Tag Archives: Veterans Day

November 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.

Veterans Day Tribute

We were not able to have a Veterans Parade this year, but please take a moment on November 10-12 to drive along Bullard Avenue and see the decorated signs thanking and celebrating Veterans! You can also sign in to the Surprise TV cable channel, our Parks & Recreation social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov on Veterans Day to see a compilation of community video messages for our Veterans. Thank you to all the residents that submitted videos and signs for this special project!

APS Project

APS is in the early stages of a public siting process to identify routes for new 230kV power lines. The project structures/poles will be between 115-195 feet tall and will be placed in new or existing rights-of-way or easements. The power lines will connect the new Contrail Substation, located at the southeast corner of Olive Avenue and Dysart Road, to existing 230kV facilities.

Public Input for the West Valley Central 230kV Connection Project is now being accepted. Members of the public are invited to learn more about the project and to submit comments at www.apswestvalleycentral.com. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2020.

Additionally, two Live Virtual Town Hall meetings will be hosted on Wednesday, November 4 and Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Both are from 6-7:30 p.m. You can register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APSlivechat

Winter Youth Sports/Teen Bubble Soccer

Youth sports registrationRegistration for Surprise Parks & Recreation Winter Youth Sports begins November 2. The winter season for youth basketball, kickball, and flag football leagues starts in early January and runs until March. For league details please visit surpriseaz.gov/youthsports.

Surprise Parks & Recreation is also offering sports skills classes & camps, tennis programs, and e-sports tournaments. For more information on these programs, please contact the Sports Division at 623-222-200 or visit surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Children inside inflated bubbles playing soccer.Teens ages 10-17 can register to play in a Bubble Soccer Tournament on November 7 at Mark Coronado Park, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Tournament times are 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. for the 10-12 year old division, and 6:45 p.m.- 8:15 p.m. for the 13-17 year old division. The cost is $10 per person. Reserve your spot today by registering online at https://bit.ly/2ThB7BV or by calling 623-222-2000.

Surprise Parks & Recreation has developed and implemented COVID-19 procedures in compliance with the CDC guidelines for the health and safety of our staff and participants.

With daily reassessments in relation to the COVID-19 situation; rules, procedures and general guidance are subject to change.

National Tennis Championships

The City of Surprise won the bid to host the 2026 NCAA Division II Men’s & Women’s Tennis Championships. This championship will return to Surprise after a successful event in 2018 and the upcoming Championships in 2021. NCAA Championship event awards are based upon specifications that include, but are not limited to, providing optimal facilities; ease of travel to the location and ample lodging; and adherence to NCAA principles, which include providing an atmosphere that is safe and respects the dignity of all attendees. The sites are selected by the respective NCAA sports committees and approved by the divisional competition oversight and championships committees.

Temporary Expansion of Premises (TEP) permits

City Council approved the use of Temporary Expansion of Premise (TEP) permits for local restaurants to help expand their ability to serve more customers while maintaining social distancing requirements. This permit allows for the temporary expansion of dining space where viable and safe, and could include patio and outdoor areas, tents, or similar enclosures. There is no application or permit fee associated with the TEP permit, and the process includes a streamlined application process and expedited staff review. Approved permits are valid for 180 days, with an option to review, and approval is required from the property owner. Restaurants looking to expand service areas for alcohol remain subject to review and approval of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. To learn more about the TEP permit, or to download the application, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialeventpermits.

Meet and Greet

My next meeting will be held on November 7 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.

Holiday Schedule

Please note the following holidays this month will result in a change to the trash pick-up schedule for city of Surprise sanitation customers: November 11 in observance of Veterans Day, and November 26 and 27 in observance of Thanksgiving. City Hall remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting is scheduled for November 17 at 6 p.m. Council meetings have been reopened for in-person participation. In order to adhere to CDC guidelines, in-person participants will be required to wear a facial covering when entering and exiting the chambers, but may remove it while seated, if they so choose. Capacity will be capped at 50 people, and physical distancing measures will be in place.

