Tag Archives: Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission

March 15, 2018 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Thursday, March 8. Commission Member Mario Rano was selected as the Vice Chair of the Commission. Staff provided suggestions on the Strategic Plan with a focus on four key areas, which included events and entertainment, marketing, partnership and facility development and funding. In addition, staff discussed the goals for each key area. Commission members and attendees were provided an overview of the most recent sales tax report for FY18. Staff from the Arizona Office of Tourism were also in attendance and provided a presentation.

Hall of Fame Induction for Jim Mallon

Jim Mallon Prior to the spring training game on the evening of Monday, March 12, Jim Mallon was inducted into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. Mr. Mallon served as the Surprise Stadium Operations Division Manager from July 2001 until his retirement in 2014. He is currently the only Operations Manager to have opened and managed two different Cactus League facilities. His enthusiastic personality and dedication to success helped shape Surprise Stadium into the world class facility it is today. Thank you, Jim!

Surprise Friends of the Library Meeting

I attended the Surprise Friends of the Library meeting on Friday, March 9. Amongst many agenda item discussions was the approval of a more than $2,300 donation to Marley Park Elementary School for books and special education curriculum and $247 to Desert Oasis Elementary School for books for a classroom teacher.

Spring Training Event

Several Councilmembers and I joined Economic Development staff to welcome members of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to a spring training game suite on Friday, March 9. The game provided us an opportunity to learn about economic development prospects for Surprise and the Valley.

Benevilla Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch

Benevilla held their 2018 Annual Donor Appreciation Brunch on Tuesday, March 13 at Briarwood Country Club. West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop received a Business Leadership Award for their generosity to many non-profits, including Benevilla. Mr. Larry Vering, a Surprise resident, received the Bill Wolfrey Community Service Award for his dedication and service to Benevilla and several other non-profits. Congratulations, Larry!

Mr. Larry Vering and Benevilla staff

Mark Your Calendar

Free Educational Series Teaches How to Raise a Reader

Surprise has partnered with Southwest Human Development and First Things First to host a free eight-week Raising a Reader program that utilizes proven skills to educate parents about the importance of early literacy and provides tools to help their children learn to read.

Using an evidence-based model that focuses on developmental milestones and brain development, literacy specialists will model how to engage children with the use of books. Families will also learn the significance of singing, dancing and playing as a way to build their child’s vocabulary and prepare them for school.

All members of the family are invited to participate! Plus, at the end of each week participating families will take home a bag filled with award-winning children’s books and a certificate of completion.

Courses will be taught from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays beginning March 27 through May 15, at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Suite #124.

To enroll in the eight week Raising a Reader series, contact Muriel Gutierrez at 623.222.1672.

Taste of Surprise

Mark your calendars for a fantastic event! Showcasing some of the West Valley’s best restaurants and eateries, the Taste of Surprise is a fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation to support projects and charitable services in the local community. The Taste of Surprise features dozens of food, beer, wine and spirit vendors, including local culinary talents from award-winning restaurants and local emerging chefs.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. Tickets are available at www.tasteofsurprise.com or at the door. I hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

National Citizens Survey Is Online Through Monday, March 19

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

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

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

Vote on Surprise’s Water Future

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a Special Election on May 15. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings.

The city is seeking authorization to purchase Circle City Water Company (CCW), a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent, helping to plan for future growth. The purchase of CCW would be offset through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

The water election website, www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, now includes a short informational video, downloadable fact sheet, frequently asked questions, important election dates, voter information and public meeting dates and locations.

We are holding public meetings on the following dates:

April 4, 6 p.m.
Desert Oasis Elementary Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room, 17161 W Bajada Road

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

The voter registration deadline for this election is April 16. To register, please visit http://maricopa.vote/. The Surprise City Clerk’s Office also offers in-person registration.

