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June 2020 • Newsletter

This has been a unique time in history for us with many things slowing down or pausing for the protection of public health. But in the midst of all this, development in Surprise has continued to flourish, and there are some exciting things to look forward to.

For the foodies in the city, we have a new ice cream shop, Handel’s Ice Cream, and Mexican restaurant, Mr. Mesquite Taqueria in the Prasada / Loop 303 corridor. A Starbucks is also set to open in the area.

Costco continues to move forward with a newly advertised opening timeline of this fall. I know that many of you are excited for the doors to open, and it won’t be long now!

Our city’s first microhospital is hiring and almost ready to open. Abrazo Surprise Hospital expands our city’s ability to care for community health – something we deeply understand the need for during this time.

A second Legacy Traditional School is under construction in the city at the northwest corner of Cotton Lane and Cactus Road, adjacent to the city’s first luxury resort-style community, Sterling Grove by Toll Brothers! Education is an important foundation for a sustainable community, and we are lucky to have quality options for our children here in Surprise.

City Center also has some big projects in the pipeline. Several new multi-family residential projects are in process, including a new housing facility for the Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team. The facility will be built north of Greenway Road and east of Bullard Avenue. Now, both the Royals and Rangers will have a home here year-round. Plus, a new Springhill Suites Marriott is under review in City Center.

Additionally, Mera City Center Apartments is under construction on Greenway Road. This development is a resort-style, 55+ active adult community. My office received several concerns once City Council approved the site plan so I wanted to take this opportunity to elaborate on it. The City Center Planned Area Development (PAD) allows this type of development. The PAD was approved by Council on January 11, 2001 which was long before any of the current Council served on City Council. City Council cannot arbitrarily deny a project that is in compliance with zoning and all other development requirements. This project complied with all zoning and city development regulations and standards, therefore, it was approved.

In the Surprise Rail Plex industrial district, 36,000 square feet of flexible storefront industrial, retail and office space was just completed, growing options for commercial and industrial businesses.

The wide range of development happening across the city right now shows that we are maturing, growing and able to support an exciting mix of new projects.

When the Census wraps up this year, we are aiming to have a complete count of our population. The data from the Census helps businesses decide where to locate. It’s just one of the many reasons that it’s important to fill out the survey. If you haven’t already, please take it online at www.my2020census.gov. You can also call 844-330-2020 or send in the paper form that was mailed to you.

New businesses aren’t the only thing we are celebrating right now. Our Economic Development team has been hosting Virtual Ribbon Cuttings to help local businesses get the word out that they have reopened. When you support your local restaurants and retail stores, you not only help keep unique offerings here in Surprise, you also create local jobs and keep tax dollars at home where they can be used for parks, street maintenance, police and fire-medical.

Little by little, we are returning to some sort of normalcy with our events as well. I am happy to say that the city will feature a 20-minute fireworks display on July 4 beginning at 8:40 p.m. The display will be staged in the area around Bullard Avenue and Paradise Lane. While we share in our community’s excitement to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s important to do so responsibly. As a result of COVID-19 concerns, this year’s Fourth of July Celebration will be greatly modified in an effort to avoid mass gatherings and maintain physical distancing, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

I am proud to be the mayor of a city that understands the importance of community and the value of supporting each other. As we look forward, remember to be kind and think safe, Surprise. We will return stronger than ever!

May 2020 • Newsletter

Governor Doug Ducey announced a new Executive Order amending the Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order. In short, the Governor plans to continue to put public health first and proceed with a step-by-step approach to reenergize our economy guided by facts and health officials. Some of the key provisions of Executive Order 2020-33 – Returning Stronger include extending a revised “Stay Home, Stay Healthy Stay Connected Order” until May 15, 2020; retail businesses opened following specific guidance in the order:

  • Offer the sale of goods curbside, walk-up, and/or in-store by appointment only starting Monday, May 4
  • Offer in-store sale of goods after establishing and implementing protocols and best practices to address COVID-19 beginning Friday, May 8.

For more details, please see the Governor’s press release: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/04/updated-guidance-arizonans-businesses

On May 4, following continued positive data trends, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order allowing cosmetologists and barber shops to resume appointment-based services this Friday, May 8 and restaurants and coffee shops to resume dine-in services with physical distancing measures on Monday, May 11. The Governor’s Office also released additional guidelines to keep customers and employees safe.

