In this episode Councilmember Duffy speaks with Raoul Sada and Scott Phillips from the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce along with Jeanine Jerkovic with the City of Surprise Economic Development Department.
Last month, I had the honor of being appointed to represent the residents of District 3. I have lived in Surprise for eight years with the last two years in District 3. I was appointed to the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board earlier this year and through my city service, I have been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events. I have lived in Arizona most of my life and I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils! I look forward to meeting you and serving you in this capacity. Together, we have a mutual passion for this city and a desire to see it succeed!
I hosted my first D3 quarterly meeting on Tuesday, October 24, at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center. For those of you who were able to attend, thank you! For those of you who were unable to attend, I wanted to be sure you received the same update.
Economic Development Update
It’s a fact that Surprise is one of the safest cities, but did you know it is one of the fastest-growing as well? Residential growth aside – the City of Surprise has also been growing jobs and services! More than a million square feet each year of non-residential – including retail, commercial, industrial, medical, education – buildings have been constructed in Surprise each year for three years in a row.
For a relatively young, new community, Surprise has come a long way – from a population of only 7,122 in 1990 to 132,677 today (Source: US Census). Much has been accomplished in recent years, and many more opportunities are ahead for us.
This year, Surprise officially transitioned from a bedroom community to a university town with the February 2017 announcement of the new residential campus of Ottawa University, located at Surprise City Center next to City Hall! Their first class welcomed 434 enrolled new students, many of which are involved in the 21 intercollegiate athletic teams on the new campus. The new athletic field has been constructed, and their first phase of construction on an initial 13 acres of land is in progress. The school plans to grow to more than 3,000 students over the next 10 years.
Shop Local Campaign Kicked Off!
In September 2017, Surprise City Council approved a pilot program with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to deploy a citywide “Shop Local” program based upon the best practices of the 2016 award-winning “Shop Bell and Grand” digital marketing campaign. Starting next month, those who opt into the citywide program by texting the word “ShopSurprise” to 85100 will receive digital discounts for restaurants, services and products throughout the City of Surprise. The program will launch in time for the holiday shopping season.
AZ TechCelerator – Tech the Halls
Mark your calendars from 5 -7 PM on December 7th, when the City of Surprise business incubator, the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 West Bell Road, celebrates its second annual “Tech the Halls” event! Meet the innovators growing their businesses, play games, enter to win ‘tech’ raffle prizes – and check out the space that offers entrepreneurs in Surprise a place to grow their dreams.
The AZ TechCelerator has assisted the direct creation of more than 250 tech jobs, 32 new businesses, and two of the most successful incubator graduates in Arizona. Flagship telemedicine startup MD24 House Call graduated into 15,000 square feet of office space in Surprise and employs more than 150 people. Additionally, the first AZ TechCelerator tenant, Athena Wireless, was acquired by Google; Athena’s founder is now mentoring a second venture at the AZ TechCelerator called Me On A Bike.
New awards for global excellence in Economic Development
The Surprise Economic Development team won three international awards on September 19 at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference in Toronto – and the following week was recognized by the Global Chamber of Phoenix as the “Global Business City of the Year!”
The IEDC awards recognized Surprise, in the population category of 25,000-200,000, for the following:
- Silver Award for Partnerships with Educational Institutions – Ottawa University
- Bronze Award for Entrepreneurship – AZ TechCelerator
- Bronze Award for Business Retention & Expansion (Single Event) – City of Surprise Bridge-to-Business Program / Bell & Grand Campaign
The Global Chamber of Phoenix awarded Surprise the Global Business City of the Year distinction this year because of the city’s international economic development strategy in place to attract companies, in addition to wins to the city like Ottawa University, IRIS USA, and Rioglass Solar.
- Medical project growth is on the rise in Surprise! Just as Mainstreet Rapid Recovery Center cut the ribbon and opened their doors to their new 100-bed facility this month, Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital began construction on its new $25 million facility near Dysart Road, north of Bell Road, not far from the new Cobalt Medical Rehabilitation Hospital. Additionally, the new Banner medical building located at Statler and Litchfield Road is almost fully leased.