All registered households in Surprise will receive a mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Election Day is May 15. For more information, please contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 14, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) will be closed Sept. 18-24 for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps will be closed from 1 a.m. Monday (Sept. 18) to 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 24), according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Drivers can use detour routes along Dysart and Litchfield roads to make connections between Bell Road and Grand Avenue. Bell Road will remain open for traffic traveling over the bridge. During the week, crews will be removing the median island along westbound Grand Avenue near the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

The change is designed to provide improved guidance for drivers making left turns onto Bell Grande Drive while clearly separating that traffic from vehicles using the westbound off-ramp at the Bell Road overpass. Drivers should use caution in the work zone and expect restrictions along westbound US 60 and left-turn closures at the Bell Grande Drive intersection.

Crews also will add sections of what are known as mountable, rounded curbs near the ends of the existing barrier walls separating the on- and off-ramps near the crosswalks on the Bell Road overpass. As an additional safety measure, yellow flexible safety posts will be placed near the ends of the ramp barrier walls. The changes are designed to help drivers with turning angles between Bell Road and the ramps.

The ramps first opened to traffic in February as part of ADOT’s $42 million project to build a new interchange connecting Bell Road and Grand Avenue. The improvements are the result of feedback from local drivers as well as staff at ADOT and the city of Surprise.

Economic Development Update

Our Economic Development team has been busy! Over the last few months the following new businesses have opened:

Boba Craze (16630 W. Greenway), 3 Minute Express Car Wash (11516 W. Bell Road), Salad and Go (17137 N. Litchfield Road), Subaru Superstore (13090 N. Autoshow), Sumo Snow (16487 W. Bell Road), Denny’s (16487 W. Bell Road), Casa De Papa Taco (13761 W. Bell Road, Suite 211), Innovative Health Clinic (12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126), Pure Physique Pilates and Reflexion Medical Center (14851 W. Bell Road, Suite 104)

Permits for construction have been issued for businesses that include:

Thompson Thrift, which includes Raising Canes, Pieology, Menchies Yogurt, Starbucks, Tokyo Joes (near Bell Road and Civic Center Drive), Sonic Drive-In (17181 W. Greenway Road), Hayashi Restaurant (16525 W. Bell Road), Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken (16411 W. Bell Road), Maximus Nutrition (13601 N. Litchfield Road), Ono Hawaiian BBQ (13864 W. Bell Road), Max Automotive (13515 W. Foxfire Drive), Greulich’s Automotive (16641 W. Bell Road), Skyway Commons (11470/11560 N. Dysart Road), Phoenix Distribution Center (10947 N. 132nd Avenue), Milam Glass (10801 N. 132nd Avenue), Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital (17300 N. Dysart Road), West-MEC (13201 W. Grand Avenue)

Events & Meetings

Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Committee met on Tuesday, September 12. The Committee expressed great enthusiasm about the city’s development of a new Sports and Tourism Department. Donna Miller, Community and Recreation Services Director, provided an update on the organizational changes the new department would bring and announced that Director candidate interviews were taking place this week.

Community Development Planner, Joshua Mike, provided commission members with an overview of the Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan. With the plan still in the public input phase, he explained the opportunity for the Tourism Advisory Commission to get involved and integrate tourism initiatives into the potential art and culture initiatives and outreach.

The Tourism Advisory Commission has also decided to adjust their current meeting times from quarterly to monthly scheduled meetings. Beginning in October, the Tourism Advisory Commission will meet every second Thursday at 6 p.m. and meetings will take place in the City Council Overflow Room. Location may vary depending on availability.

Commission members chose a new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Resident DeAngelo Hall will be Chairperson, and hotel representative Ms. Della Brandenberger will be Vice-Chairperson.

The October Tourism Advisory Commission meeting will take place Thursday, October 12 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall – Council Overflow Room.

Innovative Healthcare Ribbon Cutting

Councilman Ken Remley and I attended the ribbon cutting for Innovative Health, located at 12851 W. Bell Road, Suite 126 on Tuesday, September 12.

Innovative Health group cutting ribbon at grand opening

Sports & Tourism Director Meet & Greet

City Council and management met with the seven finalists for the Sports and Tourism Director position on Tuesday, September 12 at Babbo Italian Eatery. All seven candidates were impressive and had a variety of experience for the position.

