Tag Archives: new businesses

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.

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.

April 2021 • Newsletter

State of the City 2021

On April 13, I invite you to tune into a video premiere of our State of the City at 6 p.m. We will reflect on the resilience of our community and look forward to what’s on the horizon.

The State of the City video premiere will be carried live on Surprise TV, online at 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.

State of the City thumbnail

Economic Development Update

Crumbl Cookies has signed a lease at the southwest corner of Litchfield and Waddell, the “Marley Park” corner! Founded in Logan, UT in 2017, Crumbl now has more than 75 locations in 11 states. They offer cookie favorites such as chocolate chip and sugar cookies as well as 120 flavors that rotate weekly! More information: https://crumblcookies.com

B&B Appliances is moving into the former Luby’s location on Bell Road, east of RH Johnson Blvd, and is on track to open this month! B & B is a local family-owned appliance retailer that sells “mis-ordered” and scratched and dented appliances as well as brand new appliances. More information: https://bbappliances.com/

Surprise City Council Budget Retreat

The Surprise City Council Budget Retreat will take place on Friday, April 16 and will be open to public attendance. It will also be televised for those wishing to watch remotely. The retreat begins at 9 a.m. in City Council Chambers. There will be a lunch break approximately between 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

At the retreat, Council will continue the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget, which is scheduled to be released to the City Council in April. Final budget adoption comes in June, and Fiscal Year 2022 begins July 1, 2021.

In addition to in-person public comment, the public may comment by email prior to the start of the meeting. To submit email comments, please email publiccomments@surpriseaz.gov.

For more information about the budget-building process for Fiscal Year 2022 visit, surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

Surprise is joining cities across the country in asking residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely by taking part in the annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. The annual challenge is a non-profit national community service campaign to see which cities can best inspire their residents to make an online pledge at mywaterpledge.com to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and save energy.

To participate, residents must make a series of online pledges to conserve water through April 30. Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the Challenge in their population category are entered into drawings for hundreds of eco-friendly prizes. In 2020, Surprise placed seventh in our population category!

In addition to participating in national and statewide water conservation campaigns, Surprise offers rebates to city-serviced water customers, landscape workshops, school presentations and more. To learn more about the Surprise water conservation program and resources for residents, visit surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation

Surprise Parks & Recreation Commission Hall of Fame

The City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission voted to induct Charley Pride and Buck O’Neil into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame. Other 2021 Hall of Fame inductees includes: Gold Glove winners Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers; and Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals.

Charley Pride, the legendary recording artist and performer who entertained millions around the world was no stranger to the game of baseball. Pride pitched in both the Negro and Minor Leagues throughout the 1950’s. Buck O’Neil, a Kansas City baseball legend, contributed to the sport of baseball in several ways, including as a player, a manager, and later as a speaker and historian for the Negro League. In 1962, he became the first black coach in Major League Baseball, working with the Chicago Cubs.

The Commission would also like to formally recognize 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Mike Planeta. Planeta advocated to ensure that the quality of recreation facilities and programming in Surprise remained at a first-class level.

Property Maintenance Ordinance

Currently, the City of Surprise follows the 2006 International Property Maintenance Code, or IPMC. The IPMC sets the standards of safety and appearance to all structures and premises within the city. The City of Surprise wants to replace the current property maintenance code, with one that is more specific to Surprise.

The City of Surprise has scheduled two virtual public meetings; the next being on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. Residents have until May 2nd to comment on the re-write. For more information on the public meetings and 60-day-comment period, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

Important Information for Southwest Gas Customers

Southwest Gas is transforming their customer information system from the ground up on Monday, May 3, 2021, to provide an improved customer experience along with enhanced security. For important information on how this will impact you and the way your account will be serviced, please visit swgas.com/new4u. The site will provide regular updates and tools to help you navigate the new system.

