Category Archives: Newsletters

Vice Mayor Williams’ District 3 newsletter

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.

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!

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.

April 25, 2018 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

Happy spring! I hope you are enjoying the last of this great spring weather prior to very warm days in Surprise!

Community Development

City Council approved a Preliminary Plat for Toll at Prasada, which is generally located west of Cotton Lane, between Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue. The Preliminary Plat covers approximately 772 gross acres and anticipates a maximum of 2,207 lots in eighteen (18) development parcels or “pads” to be developed over ten (10) phases. Phase 1 will include 463 of those lots in addition to roadway improvements to Cactus Road from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue and Peoria Avenue from Cotton Lane to 175th Avenue. Phase I also includes five different lot products intended to reach a variety of customers. Amenities will include a club house, recreation center and golf course with abundant, beautifully-landscaped open space.

 


Economic Development

We have recently celebrated the recent openings and groundbreakings of businesses in Surprise that I am happy to share with you. The Thompson Thrift development known as the Shops at Elm Street, located at the southwest corner of Civic Center Plaza and Bell Road, recently celebrated their grand opening. The stores in the development include Starbucks, Raising Cane’s, Tokyo Joe’s, and the soon to open In-N-Out Burger, Menchi’s Yogurt and Pieology.

Groundbreakings of businesses at the Shops at Elm Street

In March, we celebrated the grand opening of Ono Hawaiian BBQ. Ono Hawaiian BBQ is located at 13864 W. Bell Road. They are a fast casual dining restaurant with 70 store locations throughout Arizona and California.

The groundbreaking for Trimaco also took place last month. Trimaco will be located in the Southwest Railplex area of Surprise. With the growing success of their business nationwide, they have outgrown their current west valley location and will be building a NEW 275,000 SF facility and employing over 110 people in Surprise! Trimaco manufactures paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries worldwide. This project represents more than just the current ground-up development, as the President of Trimaco is a long-term investor in Surprise.

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March asking the community to vote for their favorite locally-owned businesses; both their top restaurant and top retailer. In just three weeks, the survey garnered more than 3,000 responses! Congratulations to following businesses for earning the title “Local Favorite”:

Top 10 Local Restaurants

  • Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
  • State 48 Brewery
  • Babbo Italian Eatery
  • Rio Mirage Café
  • Nick’s Diner II
  • Vogue Bistro
  • Saigon Kitchen
  • Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
  • Big Buddha
  • Irish Wolfhound

Top 5 Local Retailers

  • Musical Surprise
  • Son Glow Boutique
  • Kimbur Pet Wash
  • PinkaBella Cupcakes
  • Gifts to Go

Budget

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan presented the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 City Manager Recommended Budget to City Council earlier this month, that is built on the foundation of safety- for residents; city infrastructure/technology; and the city’s financial position. The most notable change in the $387.8 million budget is the inclusion of new capital projects with the passing of the General Obligation (GO) Bond election in November 2017. The bonds will fund $59.5 million of needed public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation projects beginning in FY2019. You can learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The budget also includes $16 million in contingency capacity to purchase the Circle City Water Company should the special election be approved in May 2018. All uses of contingency require the approval of the City Council before it may be expended and this will be repaid through future water credit sales. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection.

Increased operating expenditures are focused on public safety, security, inflation factors, and mandated/contractual obligations. Public Safety was the largest recipient of increases to ensure the safety of residents. The Recommended Budget includes the expansion of the city’s ground ambulance service to include a fourth ambulance. The SAFER grant which was awarded to the Fire-Medical Department in 2017 ends in FY2019. The costs for these positions will be fully absorbed by the General Fund mid-year to maintain the enhanced service for residents. In addition, the budget addresses new safety/security needs with the funding of two additional police officers, an emergency manager, an information technology security analyst, and a court compliance coordinator.

With the new requirements of Proposition 206, additional funding is programmed for the minimum wage increase of part-time employees and for paid sick time. The budget also includes additional funding for costs which increase over time such as costs of living, medical premiums, pension contribution rate increases and service-related increases; including water user rates, software licenses, library intergovernmental agreements, and transit intergovernmental agreements.

The Recommended Budget includes funding for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of $71 million. This includes utilizing $13 million in FY2019 for land, design, and/or construction of some of the GO Bond projects. The budget commits $21 million to maintain, secure, preserve, and/or replace infrastructure including roads, buildings, equipment and aged vehicles. The remaining capital is divided between utility-related projects ($15 million) and the functional areas of transportation, public safety, general government, and parks and recreation. Funding carried forward (approximately $22 million) from the prior year will continue the work on Desert Oasis water supply facility phase 2, special planning area 1 recharge expansion, and City Center public infrastructure.

Funding for additional operations and capital improvements is generated from growth in general fund revenue. General fund revenues are expected to increase by 10% or approximately $10.9 million above the current adopted budget. Recent escalations in housing activity as well as growing local sales tax account for most of the increase. A five-year forecast of city resources compared to uses helps ensure long-term financial sustainability and secures safety of the city’s financial position.

The FY2019 Recommended Budget is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget. Council is scheduled to adopt a final budget in June. I welcome your involvement and input in setting the city’s funding priorities and encourage you to attend upcoming City Council meetings before the final budget is approved. We continue to strive to build a vibrant, dynamic city. City Council in partnership with city staff continue our positive momentum and works diligently towards achieving our residents’ collective goals. As the economic forecast continues to improve, I can assure you that we will continue to seek out ways to support smart and responsible growth to ensure a bright future for the city we all know and love!


Sports & Tourism

The staff in our newest department, Sports & Tourism, continue to work hard to host events and advertise our city’s best assets. To say the least, it has been a successful and productive spring for us.

Earlier this year, we hosted several national tennis tournaments. For two weekends in January, we hosted the USTA 65+ National Tennis Tournaments that generating an outstanding 1,800 room nights and 1.000 participants! A month later, in February, we hosted the USTA Women’s $25,000 Pro Circuit which generated 235 room nights and 88 participants. The USTA Tennis on Campus tournament was held in March and generated 600 room nights and more than 400 participants followed by the NTRP Tennis Tournament earlier this month that hosted 378 players.

Surprise Stadium was not only the home for spring training this spring, but also several college tournaments. We hosted two college tournaments featuring baseball teams from the Big 10 and Pac12. Between the two tournaments, there were more than 22,000 in attendance and more than 600 rooms reserved at our local hotels! These tournaments also the highest attendance in the history of the tournaments in Surprise!

Speaking of Spring Training, did you know that Surprise Stadium was ranked the #1 Cactus League Stadium by USA Today? Attendance at the stadium for the 2018 season was 190,043.

In addition to the college tournaments and spring training games, the stadium and neighboring Mark Coronado Park (formerly 8 Acre Park), hosted the Surprise Fine Art and Wine Festival, the West Valley Beer Festival, the Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch, the Taste of Surprise and the inaugural Spring Training 5k. The 5k had 284 participants with 50% of them located outside of Surprise and 33% outside of Arizona!

Upcoming events at the stadium include:

  • May 4 -12 – AIA Baseball
  • May 7-12 – NCAA Division II Tennis Men’s and Women’s National Championships
  • May 19-21 – USTA National Level 2
  • June 8-11 – Wilson Premier Baseball Showcase
  • June 14-17- Babe Ruth Regional Softball
  • June 22-27 – Connie Mack World Series Qualifier
  • June 28-July 7 – USA Baseball 16’s
  • July 12-18 – Don Mattingly World Series
  • July 20-25 – Ken Griffey Jr. World Series
  • July 23-28 – Babe Ruth Regional

Community & Recreation Services

The City of Surprise honored the legacy of Mark Coronado on Saturday, March 17 with a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony prior to the spring training game at Surprise Stadium. You will now see a Mark Coronado legacy seat in the Stadium, in addition to renaming 8-Acre Park to “Mark Coronado Park” with a memorial plaque at the park’s entry gate. Honorary street signs along Bullard Avenue now read “Mark Coronado Way”. Mark successfully led our Community and Recreation Services Department from 2000 until his death last summer.

Mark is greatly missed by all of those who worked with him in the city. His impact on baseball, youth, recreation programs, parks, our city and our staff will never be forgotten. He worked tirelessly to build a better Surprise. Mark’s legacy will now continue to be a permanent part of the city.