Mark Your Calendar

Free Chest Compression Only CPR Class

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is offering a free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) class. CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Class is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 from 2-4 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

West Valley Healthcare Career Expo

Are you looking for an exciting career in the healthcare field or know someone who is? The West Valley Healthcare Career Expo event will be held on September 20 from 10 am until 1 pm at the Avondale Sports Center. Employers like Banner Health, Sun Health, Rapid Recovery Centers, Dignity Health and much more will be there to offer hundreds of jobs. Registration is required. Register at WorkWest.org.

Stay Informed

There are so many new and exciting things happening in Surprise. We want you to stay informed. Please follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Skip-Hall/100010609816668. You can also get the latest city news through the Surprise City Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise and our city webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive Opens Friday

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive from Bell Road to Paradise will open Friday, September 15 at 6 a.m. The project includes one travel lane in each direction with a center median and provides a direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road.

Annual Pavement Preservation Program

The City of Surprise Public Works Department kicks off its annual Pavement Preservation Program this week. This annual program identifies city streets to receive appropriate applications to lengthen the lifetime of the street surface. The approved budgeted amount for the FY18 Pavement Preservation Program is $4.5 million. The scheduled work is to be performed on 200.2 lane miles of city streets through June 30.

Residents can expect road restrictions during the work. Residents living in areas targeted for treatment will receive 48-hour notice before the work begins via a door hanger. The only application where residents will not receive a 48-hour notice is Crack Sealing, which is a quick drying and steady pace process. However, residents are asked to be aware of temporary “Fresh Oil” signs and mobile work crews installing the treatment. Residents requiring special assistance during the street treatments will find contact information on the door hangers.

Street treatments include Crack Sealing, Master Seal MTR or PMM, Chip Seal, Mill & Rubberized Asphalt Overlay, Micro Surfacing, and Type II Slurry Seal. Maps detailing the roads scheduled to receive treatment and the types of treatment they will receive are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp. For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.

City Council Will Vote on D3 Appointee – September 19

City Council conducted interviews of all six applicants for the District 3 appointment at a public hearing held during a Special Meeting in the City Council Chamber on September 5. City Council will vote to fill the seat at our regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at 6 p.m. For more information on the applicants, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

May 25, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable

The Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on the link between water and economic growth on Thursday, May 18.

Senator Jon Kyl kicked off the meeting, speaking on how water has been the driving force that shaped the prosperity of the Phoenix metro area, from the construction of the Salt River Project system through the Central Arizona Project’s impact on the life in the Valley.

Ana Lopez, an ASU graduate intern for the Kyl Center, then provided insight into a new Center study. The study’s focus evaluated how corporate leaders, site locators and residential developers value water. Lopez provided an overview of the interview and survey results, that were based on information received by individuals who were responsible for determining if a company should relocate, if a development should be constructed, or if a piece of land should be purchased for development. Nearly all felt the risk of water is something that could not be gambled on. If the water supply of an area is doubtful, those interviewed would stop considering an area in question, believing the risk to future success is too great.

Grady Gammage, a land use attorney, water advocate, and Advisory Board Member of the Kyl Center, spoke about the misconceptions about water and the Phoenix Metro region. He cited several recent news articles and publications that inaccurately referenced the region as a particular area that should not have been developed or that was running out of water. Sound water management is what Arizonans do, dating back to when people began to inhabit the region. He cited the 1980 Groundwater Management Act as having a significant impact on new development. He concluded that looking to the future, Arizona is not going to run out of water, as long as Arizonans maintain a proactive and responsible approach to water policy.

As a member of the Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable, the City of Surprise is committed to researching and analyzing opportunities to ensure sound water stewardship.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission Special Meeting, May 18, was facilitated by Eric Bailey, President of Bailey Innovations Group. The session included a series of activities and exercises designed to help pave the tourism framework of the Commission’s Strategic Plan. Tourism Commission members and staff identified a common focus while evaluating the current mission statement established in the Tourism Advisory Strategic Plan. Members were asked to assemble into groups to identify key terms and areas of importance regarding the impact of tourism and its effect on our community.