CARES Act Funding Update

City Council and staff have been intentional in how CARES Act money would be dispersed to help our residents, businesses, and our most vulnerable population. Federal, state and county leadership assisted in helping so many in need through this COVID crisis. Our job, at the local level, was to evaluate and serve the underserved. We focused on where our CARES Act allocations could help those that were not getting help elsewhere.

In September 2020, City Council approved dispersing $430,000 in funding to address COVID-19 community and business needs. $250,000 supported local businesses with fewer than 25 employees, with revenues less than $2 million. The funds helped pay staff, rent, utilities and administrative program costs. We also reviewed other shortfalls in senior meals, homeless outreach and water billing assistance and allocated $155,000 to these resources.

On November 3, City Council voted to disperse an additional $100,000 in Small Business Relief funding, while expecting the scope of assistance to include small business retailers and non-profits with commercial space who were not restricted by the Governor’s Executive Orders. City Council also approved an additional $25,000 for water utility payment relief (the first round was $15,000).

AZ Cares Act dollar allocationl

The fully-utilized $350,000 Surprise Small Business Relief Grant was dispersed over two rounds, retained 483 local jobs, and helped 79 eligible local small businesses in the community. Eligible small business grant applicants fell into five categories ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 and had experienced either a mandatory business closure or severe capacity modification due to Governor Ducey’s Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surprise small business relief distribution.

Community Outreach Grant Program

The City of Surprise is pleased to announce the Community Outreach Program. The major purpose of the program is to provide funding assistance to organizations within the City of Surprise for programs, events, and activities to enhance the overall lifestyle of the community. Council has set aside up to $100,000 for FY2021-2022 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. For more information on how to apply, please visit surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram

August 2020 • Newsletter

We began our new fiscal year on July 1, with Council on recess and many families on road trips, etc., so it seems fitting to kick-off my August newsletter by saying “welcome back!” I am honored to represent Surprise, and I want to reiterate my commitment to serving you. I am confident that we have a united and talented team of staff and leadership in place to continue to move this city forward.

Primary Election Results

Earlier this week, Arizona held its primary election. Surprise voted on candidates for Mayor and City Council Districts 2, 3 and 4 with terms ending December 31, 2024. Voters choose a District 5 Councilmember for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2022. The winners will assume office the first meeting in January 2021 after receiving the official oath of office. Below are the preliminary election results as of August 5:


Skip Hall, 24,784 Votes (96.92%)

Cheryl Packham (Write-in Candidate), 407 Votes (1.59%)

District 2:

Alyson “Aly” Cline, 4,772 Votes (63.77%)

Wendell Fountain, 2,683 (35.85%)

District 3:

Patrick Duffy (Incumbent Councilmember), 2,891 Votes (68.31%)

Greg Norberg, 1,316 Votes (31.1%)

District 4:

Ken Remley (Incumbent Councilmember), 2,499 Votes (98.62%)

District 5:

Jack Hastings, 2,063 Votes (59.15%)

David Sanders (Incumbent Councilmember), 1,331 Votes (38.16%)

Kawika Henderson (Write-in Candidate), 71 Votes (2.04%)

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by August 24, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Amazon Building in Surprise

Amazon recently closed escrow in Surprise! They are locating a brand new 150,000 square foot “last mile delivery station” at the Surprise Rail Plex, just south of the entertainment center near Uptown Alley on Litchfield Road. Initial estimates are that this will bring a minimum of 300 new jobs. The new operation will serve the northwest Greater Phoenix market and will bring tremendous employment, capital investment and revenues to the community! Construction is expected to begin this first week of August.