For more details, please see the Governor’s press release: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/05/governor-ducey-issues-updated-guidance-restaurants-coffee-shops-barbers-and

In anticipation of Governor Doug Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” Executive Order expiring May 15, the city 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

Budget FY21 built with flexibility in mind

The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) City Manager Recommended Budget, with a focus on flexibility amid the to-be-determined economic impacts of COVID-19, is available online for public viewing.

The Finance Department presented the budget to City Council at their April 21st Work Session.

The FY2021 recommended expenditure budget is $388.3 million, with transfers of $40.7 million, for total use $429 million. This amount sets the ceiling for how much the city has the authority to spend.

The city will continue to monitor future COVID-19 related financial impacts and adjust the budget as needed to deliver a balanced budget, as required by state statute.

The recommended budget includes $111.2 million for planned Capital Improvement Projects. This includes $40.7 million to begin voter-approved 2017 GO Bond projects including, Greenway Road; Fire Station 308; and the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center. $31.2 million will fund critical water and sewer projects.

The budget also includes three full-time employees to support water reclamation and collections services and 1.5 employees to support fleet operations. These positions have no new impacts to the General Fund.

The budget process kicked off in October 2019 and a budget retreat was held on March 27, 2020. The FY2021 budget forecast developed between October and February was revised as a result of the Presidential National Emergency Declaration issued on March 13, 2020. Learn more about this in the story below.

A public hearing and Council’s Tentative Budget adoption was held at the May 5 Regular Council Meeting; with final budget adoption scheduled for the June 2 meeting. These public meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are carried live on Surprise TV and online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. You can also follow the budget process and see the City Manager’s Recommended Budget at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City prepares for COVID-19 financial impacts in current budget

While revenues have exceeded budget estimates for the first eight months of current Fiscal Year 2020, the tax data for March through June are months away from being released by the state.

These are the months we expect to be among the most impacted by COVID-19 business closures, event cancelations and service reductions. Our Finance Department will monitor the numbers closely to keep our budget balanced through the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2020.

The City Manager has already authorized some cost-controlling measures. They include:

  • A hiring freeze on non-critical vacant positions;
  • Reduced city department operating budgets;
  • Furlough of some part-time seasonal and part-time temporary employees

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impacts to public assembly and our budget, all recreation programming and events are suspended or closed until further notice. This includes summer camps, youth and adult sports leagues and camps, swim lessons, swim teams, open swim and large gatherings such as 4th of July.

All recreation centers, parks and recreation office, and aquatics facilities remain closed to the public until further notice. The city’s libraries, operated by Maricopa County Library District, also remain closed. They do offer online eMedia options and a new curbside pick-up program at Northwest Regional Library. Learn more at https://mcldaz.org.

Surprise parks, walking paths and open space remain open to the public; and fishing is allowed at the Surprise Community Park Lake. Physical distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control apply in these areas.

Some playground amenities remain closed until further notice: playground equipment, splash pads, restrooms, basketball courts, and skate park.

Our budget strategy will allow us, if needed, to identify future service reductions, and additional furloughs for those employees whose daily work will be significantly impacted by additional program suspensions.

We also have the flexibility in place to re-open some amenities, if the negative impacts to the budget are less than anticipated and public health guidelines allow.

Veterans Reflection Circle wins national and state awards

The city of Surprise Veterans Reflection Circle has been selected as an American Public Works Association (APWA) Public Works Project of the Year for 2020, as well as the APWA Arizona Chapter Project of the Year, in the category of Structures that cost less than $5 Million.

The Veterans Refection Circle is an outdoor garden and reflection space that was dedicated on November 11, 2019 in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini.

Mancini spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. The Veterans Reflection Circle is located in the Surprise Community Park (next to the fishing lake) at 16089 N. Bullard Ave. The site was selected as a tribute to Mancini’s love of nature, fishing and quiet self-reflection. These were important components to the non-medicinal healing philosophy he shared at his nonprofit Honor House – a place where wounded veterans can go for therapy and counseling. The space pays tribute to Mancini and his legacy by telling his story and providing a place for veterans to reflect, find healing and feel the community’s deep appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

The design for the Veterans Reflection Circle was completed at no cost to the city by local design companies Logan Simpson and WERK. The generosity and heart of these firms inspired the idea to invite members of the construction and landscape communities to become partners in honoring our veterans by donating products and services to help bring this incredible project to life.

