Tag Archives: bond

District 6 Newsletter – June 22, 2018

City Council Approves Urban Camping Ordinance

At the Surprise City Council meeting on June 19th, a new urban camping ordinance was approved. The purpose behind the ordinance is to maintain streets, parks and other public and private areas within the city in a clean, sanitary and accessible condition and to adequately protect the health, safety and public welfare of the community, while recognizing that, subject to reasonable conditions, camping and camp facilities associated with special events can be beneficial to the cultural and educational climate in the city. This ordinance has a services first approach to anyone in violation of the ordinance. Individuals experiencing homelessness and who are seeking services can get connected by calling 211, or accessing the city’s Community Resource Guide found here: www.surpriseaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/40011/Community-Resource-Guide. Anyone seeking eviction prevention, utility and employment assistance can visit the Surprise Resource Center, located at 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Ste. #124 at the AZ TechCelerator Campus, or call 623-222-1600. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect 30 days after council action.

Council adopts Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan, Tourism Strategic Plan

Arts Culture Tourism banner

The Surprise City Council adopted two new plans at their meeting Tuesday night that will guide the growth of arts and culture and tourism in the city.

The Arts & Culture Master Plan will help ensure that as our community and our arts and cultural opportunities grow, the growth will be focused, strategic and reflective of the values and vision of Surprise.

The plan offers direction on art locations and types; programs and policies; and includes ideas for expanding cultural facilities. It also contains a priority action plan that defines short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. The plan is available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsmasterplan.

The Tourism Plan lays out a five-year strategy to increase awareness of Surprise tourism and enhance the quality of life for residents through increased tourism-based development and partnership opportunities, showcasing Surprise as an intentional tourist destination. The plan consists of four focus areas: Events & Entertainment; Marketing; Partnership & Facility Development; and Funding.

Action items within those focus area include establishing an annual magnet event; attracting event partners and public-private partnership opportunities; creating new tourism marketing materials and a tourism website; and developing guidelines and criteria for use of tourism funds. Read the complete Tourism Five-Year Strategic Plan at www.surpriseaz.gov/sportsandtourism.

City Council receives Decide Surprise bond projects and finance update

2017 General Obligation Bond

City of Surprise staff provided City Council with a Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond projects and financial update at Tuesday night’s Regular Meeting.

On April, 18, 2018 the city issued the first General Obligation Bond sale resulting in $37 million of principal outstanding. Piper Jaffray submitted the winning bid which resulted in a bond yield of 2.97%- lower than the original 4% estimate.

Design work is underway for:

  • Fire Stations 304 & 308
  • Public Works Operations Facility
  • Traffic Congestion Mitigation Projects along Waddell, Litchfield & Greenway Roads

Land acquisition for the fire stations and Public Works Operations Facility is underway and the groundbreaking for the Public Works structure will commence by the end of this calendar year.

Improvement work on Litchfield and Waddell roads begins in the summer of 2019. Greenway improvements will begin about nine months following the completion of Waddell.

The selection of a design-build team for the Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center is scheduled for December 2018. The Police Training Facility design selection is expected in June 2020.

The secondary property tax assessment to fund the bond projects begins July 1, 2018. The secondary property tax rate is $0.42 per $100 of assessed property valuation.

To review the scope of the projects, construction timeline, costs and more visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Celebrate Fourth of July with the City of Surprise

4th of July Celebration ad

The City of Surprise will host its 35th Annual Fourth of July Celebration on Wednesday, July 4th at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 15850 N. Bullard Avenue.

This free event includes a rookie league baseball game at Surprise Stadium featuring the Cincinnati Reds vs. Texas Rangers, in-game contests and giveaways, live entertainment by the 8 Tracks at Mark Coronado Park, and fireworks to end the night!

Stadium gates open at 4:30 p.m. with the first pitch at 5:30 p.m. Concession stands will be offering a variety of food. After the game, at approximately 8:30 p.m., catch a spectacular 20-minute firework show set to patriotic music!

If you want your Independence Day celebration to include live music and lawn seating, head to Mark Coronado Park just north of the Stadium. The 8 Tracks will play from 6 p.m. until the 8:30 fireworks show.

