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It’s time to Decide Surprise as Council sends 3 bond questions for Nov ballot

At their June 6th Regular Meeting, City Council approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build  a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize  operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have.   If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month.  ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month).  You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting:  https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Council oks FY18 budget that maintains services & property tax rate

The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.

The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands.  Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

This budget maintains the city’s current property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money. The primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.

The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.

The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

City, Valley Metro host public meeting to discuss Dial-a-Ride transition, June 14

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Tuesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting.

Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

District 6 Newsletter – May, 26 2017

Hello fellow neighbors of District 6,

The month of May brought exciting things to Surprise…. As your D6 Councilmember and Vice Mayor, I wanted to update you on the latest news and information.

City Council Work Session Highlights

Potential General Obligation Bond Discussion

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at their May 16 Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

City Council Meeting

Reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominguez

Surprise Municipal Code provides a reappointment process for incumbent presiding judges whereby the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council after investigation and evaluation. The Committee recommended reappointment of Presiding Judge Louis F. Dominquez to Surprise Municipal Court.

City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2017-46 reappointing Presiding Judge Dominguez for a term of four years.

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Art in Public Places Plan

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission was first tasked by City Council to develop a display plan for the city in 2014. The purpose of the request was to update and enhance the look of City Hall and the surrounding campus with the inclusion of art and artistic elements and create a space that residents and visitors alike will enjoy. The first draft of the plan revealed that a more comprehensive and detailed look was needed with the help of multiple resources and stakeholders. In March 2016, the Commission worked with a consultant to proceed.

After a very thorough process, and after input by the City Council following a City Council Work Session in February 2017, the Commission provided City Council an update regarding the plans priorities and associated costs. Recommended projects include, but are not limited to, a new lobby seating area, art exhibit signage, LED lighting, new paint in highlighted areas, relocation of a few existing art pieces and a mural near in the city cashier area.

WESTMARC Economic Development Summit

WESTMARC Stats infographicWESTMARC Economic Development Summit was held on Thursday, May 11. Guest speakers included Land Advisors CEO and Founder Greg Vogel, EMSI Economic Development Consultant Matthew Miller, ASU Senior Sustainability Scientist Dr. Shade Shutters, and Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick. Conversation and panel discussion surrounded today’s workforce strategy and labor trends. Discussion also included the need for more accurate educational and labor data to provide to interested businesses. Currently, standard labor market information does not appropriately capture this information because the data is reported to where people are employed versus where they reside.

Current Curfew Ordinance Reminder

With students out of school for summer break, the Surprise Police Department reminds residents about our curfew ordinance for those under the age of 18. According to the city ordinance, it is unlawful for any minor to remain upon, go or be upon any public street, alley or other public place of the city between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday unless accompanied by a legal guardian.

Often times crimes occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are either committed by juveniles or against juvenile victims. To ensure the safety of minors, starting Friday, May 26, the Surprise Police will be heavily enforcing the curfew ordinance. Violation of this ordinance is a class 1 misdemeanor. Parents may also be cited for their children being out after curfew if they allowed the juvenile to violate the ordinance.

View this city ordinance in detail

We Want Your Input on Our Libraries

How can we improve or transform the libraries in Surprise? We are asking you to share your thoughts through our online survey. Resident input is key to the process.

The city currently has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library and Hollyhock Library. The city hired Orcutt Winslow, an architecture and planning firm, to conduct a library feasibility study that will help guide future library operations, library renovation projects and potential new libraries.

Residents are encouraged to take an online survey available at www.surpriseaz.gov/librarysurvey. The results of the study will be completed in August and will be presented at a City Council meeting late August or early September. For questions or more information, call the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Public Library inside of woman browsing book shelves

City Seeking Applicants for Boards & Commissions

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions. All Board/Commission positions are voluntary.

Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy
Judicial Selection Advisory Commission (JSAC) – 1 vacancy
Board of Trustees – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commission are available for pick-up immediately and can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The City Clerk’s Office is located at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office in person or by e-mail to clerk@surpriseaz.gov. For more information, please contact our City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200.