The city shares these awards with the following partners who contributed to the project:

82 Bravo Land Survey & Mapping, Ace Sandblasting, Airpark Signs, Allstate Rent-a-Fence, Arizona Wholesale, Atwater Construction, Castle Steel, Cox Cactus Farms, DBA Construction, EarthScapes, Elite Waste Services, Evergreen Turf, Ewing Irrigation, Excel Screen Printing, Felix Construction, Granite Express, Hawkeye Electric, Haydon Building Corp., Honor House, Hauser Engineering Group, Kilauea Crushers, Lowe’s, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, Natina Products, Nesbitt Construction Contracting, Outdoor Systems Management, Premier Irrigation, RC Lurie, Rummel Construction, Straight Arrow Construction, Sunrise Nursery, Triton Boulder Supply, Weinberger Waste Disposal, Wright Engineering.

For more information about the Veterans Reflection Circle project and Brian Mancini, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/vrc.

The City’s Water Resource Management department receives multiple 2020 AZ Water Association Awards

The AZ Water Association awards recognize members, facilities and projects that have excelled throughout the year.

Surprise Lead Water Operator Ryan Hime has been recognized as the 2020 Water Operator of the Year-Large System. Recipients in the operation leader category are awarded based on their significant contributions to the water/wastewater industry and to AZ Water.

Maris Adams, SCADA Systems Supervisor, is the recipient of the Technology Professional of the Year – Large Systems. This award recognizes an individual for their notable service to the AZ Water Association in the categories pertaining to water, wastewater, collections and distribution.

The city also received safety awards for the following water resource facilities:

  • Mountain Vista PWS (2 awards)
  • Surprise WRF – SPA1
  • Surprise SPA 2 WRF5

Watch the 2020 State of the City Video

Following an April 15 live premiere, the 2020 State of the City video is now available for on-demand replay. The video looks at significant achievements that have transformed our city and celebrates the progress we have made over the past six decades – as Surprise turns 60 this year!

Watch the video here: https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/shows/state-of-the-city

The video will also replay on the Cox 11 and Century Link 8513 cable channels at select times. See the schedule here: https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/schedule

April 2020 • Newsletter

Fellow Residents of Surprise,

We have seen a lot of change in the past few weeks. We went from handshakes and high fives, sports games and festivals, to maintaining six feet of social distancing, cancellations of events and programs, and the closure of schools and many city buildings. I know that all of this COVID-19-related change, on top of concerns about your health, can be very stressful. I want to assure you that the city is mindful of the impact on our residents and our businesses, and we are working tirelessly to ensure that city services are maintained and our community is cared for.

Public health and safety continue to be our top priority, and communication is key in that. That’s why the city has developed a one-stop resource for COVID-19 information on our Surpriseaz.gov website. If you haven’t visited it already, please take a moment to see what information is available to you. There are updates on changes to city business processes, contacts to connect with city services and links to trusted information on the COVID-19 virus.

Community vitality and economic security are also significant priorities, and we have assembled a team to work on support resources for our residents and businesses. The city’s Economic Development department has created a COVID-19 Business and Workforce Resources webpage to provide a comprehensive, one-stop spot for residents and businesses to receive information.

The page can be accessed off the city’s COVID-19 webpage and includes recommendations on how consumers can continue to support local businesses; a list of restaurants in Surprise providing takeout and delivery services; links to financial support for businesses through organizations like the Small Business Association and Arizona Commerce Authority; connections for job seekers, and more.

We have also developed a webpage dedicated to human service needs during this difficult time – whether you are in need of assistance or looking to serve your community. This COVID-19 Community Care webpage includes information about free meals for seniors and access to free essentials like food and diapers. It also provides details on opportunities to donate needed supplies, help our seniors with grocery shopping, or be a phone pal during this time of isolation.

I am already so encouraged by the stories I’m hearing of volunteerism and human kindness; the ways the community has come together. There is joy to be found in the gratitude I see pouring out of people for first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks and others who are working overtime to provide the essential services we need. Recently, a home in Marley Park decorated their trash bins with colorful, handmade posters to thank their sanitation truck driver. It was a simple, but beautiful gesture of appreciation. While this is a time to be serious about stopping the spread of COVID-19, it’s also a time to get serious about spreading love to our neighbors – and you are really shining at that, Surprise.

On April 15, I invite you to tune into a video premiere of our State of the City at 6 p.m. We’ll take a look at significant achievements that have transformed our city and celebrate the progress we have made over the past six decades – as Surprise turns 60 this year!

