Tag Archives: budget

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.

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Council oks FY18 budget that maintains services & property tax rate

The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.

The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands.  Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

This budget maintains the city’s current property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money. The primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.

The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.

The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

FY18 Recommended Budget released

City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented a $336.5 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Recommended Budget to City Council at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The Recommended Budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands. Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

The Recommended Budget also includes $49.8 million to support the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also two recommended financial policy revisions regarding the Minimum Fund Balance Policy for the General fund and the Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds that will provide clearer definition for the reserves to strengthen the city’s financial position.

The FY18 Recommended Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Council is scheduled to vote on the final budget in June.

City begins FY18 budget discussions Feb 7

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2018 budget-building process begins at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 7.

This is the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. This presentation will give a general overview of the city’s budget and review the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis will be placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2018 budget.

The presentation will also discuss outside issues that will influence the outcomes of the budget process.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions.

This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/ at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Council adopts FY16 final budget

The Surprise City Council adopted a $304.7 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget, Tuesday night, that addresses immediate operational needs, continues service increases and maintains the property tax rate.

The budget also raises the city’s reserves by 14% to $17 million.

Other highlights include: 

  • Pavement Preservation
  • Maintains Dial-A-Ride service expansion; continues Express Route 571
  • 18 new full time positions (Police, Fire-Medical, utilities, general government operations)
  • Surprise Regional Library operations (required by previous county agreement)
  • Vehicle and Asset Replacement

Council also agreed to maintain the FY15 property tax rate at $.07591 per $100 of assessed valuation.

While Council’s action maintains the property tax levy for FY16, home valuations have increased. Home valuations are set by the Maricopa County Assessor. While the tax rate has not changed, higher home valuations will result in a 2.6%, or $171,600, increase year-over-year. The annual increase on a $100,000 home would be $1.93.

Council will formally adopt the property tax levy on June 16.

The complete FY16 Budget will be posted online at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Budget: A vision for the future

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

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

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

There are no tax increases in the FY15 budget.

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the public improvements in the budget include:

 

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