Commission members and staff developed the following statement: “With the consistent growth of the City of Surprise, it is imperative to create a strategic plan for tourism that will enhance the quality of life for residents through increased economic development and partnership opportunities creating an identity that the community is proud of.” The Commission also identified several key areas of focus including: funding, annual events, entertainment, identity development, medical tourism and destination attractions.

Commission members and staff were asked to evaluate and use the statement as an enhancement to the Strategic Plan. Commission members will complete the strategic plan at the next meeting to be held on August 8 at 9 a.m.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting, May 18, where the Board approved the FY18 budget which will begin on July 1. Discussion included the community outreach plan concerning the paratransit changes that take effect on July 1. Please note there will be two meetings in Surprise. The first meeting will be held at the Surprise Senior Center for those that exclusively utilize the current Dial-a-Ride system for Senior Center trips only, and the second meeting will be June 14. Details are under the Mark Your Calendar section of this newsletter.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club celebrated their one-year anniversary with an Open House Celebration, May 18. Council Members Ken Remley and myself were honored to attend. Several Job Club Alumni also joined new members in the celebration.

The City of Surprise launched the Surprise Veteran Job Club on May 16, 2016 to serve Veterans and their families with career services. Too many Veterans find it difficult to transition to civilian employment after their military service.

In their first year, the Surprise Veteran Job Club collaborated with 31 businesses and membership grew to 70 members – over 70% of those members successfully transitioned into a diverse range of occupations and industries. The club is completely run by volunteers who are Veterans and spouses. The club aims to help veterans, active military, their spouses and family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career. This group provides help with such things as creating effective resumes, employment assistance, guest speakers and networking opportunities.

Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. The next meeting is Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd. Bldg. A, Ste. #124. Please call 623-222-1600 or email April.Irish@surpriseaz.gov for more information.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 23. Remember Media expert Sean O’Neill was the featured speaker. He provides corporate seminars that are known to have boosted the careers of thousands of employees and executives. The information was very useful and appreciated.

Mark Your Calendar

6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony

The Veterans Memorial Hall Memorial Day 2017 Committee is hosting their 6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony on Monday, May 29. The ceremony will be held at Radiant Church, at 15522 W. Paradise Lane. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Tuesday, June 14, to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting.

Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

Did You Know?

City Relocates City Hall Recycling Containers

The large recycling containers at City Hall, 14534 W. Tierra Buena Lane, have been relocated, due to upcoming planned development in the area. One of the containers will be moved to the gravel area next to the parking lot at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, and another container will be relocated to the Public Works Yard, 13430 W. Westgate Drive.

A reminder that it is illegal to dump trash or recycling materials at non-designated drop-off locations. It is also illegal to dump unapproved items into the bins. If you witness someone performing these illegal acts, please call the police non-emergency number (623-222-4000). A list of approved items is available on the bins.

For more information about recycling in Surprise visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recycle.

City pools open this weekend!

The City of Surprise pools will open on Saturday, May 27 for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are noon – 5 p.m., including Memorial Day Monday, May 29. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 6 p.m. and Friday from noon – 4 p.m.

The Hollyhock Pool is located at 15808 N Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are noon – 4 p.m., including Memorial Day. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 3 p.m.

Daily admission for Surprise residents is $1 per child (age 17 and under) and $2 per adult (must show residency); non-resident admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person (age16 or older) at all times.

Pool passes are available for Surprise residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (age 17 and under) and $40 for adults (age 18 and older); family passes (2 adults and 3 children) are $80.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/aquatics or call the Hollyhock Pool at 623.222.2530 or the Surprise Aquatic Center at 623.222.2500.

115th Avenue & Union Hills Drive Summer Work Hours

Construction activities on the 115th Ave and Union Hills Drainage Improvement Project began last week and will continue throughout summer 2017.