The State of the City video premiere will be carried live on Surprise TV, online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, and via Facebook LIVE on the City of Surprise Facebook page. If you are unable to tune into the premiere, the video will be rebroadcast on Surprise TV and will be available for viewing on the Surprise TV website.

This live video premiere replaces the State of the City Celebration that was planned for March 26 at City Hall, but canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

As our community faces unprecedented challenges during this time, I feel it is important to deliver this message of where we’ve been and who we are – united, strong and resilient.

I am proud to be your mayor, and I am here for you if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at mayor@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1300.

We will get through this together!

Sincerely,

Mayor Skip Hall

COVID-19 Special Report Video

With so much change and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Mayor Hall sat down with staff to talk about how the city is working hard to preserve public health, support our vulnerable populations, and maintain essential city services.

Community inquires helped to shape the questions he asked, so thank you for reaching out, Surprise.

Mayor Hall Declares Local State of Emergency in Surprise

In consultation with members of the Surprise City Council, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Skip Hall announced a State of Emergency for the city of Surprise today in an effort to preserve public health.  

Effective 5 p.m. this evening, city facilities will be closed to 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.

“My top concern is protecting the health and safety of our employees, residents, and visitors,” said Mayor Skip Hall. “This proclamation is an important step that gives our City Manager the authority to respond quickly during this rapidly changing time.”

The city has already canceled city-sponsored events, programs and sports through May 10, and changed how public comment is taken at City Council and Planning and Zoning Meetings, accommodating remote participation. With the closing of city facilities to the public, limited staff will be on site and other staff will be telecommuting.

The following city facilities will be closed to the public for walk-in services. Select services may be available by appointment:

  • City Hall (including service counters for: City Clerk, Cashier, Development Services)
  • Fire Administration 
  • AZ TechCelerator
  • Senior Center (meal delivery and pick-up will continue)
  • Parks & Recreation Offices
  • Aquatic Center
  • Tennis & Racquet Complex
  • Countryside Recreation Center 
  • Sierra Montana Recreation Center
  • Villanueva Recreation Center

Doors will remain open at the following facilities, but with suspended or limited services so as to reduce public walk-in traffic:

  • Police Department
  • Fire Stations (non-emergency visits are prohibited)
  • City Court 
  • Surprise Resource Center (open for drop off and pick-up only)

The city has also closed the following facilities within its parks to curb gatherings; skate park, pickleball courts, splash pads, and dog parks.

City libraries are managed by Maricopa County Library District and are also closed to the public. 

Please contact the city by phone or email for assistance:

  • City Clerk – clerk@surpriseaz.gov / 623.222.1200 (Passport services have been suspended until further notice)
  • City Court – municipalcourt@surpriseaz.gov / 623.222.4800
  • City Manager – 623.222.1100
  • Community Development / Development Center – 623.222.3000
  • Economic Development – 623.222.3300
  • Fire-Medical – Emergency 9-1-1, Non-Emergency 623.222.5000
  • Human Resources – hr@surpriseaz.gov / 623.222.3500
  • Human Service & Community Vitality – 623.222.1500
  • Marketing & Communications – 623.222.1431
  • Mayor & City Council – 623.222.1300
  • Parks & Recreation – recreation@surpriseaz.gov / 623.222.2000
  • Police – Emergency 9-1-1, Non-Emergency 623.222.4000
  • Public Works – 623.222.1900
  • Utility Payment – www.surpriseaz.gov/payments /  623.222.1900, Option 1
  • Water Resource Management – 623.222.1900

For general questions, please call 623.222.1900. The city’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov is also a great resource for connecting with staff.

All of the city’s actions are in an effort to comply with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Arizona Department of Health Services.

The city reminds residents that, as of March 18, 2020, the following recommendations have been issued by public health authorities and are also recommended by the city of Surprise to best protect our community:

  • Restaurants, bars and dining establishments in Maricopa County should discourage dine-in traffic. Provide curbside pick-up or drive-through service instead. (UPDATE: Governor Ducey has issued an Executive Order that requires restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to provide dine-out options only, and that all bars in those counties close. This also applies to movie theaters and gyms. It is effective close of business Friday, March 20. To assist in mitigating the financial consequences of restaurant closures, the Executive Order also allows restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages with the purchase of food. Additionally, the Governor’s directive allows manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to buy back unopened products from restaurants, bars and clubs. See full order here: https://bit.ly/2Ur03ae)
  • Cancel or postpone gatherings of 10 or more people.
  •  Use telework and other alternatives when available.
  • Increase hygiene and sanitation. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • If someone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home and contact your medical provider.