Closing

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

October 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.

City Council Meetings reopened to in-person public participation

City Council meetings have been reopened to in-person public participation. In order to continue to adhere to CDC guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people, face coverings are required when entering and leaving the chambers, but may be removed while seated, and physical distancing measures will be in place to ensure that people sit or stand at least six feet from anyone not in your household. Virtual participation options will remain available and instructions for that are posted on each meeting’s agenda at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

The next City Council meetings will be held October 6 and October 20, at 6 p.m.. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Small Business Relief Grant Program

Applications are being accepted through October 16 for the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant Program. This grant program provides emergency financial relief to local small businesses experiencing economic distress and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures compliant with Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders.

To apply, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant. As part of the application process, you will need to create an account with the Arizona Community Foundation, a Surprise Business “Registration” License and a W-9 form.

For questions call 623-222-3300, or email SurpriseRelief@azfoundation.org.

Surprise Day of Service

Residents and volunteers collect weeds and trash.The Surprise Day of Service is October 10! Surprise Day of Service is a neighborhood revitalization and cleanup event that assists neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes. Volunteers are needed to participate in various projects throughout the city, including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal and more. Individuals and groups (of no more than 10 people) can register with Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623-222-1522. Please note, participants are required to wear face coverings and will be split into small groups and check in times will be staggered due to COVID-19.

7th Annual Fiesta Grande Celebration Goes Virtual

Celebrate our city’s cultural heritage at the seventh annual Surprise Fiesta Grande – To Go style! This virtual celebration, presented by the City of Surprise Parks & Recreation Department in partnership with 101.9 FM Radio La Campesina, is happening all week! Enjoy authentic Mexican food, cooking and dance classes, crafts, games and more!

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • October 5 at 6:30 p.m.: Holy Guacamole & Salsa Dippin’ Virtual Cooking Class. While this virtual class has already premiered, you can still watch it at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande
  • October 6 at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Folklorico Class/Performance. While this virtual class has already premiered, you can still watch it at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande
  • All day on October 6, Let’s Taco ‘bout a Good Meal! Where local restaurants offered discounts!
  • October 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Nacho Average Virtual Bingo! (Registration for this event is no longer available, but you can view all the previous virtual classes at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande).
  • October 8 at 6:30 p.m.: Virtual Arts and Crafts, featuring WHAM (to participate, pick up your craft kit at the Parks & Recreation office, Monday 10/5 through Thursday 10/8 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 15960 N Bullard Ave Surprise, AZ 85374).
  • October 9 at 5 p.m.: Fiesta Foodtruck Friday & Swag Bag (Foodtruck and swag bag pick up are at Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N Hollyhock St, Surprise, AZ 85378. Register for a swag bag at http://surpriserec.surpriseaz.gov by clicking on “Special Events”).

For updates and more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande or contact the Parks & Recreation Special Events Division at 623.222.2000.

If you happen to miss any of the virtual activities, videos will be available at surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande after the event.

Veterans Day Tribute

Make a video tribute and/or sign for our Veterans for the Veterans Day tribute, a virtual alternative to the Veterans Day parade this year. Due to COVID-19, the City of Surprise will not be able to have a Veterans Day parade; however, we are asking residents to submit a video tribute or to decorate a sign that will be displayed on Bullard Ave. by the Surprise Stadium from November 10-12. To participate, record a video tribute, no longer than 15 seconds, thanking our veterans, then upload it to surpriseaz.gov/veteranvideo. This compilation of community messages will be featured on Veterans Day on the Surprise TV cable channel, our Parks & Recreation social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov. Entries must be received by October 29 at 5 p.m. Blank signs can be picked up at the Parks and Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave., from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday October 12 through Friday, October 30. Decorated signs should be returned to the Parks and Recreation Office by 5 p.m. on Friday November 6 for inclusion in the display. For more information, please contact Steve Castillo at 623-222-2267, or by email at steve.castillo@surpriseaz.gov.

