Tag Archives: water conservation

September 2021 • Newsletter

Welcome to September, where we see the end of summer and the ushering in of fall! We began our new fiscal year in July and have great hope for what the next 10 months will bring as the City Council’s conservative fiscal policies continue to serve us well. While we faced challenges last year due to the pandemic, it was still a year of tremendous growth for our city.

FY21 Economic Development Review flyer.We continue to actively recruit economic development opportunities, and this past year was tremendous for business in Surprise. Our Surprise Economic Development Department ended the fiscal year with 875 job assists, initiated 985,000 square feet of new development and $165 million in new capital investment.

The city is in the process of seeking a new City Manager to replace Mike Frazier, who is retiring in January. This position is appointed by the Surprise City Council, and it acts as the Chief Administrative Officer of the city. This position is responsible for providing administrative leadership in the daily operational management of the city. The application period closed on July 30.

A City Council subcommittee, comprised of Councilmember Duffy, Councilmember Remley and me, will review the 59 candidates’ applications and make a recommendation to the full council on which candidates to move forward in the interview process. Interviews are scheduled for September 28 and 29.

For selected finalists, the first day of the interview process will entail an in-person city tour, meet-and-greet with the city’s departments and a group dinner with the council. Day two will begin with a series of interviews with a Stakeholders/City Partnership Panel, a West Valley Mayors and City Managers Panel, and one-on-one interviews with each of the Surprise City Councilmembers.

A Special City Council Meeting on Wednesday, September 29, at 5 p.m., in Council Chambers, will provide finalists an opportunity to present a five-minute live presentation on “Why I Should be the City Manager in Surprise.” Council will then adjourn into Executive Session to ask follow-up questions of the finalists. Council will then debrief and provide instructions to the recruitment consultant, city attorney and human resources department regarding next steps on a possible selection. This meeting will be carried live on Surprise TV and streamed on https://www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv.
The city anticipates filling the position in December 2021.

Water availability is always a concern in Arizona. As elected officials, we need to be diligent to ensure we have water for our growth for years to come. As you may be aware, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a Tier 1 shortage for Colorado River operations for 2022, meaning less water supplies available to Arizona. Due to Arizona’s priority system, our city supplies will not experience a reduction. This shortage declaration does not mean a shortage at your tap.

The city’s water managers, together with the private water companies that operate in Surprise, ADWR and CAP, have been preparing for a shortage on the Colorado River System for years. Surprise has a 100-year assured water supply designation from the State to ensure reliable water supplies that support responsible growth. This designation means that the city has shown continuous, physical, and legal availability of water, along with water quality and financial capability standards, to maintain water supplies. Our city’s private water providers are also required to have a 100-year assured water supply. The city has also built a diverse and robust water portfolio for its water utility, including renewable surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water.

Additionally, Surprise has a comprehensive and strategic Drought Preparedness Plan outlining short- and long- term strategies for managing and sustaining our water portfolio. This plan is currently being updated and will help reduce the city’s vulnerability to supply reductions and increase our portfolio’s resiliency.

While residents will not see a water shortage with this drought declaration, Surprise will likely enact its Drought Preparedness Plan for 2022, when the shortage status takes effect. At this stage, customers can expect to see extensive messaging on ways to help Surprise conserve water.

Conserving water has always been important in our desert community. To ensure sustainable growth, we must continue planning, investing and being efficient with the water we have. The city encourages residents to use water wisely and practice conservation techniques. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Get water conservation resources and learn about water conservation rebates at surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation
  • City of Surprise water utility customers can track their water use through our WaterSmart® portal and set leak alerts. Access the portal through the “pay my utility bill online” option on our website at surpriseaz.gov/utilities
  • Find 100+ water saving tips at wateruseitwisely.com

Learn more about the city’s water conservation program and drought preparedness at surpriseaz.gov/droughtmgmt.

Sunday in the Park is returning to Surprise with music and food trucks this month! The first event in the series will take place on September 19 and will feature live music by Music II Muzic, various food trucks, an assortment of beer and wine, and family-friendly entertainment such as bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train and more! Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Dogs are allowed, if leashed. If you can’t make it to this one, join us October 17 for music by Southbound and November 7 for music by Blaine Long and Rosas del Rey. All Sunday in the Park events will be held at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N Bullard Ave., from 3-7 p.m.

Major League Baseball has released the Cactus League Spring Training schedule. Opening Day is set for Saturday, February 26th at Surprise Stadium. For more information on the schedule, ticket information, etc., please visit surprisestadium.com for more details and to sign up for email alerts.