Details on event and program cancellations, public meeting remote comment, and ways to conduct city business during this time are available on the city’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19.

To read the Mayor’s Declaration of Emergency, click here

For information on the COVID-19 virus, please visit cdc.gov for a national perspective, and azdhs.gov for Arizona information.

A Message from Mayor Hall

Fellow Residents of Surprise,

As the world and our community face ongoing concerns about the spread and impact of COVID-19, I want to assure you that the City of Surprise is working diligently to protect the health and safety of our community.

You may have noticed that we’re changing the way we’re doing things; this isn’t out of panic, but out of precaution. Your health and safety are of the highest importance to the City Council and City Management team, and we are committed to following the advice of national and local agencies to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Yesterday, we announced the cancelation or postponement of all city-sponsored events, programs and sports until May 10. Tonight, public comment at our City Council meeting will look a little different with new remote comment options in place.

You will likely see more changes in the coming days and weeks as we work to address this evolving situation. What won’t change is our commitment to keeping our city running smoothly. Please be assured that core city services will not be affected, including fire-medical, police, trash and water.

Everything we are doing is out of an abundance of caution and under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and county public health authorities; everything we are doing is in an effort to reduce the spread of the illness and keep our community safe.

Right now, we don’t have any reported cases of COVID-19 in Surprise, and with healthy practices in place, we can help protect each other.

If you haven’t looked at the CDC’s guidance on prevention, please take a few minutes to visit www.cdc.gov. You can do your part to respond to this public health threat by cleaning your hands often, staying home if you are sick, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding close contact and large gatherings.

You can also do your part by being caring and compassionate to your neighbors. If someone is in need, offer to help them. Get connected to Nextdoor or HOA social media groups and look out for one another.

As this situation evolves, updates will be shared on www.surpriseaz.gov and the city’s social media channels. If you would like to have city news delivered right to your inbox, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/notifyme and sign up for “Current News Releases”.

During this time of uncertainty, one thing is certain – Surprise is a community that cares for one another, and I am proud to be part of it.

Sincerely,

Mayor Skip Hall

March 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor updates. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at https://mayor.surpriseaz.gov/. Please follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/SkipHallD5), Twitter (@SkipHall2), and Instagram (@SkipforSurprise).

Census 2020 Starts This Month

Census 2020 is here and for the first time in the history of the U.S. Census you will be able to respond online!

Between March 12-20, you 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.

The information you provide on the Census counts for jobs, new roads, emergency services and more! Learn additional reasons why you should take the Census and view commonly asked questions at surpriseaz.gov/Census2020.

Dedication of Ottawa University’s New Buildings

February 21 was a special day in Surprise as City Council helped dedicate three new OUAZ buildings – the O’Dell Center, OUAZ Student Union and Scholars Hall! The new buildings and amenities, coupled with OUAZ’s world-class education, are sure to bring more vitality and award-winning talent to Surprise City Center.

Texas Rangers Player Housing Ribbon Cutting

Rangers Village in Surprise City Center is officially open! Surprise City Council joined the Texas Rangers for the official ribbon cutting on Friday, February 21. The 68,280 square foot facility provides year-round housing for up to 180 Texas Rangers organizational players and staff. Thanks to the Rangers for their continued commitment to Surprise!

Surprise City Council, Rick Davis and Texas Rangers staff hold scissors in preparation of the ribbon cutting.

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

We welcomed Spring Training back to Surprise during the Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon on February 14. We spent a wonderful afternoon at Surprise Stadium learning about what’s in store for the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals ball clubs this season.

If you haven’t been to a Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium, then you are striking out! Surprise Stadium has several promotions on tickets, food and drinks for families, military, and residents of Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, El Mirage and Waddell.

Tickets are available online and in person by visiting the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For a complete list of scheduled games, special events and ticket options, please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com.

Surprise Retail Survey

Have you taken the Surprise Retail Survey yet? Your input helps the city identify retail strengths within the community, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Every response helps the Surprise Economic Development Department better reach the retailers you want the most.

It’s important to us that we attract businesses you want, because the money you spend here, stays here. In fact, local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of our city’s General Fund revenues which support public safety, clean parks and street maintenance.

The Surprise Retail Survey runs through March 15 and is available online at surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications

The city of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) – a group of impactful teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including the Mayor and City Council, to give youth a voice in city issues and to help solve youth issues through awareness campaigns, service projects, and community-building events.