Free Continuous Chest Compression Only Cpr Classes

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department will be offering free Continuous Chest Compression Only-CPR (CCC-CPR) classes this summer. CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compressions to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart, which has been proven to increase survival rates. And, because it does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it reduces the risk of spreading viruses or other kinds of disease between the life-saver and victim.

A morning and afternoon class will be held on each of the following dates:

  • June 7
  • July 19
  • August 1

The morning class will run from 9-11 a.m., and the afternoon class will run from 2-4 p.m.; both will be held in the Public Safety Building Auditorium, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. To register for a class, please email crfire@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.5400.

NEW Dealership Opens in Prasada Auto Mall

Subaru Superstores of Surprise hosted a grand opening community event on Saturday, May 13. The newest auto dealer in the Prasada Auto Mall is located at 13090 N. Autoshow Avenue. Welcome to Surprise!

City offices closed May 29 for Memorial Day; holiday trash / recycling schedule in effect

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day all week. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

Questions? Please contact City of Surprise Public Works at 623.222.1900.


Do you have any questions for me? Please reach out to me. Together we will make Surprise an even better place to live and work and play!

Here are the best ways to reach me: email at todd.tande@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1326.

Thanks for being a part of what makes our city great!

Todd

Council briefed on possible General Obligation Bond questions; Call to Election vote set for June 6

City staff briefed City Council on three proposed General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation, at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The three proposed questions and projects, as presented to Council, were determined based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s April 19 meeting.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Per City Council consensus at the Work Session, staff will bring back a Call to Election action item at the June 6 Regular Council Meeting. If approved, the three separate bond questions would appear on the ballot in a Special Election on November 7. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail.

View the May 16 Work Session bond discussion

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

District 6 Newsletter – May 5, 2017

Hello fellow neighbors of District 6,

There are some amazing things happening in our wonderful hometown of Surprise… As your D6 Councilmember and Vice Mayor, I wanted to update you on the latest news and information. Here we go…

City Manager FY18 Recommended Budget

Fiscal Year 2018 City of Surprise Budget and Finances

Your City Council, for the last few months, has held public meetings to discuss the city budget and its priorities. During our most recent City Council meeting, the City Manager provided his “Recommended Budget.”

The City Council discussed not only what priority expenditures to include, but also, the funding sources including tax rates to fund the budget items. The Final Budget and Tax Rates will be adopted in June, and your City Council requests and encourages your input.

During my first year on Council, we voted unanimously to LOWER the Primary (Operational Funds) Property Tax Rate, and it remains among the lowest in the Valley. Since then, the City Council has voted unanimously to hold that lower rate at the same level, and also hold the Sales Tax Rate the same. In case you were not aware, the City of Surprise currently has NO Secondary Property Tax Rate, which typically is voter-approved to fund (General Obligation Debt / Capital Project Financing). That means we have been financing limited Capital Projects through the main city banking account, the General Fund, which is also used to pay for everyday operational costs. City Tax Rates compared to other cities can be found on this link: http://d6.surpriseaz.gov/your-city-by-the-numbers/.

Using our current rate multiplied by the assessed value of your home has most Homeowners likely paying less than $152 per year, or less than $12.70 per month, for city operations (Police, Fire-Medical, Parks, Public Works, City Administration, etc) through the Primary Property Tax Rate. In many cases, that is lower than what most homeowners are paying for their own Neighborhood HOA assessments, with rates which are set by your neighborhood HOA Board Members.

Those with higher assessed values would pay a bit more, and those with lower assessed values would pay a bit less. You can see your Detailed “CITY OF SURPRISE” portion of your property taxes online by starting at the Maricopa County Assessors website and clicking through to your parcel and then “detailed taxes” at this link: https://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/

My first Agenda Item, when I joined Council, was to implement a new Financial Policy that requires City Staff to take the actions necessary for the City to strengthen our City Finances and strive towards the Top Credit Rating. Our City Council unanimously approved my New Financial Policy, and the City Management has been successfully working towards that goal. Since the approval, our City has received many Credit Ratings Upgrades and is now at AA+ or just one level below the top rating of AAA. I previously served as Finance Director for the State of Indiana, at the time Indiana achieved its first ever AAA credit rating.