Virtual Ribbon Cutting Contest Finale

Over the last 5 weeks, 101 Surprise businesses have been featured for their virtual ribbon cuttings! Each week, the community voted for their favorite virtual ribbon cutting video. The top five businesses are going head to head this week, and the winner will be announced the week of August 8th. Please visit the Economic Development webpage to see the winner: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/988/Economic-Development

The finalists are:

1:12 Nutrition – 13833 W. Bell Rd
Barro’s Pizza – 15403 W. Greenway Rd
Joe Streckfuss Plumbing – 11340 W. Bell Rd
Spencer’s Place – 15431 W. Waddell Rd
TEAM 4 Kids – 13601 N. Litchfield Rd

Surprise Community Outreach Program

Applications are now being accepted for a City Council-led initiative that assists community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit Surprise residents. The Community Outreach Program offers funding assistance to organizations for programs, events, and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of our community. Council set aside up to $100,000 for FY2020-2021 in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events that 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. For more information including the application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements, visit surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram or please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330. Applications will be accepted through Monday, August 31, 2020.

Water Resource Management Director Named

Surprise City Manager Mike Frazier has announced that Lee Lambert will serve as the city’s new Water Resource Management Director.

Lee has served as Acting Director of the Water Resource Management (WRM) Department since February, stepping in from his role as Assistant WRM Director.

Lee has worked for the City of Surprise since 2005, starting in project management roles that included work on multiple Capital Improvement Projects. Lee was named Water Manager in 2013 and was promoted to WRM Assistant Director in January of 2019. Previous to the city of Surprise, Lee held positions with the Maricopa County Planning Department and Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Lee was selected as the permanent WRM Director after a very competitive process that included candidates from around the country.

Water Resource Management Director Lee Lambert

Planning & Zoning Commission Vacancy

Are you looking to volunteer for the city? The city is currently accepting applications for the Planning and Zoning Commission. This particular vacancy will serve the remainder of the current term set to expire on June 20, 2023. Applications are available for pick-up at the City Clerk’s office from 8 am through 5 pm, Monday through Friday at City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza). Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards. Please submit the applications in person or via email to clerk@surpriseaz.gov.

COVID-19 Update

Given the pandemic, we continue to face challenges in all aspects of our lives, but I am confident that we will overcome these setbacks. We will return economically stronger and with much hope as a closer and tighter community. None of us could have predicted what 2020 was going to bring. COVID-19 demanded swift action at every level of government; action that I know was appreciated by many in our community. I have made it my highest priority to ensure we get through these uncertain times and keep our community safe. I’ve worked in consultation with the Governor’s office, Maricopa County, public health experts, hospital administrators, our City Council, City Manager and City Attorney to make some tough decisions. We have a moral obligation to protect public health and avoid transmissions that would cost residents their health and put extra demands on medical resources.

June 2020 • Newsletter

This has been a unique time in history for us with many things slowing down or pausing for the protection of public health. But in the midst of all this, development in Surprise has continued to flourish, and there are some exciting things to look forward to.

For the foodies in the city, we have a new ice cream shop, Handel’s Ice Cream, and Mexican restaurant, Mr. Mesquite Taqueria in the Prasada / Loop 303 corridor. A Starbucks is also set to open in the area.

Costco continues to move forward with a newly advertised opening timeline of this fall. I know that many of you are excited for the doors to open, and it won’t be long now!

Our city’s first microhospital is hiring and almost ready to open. Abrazo Surprise Hospital expands our city’s ability to care for community health – something we deeply understand the need for during this time.

A second Legacy Traditional School is under construction in the city at the northwest corner of Cotton Lane and Cactus Road, adjacent to the city’s first luxury resort-style community, Sterling Grove by Toll Brothers! Education is an important foundation for a sustainable community, and we are lucky to have quality options for our children here in Surprise.

City Center also has some big projects in the pipeline. Several new multi-family residential projects are in process, including a new housing facility for the Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team. The facility will be built north of Greenway Road and east of Bullard Avenue. Now, both the Royals and Rangers will have a home here year-round. Plus, a new Springhill Suites Marriott is under review in City Center.