Students who are currently in grades 7-11 may apply, as long as they are attending a middle school or high school within the Surprise city limits, attending a Dysart Unified School District high school, or reside within Surprise city limits.

For questions or more information, please contact Lord Garcillano at 623.222.1035 or lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/syc.

Budget Talks

The City of Surprise FY2021 budget building process is underway. A series of presentations to Council will take place over the next few months. The recommended budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by public review and a final adoption in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process. You can watch previous preservations at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Babe Ruth League registration open; volunteer coaches needed

Surprise is now offering registration for the West Valley Babe Ruth Baseball League! Both individual and team registration is available; league play begins in late April.

Resident and non-resident registration will be held through March 20 at the Parks & Recreation Office, located at 15960 N Bullard Ave. Registration is also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

We are in need of volunteer coaches for the 13-15 Babe Ruth Division! If you are interested, stop by the Parks & Recreation Office to complete a volunteer application. For more information, please contact Jason Bond at 623.222.2238 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Highlights

Expanded Surprise Resource Center Hours

The city’s one-stop-shop for social services has expanded its evening hours. The Surprise Resource Center has extended its closing hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The new hours are: Monday & Tuesday: 8 a.m – 5 p.m.; Wednesday & Thursday: – 8 a.m – 7 p.m.; Friday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Through strategic partnerships with a growing number of community-based organizations and government agencies, the center offers Surprise and Northwest Valley residents connections to human services that include everything from rent and utility assistance to employment support to food and nutrition resources.

The Surprise Resource Center is located within the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 124. For more information about the Surprise Resource Center, including a list of programs and partners, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ResourceCenter.

Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Johnston Retires

Surprise Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Darrell Johnston retired in February after 30 years of fire service. It was my honor to present him with an Employee Appreciation Proclamation at our February 18 Regular Council Meeting. Thank you Chief Johnston for your dedication, leadership and service!

Mayor Hall stands with Surprise Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Darrell Johnston in the council chambers.

Coming Up

State of the City

The Surprise City Council invites you to attend the 2020 State of the City video presentation and 60th Anniversary Celebration on March 26 from 6-8 p.m.! We’ll take a look at significant achievements that have transformed our city and celebrate the progress we have made over the past 60 years.

Following the video presentation, city council will reveal a new history wall that tells the story of Surprise from founding day to modern day. This artistic mix of story and photograph is a must-see art piece.

After the reveal, we invite you to stroll the courtyard and city hall for a showcase of the city’s programs and services, including police and fire vehicle displays! We also have live entertainment planned, with performers from some of our local schools and city-run specialty classes. Plus, we’ll have free desserts and finger foods.

Get more information at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC. We hope to see you there!

Mayor Hall speaks at the 2019 State of the City event.

Baseball Art & Collectables Exhibit

If you love baseball memorabilia, you’ll want to swing by city hall for the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” art reception! The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has a collection of baseball art and collectibles on display, as well as a few fun pieces from other sports.

The exhibit is in the Surprise City Hall art gallery and Mayor’s Atrium, 16000 Civic Center Dr., and runs through April 23. A free reception will be held Thursday, March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Come enjoy sports-themed artwork; historic, autographed Sports Illustrated covers; replica jackets; historic artifacts; and light refreshments.

Residential Waste Cleanup Event on March 14

Now is the time to prune your landscape and clean out your garage! The city’s annual Spring Cleanup Event is on Saturday, March 14.

Surprise residents are permitted to 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, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a limit of one load per household.

Acceptable items include lawn waste and other household refuse.

Remember, you will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and utility bill showing the same home address.

For more information about the Spring Cleanup Event, call the Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.1900, or visit surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

Surprise offers Household Hazardous Waste Collection events to help protect the environment by properly disposing items which may contain harmful chemicals. Scheduling will begin on March 9. Residents are able to request an appointment through the My Surprise app, or by calling Customer Service at 623.222.1920. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent. I encourage you to take advantage of this free collection service!

Teen College Tours

Surprise Parks and Recreation has scheduled field trips to several Arizona universities for teens ages 13-18. Teens can sign up to tour the campuses of the University of Arizona (March 16), Arizona State University (March 17), Grand Canyon University (March 20) and Northern Arizona University (April 24). Spots are limited. Learn more at surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

Spend an afternoon enjoying delicious food and listening to live music at the March 29 Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival! Southbound will perform (Country/Southern Rock) while you enjoy a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of beer and wine. This family-friendly event will also have various yard games, inflatables and face painting. Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed.