In addition to the celebration at the stadium, the City will be hosting a pool party at the Surprise Aquatic Center!

The party will begin at 6 p.m. on July 4 and will feature games and activities, patriotic music and, best of all, a poolside view of the fireworks show.

Tickets go on sale June 20 and can be purchased at the Surprise Aquatic Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Ave.; or at the Surprise Community and Recreation Services office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Tickets are $6, and the event will be limited to the first 400 Surprise residents. Proof of residency is required, and pool passes are not valid for this event.

For event information, please contact the Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2500 or check the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/recreation.

Heat warning this week; hydration stations available

Hydration Stations in Surprise

With a heat warning in effect this week, the city of Surprise reminds residents that the city is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the hot summer months.

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network – a network of service providers, faith-based groups, municipalities, businesses, and caring citizens mobilizing to provide hydration and heat refuge for people in need.

Designated hydration stations in Surprise include the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W Bell Road Building A Suite 124, and Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301), 16750 N Village Drive East. FS 301 is also a place of refuge to cool off during the day.

For a heat safety message from Surprise Fire-Medical Department, watch this video.

To learn about the symptoms of heat related illness and what to do if you or a loved one shows symptoms, please visit: www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

Surprise Transit Study needs your help planning most popular routes

Transit Feasability Survey

Where do you travel within the city of Surprise? We’re asking you to share your most frequented shopping, dining, education, medical and recreation destinations in Surprise to help us determine potential public transportation routes.

The city will capture your travel start and end points within city boundaries in an online interactive Wikimap. Using the collected data, the Transit Feasibility Study team will determine where routes are most needed, potential ridership levels, and transit frequency.

A link to the Wikimap, and instructions for adding your information, is now available on the project website www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy. The Wikimap will be available until 5 p.m., Friday, June 29, 2018. Read more…

Dive-in Movie at Surprise Aquatic Center to feature Jumanji

Dive In Movies at Surprise Aquatic Center

The City of Surprise welcomes you and your family to stay cool at the pool Saturday, June 23 as “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” hits the screen poolside at Surprise Aquatic Center.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the movie begins at approximately 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for Surprise residents and $8 for non-residents. Concessions will be available for purchase. Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N Bullard Ave.

For tickets or event information, please contact Community & Recreation Services at 623.222.2000, the Surprise Aquatic Center at 623.222.2500 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/aquatics.

New Surprise Progress TV Episode

Surprise Progress Television

Watch the latest Surprise Progress TV for info on the city’s 4th of July events, a grant program to fund community programs, bond project updates, plans to honor an exceptional leader and more. Watch Episode…


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1326
Mobile: 623.640.4305
Email: todd.tande@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

District 6 Newsletter – April, 6 2018

S&P upgrades city’s GO Bond rating as Council authorizes first Decide Surprise Bond sale

2017 General Obligation Bond

During my time on the City Council, I have been committed to fiscal responsibility and protecting the taxpayers. I called for an improvement to the City Financial Policies. Since the policy change, Surprise has achieved a significant increase in the City’s bond rating because we have been able to demonstrate significantly improved finances and overall management at our City.

The great news continues as it was announced that Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has upgraded the city’s General Obligation (GO) Bond rating from AA- to AA. The agency also noted a flexible budget strategy and stable performance as a positive in supporting the bond rating upgrade, “Surprise’s budgetary flexibility is very strong, in our view, with an available fund balance in fiscal 2017 of 36% of operating expenditures, or $38.8 million. We expect the available fund balance to remain above 30% of expenditures for the current and next fiscal years, which we view as a positive credit factor.”

The credit rating firm cited strong financial policy management and practices, low debt, and an adequate economy as reasons for the upgrade (view full report).

The announcement coincided with the City Council’s authorization for staff to proceed with the first bond sale related to the GO Bond Election on Tuesday night.

The higher the rating, the lower the investment risk to the bond purchasers and the interest rate to the city on the borrowed funds. The upgrade from S&P follows an upgrade last year from Fitch Ratings from AA- to AA+. It’s more great news for the taxpayers of Surprise. See press release…

State of the City is set April 16; at the Lightbox

Surprise 2018 State of the City

Join me for the 2018 State of the City Address, Monday, April 16, at the new West-MEC Northwest Campus!

