Tag Archives: new businesses

April 2019 • Newsletter

State of the City of Surprise

It was a night of celebration on March 28, as I had the opportunity to host the 2019 State of the City video premiere, which highlighted the city’s most shining moments over the past year.

The video captured the city’s incredible commercial and industrial growth, with two new manufacturing facilities and more than 1.3 million square feet of new commercial space added last year.

Viewers learned about the growing partnership between the city and Ottawa University and the opportunity residents will have to use some of the school’s state-of-the-art recreation space that opens this fall.

Future focused, the video highlighted some of the city’s larger building projects, including the Asante Branch Library; Toll Brothers executive housing development; and the advancement of the Decide Surprise bond projects.

The importance of preparation was addressed; planning for water resources and transportation and public safety needs… and how the 2020 Census will play an important part in all of that.

We also paid tribute to the countless volunteers who share their time and expertise in building our community.

After the video premiere, attendees made their way through the first floor of City Hall and the courtyard to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the current City Hall building. Participants enjoyed great entertainment from our local schools and recreation programs, fantastic food trucks and plenty of fun activities that helped residents get to know more about the city departments that serve them.

Watch the State of the City video and see event photos at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

Transportation Survey

You can help make a difference concerning transportation in our City by taking this survey. Just ten minutes of your time will tell us about your transportation needs and priorities which will help us decide our region’s transportation priorities and system. Your responses will play a critical role and will be utilized in the aggregate, along with the responses of others just like you, to help shape the region’s future.

MAG Transportation Survey

We understand that everyone leads a busy life and greatly appreciate any time you can give to this research effort. Take the survey.

Events & Meetings

Spring Training

As another Spring Training season concludes, we are grateful to have the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers call Surprise their spring home. We are excited to wish them the best of luck on their quests for a World Series Championship.

Surprise Stadium

Thank you to our grounds crew, Sports and Tourism Department, Surprise Sundancers volunteer organization, fans and so many more for making this another successful Spring Training in Surprise. Once again, thank you to the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers for their support in our community.

Read Across America

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Week, I had the pleasure of reading to the two classes at Countryside Elementary School. I look forward to sharing my love of reading each year with these students.

Speaking on Civic Engagement

Earlier this month, I was invited to meet with Mrs. Beth Hutchens-Maloney and her class to discuss civic engagement and the importance of using your voice. It is always great to be able to speak to our youth about giving back, paying it forward and using your voice and talents for the greater good.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winners

My sixth annual Literacy Challenge visit took place this past month, where I visited Mrs. Lovely’s 5th grade class along with Ms. Eby’s 4th grade class. Over 2,500 students in 4th-6th grade from 11 schools participated in this two-month challenge to experience literacy in fun and interesting ways. Participating students are given 29 literacy challenges, like visiting their local public library and engaging with librarians. I look forward to this great tradition every year.

Surprise Literacy Challenge Winner with Mayor Hall

Community Meetings

In March, three community meetings were hosted by Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners throughout the city. The purpose of these meetings was to get community input on city center development. Those meetings were held in Sun Village, Sun City Grand and Larry H. Miller Surprise. Our next public meeting will be Monday, April 15th from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Marley Park Heritage Pool House (15210 West Sweetwater Avenue). I hope to see you there!

Mayor Skip Hall & Scott Phillips of Carefree Partners

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Did you know that Surprise’s Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth and Bambino Buddy Ball players make up the largest league in the entire state of Arizona with more than 2,000 athletes? How about that we’re the second-largest league in the country? It was great to welcome and thank the 450-plus coaches who volunteer their time for these amazing kids! Over 2000 kids play a total of 723 games between March and June on fields across our city. Thank you to the youth athletes and their coaches for your participation!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast meeting on March 1. Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault, El Mirage Mayor Alexis Hermosillo and I were asked to provide updates on the current and future plans of our city. It was a well-attended event to let the Chamber and local businesses know our vision for our respective cities.

Surprise Regional Chamber Breakfast: Meet the Mayors

New Businesses

Nothing Bundt Cakes

On March 7, we welcomed Nothing Bundt Cakes to the city of Surprise! Please make sure to check them out! They are located at 15332 West Bell Road.