Read more about the City of Surprise AA+ Rating information

View the Credit Rating Agency’s Detailed News Release about City of Surprise Finances that shows all but one assessment factor is now at AAA level in this RARE “two ratings step” increase announcement.

View the City of Surprise Budget information

2017 General Obligation Bond Discussion Coming May 16

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee was briefed late last month by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council at the May 16th Work Session. Pending Council consensus, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

Economic Development Update

District 6 has recently celebrated the ground breakings of a few new businesses. Milam Glass is a new company that will be located at 10801 N. 132nd Ave Surprise AZ 85379 (Located in the industrial park at approximately 132nd and Peoria). Milam Glass will be developing a 22,000 SF facility which will become their new headquarter location and employ around 45-50 people. Locating in Surprise will allow a significant portion of their workforce to work closer to home as many of them reside in the West Valley. As a glass company, their new facility will have a front façade made almost completely of glass. Read more about their new facility in their press release

Phoenix Distribution Center also celebrated with a groundbreaking last month. The distribution center is located just north of the Milam Glass site. The 12,000 square foot center will be located at the southeast corner of Desert Cove Road and 132nd Avenue. They will employ approximately 30 people.

Additionally, Legacy Traditional School is currently under construction with a 36,000 square feet expansion for a middle school.

Across the city, there are several new businesses that have recently opened or will soon. The Subaru Superstore of Surprise opened in the Prasada 303 Auto Park. The two-story, 60,000 square foot, seven-acre complex represents a state-of-the-art facility. They will be hosting a community event on Saturday, May 13 from 6 am until 9 am. The facility is located at 13090 N. Autoshow Avenue.

Subaru Superstore of Surprise

Salad and Go will soon open just north of Bell Road on Litchfield Road.

It was recently announced that BASIS Schools is considering a campus in Surprise. BASIS was recently recognized as having the top 3 schools in the US along with the 5th and 7th top ranked schools in the US and all of those are in Arizona!

2017 Retail Results Are In!

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses! With many thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. I’m happy to report that Nick’s Diner II and Vogue Bistro, both District 6 restaurants, made the list of favorite local restaurants!

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Portillo’s
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas
Whataburger
Rubio’s

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Costco
Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
IKEA
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Oregano’s
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Kohl’s
Musical Surprise
Target
Son Glow Boutique
Walmart
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot
Ross

The city would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.

Community Development Update

Mini Business Warehouses and Storage is working on their due diligence, which is the first step in determining if your project is feasible, and assuring the stages of your project occur in the proper sequence. The project would consist of three phases of construction on the existing 8.1 acres with each phase utilizing approximately 2.6 acres.

Filberto’s at Surprise Pointe received an approval for their Conditional Use Permit for a drive-through dining facility.

Empire Residential Communities Fund II, LLC is requesting Final Plat approval for a 24 lot detached single family residential subdivision on a 10.47 acre parcel located at the northeast corner of 114th Avenue and Waddell Road.

Health for Life at Surprise Point is requesting a Conditional Use Permit to accommodate a Medical Marijuana Dispensary at 13431 N. Litchfield Road. A Citizen Review Hearing will be held on May 17 at 6 p.m. at Countryside Recreation Center, 15038 N. Parkview Place.

Dial-A-Ride Changes Effective July 1, 2017

Beginning July 1, Valley Metro will discontinue the current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride service model to provide more service options and standardized regional transportation for seniors, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) eligible and income-qualified riders. Three transportation options will be available to customers when the new model begins: the Senior Bus, Paratransit Shared Ride and RideChoice Taxi Service.

Seniors who frequently visit the Surprise Senior Center, on average 3-5 days per week, can catch a ride on the city’s shared route Senior Bus. The Senior Bus will follow a dedicated route to the Senior Center and provide door-to-door pick-up and drop-off service; fare for the bus will remain $2 per one-way trip. The bus will be available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding city holidays.

Paratransit Shared Ride is recommended for ADA certified customers, seniors and income-qualified general public who schedule rides for local medical and works trips greater than 7 miles and, generally, outside the city of Surprise. ADA certified riders may also use the service for medical and work trips anywhere within Maricopa County up to ¾ miles of bus service. Multiple vehicle options will be available for customers when booking their trips; the service contractor will schedule vehicles accordingly based on customer needs.

