Category Archives: Newsletters

May 2022 • Newsletter

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, 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and Twitter @SkipHall2.

New Multigenerational Community Resource Center

An artist rendering of a community resource center.The City of Surprise is making a major investment into the vitality and well-being of the West Valley with plans to build a multigenerational community resource center in partnership with Maricopa County.

On April 5, Council voted to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Maricopa County for the $26 million building project. On April 6, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to also approve the IGA, dedicating $18 million of their federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding toward the project. The City is committing $8 million from a combination of City ARPA funds and General Fund dollars.

This partnership will create an estimated 38-thousand square-foot center on City-owned land in Surprise’s historic Original Town Site. The new campus will improve resources for families, seniors, youth and vulnerable populations by centralizing and expanding programs and services from several aging city buildings, including the Surprise Resource Center, Hollyhock Library and Surprise Senior Center.

This is an amazing project that will truly serve the well-being of our local community in new and expanded ways. Currently, we are turning away program and partner opportunities due to our lack of space. This opportunity is the perfect solution.

The new community resource center will allow the County and City to expand health and wellness, workforce development and housing and homelessness benefit assistance; while also offering senior services, library services, Veteran Services and after-school and summer youth programming.

The campus will be at the corner of Hollyhock Street and Santa Fe Drive, will be built on shovel-ready land and should be completed by 2025. It is the perfect complement to the investment and growth already existing in the area, which includes a youth ballfield, recreation center and city pool, along with the Housing Authority of Maricopa County’s permanent supportive family housing development and planned affordable senior housing development.

Roadway Restrictions for Utility Work

Litchfield Road, from Peoria Avenue to Waddell Road, will have lane restrictions beginning April 19 as Southwest Gas works to install a gas pipeline. The work is expected to be completed in September 2022.

Work will begin on Litchfield Road at Peoria Avenue and work toward Waddell Road throughout the duration of the project. Traffic will be shifted away from the work area, maintaining at least one lane of traffic in both directions. Left turns may be restricted.

Work will take place during daytime hours, Monday thru Saturday; however, traffic control will stay in place even during non-work hours to protect the work zone. Business and resident access will be maintained. This effort is part of a larger pipeline replacement project, so crews may need to return at a later date to make final connections.

For additional information, contact the Southwest Gas project hotline at 602.532.6100.

Northwest Regional Library Opening Sundays

A little girl looks for a library book.The City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library District are opening Northwest Regional Library on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., beginning Sunday, May 15.

Northwest Regional is located in the Surprise Recreation Campus at 16089 N. Bullard Ave. Hours are currently Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The facility features a special teen area, magazines, newspapers, a popular Best-Seller browsing section and a comfortable reading area with a gorgeous view of the lake.

Visit surpriseaz.gov/library and click on Northwest or call 602.652.3000 for more information.

USTA Tennis Competition in Surprise

Surprise will welcome the return of top-tiered United States Tennis Association (USTA) competition from around the country at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex this April and May.

USTA National Level II Girls’ 18’s • May 21 – 24
The junior competition returns to Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex with the arrival of the 2022 USTA National Level 2 Girls’ 18’s Championships.

The singles draw consists of 64 nationally ranked players and 32 teams for doubles. Tournament & Match Information: USTA National Level II Events

All matches will take place at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex located at 14469 W. Paradise Ln. Admission is free for spectators.

Please note, that open court availability may be limited or not available due to tournaments and other special events. For information on open court availability and tennis programs, please contact the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex at 623.222.2400.

Arizona History and Culture Virtual Speaker Series

Arizona History and Culture speaker series.Experience stories of Arizona history and culture at upcoming speaker events presented by the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities. Local experts from Arizona Humanities’ AZ Speaks program will present on the following topics:

Saviors and Saints on the Arizona Frontiers (Speaker: Jan Cleere)
June 8 • 11 a.m. – Noon
Register here

Bisbee: The Alchemical City of Copper Borderlands (Speaker: Virgil Hancock)
October 11 • 11 a.m. – Noon
Register here

The events are free, but registration is required by visiting the links above. These virtual events are not run by the City of Surprise and the security of the online platform has not been validated by the City.

For more information, please contact the Human Service & Community Vitality Department at 623.222.3243.

Highlights

Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Presentation

During the Spring Training game on Sunday, April 3, Councilmember Winters, Councilmember Judd, Councilmember Duffy and I joined the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission as they inducted the following individuals into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame.

  • Charlie Woodland (former Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission member)
  • Kevin Uhlich (Previous Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Kansas City Royals)
  • Mike Swanson (Previous VP of Communications and Broadcasting for the Kansas City Royals)
  • Andrew Benintendi, Michael A. Taylor and Salvador Perez (Current Kansas City Royals Players)
Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission and Surprise City Council.

Water Awareness Proclamation

Mayor Hall presents a proclamation to a representative of the City's Water Resources Department.At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 5, I proclaimed April as Water Awareness Month in Surprise joining the annual statewide campaign to help raise awareness about the value of conserving water in the Southwest.

Luke Air Force Base Airmen

On Monday, April 4, Vice Mayor Aly Cline, Councilmember Judd, City Manager Bob Wingenroth and I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with a few of the Luke Air Force Base Airmen at a spring training game for a “home run” day at the Ballpark. Thank you to the Surprise Economic Development Department for inviting us to such a wonderful event.

Surprise City Council and Luke Air Force Airmen at Surprise Stadium.

KIDZ Jamboree!

Friday, April 8, the City of Surprise Human Service & Community Vitality Department hosted KIDZ Jamboree!, a fun event for the little ones. This was for 0 to 5-year-olds to celebrate the Week of the Young Child. The kids enjoyed games, crafts, music and even story time with The Cat in the Hat, a.k.a, Vice Mayor Aly Cline!

Fair Housing Proclamation

On Tuesday, April 19, I Proclaimed the month of April as Fair Housing Month in Surprise. This month we feel grateful for the Fair Housing Act that was passed on April 11, 1968. This law is designed to protect Americans from facing discrimination in selling or buying houses.

Pure Patio Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, April 29, I joined Pure Patio for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! The City of Surprise along with Anesia St. Clair, Owner, held the event to welcome Pure Patio to the Surprise Community. They are located at 13710 W. Bell Rd. Thank you for choosing us and welcome to Surprise!

Mera City Center Ribbon Cutting

On Saturday, April 30, Councilmember Hastings and I attended Mera City Center’s incredible Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting event! Houston Lane, Chief Operating Officer of Sparrow Living, hosted the private celebration in honor of the official Grand Opening of the resort-style, 55 and older active adult community, located at 15510 N. La Cometa Ave. The event included live music, a bocce ball tournament, the longest drive on the sports simulator, corn hole and pickleball challenges.

Thank you for making Surprise your home!

Mayor Hall, Councilmember Hastings and Houston Lane, COO of Sparrow Living.

Coming Up

National Day of Prayer

Join us on Thursday, May 5 from 7 to 8:30 am. National Day of Prayer will be held in the Public Safety Building at 14250 W. Statler Plz. It will begin with praise and worship followed by a group of pastors who will pray over our city, state and nation.

