano’s and Texas Roadhouse. We’d like to recognize the top picks as a local favorite so please take some time to answer the survey prior to May 22. You can do so by clicking this link: www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Contact Me

Shop Bell & Grand local

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

Ask a Question

May 1, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Public Transit Short Range Plan
Public Works Business Manager David Kohlbeck provided City Council with a presentation on the public transit short range plan. We require many transit modes working in concert to create a successful transportation network that will continue to provide the City and our residents with economic prosperity, mobility choices and an overall better quality of life. As of now, we offer Valley Metro Express Route 571 with 4 peak trips to and from Downtown Phoenix and the State Capitol and Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride.

The City will be developing potential short-term transit options that will be based on Northwest Valley Transit System Study recommendations. The Study will begin this spring and summer. In the meantime, staff will identify capital and operating costs for the proposed improvements.  Additional funding sources are also under consideration.

Some of the implementation plan options include Route 138 (Waddell/Thunderbird Rd. to Boswell Hospital, Route 170 (Bell Road to Arrowhead Mall) and two new routes (Litchfield Road to Luke Air Force Base and a local circulator for the general public).

Dial-a-Ride Use by Trip Purpose
Dial-a-Ride Use by Trip Purpose


Dial-a-Ride Ridership Trends
Dial-a-Ride Ridership Trends


City of Surprise Transient Lodging Tax
Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services, discussed the background of the transient lodging privilege tax (Bed Tax). A portion of this tax has been used to promote tourism efforts in Surprise. On April 13, 2015, the Tourism Advisory Commission discussed several options related to the Tourism Fund and they are recommending an increase to the bed tax, not to exceed 2% and changing the allocation ration of the fund to 75% Sports Tourism Facility Development/Improvement or Renovation and 25% Special Events/Marketing/Studies. They recommend that 75% of the fund balance go toward the current stadium facility renovation project. A 2% increase to the transient lodging tax will increase tourism fund revenues by $219,000 which will total $386,000 annually.

City Council Meeting

New Boards & Commissions Appointments
City Clerk Sherry Aguilar swore in several new Boards & Commissions appointments.  Paul Curtis was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Disability Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2016; Linda Van Natter was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Disability Advisory Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2017’ and, Charlie Woodland was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Community & Recreation Services Commission with a term expiration of July 1, 2015.

New Boards and Commissions Appointments

Adoption of Tentative Expenditure Limitation Budget
The adoption of the tentative budget is the first in a series of three actions by the City Council that will establish the FY2016 budget and property tax levy amount.  The tentative budget sets the maximum expenditure limit ($278,821,400) and after it is adopted, the total expenditures cannot be modified to a higher amount, it may only be reduced. The Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution 2015-45. A public hearing and adoption of the final budget is scheduled to occur on June 2. The final step of adopting the property tax levy will follow on June 16.

Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Location
At the Council Meeting on April 21, 2015, City Council discussed an agenda item (agenda item #6) regarding the proposed location of the Boys & Girls Club of Surprise at the Roy Villanueva Center on Hollyhock Street in the Original Town site. Following the discussion, the item was tabled with a 4-3 vote to discuss at the next earliest meeting as additional data was requested. On May 5, Council voted to identify the Roy Villanueva Community and Recreation Complex and abutting City property as the preferred location for the Boys & Girls Club of Surprise.

Events & Meetings

Economic Development Dinner
Mayor Wolcott and I, along with the Director of Economic Development Jeanine Jerkovich attended a dinner with a prospective manufacturer on Thursday, April 30.

Dysart 3Es Summit: Excellence in Education & the Economy
I attended the Dysart 3E Summit on Friday, May 1 at the Dysart Unified School District Education Center. Chris Camacho, President and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and Dan Anderson, Director of Institutional Research with Arizona Board of Regents, were keynote speakers. Mr. Anderson provided us with several interesting facts regarding Arizona high school graduate outcomes in higher education. Out of 488 high schools in the state, 50% of students attending college came from 11% of the high schools.  Sadly, our statewide average college going rate is 50.5%.

The purpose of the Summit was to discuss key drivers to economic development and to establish our priorities for our educational system.

Surprise City Court-ADOT MVD Kiosk Ribbon Cutting
Surprise City Court celebrated the opening of the kiosk that now offers various Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) services on Tuesday, May 5.  This self-service kiosk offers an alternative to visiting the Surprise MVD office on Bell Road which is temporarily closed for renovations. The kiosk provides access to select MVD services including registration renewal, duplicate vehicle registration, duplicate driver’s licenses, change of address, temporary vehicle permits, vehicle tags (as of Tuesday, May 12), and much more. Customers can also access more than 20 services online through ServiceArizona.com.

Surprise City Court is located at 16081 N. Civic Center Plaza, Suite 105.  For those residents who need a full-service location, a list of MVD office locations and authorized providers can be found at www.azdot.gov/mvdlocations.

MVD Kiosk

MVD Kiosk Ribbon Cutting

Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee Meeting
The Boys & Girls Club of Surprise Steering Committee met on Wednesday, May 6.  Members broke into groups with their respective Subcommittee members to prepare for the next phase of getting the Boys & Girls Club in the City.

Canyon Ridge Elementary School Appreciation Breakfast
Dr. Shelly Isai, Principal of Canyon Ridge Elementary School, invited the City Council to attend the school’s teacher and volunteer recognition breakfast. Former Phoenix Suns player Steve Hunter was present for the recognitions as well. A special thank you to Canyon Ridge for the invitation to also thank the teachers and volunteers in our City!

School Appreciation Breakfast

Did You Know?

Surprise Retail Survey Launches
We want to know how we can make our City a one-stop shopping and dining destination and we will be giving away gift cards to some lucky survey-takers for just offering their thoughts.

The survey will help the City identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. This is so important because the money you spend in Surprise stays in Surprise! In fact, local sales tax generates almost 40% of our City’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The survey is available through June 17 online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey or in print at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street.

City wins Age-Friendly Community Competition
The City of Surprise was presented with the 2015 Age-Friendly Community Competition Award at the Going Places Conference in Scottsdale on May 6, 2015. In winning the award, the City will receive $5,000 in grant funds to support age-friendly programs. The City will use the money to purchase several mobile tablets. City staff and students, working through City programs, will bring the technology to community events and aid residents in getting connected.

Mark Your Calendar

NCAA 2015 Tennis Championships
The City of Surprise will be hosting the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships May 13 through May 16 at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, 14469 W. Paradise.  For more information, please call 623.222.2400 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Public Art Meeting on Bell & Grand Avenue
Following months of public input on the design of Bell & Grand Avenue, artist Meg Saligman will unveil her public art concept for the City’s busiest gateway on Monday, May 18 in the community room of City Hall from 6 pm until 8 pm.  A brief presentation will begin at 6:15 pm.

To learn more about the interchange improvement project or see earlier art concepts associated with the project, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Contact Me

Shop Surprise

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

Ask a Question


Help bring shopping, dining to Surprise through Retail Survey

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 new 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 gift cards to some lucky 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. This is important 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 June 17 and is available both online at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey and in print at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St.