Tag Archives: budget

March 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

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

Census 2020 Starts This Month

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

Between March 12-20, you will receive a letter in the mail with a website address and Census ID number explaining how to respond online. The letter will also offer a toll free number for phone response and describe the process for receiving a paper survey.

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

Dedication of Ottawa University’s New Buildings

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

Texas Rangers Player Housing Ribbon Cutting

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

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

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

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

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

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

Surprise Retail Survey

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

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

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

Surprise Retail Survey Banner

Surprise Youth Council Accepting Applications

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

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

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

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

Budget Talks

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

Babe Ruth League registration open; volunteer coaches needed

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

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

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

Highlights

Expanded Surprise Resource Center Hours

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

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

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

Fire-Medical Assistant Chief Johnston Retires

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

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

Coming Up

State of the City

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

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

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

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

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

Baseball Art & Collectables Exhibit

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

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

Residential Waste Cleanup Event on March 14

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

Surprise residents are permitted to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of non-hazardous residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a limit of one load per household.

Acceptable items include lawn waste and other household refuse.

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

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

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

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

Teen College Tours

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

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

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

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

Public Art Bus Tour

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

Festival of the Arts at Valley Vista High School

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

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

Egg-Stravaganza

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

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

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

City Council Meetings

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

February 2020 • Newsletter

Thank You!

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

New Vice Mayor

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

Councilmember Chris Judd swears in as Vice Mayor.

Spring Training

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

Asante Library Grand Opening

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

Budget Kick off

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

Police Promotions

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

Sterling Grove Tour

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

State of the State

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

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

Free Tax Preparation

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

Highlights

MLK Day of Service and Celebration

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

ACA Spelling Bee

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

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

Toll Brother Ribbon Cutting

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

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

Coming Up

Surprise City Academy

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

Surprise Spring Training 5K

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

2020 College Baseball Classic

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

Senior Sweetheart Dance

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

Artisan Treasures Food Truck & Handmade Market

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

Teen Rec Night

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

Chiles and Chocolate

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

Lunch & Learn

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

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

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

City Council Meetings

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

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