Fighter Country Partnership Foundation Golf Classic

Fighter Country Foundation logoFriday, May 20, Fighter Country Foundation (FCF), the leading support and advocacy organization for Luke Air Force Base is hosting their annual Fighter Country Honorary Commanders Golf Classic, luncheon, auction and raffle at the Wigwam Golf Club. The golf tournament is the primary funding mechanism for Fighter Country Foundation and its support for Luke Air Force Base.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, the upcoming City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there.

April 2022 • Newsletter

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, 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and Twitter @SkipHall2.

Arts & Culture Grant Program

We are now accepting applications for an Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission-led grant program that supports qualified community-based organizations pursuing arts and cultural events or activities benefiting Surprise residents. Applications are being accepted now through April 22. The application, program details and eligibility requirements are available online at surpriseaz.gov/artsgrant

2022 Surprise Retail Survey

2022 Surprise Retail SurveyWe want to hear from you! If you could have anything in Surprise, what would it be? The Retail Survey is open until April 24 and is available at surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey. This year, we’re also offering a youth survey for those under the age of 18.

Summer Job Program for Teens

The City of Surprise is offering a summer job program for Surprise teens between the ages of 15 – 19 who are income-eligible. Through the City Council approved Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), applicants must be available to work up to 25 hours a week for six weeks between June 6 and July 15. Chosen interns will receive professional development training, from shadowing engineers to working with youth and seniors, and earn $12.80 per hour. Click the link for more details surpriseaz.gov/syep

Yellow Cooking Oil Disposal Station

Someone wipes oil from a frying pan with a paper towel.Surprise has opened a second permanent disposal station for yellow cooking oil in the parking lot of Fire Station 303, located at 15440 N. Cotton Ln. This is in addition to the disposal station located in the parking lot of Fire Station 305 at 15517 N. Parkview Pl. Both disposal stations are open year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for used kitchen oil disposal ONLY. Motor oils are not accepted at this facility. Cooking oils disposed at the station will be processed and reused to make other products such as biofuel, soaps and candles.

The City will continue to operate seasonal stations so residents can dispose of excess used kitchen oils, such as those used for frying turkeys. The City hopes that installing this second location will encourage residents to Be Guardians Regarding Our Sewer System (Be G.R.O.S.S.) and properly dispose of yellow oils to help lower the cost of maintenance on City sewer lines and wastewater treatment infrastructure. Learn about proper fat, oil, grease and wastewater disposal in Surprise at surpriseaz.gov/BeGROSS.

Public Notice

Notice of 2022 Annual Action Plan Public Hearing on April 13, 2022: In accord with its Citizen Participation Plan and in anticipation of receiving approximately $665,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Surprise announces an opportunity for organizations and citizens to comment and provide input on any housing and/or community development needs they may have identified. See link to public notice for details: surpriseaz.gov/notices.

April is National Safe Digging Month

It’s a great time to remember to put safety first before starting any digging project. Whether a large-scale project or a simple do-it-yourself job in the backyard, safety should always be the top priority. Utility lines that serve the community with vital services such as natural gas, electricity, sewer and water can be buried anywhere. Striking a utility line not only poses a safety risk but can also cause an interruption of service to customers. Be safe and always know what’s below before digging!

Red, yellow and orange paint marks power lines under ground.Southwest Gas encourages homeowners and contractors to call 811 or go online at Call811.com and click on your state at least two full working days prior to digging to request a utility line locate, You’ll then be connected to the appropriate one-call center for your area, Be safe and always know what’s below before digging!

Last Chance for Tax Preparation Services

This is the last month to take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which offers IRS trained and certified volunteers to assist households making less than $58,000 and need help processing their annual income tax returns for free! Tax preparation assistance will be available through April 18 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd., Suite 124 and through April 13 at Riverboat Bingo, 18300 W. Bell Rd. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information: surpriseaz.gov/TaxPreparation.

Seeking Applications for Commissions Vacancies

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary and you must reside in the City of Surprise.

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission
    1 vacancy – term expiration June 30, 2023
  • Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission
    1 vacancy – term expiration June 30, 2023
  • Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission
    2 vacancies – terms expiring June 30, 2023
  • City Audit Committee
    1 vacancy – resident
  • Judicial Selection Advisory Commission
    1 vacancy – resident
  • Public Safety Retirement Commission (Fire & Police)
    1 vacancy – resident

Applications are available online at surpriseaz.gov/boards. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person by appointment or by email to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

HIGHLIGHTS

Read Across America Week

Read Across AmericaRead Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child, in every community to celebrate reading. In celebration of Read Across America Week, on March 2, I read to a first and second-grade class at Canyon Ridge Elementary and on March 3, at Countryside Elementary School, I read to a third and fourth-grade class. Thank you to all the schools who participated here in Surprise.

Sterling Grove Golf + Country Club Ribbon Cutting

On March 3, City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Council Member Duffy and I joined Sterling Grove for a private ribbon cutting! Sterling Grove held the event in honor of the opening of the Sterling Grove Golf and Country Club, located at 11530 N. Greenwich Blvd., Surprise, AZ 85388. Thank you for choosing Surprise!

Surprise Project Connect

Human Services Campus Project ConnectOn March 22, the Salvation Army North West Valley Corps hosted Project Connect at 17420 N. Avenue of the Arts here in Surprise. Project Connect is a traveling resource fair for all individuals and families who need assistance with housing, shelter, benefits, identification and other essential health and human services. Our services are concentrated on serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Mayor Hall speaks to a reporter at Fox News.

COMING UP

Water Awareness Month

Water Use It WiselyThe City of Surprise Water Conservation Program is an important component of the City’s water resource portfolio management strategy. Its purpose is to educate and promote the efficient use of water across sectors in the community including residential, commercial and industrial uses. If you are a City of Surprise water utility customer, you can set LEAK ALERTS. Just access the portal through the “pay my utility bill online” option on our website at surpriseaz.gov/Utilities to set it up.

Spring Egg-stravaganza

Celebrate the spring season with us on Saturday, April 16 from 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This FREE family event will also feature fun for the whole family. Food and drink are available for purchase, and there will be a minimal fee on some activities. Children 10 and under are invited to take the field to hunt for plastic eggs filled with candy and toys!

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. and hunt times are as follows:

  • 8:20 a.m. – 2 and under
  • 8:50 a.m. – 3 – 4 year olds
  • 9:20 a.m. – 5 – 6 year olds
  • 9:40 a.m. – 7 – 8 year olds
  • 10:00 a.m. – 9 – 10 year olds
  • 10:20 a.m. – all ages

Schedule subject to change, please visit surpriseaz.gov/calendar for details.

KIDZ Jamboree

KIDZ Jamboree Celebrating the Week of the Young ChildJoin us for KIDZ Jamboree on Friday, April 8 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center – 12425 W. Bell Rd. This fun, family event will showcase early childhood programs and services available in the community, like resources, child care/preschools, libraries and more! More info: bit.ly/3tR0uN4

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, the upcoming City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 19. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. You can also watch live on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise or on Cox channel 11. We hope to see you there.

March 2022 • Newsletter

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, 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and Twitter @SkipHall2.

Spring Training Delay

Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association have not yet been able to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

We are disappointed that we are not able to start as scheduled and apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. Tickets bought through an authorized outlet to canceled games will be refunded or exchanged. MLB is working to get the game back on the field as quickly as possible.