Nothing Bundt Cakes staff seen with Mayor Hall

Avenir Behavioral Health Center

I had the pleasure of attending and welcoming Avenir Behavioral Health Center to Surprise on March 20. Avenir, a family owned and operated company, has built a state-of-the-art behavioral health facility for people over the age of 65. The health center consists of two separate wings with private and semi-private suites. Welcome to Surprise, Avenir!

Avenir Behavioral Health Center staff cutting ribbon

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival

The next Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival will be held on April 14th at the Mark Coronado Park (15850 N Bullard Ave) from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. This is a fun, family event with live music provided by the Steven P Project and amazing food!

Spring EGG-stravanganza

Eager hunters, from toddlers to 10 year-olds, are invited to join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled eggs as part of the Spring EGG-stravaganza! This is a free, family event that will feature face painters, balloon artists, inflatables and, of course, Mr. & Mrs. Bunny! Gates will open at 7:30 a.m. at the Kansas City Royals Practice Fields, 15850 N Bullard Avenue.

Surprise Talent Show

The city of Surprise is looking for its most talented residents! The Surprise Talent Show will take place on April 26th from 6 – 8 p.m. at Valley Vista High School (15550 N. Parkview Place). The categories are singing, performance, instrumental, dance, and theater/comedy. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Household Hazardous Waste

The annual Household Hazardous Waste event is underway. Now through April 12 residents can make an appointment online at www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, through the My Surprise App, or by calling 623.222.1900 for their household hazardous waste to be picked up. Pick up will occur April 8-19. Residents will place their hazardous waste, on the driveway or against the garage, not on the sidewalk or curb. Properly packaged, sealed and labeled items will be picked up between the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on April 2 and April 16 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. The FY20 budget will be discussed at each Work Session through April. We hope to see you there!

Did You Know?

The Surprise Community Outreach Program, a City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents, is now accepting applications. The purpose of the program is provide funding assistance to organizations within the city of Surprise for programs, events, and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of the community. Council set aside up to $100,000 for FY2019-2020 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, April 30, 2019 and should be addressed to:

Human Service & Community Vitality
Attention: Jodi Tas
City of Surprise
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held Wednesday, April 3, at 11:00 a.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or Jodi.Tas@surpriseaz.gov

March 2019 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Meeting with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko

Last week, City Council met with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. We provided her with a city update and made her aware of Council initiatives and city needs which included support of funding for transit and transportation needs, as well as a future home for our veterans. She was able to provide us with updates on her work in Washington, D.C.

Surprise City Council pictured with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko
Surprise City Council pictured with Congresswoman Debbie Lesko

Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic

The Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic returned to Surprise, featuring the 2018 College World Series Baseball Champions, the Oregon State Beavers, along with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, New Mexico Lobos, and the Minnesota Gophers. It was a great turnout, and I enjoyed recognizing the Oregon State Beavers for their great 2018 season.

Mayor Hall pictured with Oregon State Head Coach Pat Bailey
Mayor Hall pictured with Oregon State Head Coach Pat Bailey

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

We welcomed the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers to Surprise on Friday, February 15. Representatives of the Royals and Rangers gave insight into the season ahead. I wish both teams luck in their upcoming seasons.

City Council pictured at the Welcome Back Luncheon
City Council pictured at the Welcome Back Luncheon

Building Homes for Heroes

City Council had the distinct honor to attend a welcome home ceremony for Staff Sgt. Robles here in Surprise. Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank partnered to give this deserving veteran a mortgage free home. Thank you for your service, Staff Sgt. Robles, and welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd, Sanders, Hayden and Winters pictured with Sgt. Robles and members of Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank
Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd, Sanders, Hayden and Winters pictured with Sgt. Robles and members of Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank

New Businesses in Surprise

This month, I had the great opportunity to attend four ribbon cuttings in our city:

On February 1, I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting with Councilmembers Ken Remley, Nancy Hayden, Chris Judd, and David Sanders for My Goodies, located at 15170 West Bell Road.

Mayor Hall, Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, and Sanders pictured with My Goodies owners Jessica and Melissa
Mayor Hall, Councilmembers Hayden, Judd, and Sanders pictured with My Goodies owners Jessica and Melissa

On February 7th, all of City Council attended the Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Hospital ribbon cutting. Destiny Springs is a beautiful, state of the art facility located at 17300 North Dysart Road.