Upcoming Community and Recreation Services events include:

  • May 5 – Surprise Safety Day @ Surprise Aquatic Center
    event runs from 8 a.m. -11 a.m. Swim lesson assessments, swim team tryouts, CPR, safety demonstrations, Native Air helicopter and much more!
  • May 12
    Painting in the Park w/ SugarPlum Froyo – @ Surprise Community Park. Outdoor painting party for the entire family. 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $30 Residents/$50 Non-Residents
  • May 18 – Rec Night @ Sierra Montana Rec Center
    6-8 graders can come hang at SMRC from 7-10 p.m.; $5 entry
  • May 21 – Adult Sports Summer registration begins!
  • May 24 – Itty Bitty Beach Party @ Surprise Aquatic Center
    Ages 6 years and younger are invited to enjoy games, prizes, crafts and more! 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. $5 for Residents/$8 Non-residents. Parents and children under 6 months are free.
  • May 26 – Pools open for Summer!
    Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool open for public swim at 12 p.m. See website for additional hours and days per location.
  • June 9 – Neon Dodgeball Teen Tournament @ Countryside Recreation Center from 7-9:30 pm, ages 12-17 years old, $25 per team of 10 or $3 free agents
  • June 9 – Painting in the Park w/ SugarPlum Froyo – @ Surprise Community Park
    Outdoor painting party for the entire family. 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; $30 Residents/$50 Non-Residents
  • June 15 – Rec Night @ Sierra Montana Rec Center
    6-8 graders can come hang at SMRC from 7-10 pm; $5 entry
  • June 23 – Dive-In Movie @Surprise Aquatic Center
    Relax in the water poolside while you watch “Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle”. Doors open at 7pm, movie begins approx. 7:30 p.m. $5 Residents/$10 Non-Residents
  • July 2 – Fall Sports Registration Begins
    Soccer and Flag Football
  • July 4 – 4th of July Celebration & Pool Party
    Baseball game in the stadium, gates open at 4:30 pm. Pool Party at Surprise Aquatic Center, doors open at 6pm. Fireworks begin approximately 8:30 pm.

Circle City Water Company – Special Election

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of a water service company in a May 15 Special Election. City Council approved sending the question to ballot at their November 7th Regular Meeting.

Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls.

The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

Educational public meetings are scheduled for April 18 at 4 pm at Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N. Remington Drive and on April 19 at 6 pm at Sierra Montana Rec Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane.


Get Involved in Your Community

If you have time and would like to become more active with the city, there are opportunities to volunteer. The city is seeking volunteers for Surprise Day of Service! The event will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 8 am until 12 noon. On the day of the event, volunteers will check in at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Transportation will be required to get to most service projects which include painting, cleaning, trash removal, landscaping and much more. Light refreshments for breakfast and lunch will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239.

Additionally, we are accepting applications for a variety of Commissions. All resident positions are voluntary. For more information, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3100/Welcome. Applications are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available on this link. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to: clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

It has been a busy first quarter of 2018 as you can see from some of the pictures I have included. I am honored and humbled to continue to serve you. I cannot think of a higher honor than having your trust and support. Thank you!

January 25, 2018 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

Happy New Year to each of you! Great things are on the horizon for us in Surprise this year. With the passing of the Decide Surprise GO Bond, several major projects- that have been on the drawing board- will begin to take shape. City Council has been working hard to lay a strong foundation for new jobs and thoughtful development. You will continue to witness the work of the Council this year. With the New Year comes a sense of renewed energy and optimism. I hope you share that optimism with me!

This month, I will start hosting bi-monthly meetings so we can get to know each other. These meetings will be held at Jim’s Burgers and Eggs, 17019 W. Greenway Road, beginning at 10 am. My first meeting will be held on this Saturday, January 27.

In addition, I will continue to host my District 3 Community Meetings. My next meeting will be held on February 21st at 6 pm. Staff will accompany me and provide city updates. If there are any particular topics you’d like to see addressed, please let me know. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Information

Last November, registered voters in Surprise graciously approved the three General Obligation (GO) Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. The three questions represented 10 capital improvement projects.

The city has established a webpage to update our voters on the projects so you will see when and how the investments are made. This website will be updated regularly through 2022, when all projects are expected to be complete.

The city recently released the anticipated procurement schedule for some of the projects. The complete schedule, project timeline details and additional information is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.To view the formal bid posting please visit Anticipated Procurement Schedule for Bond Projects.

Water Company Acquisition on May Ballot

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of a water service company in a Special Election slated for May 15. City Council approved sending the question to ballot at their November 7th Regular Meeting.

Circle City Water Company (CCW) is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls. The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the May 15 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted on www.surpriseaz.gov. Additionally, an Information Pamphlet will be mailed out in April to all registered households in Surprise.


Economic Development Update

We have some new businesses and developments in District 3 and Surprise! A new retail development located at Waddell Road and Loop 303 is under construction. This 9,000 square foot retail center will include a Sprint Store and American Best Contacts. Destiny Springs Behavioral Hospital is also under construction, at Bell and Dysart roads, behind Cobalt. The 70,000 square foot hospital will support 125 jobs. Thompson Thrift, located at Bell Road and Civic Center Plaza, continues to grow. They are currently completing tenant improvements, but in the very near future, we will see the openings of Tokyo Joe’s, Starbucks, Menchie’s Yogurt, and Pieology. In-N-Out Burger will also be opening soon, immediately next door to these restaurants, in their new 6,000 square foot restaurant. Hilton Garden Inn is building a 78,000 square foot hotel, south of Bell Road and west of Bullard Avenue. Recent new businesses that have opened include Greulich’s Automotive, Raising Cane’s and Milam Glass, to name a few.


Community Development Update

As you have most likely noticed, District 3 continues to grow. With regards to Community Development, there are several projects in various stages. Zanjero Trails final plats, located at the southwest corner of Cactus and Perryville roads and the northwest corner of Peoria Avenue and Perryville Road, are under review. This project would consist of 361 lots. City Council will be considering this project in the next few months. Avilla, which is located at the northeast corner of Reems and Waddell roads, has 127 units in building plan review at the moment. This multi-family project rezoning request and site plan were approved by both the Planning & Zoning Commission as well as the City Council.

Other projects in various development stages include Toll at Prasada which will be located west of Cotton Lane between Peoria and Cactus roads. This plat includes 2,207 lots over 792 acres in several phases. Heritage Farm rezone and preliminary plat, located at the southeast corner of Waddell Road and 175th Avenue, will consist of 137 lots on 33 acres and the Rancho Trugold rezone and preliminary plat, located north of Sweetwater between Cotton Road and 175th Avenue, will consist of 240 lots on 63 acres.


Surprise Stadium Box Office Is Now Open

The Surprise Stadium box office, Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, is open for ticket sales. The 16th Annual Surprise Spring Training season will begin Saturday, February 24, featuring the Kansas City Royals against the 2017 National League Champions Los Angeles Dodgers. Surprise Stadium will host 31 games this season which include matchups against all teams in the Cactus League and two double headers March 12 and March 17.

Box Office Hours Through February 16:
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – Noon

Box Office Hours February 17 – March 25:
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – Noon
Sunday: 8 a.m. – half-hour after end of game

Season ticket packages and single-game tickets will remain on sale online and by phone at 623.222.2222.

Add to your baseball experience, and purchase your Surprise NCAA College Baseball tickets for 2018! Surprise Stadium will host two NCAA College Baseball tournaments, featuring teams from the BIG 10, Mountain West, and PAC 12 conferences, including perennial power Oregon State. Individual game tickets and tournament passes will go on sale January 6.

Tournament Schedules:

College Baseball Classic Feb. 16-19 – featuring Oregon State, New Mexico, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Gonzaga

BIG 10 – PAC 12 Baseball Challenge Feb. 22-25 – featuring Oregon State, Nebraska, Utah and Ohio State

College individual game tickets and tournament passes may also be purchased over the phone by calling the box office at 623.222.2222. For questions or more information, please check our website at SurpriseSpringTraining.com.