A woman places an order at a Sunday in the Park food truck.

Public Art Bus Tour

Join us on April 18 for a Public Art Bus Tour to view the “Cowgirl Up!” Exhibition at Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg! The bus departs from City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, at 11 a.m. and returns at approximately 3 p.m. The bus ride is free; participants must pay the $9 museum entrance fee. Reserve your seat by calling 623.214.7537

Festival of the Arts at Valley Vista High School

On March 28, the Dysart Unified School District will be holding the second annual Dysart Festival of the Arts. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Valley Vista High School. This event will showcase the visual and performing arts programs from all twenty elementary schools and four high schools in the Dysart Unified School District.

The Dysart Arts Festival will be a day jam packed with performances on multiple stages to include various dance troops, theatre troops, choirs and bands. The elementary and high school visual arts programs will be hosting two showcases to include both 2D and 3D pieces. Learn more about the Festival of the Arts.

Egg-Stravaganza

The City of Surprise invites interested outreach organizations, promotional vendors and local businesses to participate in the Spring Egg-stravaganza! The event will take place Saturday, April 11, from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue.

Spring Egg-stravaganza is a free event featuring fun for the whole family. The event will feature inflatables, face painting, a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Bunny and a series of egg hunts filled with fun toys and treats.

For more information, please contact Special Events at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents to download the vendor application.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, March 17, as well as Tuesday, April 7. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

February 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up for Mayor updates. It is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me at skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at https://mayor.surpriseaz.gov/. Please follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/SkipHallD5), Twitter (@SkipHall2), and Instagram (@SkipforSurprise).

New Vice Mayor

District 6 Councilmember Chris Judd was voted the city’s newest Vice Mayor during the Regular City Council Meeting on January 21, 2020. Vice Mayor Judd was elected to City Council in the August 2018 Primary Election to serve a four-year term beginning January 1, 2019. Congratulations, Vice Mayor Judd on your newest role!

Councilmember Chris Judd swears in as Vice Mayor.

Spring Training

The 18th Annual Surprise Spring Training season will kick off on Friday, February 21, at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. The first game of the season will feature Surprise’s home teams, the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Tickets are available online and in person by visiting the Surprise Stadium Box Office. For a complete list of scheduled games, special events and ticket options, please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com.

Asante Library Grand Opening

The City of Surprise and Maricopa County Library District are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Asante Library, 16755 W. Vereda Solana Drive. The Asante Library is the city’s third library and brings services closer to the northern area of Surprise. This 10,000 square foot space offers beautiful views of Asante Community Park and the White Tank Mountains. The library features self-check kiosks, a multipurpose room, public access to computers and much more. The normal operating hours will be Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Budget Kick off

The City of Surprise FY2021 budget building process has begun. A series of presentations to Council will take place over the next few months. The recommended budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by public review and a final adoption in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process.

Police Promotions

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony to recognize three individuals who have excelled in their positions and demonstrate daily what our PD stands for. Sergeant Timothy Klarkowski has been promoted to Lieutenant after serving on the department since 2007. Officers John Wiehn and Joshua Waldeck have both been promoted to Sergeant. Sgt. Wiehn joined the department in 2012, while Sgt. Waldeck began his career in 2007. Congratulations to all! A special thank you to all of our public safety employees for keeping our city safe!

Sterling Grove Tour

I had the privilege to be interviewed by Fox 10’s Troy Hayden while Senior Vice President of Toll Brothers, Kevin Rosinski, gave us a tour of the beautiful Sterling Grove model homes and golf course. Thank you to Troy Hayden for visiting Surprise. I look forward to the growth that Sterling Grove will bring to our city.

State of the State

I was honored to attend Opening Session at the State Capitol, followed by the Governor’s State of the State address in the House Chamber on Monday, January 13, with Councilmember Chris Judd. Thank you to Senator Rick Gray for the invitation and your hospitality.

West Valley Mayors joined other elected officials and community leaders at Governor Doug Ducey’s West Valley State of the State Luncheon January 15.

Free Tax Preparation

The Human Services and Community Vitality Department has partnered with A New Leaf to offer free tax preparation services to benefit individuals and families with low to moderate income. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers IRS trained and certified volunteers to assist households that make less than $56,000 annually. VITA sites offer free tax preparation and assist taxpayers to apply for benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Tax preparation assistance will be available until April 14 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. No appointment is necessary. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call 623-222-1600.

