All posts by admin

October 2, 2019 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive city updates and my council newsletters. I am honored to serve the residents of District 3 and I am always available for questions, concerns or comments. Please follow me on Facebook or email me directly at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov.

Ottawa University

Ottawa University held their first home game of the season last month, against Western New Mexico. The game brought many parents, relatives, students and fans from across the city to cheer on the Spirit. The game was close and with Western New Mexico taking the lead in the 3rd, the Spirit were not going to give up. They pulled off a touchdown in the 4th quarter to win the game. I am appreciative of the relationship the city has with the university and look forward to a great season.

Fire Station 304

As the northern region of Surprise continues to grow and develop, the need for a permanent fire station became inevitable. Council participated in the groundbreaking for the new 18,000 square foot permanent fire station in September. This fire station will be the largest in the city and will help to maintain adequate response times. Fire Station 304 will be located on 163rd Ave and San Ysidro Road.

Peace Pole

A peace pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the commitment of the entire human family to engage and endorse peace in their community and worldwide. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Surprise, in partnership with the City of Surprise and the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, for their donation of a peace pole to the Civic Center Campus. The pole is located on the lawn outside of the Surprise Public Safety Building.

Ribbon Cutting

SeaCa Plastic Packaging hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their newest manufacturing building. They have been owned and operated by family for over 125 years. SeaCa specializes in the production of wooden, corrugated, plastic and distribution products. This welcome addition will bring jobs and positive growth to Surprise.

Traffic and Road Construction

As the Toll Brothers’ Sterling Grove development continues to move forward, so does work to improve roads surrounding the future housing community.

The developer is responsible for building the north half of Peoria Avenue between Cotton Lane and just west of Citrus Road. Phases 1&2 of the Peoria Avenue work are underway and happening concurrently, with planned completion by November 2019. These phases include building out the north half of the roadway between Cotton Lane and Citrus Road, which will result in one travel lane in each direction, plus a center turn lane until the south half of the road is built. Please note, the south half of the road is not in City of Surprise limits.

Peoria Avenue Phase 3 will begin in August 2022 and will consist of one additional west bound travel lane, sidewalk, and streetlights from 175th Avenue to just west of Citrus Road. Upon completion of Peoria Avenue Improvement Phases 1-3, traffic will be able to flow via single lane in each direction along Peoria Avenue from Cotton Lane to Perryville Road.

Cactus Road improvements between Cotton Lane and 175th Avenue are planned to be complete in early 2020 and include all south half of the road improvements, including: three lanes, a median, sidewalks and streetlights.

Improvements on Cotton Lane between Peoria Avenue and Cactus Road are tentatively planned to begin in 2021. These are west half roadway improvements, including: three travel lanes, a median, sidewalks and streetlights.

All construction schedules are weather dependent and could be impacted by other variables, but are currently on track.

As Surprise continues to grow, the city is working on several significant transportation improvement projects. These projects will range from additional lanes to pavement improvement. The Transportation Projects Map can be found online and will give you a detailed look at the individual projects as well as expected timelines. You can find it here: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/43102/2019-Transportation-Projects-Map

Day of Service

The City of Surprise is hosting the Fall Day of Service on Saturday, October 19. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved in promoting community pride and volunteer service. The Neighborhood Services team is seeking over 200 residents to help with several indoor and outdoor activities. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 8 a.m. to receive their assignment; and should plan to serve until noon. There will be an island party afterwards complete with BBQ, live music, games and more. If you have a group of 10 or more, please sign up in advance by contacting Ervin Cutwright at 623-222-3241 or via email Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov. Individuals, families and groups are all encouraged to attend.

Events

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival is scheduled for October 20 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Bring your chairs or blanket to Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave, for an evening of live entertainment, yard games, inflatables and much more. Admission is free; food and drink are available for purchase.

Public Safety G.A.I.N. night will be held at Mark Coronado Park on Saturday October 26 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. This fun family event will host dinosaurs, a gaming trailer, public safety displays and much more. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Bring two cans of food and get a raffle ticket for an opportunity to win some prizes. Admission is free.

The City of Surprise is accepting applications for the upcoming Veterans Day Parade scheduled for November 11 at 10 a.m. along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. This is an excellent opportunity for clubs, organizations and residents to display their patriotic pride while honoring those who have served our country. Entry forms are available at the Parks & Recreation Office or online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Closing

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

I hold a monthly meet and greet at Jim’s Burgers and Eggs from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month. If you have questions, comments or concerns please stop by and chat with me.

September 4, 2019 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive city updates and my council newsletters. I am honored to serve the residents of District 3 and I am always available for questions, concerns or comments. Please follow me on Facebook or email me directly at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov.

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The City Council attended the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference last month in Tucson. This conference brings elected officials from across the state together to network and gives us the opportunity to gain valuable information that we may bring back to our individual cities.

Recycling Program

The past few years have seen many negative changes in the recycling industry. Many restrictions have been placed on recycled materials in regards to what would be accepted by other countries. Unfortunately, in return this resulted in a significant drop in prices for recyclables and increased costs to drop-off the materials at recycling processing centers worldwide.

In 2017, the City of Surprise was able to generate revenue to help cover the costs of the recycling program; however, once demand dropped for the recycled materials the city starting incurring expenses as dumping fees increased. From May 2018 to May 2019, our recycling costs jumped nearly 300%. With these new statistics in the recycling industry, the city has temporarily suspended its recycling program and staff is exploring options for what we need to do in Surprise.

Many Arizona communities outside of the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix and across the country have either ended or modified their recycling programs due to the changing market.

You can also do an online search to read countless news stories that highlight the concerns and give details on how some communities are changing their approach to recycling.

Construction Updates

The Greenway Road improvement project from Cotton Lane to Sarival Avenue has completed 30% of the design phase. This project is scheduled for construction bidding in Spring of 2020 with a completion date of Spring 2021.

Waddell Road from SR303 to Reems Road is well under construction with an anticipated completion day of March 2020.

The new traffic signal at Sarival Avenue and Cactus Road is completed and already has greatly improved the flow of traffic.

The City of Surprise is doing resurfacing projects on Cactus Road, from SR303 to Reems Road and on Sarival Road, from Cactus Road to the North Well Site. These projects will be completed by mid-September.

Toll Brothers has been working on Peoria Road from Cotton Lane to 175th Ave. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of October.

Thank you for your continued patience while these road projects are being conducted.

Day of Service

The City of Surprise is hosting the Fall Day of Service on Saturday, October 19. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved in promoting community pride and volunteer service. The Neighborhood Services team is seeking over 200 residents to help with several indoor and outdoor service projects. There will be an island party afterwards complete with BBQ, live music, games and more. If you would like to sign up, please contact Ervin Cutwright at 623-222-3241 or via email Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov. Individuals, families and groups are all encouraged to attend.

