Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 7, 2021 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

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

Surprise’s Face Covering Mandate Lifted

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise. You can read the full proclamation here.

Please note that based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-06, there are some exceptions.

  • The city retains the right to set and enforce mitigation policies in our city government buildings and on public transportation. Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended within city facilities, with the exception of Surprise City Court, where they are required.
  • Per the Governor’s order, private businesses may institute and enforce face covering policies and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies.
  • Per federal mandate, face coverings are still required while riding public transportation.

City Council Meetings Re-open to In-person Attendance

City Council meetings will be re-opened to public attendance beginning with the April 20 Regular City Council Meeting! City Hall and other city administrative offices will re-open to the public on April 12.

Governor’s Executive Order 2021-06

With the state of Arizona hitting several important public health benchmarks, Governor Doug Ducey announced several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures, including on events, businesses and local ordinances.

Several key data points contributed to these changes:

  • Mass distribution of the vaccine: 3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
  • 10 weeks of declining cases.
  • Hospitalizations at the lowest level since the end of September/beginning of October.
  • Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans 16 years of age and older.
  • A recent evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that ranks Arizona among the best states in the nation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
  • President Biden’s recent promise that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May 1.

Under the changes announced by Governor Ducey:

  • Events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments. These events should continue to follow safe practices and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing. This includes youth sports.
  • The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Governor Ducey is providing businesses with the ability to continue requiring masks and social distancing.
  • Bars have already been allowed to operate as “dine-in” at full capacity. They will now be allowed to resume regular operations, with the ability to require social distancing and masks.
  • Unlike some other states, Arizona never issued a statewide mask mandate, and instead encouraged personal responsibility with an aggressive educational campaign — resulting in more widespread mask usage than states with mandates. Some local governments have implemented “mandates,” however, they have rarely, if ever, been enforced. Under this latest action, those local mandates will be phased out. Mask usage is still encouraged, especially in groups that are not vaccinated.

View the Governor’s Executive Order HERE

2021 State of the City Video Premiere

Tune in to SurpriseTV on April 13 at 6 p.m. for the 2021 State of the City Video Premier! Mayor Skip Hall and Surprise City Council will reflect on our community’s resilience and look forward to what’s on the horizon.

State of the City

COVID Relief Funding

For over a year now, the city of Surprise has been working hard to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Our city has been fortunate to receive federal, state and county financial assistance to provide meals, rental/mortgage payments, and utility assistance through our Senior Center and Surprise Resource Center.

Here is a snapshot at how $10.88 million in federal funds has helped our community during the COVID crisis:

Federal funds distribution.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program provided billions of dollars in payroll assistance funding for businesses through two rounds of funding.

While these programs have helped, the city identified some funding gaps in meeting certain needs and in some cases, noticed some needs were not being met at all.

On September 1, 2020 and November 2, 2020, the Surprise City Council approved resolutions to support $555,000 for Surprise COVID Community Relief Packages for addressing community and business needs because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic. Utilizing some of our AZ CARES ACT dollars, we were able to allocate $180,000 to address the following human service needs:

AZ CARES ACT allocation.

The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:

Surprise small business relief fund allocation.

The city will continue to explore additional needs as we anticipate another round of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act in the future. We have a good plan in place to monitor where the needs are and address as appropriate.

Small businesses are encouraged to review updated COVID business resources available on www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp or to reach out to the Surprise Economic Development Department at econdev@surpriseaz.gov.

Community Resources are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/communitycare, or call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Surprise Day of Service

Are you looking for a way to help your community? Please consider volunteering for a Day of Service. The next Day of Service is scheduled for April 24 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. and will benefit the Valley View Food Bank. Volunteers will help bag bulk pinto beans into individual packaging for distribution through the Valley View Food Bank, as part of the 4th Annual Bean Bag Day event! For more information or to volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov or by calling 623-222-1522.

Recreation Campus Hall of Fame

Charley Pride and Buck O’Neil are the newest inductees to the Recreation Campus Hall of Fame, which honors those who have contributed significantly to the Surprise Recreation Campus. Other 2021 Hall of Fame inductees include Gold Glove winners Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers; and Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals. Plaques honoring Hall of Fame recipients are displayed in the stadium concourse at the Surprise Stadium.

Sterling Grove

The Sterling Grove community continues to grow and add more amenities. Tennis and pickleball courts are scheduled to open spring of 2021! The Sterling Grove golf course, located at 11440 N. Greenwich Boulevard, opened to public play last month. Below is a picture of the course with the White Tanks in the background. For more information on the Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club, visit sterlinggroveclub.com.

Sterling grove golf course.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan Wins Award

The City’s Parks and Recreation master plan.The City’s Parks and Recreation master Plan won a 2020 Honor Award from the AZ American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)! The mission of the ASLA “is to lead, educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.”

Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO)

Public comment is being requested for the City’s new Property Maintenance ordinance (PMO). The PMO is a guiding document that establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the city. Its goal is to keep the city safe, healthy, and blight free. Submit comments via an online comment box at surpriseaz.gov/PMO. Comments are being accepted through May 2, 2021. If you would like to learn more about the ordinance, please join the public meeting scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room or online. To join the public meeting online, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

Budget Retreat

FY2022 Budget thumbnail.As part of the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget, City Council will be participating in a budget retreat, beginning at 9 a.m. on April 16. The retreat will be open to public attendance and televised for public viewing on surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, and Cox channel 11.

