Tag Archives: road improvements

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.

October 2021 • Newsletter

Fall is here, and we welcome it with open arms! I hope you are getting the opportunity to enjoy the cooler temperatures and get outside. This month, we have many fun events happening in Surprise that will give you that chance, whether it be Surprise Fiesta Grande, Surprise Day of Service, Sunday in the Park, G.A.I.N. Night, catching one of the Fall League tournaments and much more. For more information on these events, please visit our website calendar at surpriseaz.gov/calendar.

City Manager Appointment

The Surprise City Council unanimously voted to appoint someone familiar to serve as the next City Manager. I am sure most of you remember Bob Wingenroth who served as our City Manager from June 2014 to November 2018. He began his service to Surprise in 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Assistant City Manager. In each role, he earned many successes for Surprise. Prior to joining the Surprise team in 2013, Bob served as the City Manager of Anaheim, CA from 2012-2013 and as the city’s CFO from 2010-2012. He also spent 28 years with the city of Phoenix, departing as the Finance Director. He is a life-long public servant. Bob will resume his service to Surprise on December 13, 2021.

Bob Wingenroth

Surprise Fiesta Grande Street Festival Returns

The Surprise Fiesta Grande street festival celebrates the city’s cultural heritage and features mariachi music, a piñata plaza, games, food, music, dancing, kids’ zone, classic car show, live entertainment and more. The celebration will be held on Saturday, October 9 from 5 – 10 p.m. outside the Villanueva Recreation Complex, located at 15660 N. Hollyhock St. in the Grand Ave. corridor.

As a celebration of our cultural heritage, the festival generally falls within National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is September 15 to October 15. National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures of both Hispanic and Latino Americans and pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The City is proud to celebrate its Hispanic heritage this month and all throughout the year! For more information on the Surprise Fiesta Grande, please visit surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande.

G.A.I.N. Night

Surprise Public Safety officials invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) on October 23 from 5-9 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. This annual event is designed to bring community members together to enhance relationships between neighbors and public safety officials with one common goal, to make our community safer. We can build a safer community by working together, knowing our neighbors and our surroundings.

This FREE, family event will have plenty of great entertainment, live music, activities for kids, trick or treating, and much more. The Salvation Army will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the holidays. Your donation will impact those in need and is greatly appreciated!

Surprise Day of Service

We are looking for volunteers for our Surprise Day of Service on Saturday, October 16. Volunteers will participate in various projects throughout the city including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal and more. The neighborhood revitalization and cleanup event assists neighborhoods and homeowners who may not be physically or financially able to maintain their homes as required by local codes.

Individuals and groups can register with Larry Garcia at Larry.Garcia@surpriseaz.gov or 623 222-1522. Groups, please submit a group name and estimated number of volunteers – limited to no more than 10 people. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock St., before venturing out to various cleanup and beautification projects across the city. Projects will run until approximately noon.

Pavement Preservation

Drivers can anticipate lane restrictions while the city performs pavement preservation activities on the following roadways, weather permitting:

  • Parkview Place, Bell Road to Greenway Road – October 15-23

Milling work will occur overnight between the hours of 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Daytime work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes while pavement preservation work is occurring.

View a complete list and maps of pavement preservation projects at surpriseaz.gov/ppp.

March 2021 • Newsletter

Surprise Day of Service

The City of Surprise Human Services and Community Vitality Department is seeking volunteers for Day of Service events on March 20 and March 31. On Saturday, March 20, volunteers will participate in various projects throughout the city including landscaping, painting, trimming of shrubs, debris removal, and more. On Wednesday, March 31, volunteers will meet at St. Mary’s Food Bank to help in the process of providing food to families in need. Registration is required for both events, and COVID-19 protocols will be in place.

For more information, please visit surpriseaz.gov/dayofservice. To volunteer, contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov.

National Community Survey

It’s time to share your thoughts on living in Surprise! In February, select households received a mailed invitation to take the 2021 National Community Survey, and this month the entire community will be invited to take part online. Survey responses will be collected on various topics ranging from traffic flow to public safety to senior and youth services. Results will be used by city officials to prioritize projects for Surprise and indicate where limited city funding should go based on services most desired.

Details on how to participate in the survey will be provided at surpriseaz.gov in the next couple of weeks. Results are expected to be shared on the city website, surpriseaz.gov, in May. To view previous results to the National Community Survey, please visit surpriseaz.gov/ncs

Greenway Road Expansion Project Update

The work on the 10 voter-approved Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond projects continues; several of these projects are projected to be completed this year. The Greenway Road improvement project will add two travel lanes and eliminate areas of the roadway that have multiple lanes merging into one lane. As part of this work, a hard closure of Greenway road is in place through Sunday, March 14, from Northwest Ranch Parkway to Legacy Park Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by November, weather permitting.

Drivers can expect roadway restrictions, traffic control changes, and reduced speed limits throughout the duration of the project. Learn more about the Greenway Road project and view a complete list of voter-approved Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Projects online at surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Parks & Recreation Awarded “Better Sports for Kids Quality Program”

The Parks and Recreation Department has achieved the “Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider” designation, by the National Alliance for Youth Sports!

This honor demonstrates that the city has taken steps to ensure a safe and quality playing environment for children by meeting key requirements in five categories: Written Policies and Procedures, Volunteer Screening, Coach Training, Parent Education, and Accountability. Congratulations to the Parks & Recreation team!

Spring Training 2021

Spring Training is in full swing here in the Surprise for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers! We worked in collaboration with local and state health authorities, the Cactus League, Major League Baseball, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and other destination partners to develop protocols to protect the health and safety of our fans—all while maintaining the fun and unforgettable experience of Spring Training.

Some of those protocols include reduced touchpoints, contactless ticketing, new intensified cleaning protocols, and reduced seating capacity for social distancing. For more information about Spring Training, please visit SurpriseStadium.com or call 623.222.2222.

Resident Recognition

Surprise resident, Ken Johanson, repairs and refurbishes bikes and provides them to at-risk children through schools and local non-profit H.A.R.T. Pantry. In the last two years, Ken has fixed and refurbished over 160 bikes! Congresswoman Debbie Lesko recently recognized this Surprise resident for his servant heart.

Surprise resident Ken Johanson receiving a certificate.