Events

The City of Surprise works with the Northwest Regional Landfill, located at 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, to offer residents the opportunity to dispose of a single load of residential waste up to 2,000 lbs. at no charge. The next event is scheduled for September 14 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Remember, this is only open to Surprise residents and proof of residency is required.

Following the success of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection event in the spring, the city will continue with the scheduled appointment format. Residents are able to schedule appointments beginning September 9. Households on the north side of Bell Road will be picked up from September 30 through October 4. Residents on the south side of Bell Road can expect a scheduled pickup from October 7-11. Please book your appointment via the MySurprise app or by calling 623-222-1920.

Movie night at Mark Coronado Park is back with the first show on Saturday, September 28. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. start time of “Wonder Park.” Admission is free, and there will be food and drink available for purchase.

The City of Surprise has opened registration for the 2019 HOA Academy. This five week academy provides expert information for HOA residents, board members and managers. Residents who want to learn more about living in an HOA community, serving on an HOA board or who just want more information about the laws that govern HOAs are encouraged to attend. Classes are held weekly on Wednesdays, beginning October 16. Space is limited, so please call 623-222-3242 to reserve your seat today.

Closing

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

I hold a monthly meet and greet at Jim’s Burgers and Eggs from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month. If you have questions, comments or concerns please stop by and chat with me.

July 18, 2019 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

Temperatures are remaining high and so is the desire to lounge poolside or head to the lake. While you are relaxing or cooling off, don’t forget how easy it is for little ones to slip into the water without being noticed. In June, Mayor Skip Hall proclaimed June, July and August, Drowning Prevention Awareness Season. According to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona website, June through August are peak times for child drownings. Between 2010 and 2015, the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 was drowning. This statistic is alarmingly high, and I certainly hope to see a decline, since drownings are nearly 100% preventable. Watch all around water!

Mayor Hall presents the proclamation for Drowning Prevention Awareness Season.
Pictured: Mayor Skip Hall, Asst. Fire Chief Brendan Espie

The Surprise Parks and Recreation Department offers several different swimming classes, starting as young as six months. There are two sessions in August. The first session takes place August 5 – 15, and the second session runs from August 19 – 29. Fees for Surprise residents start at $25 per swimmer. For more information, please call the Surprise Aquatic Center at 623-222-2500 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/aquatics.

Celebrating Our Military

I was able to attend several ceremonies that were held all over Surprise for Memorial Day. These events honor military members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I would like to thank everyone who worked so diligently to ensure the events were successful.

It was humbling to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Veterans Reflection Circle that will honor the late Surprise resident Brian Mancini. This memorial represents all of his work with veterans, as well as it symbolizes all military members and their individual sacrifices. The grand opening is scheduled for this Veterans Day.

The 36th Annual 4th of July celebration was a wonderful tribute to our country’s independence. Mark Coronado Park was full of residents enjoying the array of food trucks and games. Live music played to keep everyone mingling and moving. The fireworks display had everyone’s attention, as it lit up the night sky.

Surprise Youth

The Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp allowed 13 students to present their ideas and talents to a panel of judges. The teens utilized the AZ TechCelerator business incubator to identify and develop a new product or service to address community needs. The winning team consisted of four students: Dylan Tluczek and Bryan Main, both home-schooled, Prince Alino of Paradise Honors High School and Gabby Roberts of Valley Vista High School (all pictured below). They presented an idea for a peer-to-peer tutoring service called TutorFLY. This online and app focused business would connect students to others who are able to help them with academic goals.

Participants of the AZ TechCelerator Surprise Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp display their certificates.

Economic Development Update

The City of Surprise is constantly growing and changing. We have had the privilege of welcoming several new businesses in the past couple of months.

Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) has opened Growing Minds Preschool. This latest addition to the DUSD focuses on core academic areas as well as arts and athletics. They offer a creative curriculum with hands on learning and fun. Growing Minds is located at 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop S. They are now open and enrolling children, aged 2-5, in half-day or full-day programs. Please visit www.GrowingMindsPreschool.org for more information and registration links.

Mucho burrito is now open. Located at 14345 W. Bell Road, this new fresh Mexican grill has a variety of selections to choose from. They pride themselves on delivering authentic food that is free of artificial preservatives and fake flavors.

Marley Park is expanding and beginning development on their newest homes. Meritage Homes is offering 4 models that range from 1900 square feet up to 2500 square feet. The community will boast BBQ grills, ramadas, a community pool, playground, fitness stations, a clubhouse and dog park. Many homes will be move-in ready by October. The sales center is open seven days a week and is located at 14340 W. Andora Street.

The Hilton Garden Inn, located at 16601 N. Stadium Way, is open for business. This 124-room full service hotel is the first one in Surprise. It offers complimentary Wi-Fi and a business center. There is an onsite restaurant and bar as well as room service and a 24-hour pavilion pantry. The hotel also offers a fitness center and pool. There is over 1,200 square feet of meeting and event space that is available for public rental.

Mayor Hall and City Councilmembers prepare to cut the ribbon at the Hilton Garden Inn grand opening event.

Ottawa University is nearing its completion of the O’Dell Center for Athletics. This 100,000 square foot indoor activity center will host a 30,000 square foot multi-court gym, fitness center, student lab classrooms and athletic department offices. The athletic center will offer many opportunities for the City of Surprise and Ottawa University to continue their partnership.

A view of the Ottawa University field and dormitory from the O'Dell Center for Athletics.

Community Development

The City of Surprise currently has several District 3 permits under review to include EOS Fitness Sales Center (16995 W. Greenway Road), Prasada Golf Shop (SWC of Cactus Road and Cotton Lane), Prasada Clubhouse (11530 N. Greenwich Blvd), Costco Warehouse (16385 W. Waddell Road), Costco Fuel Center (16345 W. Waddell Road) and Wyngate Apartments (11142 N. 165th Drive).

Avilla Meadows is now available for leasing. This 127 single-family rental home property is located at the northwestern corner of Waddell Road and Reems Road. The complex features one, two and three bedroom homes with high-end amenities to include a pool, hot tub, sun deck and fire pit.

Public Works Update

Traffic signals will be installed at the Cactus and Sarival intersection by the end of August. This will require a reconfiguration of the traffic lanes on the north section of Sarival/Cactus intersection to ensure traffic crossing is lined up with the signals.

The Toll Brothers Development has begun road widening construction on Peoria Road from Cotton Lane to 175th Ave. This will result in half-street restrictions until mid-September.

Various developers are planning improvements on the west side of Cotton between Waddell and Cactus, which will require improvements to Cotton as well as the construction of Sweetwater Ave between 175th and Cotton. There is no timeline set as of yet.

APS, EPCOR, Southwest Gas and other utility companies have planned right-of-way projects throughout Surprise in the coming months. The city works closely with these contractors to establish safe traffic control that minimizes impacts to traffic as much as possible.

I understand the frustrations that come along with road construction, and I appreciate the overall understanding and patience.