For additional information on the budget process, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

New Southwest Gas Customer Information System

Beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021, Southwest Gas is transforming their customer information system to provide an improved customer experience, along with enhanced security. For more information on how this could impact you and the way your account will be serviced, please visit www.swgas.com/new4u.

Meet and Greet

My next meeting will be held on May 1 at 9 a.m. at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road #B101. Due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19, please check www.surpriseaz.gov for updates and cancellations to my Meet and Greet schedule. As always, please feel free to email me at patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov with any questions or concerns you may have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting is scheduled for April 20 at 6 p.m. Please tune in on www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11.

Closing

Please continue to check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to meeting schedules and other important announcements.

June 3, 2020 • D3 Monthly Newsletter

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

Senior Center Meals

Individually wrapped lunches in a stack.

The Council had the opportunity to serve residents who participate in the Hot Lunch Program through the Senior Center. The Hot Lunch program runs Monday-Friday and feeds between 120-160 residents each day. To learn more about this program, or to sign up for meals, please call 623.222.1500. You can also learn more on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/seniorservices.

Park Amenities Reopening

On June 1, the city reopened club swim team practices at the Surprise Aquatic Center, sand volleyball courts, the skatepark at Dick McComb City Park, park playgrounds, and park restrooms. On June 8, water aerobics and lap swim (by appointment) will resume at Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool. To register for water aerobics or lap swim, please visit surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov.

The City of Surprise has developed a phased reopening plan that will give consideration to the budget impacts of COVID-19, as it looks to reopen and reinstitute programs and services. Phase One of the plan became effective on May 15 and reopened pickelball courts, dog parks, the Surprise Tennis Center (by appointment only), and the Surprise Resource Center. The park and aquatic amenity reopenings discussed above were included in Phase 2 of the plan, along with the reopening of City Hall for public access, which took place on June 1. At this time, City Council meetings remain closed to the public, until the Governor’s executive orders allow for increased group assembly numbers. To read the complete City of Surprise COVID-19 Reopening Plan, please visit: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/44666/Covid-Reopening-Phases–FINAL?bidId=.

4th of July

While we share in our community’s excitement to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s important to do so responsibly. As a result of COVID-19 concerns, this year’s Fourth of July Celebration will be greatly modified in an effort to avoid mass gatherings and maintain physical distancing, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

On Saturday, July 4th, the city will feature a 20-minute fireworks display beginning at 8:40 p.m. The display will be staged in the area around Bullard Avenue and Paradise Lane.

The city encourages people to observe the fireworks show remotely from their homes or vehicles, as the display will be visible from vantage points across the community. Limited surface parking is available at Surprise Stadium, Surprise Aquatic Center and Dreamcatcher Park. While not recommended, should observers chose to drive to the Civic Center and Recreation Campus area, parking will be first come and must be done in accordance with state and local traffic laws.

Unlike past celebrations, there will be no baseball game, food trucks, beverage sales, or any additional entertainment. The Aquatic Center will not be open. Ramada rentals and grill use at Surprise Community Park will be unavailable. Personal grill use is prohibited within the Civic Center and Surprise Recreation Campus. In compliance with Arizona State law, the consumption of alcohol in vehicles or in public spaces is not permitted.

Please remember to follow all CDC guidelines for protecting yourself against COVID-19, including limiting gatherings to less than 10 people and keeping a minimum of 6 feet physical distancing between your gathering and others.

Virtual Ribbon Cuttings

A virtual ribbon cutting program has been implemented by the Surprise Economic Development Department to celebrate businesses as they reopen! In District 3, please help me congratulate Jim’s Burgers and Eggs and Pin Curlz Parlor on their reopenings!

If you would like to view the photos and videos from all of the virtual ribbon cuttings in the City of Surprise, please use the links provided below.

Retail Services Openings: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNdDbsS and https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNkHCfx

Restaurant Openings: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNeBNFB and https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNkSCnu

Grand Openings/Ribbon Cuttings

Now Open! Handels Ice Cream at 15250 N. Cotton Lane, Ste. 108., and Mr. Mesquite’s Taqueria, 16860 W. Waddell Road.

Mayor Hall, Councilmember Duffy and the owners of Mr. Mesquite Taqueria cut an orange ribbon for the business' grand opening.

Roadwork

Pavement preservation work is taking place in Sycamore Farms and Zanjero Trails this month.

Sycamore Farms:

June 16th and 17th (6AM-6PM): Jenan Drive and 165th Drive to end of roadway

Zanjero Trails:

June 18th and 19th (6AM-6PM): Desert Cove west of Perryville Road
June 20th (6AM-6PM): 189th Avenue
June 20th (6AM-6PM): Desert Cove, east of Perryville Road

Shadow Ridge High School

Congratulations to Shadow Ridge High School on being named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News and World Report, and on being the first A-rated high school since the state’s accountability labels launched. I would also like to congratulate Shadow Ridge for their first place win at the National Association of Home Builders student competition. They were awarded first place in the Secondary Degree programs architecture category. Great job!

Meet and Greet

My next Meet and Greet is scheduled for June 6 at 9 a.m. at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Rd. #B101. Due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19, please check www.surpriseaz.gov for updates and cancellations to my Meet and Greet schedule. As always, please feel free to email me at Patrick.duffy@surpriseaz.gov with any questions or concerns you may have.

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 pm and Regular Meetings begin at 6 pm. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Voters ok city water election

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

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

CCW is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition, which would require City Council approval, would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent.

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

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

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

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