Tag Archives: economic development

Vice Mayor Chris Judd’s Newsletter • January 2021

Thank you for signing up to receive my newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns or complaints! You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

New Park!

A new eight acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place will begin design in June of 2021! This new park will provide more programmable and rental field space.

In addition to the new park, Council voted to provide additional funding to the Gaines Youth Baseball Field, to allow for completion ahead of the current timeline, and established a $3 million budget for enhancements to the Surprise Community Park. Enhancements will be determined following the design and submittal of actual costs, but could include adding a restroom, improving dog park drainage and exploring new lighting. The City of Surprise has continued to see growth in housing permits and retail sales collections, and as a result, Council voted to fund these parks projects.

We are still in the beginning phases of planning for a larger city park (75-100 acres). If you have any ideas on what you would like to see included, please reach out to me at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Rocket League/Among Us Tournaments

Surprise Parks & Recreation and Bravous Esports are teaming up to offer online video game tournaments. Gamers participate from the comfort of their own homes in a competitive, elimination-style tournament. The registration fee for Surprise residents is $10. Register online at https://bit.ly/3gClzDN.

  • Rocket League “Back to School” Tournament
    (7-17yr) – January 9, 4-9 p.m.
  • Among Us Unmasking
    (7-17yr) – February 20, 4-9 p.m.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the city will host a virtual program celebrating his life, leading into a day of community service. Please join us on January 16, beginning at 9 a.m. on the City of Surprise social media channels & Surprise TV to see a variety of local musicians, performers, and speakers. Community service projects are also being coordinated. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Larry Garcia at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov. In order to adhere to COVID-19 gathering limitations, advanced registration is required.

What’s Happening on that Lot

Fire Station 308, located at the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Cactus Road, broke ground on December 7. This nearly 16,000 square foot facility will house an Engine Company, Hazardous Materials Response Team and future ambulance. The fire station was funded by the voter-approved 2017 Decide Surprise General Obligation Bond.

Other projects currently in development review:

  • EOS Fitness Marley Park, located at 13644 N. Litchfield Park
  • Kiff Enterprises-JBUGS, southwest corner of Sweetwater and Dysart Road
  • Level Crossing Phase 2 PAD Amendment, an extension of the property for industrial and commercial mixed use, located at 13700 N. Dysart Road.

New Commercial Permits were recently completed for:

  • Skyway Business Park Bldg. H1, located at 11304 N. Dysart Road
  • Skyway Business Park Bldg. H2, located at 11180 N. Dysart Road

Economic Development

The Surprise Small Business Relief Grant program provided grants to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Council, using CARES Act funds, funded two phases of this program. Through this funding, the city was able to help 79 local businesses and retain 483 jobs! Our Economic Development Department continues to work hard to help our local businesses find resources to be successful. Please visit the COVID-19 Business Resource page for a list of other resources available for local businesses.

A chart displaying use of funds.

To view the full Small Business Relief Grant report, please visit surpriseaz.gov.

Possible APS 230kv Power Lines Down Cactus or Peoria roads

APS accepted public comments on the siting process for new 230kv power lines from October 20-November 20. In a summary of public comments provided by APS, public comment included opposition to the new transmission lines routes along Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue near residential areas. Currently, there is no information on where the lines will ultimately be sited. More information regarding this project should be available in early 2021. To learn more about the project, visit www.apswestvalleycentral.com.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 19 at 6 p.m. Council meetings are currently closed to in-person attendance. To watch live, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 will also carry the meetings live. Public comment will be accepted by phone and email. Instructions for public comment will be included on each meeting agenda. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior. If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting, so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation. The best way to reach me is chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on January 27 at 6 p.m. at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 14029 W. Waddell Road. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues, and answering any questions you might have. Please note that my Meet and Greet, scheduled for January 9 at Spencer’s Place, has been cancelled.

Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to my Meet and Greet schedule. Please check my webpage at https://d6.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates to my meeting schedule.

Vice Mayor Chris Judd’s Newsletter • November 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns or complaints! You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

Veterans Day Tribute Video

We would prefer to have a Veterans Day Parade again this year, but due to the pandemic, we had to get creative! To show our support for veterans on Veterans Day this year, we will be making a video and decorating Bullard Avenue. The compilation of community video messages will be featured on Veterans Day on the Surprise TV cable channel, our Parks & Recreation social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov.

Remember to take a drive down Bullard on November 10-12. Decorated signs, provided by City of Surprise residents, will be on display with messages of thanks for our Veterans!

Possible APS 230kv Power Lines down Cactus or Peoria roads

How would you like some nice, tall 230kv power lines in your backyard? APS needs to connect the power lines that run along the west side of the 303 to the Microsoft facility on Dysart Road and Olive Avenue. Options include Cactus Road, Peoria Avenue, or Olive Avenue.

APS is in the early stages of a public siting process to determine routes for new 230kV power lines. The project structures/poles will be between 115-195 feet tall.