Parks and Recreation Update

The Dick McComb Dog Park lighting project has been completed. This allows residents use of the facility until 10:00 p.m. The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is in the process of lighting the remaining courts. This project will be completed in early fall.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will host its final Dive-In Movie of the summer on August 17. Relax poolside or in the water and enjoy Dumbo on the big screen. Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. and residents will only pay $5! Concessions will be available for purchase.

A night of competitive Bubble Soccer will be the highlight of your teen’s September. On September 21, from 5:00-9:00 p.m., come to Mark Coronado Park for the Bubble Soccer Tournament. Get your teams together now with prices starting at $10 for residents.

Movie night is coming back to Mark Coronado Park. The first movie of the season will be Wonder Park. It will show on the big screen at 7:00 p.m. on September 28. Admission is always free, and concessions will be available for purchase.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival is coming back in September! Live music will fill the air while food trucks fill the park. Come to Mark Coronado Park on September 15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

Surprise Fiesta Grande is a street festival with authentic Mexican Food, classic car shows, kids zone, music and live entertainment. It will be held in the Original Town Site on Saturday, October 12 from 5:00-10:00 p.m.

Back to School

School is back in session! Paradise Honors Elementary School will host a Meet the Teacher night on Tuesday, July 30. All Paradise Honors schools will start on Wednesday, July 31. Dysart Unified School District will hold Meet the Teacher night for K-8 schools on Friday, August 2. Dysart High School Open House will be on Monday, August 5. All Dysart schools will begin on Tuesday, August 6.

Closing

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

I hold a monthly meet and greet at Jim’s Burgers and Eggs from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month. If you have questions, comments or concerns please stop by and chat with me.

June 4, 2019 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

Summer is quickly approaching. As we wrap up the spring season, I hope everyone had an opportunity to attend a Spring Training game, the State of the City, Taste of Surprise, the Egg-stravaganza and other city-hosted events.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Convening Breakfast, hosted on March 1, allowed me and fellow councilmembers to meet with other local Mayors and connect with community leaders, stakeholders and business owners. We were able to learn and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the business community as well as build networks.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I was able to read in two different classrooms at Countryside Elementary School. I would like to thank the staff, teachers and students for the invitation and allowing me the opportunity to participate.

The National League of Cities Conference (NLC) was held in Washington D.C., and I was honored to be able to attend on behalf of our city. During the trip, I had several productive meetings focusing on the city’s priorities. I was able to meet with important members of our congressional delegation, including Senators Sinema and McSally’s office: Congressman Stanton, who sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Congressman Gosar; and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick’s staff. Additionally, I met with U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Anthony Bedell. Also, I was able to meet with seven of the West Valley cities and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss regional routes of significance and to gain DOT’s support and insight. This experience allowed me to bring educational information back that we can use to focus on our city’s success and future.

The State of the City and City Hall 10 Year Anniversary Celebration was held on March 28. This event brought residents and elected officials together to watch a State of the City video in the Council Chambers before enjoying festivities in the courtyard. The festivities included music and food, as well as a showcase of city departments. Residents were able to get department updates while enjoying the night air.

The Grand Avenue and Bell Road bridge was renamed to Veterans Bridge on April 26. The celebration brought Governor Doug Ducey, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, and Senator Rick Gray, as well as other elected officials, to our beautiful city. This event was a gathering for many veterans to mingle and be recognized for their service and dedication to our country. This bridge acknowledges the men and women of our Armed Forces past, present and future. The City of Surprise welcomes Veterans and offers many resources for them.

Economic Development Update

Over the past few months, our city has welcomed two new health care businesses. The Avenir Behavioral Health Center, located at 16561 N Parkview Place, celebrated their ribbon cutting in March. This behavioral health center offers private and semi-private rooms for patients aged 65 or older. They specialize in psychiatric and medical evaluations with individualized treatment plans. They support calming and soothing environments with a personalized care approach.

The Colonnade New Assisted Living/Memory Support Center celebrated their ribbon cutting in May. This new facility offers independent, assisted and memory support living. The 40-acre area that spans the heart of Sun City Grand and Surprise boasts a Mediterranean style landscape with exciting settings and countless amenities and social activities.

The City of Surprise also welcomes Primerica Financial Services. The Surprise location marks the 38th office opened for this growing company. Primerica is an insurance and financial services company that specializes in several areas of assistance.

Christian Brothers Automotive is proposing a new 5,495 square foot light automotive repair facility to be placed between Walgreens and Autozone at the northwest corner of Reems and Waddell Roads, while a tractor supply company is proposing a 21,700 square foot retail building just south of the Fry’s shopping center on Greenway and Cotton.

Councilmember Duffy at the Primerica ribbon cutting

Community Development

Ryder Ranch is currently still in the preliminary stages of planning and developing, however, this new community plans to bring Surprise families together. This family-friendly community will be located between 175th Ave and Cotton Lane, north of Cactus. It will offer many community gathering areas to include tot land, basketball and several green belts.

Hayden Farms Townhomes has formally submitted a final plat and a site plan for a 174-unit townhome development just south of Ryder Ranch on Cotton Lane and Cactus Road.

The Toll Brothers project has changed its name to Sterling Grove and has submitted the clubhouse site plan.

The City of Surprise is rapidly growing and expanding from new businesses and restaurants to many new homes. As we welcome the newcomers, city staff are working diligently to ensure we provide safe and reasonable accommodations. Our city is moving forward with the ever-changing growth, and I look forward to the future of Surprise.

Public Works Update

The new Public Works Operations Facility, which will be located on the Southwest corner of Cactus Road and Litchfield Road, is well underway with its construction. This facility will bring together Fleet, Streets and Solid Waste Operations within the Public Works Department. Construction is slated for completion in February of 2020.

The widening of Waddell Road from SR303 to Reems Road has completed its design stage and is currently preparing for the construction phase. The construction is scheduled to start soon with a completion of summer 2020.

As with Waddell Road, Litchfield Road widening has also completed its design stage. The scheduled construction will include Litchfield Road from Waddell Road to Peoria Avenue. This project will begin this fall and finish in summer 2020.

CRS Update

The Dick McComb dog park light installation project is nearing completion. The addition of lights will allow residents to utilize the park later in the evening during the summer. The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex will also be lighting the remaining courts which will allow our staff to maximize the facility for programming, leagues and tournaments.

The Asante Library construction is underway and will be complete by the end of the year with a grand opening planned for January 2020. This new library will serve our growing city for years to come.

The 36th Annual 4th of July Celebration events will be held at Mark Coronado Park this year, due to renovations at the Surprise Stadium. This annual celebration features music, food and fun. Don’t forget your chairs and blankets for the showcase of fireworks that are sure to light up the evening sky as we salute our nation’s Independence Day. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with fireworks starting at 8:40 p.m.