The city will host a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. This ceremony will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and will honor the victims, survivors, and heroes of that day.

The event will be held in the central outdoor courtyard of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. See the parking and event location map, here. For those wishing to watch online, the ceremony will be carried on Facebook LIVE at Facebook.com/CityofSurprise.

West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with The Vista Center for the Arts and Ground Floor Artists, is presenting an inaugural Surprise Mayor’s Exhibit titled, “A Tribute to Our Heroes.” I look forward to jurying the exhibit, along with a panel of partners and community members.

The exhibit runs September 3 – November 11 at The Vista Center for the Arts, 15660 N. Parkview Place in Surprise. There will be an opening reception on September 3 from 4-7 p.m. For more information, please visit westvalleyarts.org.

It continues to be a privilege to serve you. I look forward, with great anticipation, for what this new fiscal year will bring us.

June 2019 • Newsletter

Meetings & Events

Sun City Lodge Elks Youth Awards Dinner

On May 6, it was an honor to attend the Elks Youth Awards Dinner hosted by the Sun City Elks. It was a night of celebrating the accomplishments of young students throughout Surprise. I issued a proclamation declaring the first week of May as Elks National Youth Week to support the great work the Sun City Elks and our youth provide. The Sun City Elks have connected with over 10,000 students, parents, and teachers who reside in Peoria, El Mirage, and Surprise. Elk members bring so much to the community with their investment in programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of veterans, and improve the quality of life. Thank you to the Sun City Lodge Elks for inviting me!

Sun City Elks Lodge list of student winners

EPCOR Interim Rates

Residents in Surprise who have EPCOR have probably noticed a change in your water rates. On March 28, 2019, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved interim rates to recover changes in operating costs since rates were last set in each district. Current rates remain in effect and will continue to appear on your bill as they do today. Interim rates will appear as a surcharge on your bill, calculated based your individual usage.

The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered EPCOR to file a new rate case by May 1, 2020. To share your perspective on the interim rates, you can contact the ACC and reference Docket #WS-01303A-19-0011. You can call 602.542.4251 or mail to:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Consumer Services Section
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

While we didn’t take first place in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, we came in second place! We were part of a national campaign that pledged to save three billion gallons of water. Congratulations to Athens, Georgia for beating us out in the 100k-299k population category.

The challenge took place over the entire month of April and Surprise had nearly 13,500 pledges from our residents committing to conserve a total of 56 million gallons of water. Thank you to everyone who took the pledge, and make sure to keep an eye out in April 2020. We have our eyes on the grand prize!

Memorial Day Weekend

During Memorial Day Weekend, City Council and I attended many events honoring the service of our veterans who are no longer with us. Saturday, May 25, Marine Corps League and the American Legion hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Northwest Regional Library on the World War II Memorial. Thank you to Mike Elliott for saying a few words and Reverend Bob Can Allen for the opening prayer.

On Monday the 27th, Northwest Valley Veterans Association hosted a moving service at the Sunland Memorial Park. Our very own Councilman Ken Remley was the keynote speaker. He talked about his time in the service and honoring fallen veterans. We are all forever grateful for the service these men provided to our country.

The Nicky D. Bacon VFW Post 285 hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Nicky Bacon Memorial outside of City Hall. The Surprise Police Department Honor Guard was on hand as well as the family members of Nicky D. Bacon. For those who do not know, Nicky D. Bacon was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. Nicky was a longtime resident of the West Valley and served as Town Manager for Surprise from 1987-1990. After his passing in 2010, VFW Post 285 did not hesitate to rename their post for him.

Nicky Bacon Memorial outside of City Hall

Sun Village hosted a Memorial Day Service “Honoring our Fallen Heroes” outside Peter’s Bistro. Councilman David Sanders gave the keynote speech. I had the great honor to post the POW Flag. It was a remarkable event, and thank you to the many sponsors who made this wreath laying ceremony possible.

Celebrating Our Military

On May 22, the Surprise Senior Center hosted a Celebration of our Military for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The event hosted Army Sergeant 1st Class Madison and Petty Officer Michael Ferrar. The two discussed the military from then and now with the Surprise Senior Center Members.

The Surprise Senior Center has a variety of activities to participate in; from daily activities, to the fitness center, and a hot lunch program. Membership for residents is $12 per year and $15 for non-residents. For more information about the Surprise Senior Center, please call 623.222.1500.

Arizona Charter Academy Breakfast

On Thursday, May 16, the Arizona Charter Academy hosted their annual volunteer appreciation breakfast. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman was in attendance to recognize the hard work the students and volunteers put into the Academy. Thank you to the Arizona Charter Academy for the invite! Congratulations to all who were recognized!

