Tag Archives: Valley Metro

October 4, 2018 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Valley Metro Transit Services Contract

City Council received a detailed outline of the new RideChoice program being offered by Valley Metro. The new program began in Surprise on October 1 and will be implemented in other cities that participate in the program on December 1, 2018. The new program has additional service options, such as Lyft, and additional wheelchair carriers. From now until December 1, those currently utilizing the system who wish to remain on the old program can do so, but after November 30, everyone will use the new program.

Some benefits to the new program are:

  1. Lyft (Faster response time)
  2. Additional trips 20 regular users/50 for medical and work
  3. Cashless and cardless system
  4. One call center for booking, cancellations and checking on arrival times

If you have not already received your letter and flyer regarding the new program, you can access the City’s website for additional information at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation

City Partnership with Chance Shelter

Surprise owns and operates about a half dozen outdoor kennels that are used by our Animal Care and Control team. To address the needs of our growing community, it would be helpful to obtain a properly-sized, indoor air conditioned facility. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided an overview of a partnership proposal with local non-profit Chance Shelter of Surprise, which operates a robust and successful volunteer “foster shelter” program.

The City could enter into a low-cost, long-term lease of two or three acres of City-owned land suitable for the construction of a shelter facility and pay the basic ongoing utility costs. Under the proposed partnership, Chance Shelter would construct a 12,000-15,000 square foot shelter that would include kennels and office space for Surprise Animal Care and Control operations. Chance Shelter would operate the shelter and provide all the care and services associated with a modern, no-kill animal shelter. Currently, there is land available north of Bell Road, west of Litchfield Road, south of Grand Avenue that would be suitable for this purpose near the current Police evidence facility.

City Council Meeting

Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Status Report

A presentation pertaining to the FY2018 Financial Status Report through June 2018 was given. FY2018 revenue is projected to come in $3.1 M over estimates with the majority being attributed to an increase of residential and commercial development. Expenditures are coming in slightly higher than expected by $0.2 M. Grant expenditures for FY2018 are anticipated to be around $2.7 M for our five grant departments. These figures are unaudited and will be fine-tuned as Finance continues to close Fiscal Year 2018.

Events & Meetings

Surprise Fire-Medical Department Retirement

Former Captain Renee Hamblin
Former Captain Renee Hamblin

The Surprise Fire Medical Department hosted a retirement celebration for Captain Renee Hamblin on Thursday, September 27. Captain Hamblin has worked in a variety of roles for the department and has been involved in many of our successes. She will be greatly missed.

Surprise Regional Chamber Business Convener’s Lunch

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their regular Business Convener’s lunch on Wednesday, October 3. The keynote speaker was Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich who discussed what businesses need to know about the work environment in our state.

Mark Your Calendar

Voter Registration Closes on October 9

Residents are reminded that Voter Registration closes on Tuesday, October 9 for the November 6 General Election. Not sure if you are registered? You can verify your registration and access online voter registration at http://maricopa.vote.

If you are on the Permanent Early Voter List, ballots will be mailed out beginning Wednesday, October 10. Your early ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office recommends mailing your ballot by October 31.

Early Voting hours at Surprise City Hall are as follows:

Saturday, 10/27 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 10/28 – Closed
Monday, 10/29 thru Friday, 11/2 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A ballot drop-off box will also be available at those dates and times. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. You can find your Polling Location here: Locations.Maricopa.Vote.

October Art Events in Surprise

October is jam-packed with amazing arts and cultural events – from theater performances to poetry

October 13, 6:30 p.m. Sunset Theater – Shawnte Orion:

Contemporary Poetry Widely-published poets Shawnte Orion, who has performed from Portland to Paris, and Rosemarie Dombrowski, who is the current Poet Laureate of Phoenix, present an evening of contemporary poetry.

Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Dr.
Cost: $11.95 | Student ID $5.00
Buy Tickets: https://westvalleyarts.org/product/shawnte-orion-contemporary-poetry-101318/

October 17, 9 a.m. – Noon Public Art Bus Tour

Hop aboard the bus, and enjoy fun-filled stops that showcase our local arts scene. You’ll be able to take in some great public art and visit local art galleries! Bus leaves from Surprise City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza. Registration required and the event is free. To register, call 623.214.7537.

October 19, 6 – 8 p.m. Poetry Slam at WHAM

Participants are invited to read their own Halloween-themed poetry or read works by Edgar Allan Poe at this open mic event. The event is free.

WHAM, 16560 N Dysart Rd

October 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Technology & Art: A Tinker Time for All Ages (interactive event)

Come out and experiment with a 3-D printer and coding kits, or explore a new world with Virtual Reality goggles and so much more! All ages welcome! Brought to you in partnership with the Northwest Regional Library. The event is free.

Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N Bullard Ave

October 24, Noon – 1 p.m. Lunchtime Theater – Arizona Broadway Theatre: Titanic

Arizona Broadway Theatre will be performing selections from “Titanic: The Musical.” Welcome aboard the ship of dreams!

Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Dr.
Cost: $11.95
For reservations, call 623.584.2626
Tickets: https://westvalleyarts.org/product/arizona-broadway-theatre-titanic-102418/

Want to see what else is coming up this fall? Arts events are listed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/arts

Did You Know?

Officer Nate Miller Awarded for Work

Surprise Police Officer Nate receives the “Explorer Advisor of the Year” award

Surprise Police Officer Nate Miller recently won a statewide award for his work with teens in the Police Department’s Explorers Program. He received the “Explorer Advisor of the Year” award from the Boy Scouts of America. Congratulations to Officer Miller, and thank you for all you do!