  • If you purchased tickets to a canceled game for the Kansas City Royals or Texas Rangers through an authorized Surprise Stadium outlet, tickets may be refunded or exchanged.
  • Please go to surprisestadium.com to review the updated schedule for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222 for more information.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at a game at Surprise Stadium later this spring.

Now Recruiting for Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Youth Council logoThe City of Surprise is recruiting new members for the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) a group of trailblazing teens who are making a difference in their community!

SYC members serve the community by collaborating with local leaders, including Mayor and City Council, to give a voice on City issues and 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 reside in or are attending a middle school or high school within Surprise city limits; or are attending a Dysart Unified School District high school.

Applications are being accepted from February 7 – April 8. For more information please go to surpriseaz.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=10845

Seeking Applications for Commissions Vacancies

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary and you must reside in the City of Surprise.

  • Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission (1 vacancy) – Term Expiration: June 30, 2023
  • Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (1 vacancy) – Term Expiration June 30, 2023

Applications are available online at surpriseaz.gov/boards. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person by appointment or by email to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

Cotton Lane Closed until July 1

Cotton Lane will be closed from just north of Cactus Road to just south of the Legacy Traditional School driveway from February 21 – July 1 for flood mitigation work. A soft closure will be in place from the school driveway north to Waddell Road, allowing for local traffic and school traffic only.

A map showing the area of the Cotton Ln. and Cactus Rd. road improvement closure.

Homeless Project Connect

Human Services Campus logoThe Human Services Campus (HSC) (501c3 non-profit) is partnering with the Salvation Army and the City of Surprise to bring back the homeless Project Connect event Tuesday, March 22nd at the Salvation Army from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join us as a volunteer by signing up at hscforms.com/projectconnect. Salvation Army Northwest Valley 17420 Avenue of the Arts. For questions please contact 602.282.0849 or volunteer@hsc-az.org

West Valley Women Luncheon

Mayor Hall and Vice Mayor Cline at the West Valley Women's Luncheon.On Tuesday, February 1, I joined Vice Mayor Cline at the West Valley Women Networking Association’s Bring a Gentleman to Lunch event at the Arizona Broadway Theatre. The event was sponsored by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and discussed ways in which the Commerce supports business in the community. This organization endeavors to promote professional women who desire to be successful and connect with the community, while members share information, ideas, contacts and network.

Free Covid-19 Testing

Maricopa County has opened multiple community testing sites across the Valley including a new location at Ak-Chin Pavilion. The site is open seven days per week from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Details of all Maricopa County-supported testing events are listed at Maricopa.gov/COVID19 Testing in English and at Maricopa.gov/COVID19Pruebas in Spanish. People who need assistance finding a testing location or scheduling an appointment can also call the MCDPH CARES Team at 602.506.6767.

Tax Season

A New Leaf - Housing, Health, Community ServicesThe City of Surprise has partnered with A New Leaf, who facilitates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides free tax preparation assistance. VITA sites offer free tax preparation and help taxpayers apply for benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The program will be available until April 15 at the Surprise Resource Center and through April 14 at Riverboat Bingo. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For additional information visit turnanewleaf.org/services/financial-empowerment.

Riverboat Bingo, 18300 W. Bell Rd.
Wednesdays, Feb. 2 – Apr. 13: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd. Blgd. A, Suite #124
Mondays, Jan. 31 – Apr. 18: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesdays, Feb. 1 – Apr. 12: 4-6 p.m.
Thursdays, Feb. 3 – Apr. 14: 9-11 a.m.

HIGHLIGHTS

A to Z Polish Market

February 4, Council Member Winters & I joined A to Z Polish Market for a ribbon-cutting. A to Z Polish Market hosted the ceremony in honor of their official Grand Opening, located at 17221 N. Litchfield Rd., Ste 50. Welcome to Surprise; we are happy to have you!

Mayor Hall, Councilmember Winters and Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic join A to Z Polish Market inside their store.

Benehealth

Friday, February 11, City Manager Bob Wingenroth, Council Member Winters and I joined Benehealth for a ribbon-cutting! Benehealth CEO, Dr. Tanya Carroccio, hosted the ceremony in honor of their Grand Opening located at 16952 W. Bell Rd., Suite 304. Thank you for choosing Surprise!

King Cuts Barber Shop

Council Member Winters and I joined King Cuts Barber Shop for a ribbon-cutting on Valentine’s Day. King Cuts Barber Shop hosted the ceremony in honor of their Grand Opening at 15557 W. Bell Rd. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Winters join King Cuts Barber shop in the lobby of their business.

Surprise & Ottawa Celebrating 5 Years

Thursday, February 17, the City of Surprise and Ottawa University presented a joint proclamation in the City courtyard. For the presentation, I joined Ottawa University President and CEO Bill Tsutsui.

While the partnership between the City and university is small, the success on the shared campus over the past five years is huge. The Ottawa University Board of Trustees conducted their annual Spring meeting in Surprise, and the joint proclamation kicked off their visit.

Dysart USD & City of Surprise Essay Contest

These talented students were recognized by City Council as the winners of the Dysart Schools / City of Surprise essay contest, where we asked, “Why is ‘My Surprise’ an extraordinary community to be a part of?” Congratulations to Caleb Leavitt, Freedom Traditional Academy, Kacy Dunn, Canyon Ridge (not pictured), and Valerie Ortega, Valley Vista HS. Thanks to Dysart’s English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist Danielle Edgerton for her help coordinating the contest!

Caleb Leavitt and Valerie Ortega join Mayor Hall and City Council in front of the council dais.

Surprise City Academy

On February 28, the City Manager’s Office, Mayor and Council, and Finance presented at the Surprise City Academy. City Academy is an opportunity for residents, students and business owners to learn about their City directly from the Council, City Manager and upper-level City staff. City Academy aims to educate residents on municipal government structure, process and funding. It also aims to generate interest and innovation in local issues; to provide a forum for residents to voice their ideas in a structured educational environment; to build a pool of informed residents ready to engage in community affairs; to help residents become effective community leaders; and to increase trust between residents and the City.

COMING UP

2022 State of the City Event

City of Surprise State of the City - March 31, 2022Join me for the State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
Surprise, AZ

Spring Egg-stravaganza

Celebrate the spring season with us on Saturday, April 16 from 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus. This FREE family event will also feature fun for the whole family. Food and drink are available for purchase, and there will be a minimal fee on some activities. Children 10 and under are invited to take the field to hunt for plastic eggs filled with candy and toys!

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. and hunt times are as follows:

  • 8:20 a.m. – 2 and under
  • 9:20 a.m. – 5 – 6 year olds
  • 10:00 a.m. – 9 – 10 year olds
  • 8:50 a.m. – 3 – 4 year olds
  • 9:40 a.m. – 7 – 8 year olds
  • 10:20 a.m. – all ages

Schedule subject to change, please visit surpriseaz.gov/calendar for details.

Sunday in the Park

Sunday in the Park returns to Mark Coronado Park! Join us on April 3 from 3 – 7 p.m. for live music, various food trucks, an assortment of beer and wine, and family-friendly entertainment such as bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train and more! View event details: bit.ly/3sw1lBr.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, March 15, and Tuesday, April 5. 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 2022 • Newsletter

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, 623.222.1313 or 623.451.3975. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook facebook.com/SurpriseMayor and Twitter @SkipHall2.

