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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.
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.