Finance Update

The Recommended Budget continues to focus on the Council’s commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure our residents value most, while also addressing the needs of our growing community. It remains important that public safety services keep pace with the city’s growth to ensure our community remains safe and secure. The FY2020 Recommended Expenditure Budget is $414 million and includes $106.3 million for voter approved General Obligation (GO) Bond projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation, and Pavement Preservation. These projects will be spread over four more years, but significant progress will show this fiscal year with the completion of the Public Works Yard, Fire Station 304 and Pavement Preservation scheduled for the end of 2020. These projects are investments in our city and reflect our city’s commitment to address growth while maintaining a responsible fiscal approach when allocating resources. The recommended budget goes to Council for action tonight (6/4) during a 6 p.m. Special Meeting. Come out and be part of the process, or check www.surpriseaz.gov tomorrow for news on the final, adopted budget.

Water Resource Management

In September 2015, EPCOR was required to file a rate case for all Arizona water districts, according to Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Decision #75268. EPCOR filed it August 2017. Seventeen months later, the ACC failed to reach a decision and the ACC Chairman ordered EPCOR to file for Interim Rates. Interim Rates were approved March 28, 2019, effective April 1, 2019, and the ACC also ordered EPCOR to file a new water rate case. City of Surprise residents in the Agua Fria water district will see a credit on their bills. The credit is calculated based on the amount of water customers personally use, and the district where they live and receive service. The interim rate surcharge is in effect until a decision on new, permanent rates is made. EPCOR is required to file a new rate case by May 1, 2020 and a decision is expected to be made in mid-2021.

Customers can also take advantage of EPCOR’s ongoing and new customer assistance programs. Effective April 1, any eligible water customer who has a monthly household income at 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or lower may receive a $10 monthly credit. If you’re an EPCOR customer and you’re away from home protecting our country’s freedoms, there’s a program designed to help give you some extra peace of mind at home. Active-duty service members who are away from their homes serving the United States, and who meet the program’s eligibility requirements, may have their monthly water bill waived while on deployment. Once you return home from deployment, your bill for service will resume.

EPCOR also offers a program to assist disabled American veterans with a $10 credit on their monthly water bill. If you are a disabled veteran, you can sign up as long as you can show proof through proper documentation and have an EPCOR account. Even if you’re already receiving EPCOR’s low income assistance credit, you can still qualify to receive this new monthly credit.

For more details on these programs, please visit EPCOR’s at https://epcor.com/assistance.

Things to do this summer

The City of Surprise offers various activities at the Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Community Pools, which are now officially open! Be sure to enjoy as many of the special water events as possible, such as the 4th of July Pool Party and the Dive-in Movies, plus many more.

Summer sports camp registration has begun, however, it’s not too late to sign up. The City of Surprise offers Softball, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Football and Cheerleading camps. For more availability and registrations, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov.

Closing

The City of Surprise is breaking ground on an outdoor memorial in honor of the late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. The indoor ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. on June 24 at the Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Ave, followed by the outdoor ground breaking.

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

D3 Quarterly Meeting March 21; Includes City Center Input Session

Hello Neighbors,

I am hosting my next quarterly meeting this Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m.

In addition to holding a Q&A session, I have invited Surprise Center Development Company to host a community input session on the Surprise City Center.

Come share your ideas for future development! This is a great opportunity to help build a downtown core – a place to live, work, shop, eat, play and gather! It’s a chance to help guide growth that ties into our existing Surprise Recreation Campus, Civic Center and Ottawa University.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Surprise, located at 13165 N. Auto Show Ave. Surprise, AZ 85388.

I look forward to seeing you! Plus, you can always reach out to me at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1323. Additionally, you can connect with me on Twitter at @Surprise_D3 and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PatrickDuffyD3.

February 22, 2019 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

It’s hard to believe the spring season is rapidly approaching. The first two months of 2019 have been very busy for City Council. We began this year by appointing Councilman David Sanders for the District 5 seat that had been vacated by Mayor Skip Hall in late November. Several of us took the Oath of Office and began our new elected terms.

Councilmember Duffy with City Clerk Sherry Aguilar

The City formed a new commission to assist in the development and expansion of citing programming related to veterans, people with special needs and those in need of general human services and workforce development. City Council also joined staff from our Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Department and our CRS Advisory Commission to tour all of our city parks. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko visited Surprise in February. Mayor Skip Hall provided an update on our City Council initiatives and the continued growth of Surprise.

The City’s FY20 budget building process also kicked off in mid-February. The recommended budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY20 budget in June. Our new fiscal year begins July 1, 2019.


Economic Development Update

City Council recently welcomed several new businesses to Surprise. Café Rio, located at the northwest corner of Litchfield and Waddell roads, opened in December. Hammer & Stain, a local DIY workshop studio located at 17126 N. 134th Drive, Suite 2, held their grand opening on January 26; My Goodies Bakery located at 15170 W. Bell Road, Suite 106, held their ribbon cutting on February 1; Destiny Spring Behavioral Health Hospital opened last month. They are located at 17300 N. Dysart Road. Lastly, Champs Family Automotive expanded their business and hosted a ribbon cutting at their new location, 17141 N. Dysart Road.


Finance Update

The City will utilize Work Sessions through April 2 to discuss the budget and review budget items. The Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m.

  • March 5: Budget presentation for Police, Fire-Medical, Court, Water Resource Management and Public Works
  • March 11: Budget presentation for Community Development and Economic Development. *Special meeting to follow at 5 pm for action on Development Impact Fees.
  • March 19: Budget presentation for Finance, IT, Human Resources, City Attorney, City Clerk, City Manager Office and City Council
  • April 2: Budget presentation for Community & Recreation Services, Human Service & Community Vitality & Sports and Tourism

Water Resource Management

In November 2018, City Council approved the creation of a Water Conservation Specialist position. While water conservation is already a part of the City’s Water Resource Management (WRM) Department’s responsibilities; it has been one of many program focuses of WRM. Now, with the creation of this position, Council has given staff the go ahead to take the water conservation program to a new level. It is the vision of WRM to expand the education and outreach opportunities and offer additional more personalized services to our customers to assist them in managing their water use. Proper water management will help conserve water and save money. The recruitment for the position occurred in December 2018 and was completed in January 2019. Amy Peterson, currently a wastewater operator with the City, was selected. Amy is a graduate of the GateWay Community College Water/Wastewater Technology Program which is taught at the Surprise SPA1 Water Campus.

The southwest region of the United States has been in a drought for over 15 years. While Arizona has managed the use of its water exceptionally well since the passing of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act, this recent drought has caused one of the State’s water sources, the Colorado River, to produce less and less water. Whether or not these reduced levels are a snap shot in time or the new normal, the water from the Colorado has to be managed and preserved. In late January, the State of Arizona approved the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). The DCP is a plan that is aimed at better managing the water from the Colorado, at least in the short term. Previous rules for managing times when the River produces less water stated that Arizona would take the largest reductions in water during these times, while California would see no reductions to its river allocation. The DCP revises these rules and spreads the reductions on the river amongst its users. In addition, it allows for those most affected by Arizona’s water reductions, the farming community, funding to construct new infrastructure to keep water flowing to their farms.