The 115th Ave and Union Hills Drive project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, to construct two miles of drainage improvement designed to intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River, decreasing flood hazards to communities in the project area. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018.

Current activities on the project include placing concrete in the channel on the south side of Bell Road.

The project team is mindful of the communities in the area and is committed to minimizing inconvenience to residents and business during construction activity.

For questions or concerns, call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

City Offices Closed for Memorial Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day all week. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

If you have any questions, please contact City of Surprise Public Works at 623.222.1900.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

April 13, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Vista High School – Local Government Presentations

Government and U.S. History teacher John Hastings invited me to speak to Valley Vista students on local government on Thursday, April 6. There were four sessions totaling a few hundred students who learned about the duties of our Surprise City Council and our city departments and how we work with various state, regional and local agencies. The students were impressively engaged and asked several questions afterwards.

Surprise Citizens Patrol 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner

The Surprise Citizens Patrol held their 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 7. Sergeant Curtis James, the founder of the Citizens Patrol in 1997, was a guest speaker along with Jim Joye, the first “President,” as the Commander was called in the early days. Since the program’s inception, Citizens Patrol volunteers have contributed more than 323,303 hours at a cost savings to the city of more than $8 million.

Chief Terry Young expressed his heartfelt thanks for the volunteers’ hard work and dedication to the Police Department and to the city. In addition to celebrating this milestone achievement, 2016 service awards and individual achievement awards were presented. Those receiving awards were:

Others that received awards included: Wayne Gebhart, Squad A Person of the Year; John McMahon, Squad B Person of the Year; Charles Ivey, Squad C Person of the Year and Mike Dolce, Squad D Person of the Year.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted their Annual Taste of Surprise event on Saturday, April 8 at Surprise Stadium. There were 43 local restaurants represented and 13 different entertainers providing live music during the event. There were 1,063 tickets sold. All proceeds will benefit five local charities including One Step Beyond Inc, Benevilla, Surprise Youth Foundation, a New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.

A special thank you to Chris Judd and Amanda Sanchez for their hard work and dedication to this event as well as all the Rotarians for their countless hours of preparing and volunteering for the event.

Tourism Advisory Commission

As spring comes to a close, the Tourism Advisory Commission continues to work hard towards the expansion of tourism in Surprise as discussed at the quarterly meeting on April 11. Agenda items included a detailed overview of the Tourism fund; a history of events recommended by the commission; an overview of the Tourism fund application process; and the Sports Tourism Strategic Plan for which the commission has organized a workshop session to take place Thursday, May 18 to strengthen its current goals.

Additionally, commission members had the opportunity to review recommended projects proposed for state-issued Prop 302 tourism funding for fiscal year 2018. Items included college baseball tournaments, youth baseball tournaments, Spring Training, and Surprise Regional Chamber projects, including the visitor’s guide, website and city map. Recommended items are scheduled to be submitted by June 2017.

Friends of the Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of the Library held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12. I have been participating with the non-profit as a liaison to the City of Surprise since February. Friends of the Libraries support local public and school libraries, teachers, and reading and literacy programs. Since 2003, they have donated $506,278.87 to our community. Agenda items for the meeting included, but were not limited to, the Luke Air Force Base outreach program and discussion of a strategic plan with Dysart Unified School District.

Friends of the Libraries recently partnered with us for the Surprise Literacy Program and donated books to the winning class. Below is a picture of Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt accepting one of the books.

Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt
Councilman Skip Hall with Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt

Mark Your Calendar

Spring Egg-stravaganza this Saturday

Join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the Surprise Spring Egg-stravaganza on Saturday, April 15. The celebration is being held on the Kansas City Practice Fields, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, just west of the Surprise Stadium.

The event runs from 7:30 – 10 a.m. The first egg hunt begins at 8 a.m. with the 2 years and under age group. New hunts will follow approximately every 20 minutes by age group with an open hunt at the end for those who missed their age group. Children participating in the hunt should bring baskets or bags to hold their treats and eggs.