Here is a 90 second summary from the end of our last council meeting:
https://youtu.be/59x3wmk-yAs?t=5459

Public Input for the West Valley Central 230kV Connection Project is now being accepted. Members of the public are invited to learn more about the project and to submit comments at www.apswestvalleycentral.com. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2020.

Additionally, two Live Virtual Town Hall meetings will be hosted on Wednesday, November 4 and Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Both are from 6-7:30 p.m. You can register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APSlivechat

APS map of the 230KV Connection Project study area.

Restaurants – Permits to expand outdoor dining are now free!

Local restaurants can now apply for a Temporary Expansion of Premise (TEP) permit to allow for expansion of their dining areas in order to serve more customers while maintaining social distancing. Since the intent of the TEP is to curb the financial impacts of the pandemic on restaurants, there is no application or permit fee. In addition, the TEP process includes a streamlined application process and expedited staff review. Approved permits will be valid for 180 days with an option to renew. If your restaurant is looking to expand the service area for alcohol, review and approval of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control is required. To learn more about the TEP permit and download the application, please visit surpriseaz.gov/specialeventpermits.

Marley Park Overseed Schedule

You may notice some brown turf for a short time as the City and the Marley Park HOA work together to create a sustainable and turf healthy management program that also considers water conservation. This Fall, no overseeding will take place at the city park in order to rest the turf. Please see the schedule below, for future overseeding plans. Please note that this schedule will be reviewed annually and adjusted based on turf conditions.

Fall 2020—No overseeding (entire park)
Fall 2021—Overseeding (south side only)
Fall 2022—Overseeding (north side only)
Fall 2023—START OVER—No overseeding (entire park)

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 623-222-2000.

What’s happening on that lot?

  • At the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Waddell Road, Boyer Bakery will be opening at the former “Pinkabella” location, and Venue Taproom has opened its doors, taking over the former “Under Review” location.
  • Walls are up and construction is underway at the new Amazon last-mile distribution center at Sweetwater Avenue and Litchfield Road!
  • Expanding in the Rail Plex: Horizon Aviation is growing and Milam Glass is adding a new parking structure.
  • Skyway Commons along the west side of Dysart Road, south of Cactus Road, has nearly completed an additional 63,000 square feet of speculative industrial space for new business attraction.
  • A new Goodwill store opened at Cactus Road and Reems Road on October 23rd

Congratulations to our Economic Development Team!

With all of these great projects going on, it should be no surprise, that the Surprise Economic Development Team recently received five awards from the International Economic Development Council:

  • Gold Award for the Community Partnership with Ottawa University
  • Silver Award for Costco Retail Attraction Campaign
  • Silver Award for its Economic Development Week Campaign
  • Bronze Award for the Virtual Ribbon Cutting Campaign
  • Bronze Award for the COVID-19 Business Help Website

In addition, the City of Surprise partnership with Ottawa University was recognized with an Innovation Award at the WESTMARC Best of the West Awards on October 22!

Thank you, Councilman David Sanders

November 2nd, 2020 will be Councilman Sanders’ last meeting. Dave came on the council a few minutes after I did and was a great resource for our city. I had the great pleasure of working with Councilman Sanders on many different agenda items and budget items over the past two years.

Thank you very much for putting your life on hold these past two years and for the service you have given to your community. You led by example, you are extremely thoughtful in your approach and you are always a pleasure to be around. Just because you are leaving the council, you are not off the hook — I still expect to see you involved in our great community.

Holiday Schedule

Please note the following holidays this month will result in a change to the trash pick-up schedule for city of Surprise sanitation customers: November 11 in observance of Veterans Day, and November 26 and 27 in observance of Thanksgiving. City Hall remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meetings will take place on Monday, November 2 (moved to Monday due to Election Day) and Tuesday, November 17 at 6 p.m. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior. If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting, so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation. The best way to reach me is chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Council meetings have been reopened for in-person participation. In order to adhere to CDC guidelines, in-person participants will be required to wear a facial covering when entering and exiting the chambers, but may remove it while seated, if they so choose. Capacity will be capped at 50 people, and physical distancing measures will be in place.

If you are not yet ready to attend in person, instructions for how to comment virtually are listed on the agenda. Agendas can be viewed at www.surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on November 14 at 9 a.m. at Spencer’s Place, 15341 W. Waddell Road. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues, and answering any questions you might have. Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to my Meet and Greet schedule. Please check my webpage at https://d6.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates to my meeting schedule.