Utility Rate Study

City Council approved the Utility Rate Study, effectively adjusting the five-year rate schedule for city-serviced solid waste customers at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Single-family solid waste customers will pay a monthly base rate of $20.70 starting July 1, 2019 and with another scheduled increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The rate schedule will then increase the rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2023. Residential water and wastewater utility rates will remain unchanged in FY 2020-2024. This is the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. There were no increases for more than 8 years between January 1, 2010 and July 1, 2018.The Utility Rate Study was initiated in November 2018 to review utility base rates and create a five-year structured schedule based on the revenues required to operate utilities and maintain infrastructure while also considering asset replacement and emergency funding needs. Information regarding the Utility Rate Study can be found online at surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.


Upcoming Events

It’s Baseball Season

Spring training games are the number one fan favorite to soak in the afternoon sun. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers will be back in town and ready to start the season. Please visit www.surprisestadium.com for a full schedule and ticket pricing.

Sundays in the Park

The City of Surprise, in coordination with Food Truck Friday West, continues to present Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival with live music! Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 10 from 5 pm until 8 pm featuring music by Lane Change. The event is held at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N Bullard Ave. Event admission is free; food and drink are available for purchase. This is a great opportunity to enjoy live entertainment and unique food trucks that the whole family will love. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair and remember all dogs must be on leashes. Please visit www.surpriseaz.gov for dates.

Summer Camp Registration

Summer Camp is a fun-filled program which includes crafts, games, field trips and guest speakers. This program is state licensed; therefore, a copy of birth certificate and immunizations as well as additional paperwork is required. Parents will be required to sign their child in and out each day. Field trips may include but are not limited to: bowling, laser tag, water park, roller skating, movies, Surprise Pools, Amazing Jakes, and more! Weekly fee guarantees spot and are listed below. Register at the Community and Recreation Services office at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Resident registration beings on Monday, March 11th and Non-resident registration begins Monday, April 2nd.

Registration Fee: $30 per child Residents* $50 per child Non-residents*
Payment Option: $25 Per Day for Residents $29 Per Day for Non-residents

*Registration fee of $30 per child and first week’s fee due at time of registration.

Sports

  • There will be a youth baseball & softball camp March 19-21.
  • Summer Youth Basketball League registration will begin on April 8. The season will run Late May-July.
  • Registration for our spring adult sports programs will begin March 11. We are anticipating approximately 100 teams participating.
  • Annual Pitch, Hit & Run & Home Run Derby Competition will take place on Saturday, April 27.
  • Babe Ruth Baseball League for 13-15 yr. olds will start the week of April 22.

Be sure to check out these other awesome events!

  • Fire Station 303 (located at 15440 N Cotton Lane) will be hosting an open house on Saturday, March 2 from 9am-12pm. Families can meet the firefighters, tour the facilities and see the fire trucks. Free event to everyone.
  • Spring cleaning is soon to be in full effect and the City of Surprise is offering a residential waste cleanup event on March 9 from 7:00am-1:00pm. Surprise Residents may bring one load (up to 2000 lbs) to the NW Regional Landfill, 19401 W Deer Valley Road, for no charge. Please ensure you bring a proof of residency to take advantage of this event.
  • Spring Eggstravaganza is back on April 20 from 7:30 am -12:00 pm. Children from toddler to ten years old are invited to join in the hunt for over 50,000 candy and toy filled eggs. This is a free, family-friendly event with face painters, balloon artists, inflatables and of course, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny.
  • Surprise Talent Show will be held at Valley Vista High School on April 26th from 6:00-8:00 pm. If you have talent. be sure you register for this fun event. All registrations must be in by March 1st at 5:00 pm. Please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents for registration link. All tickets to the event will be $3 advance or $5 at the door. There is no cost for auditions.
  • Just before the heat arrives, the city will be hosting Movie Night. Come down to Mark Coronado Park on May 11 and watch Small Foot on the big screen. Gates will open at 6:00 pm with movie starting at 7:00. This event is free, and don’t forget your blanket and popcorn.

Just for Teens!

The City of Surprise will host the Level 4 Youth Event on March 9 from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm. There will be dancing, food, art and a view from the 4th level of the parking garage. This is a free event with a high school ID. Please call 623-222-1033 for more information.

Join other teens from Surprise and tour the ASU and/or U of A campus to learn all about what the Universities have to offer. The University of Arizona tour will be March 20 and the Arizona State University tour will be March 21. Trips are only $5!

The City is offering a summer job program for income-eligible Surprise teens between the ages of 15 – 19. Through the City Council-approved Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), applicants must be available to work up to 25 hours a week for six weeks between June 17 and July 26. Chosen interns will earn $11.00 per hour. Twenty-five interns will be selected to receive professional development training; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors. Electronic application submissions will be accepted through Sunday, March 31; in-person submissions will be accepted during normal City Hall business hours through Friday, March 29 at 5 p.m. For questions, please contact Lord Garcillano at lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1035.

The city 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 7-11 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 through March 24. The application consists of a video submission, no longer than 1 minute and 30 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?
  • Briefly tell us about a time you were fearless, creative or hardworking.

The videos should be sent to Youth Services Coordinator Lord Garcillano 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 Lord Garcillano at 623.222.1035 or lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.


Closing

In closing, I wanted to be sure you are aware of the State of the City event and City Hall 10 Year Anniversary Celebration. The event will be held at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza on Thursday, March 28 from 6 pm until 8 pm. This is your opportunity to hear an update on the city’s accomplishments and the vision for the future and to meet staff and City Council. Please stay afterwards for a celebration of the anniversary of our current City Hall building with food, entertainment, games, a showcase of the city’s programs and services and more!

As a reminder, City Council agendas are posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

November 20, 2018 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

It’s hard to believe we are rapidly approaching the end of 2018. The weather is changing, and the holidays are right around the corner. The last quarter has been very busy with both the primary and general elections. City Manager Bob Wingenroth also announced his resignation last month, and he will be replaced by former Police Chief and Assistant City Manager Michael Frazier. While we are excited about the future, I’d be remiss not to acknowledge everything Bob has contributed to the city. He was an asset to Surprise and is a friend to all who know him. His legacy will live on for years to come!


Economic Development Update

Award-Winning Economic Development

In early October, the City of Surprise attended the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, Excellence in Economic Development Awards are given to exemplary economic development projects and programs. At this year’s conference, the City of Surprise was awarded the Bronze Award for Business Retention & Expansion – 3 Years or More, for the City of Surprise Retail Survey Program. The Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED) Fall Forum was held in Flagstaff, Arizona. The conference hosts industry and government professionals which provides for networking and educational opportunities. During this event, the City of Surprise was given the Golden Prospector Award for Economic Development Program for the City of Surprise Retail Survey Business Retention & Expansion Strategy.

