Tag Archives: state of the city

May 7, 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.

Budget Summary

The Council and city staff are working hard on the FY21 budget. The recommended budget is $429 million, and includes the voter-approved 2017 GO Bond projects, which include, Greenway Road; Fire Station 308; and the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center. Capital improvement projects in the amount of $111.2 million are also planned for this coming fiscal year.

Due to the unprecedented challenges that cities and towns are facing, we will continue to remain mindful of the current economy, and monitor expenses so that we can continue to review cost cutting measures.

Please note that the tentative budget was adopted at the May 5 Regular City Council Meeting, and the final budget adoption is scheduled for the June 2 Regular City Council Meeting. City Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. and can be viewed live on Surprise TV, and at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/.

State of the City Update

The State of the City video premiere was held on April 15 on Surprise TV. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, please check it out at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. The State of the City video celebrates the many accomplishments the City of Surprise has made this year.

Roadwork

Pavement preservation was recently completed on Cotton Road north of Waddell Road and will be moving forward in the coming weeks on Citrus Road between Waddell and Cactus and in the Zanjero Trails, Sierra Montana, and Sycamore Farms neighborhoods.

Upcoming Events

In anticipation of Governor Doug Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” Executive Order expiring May 15, the city of Surprise is preparing to reopen select recreational amenities that allow for appropriate physical distancing, including tennis courts, pickleball courts and dog parks.

  • Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex will reopen May 15. This is for open play only and by reservation only. Residents may call 48 hours in advance to reserve a court and non-residents 24 hours in advance. Classes and programs continue to be canceled until further notice. To make a reservation, please call 623.222.2400. Hours are 7-11 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday – Friday and 7-11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Retail and concession areas will remain closed. Please follow posted signage at the facility, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing. Check our website at surpriseaz.gov/tennis for more information and USTA recommendations on play.
  • Pickleball courts at Surprise Community Park will reopen May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please follow posted signage, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing. Check our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/229/Parks-Facilities for more information and USAPA recommendations on play.
  • Dog parks will reopen May 15. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Please follow posted signage, continue to follow all CDC guidelines and practice physical distancing.

The city is maintaining all other facility and amenity closures and program cancelations until further notice for health and safety reasons, as well as to mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19 to the city’s budget.

See the full press release, here: https://bit.ly/35Qn5Nn

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.

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.

March 4, 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.

Monthly Meeting Location Change

My monthly Meet and Greet has now been moved to Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, Suite 101. Please join me on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. to discuss the issues that are important to you and learn more about what’s happening across the city.

Congratulations to George Lyons

George Lyons retired (for real this time) from the Parks and Recreation Department after 15 years of hard work. George arrived to his interview back in 2004 in his baseball uniform after just competing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series. He was obviously a good fit and has been a blessing to the department. George had retired from an extensive recreation career with Mission Viejo Company, the City of Mission Viejo and finally Thousand Trails Campgrounds. We wish him luck and congratulate him on the next phase of his life spending time with his grandchildren.

George Lyons

2020 Census

Everyone Counts in Surprise! Check your mailboxes between March 12-20. Residents will receive a letter in the mail with a website address and Census ID number explaining how to respond online. The letter will also offer a toll free number for phone response and describe the process for receiving a paper survey. For more information on the Census please visit the City of Surprise website at www.surpriseaz.gov/census2020.

Spring Training

The Spring Training Welcome Back Lunch was hosted by the City on Friday, February 14. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers provided updates on their respective teams. I hope that you are able to come out and enjoy a game during the Spring Training season! Games run through March 21. To view a schedule of games, visit www.surprisestadium.com.

Third Annual Surprise Spring Training 5k/1K

It’s not too late! Register for the Third Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K/1K that will take place on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. For additional information or to get registered, visit SurpriseStadium.com/events.

State of the City – 60th Anniversary

Please join us as Mayor Hall gives the State of the City address on Thursday, March 26, with updates on City of Surprise accomplishments and future visions. I encourage you to stay afterwards to witness the unveiling of the city’s 60th Anniversary Art Wall and enjoy live music, entertainment and more in our courtyard. The event will begin promptly at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall City Council Chambers.

Development in Surprise

Rangers Village Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, February 21, the City Council joined Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis and Texas Rangers staff to cut the ribbon on the new Rangers Village building. Rangers Village is a three-story, 36 suite, 70,000 square foot team housing complex located along Bullard Avenue, just north of Greenway Road. Rangers Village also includes a 13,000 square foot sports-training lab next door for the players.

Ottawa University Campus Ribbon Cutting & Dedication

Ottawa University-Arizona hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication for three new campus buildings – the O’Dell Center for athletics, the OUAZ Student Union, and Residence Hall. The O’Dell Center for Athletics is a 97,000 square foot athletic complex adjacent to Spirit Field to the west, just north of Tierra Buena Lane. The complex includes a recreation center, four court gymnasium, lockers rooms, an athletic training room, the Spirit Performance Center, five classrooms, and the faculty and athletic department offices. The OUAZ Student Union is a two story, 27,000 square foot building that houses the cafeteria, an outdoor and indoor dining space, the Spirit Fan Shop, campus mailroom, student lounge with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, conference center and designated quiet study spaces. The 76,000 square foot, four story residence hall is located to the east of Spirit Field and is home to an 83 room, 332 bed dormitory with fully furnished, four person suites, four student lounges and the campus security office.

Ottawa University cheerleaders and mascot.

Road Closures

Please continue to be aware of various road closures and traffic restrictions:

  • 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 full closure between Sarival and SR303 being reopened. This project also remains on track with expected completion by late spring.
  • On both of these projects, there will continue to be lane closures and detours as needed prior to these projects being completed.
  • The work at the intersection of Reems & Waddell is part of the larger Waddell project and 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 county, south of Peoria Avenue. Much of this work is nearing completion.
  • The county also has Olive Road closed between Litchfield and Reems 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 www.surpriseaz.gov/100/Road-Closures-Traffic-Restrictions.

Upcoming Events

  • March 7- Please note that we are moving my Monthly Meet and Greet to Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road, Suite 101. (Spencer’s Place is located on the east end of the Basha’s shopping center.) This monthly event continues to be held on the first Saturday of every month from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
  • March 14- Spring Cleanup Event. Residents can drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free of charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, 7 am – 1 pm. For more information, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.
  • Hazardous waste can be scheduled for pick up March 9-27. For more information, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.
  • March 16 to 20- If you have a teen interested in attending a College Tour to Arizona State University, University of Arizona and/or Grand Canyon University, please call 623-222-2000 to sign up for one of our college field trips.
  • March 26- We invite you to joins us at the State of the City Address and 60th Anniversary Celebration www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.
  • March 27- Rec Nights “Spring Fling” for teens in 6-8 grade www.surpriseaz.gov/teenprograms.
  • April 1- Census Day; for more info www.surpriseaz.gov/Census2020

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.

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.