Happy spring! I hope you are enjoying the last of this great spring weather prior to very warm days in Surprise!
City Council approved a Preliminary Plat for Toll at Prasada, which is generally located west of Cotton Lane, between Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue. The Preliminary Plat covers approximately 772 gross acres and anticipates a maximum of 2,207 lots in eighteen (18) development parcels or “pads” to be developed over ten (10) phases. Phase 1 will include 463 of those lots in addition to roadway improvements to Cactus Road from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue and Peoria Avenue from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue. Phase I also includes five different lot products intended to reach a variety of customers. Amenities will include a club house, recreation center and golf course with abundant, beautifully-landscaped open space.
We have recently celebrated the recent openings and groundbreakings of businesses in Surprise that I am happy to share with you. The Thompson Thrift development known as the Shops at Elm Street, located at the southwest corner of Civic Center Plaza and Bell Road, recently celebrated their grand opening. The stores in the development include Starbucks, Raising Cane’s, Tokyo Joe’s, and the soon to open In-N-Out Burger, Menchi’s Yogurt and Pieology.
In March, we celebrated the grand opening of Ono Hawaiian BBQ. Ono Hawaiian BBQ is located at 13864 W. Bell Road. They are a fast casual dining restaurant with 70 store locations throughout Arizona and California.
The groundbreaking for Trimaco also took place last month. Trimaco will be located in the Southwest Railplex area of Surprise. With the growing success of their business nationwide, they have outgrown their current west valley location and will be building a NEW 275,000 SF facility and employing over 110 people in Surprise! Trimaco manufactures paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries worldwide. This project represents more than just the current ground-up development, as the President of Trimaco is a long-term investor in Surprise.
The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March asking the community to vote for their favorite locally-owned businesses; both their top restaurant and top retailer. In just three weeks, the survey garnered more than 3,000 responses! Congratulations to following businesses for earning the title “Local Favorite”:
Top 10 Local Restaurants
- Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
- State 48 Brewery
- Babbo Italian Eatery
- Rio Mirage Café
- Nick’s Diner II
- Vogue Bistro
- Saigon Kitchen
- Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
- Big Buddha
- Irish Wolfhound
Top 5 Local Retailers
- Musical Surprise
- Son Glow Boutique
- Kimbur Pet Wash
- PinkaBella Cupcakes
- Gifts to Go
Finance Director Lindsey Duncan presented the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 City Manager Recommended Budget to City Council earlier this month, that is built on the foundation of safety- for residents; city infrastructure/technology; and the city’s financial position. The most notable change in the $387.8 million budget is the inclusion of new capital projects with the passing of the General Obligation (GO) Bond election in November 2017. The bonds will fund $59.5 million of needed public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation projects beginning in FY2019. You can learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.
The budget also includes $16 million in contingency capacity to purchase the Circle City Water Company should the special election be approved in May 2018. All uses of contingency require the approval of the City Council before it may be expended and this will be repaid through future water credit sales. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection.
Increased operating expenditures are focused on public safety, security, inflation factors, and mandated/contractual obligations. Public Safety was the largest recipient of increases to ensure the safety of residents. The Recommended Budget includes the expansion of the city’s ground ambulance service to include a fourth ambulance. The SAFER grant which was awarded to the Fire-Medical Department in 2017 ends in FY2019. The costs for these positions will be fully absorbed by the General Fund mid-year to maintain the enhanced service for residents. In addition, the budget addresses new safety/security needs with the funding of two additional police officers, an emergency manager, an information technology security analyst, and a court compliance coordinator.
With the new requirements of Proposition 206, additional funding is programmed for the minimum wage increase of part-time employees and for paid sick time. The budget also includes additional funding for costs which increase over time such as costs of living, medical premiums, pension contribution rate increases and service-related increases; including water user rates, software licenses, library intergovernmental agreements, and transit intergovernmental agreements.
The Recommended Budget includes funding for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of $71 million. This includes utilizing $13 million in FY2019 for land, design, and/or construction of some of the GO Bond projects. The budget commits $21 million to maintain, secure, preserve, and/or replace infrastructure including roads, buildings, equipment and aged vehicles. The remaining capital is divided between utility-related projects ($15 million) and the functional areas of transportation, public safety, general government, and parks and recreation. Funding carried forward (approximately $22 million) from the prior year will continue the work on Desert Oasis water supply facility phase 2, special planning area 1 recharge expansion, and City Center public infrastructure.
Funding for additional operations and capital improvements is generated from growth in general fund revenue. General fund revenues are expected to increase by 10% or approximately $10.9 million above the current adopted budget. Recent escalations in housing activity as well as growing local sales tax account for most of the increase. A five-year forecast of city resources compared to uses helps ensure long-term financial sustainability and secures safety of the city’s financial position.
The FY2019 Recommended Budget is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget. Council is scheduled to adopt a final budget in June. I welcome your involvement and input in setting the city’s funding priorities and encourage you to attend upcoming City Council meetings before the final budget is approved. We continue to strive to build a vibrant, dynamic city. City Council in partnership with city staff continue our positive momentum and works diligently towards achieving our residents’ collective goals. As the economic forecast continues to improve, I can assure you that we will continue to seek out ways to support smart and responsible growth to ensure a bright future for the city we all know and love!
Sports & Tourism
The staff in our newest department, Sports & Tourism, continue to work hard to host events and advertise our city’s best assets. To say the least, it has been a successful and productive spring for us.