New Surprise Businesses

A number of new businesses have recently opened operations in the Surprise community. Planet Fitness is the latest gym to open their doors and is located at the southwestern corner of Bell Road and Reems Road. Also located on Bell Road, AZ Fry Guy held their grand opening on October 12th. The soul food restaurant started as a food truck and won Best of Phoenix – Best Fried Chicken in 2017. Surprise also has many projects that are currently under construction including Trimaco (paint supply manufacturer), Southwest Kidney Institute, Central Garden & Pet (pet supply manufacturer), Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital, and Ottawa University’s new athletic facility and student housing complex.

Seattle-Tacoma Box Company recently hosted a groundbreaking late last month at their future location in our Industrial complex. The company specializes in polypropylene carton manufacturing. Their Surprise plant is scheduled for completion by April 2019, marking the eighth location between Seattle Tacoma and SeaCa Packaging. With plans to hire for 65 phase one jobs, this facility anticipates at $17 million capital investment into Greater Phoenix and will serve it growing customer base nationwide.

Seattle Tacoma Box Company is a 6th generation family-owned company that is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.


Surprise Industrial Job Fair

In September, the City of Surprise held its first-ever industrial job fair at West-MEC’s Northwest Campus. The event was highly successful. Thirteen local employers participated, and 20 percent of job seekers in attendance were hired or offered positions.


Public Works Update

The City has various pavement preservation projects being performed, including Reems Road between Cactus and Greenway roads, which included signal and sidewalk ramp upgrades as well. The two General Obligation Bond projects in this district are underway and the conceptual design reports for each roadway have been completed. The designs are now progressing toward the 90 percent completion phase. Construction will begin on Waddell Road in the summer of 2019 (including signal installation at Waddell & Sarival intersection), while Greenway Road construction will begin in the summer of 2020.

On the developer side of transportation improvements, Toll Brothers has started grading their site, and roadway improvements to the south side of Cactus from Cotton to Citrus are planned to take place in the next year to year and a half. The intersection at Cotton and Cactus will see some improvements. The north half of Peoria Avenue from the Cotton Road intersection to Perryville is planned to be built over the next year. New developments between 175th, Cotton, Waddell and Cactus will improve sections of Cactus, 175th, Waddell, Sweetwater and Cotton. These may not be complete improvements, but Sweetwater will provide a significant connection between 175th and Cotton. No timeline has been set yet for these improvements; however, updates will be shared as more information is known.


Community Development Update

Luxury Home Builder Toll Brothers held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, October 30. The home builder is grading 800 acres for their 2,200 home development which will be a gated, golf course community just south of Cactus Road and west of Cotton Lane in District 3. They plan to begin selling in January 2020. Homes will range from 1,600 square feet to 5,000 square feet with prices between the low $300,000’s up to $750,000. Staff is currently reviewing the landscape plans for the Toll at Prasada Golf Course located at the southwest corner of Cotton Ln and Cactus Rd.

The Carioca Greenway Crossing Center, located at the northeast corner of Loop 303 and Greenway, has submitted a proposal for a gas station. If the project continues to move forward, it would go through the Site Plan review process.

The following projects have been received and our under review by City staff:

  • Christopher Todd at Rancho Trugold Rezone: The project is currently under review (a Preplat, Final Plat and Site plan as well). The project is a rental project and is proposed at the northwest corner of Cotton Ln and Sweetwater Ave. This project was part of the former Magnolia project.
  • Crasense Automotive, proposed in the Prasada Auto Show, would include a facility to sell preowned cars – with a new 10,806 SF building and 2,925 canopy. This project is being processed as a site plan.
  • Gehan Homes has proposed a new residential subdivision located the northeast corner of Cactus Rd and 175th Avenue. The project requires a rezoning and a subdivision to move forward. This project was part of the former Magnolia project.
  • Walmart at Prasada has submitted an online Grocery Addition to modify their site which was approved by the City on September 6th, 2018.

Building permit and plan reviews underway or issued

Under Review:

  • A dental office located at 15180 N Cotton has submitted plans for tenant improvement which is being reviewed by staff.

Issued:

  • The CVS Pharmacy at 15300 N Cotton has been issued permits to modify its interior.

Permits completed:

  • Highland Prep Charter School has been issued a final certificate of occupancy.
  • LK Nails and Spa, located at 16995 W Greenway, has been issued their final certificate of occupancy.

Sports and Tourism Department Update

The Surprise Stadium has been very active the past few months hosting numerous baseball tournaments. The first tournament was the USA Baseball U16 division, which took place July 1-7. This tournament featured 46 teams comprised of some of the best youth baseball players in the nation. There were a total of 124 games played during this week-long tournament. The Don Mattingly World Series, which took place at the Surprise Stadium July 13-18, featured 16 teams; and the Ken Griffey World Series was held July 20-25 and featured 12 teams. The Surprise Stadium also hosted the 13-15 year old and 13-year-old Babe Ruth Regional Tournaments July 23-28. Both of these tournaments featured the Babe Ruth League State Championship teams from Northern California, Central California, Southern California, Utah, Hawaii, Guam and Arizona competing for the chance to advance to the Babe Ruth World Series. September 21-24, the Perfect Game Fall National Championship took place. This first year event for Surprise was comprised of 50 of the most elite U17 baseball teams from nine different states. The National Adult Baseball Association World Series also played games September 28 and 30. And, finishing it up, the Stadium facilitated the 2018 Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals Arizona Summer League season.

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex also had some action over the summer. The Complex hosted the annual Surprise Summer Lights Tennis Tournament July 26-28. A total of 157 players participated in this event.


Community & Recreation Services Department Update

Fall youth sports leagues have been busy, as usual. The fall soccer and flag football season is coming to a close. There were 188 teams and over 2,000 participants in Family Fun Day this past Saturday. Tee-Ball, baseball, softball and volleyball had 175 teams and over 1,500 participants. The 2018 West Valley Fall League #2 was held on October 6 at Surprise Aquatic Center. There were176 athletes from eight teams – Surprise Storm, Arizona Swimming Gauchos, Vitras, Anthem Dolphins, Arizona Aquatic Club, Lumber Jax Aquatics, Sun West Swimming and Flagstaff Snow Sharks.

The Surprise Recreation Campus will kick off the winter season with the 17th Annual Surprise Party on November 30 & December 1 in celebration of our community and anniversary of the Surprise Recreation Campus. Surprise City Council would like to invite families to gather as they illuminate the night with the traditional holiday tree lighting ceremony on Friday evening, November 30. The evening’s festivities will be followed by a series of live entertainment featuring bands, strolling street performances, a traditional hot air balloon glow, Santa’s workshop, sky divers and an amazing display of fireworks. The fun and excitement will continue Saturday, December 1 with entertainment featuring live dance performances by our City of Surprise dance troupes, specialty shows, camel rides, a carnival, petting zoo, a classic car show, and great food. New this year will be an ice skating rink, and Santa’s workshop will be open the week after the event, so bring your kiddos to the Recreation Campus for a picture with Santa!

