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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.
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:
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:
The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Parks and Recreation Master Plan Wins Award
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Please continue to check the City of Surprise website, at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to meeting schedules and other important announcements.