City Manager Announces New Assistant City Manager

Assistant City Manager Mark Schott
Assistant City Manager Mark Schott

After an extremely competitive internal recruitment process, City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced that Human Resource Director Mark Schott has been promoted to Assistant City Manager. Mr. Schott is a West Valley native and began his career in local government with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. He joined Surprise Police in 1993. In 2012, he joined our Human Resources Department and became our HR Director in 2014. Congratulations, Mark!

Bullard Ave Improvement Project update; traffic pattern change rescheduled to Oct 10

Due to the weather delay earlier this week, the Bullard Avenue traffic reconfiguration has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 10.

Overnight work to move vehicle traffic to lanes on the west side of the medians begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 9.

Weekend work will occur on Saturday October 6 and Saturday October 13, weather permitting, to keep the project on schedule. Scheduled work hours for this week are Mondays – Saturdays, 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; in certain cases, daily work hours may begin earlier to allow crews to work while traffic is minimal.

The following traffic control change will be in place Wednesday, October 10 through mid-November.

  • Beginning at the Bullard Avenue and Cholla Street intersection, motorists traveling northbound will proceed through the intersection and follow barricades which will transition traffic to the temporary northbound travel lane on the west side of the median. Signage will also be in place to assist with the traffic control change.
  • The same traffic formation will be in place at the Waddell and Cactus roads intersections.
  • Motorists traveling southbound on Bullard, Greenway Road to Peoria Avenue, will use the designated southbound lane adjacent to the protected bike lane curb.
  • Left and right turn movements will be maintained at all intersections on Bullard Avenue.
  • The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph, except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!
  • Sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the roadway.

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130.

To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.

Contact Me

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

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September 28, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Military Appreciation Night at Willow Canyon High School

Willow Canyon High School hosted crosstown rival Valley Vista for a football showdown on September 22. Immediately prior to the game, Willow Canyon seized the opportunity to recognize our veterans and active military as part of the Military Appreciation Night. I joined several of our West Valley veterans and active military on the field during the ceremony as we stood together on the field during the National Anthem. A special thank you to Willow Canyon for this opportunity to recognize us!

Valley Metro RPTA Board Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA Board meeting on Thursday, September 21. The fifth express bus from Surprise to downtown Phoenix was approved.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast on Tuesday, September 26. The meeting focused on effective marketing. Chamber President Raoul Sada briefed the membership on the city’s sign policy and Firehouse Subs owner Ed Cunningham provided the group with his inspirational story on how his networking skills have led to his successes.

Decide Surprise GO Bond Meeting

Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. The city is hosting several public meetings, and the first meeting kicked off on Tuesday, September 26 in the City Council Chamber. City staff utilizes the meetings to provide facts related to the bond election. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 5 at 10 am at Sun Village, 17300 N. Sun Village Parkway. Learn more about the projects and additional meeting dates at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Mark Your Calendar

Dick McComb Park Renaming

Following City Council’s direction to honor the city’s longest-tenured City Manager Dick McComb (1990 – 2000), the city will officially rename Surprise Farms Community Park, to Dick McComb City Park, at a public ceremony this Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South. The park features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open House

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is hosting an open house at Fire Station 304 (24900 N. 163rd Avenue) on Saturday, September 30, from 9 am until 12 noon. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The city’s popular community-wide garage sale, Surprise Super Swap Meet, is set for Saturday, November 18 from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

Vendor spaces for the event are now available to rent. Proceeds from the rental fees support senior programs. Space is limited and reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information or to receive an application for space, please call 623.222.1500 or visit the Surprise Senior Center at 15832 Hollyhock Street.

Did You Know?

Veterans Day Art Show – Call for Artists

The City of Surprise and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission would like to invite all veterans who are painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, wood workers or work in any other medium to submit their artwork to be included in a display for the November 11, 2017 Veterans Day Parade. You need not be a professional artist. This show made its debut last year and was enjoyed by all who saw it. For further information about the show, please contact Susan deJong at 623-214-7537.

City’s Lock It or Lose It Campaign Wins National Award

An important community safety message is now award-winning! The City of Surprise Lock It or Lose It took top honors at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA) Government Programming Awards, held two weeks ago in Seattle, Washington. Lock It or Lose It placed first in the Public Service Announcement (PSA) category (Operating Budget Under $200,000).

The campaign was created by our Marketing and Communications team to support the Surprise Police Department’s efforts to reduce theft from vehicles. The PSA features a would-be thief trying to open several vehicles in a parking lot and in two cases the doors are unlocked and the thief is then seen casually walking away with his stolen goods. The campaign, first launched in 2007, was recently updated to introduce this important message to a new audience and remind the public that they are the “key” to preventing this type of crime.

Approximately 60 percent of all thefts from vehicles are the result of people leaving their car doors unlocked or leaving items of value in the car where would-be thieves can easily spot them. The message- if thieves can see it, they will steal it. By simply locking the doors of your vehicle and by taking valuable items with you or hiding them in a locked trunk, you can dramatically reduce the risk of being a crime victim.

You can view the PSA and learn more about Lock It or Lose It at www.surpriseaz.gov/lockit. See the list of NATOA Award winners at www.natoa.org. To report a crime or suspicious activity, call Surprise Police at 623.222.4000. If an emergency or dangerous situation, dial 911.

Surprise Community & Recreation Services Receives National Accreditation

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services (CRS) Department has received accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association. The Association recognized Surprise’s efforts to provide high quality parks and recreation services and experience to its residents and visitors.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has issued a five-year accreditation to the city’s Community & Recreation Services Department after meeting more than 140 standards ranging from hiring practices to marketing techniques, from park planning to program implementation. The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months. The final step was a hearing through the commission earlier this month.

The public will benefit from the accreditation by knowing that the city is adhering to best practices in the field of parks, facilities and programs. It also shows partners, potential funders and the public that Surprise operates under such standards. Congratulations, CRS!