Additionally, Mera City Center Apartments is under construction on Greenway Road. This development is a resort-style, 55+ active adult community. My office received several concerns once City Council approved the site plan so I wanted to take this opportunity to elaborate on it. The City Center Planned Area Development (PAD) allows this type of development. The PAD was approved by Council on January 11, 2001 which was long before any of the current Council served on City Council. City Council cannot arbitrarily deny a project that is in compliance with zoning and all other development requirements. This project complied with all zoning and city development regulations and standards, therefore, it was approved.

In the Surprise Rail Plex industrial district, 36,000 square feet of flexible storefront industrial, retail and office space was just completed, growing options for commercial and industrial businesses.

The wide range of development happening across the city right now shows that we are maturing, growing and able to support an exciting mix of new projects.

When the Census wraps up this year, we are aiming to have a complete count of our population. The data from the Census helps businesses decide where to locate. It’s just one of the many reasons that it’s important to fill out the survey. If you haven’t already, please take it online at www.my2020census.gov. You can also call 844-330-2020 or send in the paper form that was mailed to you.

New businesses aren’t the only thing we are celebrating right now. Our Economic Development team has been hosting Virtual Ribbon Cuttings to help local businesses get the word out that they have reopened. When you support your local restaurants and retail stores, you not only help keep unique offerings here in Surprise, you also create local jobs and keep tax dollars at home where they can be used for parks, street maintenance, police and fire-medical.

Little by little, we are returning to some sort of normalcy with our events as well. I am happy to say that the city will feature a 20-minute fireworks display on July 4 beginning at 8:40 p.m. The display will be staged in the area around Bullard Avenue and Paradise Lane. While we share in our community’s excitement to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s important to do so responsibly. As a result of COVID-19 concerns, this year’s Fourth of July Celebration will be greatly modified in an effort to avoid mass gatherings and maintain physical distancing, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

I am proud to be the mayor of a city that understands the importance of community and the value of supporting each other. As we look forward, remember to be kind and think safe, Surprise. We will return stronger than ever!

January 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).

Speed Limit Change

The speed limit on Grand Avenue has been updated and is designed to reduce variations in vehicle speeds along specified sections. ADOT waited until the completion of recent construction before evaluating traffic speeds and other factors to determine if speed limits needed to be raised. The speed limit changes are based on safety considerations that occur when most traffic is traveling at nearly the same speed. The speed limit along Grand Avenue, between Thunderbird and Reems Roads, has been raised from 45 to 50 mph. The speed limit along the rest of the section of US 60, between Reems Road and R.H. Johnson Boulevard, has been raised from 45 to 55 mph. Please note these changes and as always, Drive Wise Surprise.

City Awarded Grant

The City of Surprise was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation to advance community initiatives. This grant will help to support several of the Human Service and Community Vitality (HSCV) Department programs and initiatives to include the Crisis Assistance Fund, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, expanded After School & Summer Programming and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration. These programs bring our community together and assist many residents in a time of need. If you would like any information on these programs, please call HSCV at 623-222-1500.

National Anthem Performers Needed

The city is looking for experienced vocalists, musicians and Color Guards to perform the National Anthem for the upcoming Cactus League Spring Training Games. Interested National Anthem performers may attend open auditions on Saturday, January 11, from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at the Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. Performers will need to enter through the third base gate nearest the parking lot. Pre-registration is not required, and tryouts will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Interested parties may also submit a video or audio recording to Zachary.Regan@surpriseaz.gov no later than January 11. If your organization is interested in presenting the colors during the Spring Training Games, please contact Zachary Regan for a list of criteria and registration instructions.

Tax Preparation Volunteers

As we welcome in the new year, we welcome a new tax season. Volunteers are needed to provide free tax return preparation for low-to-moderate income individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. There is no prior tax preparation experience needed, as training will be provided. Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of 25 hours at a VITA site during tax season, January through April 15. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Puja Sachan at psachan@TurnaNewLeaf.org.