Sundays in the Park

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, continues to present Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival with live music! All events are held at the 8-Acres Park, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Event admission is free; food and drink are available for purchase. There is always a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. 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 a lawn chair. Dogs must be on leashes.

The next events will be held on:
Feb 11th, Noon – 4 pm
March 11th, 4 – 8 pm
April 8th,4 – 8 pm

Be sure to check out these other awesome events!

  • For Teens: Outdoor Laser Tag Tournament – Saturday, February 24th 5-9 pm Surprise Community Park
  • Spring Eggstravaganza – Saturday March 31st on the Kansas City Royals Practice fields. Gates open @ 7:30 am. First egg hunt starts at 8:20 am. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, face painters, food and inflatables and more!
  • The Royals are holding an adaptive baseball clinic on Saturday, February 24th at 4:30 pm at Dreamcatcher Park.
  • CRS is currently offering registration for a Spring Break Soccer Camp that will be held March 20-22 for ages 7-12. Registration is also ongoing for baseball, softball and volleyball leagues, along with baseball and softball skills classes.
  • Spring Break Camp will be held March 19-23 from 6:30 am-6 pm at Sierra Montana Recreation Center. The City of Surprise Spring Break Camp will keep your child busy during the school break in a fun, supervised environment. Children will enjoy games, crafts and field trips. Please have your child bring a sack lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided. Space is limited, so please sign up early to secure your child’s registration.
  • Cal Ripken Day Parade of Teams will be Saturday, March 24. Coaches and players from the City of Surprise Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Softball leagues will be recognized in a parade of teams into the stadium onto the field before a major league spring training game.

National Citizens Survey Coming Soon

What do you love about living in Surprise? What services do you value most? What can the city do better to improve the quality of life in our hometown? You can share your thoughts in the 2018 National Citizens Survey (NCS)! What you tell us in this survey helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

This mailed survey, conducted by the National Research Center of Boulder, Colorado, examines residents’ responses on topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services. The scientific survey sample equals 1,500 surveys that will be mailed to homes throughout the city.

All survey results are anonymous. The city does not know which addresses have been selected by the third-party surveyor and only receives the aggregate results.

Beginning January 29, postcards will arrive at the selected addresses advising that the survey is on the way. The survey itself, along with a postage-paid return envelope, will arrive February 5. To be sure that selected residents receive their survey, a second survey will be mailed as a follow-up on February 12. Residents who complete and mail the first survey can simply recycle the second one. Selected households will also receive instructions for how to complete the survey online.

The last NCS the city conducted was in 2015, and 90% of residents indicated they would recommend Surprise as a place to live, a rating that is “much above” surveyed cities of our size. Residents told us Safety, Mobility and the Economy were most important to them.

Respondents said we need to work on improving transportation/transit options, local job choices, education and resident volunteer opportunities.

Since the 2015 survey, the city, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), completed the Bell-Grand Intersection Improvements; Greenway Road was widened; residents passed a General Obligation Bond to fund projects in Public Safety, Transportation and Pavement Preservation; and our Human Service and Community Vitality Department continues to grow volunteer opportunities, most recently hosting nearly 400 volunteers during the city’s 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration of Service.

On the education front, Ottawa University opened a campus at City Center; West-MEC’s new northwest valley campus opened last summer and Highland Prep began classes last fall. Additionally, more than 3,000 new jobs were created in Surprise since our last survey was conducted.

If your household receives a survey, please take the time to complete it and mail it back. By participating, you are helping to make Surprise an even better community! Results are expected by early summer and will be shared online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Surprise Youth Council

Our Surprise Youth Council (SYC) has been busy! They will host their 2nd annual rooftop party for local high schools students at City Hall. This year, Youth Services has secured additional funding from the Surprise Youth Foundation in order to increase the atmosphere and number of activities from last year’s successful event. Attendees will enjoy music, arcade and lawn games, street tacos, and more! The event will be held on February 24 from 7 until 10 pm.

SYC recruitment is right around the corner. Recruitment will be ongoing during February and March through numerous outlets. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

In closing, thank you for your continued support. I am always available for my constituents. You can email me at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov or call me at 623.222.1323. Additionally, you can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PatrickDuffyD3.

October 27, 2017 • D3 Quarterly Newsletter

Last month, I had the honor of being appointed to represent the residents of District 3. I have lived in Surprise for eight years with the last two years in District 3. I was appointed to the Surprise Municipal Property Corporation Board earlier this year and through my city service, I have been part of numerous Community and Recreation Services events. I have lived in Arizona most of my life and I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils! I look forward to meeting you and serving you in this capacity. Together, we have a mutual passion for this city and a desire to see it succeed!

I hosted my first D3 quarterly meeting on Tuesday, October 24, at the Sierra Montana Recreation Center. For those of you who were able to attend, thank you! For those of you who were unable to attend, I wanted to be sure you received the same update.


Economic Development Update

It’s a fact that Surprise is one of the safest cities, but did you know it is one of the fastest-growing as well? Residential growth aside – the City of Surprise has also been growing jobs and services! More than a million square feet each year of non-residential – including retail, commercial, industrial, medical, education – buildings have been constructed in Surprise each year for three years in a row.

For a relatively young, new community, Surprise has come a long way – from a population of only 7,122 in 1990 to 132,677 today (Source: US Census). Much has been accomplished in recent years, and many more opportunities are ahead for us.

Ottawa University

This year, Surprise officially transitioned from a bedroom community to a university town with the February 2017 announcement of the new residential campus of Ottawa University, located at Surprise City Center next to City Hall! Their first class welcomed 434 enrolled new students, many of which are involved in the 21 intercollegiate athletic teams on the new campus. The new athletic field has been constructed, and their first phase of construction on an initial 13 acres of land is in progress. The school plans to grow to more than 3,000 students over the next 10 years.

Shop Local Campaign Kicked Off!

In September 2017, Surprise City Council approved a pilot program with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce to deploy a citywide “Shop Local” program based upon the best practices of the 2016 award-winning “Shop Bell and Grand” digital marketing campaign. Starting next month, those who opt into the citywide program by texting the word “ShopSurprise” to 85100 will receive digital discounts for restaurants, services and products throughout the City of Surprise. The program will launch in time for the holiday shopping season.

AZ TechCelerator – Tech the Halls

Mark your calendars from 5 -7 PM on December 7th, when the City of Surprise business incubator, the AZ TechCelerator, located at 12425 West Bell Road, celebrates its second annual “Tech the Halls” event! Meet the innovators growing their businesses, play games, enter to win ‘tech’ raffle prizes – and check out the space that offers entrepreneurs in Surprise a place to grow their dreams.

The AZ TechCelerator has assisted the direct creation of more than 250 tech jobs, 32 new businesses, and two of the most successful incubator graduates in Arizona. Flagship telemedicine startup MD24 House Call graduated into 15,000 square feet of office space in Surprise and employs more than 150 people. Additionally, the first AZ TechCelerator tenant, Athena Wireless, was acquired by Google; Athena’s founder is now mentoring a second venture at the AZ TechCelerator called Me On A Bike.

New awards for global excellence in Economic Development

The Surprise Economic Development team won three international awards on September 19 at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference in Toronto – and the following week was recognized by the Global Chamber of Phoenix as the “Global Business City of the Year!”

The IEDC awards recognized Surprise, in the population category of 25,000-200,000, for the following:

  • Silver Award for Partnerships with Educational Institutions – Ottawa University
  • Bronze Award for Entrepreneurship – AZ TechCelerator
  • Bronze Award for Business Retention & Expansion (Single Event) – City of Surprise Bridge-to-Business Program / Bell & Grand Campaign

The Global Chamber of Phoenix awarded Surprise the Global Business City of the Year distinction this year because of the city’s international economic development strategy in place to attract companies, in addition to wins to the city like Ottawa University, IRIS USA, and Rioglass Solar.