Contact Me

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

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September 21, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) issued a project improvement announcement for the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Avenue earlier this month. The on- and off-ramps at the Bell Road Bridge over Grand Avenue (US 60) have been closed this past week for roadway improvements both on and near the overpass.

The Bell/Grand ramps are scheduled to re-open at 5 p.m. on 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.

Please expect restrictions along westbound Grand Avenue near Bell Grande Drive and near the Bell Road overpass.

City Council Work Session

Valley Metro Update Regarding Paratransit and RideChoice Programs

Valley Metro completely changed its transit service models on July 1, 2017. The previous model under the NW Dial-a-Ride contract ended and three new services were introduced to the city. The first service is the senior bus which falls under the Valley Metro Transdev operations. The second program is Regional ADA Paratransit also operated by Valley Metro and Transdev. The third service is similar to the old NW Dial-a-Ride program called RideChoice, operated by various cab companies and contracted directly by the resident once they are enrolled in the RideChoice program.

Residents who have utilized the service models since July have encountered various problems; most notably, no-show or late pick-ups on all services and trouble booking longer Regional ADA medical and work trips. Valley Metro is working with their contractors to resolve the issues. Recent changes by Transdev, staging buses on the west side at 99th Ave. and Peoria, will help on-time performance for Regional ADA service. The contractor for RideChoice will be hiring a staff position and locating them at Valley Metro’s mobility center for quicker response on RideChoice issues with the various cab companies. Residents that have been using Regional service for Surprise and shorter trips are being moved to RideChoice. Valley Metro is working with the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff to ensure next day service manifests are correct, and that there are two dedicated buses each day for senior service. Items that still need to be addressed are: driver retention; dispatch communication with all calls for service; enhanced cab company dedication to the Northwest Valley; on-time service; and improvement of subscription trip bookings for medical and work.

To assist Valley Metro, there are several things that you as a resident can do:

  1. Contact Valley Metro Customer Service anytime you have an issue with any of the services provided. This allows Valley Metro to document all complaints. That number is 602-253-5000 or email at csr@valleymetro.org.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your service needs:
    • if you are taking short trips within or nearby Surprise, use RideChoice. It’s cheaper for you and allows you the flexibility to self-book your trips with a cab company of your choice in the RideChoice system. Sign up by calling 602-716-2100. It will take 7 – 10 business days to receive a card and packet in the mail.
    • If you are in need of longer Regional trips for medical or work that are within Valley Metro’s ADA service area, use the Transdev Regional ADA. That number is 602-716-2200.
    • If you are going to the Senior Center on a regular basis, 3-5 times per week, contact the Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department to get signed up for the Senior Bus. That number is 623.222.1500.
  3. The City and Valley Metro will be developing a survey that will be mailed to Surprise residents who are signed up for either Regional ADA or RideChoice. Please complete the survey and return it so we can improve the service to you.

City Council Meeting

Asante Planned Area Development

Three Public Hearings were held as part of the City Council meeting on Tuesday pertaining to the Asante Planned Area Development (PAD). Asante North Major PAD Amendment is a project that requires rezoning of approximately 149.1 acres to allow for the development of a 369.2-acre private active adult community. Asante Major PAD Amendment also required the rezoning of approximately 220.1 acres to allow for the same aforementioned private active adult community. Lastly, the Asante Paradiso PAD is an overlay district that will establish specific development standards, design guidelines and permitted uses for the proposed 369.2 acres.

The three items passed unanimously.

District 3 Vacancy Appointment

City Council approved the appointment of Patrick Duffy to represent the residents of District 3 at their Tuesday night Regular Council Meeting. Mr. Duffy replaces John Williams, who resigned from Council on August 15, 2017.

Mr. Duffy is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for the past 9 years has worked part-time as a City of Surprise Recreation Leader 3. He has lived in Surprise for eight years, two of them in the district he will now represent – District 3. In addition, he was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board since April 2017 and through his employment with the city, he has been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events including Spring Training support, Relay for Life events and Cal Ripken All-Star games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Mr. Duffy will be ceremonially sworn into office at the next Council meeting on October 3. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2018; and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 2018.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vacancy Appointments

City Council approved the appointments of two applicants to fill vacancies for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. Doug Tolf was approved for a term which expires on June 30, 2020, and John “Jack” Hasting with a term expiration of June 30, 2019.

New Citywide Shop Local Program

During the Bell Road bridge construction, the city partnered with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to implement a digital marketing campaign to assist and retain the 277 local businesses located within the vicinity of the closure. Due to the success of the campaign, City Council asked staff to partner again and explore a citywide Shop Local campaign, leveraging the best practices learned.

The first year start-up costs are estimated at $55,000, and the campaign will be launched in November in conjunction with National Small Business Month and in support of the holiday shopping season. City Council unanimously voted to approve a budget amendment which will transfer the funding from the Economic Development Contingency Fun to the General Service Fund.

Adoption of New City Council Policy to Honor Exceptional Leaders

The City of Surprise has a storied history and limitless future. All of us sit on the shoulders of great people who invested a precious part of themselves to the benefit us. From time to time, residents have asked City Council to honor an exceptional leader by holding a special event or naming a city asset after this special individual. City Manager Bob Wingenroth has proposed a Council Office policy for honoring such individuals.

The aforementioned policy outlines a balanced, inclusive approach to provide the Surprise City Council with the information needed to take action in order to properly honor exceptional contributions to Surprise. This policy also includes the establishment of a task force that would include the Chair of three Council Commissions (Planning & Zoning, Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission and Community Recreation Advisory Commission), an Assistant City Manager, the City Attorney or designee and the Public Works Director.