Draft Land Development Ordinances

The city’s effort to simplify and modernize its development and design standards continues with new drafts of the Land Development Ordinances (LDO) online for public review and comment. The LDO’s regulate housing density, commercial and industrial use, building types, heights, landscaping and more. If you are interested in viewing the drafts or submitting your comments, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/developnext.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

I had the privilege to sit down and meet with five of our Surprise Youth Council Members. These young adults are active in our community as they participate in service projects, focus groups, events and youth forums. They connect with policy makers and work towards solving problems. These students work with local leaders, non-profits and school administrators to make a difference in Surprise. Thank you for your dedication to our city.

Mayor Hall and the Surprise Youth Council.


EPCOR owns and operates a water treatment facility off of Cactus Road at the White Tank Mountains. I was privileged to be able to tour the facility and get a first-hand look at water filtering. This facility services approximately 1/3 of Surprise, as well as several surrounding cities. They are one of the only facilities in the country to utilize the latest magnetite technology to assist in water purification. During the late summer months, this facility alone will filter 21 million gallons of water a day! I would like to thank the staff of EPCOR for inviting me to take this very informative tour.

Fire Station Open Houses

The City of Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) is continuing its series of fire station open houses. Residents are invited to meet the firefighters, check out the living quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks. Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls. Upcoming open houses include, FS 302 (18600 N. Reems Road) on January 4, FS 307 (16171 W. Cactus Road) on January 11, FS 301 (16750 N. Village Drive) on January 25, FS 305 (16750 N. Village Dr.) on February 1 and the final open house will be on February 22, FS 304 (24900 N. 163rd Ave). All open houses are held from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For more information or any questions, please contact the SFMD at 623-222-5000.


Happy Trails

The staff and residents of Happy Trails welcomed me at their recent Town Hall Meeting. I was able to give valuable city updates and answer questions. I was overwhelmed by the number of residents in attendance as well as the audience engagement. I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to speak.

Mayor Hall speaks to residents at Happy Trails.

Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is something to look forward to every year! This year, residents enjoyed the live music, a snow hill, crafts, hot air balloons and much more. I was honored to be able to lead the crowd in the countdown of the tree lighting. Thank you to our Parks and Recreation staff for their dedication to ensuring this event is a success every year.

Deck the Hock

Thank you to all the residents and staff for making Deck the Hock a successful event. This night brought residents to the Surprise Senior Center for crafts, carols and even snow. These community events are very enjoyable.

Tech the Halls

The Tech the Halls event offered sci-tech exhibits combined with holiday cheer. Our Economic Development Department did an outstanding job of combining educational exhibits with family fun. There were many activities and prizes that kept residents busy as they explored the AZ TechCelerator.

Adaptive Winter Party

Thank you to the Parks and Recreation team for their continued support and dedication to hosting the Adaptive Winter Party. This was the 13th Annual Celebration which brought students and adults to DreamCatcher Park for the opportunity to enjoy crafts, games, music and tree decorating.

Angry Crab Shack Ribbon Cutting

The City of Surprise welcomes our newest addition to the Bel Mar complex. Located at 11340 W. Bell Road, this new seafood restaurant offers a family friendly environment with an appetizing menu. Welcome to Surprise, and we wish you much success.

Coming Up

Shred-A-Thon & Prescription Drug Take-Back

The Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, will be hosting a Shred-A-Thon and Prescription Drug Take-Back Event on Saturday, January 11 from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. This free event will allow residents to shred up to five boxes per vehicle! They will also be accepting unused prescriptions and over the counter medication for disposal. Please note that no sharps or inhalers will be allowed. Residents are encouraged to arrive early as the hours are subject to change due to truck capacity.

Fine Art and Wine Festival

The 8th Annual Thunderbird Artists Fine Art and Wine Festival is scheduled for Friday, January 10 through Sunday, January 12 at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This festival brings residents up close and personal with over 80 artists and their work. The subject matter and designs have a wide range and offer something for everyone. Admission is $3.00 per person or $10.00 per person for the wine tasting ticket. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.

