Tag Archives: coronavirus

April 2020 • Newsletter

Fellow Residents of Surprise,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will get through this together!

Sincerely,

Mayor Skip Hall

Mayor Hall Declares Local State of Emergency in Surprise

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

Effective 5 p.m. this evening, city facilities will be closed to public until further notice. City business will continue to be conducted. Please be assured that core services will not be affected, including fire-medical, police, trash, water and other essential city services. Additionally, the city is suspending all City of Surprise water customer shutoffs through May 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please contact the city by phone or email for assistance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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