Sierra Montana Recreation Center is open 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. during the week and offers a wide array of daily activities where youth (ages 11 & older) can visit with friends and get involved within their local community. Youth enjoy Rec Nights which are themed dances held at Sierra Montana Recreation Center. Upcoming dates include November 9 and December 14 from 7-10 p.m.


Maricopa County Library eMedia Access

On the go? Maricopa County Library District offers electronic downloads and streaming available 24/7 for tablets, smartphones, eReaders, and computers!

www.mcldaz.org/custom/emedia/

Sierra Montana Receation Center

Thank you all for your continued support! I look forward to completing the term I was elected by you to serve. I hope to see you at my next District meeting on Tuesday, November 27 at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 13165 N. Autoshow Avenue at 6 p.m. Also, Ottawa University has accepted an invitation from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) to serve as host and participant in the 2018 NCCAA Victory Bowl Invitational. The Spirit will welcome Olivet Nazarene to Spirit Field in Surprise on Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays!

District 3 Meeting November 27: Surprise Utility Rate Study Discussion

Plan to attend a District 3 meeting to learn about the proposed Utility Rate Study. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 27, at Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, 13165 N. Autoshow Avenue, Surprise.

About the Rate Study

Surprise City Council was presented with the proposed Utility Rate Study during the Tuesday, November 6 Regular City Council Work Session that, if approved, would adjust city-provided solid waste utility base rates in fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Water and wastewater utility rates would remain unchanged in FY 2020.

The city reviews utility base rates and creates a five-year structure schedule based on the revenues required to operate utilities and maintain infrastructure while also considering asset replacement and emergency funding needs. Economic influences such as increases in operational resources and future growth are also considered when adjusting the rates.

The last Rate Study was implemented in FY 2014.

If the Utility Rate Study is approved in February, city-serviced single-family residential solid waste customers would see one of two new base rate options presented to Council. The first is a base rate of $22.40 per month, a $5.44 per month increase. The rate schedule would also raise the solid waste rate by $0.30 each fiscal year beginning in 2020, bringing the rate to $23.60 in FY 2024.

The second option is a base rate of $20.70 that would also begin on July 1, 2019, a $3.74 per month increase; the rate would increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The schedule would then increase the solid waste rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 in FY 2024.

During the discussion Council reached a consensus favoring Option 2.

View the Option 1 and Option 2 rate schedule table

If the base rate increase is approved in February, this would be the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. There were no increases for more than 8 years between 1/1/2010 and 7/1/2018.

Residents who are serviced by private solid waste providers (Park and Sons, etc.) would not be impacted by the Surprise solid waste adjustment; learn who provides your solid waste utility services at surpriseaz.gov/mysurpriseaddress.

The proposed timeline for the Rate Study is:

  • December 4, 2018: Public ‘Notice of Intent to Increase Rates’
  • February 5, 2019: Public hearing; Council vote on Rate Study
  • July 1, 2019: If approved, new base rates effective

Follow the Rate Study and learn more information about the proposed adjustments at surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.

August 1, 2018 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

It has been my honor to serve you over the last 10 months. With the start of the City Council recess in July, we also began our new fiscal year 2019. As a city, we have so much to celebrate with initiatives begun, progress made and obligations met. This includes new restaurants to patronize, the expansion of a few of our current businesses, the funding of our capital improvement projects and the new opportunities for home ownership and even rentals in Surprise.

Economic Development

Our Economic Development department has certainly been busy. We’ve recently celebrated new business openings and expansions in District 3 that include the expansion of Dickey’s Barbeque; a new Planet Fitness (15569 W. Bell Road); and Highland Prep’s new buildings (15600 W. Hearn Road). Highland Prep recently opened their 36,000 square foot, state of the art educational building with 20 classrooms, a gymnasium and athletic field. Highland Prep is a tuition-free STEM, college preparatory high school with a rigorous academic program.

Over the last few months, we have also celebrated the openings of In-N-Out Burger, Codobe (coworking space), Menchie’s Yogurt, and Pieology. MagQu, LLC opened in July in the AZ TechCelerator. This Taiwan-based company is bringing their early-Alzheimer’s diagnostic technology to the US market.

Councilmemebr Duffy celebrating the Surprise In N out Grand Opening


Community Development Update

Toll Brothers at Prasada, located at the southwest corner of Cotton and Greenway roads, submitted Phase 1 of their project which includes a total of 234 lots for approval of their Final Plats. Approval of these plats and other dedication plats will allow Toll Brothers to start earth work on the project. Toll at Prasada includes a total of 2,201 residential units in 18 parcels that will be developed over 10 phases.

This gated community will feature a golf course, a variety of sport courts, 30,000 square foot club house and many other additional amenities. Homes will range from 1,400 to 4,000 square feet. Models are slated to open in early 2020.

Toll at Prasada map

A new 6,000 square foot multi-tenant commercial building located near Sierra Montana is also in the planning phase.

Walmart, 14111 N. Prasada Gateway, is working on tenant improvements for a pick-up area for their online grocery pick-up requests. Outside of District 3, West-MEC continues to expand at their location on Dysart and Grand Avenue and a Café Rio is slated to build at Litchfield and Bell road.


Pavement Preservation

The Public Works Department’s Pavement Preservation Program is an annual program in which identified city streets receive appropriate applications to lengthen the life of the street surface. The identified city streets are selected by conducting a pavement surface inspection and receiving an overall condition index rating.

The city’s Pavement Preservation Program runs annually from September through June.

The street treatments include Crack Sealing, Master Seal, Chip Seal, Mill & Rubberized Asphalt Overlay, Micro Surfacing, and Type II Slurry Seal.

District 3 projects completed in FY2018 included:

Treatment: Slurry/Micro Seal

  • Spring Lane, Acoma Drive, Verde Vista Drive (collector roadways located in Sierra Montana)
  • Custer Lane (a collector roadway adjacent to Greenway Parc)
  • Hearn Road (a collector roadway adjacent to Greenway Parc/Legacy Parc)
  • Greer Ranch Parkway and Cholla Street (collector roadways located in Greer Ranch)

Treatment: Master Seal in Subdivisions

  • Legacy Parc
  • Gotton Gin

Treatment: Mill & Rubberized Overlay

  • Greenway Road (Sarival Drive to Reems Road)

District 3 roadway treatments planned for FY2019 include:

Type II Arterial Slurry Rehab = 17,100 linear feet of collectors and 1,950 linear feet of arterial roadways

Master Seal (residential roadways):

  • 19,350 linear feet of residential roadways in portions of Sierra Montana
  • 46,850 linear feet of residential roadways in portions of Sarah Ann Ranch
  • 13,150 linear feet of residential roadways in portions of Sycamore Farms

Community and Recreation Services

It has been a busy summer with a variety of offerings for families to stay busy in Surprise. Families have taken the opportunity to cool off at the pools during open swim as well as water events such as Itty Bitty Beach Party, Dive in Movies and the sold out 4th of July pool party. This summer, the youth were very active with over 700 youth participating in 10 different sports camps held by the Community and Recreation Services Department. Several hundred participants attended all day Summer Camp at Sierra Montana Recreation center and Countryside Recreation Center. Approximately 18,000 participants enjoyed the 4th of July event at the Surprise Recreation Campus. The 35th annual event featured a rookie league game with the Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds, music, food and the main event – fireworks!