New in District 3

The Costco Wholesale Warehouse is now open! Located at 16385 W. Waddell Road, the Warehouse opened on September 24. Mayor Hall and I were on site to welcome them to Surprise with an early morning ribbon cutting!

Southwest Gas

Southwest Gas offers flexible payment plans, payment assistance programs, and income qualified rate assistance for their customers in Arizona. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Southwest Gas has ceased all service disconnection, and late fees for nonpayment, since March. While this moratorium is still in place, they would like to urge customers to also explore the various assistance programs that they offer, to avoid large payments after the COVID-19 crisis improves.

Low Income Ratepayer Assistance (LIRA)
Customers who have recently lost their job, or are receiving unemployment benefits, may qualify for a reduced energy rate through our LIRA Program. This program helps customers save money by providing a yearly 30% reduction in the monthly basic service charge and a “per therm” rate discount. The “per therm” discount is applied each month from November 1 through April 30.

Energy Share Program
Southwest Gas has $1 million available to customers experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, such as the loss of a job or medical emergency related to COVID-19. The Energy Share program allows customers facing financial hardship, who qualify, to receive assistance towards paying their Southwest Gas bill. Customers do not need to meet Federal Poverty Income Guidelines to qualify.

Deferred Payment Program
For customers who can demonstrate a hardship and have outstanding bills, their deferred payment plan allows them to pay their bill over an extended period of time. They also make referrals to government or local social service agencies.

To learn more about these programs, please visit the Southwest Gas website at www.swgas.com, or call 1-877-860-6020.

Southwest Gas also wants to remind you that they will never contact customers, or show up in person to demand payment with the threat of disruption of service. Any calls that demand immediate payment should be considered a scam. Do not provide any person information, and hang up. To verify the legitimacy of any calls or visits you receive, please call 877-860-6020.

Meet and Greet

My next meeting will be held on November 7, 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.

Closing

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

D3 Quarterly Newsletter – September 2016

As September rolls in, I hope everyone is enjoying the final days of summer. School recently began and fall is rapidly approaching! It’s hard to believe we have completed two months of fiscal year 2017.

I am hosting a District 3 Update meeting on September 13 at Surprise Honda, located at 13270 N Autoshow Ave. I appreciate my constituents and thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas on future development! I share your passion for growth and I would love to see many of the amenities discussed. Please join me on the 13th from 5 pm until 6 pm as we will receive an Economic Development update from City staff, a Prasada update, and bond information. A tour of the new dealership has also been offered by Surprise Honda General Manager Leon Lee.


Transportation Update

Completion of Cactus Road

After meeting with constituents and members from our schools over the last year, I am happy to report the completion of Cactus Road from 175th Avenue to Cotton Lane is complete! This pavement project provides additional east/west connection, in addition to Waddell Road, for the neighboring communities of Sara Ann Ranch and Sierra Montana as well as Shadow Ridge and Paradise High Schools.

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction on the Bell Road bridge project continues and Bell Road is on schedule to open as originally planned in November 2016. Current work includes the building of the retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue and the reconstruction of the eastbound Grand Avenue roadway. Grand avenue traffic is temporarily sharing westbound lanes while the old asphalt pavement on the east side has been removed and the utility relocation occurs.


Budget Approval FY17

The Surprise City Council approved a $271.9 million Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, at a Special City Council meeting this past May. Council approved a formula to fund 22 new public safety positions by maintaining the city’s property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to higher valuations, that would generate approximately $165,000 in new money. The remaining funds would come from vacancy savings. The positions are as follow:

Police: 13 Fire-Medical: 7 Court: 1 City Attorney: 1

This budget also dedicates $53 million for capital improvements to preserve and/or replace aging infrastructure, such as increasing funding for the Pavement Preservation Program to $4.5 million.

Investments in communications, facility, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure amount to $6.8 million. And $10.5 million will support replacing aging vehicles to enhance service and lower maintenance costs.