Events & Meetings

Constitution Day at Willow Canyon High School

I was invited to participate on a Constitution Day panel at Willow Canyon High School on Friday, September 15. Sharing their experiences also included Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson, Associate Judge Catherine Gaudreau, and Attorney Laura Robertson. Thank you to Willow Canyon for the invite and to the students and administration for their hospitality!

Council Hall and Panel members setted at tables

Mark Your Calendar

City and Education Partners Hosting Voter Registration Drive

Dysart Unified School District and Ottawa University (OUAZ) in Surprise and the city are joining thousands of groups across the country in hosting voter registration drives on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 26! The City of Surprise will have a Special Election on November 7 in which voters will be asked to decide three separate General Obligation Bond Questions to fund 10 projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. (Learn more about the projects, costs and tax impacts at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise).

2017 GO Bond voter registration reminder

ALL REGISTERED VOTERS WILL RECEIVE A BALLOT BY MAIL BEGINNING OCTOBER 11. The registration deadline to participate in this election is October 10. Below are the voter registration events planned on September 26:

Surprise City Hall- Community Room (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza): Voter registration tables and computers will be set up for eligible residents of Maricopa County to register to vote or ask questions about the process from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A General Bond Obligation Public Meeting is also planned in the Council Chambers this date beginning at 6 p.m. for those interested in learning more about the bond questions and the projects. This meeting will be carried on Surprise TV, streamed at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv and Facebook Live at Surprise City Gov.

Dysart High Schools: The cafeterias will include voter registration tables with laptop access during each of the four high school’s lunch hours for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register.

Ottawa University- Surprise: Voter registration tables with laptop access will be set up on campus for students ages 18 and older, or school staff to register to vote or to receive information about how to register, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

City staff and volunteers will be on hand at all locations to accept completed voter registration print forms or answer questions. Anyone who registers that day will receive an “I Registered to Vote Today” sticker!

The voter registration drives are made possible thanks to the Surprise City Clerk’s Office and generous volunteers from the League of Women Voters; Surprise Youth Council, the Surprise Chapter of Women Leading Government and students at Ottawa University.

You can learn more at: https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ or contact the Surprise City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Have you moved or need to change party affiliation since the last election cycle? You will need to update your voter registration information either in person or by visiting www.maricopa.vote. A reminder that the City Clerk’s Office remains open for voter registration through 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 10. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Surprise Fire-Medical Hosting Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is holding a series of open houses at city fire stations. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, tour their living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

Dates for the open houses are as follows:

Saturday, September 30 – Station 304, 24900 N. 163rd Ave.
Saturday, October 14 – Station 305, 15517 N. Parkview Pl.
Saturday, November 4 – Station 306, 16645 W. Clearview Blvd.
Saturday, November 18 – Station 301, 16750 N. Village Dr East
Saturday, December 2 – Station 303, 15440 N. Cotton Ln.
Saturday, December 16 – Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Rd.

All open houses will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

Did You Know?

Civic Center Drive is Open!

I am excited to announce Civic Center Drive, from Bell Road to Paradise Lane, is now open! The expansion of this road provides a new route to city events, public meetings, recreation amenities and the Surprise Stadium. The roadway consists of one lane in each direction and has a speed limit of 25 MPH. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are looking for meaningful ways to utilize your gifts to make a difference, Experience Matters is hosting a free information session on September 27. Experience Matters is an organization that connects talented, experienced people with non-profits. The session will be held on Wednesday, September 27 from 10 -11:30 a.m. at Surprise City Hall (Conference Room 150), 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby@sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

June 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Canadian Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce Initiative

Surprise, Arizona could be the next top destination for Canadian medical travel. Guest speaker Marc Kealey, CEO of Kealey & Associates in Toronto, Canada co-presented with Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic on the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise aimed at patients who desire the excellence of Canadian standards without the increasingly challenging wait times for services.

Arizona is home to more than 350 Canadian companies and more than 1.1 million Canadians visit our state annually, spending approximately $1.1 billion and staying here for an average of 20 days. Canadians tend to be highly satisfied with their healthcare quality, but they tend to have longer wait periods to receive healthcare services compared to their peers in other countries. This is most likely due to their physician shortage, and the fact their medical schools are at capacity with 1,500 studying abroad. Their healthcare system is publically funded but privately delivered. We are well positioned here. There are approximately 15,000 Canadian residents in Surprise.

Next steps for expanding healthcare services to our Canadian neighbors include the establishment of a taskforce and several roundtables that would make up the regulatory analysis and market feasibility. The finding recommendation should be presented to the City Council by the end of the year.

Ottawa University Arizona Update

Ottawa University Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner provided an update on the University. To date, 45 people have been hired to work at the University with more hires expected after July. Ottawa University was founded 152 years ago in Ottawa, Kansas. They have had a 40-year presence in the Phoenix market and have been serving Surprise community for 8 years at the Communiversity. Currently, the university is transitioning existing programs into a residential campus with a full blown athletic model. Dr. Tyner stated over 350 students have submitted letters of intent for Fall 2017; their registration target was 150 students. It is the goal of the University to have 3,000 residential students within 10 years.

Ottawa University Surprise expansion plan rendering

Degree programs will be available from the Schools of Business, Arts & Sciences and Education. Degrees from the School of Health and Applied Sciences should be available next year, and accreditation to have Engineering and Accounting degrees will go before the State this year. Ottawa University promotes a life of significance with engagement in quality work in the community and much more.

City Council Meeting

Major Zoning Amendment to Cotton Gin PAD

The applicant, NexMetro, requested an amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development (PAD) to allow multi-family residential as a permitted land use on the 10.8 acres (approx.) parcel located on the northeast corner of Waddell Road and Reems Road. Additionally, the applicant proposed to create new development standards for multi-family residential uses. This proposed PAD Amendment will allow for 127 single-story attached and detached rentals units. The PAD and site plan were approved with a 4-2 vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The project was unanimously approved by City Council.