City Manager Announces Leadership Structure Changes

City Manager Bob Wingenroth has announced changes to the City’s leadership structure as Surprise continues to grow and serve more residents and businesses. This includes promotions for the City’s three Deputy City Managers and the appointment of new department directors in Public Works and Marketing and Communications. Learn more: bit.ly/3tGFTMM

A New Leaf Adding Shelter in Surprise

The West Valley Housing Support center in Surprise.In December, the Arizona Department of Housing awarded $1.14 million to A New Leaf to support the West Valley Housing Support center in Surprise. Construction is set to begin on the $1.5 million project in April with an opening expected by September.

The Center will offer temporary housing to women and families as well as housing support services to far-West Valley residents in need of permanent housing, employment and other related services. It represents an expansion of a partnership between the Surprise Human Services and Community Vitality Department and A New Leaf that began in 2016.

2022 Vice Mayor Selection

The Surprise City Council selected District 2 Councilmember Aly Cline to serve as Vice Mayor at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 18. Per city code, City Council must select a Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.

2021 Tax season

The City of Surprise has partnered with A New Leaf, who facilitates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides free tax preparation assistance. VITA sites offer free tax preparation and help taxpayers apply for benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The program will be available until April 15 at the Surprise Resource Center and through April 14 at Riverboat Bingo. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For additional information visit turnanewleaf.org/services/financial-empowerment.

A New Leaf tax assistance schedule.

Register for 2022 Surprise City Academy

Learn about the structure of city government, get updated on local issues and get to know your city leaders. Surprise City Academy begins on February 28 and will meet weekly on Mondays from 6 – 8:30 p.m. through April 18. Most classes will be held in the City of Surprise Public Safety Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plz. It’s free to participate, but registration is required by Monday, February 21. For an application and/or more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or contact Lord Garcillano at lord.garcillano@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1647.

Highlights

MLK Celebration

I would like to thank our incredible community for coming out to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Service on Saturday, January 15. I would also like to thank the City of Surprise Human Service and Community Vitality Department for putting together such a wonderful event! Pictured below in the left with me is a resident of Surprise, Steve Doolittle, and State Representative Joanne Osborne. Pictured on the right is Gideon Missionary Baptist Church Choir.

360 Physical Therapy Ribbon Cutting

Monday, January 24, Vice Mayor Cline, Council Member Winters and I joined 360 Physical Therapy for a ribbon-cutting. Clinic Director, Anthony Kuhl, hosted the ceremony in honor of the Grand Opening of 360 Physical Therapy, located at 11340 W. Bell Rd., Suite 101.

Thank you for choosing Surprise!

Surprise City Council joins 360 Physical Therapy for a ribbon cutting.

Coming Up

USTA Tennis Series

A tennis ball on a tennis court.The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is proud to welcome several United States Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments to kick-start the new year.

  • February 4-6: Adult 65 and Over 6.0 and 9.0 Men and Women
  • February 11-13: Adult 65 and Over 8.0 Men & Women

These events will take place at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex located at 14469 W. Paradise Ln. For information on open court availability and tennis programs, please contact the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex at 623.222.2400.

Surprise Pops Band performance

The Surprise Pops Band will perform “Showtime with the Pops” during their concert on Saturday, February 5 at The Vista Performing Arts Center, 15550 N. Parkview Pl.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m., the show begins at 3 p.m. The concert is free; however, non-perishable food donations to support the Valley View Community Food Bank are requested and appreciated. Learn more at surprisepopsband.com

2022 State of the City Event

Join me for the State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.

More details to come!

Watch the 2021 State of the City

Sunday in the Park

Sunday in the Park returns to Mark Coronado Park! Join us on February 6 from 3 – 7 p.m. for live music, various food trucks, an assortment of beer and wine, and family-friendly entertainment such as bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train and more! View event details: bit.ly/3sw1lBr. The next Sunday in the Park is April 3.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, February 15 and Tuesday, March 1. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

January 2022 • Newsletter

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 mayor.surpriseaz.gov. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

The 10th Annual Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, presented by Thunderbird Artists and City of Surprise, returns January 7-9, 2022. The event will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Admission is $3 and is cash only.

This world-class fine art event features the works of artist Kenneth Ferguson, along with other juried fine artists. The festival allows patrons to view artwork up close and discuss pieces firsthand with creators. Subject matters range from southwest and traditional to contemporary and abstract, including figurative, floral, wildlife, European, African, Native American and more.

Live music and a variety of food trucks will add to the atmosphere of the art arena. In addition to tasty meals, there will be plenty of goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth, including kettle corn, caramels and ice cream.

For more information about the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival, please contact Thunderbird Artists at 480.837.5637 or visit thunderbirdartists.com.

Surprise Offers Christmas Tree Drop-off Sites

The City of Surprise offers four Christmas tree drop-off locations for residents’ convenience. The lots are open now through January 18, 2022, at the following locations:

Christmas tree disposal graphic
  • Bi-Centennial Park 16705 N. Nash St. (south end of the parking lot)
  • Surprise Recreation Campus / Youth Baseball Complex 15795 N. Parkview Pl. (across from Valley Vista High School)
  • Dick McComb Softball Park 17894 Westpark Blvd. (parking lot on corner of 180th Ave & Westpark Blvd.)
  • Asante Community Park 16763 W. Vereda Solana Dr. (parking lot at the north end of the park)

Please remove all decorations and place the trees in the designated areas only. There is a limit of two trees per household. For more information, please call 623.222.1900.

Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

The City of Surprise is excited to gather with the community to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at our 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 15.

The public is also invited to join us for an evening of MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections the Wednesday before, on January 12.

Event details:

MLK Musical Celebration & Reflections
Wednesday, January 12, 6 – 8 p.m.
Willow Canyon High School Auditorium – 17901 W. Lundberg St.

Enjoy community speakers, performing artists and groups like Canyon Ridge Elementary School and Gideon Church Choir. Reverend Powell of Gideon Church and others will share reflections on the impact Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on their lives and the inclusive work that is needed to continue his vision.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service
Saturday, January 15
8:30 a.m. Music & Breakfast, 9 a.m. Program
Surprise City Hall Courtyard – 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Light breakfast will be served to the first 500 guests, starting at 8:30 a.m. The event, starting at 9 a.m., will include Keynote Speaker, Col. Wanda Wright, recognition of the art contest winners, and performances by American Idol Finalist LaKisha Jones, Valley Vista High School, Ashton Ranch Middle School, Gideon Baptist Choir, Arizona Redeemed Choir, Brooklyn Ball and more!

A to Z Polish Market has officially opened!

A-Z Polish Market store front

Located at 17221 N. Litchfield Rd., A to Z Polish market is now open. I want to thank the entire community and Economic Development team for the amazing support and top-notch communication guiding this business through the process at every step. They were so excited to open their doors, so I hope you’ll have the chance to stop by and enjoy a pierogi or two! More info: atozpolishmarket.com

Redistricting Update

The City has already contracted with a consultant for this process, however, due to state law, which does not allow the redistricting process to occur within 6 months of an election, the formal process is anticipated to begin in January of 2023. The IRC issued final state legislative and congressional district maps during the week of December 21. I encourage everyone to visit irc.az.gov to become familiar with the new districts.