Customers booking Paratransit Shared Ride are required to schedule trips 1-14 days in advance; same day booking is not available. The service will operate daily 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; trip fares are $4 each way.

Valley Metro Paratransit Van

Similar to the current Dial-a-Ride program, RideChoice Taxi Service provides 24 hours per day, 365 days per year service for riders with the ability to self-book and choose from multiple service providers. Riders will be allotted 16 trips per month however customers needing more trips are able to work with city staff to review monthly trip allowances on an individual basis.

RideChoice trips are managed on a RideChoice card that must be renewed each month; unused trips do not carry over. Customers can choose to load money to the RideChoice card to pay for trips however cash and credit cards are still accepted. RideChoice accounts can be self-managed online and by smart phone. Fares are $3 per one-way trip for riders. Riders will be responsible for any fare amounts that exceed $21 (city’s match is up to $18 per trip).

SERVICE MODELS AT A GLANCE
Service Model
Riders
Fare
Offers
Senior Bus Seniors Rider cost: $2 per one way trip; Avg. city cost per trip: $12.50 Shared route public transportation for frequent Senior Center visitors
Paratransit Shared Ride ADA certified, seniors, income- qualified general public Rider cost: $4 per one way trip; Avg. city cost per trip: $36 Shared ride for work and medical trips greater than 7 miles
RideChoice Taxi Service ADA certified, seniors, income-qualified general public Rider cost: $3 per one way trip up to $21; rider responsible for fares that exceed $21; Avg. city cost per trip: $17.50 Similar to Dial-a-Ride; trips generally within city limits, less than 8 miles

Valley Metro will contact current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride customers directly to educate them on the changes to the program and the new options. The first mailing goes out in May, with more detailed information going out in June.

Surprise staff and representatives from Valley Metro will schedule a public meeting in May to discuss the service models and answer questions.

Surprise will continue to share information about changes to Valley Metro’s Northwest Valley service model at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.

Registration Underway For CRS Activities

The City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Department has opened registration for the following youth sports activities:

Summer Youth Basketball League:
Recreational leagues for boys and girls ages 5-15, and competitive leagues for 14U & 17U boys and girls. The summer basketball season will start in early June and run until the end of July. Games are played on Saturdays and/or weeknights. Practice times are up to the volunteer coach, but are usually once a week at 5:30pm, 6:30pm or 7:30pm for one hour. Age is determined on or before July 31, 2017.

Summer Break Sports Camps:
Surprise is also offering a number of Summer Youth Sports Camps in June and July, including basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer. Flag football and soccer registration starts in July. For a list of camp dates and details, please visit http://www.surpriseaz.gov/2017/Sports-Camps-and-Clinics or call 623.222.2000.

With summer around the corner, I wanted to share a summary of recreations events as well.

Aquatics
May 1Swim & Dive Team Registration Begins
May 6 – Safety Day @ Surprise Aquatic Center 8 am – 11 am
May 15 – Summer Swim Lesson Registration Begins
May 25 – Itty Bitty Beach Party 10 am-12 pm @ Surprise Aquatic Center
May 27 – Open Swim begins at Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool
June 10 – Dive In Movie “Disney’s Moana” 7:30 – 9:30 pm
July 4 – Pool Party @ Aquatic Center
July 22 – Dive in Movie “The LEGO Batman” Movie 7:30 – 9:30 pm
May 30 – Recreation Swim & Dive Team practices begin at Surprise Aquatic Center and Summer Swim Lessons begin at Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool.

Youth / Teens/Adults
May 12 – Surprise Talent Show 6-9 pm @ Valley Vista Performing Arts Center
May 19 – Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
June 16 – Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
July 14 – Rec Night for Teens from 7-10 pm @ Sierra Montana Recreation Ctr
May 30 – Summer Camp at Countryside Recreation Center and Sierra Montana Recreation Center begin

Drop in Recreation is available at Sierra Montana.

Open Gym is available at Countryside and Villanueva Gym from 5pm until 9pm Monday – Friday, and 12 pm – 5 pm on Saturday.