Board and Commission Appointments

City Council unanimously approved appointments of William Coniam (Board of Trustees) to serve remainder of a term that expires June 30,2018; Renee Pastor to the Board of Trustees to serve a four year term with an expiration of June 30, 2021; Kathryn Chandler to serve on the Disability Advisory Commission with a four year term to expire on June 30, 2021; Edward Hanzel to the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a four year term expiring on June 30, 2021; and Marco Daleo to serve on the Tourism Commission to represent Hotels. He will complete the remainder of a term to expire on June 30, 2019.

Additionally, unanimously approved were the reappointments of the following members for four-year terms which will expire on June 30, 2021: David Sanders, Mark Brown and Ron Jenson for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; Robert Monahan for the Disability Advisory Commission; Kristin Peck and DeAngelo Hall for the Tourism Commission and Brooke Gaunt as the State Bar Representative for the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office for all appointments and reappointments. Thank you to these gracious appointments for volunteering the time to serve our city.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 15. As a subcommittee, we approved the fare policy change regarding ticket partnerships and the FY17/18 audit plan for Valley Metro RPTA Board consideration. The request to authorize an amendment to the regional fare policy will allow for additional ticket partnerships with events and event venues. For example, the cost of the ticket for an event will include the transportation through Valley Metro, so only one ticket would be required for admission and transportation.

Valley Metro COO Rob Antoniak provided an update of vendor contracts to ensure uninterrupted customer services for those customers that call or text Valley Metro seeking assistance through their automated customer service system. The current vendor unexpectedly terminated its contract effective June 30.

Highland Prep High School

Highland Prep Principal Ken Schlinger and I met on Thursday, June 15. Highland Prep is a tuition free public charter preparatory STEM high school that will be located at 15600 W. Hearn Road. They broke ground on Wednesday, June 21 and will open in a temporary facility this fall to a freshman class of 125 students. The school will open its new building in fall 2018 that will host freshman and sophomore classes. Each year, they will add another freshman class and hope to host 500 students.

Meet & Greet with Kealey and Associates

On June 20, I met with Kealey and Associates CEO Mark Kealey. Mr. Kealey is working with our Economic Development department to determine the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise.

Memorial Service for Mark Coronado

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado
Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado

It is with the heaviest heart that we learned about the passing of our

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado. Mark was only 59 years old.

Mark was hired by the City of Surprise in 2000 to lead the CRS Department, which was a three-person team at the time. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. In addition, he served as the Cactus League President for two consecutive terms from 2012-2016.

Surprise has lost one of our biggest assets who has left a lasting legacy for our city. He will be sorely missed.

Mark Your Calendar

Project Connect

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success!

Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

Help us make Project Connect in Surprise a success by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov for questions about the event.

Back to School Drive at Surprise City Hall

Please consider joining Surprise employees and show your support for our Surprise youth by donating back-to-school supplies that will benefit local kindergarten through 8th graders. All types of school supplies are needed and can be dropped off in the donation bins located in the lobby of City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) until July 31. For more information, please contact Stephen Chang at 623.222.3136.

Did You Know?

Surprise PD Officer Receives School Resource Officer of the Year Award

Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas
Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas

Congratulations to Officer Chris Thomas for being named the “The 2017 Arizona School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year” award; an award recognized by the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers. Officer Thomas currently serves at Valley Vista High School and is a key part of the Monsoon family.

The Arizona SRO of the Year Award is given to officers who exhibit the qualities and goals of the School Resource Officer position. Through the triad approach to school policing (teaching, counseling, policing), the SRO attempts to bridge the gap that exists between police and the youth of today, teach law-related education to deepen their understanding of civic responsibility, and to develop their respect for the justice system.

Officer Thomas was nominated by Officer Wendy Klarkowski, several students, school staff members, and administrators at the Valley Vista High School; including Karen Winterstein, the Director of Student Services, at the Dysart Unified School District.

Presentation on Urban Design and Well-being

Earlier last month, Mr. Charles Montgomery, author of the book “Happy City” provided an overview of the relationship between urban design and well-being to the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) Regional Council. The MAG Regional Council Report indicated that he explored how these principles can be incorporated into regional mobility planning as well as deliver economic and public health benefits.

According to the report, Mr. Montgomery said the top four components for urban health and happiness are social connections, freedom to move, belonging to a neighborhood and the inclusion of systems and spaces for everyone. These concepts will be integral in the development of regional planning efforts moving forward, according to MAG.

Contact Me

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

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June 15, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Sixteen local students participated in the AZ TechCelerator’s 4th Annual Surprise Entrepreneurship Boot Camp this last week. They were challenged to assess community needs and brainstorm products or services that could address those needs. The students learned from local business leaders who spoke about marketing, accounting and public speaking and then began their project research.

The students broke into four teams:

  • Surprise Transit Systems, who addressed the need for local public transportation
  • Drive Safe, who addressed the problem of distracted driving
  • A Little Surprise, who addressed the lack of healthy food available for low to moderate income families
  • Commune, who addressed the need to have one application that could keep residents informed on City Government, events and local business

Each team prepared an executive business summary to aid in creating their final pitch. The teams also created, designed and printed either their prototype or an object that was symbolic to their project on 3D printers that they had helped to build at the beginning of the week. The boot camp ended with a pitch competition at City Hall, and the presentations were quite impressive!

The big winner was the Drive Safe team. Congratulations to Nickolas Robertson and Jack Platacz from Paradise Honors High School, and to Alaina Smith and Justice Smith from Valley Vista High School on their win! They each received an HD Fire tablet and each winning school took home one of the student-built 3D printers.