Beginning in November, the city will assume responsibility for billing the water, waste water and sanitation utilities. By removing these operations from a third-party vendor, the city will be able to provide more efficient operations and provide an improved customer experience. This service will result in an additional 11 positions. The ongoing utility billing budget of $1.7 million that had been paid to the third-party vendor will remain the same once the city transitions to the billing responsibilities.

The FY17 Budget also provides funding to add Sunday Dial-A-Ride service and continue Saturday and holiday pick-ups.


New Businesses

Great things are happening in Surprise and that includes several new businesses that have recently opened or are opening soon. Surprise Honda opened its doors last month in the Prasada Automall and Hyundai and Subaru dealerships are under construction now. Burger King opened a few months ago in the Walmart Plaza on Greenway, west of Loop 303.

Other businesses scheduled to open include the new Babbo Italian Eatery, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, Dickey’s Barbeque, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, Firehouse Subs and a few more.


Shop Surprise

By now, you’ve probably noticed some important enhancements to the ShopSurprise digital marketing campaign! With more than 2,000 ShopSurprise subscribers and nearly 123,000 messages and deals announced, you are doing your part to support our Bell-Grand area businesses during the Bell Road bridge construction!

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce text message service provider, Dex media, recently scheduled a service upgrade to keep this successful campaign up and running, with a new feature- coupons sent directly to your email, no more having to click a link. That required a new text opt-in number, which is 85100.

Here are all the ways you can check out the daily deals:

  • Text ‘ShopSurprise’ (one word) to 85100 to have daily deals sent to your phone;
  • Visit shopsurpriseaz.com to view the daily deals online;
  • Like the Shop Surprise, Arizona Facebook page and have the deals appear in your timeline; or
  • Follow @ShopSurpriseAZ on Twitter to have deals tweeted to you daily.

A Construction Business Access Map is also available online to help you find the best ways to enter the shopping, dining and service centers to claim your deals. The Bell & Grand ShopSurprise daily deals are only available during the Bell Road full closure. The Chamber will consider a more comprehensive, citywide campaign in the future.

Shop Surprise


Bond Election

City Council approved sending a $63 million General Obligation Bond initiative to the voters when we met last month. Following public input and weighing community needs, Council approved the following nine projects that, if voter-approved, would be included in the bond:

  • Two fire stations
  • Police evidence storage facility
  • Land purchase for a future southwest Surprise Fire Station/Police Substation/Park
  • Public Works maintenance facility (frees up existing city locations to meet Police and Fire-Medical storage needs)
  • Road improvements to portions of Greenway and Litchfield Roads
  • Aquatic Center Expansion
  • Land purchase for regional rec complex (sport fields, playgrounds, future rec center)

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If approved, the secondary property tax could be up to $0.50 per $100 of limited property value, which on a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would be a yearly maximum increase of $100, or $8.33 per month.

Additional educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 8 General Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward. You may also visit the website for a complete list of projects, renderings, financial impact information and public survey results.


Neighborhood Grant Program

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements.

Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY17. To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2017
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
    • Final report to due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 15, 2017

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.


Fall CRS Line-up

Registration for City of Surprise Fall Youth Sports, including girls’ volleyball, Babe Ruth softball and Cal Ripken tee-ball and baseball, began this week. Registration will be offered through September 24, with a special Saturday registration on September 24 from 8 – 11 a.m. at the Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration will also be available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Here’s a look at the programs being offered:

Fall Girls Volleyball League

Teaches the game of volleyball in the spirit of sportsmanship, fun and wholesome competition. An emphasis is placed on the development of skills and the value of teamwork. Age: Girls 7-15. (Age determined on or before December 31, 2016)

NEW Girls Competitive Volleyball League (15u and 17u Divisions)

While emphasis will remain on basic fundamentals, sportsmanship and cooperative participation, this program differs from recreational sports in that there are NO MANDATORY PLAYING TIME RULES. The competitive sports league will follow modified NFHS rules and is intended for EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ONLY. Participants will go through a skills evaluation on Friday October 14, 2016 and will be drafted onto a team. Special requests will not be honored in competitive programs. Any player that is not selected in the draft is guaranteed a spot in the recreational volleyball league. All teams will compete in an end of season, single elimination tournament.