Adaptive Programs
Tuesdays in May Adaptive Buddy Bowling, Uptown Alley
May 12 – Adaptive Family Fun Night, Senior Center

Events
May 27 – Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony 9 am @ Community Park
July 4 – Baseball and Fireworks Surprise Recreation Campus

Adult Sports
Coed Indoor Volleyball
Basketball
4 on 4 Flag Football
Softball

Of course there are a variety of special interest classes and tennis classes to choose from this summer. For more information on these events, programs or classes, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Arts & Culture Master Plan

Surprise is developing its first Arts & Culture Master Plan, and we need your help shaping it! The master plan will help us to better express the uniqueness and artistic vitality of Surprise by setting the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in our community.

The city’s Community Development Department and Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission will be working with consultant, Designing Local, throughout the 18-month development process.

The initial phase is about capturing the essence of Surprise. If you live, work, or invest in the city, we want you to tell us what makes Surprise interesting, unique, a great place to visit or a great place to call home. Share your thoughts by taking a survey and sharing images, stories, sketches and more on the Arts and Culture Master Plan webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsplan.

The information we gather will be used to create a draft Arts and Culture Master Plan. That plan will be available online and presented at public and stakeholder meetings for input. In fall 2018, the plan will go before the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission for review and comment, and subsequently to the City Council for potential adoption.

For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

Do you have any questions for me? Please reach out to me, together we will make Surprise an even better place to live and work and play! Here are the best ways to reach me: email at todd.tande@surpriseaz.gov or call 623.222.1326.

Thanks for being a part of what makes our city great!

Todd

FY18 Recommended Budget released

City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented a $336.5 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Recommended Budget to City Council at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The Recommended Budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands. Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

The Recommended Budget also includes $49.8 million to support the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also two recommended financial policy revisions regarding the Minimum Fund Balance Policy for the General fund and the Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds that will provide clearer definition for the reserves to strengthen the city’s financial position.

The FY18 Recommended Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Council is scheduled to vote on the final budget in June.

Ottawa University Announces New Residential Campus in Surprise

City of Surprise to become university town with classes beginning August 2017


Ottawa University and the City of Surprise today announced that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, Ariz., expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in the Valley of the Sun, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs primarily for traditional-age college students, including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona. The school mascot is a grey wolf and the sports teams are called the Spirit.

At a dedication event this morning, Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

“Ottawa University has expanded strategically during the last 151 years and we are poised for significant growth and exceptional student outcomes here in Surprise,” said Eichner. “We are grateful the City of Surprise shares our vision for delivering a new model for education with an emphasis on educating and developing the whole person, and creating work-ready graduates who are prepared to be successful on the job from day one.”

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The university has been operating in Arizona since 1977 with campuses in Phoenix and Queen Creek, and has been serving the Surprise community for eight years at its current location as part of the Communiversity at Surprise, a partnership of higher education institutions. Historically, the Surprise campus has primarily served adult learners, which it will continue to do; the traditional-age student is a new market for OUAZ.

The future 35-acre OUAZ campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves of the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

“Surprise is a college town! Our graduating high school seniors now have the option to pursue a college degree in their hometown,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “This partnership keeps our promise to residents; after all, university campus development is part of the City Council’s Strategic Plan and we could not ask for a better partner than Ottawa University. This is a storied educational institution with more than 150 years of success and a 40-year foothold in the Phoenix market. They know us and we know them!”

Expansion plans for the Surprise campus include development of residential housing, an indoor activity center, dining and conference space, and new athletic fields, including a stadium with artificial turf for football and soccer.

OUAZ innovates a unique approach to education. In addition to traditional academic degree and athletics programs, the University places significant emphasis on evolving all dimensions of the student: intellectual, spiritual, physical, artistic, financial, familial and vocational. A key delivery vehicle for this approach is OUAZ’s Adawe Center, which pairs a life coach with each student upon registration who will remain with the student throughout their enrollment at the university, helping them identify and pursue their degree and life paths, and preparing them to pursue their desired vocation upon graduation. Another distinctive element of OUAZ is “personal growth days.” No classes are held on Wednesdays so students may take part in chapel, attend the numerous personal and professional skills development conferences and workshops offered throughout the year, take part in volunteer or service activities, and share a meal together with faculty and staff.