City Council pictured with Destiny Springs owner Dr. Martin Newman and CEO Burton Carriker
City Council pictured with Destiny Springs owner Dr. Martin Newman and CEO Burton Carriker

On February 21st, we welcomed Champs Family Automotive! It was exciting to have Congresswoman Debbie Lesko join us for this event.

Mayor Hall and Councilwoman Hayden pictured with the Champs Family Automotive team and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko
Mayor Hall and Councilwoman Hayden pictured with the Champs Family Automotive team and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko

Mark Your Calendar

State of the City & 10 Year City Hall Celebration

This month, the city is combining the annual State of the City address with a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the opening of our current City Hall. It’s going to be a fun event for the whole family and an opportunity to learn more about the different ways your city serves you. The event will be held the evening of Thursday, March 28. At 6 p.m., you are invited to the City Council Chambers to watch a State of the City video that will show our accomplishments from this past year and a look forward to what’s coming next. Following the video presentation, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., please join us in the outside courtyard of City Hall for food, entertainment, games, a showcase of the city’s programs and services, and more!

This is your opportunity to meet City Council and staff who serve you!

City Center Community Meeting

Please join us on March 7 at 4pm for a Community Meeting at Sun Village to talk about the City Center. The meeting will be held in the Sun Village multi-purpose room located at 17300 North Sun Village Parkway. I hope to see you there. Make sure to keep an eye out for future meetings throughout Surprise.

Household Hazardous Waste

The annual Household Hazardous Waste event will be a little different this year. Starting in 2019, we will be coming to you to pick up your Hazardous Waste. April 1-12 residents can request pickup online at www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, through the My Surprise App, or by calling 623.222.1900. Pickup will occur April 8-19. Residents will place their hazardous waste on the driveway or against the garage, not on the sidewalk or curb. Properly packaged, sealed and labeled items will be picked up between the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the scheduled collection date.

Spring Training Begins

Spring Training is in full swing here in the desert for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers! Make sure to visit www.surprisestadium.com for tickets, fan promotions, and fan experiences. On Friday, March 22, Surprise Stadium will even have a special Fireworks Night, presented by Jimmy Johns!

Mayor Hall pictured with Royals special assistant Mike Sweeney
Mayor Hall pictured with Royals special assistant Mike Sweeney

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on March 5 and March 19 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. The FY20 budget will be discussed at each future Work Session through April 2. We hope to see you there!


Did You Know?

Utility Rate Study Approved by City Council

City Council approved the Utility Rate Study during the February 19th Regular Council Meeting, effectively adjusting the five-year rate schedule for city serviced solid waste customers at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Single-family solid waste customers will pay a monthly base rate of $20.70 starting July 1, 2019 and with another scheduled increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The rate schedule will then increase the rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2023. Residential water and wastewater utility rates will remain unchanged in FY 2020-2024. This is the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. For information regarding the Utility Rate Study, it can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.

January 31, 2019 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

New District 5 Councilmember Selected

The Surprise City Council appointed David Sanders to serve as the new District 5 Councilmember at the January 3 City Council Meeting.

Sanders has lived in Surprise for nine years. His professional background is in banking/finance, and he has an MBA in International Business and Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University – San Marcos.

He has served on the city’s Community and Recreation Advisory Commission since 2013 and was a member of the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee in 2015.

The D5 seat was vacated in November 2018 when I was appointed as the new Mayor.

The term expiration for this appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled council election in August 2020 per state statute.

The Surprise City Council appointed David Sanders to serve as the new District 5 Councilmember at the January 3 City Council Meeting

Update on the Hands Free Use of Mobile Devices While Driving Ordinance

During the Jan. 15 City Council Meeting, Police Chief Terry Young presented a traffic safety update on the Hands Free Use of Mobile Devices While Driving Ordinance, which went into effect Sept. 6.

For the first month that the ordinance was in effect, the Police Department focused on education rather than enforcement. During that time, there was an effort to communicate the change to the public through warnings, road signs, media, social media and other communications vehicles.

After the first month, Police transitioned to the enforcement side; a violation of the ordinance is a civil offense that includes a $250 fine. From October through December, there were 201 traffic contacts related to this ordinance. Of those, 125 were issued citations, and 76 were issued warnings. Chief Young pointed out that the most prevalent locations for ordinance violations were Bell Road (46%) and Greenway Road (8%); the remaining of 46% of violations were spread throughout the city. He also took the three months of data and multiplied it by four to provide an estimate of yearly numbers in comparison to other traffic violations. In this comparison, violation of the ordinance was ranked number five amongst traffic enforcement efforts in Surprise, following speeding, no proof of insurance, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, and stop sign violations.