2045 General Plan Timeline

The City’s General Plan serves as a comprehensive guide to our future growth and development, and state law requires that all municipalities update the General Plan every 10 years through a public vote of the people.

The City is actively going through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit a consultant to update the City’s General Plan, with an anticipated contract award in February 2022. The project is anticipated to start in April.

From April 2022 through the end of the year, there will be public outreach, various engagements, data gathering, and analysis. That will help to create a draft General Plan document, which is anticipated by December 2022. You can check out our current General Plan 2035 at surpriseaz.gov/generalplan.

Budget Kick-off

FY2023 Tentative Budget timeline graphic

The City of Surprise FY2023 budget building process has begun. The Finance Department will give a series of presentations to City Council over the next few months. The City Manager will release his Recommended Budget in April, which will be followed by public review and then final adoption of a balanced budget in June. Please stay tuned to the upcoming Council Meetings for the overall development of the budget and upcoming annual process.

Highlights

Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Fire Stations 304 & 308 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

December 14 was a great day to celebrate a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for two fire stations built in 2021 – Fire Station 304 in our northern area and Fire Station 308 in southeast Surprise! Thank you to everyone who came out for the event and to all Surprise voters who made these projects possible.

Surprise Party

Surprise Party Tree Lighting

Surprise Party brings smiles, laughs and joy every year, and this year was no exception! Residents enjoyed live music, food, crafts, hot air balloons and more. Thank you to the community for coming out to enjoy yet another successful holiday celebration and to our Parks and Recreation team for all they do to make this event so great every year.

5th Annual Deck the Hock

Thank you to all the residents and Senior Center staff for making Deck the Hock an enjoyable evening. This night brought residents to the Surprise Senior Center for hot cocoa, sweet treats, tree decorating, holiday crafts and even snow. I appreciate these community events and love bringing holiday cheer to Surprise families.

Senior Center Holiday Party
On December 17, I attended the annual City of Surprise Senior Center Holiday Party at The Colonnade, along with a few other council members. This annual event included a delicious lunch and raffles for all to enjoy. Thank you to the Surprise Senior Center and Human Service and Community Vitality Department staff for hosting such a terrific event!

Surprise Literacy Challenge

Mayor Hall and school students

Participation in the Surprise Literacy Challenge has continued to grow in our schools over the past few years. This year, I am pleased to recognize Mrs. Mitton’s 4th-grade class from Luke Elementary and Mrs. Fallon’s 1st-grade class from Countryside Elementary as our top performers! Reading is so important to our students, and I am proud to see the growth this program has brought to the community. Congratulations to the winning classrooms, and thank you to all who participated.

Coming Up

Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors
This year, the Mayor’s Breakfast with the Pastors is scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2022. The event is a great opportunity for local elected officials to meet with the pastors of the community and other local leaders.

2022 State of the City
Join me for a video premiere of 2022 State of the City, followed by an outdoor event with a variety of performances and a showcase of City programs and services.

March 31, 2022, 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall Outdoor Courtyard
16000 N. Civic Center Plz., Surprise, AZ
More details to come!
Watch the 2021 State of the City

Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic

2022 college baseball logo

The City of Surprise is excited to announce the College Baseball Classic will return to Surprise Stadium as a two-part series event on February 18 – 20 and 24 – 26.Dates, times, and opponents are subject to change. The game times listed are MST. Additional stadium policies, fan safety and health information and policies are available at SurpriseStadium.com.

Plan ahead and book your stay in Surprise! Trip planning is easy when all the resources are at your fingertips! Visit exploresurprise.com for a list of local hotel accommodations, travel itineraries and ideas for your visit! For more information on the tournament, tickets, and additional events, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or contact the Surprise Stadium Box Office at 623.222.2222.

Spring Training Tickets
2022 Spring Training tickets are on sale now at SurpriseStadium.com!

Grab single-game tickets or bundle with season ticket and mini-plan packages for unique perks, savings over the individual game ticket price, choice of the best available seating locations and exclusive access to special season ticket plan holder events and pre-sale opportunities.

For questions or more information, visit surprisestadium.com or call 623.222.2222.

City Council Meetings
As a friendly reminder, upcoming City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 18 and Tuesday, February 1. City Council Work sessions begin at 4 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there.

December 2021 • Newsletter

Happy Holidays, Surprise! As we begin the last month of 2021, I reflect on this year with a heart full of gratitude. This year has proven to be quite successful for our city. Our future is bright!

Our Economic Development Department wrapped up the fiscal year in July with nearly a million square feet of new development, $165 Million in new capital investment, 875 new jobs and 33 businesses in the midst of the pandemic. In FY 2022, there is so much more commercial activity in the pipeline! Since this summer, the city welcomed several new eateries including SK Lounge, Crumbl Cookies, a new Chipotle drive-thru concept, Toast Craft Kitchen & Cocktails and Over Easy. The city also welcomed several business expansions from Central Garden & Pet and Surprise Comics! Other now opens since this summer include: Surprise Angels (relocation), United Construction Group, Desert Builders, Hajoca Plumbing and Goodyear Chiropractic.

This fall, several new businesses opened: Over Easy, Black Rock Coffee, Muay Thai Jui Jitsu, The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, The Partners Barbershop, Spirit Halloween Store, Sleep Number Mattress Store, a New Friends of the Library location, Mobile Home Depot and “Just Be Youtiful” boutique offering unique local clothing, jewelry & handbags!

I am happy to report that the following are coming soon/newly announced to the City of Surprise:

  • New Restaurants: Puerto Rican Pete’s, Granite Falls Restaurant, Farmer Boys, Habit Burger, Arby’s, Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade, Whataburger (hiring 100 new employees!), CBD Coffee Brewed Differently
  • New (second) Surprise restaurant locations for Dutch Bros., Jersey Mikes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dunkin Donuts – and many, many more!
  • New commercial projects: AAA Auto, BackFit Health + Spine, Christian Brothers Automotive, Dollar General, EOS Fitness Marley Park, Etico Construction Group, Floor and Décor, Fry’s Neighborhood Market at Asante, Honor Health Urgent Care, Marriott Springhill Suites, Maverick Gas Station, Moezzi Veterinary Urgent Care Center, Pet Supplies Plus, A to Z Polish Market, Surprise Crossing Ace Hardware and a new Quick Trip at the southwest corner of Loop 303 & Bell Road!
Mayor Hall and Vice Mayor Duffy hold up a Whataburger shirt.

And on the big business side, National Indoor RV Centers bought more land to expand their operations; and commercial developers have closed on 81-acres on the northeast corner of Cactus Road and the Loop 303 to build 1.1 million square feet in Class A industrial buildings, with a complimentary retail component along the Cactus Road frontage. This will bring hundreds of jobs to Surprise.

With regards to community development, we continue to experience exponential growth. Looking at residential growth last Fiscal Year:

  • The city issued 2,856 single-family home permits. This is an approximate 38% increase over the same time last year. And, it was a 10-year high for single-family home permits issued.

As we continue to see growth, 2020 Census data shows our city jumped from 117,517 residents in 2010 to 143,148 in 2020. For those of you who participated, thank you very much! Census data helps us better understand the make-up of our community and plan for the future. This data will also give us the information we need to start redistricting our city council boundaries, which we will do in 2023.