Having a strong foundation from which to build on, Mayor Wolcott will deliver a forward-looking message of where Surprise can grow into the future.

Join your neighbors and business leaders and learn more about the opportunities for transportation, job growth and water management.

A reception in the Lightbox building begins at 6 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. West-MEC is located at 13201 W. Grand Avenue.

Register through the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce at http://www.surpriseregionalchamber.com/state-of-the-city.html.

Vote on Surprise’s water future! New info added to website, public meeting dates set

Surprise Water Election

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a May 15 Special Election. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings.

The city is seeking authorization to purchase Circle City Water Company (CCW), a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition would provide Surprise with the company’s existing water infrastructure and grow the city’s allocation of Colorado River water by more than 38 percent, helping to plan for future growth. The purchase of CCW would be offset through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

The water election website, www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, now includes a short informational video, downloadable fact sheet, frequently asked questions, important election dates, voter information and public meeting dates and locations.

The remaining public meetings are scheduled on the following dates:

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

The voter registration deadline for this election is April 16. To register, please visit http://maricopa.vote/. The Surprise City Clerk’s Office also offers in-person registration.

All registered households in Surprise will receive a mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Election Day is May 15.

For more information, please contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.

Imagine Rosefield’s Character Council

Imagine Rosefield Character Council

Imagine Rosefield’s Character Council opened our most recent Surprise City Council meeting with Pledge of Allegiance. Well done future leaders!

Check Out our new Community Resource Guide

Community Resource Guide thumbThe guide was a collaborative effort by the City of Surprise and the City of Peoria to complete a comprehensive regional resource guide to bring greater awareness and connectivity to critical human, social and workforce development services. Download the Community Resource Guide

Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival April 8

The City of Surprise, in coordination with State 48 Brewery and Food Truck Friday West, presents Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival on April 8 with live music performed by Notes from Neptune!

Join us from 4 – 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park, 15960 N Bullard Avenue.

Event admission is free; food and drink will be available for purchase. Choose from a variety of delicious food trucks, as well as an assortment of craft beers and wines provided by State 48 Brewery. Don’t forget a blanket or lawn chair! Dogs must be on leashes.

For more information, please contact the City of Surprise Community & Recreation Services Office at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

Surprise AZ TechCelerator awarded international soft landings designation

AZ TechCelerator logo

After completing a rigorous application and peer-review validation process, the AZ TechCelerator is excited to announce its acceptance in the Global Soft Landings Network under the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).

“The AZ TechCelerator clearly demonstrated they have the resources and programming to meet the needs of foreign/non-domestic firms that want to enter the center’s domestic market,” states Kirstie Chadwick, InBIA’s President and CEO.

Benefits of the designation to the AZ TechCelerator include global visibility, credibility, and opportunities to collaborate with InBIA on international projects and grant proposals. See press release…

We heard you! Revised draft of Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan ready for feedback

arts and culture master plan banner

Thank you to everyone who submitted comments on our Surprise Arts and Culture Master Plan draft! We used that feedback to create a revised version, and we would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Visit www.surpriseaz.gov/artsmasterplan to read the revised draft and offer your comments by April 8.

Once this round of feedback is incorporated, the plan will be presented to the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. Then, in June, the plan is expected to head to City Council for consideration and potential adoption.

The master plan is intended to set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in our community.

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

Vote for your favorite local businesses in the 2018 Surprise Retail Survey

2018 Retail Survey ad

It’s time to take the 2018 Surprise Retail Survey and recognize your favorite local restaurants and retailers!

Since 2015, the city has conducted an annual retail survey. In odd years, we ask for your wish list of restaurants and retailers; and every year we ask you to tell us what establishments top your list of local favorites.

Your TOP 10 restaurants and TOP 5 retail stores and/or service providers will get certificates and window clings that recognize them as a 2018 Local Favorite! Please take a couple of minutes to answer our brief, two-question survey before April 13 to show some love for your local businesses.

Take the survey

Fun Fact: Did you know that the community’s number one “Most-desired Restaurant” in both the 2015 and 2017 retail surveys is opening soon? In-N-Out Burger is under construction on Bell Road between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue. Plus, other top picks, including Texas Roadhouse and Oregano’s, have already opened up shop in Surprise!