2019 PORA/SCHOA Legislative Meeting

Earlier this month, I joined our Legislators from Districts 21 and 22, Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko’s staff and Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault at a meeting hosted by Sun City West Property Owners and Residents Association (PORA) and Sun City Home Owners Association (SCHOA). Each elected official provided an update on our respective cities, counties and what is expected this legislative session.

Dysart Unified School District Meeting

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Quinn Kellis, Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District, to discuss our continued partnership and determine additional ways we can support our youth in Surprise.

New Businesses in Surprise

I love welcoming new businesses and celebrating ones that are expanding; and I was proud to be part of some grand opening events recently.

On December 5, I attended the ribbon cutting for Café Rio’s new location at 13968 W. Waddell Road.

Surprise City Council at the Cafe Rio grand opening

And then on December 14, I had the honor of helping with the ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage office on 13985 W Grand Avenue.

Mayor Skip Hall helping with the ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage office


Mark Your Calendar

State of the City & 10 Year City Hall Celebration

This March, the city is combining the annual State of the City address with a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the opening of our current City Hall. It’s going to be a really fun event for the whole family and an opportunity to learn more about the different ways your city serves you. The event will be held the evening of Thursday, March 28. At 6 p.m. you are invited to City Council Chambers to watch a State of the City video that will show our accomplishments from this past year and a look forward to what’s coming next. Following the video presentation, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., join us in the outside courtyard of City Hall for food, entertainment, games, a showcase of the city’s programs and services, and more!

Spring Training Begins February 23

Spring Training is right around the corner, and we are excited to welcome our Spring Training home teams, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, back to town! If you are looking to catch a game, there are a variety of ticket options to choose from – starting at just $8 for lawn seats! Plus, we have great promotional deals for residents, families and veterans. On Friday, March 22, Surprise Stadium will even have a special Fireworks Night, presented by Jimmy John’s! Get information on tickets, game schedule promotions and more at www.surprisestadium.com.

Artisan Treasures Sweet Spring Festival

Join us for a creative market shopping experience at the “Artisan Treasures Sweet Spring & Food Truck Festival” presented by Wood & Me on Saturday, February 16. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and will feature over 100 local artists and vendors at Mark Coronado Park, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Parking and admission are free. The first 100 guests will receive a treasure bag full of goodies, courtesy of participating vendors and Wood & Me. For information about the event, visit www.woodnme.com or contact Surprise Stadium at 623.222.2222.


Did You Know?

New Council Conversations Show

I have a new Council Conversations show out, and it has details on some exciting changes in Surprise. I talk with Ottawa University Provost Dennis Tyner about the school’s expanding footprint at City Center, and introduce our new City Manager and first-ever Emergency Manager. Watch the Show.

Council Conversations Show image

Volunteer for a Board or Commission

Volunteering on a board or commission is great way to get involved. The city is currently accepting applications for a vacancy on the Audit Committee, but we also accept applications for all boards and commissions on an open basis and will keep applications on file for four years for future vacancies. Applications are available for pick-up from the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Surprise Recreation Campus Hosts Tennis and Pickleball Tournaments

January has been a big month for Tennis and Pickleball in Surprise. The city hosted the Tommy Wong Pickleball Tournament and the Southwest Regional Pickleball Championships – with each drawing approximately 600 players and spectators! Plus, USTA hosted two tennis tournaments, the National Level 3 Jr. Classic and 65 and Over National Invitational, which brought in a combined 642 participants.

If you are interested in watching some exciting court play, there are a few more events coming up in February. The USTA 65 and over National Invitational – 7.0 and 9.0 Men and Women is February 1-3, the USTA Pro Circuit is February 11-17, and the Grand Canyon State Games Pickleball Tournament is February 21-26. Get more information at www.surpriseaz.gov/tennis.

Bell Road Bridge Name Change

Earlier this month, the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names unanimously approved the Veterans’ Bridge name proposal for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue Bridge presented by Senator Rick Gray at the request of Councilman Ken Remley and myself. The approved name will be filed with the Secretary of State, as well as the Clerk of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

I am happy that our city continues to find ways to honor our heroes.