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Surprise Ranked #6
The City of Surprise is ranked the #6 safest city in Arizona, according to a new SafeWise report. Congratulations to our community on this accomplishment, and a big thanks to Surprise PD for helping keep us safe! Here is a list of Arizona’s 10 Safest Cities: safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-arizona/.
Surprise Day of Service
Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to the Annual Bean Bag Day event on April 24! During this yearly event, 6000lbs. of bulk, pinto beans were individually bagged for distribution to those in need through the Valley View Community Food Bank. The beans were generously donated from Seeds of Hope International Ministries. If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer in the community, please consider joining the next Day of Service event, scheduled for May 26. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 623.222.1522.
2021 State of the City Video
The 2021 State of the City Video premiered on April 13. If you didn’t have a chance to see it, you can watch it now on Surprise TV on-demand. Click here to view! COVID-19 impacted so many in 2020, and in this video, we highlighted the resilience of our community. It captures how our strength, effort, and strategic planning place the city’s trajectory toward future success.
2021 Retail Survey
Tell us what shopping and dining establishments you want to see in Surprise – plus, vote for current favorites so we can recognize the local businesses you love! Your participation in the survey really does make a difference. Costco, a most-wanted retailer identified on previous surveys, opened in 2020! Top 10 restaurant picks, including Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, Texas Roadhouse, and In-N-Out Burger, have also opened in Surprise since the first survey launched. Click on the link below to take our 2021 Retail Survey by May 9: surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.
Surprise Economic Growth
As Amazon completes construction on its 143,000 square foot last-mile delivery station in Surprise, the project is a capstone to a more than five-year run of development in the city’s two square miles suburban industrial park. The railplex is bounded to the north at Waddell Road and south at Peoria Avenue and east by Dysart Road, and west by Litchfield Road. The amenity-rich development, the Surprise Railplex, has Arizona’s 1st and only BNSF Railway-certified sites totaling over 250 acres. The Surprise Railplex recently welcomed JBugs, SeaCa Packaging, Trimaco, National Indoor RV Centers, Skyway Commons, and Milam Glass – as well as the Level Crossing speculative flex industrial development – in just the past few years.
IRIS USA is celebrating its upcoming 5th anniversary in Surprise. The US-headquartered operation of the Japanese-owned company located off Cactus Road along the rail, built over 400,000 square feet on 45 acres, allowing additional land to expand into the future. IRIS USA also donated more than 30,000 masks to the community in 2020.
The Surprise Economic Development Department is actively marketing our BNSF certified sites for large employment-generating projects and just completed a virtual tour video being promoted across their international industry network. The video can be viewed by visiting: youtube.com/watch?v=jiK2i1gIrZg.
Small Business Resources
The City of Surprise Economic Development Department has teamed up with the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) to offer even more support to the Surprise small business community. In recognition of the continued small business recovery process resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Surprise small businesses can sign up for a free year of membership with the association. ASBA benefits include connections to thought leaders and entrepreneurs throughout the state, business education opportunities, professional connections, mentors, marketing tools, access to data, discounted business benefits, and advocacy for a pro-business environment. Please visit asba.com/surprise before May 10 to claim your membership.
Passport Services Resume
Passport services return to Surprise City Hall by appointment only. Regular business hours for passports will be Monday – Friday, 8 am to 4 pm in the City Clerk’s Office. Applications for first-time passport books and passport cards are accepted and they can also help review paperwork for renewals. Passport photos are not offered, so be sure to have your photos with you at your appointment. To make an appointment, or for questions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/passport or call the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.
Donna Miller Retirement
Thank you, Donna Miller, for your 19 years of service to the City of Surprise. Donna joined the City of Surprise team as a Recreation Coordinator in 2002 and rose to the rank of Director in 2017. I wish you well on your retirement, and thank you for your service to our citizens!
The FY 2022 Budget
The new Fiscal Year (FY) is quickly approaching! Follow along with the budget process at surpriseaz.gov/budget. You can view the budget presentations from previous Council meetings and watch the Council Budget Retreat, where Council was presented with the FY 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget. City of Surprise proposes a budget focused on maintaining our current level of service as the city continues to grow. The budget focuses on Council’s commitment to maintaining quality public services and infrastructure. A public hearing and tentative Budget adoption are scheduled for the May 4 Regular City Council Meeting, with final budget adoption planned for the June 1 meeting.
Surprise Property Tax Rate
We’ve been receiving some questions about the City of Surprise tax rate. It has not increased. The primary tax rate in the City of Surprise is $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property value, plus the secondary property tax rate (from the voter-approved 2017 GO Bond) of $0.3880 per $100 of assessed property value. These rates multiplied by the assessed value of your home determine what you pay in property taxes. If the value of your home increases, you will see an increased tax bill; however, that is not due to an increase in the property tax rate but rather an increase in the assessed value of your home.
Schedule of Existing Primary and Secondary Property Tax
|Current Rate||Current Levy||Proposed Rate||Proposed Levy|
|Primary Property Tax Rate||$0.7591||$9,135,500||$0.7591||$9,974,200||Per $100 assessed value|
|Secondary Property Tax Rate||$0.3880||$4,669,500||$0.3880||$5,098,200||Per $100 assessed value|
Veteran Resources & Support Services
Veterans, service members (active duty, Guard, and Reserve), and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley. The City of Surprise is proud to offer the West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center a new home within the Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator Campus, located at 12425 W. Bell Rd., Suite 124. The center includes various military and veteran support services and resources, made possible by the generous support of partner organizations and all West Valley cities. For more information on the West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center, call 623.222.1658 or visit the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov/veterans.
Itty Bitty Beach Party
We are excited to welcome back the Itty Bitty Beach Party on May 28! Held at the Surprise Aquatics Center, this party offers guests games, prizes, crafts, and more, for children ages 10 years and younger! Enjoy the slides, cool off in the water, and hang out with our resident mermaid! The cost to come party is $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents. Event registrations are accepted in-person at the Surprise Parks & Recreation Department office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave., online, and over the phone. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 623.222.2000 or visit https://bit.ly/387wd2c.
Benevilla Community Baby-Shower
Monday, May 10, from 9 am to 11 am, Benevilla will be hosting a drive-thru baby shower for expecting moms and moms with infants up to 6 months old. Mothers can drive-thru and pick-up at Arizona Charter Academy parking lot located at 16025 N. Dysart Rd., Surprise, AZ 85537. Donations will also be accepted during this event!
Meet and Greet
My next meeting will be June 5 at 9 am at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Rd. #B101. Please check the calendar at surpriseaz.gov/calendar for any updates and cancellations to my Meet and Greet schedule. As always, feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns you may have. You can also follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/CouncilmemberDuffy.
City Council Meetings
The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting is scheduled for May 18 at 6 pm. Please tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11.
Please continue to check the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov for updates to meeting schedules and other important announcements.