New Opportunities:

  • Medical project growth is on the rise in Surprise! Just as Mainstreet Rapid Recovery Center cut the ribbon and opened their doors to their new 100-bed facility this month, Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital began construction on its new $25 million facility near Dysart Road, north of Bell Road, not far from the new Cobalt Medical Rehabilitation Hospital. Additionally, the new Banner medical building located at Statler and Litchfield Road is almost fully leased.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Growth: At the Southwest Rail Plex, where four companies call Surprise their headquarters, Milam Glass is nearing completion of their 22,000 square foot office/warehouse building, which broke ground in May of this year. While the Surprise Economic Development Department actively markets the rail-shovel-ready land sites remaining in the advanced manufacturing park for new ground-up operations, four buildings of new speculative industrial space totaling almost 200,000 square feet are currently under construction for those businesses looking for existing space.
  • Retail is booming:
    • Now Open: Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, Wendy’s, Pure Physique PilateZ, Dysart Mini Storage, Subaru Superstore of Surprise Dealership (our 9th auto dealer!), Salad & Go, 3 Minute Car Wash, Indulge Froyo, PT Noodles, Boba Craze
    • Coming Soon: At City Center on Bell Road, watch for In-N-Out Burger (the City’s #1 most-requested Surprise restaurant!), in addition to Tokyo Joe’s, Starbucks, Menchie’s, Piology, Raising Canes; at the Stadium a new Hilton Garden Inn has submitted plans for construction. At the Bell Road/303 area, a Cornerstone Car Wash, and restaurants Hayashi and Sonic. Also check out Surprise Comics at Cactus Road and Reems as well as Scooter’s Coffee, which is under construction on Bell Road east of Grand Avenue.
    • The Surprise Most Wanted: The Surprise Economic Development Department continues to pursue all most-wanted retailers voted as most desired by the residents of Surprise – including Costco and Hobby Lobby! Additionally, the team in Surprise announced on October 23rd that it had submitted a proposal along with a video to attract the most-wanted-employment-project-in-North America, the new $5 billion Amazon second headquarters project.

References:
Surprise as one of the Safest Cities: https://www.alarms.org/the-safest-cities-in-arizona-2017/
Fastest growing city: https://wallethub.com/edu/fastest-growing-cities/7010/

Community Development Update

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided attendees of my meeting with an update. You will begin to see even more development in our district. It’s an exciting time to live in D3!

The Prasada Toll Brothers development preliminary plat just completed second review and the Minor PAD Amendment is in review. This project consists of 792 acres in 10 phases with a total of 2,350 lots. Phase 1 will consist of 459 lots. This development, planned in the Prasada area along the 303, is set up to accommodate a Master Plat and subsequent lotting plats as the market dictates.

Carsense Automotive, a pre-owned auto dealership is in concept review. Once approved, it will be located on the vacant lot adjacent to Toyota.

Another preliminary plat located at 175th & Sweetwater is in rezone review with the city. The preliminary plat includes 44 single-family lots on 10 acres.

Heritage Farm, a development at the southeast corner of 175th & Waddell, is under review. This development will require a zone change. It includes 137 lots on 33 acres.

We have a development in review that is located at the northwest corner of Cotton & Sweetwater – North side of Sweetwater from Cotton to 175th. This development will include 240 lots on 63 acres.

Highland Prep Academy, which is located at the northwest corner of Reems & Hearn has completed its first phase of construction. Their second phase is under review.

The Zanjero Trails development, located in the southwest corner of Peoria Avenue, east of Perryville Road continues to move forward. Several parcels have been platted in the vicinity of the Shadow Ridge High School on Peoria Avenue. Builders such as Beazer, Woodside, and Meritage Homes have model home complexes in operation and several under review. In addition, south of Cactus, several parcels are under review for final plat. Richmond American Homes is in for review for home product and model home complex.

Sierra Montana Crossings located at the southwest corner of Greenway Rd and Cotton Lane is coming along. This commercial center has three (3) projects:

  • Sonic Drive Thru (currently seeking certificate of occupancy)
  • Shell building with drive thru (currently under design review)
  • Shell building (had concept review, awaiting submittal)

Acoma Court development is located at the northeast corner of Acoma Drive and 159th Avenue. The home product and model home complex are being reviewed on this infill residential development.

Greer Ranch, located east of Sarival Avenue and south of Cactus Road, continues to expand. Taylor Morrison and Richmond American Homes are in for review for home product and model home complex.

Retreat at Sycamore Farms, located west of 165th Drive and South of Cholla Street, has a model home complex open by Richmond American Homes.

Transportation:

Currently the city is developing the Walking and Biking Map for each individual Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) school which includes Sonoran Heights and Sunset Elementary. This project will also combine all the maps into a citywide walking and biking map that can be utilized online or printed.

Below you will find the Safe Routes To Schools (SRTS) grants for Sonoran Heights and Sunset Elementary schools. We will begin encouragement efforts and the SRTS study for Sonoran Heights early next year. The Sunset Elementary efforts will begin in January 2020. Each plan will work with the individual school and include participation of parents, students and DUSD staff.

Year TIP ID Location Work Federal Local Total
2018 SUR18-701 Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary SRTS Support Activity Project $15,677 $948 $16,625
2018 SUR18-703 Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary Safe Routes to School Studies $73,000 $4,413 $77,413
2019 SUR19-702 Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary SRTS Support Activity Project $21,740 $1,314 $23,054
2020 SUR20-703 Kingswood, West Point, and Sonoran Heights Elementary SRTS Support Activity Project $27,811 $1,681 $29,492
2019 SUR19-705 Canyon Ridge, Cimarron Springs, Sunset Hills, and Western Peaks Elementary Safe Routes to School Studies $94,300 $5,700 $100,000

Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan Update

The city is at a crossroads when looking at the growth and presence of visual art and cultural events and how they will influence our city’s future. The community is invited to help shape the city’s first Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. The plan will provide strategic direction for arts and culture in Surprise including topics from public art to performing arts, festivals, and music.

All residents are invited to take our online survey, which helps focus and clarify the public input for the Plan. The survey can be found at http://www.surpriseartsplan.com/ and it closes October 31.

The next formal community outreach will begin in January when the first public draft will be distributed and discussed.

Public Works Update

Pavement preservation in District 3 and around the city continues, with Spring Lane, Verde Vista Drive, and Acoma Drive within the Sierra Montaña neighborhood scheduled for resurfacing in the next few months. Almost every road in the Sarah Ann Ranch neighborhood is scheduled for treatment next fall (2018).

All of the traffic signals on Bell Road are undergoing a hardware upgrade as part of a multi-agency Adaptive Signal Technology project that will allow greater synchronization and optimization of traffic flow on Bell Road between the western city limits of Surprise all the way east to Scottsdale.

The Bullard Avenue Traffic and Pedestrian Safety project is scheduled to begin construction in May 2018. This project will resurface the entire roadway between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue; add a second vehicle lane in each direction; install a landscaped median between Greenway and Waddell roads; modify the existing median between Sweetwater Avenue and Cholla Street; install a buffered bike lane in both directions between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue; and install full traffic signals at the Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue intersections. Less than 6% of the total costs of this project will be paid with local tax dollars.

Staff and I are often asked, “Why wasn’t the section of Waddell Road, between 175th Avenue and Cotton Lane, included in the proposed Waddell Road traffic congestion mitigation project being considered by voters in the November 7th bond election?” Here is the answer:

Candidly, the proposed traffic congestion mitigation projects in the bond election issue do not resolve all of the necessary transportation improvements in the City of Surprise. In preparing the bond proposal, City Council and city staff gave careful consideration to the priority needs, the project costs and the impacts this secondary property tax would have on residents, if passed.

The section of Waddell Road (175th Avenue to Cotton Lane) is clearly a gap in the city’s transportation network. It is incomplete with multiple lanes being forced to merge into a single lane, it’s missing sidewalks, street lights, stormwater mitigation, and other design features included in a complete street. However, the bigger need currently is the section of Waddell Road between Cotton Lane and State Route 303. It has been fully-built out and traffic counts are approximately 35% greater in this section than in the section between 175th Avenue and Cotton Lane.

Human Service & Community Vitality Update

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

Additionally, a minimum of five neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea. Neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.

Decide Surprise GO Bond

On Tuesday, November 7, Surprise residents will consider three separate General Obligation Bond questions to fund 10 capital improvement projects in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation. You can see what the projects would look like, and what needs they would address, in three new videos that cover each of the bond questions. The videos are available on the Decide Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise. Also on the Decide Surprise website, find information on the projects and the associated costs.