As we keep growing housing, we are looking at how we need to grow our infrastructure, like streets, public safety services, and recreation opportunities. Adding parks has been a big conversation this past year. Last December, City Council voted to invest in parks, and land has been identified at Greenway Road and Parkview Place to add multipurpose sports fields. This project provides for more programmable and rental field space, which is becoming a greater need in the city. We worked with a design firm on the park design and recently brought on a construction contractor to help move the project into the next phase. The Community Park at City Center is going through design for multiple improvements as well. This year, we also updated turf, the outdoor volleyball courts, and the lobby of the Northwest Regional Library in this area.

Transportation is also important to growth. As you know, with more people living here, there are more cars on the road. We have made significant progress on our east/west connections over the last year with many thanks to our residents that approved our General Bond a few years ago. Last August, we completed a project adding travel lanes to the north and south half of Waddell Road from the east limit of Loop 303 to Reems Road, and added a traffic signal at the intersection of Sarival Avenue and Waddell Road. Greenway Road improvements, from Cotton Lane to Sarival Lane, are now complete and a traffic light is operational at Greenway Road and Northwest Ranch Parkway.

A new section of Happy Valley Road from 163rd Avenue to 147th Avenue opened in July! This is an important connection for our northern residents, providing a contiguous east-west connection to Loop 303.

Fire Station 308 was just completed at the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Cactus Road, which will help serve our residents and our growing industrial district.

And while infrastructure is very important to a growing community, so is creating moments to celebrate and remember together. We are incredibly grateful to be able to provide those opportunities to you again after dealing with COVID restrictions last year. Our Veterans Day parade was an incredible success, and I can’t wait to see how many of you will enjoy the annual Surprise Party this weekend!

2022 Redistricting

Redistricting is the process of enacting new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. In November 2000, Arizona voters passed Proposition 106, a citizen initiative that amended the Arizona Constitution by removing the power to draw congressional and state legislative districts from the state legislature and reassigning this task to the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

Every 10 years, following the US Census, the Independent Redistricting Commission’s mission is to redraw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts to reflect the results of the most recent census. The concept of one-person, one-vote dictates that districts should be roughly equal in population. Other factors to be considered are the federal Voting Rights Act, district shape, geographical features, respect for communities of interest and potential competitiveness.

The state Constitution requires five commissioners – two Republicans, two Democrats and an independent chairperson – to start from scratch rather than redraw existing districts. Of these members, four are selected by the majority and minority leaders of each chamber of the state legislature from a list of 25 candidates nominated by the state commission on appellate court appointments. These 25 nominees comprise 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 5 unaffiliated citizens.

The four commission members appointed by legislative leaders then select the fifth member to round out the commission. The fifth member of the commission must belong to a different political party than the other commissioners.

The Governor with a two-thirds vote in the Arizona State Senate, may remove a commissioner “for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.” The Arizona State Legislature may make recommendations to the commission, but ultimate authority is vested with the commission.

This process began months ago and in early November, the Commission approved draft maps for Congressional and state legislative districts. Maps can be changed based on public comment until December 22.

In the West Valley, a significant portion of Surprise as well as Sun City and Sun City West are divided on the Congressional map between two districts whereas prior to this redistricting, Surprise was only one district (Congressional District 8). Most public comments until this point from residents were to keep these communities together in one district for consistency purposes.

Learn more about the process, public meetings and how to submit comments at https://irc.az.gov/.

Two New Surprise Fire Stations Completed in 2021

Residents are invited to a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in celebration of two Surprise fire stations built in 2021 – Fire Station 304 in our northern area and Fire Station 308 in southeast Surprise! Tours of Fire Station 308 will be offered afterwards and light refreshments will be served.

The ceremony will be held:
Tuesday, December 14 at 3:30 p.m.
Fire Station 308, 13771 W. Cactus Rd., Surprise
Parking Map

Both fire stations were constructed thanks to voter approval of the 2017 General Obligation Bond.

Fire Station 304, located in the city’s northern area on 163rd Ave. near Happy Valley Rd., was fully completed in January of this year. It replaced a temporary, modular fire station to better serve a high growth area of Surprise that includes the City’s planning area.

Fire Station 308, on Cactus Rd. east of Litchfield Rd., went operational in September and is the first station located in our growing District 6 area. It houses an Engine Company and Hazardous Materials Response Team – an important component due to the station’s proximity to the city’s industrial district. The station is designed to provide training specific to responses to hazardous materials emergencies and also has room for a future ambulance.

As part of City Council’s commitment that one and one-third percent of the budget for capital projects be set aside for art, there are stunning art pieces at both stations. Fire Station 304 displays a 6-foot tall bronze firefighter statue with a mural wall behind depicting a firetruck within an Arizona landscape scene. At Fire Station 308, there are large staggered metal panels with the word “courage” cut out. The art piece pays tribute to the critical operations that occur at the station and the men and women who provide these services.

City Encourages Residents to “Shop Surprise, Shape Surprise”

As you search for the perfect gifts this holiday season, don’t forget that shopping locally helps to shape your community – so, “Shop Surprise, Shape Surprise!” Local sales tax makes up nearly 40 percent of the City’s General Fund revenues. That means by keeping sales tax dollars at home, residents are helping to pay for City services that they count on such as police, fire-medical, park operations and street repair.

Our brand new “Shop Surprise” commercial features some of the amazing folks who provide those important city services. Check it out, here! Plus, while you’re out shopping, check out one of our “Only in Surprise” restaurants. Find a list at surpriseaz.gov/shopsurprise.

I look forward to 2022 and serving you! Wishing each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mayor Hall and dog by the Surprise Christmas tree.

November 2021 • Newsletter

Now that we have turned our calendars to November, we are preparing for our fall traditions and anticipating the holidays. For our city, this month begins planning for our next fiscal year and fairly soon, we will begin the process to update our General Plan 2035.

Council Conversations Show

The overall housing market and affordable housing, in particular, has been discussed at great lengths over the last few months. To help provide insight for residents on the situation, I interviewed Arizona Department of Housing Director Tom Simplot about the current housing status and potential solutions for the state and our city. In addition, I interviewed Community Development Director Chris Boyd regarding the local development process and much more. My latest Council Conversations show can be found at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=k-TZU5dr08w.

2022 Redistricting

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is responsible for re-drawing maps for congressional and legislative districts every decade. The Commission was created by voters in 2000 to limit political influence by the legislature in re-drawing congressional and legislative district maps. It consists of two democrats, two republicans and one independent.

The IRC has been hosting meetings across the state as part of a listening tour, and they have been gathering information from the public via their website in order to prepare draft maps. I contributed my thoughts at their meeting in Surprise on October 7. If you would like more information on the process, meetings or maps, please visit the IRC website at https://irc.az.gov/.

Veterans Day Parade

Our 7th Annual City of Surprise Veterans Day Parade will be held on Thursday, November 11. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will be routed along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane. It will feature community entries honoring the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our country.

The morning starts with breakfast from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at Surprise Stadium in the centerfield plaza and will feature pancakes, choice of sausage or bacon and breakfast refreshments. Tickets for the breakfast will be sold the day of the parade for $6 per plate and $2 for refreshments (Cash only).

Parking will be available for parade attendees at the Surprise Community Park and Surprise Aquatic Center parking lots, located at 15953 N Bullard Avenue.