Thank you to Economic Development Coordinator Julie Neal for putting together the boot camp each year and to Youth Services Administrator Mike Cassidy for assisting!

Community and Recreation Services National Accreditation

The Community and Recreation Services Department (CRS) is in the last step of the accreditation process through the Commission of Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The department has been working towards the accreditation for the past year. Council Members were invited to meet the CAPRA evaluators on Tuesday, June 13 at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.

CAPRA accreditation is a five-year cycle that includes three phases: development of the agency self-assessment report, the on-site visitation, and the Commission’s review and decision. The on-site visitation follows the agency’s development of its self-assessment report. If accreditation is granted by the Commission at its meeting following the on-site visit, the agency will develop a new self-assessment report and be revisited every five years. Within each of the four years between on-site visits, the agency will submit an annual report that addresses its continued compliance with the accreditation standards.

Friends of Surprise Libraries Board Meeting

Friends of Surprise Libraries held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, June 14. Since the non-profit organization’s inception, they have made community contributions totaling $516,424 .Agenda items included a financial report and grant update and much more. Friends of Surprise Libraries is currently looking for new Board Members. For more information on the organization, please visit www.friendsofthesurpriselibraries.org.

Valley Metro Dial-A-Ride Transition Public Meeting

Valley Metro hosted a public meeting at Surprise City Hall on Wednesday, June 14 to review the upcoming changes to their paratransit models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

Mark Your Calendar

34th Annual Fourth of July Celebration

Please join us for our 34th annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Surprise Recreation Campus! Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. The Rookie League baseball summer matchup featuring the Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers will begin at 5:30 pm. Concessions will be available for purchase. Fireworks will begin immediately following the game at 8:30 p.m.

Fourth of July Pool Party

Bring the family out to the Surprise Aquatic Center for a fun filled evening. The poolside celebration will feature music, games, nighttime swimming, crafts and raffle prizes! The event begins at 6 p.m. and will conclude after the city’s fireworks show, which begins at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Surprise residents may purchase tickets beginning June 20 at 8 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Ave., or at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Tickets are $6, and the event will be limited to the first 400 Surprise residents.

Regular pool hours on Tuesday, July 4 will be noon – 5 p.m.

Did You Know?

Bulk Trash Pickup Program Changes Effective July 1

Changes are coming to the Bulk Trash Pickup program offered to residents who are serviced by the city of Surprise Solid Waste Department. Bulk trash will continue to be picked up by-appointment and at no additional cost to the customer; but, the rules for placement of the trash are changing.

Effective July 1, 2017, customers need to place their trash in the street, up against the curb (gutter) in front of their property. Where there is no curb, material must be placed at the edge of the street, not the sidewalk. Do not place your pile within ten feet (10’) of any fixed object or in any manner which would interfere with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, or fire hydrants.

Bulk trash can no longer be placed on private property, unless the home is located on a major roadway – streets like Bell Road and Litchfield Road or streets that feed into neighborhoods, also known as collector streets. If trash must be placed on private property, due to location, the city will provide a liability release form that needs to signed.

To find out how to schedule a pickup appointment, which items are acceptable, what the pickup limit is, and when to place your trash at the curb, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bulktrash or call 623.222.1900.

Surprise Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commission

Applications for the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. If you are interested, please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: clerk@surpriseaz.gov. Applications are always available for all boards and commissions and will be kept on file for future vacancies.

Contact Me

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

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June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

The current FY18 budget is supported in part by direct charges for services provided by the city. These charges for services fall into three broad groups including utility rates, development impact fees, and user fees. With that being said, the revision of utility rates and development impact fees is highly regulated by state law. Though less regulated, user fees do have state mandated posting requirements and Comprehensive Financial Management Policies call for a periodic examination of user fees to determine an acceptable rate of cost recovery. In order to ensure compliance with state mandates and to facilitate a more consistent user fee policy process, a consolidated user fee schedule was adopted by City Council in FY16. User Fees make up $9.8 million of the estimated User Fee Revenue for FY18. Community Development fees are $2.4 million of that amount. The Community Development Department has not conducted a formal overhaul of the Community Development User Fees since 2010, under Resolution 2010-23, which had an effective date of April 1, 2010. There have been subsequent minor modifications in 2012 and 2016 but not a thorough review of the fees. The Department’s goal is to recover all or part of program costs associated with development; some of which include various other departments.

Community Outreach consists of a written notice of the proposed fee schedule on our city website, distribution of information via the city’s social media outlets with a notice of intent and the potential City Council adoption on August 15, 2017.

Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing on Budget, Truth in Taxation and Property Tax Levies

The city is required to hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures and tax levy in which any taxpayer may appear and be heard in favor of or against any proposed expenditure or tax levy. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 42-17107, any increase in the primary property tax levy, exclusive of new growth, must go through a Truth in Taxation hearing. Statute requires that a public hearing is held prior to the levy of property taxes for street light improvement districts (SLIDS). A public hearing was conducted with no comments from the public.

The resolution adopting the FY18 final budget and the notices of intent to levy primary and street light improvement districts property tax levies were adopted as part of this meeting. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The FY18 Budget, approved at $275.8 million, maintains city services and the primary property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money.

The property tax levy adoption is scheduled for discussion and action for the City Council meeting on June 20.

City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided an overview of the preliminary plat for City Center, a 56.38 acre property located along Statler Boulevard west of Litchfield Road, which included a multi-phased, attached and detached, single-family lot subdivision. The applicant proposed a total of 369 residential lots on 50.7 acres for a density of 7.28 dwelling units per acre. The lots would consist of a combination of 50 foot by 60 foot detached, 46 foot by 80 foot detached, and 50 foot by 60 foot duplex parcels. The plat also included 9.9 acres of land that would provide 17.6 open space for the development.