MLK Day of Celebration & Service

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the city will host a day of celebration and service on Saturday, January 18, in the City Hall Courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. The day will begin with a light breakfast and musical performances at 8:30 a.m. The service projects will kick off at 9:45 a.m. This annual celebration brings residents from throughout our city together to work as a community and show pride in our city. I hope to see you there!

Classic Dog Show

The Kachina Kennel Club is the first kennel club in the West Valley and was formed in 1975. They held their first breed show in 1978 and are now bringing the Copper Classic Dog Show to Mark Coronado Park on Friday, January 24 – Sunday, January 26. This show will bring visitors from across the state for a chance to be awarded the grand prize. Please be sure to watch my Facebook for updates on exact times and shows.

Surprise Spring Training 5K

The 3rd Annual Spring Training 5K/1K will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 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.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 7 and Tuesday, January 21 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.

October 2019 • 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).

Ottawa University Football

Ottawa University Spirit hosted the Western New Mexico Mustangs for their first home game of the season on Saturday, September 7. The stands were packed with cheering fans as the Spirit made their way onto the field. I was honored to participate in the coin toss and shake hands with several of the players before they made their way to the sidelines. At half time the score was tied, but the Spirit held strong and broke the tie with a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Fire Station 304 Groundbreaking

To meet the growth of the Surprise’s northern region, a permanent Fire Station 304 is being built along 163rd Avenue at San Ysidro Road. The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) has been operating out of a temporary facility for approximately 17 years.

The new Fire Station will allow the SFMD to increase service levels to maintain adequate response times. This 18,000 square foot permanent station will be designed with multiple bays to accommodate an engine, ladder company, ambulance and a Battalion Chief. The completion date is scheduled for Fall 2020.

Ribbon Cuttings

SeaCa Plastic Packaging

City Council and staff attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for SeaCa Plastic Packaging on September 25. SeaCa Plastic Packaging has been a family owned and operated business for over 125 years. They specialize in recyclable plastic packaging for agriculture needs. Their newest location will bring over 60 new jobs to the area. We welcome them to Surprise and look forward to future success.


Trimaco also hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and Council welcomed them to their new home on September 27. Trimaco is a 276,000 square foot manufacturing plant and distribution center. They manufacture paint accessories and professional floor protection products for paint retail, auto body and construction industries, both domestically and internationally. Trimaco was established 15 years ago as a result of the merger of Tri-Paper (Phoenix), DC May (Durham, NC) and Tufco Technologies (Green Bay, WI).


EoS Fitness Grand Opening

EoS Fitness is now open to the public! This 54,000 square foot facility offers group fitness, personal training, boxing, an indoor pool, cycling and much more. They are located at 16750 W. Bell Road.

EOS Fitness.

The Colonnade

Sun Health Communities held their monthly meeting at The Colonnade where over 150 residents attended. I attended to give city updates as well as answer questions and concerns. I thank all the residents who were there.

Eve’s Place Drive for Survivors

Eve’s Place, a non-profit organization, is a proud Arizona leader in developing programs that provide needed assistance to victims of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse. I was honored to participate in the Drive for Survivors fundraising event, along with Councilmembers David Sanders and Chris Judd.

Mayor Hall and Councilmembers Judd and Sanders at the Drive for Survivors fundraising event.

Constitution Day

Canyon Ridge Elementary School hosted Freedom: A History of the United States Traveling Exhibit in honor of Constitution Day. They also welcomed patriotic presenters from Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Daughters of the American Revolution. Students in costumes performed in the “Meeting the Founders” activity which included learning stations, displays and more.

Mayor’s SciTech Roundtable

The SciTech Institute hosted the Arizona STEM & Innovation Summit in Scottsdale last month. The Summit attracted 1200 educators, innovators and business leaders from around the state. I was honored to be part of the Mayor’s SciTech Roundtable discussion where I was able to talk about our recent success stories including: the launch of a Taiwanese company in the early Alzheimer’s research space called MagQu; working with an autonomous vehicle company called Udelv; and a few other wins that helped our existing base of innovations grow more than 500 West Valley jobs. Many thanks to this group for giving me the opportunity to showcase Surprise.