- Advanced Manufacturing Growth: At the Southwest Rail Plex, where four companies call Surprise their headquarters, Milam Glass is nearing completion of their 22,000 square foot office/warehouse building, which broke ground in May of this year. While the Surprise Economic Development Department actively markets the rail-shovel-ready land sites remaining in the advanced manufacturing park for new ground-up operations, four buildings of new speculative industrial space totaling almost 200,000 square feet are currently under construction for those businesses looking for existing space.
- Retail is booming:
- Now Open: Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, Wendy’s, Pure Physique PilateZ, Dysart Mini Storage, Subaru Superstore of Surprise Dealership (our 9th auto dealer!), Salad & Go, 3 Minute Car Wash, Indulge Froyo, PT Noodles, Boba Craze
- Coming Soon: At City Center on Bell Road, watch for In-N-Out Burger (the City’s #1 most-requested Surprise restaurant!), in addition to Tokyo Joe’s, Starbucks, Menchie’s, Piology, Raising Canes; at the Stadium a new Hilton Garden Inn has submitted plans for construction. At the Bell Road/303 area, a Cornerstone Car Wash, and restaurants Hayashi and Sonic. Also check out Surprise Comics at Cactus Road and Reems as well as Scooter’s Coffee, which is under construction on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
- The Surprise Most Wanted: The Surprise Economic Development Department continues to pursue all most-wanted retailers voted as most desired by the residents of Surprise – including Costco and Hobby Lobby! Additionally, the team in Surprise announced on October 23rd that it had submitted a proposal along with a video to attract the most-wanted-employment-project-in-North America, the new $5 billion Amazon second headquarters project.
Surprise as one of the Safest Cities: https://www.alarms.org/the-safest-cities-in-arizona-2017/
Fastest growing city: https://wallethub.com/edu/fastest-growing-cities/7010/
Community Development Update
Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided attendees of my meeting with an update. You will begin to see even more development in our district. It’s an exciting time to live in D3!
The Prasada Toll Brothers development preliminary plat just completed second review and the Minor PAD Amendment is in review. This project consists of 792 acres in 10 phases with a total of 2,350 lots. Phase 1 will consist of 459 lots. This development, planned in the Prasada area along the 303, is set up to accommodate a Master Plat and subsequent lotting plats as the market dictates.
Carsense Automotive, a pre-owned auto dealership is in concept review. Once approved, it will be located on the vacant lot adjacent to Toyota.
Another preliminary plat located at 175th & Sweetwater is in rezone review with the city. The preliminary plat includes 44 single-family lots on 10 acres.
Heritage Farm, a development at the southeast corner of 175th & Waddell, is under review. This development will require a zone change. It includes 137 lots on 33 acres.
We have a development in review that is located at the northwest corner of Cotton & Sweetwater – North side of Sweetwater from Cotton to 175th. This development will include 240 lots on 63 acres.
Highland Prep Academy, which is located at the northwest corner of Reems & Hearn has completed its first phase of construction. Their second phase is under review.
The Zanjero Trails development, located in the southwest corner of Peoria Avenue, east of Perryville Road continues to move forward. Several parcels have been platted in the vicinity of the Shadow Ridge High School on Peoria Avenue. Builders such as Beazer, Woodside, and Meritage Homes have model home complexes in operation and several under review. In addition, south of Cactus, several parcels are under review for final plat. Richmond American Homes is in for review for home product and model home complex.
Sierra Montana Crossings located at the southwest corner of Greenway Rd and Cotton Lane is coming along. This commercial center has three (3) projects:
- Sonic Drive Thru (currently seeking certificate of occupancy)
- Shell building with drive thru (currently under design review)
- Shell building (had concept review, awaiting submittal)
Acoma Court development is located at the northeast corner of Acoma Drive and 159th Avenue. The home product and model home complex are being reviewed on this infill residential development.
