Budget: A vision for the future

After open discussion and public input, the City Council and I unanimously approved a $310,885,200 FY15 budget in June that represents the Surprise of today: a successful city with a community-supported vision for the future.

The budget includes a projected $29 million surplus, $14.9 million constituting the two month General Fund reserve, fulfilling a Council goal to have the fund replenished by June 30, 2014.

We also approved a lower primary property tax levy rate of 75.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The previous rate was 77.8 cents.

There are no tax increases in the FY15 budget.

Even after budgeting for long-overdue civic improvements in FY15, the budget projects a balance of $27 million by June 30, 2015.

Our finances are restored, and now it’s time to pursue an aggressive agenda of civic improvements and job creation.

We approved long-awaited improvements at Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks that total more than $2.5 million.

We plan to fund a $15 million expansion of team clubhouses and public facilities at Surprise Stadium, after staff reported the expansion could be financed without adding to the budget, due in part to the City’s improved credit ratings.

Creating white-collar jobs in Surprise will continue to be our top priority in FY15.  We are supporting economic development efforts by adding ED personnel and improving our City’s showcase AZTechCelerator program, an award-winning business incubator near Bell and El Mirage roads

Some of the public improvements in the budget include:


Surprise Stadium team and public improvements $15,000,000(app; financed)
In-Ground Skate Park $500,000
Boys and Girls Club in east Surprise $2,000,000
Improved Drainage to 107th Avenue/Union Hills $2,428,000
Linking Mt. View Blvd. to Grand Avenue $300,000
Competitive youth Sports Programs $250,000
Median and ROW landscaping $300,000
Park ‘N Ride enhancements $1,686,300
Surprise Farms Park improvements $1,686,300
Veramonte Park Improvements $948,000
Dial a Ride Expansion $75,000