Earlier this year, we hosted several national tennis tournaments. For two weekends in January, we hosted the USTA 65+ National Tennis Tournaments that generating an outstanding 1,800 room nights and 1.000 participants! A month later, in February, we hosted the USTA Women’s $25,000 Pro Circuit which generated 235 room nights and 88 participants. The USTA Tennis on Campus tournament was held in March and generated 600 room nights and more than 400 participants followed by the NTRP Tennis Tournament earlier this month that hosted 378 players.
Surprise Stadium was not only the home for spring training this spring, but also several college tournaments. We hosted two college tournaments featuring baseball teams from the Big 10 and Pac12. Between the two tournaments, there were more than 22,000 in attendance and more than 600 rooms reserved at our local hotels! These tournaments also the highest attendance in the history of the tournaments in Surprise!
Speaking of Spring Training, did you know that Surprise Stadium was ranked the #1 Cactus League Stadium by USA Today? Attendance at the stadium for the 2018 season was 190,043.
In addition to the college tournaments and spring training games, the stadium and neighboring Mark Coronado Park (formerly 8 Acre Park), hosted the Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival, the West Valley Beer Festival, the Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch, the Taste of Surprise and the inaugural Spring Training 5k. The 5k had 284 participants with 50% of them located outside of Surprise and 33% outside of Arizona!
Upcoming events at the stadium include:
- May 4 -12 – AIA Baseball
- May 7-12 – NCAA Division II Tennis Men’s and Women’s National Championships
- May 19-21 – USTA National Level 2
- June 8-11 – Wilson Premier Baseball Showcase
- June 14-17- Babe Ruth Regional Softball
- June 22-27 – Connie Mack World Series Qualifier
- June 28-July 7 – USA Baseball 16’s
- July 12-18 – Don Mattingly World Series
- July 20-25 – Ken Griffey Jr. World Series
- July 23-28 – Babe Ruth Regional
Community & Recreation Services
The City of Surprise honored the legacy of Mark Coronado on Saturday, March 17 with a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony prior to the spring training game at Surprise Stadium. You will now see a Mark Coronado legacy seat in the Stadium, in addition to renaming 8-Acre Park to “Mark Coronado Park” with a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate. Honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue now read “Mark Coronado Way”. Mark successfully led our Community and Recreation Services Department from 2000 until his death last summer.
Mark is greatly missed by all of those who worked with him in the city. His impact on baseball, youth, recreation programs, parks, our city and our staff will never be forgotten. He worked tirelessly to build a better Surprise. Mark’s legacy will now continue to be a permanent part of the city.
Upcoming Community and Recreation Services events include:
- May 5 – Surprise Safety Day @ Surprise Aquatic Center
event runs from 8 a.m. -11 a.m. Swim lesson assessments, swim team tryouts, CPR, safety demonstrations, Native Air helicopter and much more!
- May 12
Painting in the Park w/ SugarPlum Froyo – @ Surprise Community Park. Outdoor painting party for the entire family. 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $30 Residents/$50 Non-Residents
- May 18 – Rec Night @ Sierra Montana Rec Center
6-8 graders can come hang at SMRC from 7-10 p.m.; $5 entry
- May 21 – Adult Sports Summer registration begins!
- May 24 – Itty Bitty Beach Party @ Surprise Aquatic Center
Ages 6 years and younger are invited to enjoy games, prizes, crafts and more! 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. $5 for Residents/$8 Non-residents. Parents and children under 6 months are free.
- May 26 – Pools open for Summer!
Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool open for public swim at 12 p.m. See website for additional hours and days per location.
- June 9 – Neon Dodgeball Teen Tournament @ Countryside Recreation Center from 7-9:30 pm, ages 12-17 years old, $25 per team of 10 or $3 free agents
- June 9 – Painting in the Park w/ SugarPlum Froyo – @ Surprise Community Park
Outdoor painting party for the entire family. 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; $30 Residents/$50 Non-Residents
- June 15 – Rec Night @ Sierra Montana Rec Center
6-8 graders can come hang at SMRC from 7-10 pm; $5 entry
- June 23 – Dive-In Movie @Surprise Aquatic Center
Relax in the water poolside while you watch “Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle”. Doors open at 7pm, movie begins approx. 7:30 p.m. $5 Residents/$10 Non-Residents
- July 2 – Fall Sports Registration Begins
Soccer and Flag Football
- July 4 – 4th of July Celebration & Pool Party
Baseball game in the stadium, gates open at 4:30 pm. Pool Party at Surprise Aquatic Center, doors open at 6pm. Fireworks begin approximately 8:30 pm.
Circle City Water Company – Special Election
Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of a water service company in a May 15 Special Election. City Council approved sending the question to ballot at their November 7th Regular Meeting.
Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.
Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls.
The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.
Educational public meetings are scheduled for April 18 at 4 pm at Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N. Remington Drive and on April 19 at 6 pm at Sierra Montana Rec Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane.
Get Involved in Your Community
If you have time and would like to become more active with the city, there are opportunities to volunteer. The city is seeking volunteers for Surprise Day of Service! The event will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 8 am until 12 noon. On the day of the event, volunteers will check in at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Transportation will be required to get to most service projects which include painting, cleaning, trash removal, landscaping and much more. Light refreshments for breakfast and lunch will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.
Additionally, we are accepting applications for a variety of Commissions. All resident positions are voluntary. For more information, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3100/Welcome. Applications 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 on this link. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a busy first quarter of 2018 as you can see from some of the pictures I have included. I am honored and humbled to continue to serve you. I cannot think of a higher honor than having your trust and support. Thank you!