City Council voted to deny the approval of the Mattamy preliminary plat by a 4-3 vote.

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

City Council unanimously approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail. Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s meeting that was held on April 19.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 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 $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 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 $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month. ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month). You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

City Clerk Employment Contract

At the request of the Performance Evaluation Leaders Committee consisting of Councilman John Williams and myself, an employment contract for City Clerk Sherry Aguilar was drafted. Her former contract was set to expire on June 30, 2017. Her employment contract is now in harmony with the other Council appointed positions and it was approved unanimously.

Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, June 5. Several items were discussed including the Arts & Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. Planner Joshua Mike and Designing Local consultant Josh Lapp provided an overview of their current community outreach plans that consists of several roundtable discussions with arts and cultural stakeholders. The discussions were held this week.

Mark Your Calendar

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

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, 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 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. 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?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

The City of Surprise has been selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. Since 2012, the awards program has recognized 24 innovative communities across America that are leading the way by incorporating intergenerational solutions that engage the wisdom and vitality of all generations. Surprise was recognized for its intergenerational workforce development partnerships that promote a greater sense of community while establishing and tapping into our current and future talent pool.

Those programs include:

Surprise City Court Explorers Program – an interactive worksite-based career education program affiliated with the Boys Scouts of America that introduces high school students to career opportunities in the judicial and legal lines of work

Helping Partners Program – a vocational training program for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities that is offered by nonprofits Benevilla and One Step Beyond in partnership with the city

Summer Youth Employment Program – a summer jobs program for teens where they to receive professional development training through city internships; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors

Other programs and services included the Surprise Citizen Patrol, Surprise Community Pride Day, Crisis Response Team and the Block Party Trailer Program.

The award entry also cited how volunteerism in the city engages all generations to share their time and talent to maintain and grow community vitality. Our volunteers assist our police and fire-medical departments, beautify the community through clean up events, help raise money for college scholarships and more.

The winning community is Two Harbors, Minnesota. The other National Finalists are: Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Oklahoma, and the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Presentation of this year’s awards will occur at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference on June 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council set aside $65,000 for FY2017-2018 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 11 and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Department
City of Surprise
Attention: Jodi Tas
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Surprise City Hall- Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

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

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City, Valley Metro host public meeting to discuss Dial-a-Ride transition, June 14

The city of Surprise, 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 4:00-5:30 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 surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

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

March 16, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee Meeting

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

West Valley Arts Council Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

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

“The Future of Desalination” Speaker Panel

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

Veteran Success Project Advisory Board Meeting

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

Mark Your Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surprise Arts Commission hosts Public Art Bus Tour, March 22

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

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

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

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

Community Pride Day, April 8

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

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

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

Did You Know?

Seeking Applications for Voluntary Commissions

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

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

All board/commission positions are voluntary.

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

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

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

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

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

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications; Deadline is March 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

February 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Budget Discussion For Fiscal Year 2018

On February 21, the Council had its second in a series of work sessions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus was on the sources of funds for the General Fund. The General Fund’s unassigned fund balance is $2.5 million higher than estimated due to greater revenues and lower expenditures than expected for last fiscal year. These funds can be used for one time uses such as capital projects. Revenues for the current fiscal year are also currently 4% or $1.8 million above budgeted amounts. Impacts to local sales tax collections within the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement project area are smaller than anticipated. These impacts are further offset by greater collections in other areas of the City.

Also reviewed were the city’s reserves which total $35.2 million for the current fiscal year. A revision to establish separate Operating, Budget Stabilization, and Emergency reserves within the General Fund was discussed. This will help to clarify the purpose of the General Fund reserves, identify when they can be used, and establish timelines to replenish them when they are used.

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

Discussion of Adoption of Public Art Plan

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong provided an overview of the proposed Public Art Plan. The purpose of the plan is to identify and refine how art is integrated into City Hall. Commission members have worked in partnership with Consultant Architekton. The Commission would like to utilize some of this fiscal year’s funding to cover some of the priority projects. The goal is to proceed with the highest impact projects for the lowest cost.

City Council Meeting

Major Amendment to the Sycamore Farms PAD

Sustainability Engineering Group, on behalf Taylor Trust Farms LLC, sought approval of an amendment to the zoning of the Sycamore Farms PAD to modify land uses and to adjust certain commercial development standards. These proposed amendments demonstrated intent to develop the site to better represent the current needs of the residential and commercial development community that has transformed since the adoption of the Sycamore Farms PAD 16 years ago. The amendment passed unanimously.

Sycamore Farms PAD Map

Approval of Annexation

Staff requested the approval of an annexation of a 3.34 acre portion of Peoria Avenue, located between Sarival Avenue and Reems Road. Based on a previous Intergovernmental Agreement, Maricopa County expanded and constructed this proposed annexation section of Right-of-Way on the south side of Peoria Avenue between Reems Road and Sarival Avenue. This annexation will transfer ownership and maintenance to the City of Surprise and provide a safe transportation option and improve connectivity. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Council repeals City-wide Temporary Sign Policy; and Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy

The city of Surprise has a history of responding to business needs. During the last economic recession, City Council adopted a citywide temporary signage policy, in 2009, to temporarily allow for a-frame signs, building banners and ease restrictions for sign walkers.

Council extended it for one year in 2012 and agreed to keep it in place during the Bell-Grand Construction Project in 2016.

Eight years later with an improving economy, Council approved removing the temporary policy, at their February 21 Regular Meeting. This move is aimed at eliminating the clutter of too many temporary signs that have popped up along city sidewalks and other locations throughout the city.