OUAZ’s unique FlexTerm academic calendar offers a 21st century approach to enable students to learn how and when they want to learn. Courses are offered in formats that run for four weeks, eight weeks, or in more traditional semester-length time frames. With this format, students will typically take just two courses at a time, allowing them the benefit of concentration vs. fragmentation (when trying to balance four or five courses in a traditional semester system). The OUAZ FlexTerm calendar encourages students to tailor their educational experience and investment to go deeper into their studies while also interspersing their classroom learning with internships, service learning, international and cross-cultural study programs. It also allows students to accelerate toward graduation in less than four years and even to combine master’s degree studies within their educational plan, enabling OUAZ graduates to enter the job market with a combination of degrees.

OUAZ will be introducing the Ottawa Alliance for Quality Christian Education, a network of not-for-profit mission-based organizations that are interested in supporting a Christ-inspired community of grace throughout their educational institutions and the world. The Alliance aims to reduce the cost of Christian education, increase enrollment at Christ-focused schools and encourage enrollment at Ottawa University. Scholarships for students; faculty, staff and board members; and, faculty spouses and student parents will be available.

Of particular interest for strong academic and service-minded students will be the prestigious Founders and Pioneer Scholarships targeted for well-qualified and motivated students who will serve with OUAZ to shape student culture at the new campus. A limited number of these scholars can begin serving the institution this spring by working with prospective students and their families.

“We are a steadfastly Christian, positively open and inclusive university empowering students from around the world and every background to become ‘whole’ people, to develop their passions and abilities, and be ready to face the world when they graduate from OUAZ,” said Eichner. “We are proud to be bringing a full-fledged residential university experience to Surprise and to our future students.”

The OUAZ leadership team includes: Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Provost; Keith Johnson, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Amy Hogan, Dean of Instruction; Brandon Fowler, Dean of Student Experience; Dr. David Barnes, Executive Director of University Advancement, Arizona; and Kevin Steele, Director of Athletics.

Additional faculty hires are underway, with a number of key athletic coaching positions already filled. Student recruitment for August enrollment has begun.

For enrollment information and to learn more about OUAZ Surprise, visit www.ottawa.edu/Surprise.


About Ottawa University

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and opening inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving more than 4,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz. (opening Fall 2017), and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and online. For more information, visit www.ottawa.edu.

City begins FY18 budget discussions Feb 7

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2018 budget-building process begins at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 7.

This is the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. This presentation will give a general overview of the city’s budget and review the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis will be placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2018 budget.

The presentation will also discuss outside issues that will influence the outcomes of the budget process.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions.

This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.

Council agendas are posted online at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/ at least two business days before the meeting. City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. All meetings are carried live on Surprise TV for cable customers and streamed online at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

Process begins for traffic/signal changes on Bullard Ave (Greenway – Peoria)

With a state engineer on board, design work is underway on the transformation of Bullard Avenue, between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue, city staff informed the Bullard Avenue Task Force, Thursday evening.

Per task force recommendation, this stretch of Bullard Avenue will be restored to two travel lanes in each direction, while maintaining the 35 mile-per-hour speed limit. Traffic signals will also be added at the Acoma and Sweetwater intersections, to complement existing crosswalks.

With five schools located in the area and more than 600 students crossing Bullard during the school year, the city secured $1.7 million in federal grant money, including a $500,000 city match, for a total of $2.2 million to fund safety improvements. As a federally-funded project, it must be administered through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Bike lanes and cycle tracks (safety buffers), along with landscaping are included in the project.

Design and drainage plan drafts and an environmental assessment are expected to be completed this summer. Final reports are scheduled for completion this fall. The project bid is expected to be advertised in early 2018, with construction planned for May 2018 – October 2018. The previously announced tentative construction start date of late 2017 was pushed back to allow for the selection of a project engineer and for securing additional grant money to cover the costs of installing a landscaped median.

For questions please contact Mike Gent at mike.gent@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.6223. For background information please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.