Fall Babe Ruth Girls Softball League

Teaches the game of softball in the spirit of sportsmanship, fun and wholesome competition. An emphasis is placed on the development of skills and the value of teamwork. Age: Girls 7-16. (Age determined on or before December 31, 2016)

Cal Ripken Youth Fall Tee-ball

The road to the “Big Leagues” starts here! The Cal Ripken tee-ball program will offer separate 4-year-old and 5/6-year-old divisions. Boys and girls have the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals and skills associated with the game of baseball in an atmosphere where participation and fun are top priority. Age: Boys and girls 4 – 6. (Age determined on or before December 31, 2016)

Cal Ripken Youth Fall Baseball League

Concentrates highly on instruction and emphasizes the development of fundamental skills over wins and losses. Participants registered in the Major Division will go through a skills evaluation and will be drafted to a team. Age: Boys and girls 7 -12. (Age determined on or before December 31, 2016)

The City of Surprise invites you to volunteer for the upcoming fall sports season as well! The Community and Recreation Services department is dedicated to providing our volunteers the information and confidence they need to have a fun and successful season. If you are interested, please complete a volunteer application at the Community and Recreation Services Office. For more information, please contact the Sports Division at 623-222-2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.


Veterans Day

America’s Mighty Warriors (AMW) will host the 2nd Annual Marc Lee Fitness Challenge in Surprise at Surprise Community Park on Saturday, November 5. The fitness challenge will include a 5K run/walk which will begin at 7 a.m. and the fitness challenge portion will begin at 8 a.m. For more information, please visit www.americasmightywarriors.org/fitness-challenge/.

The City’s 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade is scheduled for Friday, November 11. This parade will travel along Bullard Avenue in front of Surprise Stadium. This year, the event will kick-off with a pancake breakfast and Veteran art show prior to the parade start at 9:30 am. I hope to see you there!

The City is currently looking for patriotic-themed parade entries for the parade. We are seeking clubs, organizations, groups or residents who would like to participate. There is no fee for participation. Interested parties may obtain an entry form online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Community & Recreation Services offices at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.


Arizona League of Cities and Towns

The Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference began on Tuesday, August 23. This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with other Council Members throughout the state, network with agencies who work with Surprise and help build the momentum the City Council has been able to achieve.

Part of this year’s conference included meetings with Cox Communications regarding digital contour and EPCOR regarding their plans to combine their water districts. In addition, I was able to attend several sessions including the impact of military bases in Arizona, education initiatives and much more.

City Council attended a focus group discussion on why our youth leave the State; Surprise was represented by our very own Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Member Samantha Salazar. Following the youth session, members of SYC competed in the Democraseed Challenge and placed third. The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship partnered with the Challenge to foster creative civic engagement projects. Congratulations to our SYC team!

Councilman Skip Hall and I received service awards during the Legislative and Service Award Luncheon on Thursday, August 25. Congratulations to Skip on his years of service. I have enjoyed serving with you!


Luke Air Force Base Celebrates 75 Years!

Luke Air Force Base is the largest fighter-training base in the entire world, with thousands of military personnel working diligently to protect us. Luke AFB is one of the largest employers in Arizona with approximately 6,000 employees. It is estimated that the families and personnel of the Base contribute an overall impact of over $2.15 billion to our economy.

We are very fortunate to have this asset, not just in our State, but in the West Valley. As a resident and as an elected official, I am grateful! Happy anniversary to Luke Air Force Base!


I will be taping another Council Conversation regarding an upcoming education initiative. Keep your eyes on Surprise TV for more information!

In closing, it has been an honor to serve you the last four years. I am grateful, honored and humble to serve you for another term.