Congratulations to the following:
ACA Volunteer of the Year: Karen Cassidy
Community Members of the Year: Gary Smith, Kenny Dobbs, Jacob DiMartino of Bully RAADR and Relentless Athletes
Community Partner of the Year: WHAM

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

Friday, May 17, the Surprise Police Department hosted their annual appreciation celebration. City Councilmembers Remley, Judd, Duffy, Hayden, Sanders, Vice Mayor Winters, and I were on hand to congratulate the personnel for their outstanding achievements.

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals: Officer of the Year: Corbin Claxton
Detective of the Year: Lucas Jensen
Rookie of the Year: Dillon Bleicher
Civilian Employee of the Year: Erin Rivera
Supervisor of the Year: Michael Robbins
Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Jones
Citizen Patrol Volunteer of the Year: Marylene Cayron

Lifesaving Awards: Officer Gerald Graziosi, Officer Fredrick Cuthbertson, Officer Joshua Bucur, Officer William Bisson, Officer Shawna Ebey, Officer Tyler Johnson, Sergeant Garrick Boxberger

Unit Citation- Traffic Unit: Sergeant Michael Robbins, Leonard Collins, Drew Persha, Richard Malone, Steven Shernicoff

Thank you all for your service. It was a pleasure to attend and see these dedicated members receive the recognition they deserve.

WESTMARC Economic Development Meeting

City officials, members of City Council, and I attended the WESTMARC Economic Development Meeting on May 15 where we had the opportunity to listen to several panels and a keynote speaker – Colonel Robert Sylvester of Luke Air Force Base. The panels had a wide range of discussion topics, including water, transportation, and infrastructure. Colonel Sylvester reflected on his time in the West Valley as he prepares to embark on his next mission.

Veterans Summit Meeting

This past month, our Human Services and Community Vitality Department hosted a Veterans Summit. Local Veteran groups were represented and staff from Senator McSally’s office were also in attendance. Discussions included ways to bring Veterans housing to Surprise and what Veterans are looking for in a Veterans Hall. If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran seeking assistance, please reach out to the Surprise Resource Center located in the AZ TechCelerator building at 12425 W. Bell Road, Suite 124 or by calling 623.222.1600. The Surprise Resource Center hosts Veteran Employment Assistance programs and a Job Club for Veterans.

Grand Openings

LA Fitness

On Saturday May 18, we welcomed LA Fitness to Surprise with a remarkable Grand Opening. We are excited to have a company like LA Fitness represented here in Surprise. The new LA Fitness is located at 16635 W Bell Road.

Surprise City Council attends the LA Fitness grand opening

Lennar-Heritage Homes Groundbreaking

We held the ground breaking ceremony for Lennar homes in the Asante neighborhood. We are thrilled to have such a quality homebuilder investing in Surprise again! Asante is truly a beautiful community and Heritage will live up to its name. Residents will enjoy meeting their neighbors in the Asante Park and at the new Asante library which opens next year.

Mark Your Calendar

Veterans Reflection Circle Groundbreaking

On June 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.at the Northwest Regional Library (16089 N. Bullard Avenue) we are breaking ground on an outdoor memorial in honor of the late Surprise resident and combat wounded veteran Brian Mancini, who spent his life serving his country and helping other wounded veterans. We hope to see you there!

Poetry Slam at WHAM

On June 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at WHAM (16560 North Dysart Road) there will be a Poetry Slam that features open mic night for poetry, free verse, and storytelling. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. Any established or original pieces may be read. This is a free event and open to the public. No registration required.

Dive-In Movie: Aquaman

On June 15, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center (15831 North Bullard Avenue) residents will have the opportunity to relax in the water or poolside while watching “Aquaman” on the big screen! Concessions will be available to purchase. This movie is rated PG-13, children 12 and under are not permitted without an adult. As always, parents must remain within arm’s reach of all non-swimmers. The cost is $5 for residents and $8 for non-residents.

City Council Meetings

As a friendly reminder, City Council Meetings will be on June 4 and June 18 this month starting at 6:00 p.m. City Council Work sessions beings at 4:00 p.m.

Utility Assistance Application Event

Surprise, in partnership with the city of El Mirage, will host walk-in Utility Assistance Application Events in Surprise during the month of June, to assist eligible households that need support paying gas and electric utility bills. The first-come, first-served event will take place on June 13 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center (12425 W Bell Road, Suite 124). Interviews do not guarantee assistance.