For more information about the Spring Egg-stravaganza, including the egg hunt schedule, please call 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Poetry Slam at WHAM

Mark your calendars and join your neighbors at the Poetry Slam at WHAM on Friday, April 21 from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road. This free event features open mic night for poetry, free verse and storytelling.

Registration is not required. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. For more information, please contact Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vice Chair Margaret Lieu at 623.334.5271.

Public Art Bus Tour

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is offering a free public art bus tour to the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg to see the Cowgirl Up exhibit on Saturday, April 22 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. You will start and end at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road, where you can stay to enjoy their Recycle Arts Festival.

Parking is available just south of the WHAM facility in the rear lot of the post office. There will be a museum entry fee of $9 per person.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association is hosting their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event is scheduled from 4 – 9 p.m. and will include a Recycle Arts Exhibit and the Eco Styles Fashion Show, a creative art display that underscores the possibilities of working with reusable post-consumer materials.

Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. Enjoy food, music, free activities for kids and the spirit of community and collaboration at the Recycle Arts Fest– where creative expression goes green! If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2017 Recycle Arts Fest send an email to whamartassociation@wham-art.org.

Did You Know?

Surprise Resource Center Partners to expand Veteran Assistance Services

The City of Surprise has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Arizona@Work Department of Economic Security to expand the assistance services available to veterans and their families through the Surprise Resource Center.

The following services are available every Tuesday at the Resource Center:

  • Employment Assistance: Meet one-on-one with a workforce development expert to go over career opportunities, resume assistance, interview tips and more
  • Homeless Veterans Assistance: Veterans can connect to resources through the VA Community Resource and Referral Center, which offers assistance to Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness by providing connections to permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and VA benefits

The city also has a Surprise Veteran Job Club that meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center. The center is located at on the AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Ste. #124 in Surprise.

All programs and services are available to the public at no-cost. For more information, please visit the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

January 12, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Current Activities

View the weekly construction photos and additional information on the project website.

  • Grand Avenue narrowed to one lane in each direction at times beginning 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, between Dysart and Litchfield roads for paving work. Please be prepared for lane restrictions, allow extra travel time and use caution in work zone.
  • Bell Road narrowed to one lane in both directions between Litchfield and Dysart roads nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 16, to Wednesday, Jan. 18, for pavement work.
  • The driveways at Bell Grande and Towne Center Drive along Grand Avenue will be closed at times as paving continues on eastbound Grand Avenue through Jan. 19.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road. 

Work continues on the following:

  • Paving eastbound Grand Avenue. Paving anticipated to last through Jan. 19.
  • Installing curb and sidewalk along eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting met on Monday, January 9. Items discussed included finalizing plans for sponsoring bus tours to City Hall and West Valley Arts HQ for students of Dysart Unified School District and local charter schools so they can view art and learn about Black History Month. City Hall has a gallery of local art on display year-round, and West Valley Arts HQ will be featuring a new exhibit “Vision & Sound: An African American Experience” from Feb. 2-26 The Commission’s Strategic Plan and the possible pursuit of sponsoring a community centered public art event known as Chalk it Up was also discussed. The draft Surprise Public Art Policy and Procedures Guide as well as the Display Plan were approved and are now ready for City Council consideration and possible action.

Citizen Review Meeting

On the night of Monday, January 9, CampCorp and City Staff held a Citizen Review meeting for the Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezone of the CampCorp, located north of the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue. In the past, this area was a residential assembly plant for Del Webb, a truss factory for Foxworth-Galbraith, and is now the site of CampCorp – a builder of portable manufacture structures. The existing zoning of Regional Commercial and the General Plan Use of Commerce and office make this site legal nonconforming (grandfathered), and limits expansion capabilities. In a joint effort with the City to initiate the General Plan Amendment and with CampCorp applying for rezone to General Industrial (IG), it is anticipated that the plant can expand, providing more opportunities for jobs in the Surprise area.

