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City Council Meetings reopened to in-person public participation
City Council meetings have been reopened to in-person public participation. In order to continue to adhere to CDC guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people, face coverings are required when entering and leaving the chambers, but may be removed while seated, and physical distancing measures will be in place to ensure that people sit or stand at least six feet from anyone not in your household. Virtual participation options will remain available and instructions for that are posted on each meeting’s agenda at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.
The next City Council meetings will be held October 6 and October 20, at 6 p.m.. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.
Small Business Relief Grant Program
Applications are being accepted through October 16 for the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant Program. This grant program provides emergency financial relief to local small businesses experiencing economic distress and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures compliant with Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders.
To apply, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant. As part of the application process, you will need to create an account with the Arizona Community Foundation, a Surprise Business “Registration” License and a W-9 form.
For questions call 623-222-3300, or email SurpriseRelief@azfoundation.org.
Surprise Day of Service
The Surprise Day of Service is October 10! Surprise Day of Service is a neighborhood revitalization and cleanup event that assists neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes. Volunteers are needed to participate in various projects throughout the city, including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal and more. Individuals and groups (of no more than 10 people) can register with Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1522. Please note, participants are required to wear face coverings and will be split into small groups and check in times will be staggered due to COVID-19.
7th Annual Fiesta Grande Celebration Goes Virtual
Celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the seventh annual Surprise Fiesta Grande – To Go style! This virtual celebration, presented by the City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina, is happening all week! Enjoy authentic Mexican food, cooking and dance classes, crafts, games and more!
The schedule of events is as follows:
- October 5 at 6:30 p.m.: Holy Guacamole & Salsa Dippin’ Virtual Cooking Class. While this virtual class has already premiered, you can still watch it at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande
- October 6 at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Folklorico Class/Performance. While this virtual class has already premiered, you can still watch it at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande
- All day on October 6, Let’s Taco ‘bout a Good Meal! Where local restaurants offered discounts!
- October 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Nacho Average Virtual Bingo! (Registration for this event is no longer available, but you can view all the previous virtual classes at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande).
- October 8 at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Arts and Crafts, featuring WHAM (to participate, pick up your craft kit at the Parks & Recreation office, Monday 10/5 through Thursday 10/8 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 15960 N Bullard Ave Surprise, AZ 85374).
- October 9 at 5 p.m.: Fiesta Foodtruck Friday & Swag Bag (Foodtruck and swag bag pick up are at Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N Hollyhock St, Surprise, AZ 85378. Register for a swag bag at http://surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov by clicking on “Special Events”).
For updates and more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande or contact the Parks & Recreation Special Events Division at 623.222.2000.
If you happen to miss any of the virtual activities, videos will be available at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande after the event.
Veterans Day Tribute
Make a video tribute and/or sign for our Veterans for the Veterans Day tribute, a virtual alternative to the Veterans Day parade this year. Due to COVID-19, the City of Surprise will not be able to have a Veterans Day parade; however, we are asking residents to submit a video tribute or to decorate a sign that will be displayed on Bullard Ave. by the Surprise Stadium from November 10-12. To participate, record a video tribute, no longer than 15 seconds, thanking our veterans, then upload it to surpriseaz.gov/veteranvideo. This compilation of community messages will be featured on Veterans Day on the Surprise TV cable channel, our Parks & Recreation social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov. Entries must be received by October 29 at 5 p.m. Blank signs can be picked up at the Parks and Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave., from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday October 12 through Friday, October 30. Decorated signs should be returned to the Parks and Recreation Office by 5 p.m. on Friday November 6 for inclusion in the display. For more information, please contact Steve Castillo at 623-222-2267, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New in District 3
The Costco Wholesale Warehouse is now open! Located at 16385 W. Waddell Road, the Warehouse opened on September 24. Mayor Hall and I were on site to welcome them to Surprise with an early morning ribbon cutting!
Southwest Gas offers flexible payment plans, payment assistance programs, and income qualified rate assistance for their customers in Arizona. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Southwest Gas has ceased all service disconnection, and late fees for nonpayment, since March. While this moratorium is still in place, they would like to urge customers to also explore the various assistance programs that they offer, to avoid large payments after the COVID-19 crisis improves.
Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA)
Customers who have recently lost their job, or are receiving unemployment benefits, may qualify for a reduced energy rate through our LIRA Program. This program helps customers save money by providing a yearly 30% reduction in the monthly basic service charge and a “per therm” rate discount. The “per therm” discount is applied each month from November 1 through April 30.
Energy Share Program
Southwest Gas has $1 million available to customers experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, such as the loss of a job or medical emergency related to COVID-19. The Energy Share program allows customers facing financial hardship, who qualify, to receive assistance towards paying their Southwest Gas bill. Customers do not need to meet Federal Poverty Income Guidelines to qualify.
Deferred Payment Program
For customers who can demonstrate a hardship and have outstanding bills, their deferred payment plan allows them to pay their bill over an extended period of time. They also make referrals to government or local social service agencies.
To learn more about these programs, please visit the Southwest Gas website at www.swgas.com, or call 1-877-860-6020.
Southwest Gas also wants to remind you that they will never contact customers, or show up in person to demand payment with the threat of disruption of service. Any calls that demand immediate payment should be considered a scam. Do not provide any person information, and hang up. To verify the legitimacy of any calls or visits you receive, please call 877-860-6020.
Meet and Greet
My next meeting will be held on November 7, at 9 a.m. at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, #B101. Due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19, please check www.surpriseaz.gov for updates and cancellations to my Meet and Greet schedule. As always, please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please continue to check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates to meeting schedules and other important announcements.