Mark your calendars for Taste of Surprise on April 7th

Taste of Surprise

Mark your calendars for a fantastic event! Showcasing some of the West Valley’s best restaurants and eateries, the Taste of Surprise is a fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation to support projects and charitable services in the local community. The Taste of Surprise features dozens of food, beer, wine and spirit vendors, including local culinary talents from award-winning restaurants and local emerging chefs.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Surprise Stadium, 15930 N. Bullard Avenue. Tickets are available at www.tasteofsurprise.com or at the door.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection set for April 14th

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, April 14.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon. For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.1900.

Don’t miss the Time of Your Life at next Surprise Pops Band concert

The Surprise Pops Band’s “The Time of Our Lives” concert is set for Sunday, April 15, at the Valley Vista High School Performing Arts Center.

Doors open at 2 p.m. The show begins at 3 p.m. The venue is located at 15550 N. Parkview Place.

Remember these talented performers play for non-perishable food donations to support the Valley View Community Food Banks.

Learn more at www.surprisepopsband.com.

Science & technology come out to play at Surprise SciTech Festival April 21st

SCITECH banner

Have fun with science and technology, while celebrating Earth Day, at the Surprise SciTech Festival on April 21!

The event is free and has something for all ages! Come check out interactive SciTech booths, an incredible line-up of speakers, music and more! Plus, we’ll have delicious food options from local vendors available for purchase.

It’s all happening 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Outside Courtyard, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. Read more…

New Surprise Progress TV Episode

If you prefer to catch up on the latest city news through video, please watch the latest episode of Surprise Progress TV! This show takes a look at the 2019 budget building process, the first bond sale related to the GO Bond Election, the upcoming State of the City Address, info on grants for small business owners and more! Watch episode…


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1326
Mobile: 623.640.4305
Email: todd.tande@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

District 6 Newsletter – March, 15 2018

Surprise Stadium ranked #1 AZ Spring Training Stadium by USA TODAY

Surprise Stadium, spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City royals, has been ranked the No. 1 Spring Training stadium in Arizona by USA TODAY!

The newspaper conducted a study of online fan reviews to create scores for all 23 spring training stadiums in four areas: facility; family friendliness; food; and fan experience.

Not only did Surprise Stadium score first overall in the Cactus League, but the park also topped all 23 Arizona and Florida spring training facilities in the categories of facility and fan-experience! Read more…

City sets plans to honor former CRS Director Coronado

In February, the Surprise City Council agreed to recognize the late Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director Mark A. Coronado’s service to Surprise in several ways, including renaming 8-Acres Park and honorary street signage near the stadium. On Saturday, March 17, a tribute ceremony is planned at Surprise Stadium, around 5:30 p.m., before the Rangers and Royals 6:05 pm first pitch. Read more…

National Citizens Survey Available Now Online!

If you live in Surprise and did not receive a National Citizens Survey (NCS) by mail, you can now take the survey online!

Visit http://bit.ly/surprise2018 and share your thoughts on Surprise as a place to live and work. Chime in on transportation, public safety, youth services and so much more! Hurry, the last day to take the survey is March 19!

Your feedback helps the city to identify services in which we are performing well and lets us know the areas in which we have the opportunity to improve. It also helps to identify priority projects for Surprise and indicates where limited city funding should go in order to provide the services you most desire.

Vote on Surprise’s water future!

Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase of a water service company in a May 15 Special Election. To help voters learn more about the ballot measure, we have added new tools and information to the water election website and invite residents to one of our upcoming public meetings. We are holding public meetings on the following dates:

April 4, 6 p.m.
Desert Oasis Elementary Cafeteria/Multipurpose Room, 17161 W Bajada Road

April 12, 5 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

April 18, 4 p.m.
Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza – Palms Room, 19789 N Remington Drive

April 19, 6 p.m.
Sierra Montana Recreation Center, 14861 N Spring Lane

For more information, please visit the water election website at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection, or contact the Surprise Water Resource Management Department at wrm@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.7100.

