Mayor Sharon Wolcott’s 2015 State of the City Address was filled with breaking news and a vision for growing the city’s future through jobs, preservation, art and more.
She told a full house of business, civic and education leaders, at The Colonnade this morning that IRIS USA will build a new corporate headquarters in the city’s Southwest Railplex.
“This new business locate represents a $40 million private investment in our community,” she said. “In addition, IRIS USA will create 100 jobs and will generate $800,000 of new revenue for the city in just its first year of operation.”
Mayor Wolcott also announced that Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) will build a large campus at Dysart and Grand in Surprise. At build out, this facility will serve 900 students.
“The West-MEC campus will offer between 12-17 programs where students can prepare for such careers as software/application developers, electricians, police officers, firefighters, auto and truck technicians, machinists, medical/dental assistants and cosmetologists,” Wolcott said.
The focus of the speech detailed the building blocks to Investing in One Surprise and how they all relate to growing economic development and jobs.
Wolcott said a business-friendly environment, top-rated schools, maintaining a safe community, the availability of clean water, and quality-of-life amenities are all important to attracting new business to Surprise.
She focused on two other significant building blocks to grow economic development: An efficient transportation system and an on-going capital improvement program to ensure the required public infrastructure is in place to effectively address current and future community needs.
“Identification of needed capital projects to support infrastructure is just the first step in building a city’s foundation for quality growth. Your city government – just like when people buy a new car or home – needs funding to make those capital investments possible,” said Mayor.
On transportation- “Let me be clear: transportation equals economic development and jobs,” added Wolcott. “A connected transportation system is paramount to a self-sustaining community. There’s no other way to say it.”
Wolcott highlighted the importance of revitalizing the Grand Avenue Corridor; the upcoming intersection improvement at Bell and Grand and spoke of the regional support needed in determining the future alignment of the future Interstate 11.
She also spoke to the significance of the city’s efforts to create a Heritage Overlay District to preserve and enhance Surprise’s Original Town Site and how the city is investing in the arts through the process of creating a Public Arts Master Plan.
The event was co-sponsored by the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Health.