Mayor Hall and other participants of the Mayor's SciTech Roundtable at the Arizona STEM & Innovation Summit.

American Legion Post 96

Thank you, American Legion Post 96, for presenting me with an honorary lifetime membership. I am truly humbled by this gesture.

Congratulations to the four young men (Ethan Holman, Giovanni Miranda, Sebastian Nassif, Joshua Tunac) who were awarded the privilege to attend Boys State. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I wish you all the best.

Freedom Traditional Academy

DUSD hosted a Dedication Ceremony for their newest school, Freedom Traditional Academy. Dysart’s Freedom Traditional Academy offers an education model that recognizes character building is as important as the academics, when it comes to transitioning our young people into productive adult citizens. The back-to-basic curriculum emphasizes teaching in a traditional manner while focusing on character.

Hometown Heroes Award Luncheon

Surprise Independent and Fellowship Square hosted the Hometown Heroes Luncheon where many Surprise residents were recognized and celebrated for their daily efforts to improve the lives of others.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Chuck Strange.

Community Hero winners include Heather Casey (Educator), Connie Whitlock (Arts Innovator), Officer Matthew Barker, on behalf of the SWAT team (Emergency Responder), Kent Guyer (Mentor), Chaplain Dan Brookey (Spiritual), Glenn Stark (Veteran) and Sharon Beard (Volunteer).

The Business Hero winners include Ottawa University’s Dr. Dennis Tyner (Education), Julie Neal from the AZTechcelerator (Entrepreneur), Leo Mendez of Adelante Healthcare (Healthcare), the Surprise Youth Foundation (Nonprofit organization), Tammy Fraser of Gifts to Go (Small Business), Jennifer Powell of Amtrust Bank (Large Business) and Scott Boettcher of Veteran Tinting and Blinds (Veteran-Owned Business).

Coming Up

Fiesta Grande

The City of Surprise will be hosting the 6th Annual Fiesta Grande on Saturday, October 12 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. outside the Villanueva Recreation Complex. Join residents for authentic Mexican food, classic car shows, music, games and much more as our city celebrates its cultural heritage. The street festival recognizes the significance of the Original Town Site (OTS) and the importance of the Grand Avenue Corridor to the City of Surprise and the West Valley. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

Day of Service

The city is seeking over 200 volunteers to participate in the Fall Day of Service on Saturday, October 19. This event helps to promote community pride and engagement. There will be several indoor and outdoor service projects to include painting, sorting, yard work and other services.

Following the community service project completion, an island party will be held with BBQ, live music, games and fun! For more information, or to register, please email Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov. Groups of 10 or more must RSVP with a group name.

Public Safety G.A.I.N. Night

Public Safety G.A.I.N. Night will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. You can head out to Mark Coronado Park for a free family event that will offer trick-or-treating, gaming trailer, dinosaurs and much more. Please remember to bring two cans of food for the Salvation Army donation and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize.

Veterans Day Parade

The City of Surprise is accepting parade entries from clubs, organizations, groups and residents who want to show their patriotic spirit and honor those who bravely served our country. The parade will be held on Monday, November 11. Entry forms are available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or at the Parks and Recreation Office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. Entries are due by October 27.

Veterans Reflection Circle Dedication Ceremony

On November 11 at 8 a.m., the city will hold a dedication ceremony marking the opening of the Veterans Reflection Circle, which is being constructed near the north entrance of the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise.

The Veterans Reflection Circle is an outdoor memorial in honor of late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans find healing. Dozens of construction and landscape companies have donated their time and resources to honor our veterans and bring this incredible project to life.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be held on Tuesday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 15 this month. City Council Work sessions begin at 4:00 p.m. while City Council Meetings follow at 6:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.

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.