Highlights

MLK Day of Service and Celebration

The City of Surprise hosted its 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service. The program kicked off with a celebration of Dr. King’s life which included a variety of local musicians, performers and keynote speaker, Kenja Hassan, Director of Cultural Relations in ASU’s Office of Government and Community Engagement. I would like to thank Lisa Gray for attending on behalf of Congresswoman Lesko’s Office, Arizona State Senator and Majority Leader Rick Gray and State Representative Kevin Payne for joining us. Following the celebration, hundreds of residents volunteered and participated in service projects. I am humbled by the city pride that was displayed as we all joined together to benefit the community.

ACA Spelling Bee

I was a judge for the spelling bee at Arizona Charter Academy. For the last few years, I have been asked to participate with some fellow leaders from Surprise. Spending time with the students and administrators is something I look forward to every January. Thank you for inviting me, and congratulations to the winning students!

Mayor Hall and Arizona Charter Academy spelling bee winners: Jaedyn Hardy, Anais Burgher and Evalina Valencia.
(Pictured left to right: Jaedyn Hardy-2nd place, Anais Burgher-3rd place, Evalina Valencia-1st place)

Toll Brother Ribbon Cutting

Toll Brothers opened the gates to their newest development, Sterling Grove. This picturesque community covers almost 800 acres and will offer 13 model homes to choose from. There will be three pools, tennis and pickleball courts, lakes, an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and much more. Sterling Grove is located on Cactus Road, just west of Cotton Lane.

Surprise City Council and Toll Brothers developers cut a grand opening ribbon.

Coming Up

Surprise City Academy

The Surprise City Academy is an eight-session academy that offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager and more. You will also learn about local partners, including Ottawa University and West-MEC. The Surprise City Academy begins on February 24 and will meet weekly through April 6. It is free to participate, however, space is limited! Registration is due no later than February 17. For the online application and more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy.

Surprise Spring Training 5K

The 3rd Annual Spring Training 5K/1K will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. This evening fun run will take you on a scenic city route before heading to the ballpark. All runners will receive a Jimmy John’s Spring Training Race shirt, finisher medal and a buy one get one free coupon for select sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. Early registration is now open and offers discounted rates. Please visit www.SurpriseStadium.com/events for more information and registration forms.

2020 College Baseball Classic

The Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic will take place at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, from February 14-17. Residents will have the opportunity to watch featured teams battle over the course of three days. Please visit https://www.surprisestadium.com/events/college-baseball for a complete schedule, ticket pricing and special offers.

Senior Sweetheart Dance

The Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, is hosting a Sweetheart Dance on Friday, February 14. Seniors are invited to enjoy lunch, live music and dancing from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission is $5 for members and $7 for non-members. If you have any questions, please call 623-222-1500.

Artisan Treasures Food Truck & Handmade Market

Wood & Me Custom Creations will be hosting an artisan fair on Saturday, February 15 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This event will feature over 150 local artists and vendors! Admission is free with a donation of three non-perishable food items. If you would like a sneak peek at some of the items that will be featured, please visit www.woodnme.com.

Teen Rec Night

The Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N. Spring Lane, will be holding Sports Night Rec Nights for teens in grades 6-8 on Friday, February 21, from 7-10 p.m. This is a great opportunity for youth to bring their friends to hang out while listening to the hottest new music, laser light show, games and more. Admission is $5 per person and concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/2442/Events-Activities.

Chiles and Chocolate

AZ Humanities Speaker Series presents Chiles and Chocolate on Tuesday, February 25, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Come by to listen to the rich and savory history of chiles and chocolate while exploring how early people used them and helped spread them to all corners of the world.

Lunch & Learn

The AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road Building D, is offering a Lunch & Learn session on getting the most out of Facebook. Facebook can get complicated with constant updates, new options, format changes and more. Join residents on Thursday, February 27, from 12-1 p.m. for this information packed session on the latest trends, when/how often you should be posting, how to tap into your existing followers and much more. Registration is required by visiting https://www.aztechcelerator.com/events/event-details?occurrenceID=85.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

The City of Surprise offers Household Hazardous Waste Collection events to help protect the environment by properly disposing items which may contain harmful chemicals. Scheduling will begin on March 9. Residents are able to request an appointment through the My Surprise app, or call Customer Service at 623-222-1920. For a complete list of acceptable items, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3399/Household-Hazardous-Waste. I encourage you to take advantage of this free collection service!

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, February 18, as well as Tuesday, March 3. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.