If any of the bond questions are approved by voters in November, the cost to residents would be administered via a secondary property tax. Currently, Surprise does not have a secondary property tax.

If you prefer to drop your ballot off, rather than mail it, ballot drop-off is available at Surprise City Hall – City Clerk’s Office now through Election Day! If you lost your ballot, replacement voting begins Saturday, October 28 through Election Day, Tuesday, November 7.

The Clerk’s Office will be open for ballot-drop off or replacement voting 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., all week, including weekends, and offer extended hours on Election Day, Nov. 7, of 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Again, I look forward to serving you. Please feel free to reach out to me at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1323. Additionally, you can connect with me on Twitter at @Surprise_D3 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022175423875.

D3 Quarterly Newsletter – May 2017

This year is certainly passing quickly. There are so many exciting things happening in Surprise! I’m grateful to be part of it.

Budget

We are rapidly approaching the end of our (FY) 2018 budget discussion. At the City Council meeting on May 2, City Council adopted the tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2018 in the amount of $336.9 million. This includes $276.2 million of expenses and $60.7 million of transfers between different funds within the City. This represents an increase of $0.4 million from the City Manager’s recommended budget presented on April 18.

Operating expenses account for $162 million or 48% of the total budget. This includes a Peak Time Response Unit to strengthen Fire response times and two community policing officers, both programs partially funded by grants. A third ambulance will be brought into service funded through transport revenues. Capital Improvement expenses total $49.7 million, a large portion of which is dedicated to maintaining or replacing infrastructure and equipment.

The FY2018 tentative budget also includes $56.6 million in contingency that is set aside for future planned or potentially unforeseen purposes. In addition to the budgeted amounts, the City will have $37.2 million held in reserve. The budget is balanced, meaning that the sources of funds is greater than or equal to the uses of funds for FY2018. This is the first step in adopting the fiscal year budget and sets the maximum expenditure limit for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1. The Council will look to finalize the process by adopting the final budget on June 6 and the property tax levy on June 20.

Council to vote June 6 on potential bond election this November

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at the May 16th Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

View the May 16 Work Session bond discussion

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Community Development

Surprise is most definitely growing and District 3 can personally attest to it. We’ve recently approved the annexation of Magnolia Farms which was formerly Maricopa County land and many new developments are moving along.

Zanjero Trails located on the northwest corner of Peoria Avenue and Perryville Road is under construction with parcels 12A, 12B and 13A. The current home builders are Gehan, Beazer, and Meritage Homes. Currently, the developer is proposing a preliminary plat for parcel 16 & 17, consisting of 103 single family homes and is scheduled to go before Planning and Zoning on May 2.

Magnolia Development will be moving forward with rezoning and preliminary plat for 175th Avenue and Sweetwater Avenue, for approximately 55 single family homes. The development is located west of Cotton Lane between Waddell Road and Cactus Road just south of the Sweetwater alignment. The remaining parcels should follow shortly after that but at this time, we do not have a timeline.

Acoma Court located between Custer Lane and Acoma Drive west of 157th Lane is under construction. The home builder is Garrett Walker Homes.

Prasada Development at the Walmart Center is proposing an 8,300 square foot Multi-Tenant Retail Building, currently under site plan review.

Toll Brother’s Proposed Development is a masterplan concept on 765 acres with a modified 18-hole championship golf course surrounded by residential homes.

Sierra Montana Crossing – The developer has submitted a site plan for an 8,000 square foot multi-tenant retail shop building that will be facing Cotton Lane. The retail shop building can accommodate a mixture of future retail tenants, such as a drive-thru coffee shop or fast food or a restaurant with an outdoor patio.

Greenway Crossing is located on the northwest corner of Greenway Road and Loop 303. The developer is proposing a project to divide the existing single lot into four separate parcels with a new Plat. It is proposed that the three new parcels on the front (south) part of the lot will be developed with a mix of retail and restaurants with drive-thru facilities. The site plan request was heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on May 18 with the final plat to be heard by City Council on June 6.

National League of Cities Conference

I recently returned from the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C. This annual conference brings more than 1,000 elected and appointed city leaders together to discuss local, state and federal policy issues, establish and further develop relationships with our Congress and discuss best practices with similar municipalities throughout the country.

In addition to attending a session on the economic forecast, funding infrastructure, youth programing and discussions on the Affordable Care Act, I attended meetings as a member of the NLC Human Development Committee. This year was hyper-focused on the federal budget and the potential impact of funding changes. Here is a summary of some of the issues:

  • The current administration has considered more than $6 billion in cuts at the US Department of Housing & Urban Development this upcoming budget cycle. The plan would tighten public housing support and terminate most federally funded community development grants which provide services such as meal assistance and clean-up of housing in low-income neighborhoods.
  • The proposed EPA reductions that could cut back more than two dozen programs that allow city leaders to protect resources, prepare for natural disasters and promote healthy/strong communities. The reductions also include a 20 percent downsizing of the EPA’s 15,000 workforce and a 25 percent reduction of its $8.1 billion budget. The plan would require congressional approval.
  • FEMA cuts that reduce potential disaster relief funding.
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program could be eliminated.
  • The pros and cons to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were discussed. Advocacy for a non-partisan health care plan, either maintaining ACA or providing a replacement that will enhance the strengths of the ACA, without impacting health care coverage to our residents and ensuring that the cost of repeal is not shifted to local municipalities were part of the discussion.
    • Concerns were shared regarding mental health coverage, as well as treatment for drug addiction, specifically opiod addiction.
    • Current proposal from the White House eliminates Medicaid. Cities need to be proactive as to who will resume those services.

NLC encouraged local municipalities to focus on public safety, infrastructure, and the economy and to continue discussions with local officials to focus on supporting infrastructure projects that produce jobs, specifically in transportation, water, and fiber.

Ottawa University

Surprise is a college town! Earlier this year, Ottawa University announced that they are transitioning into a 4-year residential college in Surprise with classes beginning this fall. Ottawa will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Furthermore, the university will be home to 21 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams including baseball, basketball, golf, and soon football. The university is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona. The school mascot is a grey wolf and the sports teams are called the Spirit.

City Council and Ottawa senior staff in front of the new campus in Surprise.

Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

The future 35-acre OUAZ campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Civic Center. Expansion plans for the campus include the development of residential housing, an indoor activity center, dining and conference space, and new athletic fields, including a stadium with artificial turf for football and soccer.

Economic Development

Our Economic Development Department continues to work hard to bring more business to Surprise. While District 3 has seen the opening of Subaru Superstore of Surprise, Panda Express and Goodwill this last quarter, more will be coming. Most recently, Planning and Zoning approved a conditional use permit/site plan for a Sonic drive in restaurant. Over the last three months, we’ve seen the openings of Firehouse Subs, Dairy Queen, Arizona Federal Credit Union, and Luv 2 Play.

Image of the Subaru Superstore of Surprise facility

Thanks to our engaged city, we were able to collect data that helped identify the city’s retail strengths as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Some of our desired restaurants include In-N-Out Burger, Portillo’s, Sweet Tomatoes, Pita Jungle and El Pollo Loco. Some of our top ten desired retailers include Costco, Hobby Lobby, Whole Foods and Home Goods.

Residents also voted for their local favorites which included Jim’s Burgers and Eggs, Babbo’s Italian Eatery, Rio Mirage, and Saigon Kitchen. Local favorite retailers included Kimbur’s Pet Wash, Kohl’s, Musical Surprise, Target, Son Glow Boutique and Walmart.

West Valley Youth Leadership Initiative

Over the last six months, I have been meeting with executives from Leadership West to develop a West Valley youth leadership initiative. The program would involve high school students from Surprise and our surrounding cities and provide them with opportunities to partner and collaborate with their peers, elected officials and other leaders in the West Valley. Empowering youth to serve as advocates to local issues, fostering pride in community service and emphasizing the value of civic engagement are some of our goals we will accomplish.

I recently hosted a passionate discussion with other elected officials that was very successful. We hope to begin the program this fall! For more information, please contact me.

