Tag Archives: covid-19

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.

April 1, 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.

COVID-19 Update

In response to COVID-19, Mayor Skip Hall, in consultation with City Council, announced a State of Emergency for the city in an effort to preserve public health. Many City facilities are closed to the public until further notice. City business will continue to be conducted. Please be assured that core services will not be affected, including fire-medical, police, trash, water and other essential city services. Additionally, the city is suspending all City of Surprise water customer shutoffs through May 10.

The city continues to communicate with public health partners at the federal, state and county level to ensure we are working together to provide the most accurate and timely information to our residents and to preserve the public health of our entire community. We are updating our website as information is updated at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19. This page also includes ways to interact with the city online, by phone, or by email.

For additional information on COVID-19 from the County, State and National perspective, please visit websites of the Maricopa County Department of Health https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019, Centers for Disease Control cdc.gov/COVID19, and Arizona Department of Health Services https://www.azdhs.gov/.

Public Participation Changes at Council Meetings

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our employees, residents and visitors, the Council Chambers are closed to the public during City Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings until further notice. Public comment can be taken by email or phone. To submit email comments, including Call to the Public, for non-agenda items, please email publicomments@surpriseaz.gov prior to the start of the meeting. To comment by phone, please call 623.222.1250 prior to or during the meeting and your name will be placed on a call back list. For additional details on how to interact during the meeting please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4802.

As always, the city also streams and broadcasts its City Council meetings. To watch live, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 also carry the meetings live.

2020 Census

It is time to count! Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census should have arrived in your mail. Please take the time to respond online, by phone or via mail. This once-a-decade survey will count everyone living in the United States! Responses help shape the future of the community and inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed across the country every year for the next 10 years – including in Surprise!

Each uncounted person is a loss of nearly $3,000 per person each year affecting 130+ federal programs including: Medicaid, Head Start, housing and food for low income families, public transportation, college student loans, highway planning and construction, children’s health insurance and public school funding.

Plus, when we know how many people live in our community, it better equips the city, organizations, and businesses to evaluate the services and programs that residents need, and aids in applying for grant money. Responses also affect the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, and our city council boundaries for equal representation. Due to our state’s growing population, Arizona is likely to gain a house seat after this Census.

For additional information visit www.surpriseaz.gov/Census2020

State of the City Update

In consideration of the current health pandemic, the State of the City address will now be delivered virtually, via the City’s website and social media. Residents can tune in on April 15 at 6 pm. on Surprise TV, or https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/ and via Facebook LIVE on the City of Surprise Facebook page to watch Mayor Skip Hall’s State of the City Address.

Road Closures

Please continue to be aware of various road closures and traffic restrictions. The city is working closely with contractors and project managers to keep these project timelines on track.

  • The city-managed Litchfield Road widening project remains on schedule with completion expected this spring.
  • The Waddell Road widening project reached a major milestone at the end of February with the re-opening of the closure between Sarival Road and SR303. This project also remains on track with expected completion by late spring.
  • Please note there will continue to be lane closures and detours, as needed, prior to the completion of these projects.
  • The work at the intersection of Reems & Waddell is part of the larger Waddell Road project. While the early phases of this work have been completed, this intersection will continue to have some restrictions through May.
  • The roadwork occurring on the south side of Peoria Avenue is being conducted by several utility companies as they upgrade infrastructure to support new development in Glendale and unincorporated portions of the County, south of Peoria Avenue. Much of this work is nearing completion.
  • Maricopa County has closed Olive Road between Litchfield and Reems roads through May due to construction of a new wastewater line needed to support development in the area.

Having a safe, efficient, and effective transportation system is critical to our quality of life and the smart growth of our city. Our city team is sensitive to the inconvenience and disruption caused by road construction and works closely with contractors to minimize these impacts where possible. As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you should have any questions or concerns regarding traffic. For the most up-to-date information on road closures, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/100/Road-Closures-Traffic-Restrictions.

Upcoming Events

The safety and well-being of our residents is of the highest importance to us. As COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels and out of caution and concerns for our community and under the guidelines of the CDC, the city has canceled all city-sponsored events, programs and sports through May 10. Please check the City of Surprise website at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/ for more information on cancelled and postponed events.

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.