Vice Mayor Chris Judd’s Newsletter • May 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns or complaints! You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

FY 2021 Budget

A preliminary budget presentation was given at the Regular Council Work Session on April 21. Tentative budget adoption is scheduled for the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on May 5 at 6 p.m., with the final budget adoption scheduled for the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on June 2 at 6 p.m.. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposed budget, please feel free to contact me at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Economic Development

During COVID-19, the business of helping our businesses has stayed strong in the City of Surprise! The Economic Development Department has shifted its focus in many areas to serve our local business community:

  • Businesses, Job Seeker and Surprise Customers now have an online resource at the www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp page. This is updated daily and provides concise information to support our community’s economic well-being during COVID-19.
  • The restaurant-focused #SeeRedGetFed banner program was launched and more than 175 restaurants have displayed these banners.
  • The #ShopSurprise “Open for Business” banner and promotional program for our non-restaurant/retail businesses was initiated shortly after the restaurant banner campaign.
  • The Surprise Community Development Department worked to temporarily amend the community’s A-frame sign policy to help our local businesses with their promotional endeavors.
  • New social media campaigns have been showcasing daily restaurant deals (#SuperstarOfSurprise), job opportunities (#WorkforceWednesday), and other positive community stories (#CopingWithCOVID). Follow the Surprise Economic Development team on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SurpriseEconDev and on Twitter @SurpriseEconDev.
  • In partnership with Marketing & Communications, the Economic Development Department developed a COVID-19 resource video series featuring 2-3 minute videos on a variety of important topics, including small business CARES Act eligibility, local job seeker resources, business tips to survive a business interruption, and more.
  • Julie Neal, the AZ TechCelerator Program Coordinator, has elevated the city’s small business services to social media. Virtual interviews with business owners, brokers, tax professionals, and business mentors are helping to showcase different free small business services available to the local community.
  • The Surprise Economic Development Department has also been promoting AZ TechCelerator marketing mentor Chris Amos, who has free webinars available to all local Surprise businesses.

I would like to recognize two businesses located in District 6. IRIS USA, Inc. for their donation of 20,000 masks to Arizona healthcare workers, and Pinkabella Cupcakes, who generously donated N95 masks to the City of Surprise for our frontline emergency staff. Thank you for your generosity!

Road Work Update

Pavement preservation will be moving forward in the coming weeks in Royal Ranch, Ashton Ranch, Kenly Farms, and part of the Marley Park neighborhood, and should be completed before the end of June. Residents will receive door hangers prior to any work being done on the street they live. The HOA property managers have been notified of the coming work and the schedule has been coordinated with the solid waste collection days, to ensure trash containers are still serviced as expected. The work is planned to occur throughout all of the residential streets in Royal Ranch, Ashton Ranch, and Kenly Farms, as well as Marley Park phase 17 & 18 which will be the first significant treatment of the residential streets in the Ashton Woods section of the neighborhood.

Please note, Larkspur Drive will be closed at Litchfield Road from May 1 to May 15, 2020, for milling and paving work. Residents can use Sweetwater Avenue as an alternative during this time.

A Flashing yellow left-turn signal has been installed at Litchfield and Waddell. This is an update the city will be making to all signalized intersections over time, as projects move forward and/or signal replacements are needed.

For more information on City of Surprise road closures and traffic restrictions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/roadwork

State of the City

The State of the City video, which looks at the significant achievements that Surprise has made this year, premiered on April 15. If you didn’t have a chance to watch, it is still available to view on Surprise TV at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/.

Upcoming Events

The impacts from COVID-19 to our city’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget and beyond are still uncertain. In an effort to make sure that we have a balanced budget at the end of the current fiscal year, all recreation programming and events will continue to be suspended until further notice. This will include summer camps, youth and adult sports leagues and camps, swim lessons, swim teams, open swim, and large gatherings, including the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration.

The City’s parks, walking paths and open spaces will remain open to the public and fishing will still be allowed at the Surprise Community Park Lake. Please remember to practice physical distancing guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control when using these areas.

What’s happening on that lot?

Please see the list below of new development happening in District 6!

  • A new construction permit was completed for the Skycom Business Park Shell Building, located at 13274 W. Desert Cove Road.
  • Tractor Supply at Prasada is under construction.
  • Handel’s Ice Cream at Greenway and Cotton Lane will be opening this summer.
  • Costco at Waddell and Sarival is still under construction and looking better every day.
  • Abrazo Microhospital at Bell Road and the 303 is hiring and almost ready to open.
  • A new Starbucks will be coming to the Winco corner on Bell Road and the 303.
  • New Legacy Traditional School expected at the NWC of Cotton and Cactus, not far from Sterling Grove by Toll Brothers – which is open for virtual tours!

If you notice new construction or planning signs posted somewhere and you would like more information, please email me at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov. I enjoy talking about what is happening in Surprise and gaining valuable feedback from you!

Council Meetings and Agenda

As a reminder, there will be two City Council Regular Meetings this month. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m.; and the second meeting on Tuesday, May 19 at 6 pm. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior. If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting, so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation. The best way to reach me is chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

Meet and Greet

My May Meet and Greet is scheduled for May 27, however; due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, please check https://www.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates and cancellations to my meeting schedule.