Surprise Youth Council Update

Level 4

On the night of Saturday February 25, you may have seen an array of multi-colored lights in the sky and heard the sound of laughter and dance music cascading down from the 4th floor of the Civic Center parking garage. This was Level 4; the first annual social event planned and executed by the Surprise Youth Council, featuring music, dancing, a host of games like air hockey and old school arcade favorites, live art, food, and much more. From 6 to 9 p.m., more than 220 teenagers from high schools all around Surprise came to dance, eat, and socialize with friends in a positive and unique environment unlike any other in the City. Part dance club, part rooftop party, Level 4 provided teens with the experience of an exciting big city event here in their hometown. The City of Surprise’s Youth Services Division is committed to developing Level 4 into one the City’s signature youth events, growing our youth’s sense of connection to their community and the City’s reputation as an innovative and forward thinking organization which is truly invested in the quality of life of our youth. Stay tuned for more exciting events, programs, and initiatives coming out of Surprise’s Youth Services Division.

General Recap

The Surprise Youth Council has been busy delivering valuable programs and services to our local high school students. Over the course of three weeks in March, four SYC members put on a 7-part BLOOM 365 workshop series dedicated to promoting healthy relationships and combating teen dating violence at Paradise Honors High School. The response to this training series has been overwhelmingly positive, with students engaging one another in important conversations around consent, abuse, and healthy boundaries. Many of the students who attended the trainings have shared that the information they received changed their perspective on what it means to be in a healthy relationship and said it has encouraged them to stand up for themselves and others. The SYC is currently in negotiations with the Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) and plans to run the BLOOM 365 workshop in DUSD schools this fall.

The SYC is dedicated to supporting the academic success of local students and has worked hard to provide our community with opportunities for developing academic skills. Most recently, SYC members organized and helped facilitate a free SAT preparation course at one of our local Surprise libraries. The course was taught by an experienced SAT tutor and allowed more than 25 students to learn best practice strategies for taking the test, as well as ask questions pertaining to their personal academic needs.

One of the SYC’s other recent priorities has been to ensure that the Council’s makeup accurately represents the makeup of our community as a whole. The months of February and March are the Council’s recruitment period and SYC members explored new strategies for recruitment which would ensure that they were able to reach a wide range of candidates whose diversity in background, experience, and skills would deepen the impact made by the Council. They utilized social media, school counselors, local affinity groups, and passed out flyers in underrepresented neighborhoods in order to achieve these goals. These efforts were largely successful. SYC membership has now significantly increased. With new members come new ideas and new opportunities to do meaningful work for the youth in our community. The Surprise Youth Council is excited for bright days ahead.

New SYC Members and City Council in Surprise City Hall Council Chambers.
New SYC Members were sworn in at the City Council meeting on May 2.

Dysart Unified School District Recent Athletic Wins

Earlier this spring, Ottawa University Arizona head baseball coach Tim Montez announced his first signing class that consisted of four players from Surprise! Please join me in congratulating Outfielder and Pitcher Dylan Chelini from Valley Vista, Catcher Eric Ramos and Outfielder and Pitcher Lester Acoba from Willow Canyon High School, and Outfielder and Pitcher Adam Bronston from Shadow Ridge High School!

City Council recognized the Valley Vista High School Girls 6A State Champion Basketball team at a March meeting. The team is led by coach Rachel Matakas who was named 6A Coach of the Year! Teammates told us that they won because they worked hard on building a true team, one that was committed to each other and understanding of each other both on and off the court. Congratulations to the team on a 26-6 winning year and a state title!

Surprise City Council member with Valley Vista High School Girls 6A State Champion Basketball Team at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers.

Registration Underway for Several CRS Activities

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Department has opened registration for the following youth sports activities:

Summer Youth Basketball League: Recreational leagues for boys and girls ages 5-15, and competitive leagues for 14U & 17U boys and girls. The summer basketball season will start in early June and run until the end of July. Games are played on Saturdays and/or weeknights. Practice times are up to the volunteer coach, but are usually once a week at 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm or 7:30 pm for one hour. Age is determined on or before July 31, 2017.

Summer Break Sports Camps: Surprise is also offering a number of Summer Youth Sports Camps in June and July, including basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer. Flag football and soccer registration starts in July. For a list of camp dates and details, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/2017/Sports-Camps-and-Clinics or call 623.222.2000.

With summer around the corner, I wanted to share a summary of recreation events as well.

Aquatics
May 25 – Itty Bitty Beach Party 10am-12pm @ Surprise Aquatic Center
May 27 – Open Swim begins at Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool
June 10 – Dive In Movie “Disney’s Moana” 7:30 – 9:30 pm
July 4 – Pool Party @ Aquatic Center
July 22 – Dive in Movie “ The LEGO Batman Movie 7:30 – 9:30 pm
May 30 – Recreation Swim & Dive Team practices begin at Surprise Aquatic Center and Summer Swim Lessons begin at Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool.

Youth/Teens/Adults
May 19 – Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
June 16 -Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
July 14 – Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
May 30 – Summer Camp at Countryside Recreation Center and Sierra Montana Recreation Center begin

Drop in Recreation is available at Sierra Montana.

Open Gym is available at Countryside and Villanueva Gym from 5 pm until 9 pm Monday-Friday, and 12 pm-5 pm on Saturday.

Adaptive Programs
Tuesdays in May Adaptive Buddy Bowling, Uptown Alley

Events
May 27 – Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony 9 am @ Community Park
July 4 – Baseball and Fireworks Surprise Recreation Campus

Adult Sports
Coed Indoor Volleyball
Basketball
4 on 4 Flag Football
Softball

Of course there are a variety of special interest classes and tennis classes to choose from this summer. For more information on these events, programs or classes, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

District 3 Community Meeting

Please mark your calendars for my next community meeting – May 24 at 6 pm! The meeting will be held in the Community Room of City Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend. This is our time together to talk about what interests, ideas or concerns you have for our city. You can RSVP to Jodi Tas at Jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

I hope to see you there!

D3 Quarterly Newsletter – January 2017

Happy New Year and thank you! With the beginning of a new year and the closure of another year that just passed, comes reflection. I feel an overwhelming abundance of gratitude to my district for their confidence in re-electing me to my third term. As I took my Oath of Office earlier this month, I can’t help but express my gratitude for all of the experiences, opportunities and friendships that this position has afforded me.

This past year was quite busy and successful for Surprise. Last year began with residents and businesses enduring an eight-month closure of Bell Road. Lucky for us, Bell Road re-opened as promised and on-time. While construction on Grand Avenue continues, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of February! Final paving is still being done on eastbound Grand Avenue which will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center and Bell Grande Drives at times over the next few weeks; businesses in the area can still be accessed using Bell Road during the intermittent closures. Next weekend, pavement work on Bell Road will require westbound Bell Rd to be closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, January 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, January 30; eastbound Bell Road will be open.

The city created a map so you can familiarize yourself with the Bell Road Bridge and Grand Ave Traffic Patterns before the project is complete in February! You can also view the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand how movements will occur using the Grand Avenue ramps.

Within District 3, Cactus Road was a huge improvement for folks on the southwest side of town. Residents of Sara Ann Ranch will benefit greatly from this roadway improvement as they are no longer limited to one access point in and out of their subdivision. This also adds another path to access Shadow Ridge and Paradise Honors High School. Development is on the move in this area, and we look forward to continued roadway improvements in and around this area, as well as an increase in residential and commercial development.

Another success this past fall was the successful partnership endeavor between the City and Gateway Community College. The new 13,100 square foot facility officially opened its doors in October. The observation-centric training facility provides individuals interested in pursuing careers in the water and wastewater professions with new opportunities for hands-on learning in the West Valley. It also provides mission critical labs and assembly facilities for city water professionals. The center is located on the grounds of the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility – a facility that currently processes over 8 million gallons of water per day.


Economic Development Update

Over the last few months, you’ve probably noticed several new businesses and restaurants opening across our city. Some of our District 3 openings include Surprise Honda, Rodeo Hyundai and our soon-to-be-opening businesses include a new Subaru dealership.

Other new businesses and restaurants include State 48, Oregano’s, Dunkin Donuts (Waddell and Litchfield Roads) CrossFit SPADE, Redline Grill and Mom’s Fixins (northeast corner of Bell and Reems roads), Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (Bell Road and Loop 303) Caliber Collision (southwest corner of Bell and Dysart roads). Panda Express (northwest corner of Waddell Road and Loop 303) and Firehouse Subs (northeast corner of Bell and Litchfield roads) will be opening soon.