Council approves new sign code with increased options for permanent & temporary signage

At the Tuesday, March 6th meeting, City Council voted to approve a new City Code Chapter 113, which addresses signage. The update aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.

Under the new code, Businesses will have increased options for permanent signage and are permitted to use limited temporary signage, which was not allowed under the old code. For highlights of the new sign code, see our press release. To view the full sign code, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.

Surprise public transit survey is now available online

The city is conducting a Transit Feasibility Study and is seeking public input to determine what forms of public transportation will be most successful in Surprise.

The launch of the Transit Feasibility Study and public survey were announced during the February 20th City Council Work Session. The Transit Feasibility Study will look at demographics, socioeconomic characteristics of the city, and how people travel in the Surprise area.

The goal is to understand how transit can best serve Surprise residents and visitors, including what type of services will be needed and where transit will be most successful. We encourage you to visit www.surpriseaz.gov/transitstudy to complete the online survey and learn more about the Transit Feasibility Study, upcoming public meeting dates and more.

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Event

The Surprise Police Department held their Annual Appreciation Celebration on Friday, March 2 at Christ Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. Police employees, volunteers, Councilmembers and family members enjoyed dinner and the awards ceremony. The following employees and volunteers were recognized for their selfless service and commitment to our residents and community.

  • Rookie of the Year – Officer Christopher Smith
  • Supervisor of the Year – Lieutenant Norman Owens
  • Civilian of the Year – Kenneth Augusto
  • Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats
  • Officer of the Year – Richard (Rick) Malone
  • Volunteer of the Year – George Busch
  • Citizens Patrol Member of the Year – Kathryn Jonas
  • Distinguished Service Award – Tina Jennings
  • Lifesaving Award – Officer Christopher Smith
  • Lifesaving Award – Officer Russell Jurn

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Finance staff completed the third in a series of presentations regarding the development of the FY19 budget. The focus of this session was on the City’s reserve polices and General Fund revenue sources. In FY2018, the City had a total of $38.6 million in reserves across all funds. Per City policy, each individual fund must maintain either a minimum dollar amount or percentage of expenses in reserve. For example, the General Fund has a two-month reserve policy (16.67%) that is broken into three components; 10% for operations, 5% for budget stabilization, and 1.67% for emergencies.

The FY2018 budget includes $124.9 million in General Fund sources which is comprised of intergovernmental revenue, charges for services, local sales tax, primary property tax, and franchise fees. Based on discussion held during this work session, the Finance Department will move forward with the preparation of the City Manager’s Recommended Budget under the assumption that the City will maintain the property tax rate of $0.7591 in FY2019. You can follow the budget-building process at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Funding released for Decide Surprise bond projects

Design work and some land acquisition deals can commence on several of the Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond Projects, following City Council.

City Council approved the authorization for staff to spend $5,058,800 to begin design work and land purchases for Fire Stations 304 and 308; design improvements to sections of Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads; design and build out of the Public Works Operations Facility; and pavement preservation. Read more…


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1326
Mobile: 623.640.4305
Email: todd.tande@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

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.

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

S&P upgrades Surprise bond rating

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services announced today that it has raised the City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds rating from “A” to “AA-” while affirming the stable outlook.

In releasing the information, S&P stated the rating reflects the following positive attributes of Surprise:

  • Adequate economy, which is part of a broad and diverse economy;
  • Strong management conditions, with good financial policies;
  • Adequate budgetary performance;
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility;
  • Very strong liquidity, providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures; and
  • Very strong and contingent liabilities position.

“This is very welcome news which solidifies that the fiscal policies set by this City Council and carried out by our management team have indeed put our fiscal house in order,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “Hard work, dedication and sacrifice have set the stage for our city to begin moving forward again.”

“Credit ratings are extremely important to a community as they determine interest rates in the bond market,” said City Manager Bob Wingenroth. For example, if a city goes to sell bonds to finance capital improvement projects the higher the bond rating the lower the interest payments to bond purchasers, lowering the overall cost of borrowing.”

Today’s announcement follows an upgrade by Fitch Ratings in February of this year. Citing “sound internal controls” and “solid fundamentals,” Fitch upgraded City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds and series 2003 Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) bonds from ‘A+” to ‘AA-‘.