In preparation for the parade, the following roads will be closed at 9:30 a.m. and will reopen shortly after the conclusion of the parade:

  • Paradise Lane between Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil Way
  • Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane

We hope to see you there!

Sci-Tech Festival

The Surprise SciTech Festival will occur on November 6 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall outside courtyard at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. This free, fun-filled educational event features interactive science, technology, engineering, art and math exhibits and demonstrations. There will also be a variety of food trucks, music, and a gaming trailer!

Demonstrations and displays include:

  • Dysart Unified Electric Karts and Robotics Team
  • Surprise Police, Fire-Medical, Water Conservation and other City Departments
  • Business and Higher Ed Institutions
  • Plus, Dino Crew, 30-minute Mad Science Shows (10 a.m. & 12 p.m.), a Virtual Gaming Truck and more!

For more information on the event, please visit surpriseaz.gov/scitech

Surprise Care & Share Expo

The Care & Share Expo is a free community event that will help create connections to human service organizations, health resources and medical checks. It’s a one-stop source for accessing programs and services that promote health, financial growth and self-empowerment. Plus, there will be fun events for the entire family to enjoy!

Here’s a look at some of the services and activities you can expect:

  • Food pantry
  • Pet wellness services and supplies provided by Chance Shelter (dogs & cats only)
  • Dental screenings and fluoride varnishing for kids aged 0-5 and expectant mothers, provided by First Teeth First
  • Health screenings
  • Utility assistance for Surprise & El Mirage residents
  • Veteran & Disability Services Info
  • Kids’ Zone with activities
  • Free lunch (while supplies last)
  • Raffle prizes
  • and more!

The Surprise Care & Share Expo is Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the City Hall Courtyard at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. This event is hosted by the City of Surprise Veterans, Disability and Human Services Commission and is presented by First Things First and Health Choice Arizona.

Wishing you and your families a happy Thanksgiving!

October 2021 • Newsletter

Fall is here, and we welcome it with open arms! I hope you are getting the opportunity to enjoy the cooler temperatures and get outside. This month, we have many fun events happening in Surprise that will give you that chance, whether it be Surprise Fiesta Grande, Surprise Day of Service, Sunday in the Park, G.A.I.N. Night, catching one of the Fall League tournaments and much more. For more information on these events, please visit our website calendar at surpriseaz.gov/calendar.

City Manager Appointment

The Surprise City Council unanimously voted to appoint someone familiar to serve as the next City Manager. I am sure most of you remember Bob Wingenroth who served as our City Manager from June 2014 to November 2018. He began his service to Surprise in 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Assistant City Manager. In each role, he earned many successes for Surprise. Prior to joining the Surprise team in 2013, Bob served as the City Manager of Anaheim, CA from 2012-2013 and as the city’s CFO from 2010-2012. He also spent 28 years with the city of Phoenix, departing as the Finance Director. He is a life-long public servant. Bob will resume his service to Surprise on December 13, 2021.

Bob Wingenroth

Surprise Fiesta Grande Street Festival Returns

The Surprise Fiesta Grande street festival celebrates the city’s cultural heritage and features mariachi music, a piñata plaza, games, food, music, dancing, kids’ zone, classic car show, live entertainment and more. The celebration will be held on Saturday, October 9 from 5 – 10 p.m. outside the Villanueva Recreation Complex, located at 15660 N. Hollyhock St. in the Grand Ave. corridor.

As a celebration of our cultural heritage, the festival generally falls within National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is September 15 to October 15. National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures of both Hispanic and Latino Americans and pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The City is proud to celebrate its Hispanic heritage this month and all throughout the year! For more information on the Surprise Fiesta Grande, please visit surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

G.A.I.N. Night

Surprise Public Safety officials invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) on October 23 from 5-9 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This annual event is designed to bring community members together to enhance relationships between neighbors and public safety officials with one common goal, to make our community safer. We can build a safer community by working together, knowing our neighbors and our surroundings.

This FREE, family event will have plenty of great entertainment, live music, activities for kids, trick or treating, and much more. The Salvation Army will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the holidays. Your donation will impact those in need and is greatly appreciated!

Surprise Day of Service

We are looking for volunteers for our Surprise Day of Service on Saturday, October 16. Volunteers will participate in various projects throughout the city including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal and more. The neighborhood revitalization and cleanup event assists neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes.

Individuals and groups can register with Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov or 623 222-1522. Groups, please submit a group name and estimated number of volunteers – limited to no more than 10 people. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St., before venturing out to various cleanup and beautification projects across the city. Projects will run until approximately noon.

Pavement Preservation

Drivers can anticipate lane restrictions while the city performs pavement preservation activities on the following roadways, weather permitting:

  • Parkview Place, Bell Road to Greenway Road – October 15-23

Milling work will occur overnight between the hours of 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Daytime work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes while pavement preservation work is occurring.

View a complete list and maps of pavement preservation projects at surpriseaz.gov/ppp.

September 2021 • Newsletter

Welcome to September, where we see the end of summer and the ushering in of fall! We began our new fiscal year in July and have great hope for what the next 10 months will bring as the City Council’s conservative fiscal policies continue to serve us well. While we faced challenges last year due to the pandemic, it was still a year of tremendous growth for our city.

FY21 Economic Development Review flyer.We continue to actively recruit economic development opportunities, and this past year was tremendous for business in Surprise. Our Surprise Economic Development Department ended the fiscal year with 875 job assists, initiated 985,000 square feet of new development and $165 million in new capital investment.

The city is in the process of seeking a new City Manager to replace Mike Frazier, who is retiring in January. This position is appointed by the Surprise City Council, and it acts as the Chief Administrative Officer of the city. This position is responsible for providing administrative leadership in the daily operational management of the city. The application period closed on July 30.

A City Council subcommittee, comprised of Councilmember Duffy, Councilmember Remley and me, will review the 59 candidates’ applications and make a recommendation to the full council on which candidates to move forward in the interview process. Interviews are scheduled for September 28 and 29.

For selected finalists, the first day of the interview process will entail an in-person city tour, meet-and-greet with the city’s departments and a group dinner with the council. Day two will begin with a series of interviews with a Stakeholders/City Partnership Panel, a West Valley Mayors and City Managers Panel, and one-on-one interviews with each of the Surprise City Councilmembers.

A Special City Council Meeting on Wednesday, September 29, at 5 p.m., in Council Chambers, will provide finalists an opportunity to present a five-minute live presentation on “Why I Should be the City Manager in Surprise.” Council will then adjourn into Executive Session to ask follow-up questions of the finalists. Council will then debrief and provide instructions to the recruitment consultant, city attorney and human resources department regarding next steps on a possible selection. This meeting will be carried live on Surprise TV and streamed on https://www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv.
The city anticipates filling the position in December 2021.

Water availability is always a concern in Arizona. As elected officials, we need to be diligent to ensure we have water for our growth for years to come. As you may be aware, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a Tier 1 shortage for Colorado River operations for 2022, meaning less water supplies available to Arizona. Due to Arizona’s priority system, our city supplies will not experience a reduction. This shortage declaration does not mean a shortage at your tap.