District 3 Pavement Preservation

Sierra Montana is scheduled to receive Crack Sealing and a Type II Slurry Seal on the residential roads of Parcels 1-3, 8-12, 14-16, and 18-20.

Sierra Montana is additionally scheduled to receive Crack Sealing and a Type II Rubberized Micro Surfacing on the collector roads of Verde Vista Drive and Sierra Montana Loop.

Current status shows Crack Sealing has commenced and is progress in the residential areas and will continue through the winter. Residential Slurry Sealing will commence in spring 2017. Upon completion of the Residential Slurry Sealing, Rubberized Micro Surfacing will follow on the collector roads scheduled.

Greer Ranch is scheduled to receive Crack Sealing and a Polymer Master Seal on the residential roads of Parcel 12,14,15,18-21, and Phase 1 and 2 North.

Current status shows Crack Sealing has commenced and is in progress in the residential areas and will continue through the winter. Residential Polymer Master Sealing will commence in late Winter 2017.

Greenway Parc/Legacy Parc is scheduled to receive Crack Sealing and a Type II Rubberized Micro Surfacing on the collector roads of Custer Lane from Reems Road to Legacy Parc Blvd and 156th Avenue from Acoma to Custer Lane.

Current status shows Crack Sealing and Rubberized Micro will commence on these collector roads in late spring 2017.


Community Development Update

Annexation/Magnolia

The City of surprise received a request to Annex approximately 203 acres of property within a County island generally located between Cotton Lane, 175th Avenue, Waddell Road and Cactus Road, along with the request for a Planned Unit Development neighborhood known as Magnolia. The proposed Magnolia project, if approved, will accommodate up to 900 residential lots with an overall density of approximately 5 dwelling units per acre which is consistent with development in and around the area. This project was recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission and will be on the agenda for consideration by Council on the January 17, 2017 City Council meeting.

Prasada Lake Village

The City of Surprise approved the 3,355 acre Prasada Planned Area Development (PAD) on June 22, 2006. The Prasada development included three distinctive areas: the 1,225-acre Gateway Village along the Loop 303 corridor; the 530-acre Urban Village located between the Gateway Village and Marley Park; and the 1,600-acre Lake Village west of Cotton Lane straddling Cactus Road. The Prasada Lake Village plan included lakes, themed parks, three elementary schools, and a “rural edge” concept along Waddell Road to provide a transition between the rural nature on the north side and the more suburban nature of the Prasada Lake Village. At the time of the Prasada Zoning, there was a development partner that would master develop the Prasada Lake Village; they have since moved on from this project and are no longer the master developer. In order to market the property to prospective developers, the property owner requested minor changes such as removal of the themed parks but maintaining the minimum 15% open space; addition of four additional architectural types to the architectural theme: Craftsman, Ranch, Cottage, and Farmhouse; and possible dedication of lands for a City-owned and maintained park in accordance with the Surprise Parks and Open Space Master Plan as well as other minor modifications. This project was approved by staff.

Zanjero Trails

The developer is proposing to amend the zoning of just over 29 acres of the 879-acre Zanjero Trails Planned Area Development (PAD) located near Peoria Avenue and Perryville Road. The amendment will modify the land use of two parcels from Multifamily Residential Commercial to Single Family Residential. A Citizen Review meeting was held at City Hall on January 12 for resident input. Along with this proposal, a preliminary plat is intended to initiate the platting process of the proposed amendment for Zanjero Trails. The plat encompasses just over 30 acres and proposes 103 residential lots over 6 acres of open space.

Sycamore Farms

The developer is proposing to amend the zoning of the Sycamore Farms Planned Area Development generally bounded by West Cactus Road to the North, North Sarival Avenue to the east, West Peoria Avenue to the south, and North Cotton Road to the west. The amendment encompasses just over 266 acres of the overall 637-acre development. On September 14, 2016 the developer held a citizen review session for residents to attend and provide comments on the proposal. The changes requested are located in the southeastern corner of the development and involve the reorientation of the large commercial land use (Sarival Ave and Peoria Ave). The applicant has proposed to reorient the commercial parcel to face Peoria Avenue instead of Sarival, reallocating open space and modifying commercial setback lines. The open space modifications include reorienting the proposed 50-acre park to be relocated closer to the northwestern corner of the development (Cactus Road and Cotton Road). Public trails and neighborhood parks will be located throughout the eastern half of the development to provide pedestrian connectivity and adequate amenities for the residents.

The northeastern corner is proposed to be redesigned to provide a diverse land use (including commercial, medium-density and low-density residential) that work together around a proposed central park that will provide many opportunities for recreation. Currently, much of this land is designated as mixed-use and is loosely defined in a way that provides flexibility that could either increase creativity of design or allow land uses to locate next to each other with little concern with compatibility. At the January 19 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the project was recommended for approval to the City Council. The City Council will hear this item at the February 21 City Council meeting.


Surprise Police Department Information

Surprise Police Department Neighborhood Watch Programs

Neighborhood Watch groups can be a powerful tool for combating crime in one’s neighborhood. The program teaches citizens crime prevention techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized at home or in public. Additionally, Neighborhood Watch encourages residents to form a group of concerned residents who work together to become the eyes and ears of the police department.

The first step in putting together a neighborhood watch is to talk with your neighbors and gauge the level of interest they have in forming a group and seeing it through. Neighborhood Watch is only as effective as the residents make it. If there are 10-15 interested residents, you may have the strong core of a Neighborhood Watch. Your next step would be to contact the Surprise Police Department’s Community Relations and Crime Prevention team at 623-222-4422 to setup a time and place for the training.

Additionally, the social media site Nextdoor (www.Nextdoor.com) is a virtual extension of the Neighborhood Watch program. Nextdoor allows residents to communicate amongst themselves and allows your police department to share important messages. Signing up for Nextdoor is a great way to meet other safety conscious residents in your community.

Crime Prevention

Unlocked cars and homes continue to be the leading factor in property crimes throughout the city. More than 60% of all burglaries from vehicles are the result of doors being left unlocked or windows being left down. Here are some quick tips to help reduce your likelihood of becoming a victim of these types of crimes:

  • Lock your vehicle door and take keys with you
  • Park in secure/well lit location
  • Don’t leave valuables out in plain sight. Lock them in a trunk or take them with you
  • When at home, park in your garage

Surprise Police Host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 7 until 10 am. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents per vehicle to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10am or until the shred trucks have been filled up.


Human Services & Community Vitality Update

The public is encouraged to attend the AZ Military/Veteran Resource Navigator training February 9 in Surprise City Hall Community Room. The training, conducted by the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, is meant to train all people who wish to help service members, Veterans and their families by connecting to a network of services. There are two trainings on Feb 9. The first is from 9 a.m. to noon, and the second is from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required. To register, please email deborah.perry@surpriseaz.gov.

The City will be hosting another City Academy beginning March 6, 2017. The Academy is an opportunity for residents, students and business owners to learn about our city directly from City Council and city management. Classes meet weekly from 6 until 8:30 pm in the Surprise Public Safety building (14250 W. Statler) through April 17. For more information or to register, please contact Ruby Sitea at ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

Free Tax Assistance is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program run by New Leaf, and we will have these services open to the public beginning the week of January 23. Tax assistance will be offered at the Surprise Resource Center on Mondays from 4-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and at Riverboat Bingo on Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free tax services will also be offered at the Surprise Senior Center on Tuesdays, from 4-7:30 p.m.

Grant applications for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) are now available on our city’s website for non-profit organizations who wish to seek funding to support Surprise residents through a variety of public services. Applications are due on January 25. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/2616/CDBG-Public-Service-Grants.

Get Fit in 2017 at the Surprise Senior Center! Did you know that the Surprise Senior Center has a Health & Wellness Initiative that includes a gym membership and exercise classes? Annual Fitness Memberships at the Surprise Senior Center are $30 per year for residents. Senior Center membership is only $12 per year. Come enjoy programs like Silver Sneakers, Fitzi with Mitzi exercise classes, Stepping It Chair Exercise, the Walking Club and Coed Volleyball for Seniors. The Surprise Senior Center is a hub for activities and programs for adults, age 50 and better. The Center offers a place for people to gather, learn, exercise, socialize and enjoy a delicious and healthy hot lunch. For more information, call 623-222-1500.