Businesses citywide have until April 22, 2017 (60 days following Council action) to comply with the original signage policy.

Under the original policy:

  • A-frames are not permitted.
  • Building banners are only allowed twice per year, for 30 days.
  • In the event of a Grand Opening, the building banner is permitted for a 60-day period.

The city also realized that closing Bell Road for seven months during the Bell-Grand intersection work would impact area businesses, so Council adopted a temporary Bell-Grand Signage Policy, for businesses surrounding the construction zone that allowed for more temporary signage during construction and waived temporary use permit fees.

Now that the work is complete, Council has voted to repeal this policy as well. Bell-Grand businesses have until April 22, 2017 to comply with the original signage policies as listed previously. In addition, Bell-Grand area businesses will once again be required to obtain a building permit for directional signage and special events may also require a Temporary Use Permit. These two items were temporarily lifted under the temporary Bell-Grand policy.

The ultimate goal is to remove clutter from our city streets and sidewalks and create an atmosphere that aims to make business signage more impactful.

The Sign Code is available online at:


Questions? Call Community Development at 623.222.3000.

Purchase of Real Property in Original Town Site

The City Council has identified the Surprise Heritage District as an important area to the City’s heritage and as such to expand current city services in the area. The City owns the majority of property surrounding the site and thus has identified the Do Norma property as a property to acquire as an investment for City services in the future. The Council unanimously agreed to purchase the 5.84 acres.

Budget Amendment for Pickleball Courts and Shade Structures

In February 2015, City Council formed a Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee to review potential use of general obligation bonds to fund specific capital improvements. Construction of eight additional lighted Pickleball Courts was included in the review of the committee and the courts were supported by the Community and Recreation Services Advisory Commission. It was later decided to remove the courts from the bond package and look for other sources to fund this $500,000 project.

Construction of the additional courts adjacent to the existing courts will require the relocation of the sand volleyball courts at Community Park. Conservative estimated project completion would be August 2017.

Separately, over the years City Council approved the construction of a wide variety of Park and Recreation facilities including sports fields and courts, playgrounds, water features, dog parks, and open space. These facilities are a gathering place for all ages. During much of the year, the heat from the shade makes it difficult to fully enjoy our facilities. Equipment is hot to the touch, flooring too hot for bare feet, and without shade of any kind, there is no way to find respite other than leaving the facility and heading inside.

Shade structures may be constructed throughout the city at a cost of approximately $20,000 for a 30’x30′ and $40,000 for a 40’x40′. Staff will specifically analyze the needs citywide and recommend the best mix of structures to maximize the benefit from a $200,000 investment in shade. City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment to proceed.

Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board unanimously voted to officially make an offer for an Internal Audit Manager.

Surprise Becomes a College Town!

Ottawa University and the City of Surprise announced on Friday, February 17 that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in our state, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona.

Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The future 35-acre campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Communiversity at the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves to the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

Ottawa University Dedication
City Council Members with Dr. Kevin Eichner and Dr. Dennis Tyne

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

Despite the inclement weather, the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival took place this past weekend. Although there were a few cancellations, 67 artists participated. There were six wineries and a distillery as well as three musicians. There were approximately 1700 patrons on Friday and a few hundred the remainder of the days.

State of the City Address

In her message to residents, businesses, partners and volunteers on Wednesday, February 22, Mayor Sharon Wolcott demonstrated that when we work together in the spirit of community pride we enhance quality of life for all ages and establish a solid foundation for future generations. She cited examples of success in transportation, including the on-time completion of the Bell-Grand intersection improvements; public safety; job growth; and social-service support that have all improved quality of life in Surprise.

As part of the Surprise International initiative, Mayor Wolcott announced the creation of a cross-border task force to study innovations in the $100 billion health tourism industry and to explore whether Surprise can play a role in “setting a new standard in medical tourism delivery.” The task force will be comprised of Canadian and Arizonan industry partners, and will be co-chaired by Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic.

She reminded the audience that Surprise remains a growing community and that will increase the demands in maintaining a safe and vibrant city and cited the continued need to support transportation improvements, educational opportunities and securing space for future public safety locations, parks and open space.

Watch the video of the speech or read the transcript at www.surpriseaz.gov/sotc.

Mark Your Calendar

Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch

Mayor Wolcott will be hosting the 15th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon to celebrate the return of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 2 from 11 am – 1 pm. The event will take place at Surprise Stadium – Sanderson Ford 1st Base Concourse, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission will include a catered lunch provided by State 48 Brewery; 1 plaza level ticket to the Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals scheduled game; and a 15th anniversary commemorative gift. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming season from team staff. For more information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip A Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 pm.

The explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc

Did You Know?

15th Annual Spring Training Season Starts This Weekend!

We are thrilled to kick off the 15th Annual Spring Training Season in Surprise! If you haven’t secured your tickets for the Kansas City Royals or Texas Rangers games, it’s not too late! The first game begins on February 25, at 1:05 pm, with a hometown match-up between the Royals and Rangers to support our local youth sports programs!

This season, there is something for everyone! Here are a few of the fun promotional event dates:

February 26 – KC Royals Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 2 – KC Royals Mascot “Slugger” visits Surprise Stadium
March 5 – Texas Rangers Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 12 – Ronald McDonald visits Surprise Stadium
March 25 – Budweiser Clydesdales visit Surprise Stadium

With craft brew all the rage these days… For $30 you have access to the Four Peaks Pavilion in right field, a catered meal and a beverage! Other options include the Boulevard Craft Brew tent and our local State 48 craft brew stand! New on the food menu includes grilled corn on the cob and the Triple Play- a hot dog inside a hamburger, wrapped in bacon!

For a complete game schedule and more, visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.

Contact Me

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

Ask a Question