Greer Ranch, located east of Sarival Avenue and south of Cactus Road, continues to expand. Taylor Morrison and Richmond American Homes are in for review for home product and model home complex.
Retreat at Sycamore Farms, located west of 165th Drive and South of Cholla Street, has a model home complex open by Richmond American Homes.
Currently the city is developing the Walking and Biking Map for each individual Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) school which includes Sonoran Heights and Sunset Elementary. This project will also combine all the maps into a citywide walking and biking map that can be utilized online or printed.
Below you will find the Safe Routes To Schools (SRTS) grants for Sonoran Heights and Sunset Elementary schools. We will begin encouragement efforts and the SRTS study for Sonoran Heights early next year. The Sunset Elementary efforts will begin in January 2020. Each plan will work with the individual school and include participation of parents, students and DUSD staff.
|2018||SUR18-701||Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary||SRTS Support Activity Project||$15,677||$948||$16,625|
|2018||SUR18-703||Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary||Safe Routes to School Studies||$73,000||$4,413||$77,413|
|2019||SUR19-702||Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary||SRTS Support Activity Project||$21,740||$1,314||$23,054|
|2020||SUR20-703||Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary||SRTS Support Activity Project||$27,811||$1,681||$29,492|
|2019||SUR19-705||Canyon Ridge, Cimarron Springs, Sunset Hills, and Western Peaks Elementary||Safe Routes to School Studies||$94,300||$5,700||$100,000|
Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan Update
The city is at a crossroads when looking at the growth and presence of visual art and cultural events and how they will influence our city’s future. The community is invited to help shape the city’s first Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. The plan will provide strategic direction for arts and culture in Surprise including topics from public art to performing arts, festivals, and music.
All residents are invited to take our online survey, which helps focus and clarify the public input for the Plan. The survey can be found at http://www.surpriseartsplan.com/ and it closes October 31.
The next formal community outreach will begin in January when the first public draft will be distributed and discussed.
Public Works Update
Pavement preservation in District 3 and around the city continues, with Spring Lane, Verde Vista Drive, and Acoma Drive within the Sierra Montaña neighborhood scheduled for resurfacing in the next few months. Almost every road in the Sarah Ann Ranch neighborhood is scheduled for treatment next fall (2018).
All of the traffic signals on Bell Road are undergoing a hardware upgrade as part of a multi-agency Adaptive Signal Technology project that will allow greater synchronization and optimization of traffic flow on Bell Road between the western city limits of Surprise all the way east to Scottsdale.
The Bullard Avenue Traffic and Pedestrian Safety project is scheduled to begin construction in May 2018. This project will resurface the entire roadway between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue; add a second vehicle lane in each direction; install a landscaped median between Greenway and Waddell roads; modify the existing median between Sweetwater Avenue and Cholla Street; install a buffered bike lane in both directions between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue; and install full traffic signals at the Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue intersections. Less than 6% of the total costs of this project will be paid with local tax dollars.
Staff and I are often asked, “Why wasn’t the section of Waddell Road, between 175th Avenue and Cotton Lane, included in the proposed Waddell Road traffic congestion mitigation project being considered by voters in the November 7th bond election?” Here is the answer:
Candidly, the proposed traffic congestion mitigation projects in the bond election issue do not resolve all of the necessary transportation improvements in the City of Surprise. In preparing the bond proposal, City Council and city staff gave careful consideration to the priority needs, the project costs and the impacts this secondary property tax would have on residents, if passed.
The section of Waddell Road (175th Avenue to Cotton Lane) is clearly a gap in the city’s transportation network. It is incomplete with multiple lanes being forced to merge into a single lane, it’s missing sidewalks, street lights, stormwater mitigation, and other design features included in a complete street. However, the bigger need currently is the section of Waddell Road between Cotton Lane and State Route 303. It has been fully-built out and traffic counts are approximately 35% greater in this section than in the section between 175th Avenue and Cotton Lane.
Human Service & Community Vitality Update
Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available
The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.
To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:
- Provide a public benefit
- Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
- Be feasible for completion by June 2018
- Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
- Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
- Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018
Additionally, a minimum of five neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea. Neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association (HOA) must have HOA approval.
Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.
Decide Surprise GO Bond
On Tuesday, November 7, 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. You can see what the projects would look like, and what needs they would address, in three new videos that cover each of the bond questions. The videos are available on the Decide Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise. Also on the Decide Surprise website, find information on the projects and the associated costs.
If any of the bond questions are approved by voters in November, the cost to residents would be administered via a secondary property tax. Currently, Surprise does not have a secondary property tax.
If you prefer to drop your ballot off, rather than mail it, ballot drop-off is available at Surprise City Hall – City Clerk’s Office now through Election Day! If you lost your ballot, replacement voting begins Saturday, October 28 through Election Day, Tuesday, November 7.
The Clerk’s Office will be open for ballot-drop off or replacement voting 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., all week, including weekends, and offer extended hours on Election Day, Nov. 7, of 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Again, I look forward to serving you. Please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or 623.222.1323. Additionally, you can connect with me on Twitter at @Surprise_D3 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022175423875.
Hello, fellow District 3 residents!
I am honored to be your new District 3 council representative and would love to get to know you at my first community meeting on Oct. 24, 6 pm, at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center,14861 N Spring Ln, Surprise.
I’ll be sharing a little about my passion for the city and why I chose to apply for the D3 Council position. I have also invited city staff to come and share updates on different things happening in the city.
You can expect presentations on the upcoming bond election and the Arts & Culture Master Plan that the city’s creating; you’ll also hear about what’s going on in Economic Development, Community Development and Public Works, including an update on traffic near Paradise Honors.
I hope you can make it, but if you can’t, you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623.222.1323. You can also connect with me on Twitter @Surprise_D3 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022175423875
I am looking forward to representing you!
On September 25, 2017 Patrick Duffy was officially sworn into office as Surprise District 3 Councilmember by City Clerk Sherry Aguilar. A ceremonial swearing in will take place at the October 3, 2017 City Council meeting.
The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services 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.
Community and Recreation Services Director, Donna Miller said the department is “excited for the accreditation”, which came after a preliminary application, self-assessment study and an onsite visit by peer review performed by a CAPRA visitation team. The three-member visitation team spent several days evaluating the departments administrative and operation practices.
“The accreditation stamp reaffirms that we are among premier agencies in the country,” said Miller. We have proven that our department follows proper practices and procedures in the administration of our parks, facilities and programs.”
The application and accreditation process was intensive, lasting more than 14 months. The final step was a hearing through the commission in September. Immediately following the hearing city staff received the good news and are thrilled to be recognized for following these important standards.
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.
“The best part of this process is that all of the staff was involved, which provides ownership and pride in the programs and services in which they offer to the residents,” said Miller.
The Surprise City Council approved the appointment of Patrick Duffy to represent the residents of District 3 at their Tuesday night Regular Council Meeting.
Duffy replaces John Williams, who resigned from Council on August 15, 2017.
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 D3. Duffy was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board and through his city service 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.
Duffy will be 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.
The Surprise City Council will meet to interview the seven applicants seeking the vacant District 3 council seat in a Special Meeting, September 5, at 3 p.m., in City Hall- Council Chambers.
The names of those who filed their applicants by the 5 p.m., August 30th deadline are: Paul Daly; Patrick Duffy; James Hodge; Randal Kidd Jr.; Kevin Loken; Gisele Norberg; and Gary “Doc” Sullivan.
Paul Daly (withdraw application) has lived in D3 for two years, after living in Scottsdale for 25 years. He is retired from the residential mortgage industry. He served on an informal committee for Greer Ranch North to explore traffic concerns in the neighborhood near the Sonoran Heights Elementary School. He served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Franklin Park, IL Chamber of Commerce 1976 – 1980. He has an Associate Degree in Marketing Mid-Management from Triton College.
Patrick 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 D3. Duffy was a member of the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board and through his city service 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.