Tourism Advisory Commission

The Tourism Advisory Commission met on Tuesday, January 10. Commissioners selected a new Chair and Vice Chair. Congratulations to DeAngelo Hall and Kristen Peck, respectively. Economic Development Manager Mike Hoover provided an economic development update.

The Commission also discussed the upcoming 2017 College Baseball Classic Tournament. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 17
1 p.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
5 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Saturday, February 18
10 a.m. – Gonzaga University vs. Duke University
2 p.m. -Gonzaga University vs. Oregon State University
6 p.m. – Duke University vs. Indiana University

Sunday, February 19
9:30 a.m. – Duke University vs. Oregon State University
1:30 p.m. – Indiana University vs. Gonzaga University

Monday, February 20
11:00 am Indiana University vs. Oregon State University

Game times and schedules are subject to change. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Friends of the Library Board Meeting

I attended the Friends of the Library board meeting on Wednesday, January 11. The Friends of the Surprise Libraries Inc. is a non-profit, independent organization. The group supports literacy and programs at the Northwest Regional Library, the Hollyhock Library and local schools.

Mark Your Calendar

Martin Luther King, Jr. day of celebration & community service

I am honored to be speaking at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday. I hope you will join me rain or shine!

The program celebrating Dr. King’s life will begin at 9 a.m. in the outside courtyard at City Hall. In the case of rain, the program will move to the Communiversity (next to the courtyard). Following the program, there will be an opportunity to serve your community through various service projects.

For more information, including a parking map, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/MLK.

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21 from 7-10 a.m. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10 a.m. or until the shred trucks have been filled up.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX

Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

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

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

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

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

September 15, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project.

Work continues as follows:

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue is being reconstructed.
  • Construction of the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue for the next few months.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, 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.

Bell & Grand Business Stakeholders Outreach Meeting

The City and ADOT hosted a monthly Business Stakeholders Outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I attended along with staff and business representatives. Economic Development provided on update on outreach and education initiatives and ADOT provided a project update.

ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart introduced Phase 3C (see map below) of the project where Bell Rd reopens; a specific target date will be presented at the September 20 City Council meeting. The goal is to open all three lanes of Bell Rd in late November.

ADOT Bell & Grand Phase 3C slide

Due to continued work on tie-ins, there may be occasional curb lane restrictions and overnight work on Bell Rd after the reopening. The project team will work hard to ensure that at least two lanes in each direction remain open on Bell Rd during daytime work.

When Bell Rd reopens, Grand Ave will be inaccessible from the Bell Rd bridge and vice versa. The signal at the Bell Rd and Grand Ave intersection will be inactive until the ramps open in early 2017. A signal at the intersection of 134th Ave and Bell Rd will be up and operational.

Reconfiguration of the designated detour route to reflect the opening of Bell Road is under review. East-west through movements will resume on Bell Road, however drivers will still need to use Bell-Litchfield/ Bell-Dysart to access Grand Ave. Signage along the designated detour route will be changed so drivers are aware they no longer need to use Greenway Road. Lane striping and signals will be modified at the Bell-Litchfield and Bell-Dysart intersections.

Work continues on eastbound Grand Ave lanes through early 2017.

Now that deck pours have been completed on the BNSF bridge, ADOT does not anticipate any major Grand Ave closures until mid-October.

ShopSurprise has sent 171,000 messages to date and more than 25 businesses have participated. There has been 3,100 opt-in and 35 email subscribers as well. The Economic Development department plans to develop a direct marketing campaign to draw Sun City consumers back to Surprise. The department recently won the Gold Prospector Award, Multi-media Production at the Arizona Association of Economic Developers for their efforts on the ShopSurprise campaign. Congratulations to our amazing team!

The city hosted a job fair in August with 13 employers present. Approximately 100 job seekers also took advantage of the fair. Another employment workshop is being planned for late October. Additionally, another career fair and business information session will occur in November. More details will soon follow!