The community came together to experience a half-size replica of the Vietnam Moving Wall when it came to Surprise in July at Mark Coronado Park. Bringing the wall to Surprise allowed individuals who may not be able to make it to Washington D.C. the ability to experience it. The City was honored to be able to host the wall in this special way to honor and remember the sacrifice of our Vietnam service members. The wall is engraved with more than 58,000 names of killed or missing Vietnam service men and women. An estimated 3,000 – 4,000 visited the wall during its stay.

Upcoming Community and Recreation Services programs and events include:

New Special Interest Classes for fall – Beginning folklorico dance, parent’s night out, Kindergarten readiness, soccer skills, skateboarding, Commit Dance Fitness and much more!

  • August 4 – Dive In Movie “Coco” – Relax in the water poolside while you watch “Coco”. Doors open at 7pm, movie begins approx. 7:30 p.m. $5 Residents/$10 Non-Residents
  • August 24, September 14, October 12, November 9 – Rec Night @ Sierra Montana Rec Center 6-8 graders can come hang at SMRC from 7-10 p.m.; $5 entry
  • September 4 – registration will begin for Fall Tee-ball, Baseball, Softball and Volleyball on September 4th. Check out our new sports classes at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.
  • September 23, October 21, November 18, December 9 – Sunday in the Park @ Mark Coronado Park from 4-8 pm with food trucks, and live entertainment, yard games and more.
  • September 29 – Movie Night at Surprise Stadium. Free admission into the stadium to watch “Cars 3”. Gates open at 6 pm and movie starts at 7 pm. Concessions will be available.
  • October 13th – The 5th Annual Surprise Fiesta Grande will be held on Saturday, October 13th from 5-10 pm on Hollyhock Street in the Original Town Site. Join us as we celebrate our city’s heritage. The event features authentic Mexican food, mariachis, folklorico dancers, live entertainment, a classic car show and kids zone.
  • October 15-19 – Fall Break Camp – Countryside and Sierra Montana Recreation Centers will be transformed into an exciting day camp during the week of October 15-19. Daily activities will include indoor/outdoor games, arts and crafts, field trips, along with many other fun-filled educational exploration programs and activities.
  • October 20 – Itty Bitty Monster Bash – Attention goblins, monsters, superheroes and princesses. Come party away dressed in your favorite costume from 1p.m.-3:30p.m. at Sierra Montana Recreation Center.
  • November 12 – Veterans Day Parade honoring the service and sacrifices of our veterans. Parade of over 80 entries starts at 9:30 am. Pancake breakfast 7-9 am
  • November 3 – Adaptive Family Fishing Derby at Surprise Community Park
  • November 30 – December 1 – Our 17th Annual Surprise Party will be held on November 30 and December 1 in celebration of our community and anniversary of the Surprise Recreation Campus. Families are invited to gather as the Mayor and Council illuminate the night with the traditional holiday tree lighting ceremony Friday evening. The evening’s festivities will be followed by a series of live entertainment featuring bands, strolling street performances, a traditional hot air balloon glow, Santa’s Workshop, sky divers and an amazing display of fireworks. The fun and excitement will continue Saturday, December 1 with entertainment featuring live dance performances by our City of Surprise Special Interest Class dance troupes, specialty shows, camel rides, a carnival, petting zoo, classic car show and great food!
  • December 8 – Cookies & Crafts with Santa – Come visit with Santa while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate on Saturday, December 8 at Countryside Recreation Center.

Sports & Tourism

Spring Training brings people and revenue to Arizona and, as a proud Cactus League city, Surprise is feeling the benefits! Nearly 1.8 million people attended a Cactus League game this past season- more than 190,000 fans visited Surprise Stadium!

According to research released last month by the Cactus League, the 2018 Cactus League season generated $373 million in the state’s Gross Domestic Product, resulting in a total economic impact of more than $644 million once you add in jobs, sales taxes and indirect support. That’s an 11% increase from the last study conducted in 2015.

The study conducted by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business also found that the Cactus League created 6,439 annual jobs!

Looking a little closer into Surprise Stadium specific data, 61% of visitors to Surprise Stadium this season were from outside of Arizona. That’s a 5% increase from 2015. We also saw a 23% increase in the number of first-time visitors to Surprise Stadium since the last survey!

Surprise fans spent an average of $3,400 per trip and 66% of visitors paid for accommodations during their visit with a median stay of three nights and attended three games. Nearly 93% of fans shared that Spring Training was a factor for visiting the area.


Transit Feasibility and Implementation

The City of Surprise is approximately 75% complete with its Transit Feasibility Study. The study’s purpose is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the City’s current transit needs and the public’s desires for transit in the near and long-term. As part of this effort, the City sought input from its residents through surveys, public mapping exercises, open houses, and transit charrettes. To date, the City has received over 3,000 responses and comments from the public. Approximately 80% of respondents have been Surprise residents, of which, roughly 70% indicated a fair, or better, support and a desire for transit services.

Utilizing the information gathered, a draft Transit Network was identified and an additional round of public input on draft transit routes was initiated in June 2018. Council will be presented a Preliminary Transit Network in September with near-term recommendations and preliminary ridership, anticipated costs and route prioritization. With Council’s directions, the transit team will fine tune the preliminary network and conduct a final public outreach scheduled for September. Near and long-term recommendations will be presented to City Council in October 2018, with an anticipated recommendation for acceptance of the Transit Feasibility Study.

Detailed information about the Transit Feasibility Study can be found on the City’s website by going to www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy.


Dates to Note

I will be hosting my next quarterly meeting at Larry Miller Dodge on Thursday, August 2 at 6 pm. Several of our Department directors will join me to provide updates. I hope to see you there!

Surprise Startup Weekend is coming August 24-26! Do you have an idea you’d like to pursue or a problem you’d like to solve but don’t know where to start or who to start with? Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend. Fun and highly immersive, this will help any new, potential or existing entrepreneur learn how to get further faster. Buy your tickets here before they sell out!

The positive changes in District 3 have been tangible. This is a great time to live here! I am looking forward to a new fiscal year with additional successes for our residents.

Voters ok city water election

Voters have approved the May 15th Water Election, authorizing City Council to complete negotiations with the Circle City Water Company (CCW) for the possible acquisition of the utility.

According to preliminary results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office tonight 80% (14,676) of registered voters voted yes; 20% (3,615) voted no.

CCW is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition, which would require City Council approval, 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.

Official final results are expected from the county by Friday, May 18.

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at a Special Council Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22.  This meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., and will be held in the Community Room of City Hall, as Council Chambers will be closed for pre-scheduled equipment upgrade work.