The city’s water managers, together with the private water companies that operate in Surprise, ADWR and CAP, have been preparing for a shortage on the Colorado River System for years. Surprise has a 100-year assured water supply designation from the State to ensure reliable water supplies that support responsible growth. This designation means that the city has shown continuous, physical, and legal availability of water, along with water quality and financial capability standards, to maintain water supplies. Our city’s private water providers are also required to have a 100-year assured water supply. The city has also built a diverse and robust water portfolio for its water utility, including renewable surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water.

Additionally, Surprise has a comprehensive and strategic Drought Preparedness Plan outlining short- and long- term strategies for managing and sustaining our water portfolio. This plan is currently being updated and will help reduce the city’s vulnerability to supply reductions and increase our portfolio’s resiliency.

While residents will not see a water shortage with this drought declaration, Surprise will likely enact its Drought Preparedness Plan for 2022, when the shortage status takes effect. At this stage, customers can expect to see extensive messaging on ways to help Surprise conserve water.

Conserving water has always been important in our desert community. To ensure sustainable growth, we must continue planning, investing and being efficient with the water we have. The city encourages residents to use water wisely and practice conservation techniques. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Get water conservation resources and learn about water conservation rebates at surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation
  • City of Surprise water utility customers can track their water use through our WaterSmart® portal and set leak alerts. Access the portal through the “pay my utility bill online” option on our website at surpriseaz.gov/utilities
  • Find 100+ water saving tips at wateruseitwisely.com

Learn more about the city’s water conservation program and drought preparedness at surpriseaz.gov/droughtmgmt.

Sunday in the Park is returning to Surprise with music and food trucks this month! The first event in the series will take place on September 19 and will feature live music by Music II Muzic, various food trucks, an assortment of beer and wine, and family-friendly entertainment such as bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train and more! Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Dogs are allowed, if leashed. If you can’t make it to this one, join us October 17 for music by Southbound and November 7 for music by Blaine Long and Rosas del Rey. All Sunday in the Park events will be held at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N Bullard Ave., from 3-7 p.m.

Major League Baseball has released the Cactus League Spring Training schedule. Opening Day is set for Saturday, February 26th at Surprise Stadium. For more information on the schedule, ticket information, etc., please visit surprisestadium.com for more details and to sign up for email alerts.

The city will host a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. This ceremony will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and will honor the victims, survivors, and heroes of that day.

The event will be held in the central outdoor courtyard of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. See the parking and event location map, here. For those wishing to watch online, the ceremony will be carried on Facebook LIVE at Facebook.com/CityofSurprise.

West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with The Vista Center for the Arts and Ground Floor Artists, is presenting an inaugural Surprise Mayor’s Exhibit titled, “A Tribute to Our Heroes.” I look forward to jurying the exhibit, along with a panel of partners and community members.

The exhibit runs September 3 – November 11 at The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Place in Surprise. There will be an opening reception on September 3 from 4-7 p.m. For more information, please visit westvalleyarts.org.

It continues to be a privilege to serve you. I look forward, with great anticipation, for what this new fiscal year will bring us.

August 2021 • Newsletter

Neighborhood Grant Program

I am pleased to announce that City Council recently approved the funding for the Surprise Neighborhood Grant Program. This program provides funding to eligible neighborhoods for neighborhood functions, community improvements and events. This program also allows City Council to foster partnership with our local neighborhoods.

All applications are due on Monday, September 27 at 5 p.m. For more information on how to apply please, visit surpriseaz.gov/NGP.

Surprise Mayor’s Exhibit: A Tribute To Our Heroes

West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with The Vista Center for the Arts and Ground Floor Artists, is working on an inaugural Surprise Mayor’s Exhibit. The theme, “A Tribute To Our Heroes,” marks the 20th anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11 and aims to reflect on how the heroes of this day have shaped, and continue to shape, our nation into one of support, togetherness, and collective endurance. Individual artists are invited to submit works thematically tied to the events of September 11, 2001 and/or works remembering and celebrating those who gave their lives through heroic acts. I have the honor of jurying the exhibit, along with a panel of partners and community members.

The exhibit opens September 3, 2021 at The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Place in Surprise, and will coincide with performances to be held at this location through November 11, 2021. For more information on how to submit an entry, please visit westvalleyartscouncil.submittable.com/submit.

General Obligation Bond Update

City of Surprise voters approved the General Obligation (G.O.) Bond in November 2017. All 10 of the voter-approved projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2021. The city has already completed Fire Station 304, the Public Works Operations Facility, improvements to Waddell and Litchfield roads, and the majority of the pavement preservation.

The new Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center will be able to support additional space for police evidence and property storage and accommodate overall public safety tactical storage in one logistics center. The facility will be 29,000 square feet and is designed to accommodate 30 years of growth. Construction began in November 2020 and is expected to be complete in fall 2021.

We are modifying an existing city building on the same site as the Public Safety Evidence and Readiness Center to create a Police Training Facility. The building will accommodate a defensive tactics room, firearms simulation room, classroom, locker rooms and other support spaces. This project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.

To meet the growing service call demand, a new Fire Station 308 is being built on city-owned land located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Rd. and Cactus Rd. Construction began in December 2020 and is expected to be completed in late 2021.

Greenway Road improvements, from Cotton Ln. to Sarival Ln., are expected to be completed by the end of August 2021, weather permitting. Work is underway to add two more travel lanes, turn lanes, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks. A traffic light is now operational at Greenway Rd. and Northwest Ranch Pkwy.

City staff is in the process of exploring potential options for a local park in the southwest region of the city, as well as acquiring 16 acres of land for a shared Police Substation and Fire Station. For more information on the G.O. Bond, please visit surpriseaz.gov/DecideSurprise.

SK Lounge Ribbon Cutting

On July 9, I attended the ribbon cutting for SK Lounge, along with other councilmembers and Dennis Tran, owner of SK Lounge and Saigon Kitchen. SK Lounge is located at 14071 W Bell Rd.

Surprise City Council and the economic development department join Saigon Kitchen to cut a ribbon for the opening of SK Lounge.

Safe Digging Day

National Safe Digging Day is August 11th, and it’s a great time to brush up on tips for safe digging. Natural gas, electricity, sewer and water utility lines can be buried anywhere underground, so it’s important to know before you dig. Striking one of these lines poses a safety risk and can also cause an interruption of service to customers.

The City of Surprise encourages you to call 811 or visit arizona811.com two full working days prior to digging to request a utility line locate.

Get more information on safe digging at arizona811.com.

Drop-Off Recycling

Drop-off recycling is available at the Public Works North Yard, located at 17274 N Litchfield Road. Hours of operation are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Accepted materials are:

  • Plastic bottles #1 and #2 (including milk gallons, soda bottles, condiment bottles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, and detergent containers). Please be sure to screw all lids on the bottles or remove them completely
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum and tin cans

A city staff member will be present to assist in sorting recyclable materials and help ensure the recyclables are not contaminated. Please ensure your recyclables are clean and dry. Residents are encouraged to arrive to the recycling center with their recyclable materials pre-sorted to help expedite the process. For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/dropoffrecycling.

Council Conversations Show

Please take a moment to view my new Council Conversations show, where I interview new City of Surprise Police Chief, Benny Pina, and former Police Chief and current Assistant City Manager, Terry Young. We had a great discussion about the policies and practices that keep our Surprise Police Department operating at a standard of excellence. To watch, please visit https://bit.ly/2TtEb1z

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will be August 17 at 6 p.m. Please join us in-person or tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or Cox channel 11.