S&P upgrades city’s GO Bond rating as Council authorizes first Decide Surprise Bond sale
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
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 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 email@example.com or 623.222.7100.
Imagine Rosefield’s 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
The 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vote for your favorite local businesses in the 2018 Surprise Retail Survey
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.
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
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
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…