Events & Meetings

AZ STEM School Community of Practice Meeting

As part of the team representing our local STEM school, Canyon Ridge, Dr. Shelley Isai and I joined staff from Canyon Ridge and several other representatives from STEM schools at Grand Canyon University on September 8. Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Don Covey and Provost for Grand Canyon University Dr. Hank Radda joined us. Breakout topics included discussions on barriers, solutions and commitments schools are facing. Opportunities to meet with representatives from any of the 44 STEM schools participating were available to those who took part in the meeting.

Grand Opening of Benevilla’s Helping Partners Program

The Helping Partners Program, run by local nonprofit Benevilla, has moved into a space at City Hall. To welcome the program, a grand opening ceremony took place on Monday, September 12, followed by a tour of the office space. Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I joined city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

The Helping Partners Life Enrichment Program was designed for adults with intellectual or development challenges. The program provides volunteer and employment opportunities that enable members to contribute in their respective communities.

Councilmembers Hall, Villanueva, Winters & Tande with city staff and Benevilla representatives, including CEO Michelle Dionisio and program participants.

Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

I attended the Surprise Tourism Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 13. Agenda items included an update on sports tourism and future baseball tournaments and a discussion pertaining to the Western Heritage Trail Society. Western Heritage Trail Society is an association striving to develop, promote and showcase events, programs and destinations truly unique to our beautiful State.

Annual Fiscal Year Water Resource Management Meeting

On Wednesday, September 14, the Water Resource Management Department held its Annual New Fiscal Year (FY) Kick-off All Hands Lunch for staff. The intent of the lunch is to give staff an opportunity to reflect on FY16 accomplishments through presentations made by division managers that recognize outstanding performers and provide staff with a look at what the department will be doing in FY17. Director Terry Lowe thanked everyone for coming and reminded his staff about the keys to a successful business: People… Processes… Product. This philosophy has led to the completion of the new Gateway Training Center and the successful coordination and teamwork in the commencement and completion of nearly a dozen other major projects. The training center, which will have its Grand Opening on October 26, is the place where staff will broaden its knowledge and understanding of their careers and assist the department in better serving the community. The department’s division managers: Lee Lambert, Water; Warren Dancer, Wastewater; Christine Nunez, Environmental Compliance; Paul Mohr, Business Process; and Fred Stevens, Resource Portfolio, each gave those in attendance a little deeper look into the work they do, their teams, and their initiatives for next year.

Mark Your Calendar

Movie Night at Surprise Stadium

Movie Night will be held at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, September 17 featuring “Hotel Transylvania 2” (Rated PG). The event is sponsored by Coulter Nissan in Surprise, and admission is free!

Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Bring your blankets and pillows and stretch out on the grass at Surprise Stadium, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave. The stadium food and beverage policy is in effect. Concessions will be available for purchase. Ice chests and lawn chairs are not permitted.

For more information, please contact Community and Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.

CPR Classes Offered

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes on Wednesday, September 21.

CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

Two sessions will be held. The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

Mental Health Advocacy Event

Author and mental health advocate Erin Callinan will take part in an event, “Beautifully Bipolar – From Trauma to Triumph,” at the Communiversity on September 26, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with Erin’s family, mental health resource tables and a book signing. Erin will share her personal journey of finding hope after her mental illness diagnosis at the age of 17.

Did You Know?

Veteran’s Day Art Show

Are you a veteran with artistic talent? The city is seeking veteran-produced artwork for inclusion in an art show display during its Veterans Day Celebration on November 11. Professional and amateur artists are invited to display at this event. Paintings, photography, sculpture, illustrations or any other medium is welcome; there is no charge to participate. Interested artists should contact Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Chair, Susan deJong, at 623.214.7537 or sandbapple@msn.com.

The artwork will be on display from 8-11 a.m. in front of Surprise Stadium, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. In addition to the art show, the city’s Veterans Day celebration includes a parade that will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run along Bullard Avenue near Surprise Stadium. Both the art show and parade are free to attend.

For $4, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the stadium before the parade from 7-9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Community and Recreation Services Office, located at the stadium.

Learn more about the Veterans Day Celebration at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question