Please remember that the block party trailer is available to reserve at no cost! If you are interested in hosting a block party and would like to utilize the trailer, information can be found at www.surpriseaz.gov/869/Block-Party-Trailer.


Surprise Youth Council Update

This October, seven members of the City of Surprise Youth Council (SYC) attended the National League of Cities Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. This event allowed them the opportunity to learn from national leaders and experts on issues of economic development, technology, and sustainability, as well as important cultural and social issues. Through a series of workshops and seminars, SYC members were also able to share their own experiences and perspectives with other youth councils from around the country. This exchange of ideas had a major impact on our youth and allowed them to bring home a host of new ideas and best practice strategies which will help them develop their leadership skills for the betterment of our Surprise community. They performed so well during these sessions that they have been asked to nominate an SYC member to serve on the National League of Cities Youth Planning Committee; a great honor for the youth of Surprise.

Over the last few months the City of Surprise Youth Council has been working hard to help local youth expand their opportunities, develop their leadership skills, and prepare for successful and healthy futures. After undergoing a series of trainings with BLOOM 365, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering healthy relationships, SYC members are now ready to begin delivering peer-to-peer dating violence awareness trainings in local Surprise high schools. With the support of local schools, this project has the potential to positively impact thousands of local teenagers. Dating violence is an unfortunate, but important, issue that the SYC is willing to address directly, in order to help prevent local teenagers from being victimized or abusing others.

The BLOOM 365 project is just one of the many creative ways the SYC is seeking to expand its impact beyond its own membership. The group has shown its support for local veterans and teachers by marching in the Surprise Veterans Day Parade and holding a school supply drive for local teachers. The SYC will also be hosting a free SAT training for local high school students at the Surprise Library on January 28, and is currently developing a blog that will allow local teens to share resources and discuss important local issues with one another. All of these endeavors help us to reach our goal of helping local youth find greater success in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community.


Community & Recreation Services Update

Check out the following lessons and classes available through the Community and Recreation Services Department, and get additional information at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Mommy & Me Tennis – NEW PROGRAM
Register for this 4-week session that meets on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in February and March for 45 minutes each week. Class will focus on FUN interaction between parent and child. Perfect way to spend quality time with your child and meet new friends while developing the love for tennis. This program is for ages 2-4 years old.

High School Drop – In – NEW TEEN PROGRAM
Calling all HIGH SCHOOL Tennis Players both Varsity and JV! Are you ready for the 2017 Season? Do you need to tune up your game? Then play at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex on Tuesday nights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Each week, 3-time AZ State Tennis Champ Max Schell will run half-hour drills to get you warmed up. Then, put your skills to the test in doubles or singles play against other local players. ALL LEVELS are welcome, and the fee is $2 for Surprise Residents and $3 for non-Surprise residents.

Racquetball Lessons
Looking to learn a new sport or just get in shape? Then try racquetball! The cardio benefits are excellent! This new program is for adults 18 & over. Classes are forming now.

Drop-in Paddleball – Monday Nights!
Paddleball Drop-in is every Monday night from 5-7 p.m. Not sure what paddleball is? Don’t worry! All levels are welcome, and equipment is available for you to try it! This fun game and great workout is for adults 18 & over and the fee is $2 for residents and $3 for non-residents.

Adult Development – NEW TENNIS CLINIC on SATURDAYS at 9 a.m.
This 90-minute well-rounded clinic is for the 3.0 and “returning to the game” players who are looking for a coherent path to better tennis. Players will work on skill development and then learn how to utilize it in game situations.

Girls Volleyball League – NEW SEASON DATES The youth girls’ volleyball season will teach the game of volleyball in the spirit of sportsmanship, fun and wholesome competition. An emphasis is placed on the development of skills and the value of teamwork.

Cal Ripken Youth Tee-ball, Baseball and Babe Ruth Girls Softball Leagues
The road to the “Big Leagues” starts here! This program offers youth the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals and skills associated with the game of baseball and softball in an atmosphere where participation and fun are top priority.

Youth Competitive Leagues
The City of Surprise has designed the Competitive Sports Program to provide youth athletes with the opportunity to participate in an organized, local league that will introduce them to the competitive side of sports relative to playing time, rules, standings and player development. While emphasis will remain on basic fundamentals, sportsmanship, and cooperative participation and socialization with peers, this program differs from recreational sports in that there are NO MANDATORY PLAYING TIME RULES. The Competitive Sports Program will follow modified NFHS rules, and is intended for experienced players only. Participants will go through a skills evaluation and will be drafted onto a team. Special requests are not honored in competitive programs. Teams will play 7 league games and participate in a single elimination tournament to conclude the season.

Bicycle Safety
Geared for beginner to advanced bike riders. This course will cover proper helmet wearing, mounting / dismounting, braking techniques, riding on the road, setting up your bike, chain resetting, basic maintenance, and shifting techniques. Course is taught by a Police Department Bicycle Safety Course graduate. This course is best suited for multi-gear bikes, but can be used for BMX and single gear as well. Bring a bike, helmet, and wear closed toed shoes and wear appropriate clothing. Riders must be able to ride a bike well before entering this class.

Beginning to Advanced Bass Guitar
Learn beginning to advanced techniques for the 4 and 5 string bass guitar and how to utilize them in a band situation. Students must provide their own bass guitar.

Self Defense Class
Defense is much more than knowing how to fight back against a physical attack. Our class will encourage participants to think about their choices, help them develop awareness, and provide a friendly environment for practice of physical self-defense techniques. We will help participants expand the way they think about violence prevention, help them confront their fears and enable them to be more empowered and assertive.

Ukulele 101 Teen/Adult
The class will teach students the basics that they need to begin playing the ukulele. They will focus on chords, single notes and rhythms. Students will learn the parts, care and notes on the ukulele and how to read rhythms and chord charts. By the end of class, students will have learned techniques and information that will allow them to play 3 chord songs and continue learning on their own. Please bring a notebook and ukulele.

Laser Tag Teen Tournament
Join the biggest game of outdoor laser tag in Surprise. Teams are encouraged to crawl, scoot, sneak, hide and move throughout the park to claim the title of laser tag champion. All participants must have a participation waver completed and turned in before being eligible to play. Teams of 6 or free agents welcome.

Ultimate Capture the Flag with Bubbles
Compete with teens from all over Surprise in the classic P.E. game Capture the Flag, except you will be wearing a bubble. Be prepared to knock your opponent out of the way and roll down the field to glory in the ultimate game of capture the flag! All participants must have a participation waiver completed and turned in before being eligible to play. Teams of 8 and free agents can register. The tournament will be co-ed.

Wonderland Tea Party

April 8 – Children will enjoy dancing, crafts, stories and a tea party with storybook characters. Tickets may be purchased at the Community & Recreation Services Department for $5.

Surprise Talent Show

May 12 – The City of Surprise is looking for its most talented residents! If you can sing, act, play an instrument or perform what you think is a talent (must be safe) then come and show off your skills. Registration forms must be received by April 7. Those that make the cut will perform in the Talent Show on Friday, May 12 at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center. The show will be split into age groups: youth, teen and adult. The audition forms are on the following website: www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation or can be picked up at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Office. There is no fee to audition or be in the talent show, and friends and family are welcome to purchase a ticket. Admission tickets for the Talent Show are $3 advanced purchase and $5 at the door.

Taste of Surprise

The 4th Annual Taste of Surprise will showcase some of the West Valley’s best local restaurants. Several bands and a former American Idol contestant are part of the music line-up. This year’s event will take place at our very own Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 until 9 p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit selected Surprise non-profit organizations.

You can purchase your tickets for $25 each at www.tasteofsurprise.com.


Mark Your Calendars

I will host quarterly community meetings throughout the year. The format will allow residents to engage in conversations with various departments and, in some cases, businesses and developers, and it will ensure we are all in the “know” on how our city is progressing. The first meeting of the year will be held on February 22 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall. Developers from Prasada will be in attendance, as well as various city departments! I hope to see you there!

This year promises to be exciting in Surprise!