James Hodge has lived in D3 for seven years and is an Assistant Manager at Discount Tire Direct. He has served as a youth baseball coach, youth flag football coach and volunteered as a score keeper for numerous city rec tournaments. He founded and operated the Sandra Lynn Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that assisted families with funeral expenses through fundraising events.
Randal Kidd Jr.is a Transition Specialist with the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind- Phoenix Campus. He has lived in Surprise for eight years. He is Vice President of the Deaf Community of Surprise and participated in the Surprise City Academy this spring. Kidd holds an Associate of Applied Science in Information & Computing Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology and is working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Arizona State University (May 2018).
Kevin Loken is a District Supervisor at XPO Logistics and had lived in D3 for less than a year. He has a Master of Arts in Management from National University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cal-State Fullerton. His grandfather, Carlo Leone has served on the Peoria City Council for nearly 20 years.
Gisele Norberg is a member of the Surprise Planning & Zoning Commission and has lived in D3 for nearly two years. Norberg is the owner and independent distributor of AdvoCare International. Her family’s construction business provided her with experience in commercial and residential development. Norberg ran unsuccessfully for the D3 Council seat in 2016. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University- Vancouver with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology.
Gary “Doc” Sullivan is a former Surprise City Councilmember (2003 – 2007), serving one of those years as Vice Mayor. He was a member of the former Surprise Economic Development Advisory Board. He has lived in Surprise for 17 years. Sullivan is retired and previously worked in sales for Cox Communications.
Learn more about the applicants here: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3652/District-3-Council-Applicants
This meeting is an interview-only meeting, council will not take action. Public comments will be received at the public hearing and may also be submitted to the City Clerk through the close of the business day on Tuesday, September 12. Comments received in these ways will be sent to the Council and posted online by the end of the next business day.
Per city code, a district candidate must be selected by the Council no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the public hearing, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., September 19.
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.
District 3 Councilmember John Williams on Tuesday, submitted a letter of resignation from the City Council effectively immediately.
Williams was first elected to the City Council in November 2007. He was re-elected last fall to begin a new four-year team January 1, 2017. Williams was elected Vice Mayor by the City Council in 2012 and again in 2015.
Williams noted his decision for resigning in his letter sent to the City Council and City Manager this morning:
“My intention a year ago was to fulfill my obligations as an elected official with four more years of service. Life tends to pivot and shift quickly, often unpredictable, unavoidable, and inconvenient. So while this decision comes very early in my third term, and as a surprise to some, it is founded on what is best for my family, my ability to support my family, and how to best serve Surprise and District 3. In stepping down my goal is to refocus all my energy on being the best I can be, as a father, husband and throughout my professional career, never sacrificing the joy in the journey. My hope, I open the door for someone else, someone that reflects the ideals of the working family in District 3 and Surprise, a visionary who will look ahead and serve the greater good for our District and City. Service will never leave me, it’s what drove me to seek re-election, and is critical for growing a vibrant and engaged community. So while I will no longer serve in this leadership role, I remain as committed as ever to our community.”
“John’s sacrifice to service is commendable,” says Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “I had the pleasure to serve with him over the past eight years through good times and challenging times for our city and he was a very compassionate leader for Surprise. I recognize the challenges of balancing family, work and service and while I will miss him on the dais, I respect his needing to take more time to devote to family.”
Per city code, City Council must formally accept Williams’ resignation at a public meeting. As it is not listed on tonight’s council agenda, Council will have to take that action at a future meeting.
Because Williams has more than two years remaining on his term, state law requires the city to put the remainder of his term on the next Council election ballot that would be August 2018.
Once Council takes formal action, the City Clerk shall begin the process to advertise for those wishing to apply for the District 3 seat and serve up until the August 2018 election.
The Council interviews each applicant at a public hearing held no later than 10 days following the close of the application acceptance period, followed by a seven-day period during which public comment may be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office.
Additional details will be provided by the city once the application process is open.
At their June 6th Regular Meeting, City Council 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 April 19 meeting.
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.
The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.
The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.
That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands. Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.
This budget maintains the city’s current 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 primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.
The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.
There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.
Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.
The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.