Tag Archives: state of the city

Councilmember Chris Judd’s Newsletter • May 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.

White Tank Proclamation

I joined Mayor Skip Hall, Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborne, Youngtown Mayor Mike Levault, and several other elected officials to celebrate White Tank Wild Day at the beautiful Skyline Regional Park. Proclamations were given by Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, and Peoria, declaring “White Tank Wild Day” on April 22. It was undoubtedly fitting on Earth Day!

Water Wise

Surprise Water Resource Management logoYou may have heard talk in the news media recently about the Colorado River and a potential shortage declaration. The Western United States, including Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area, has been experiencing a drought for more than a 20 years, with an official drought declaration in June 1999. Drought is a normal occurrence in the desert southwest. However, as the drought in the Colorado River Basin continues to extend, the Lower Basin States of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Nevada along with Mexico may face reductions in their Colorado River water deliveries through a “Tier 1” declaration by the Bureau of Reclamation.

What does this mean for Surprise’s water customers? A Tier 1 shortage declaration will have no effect on Surprise’s water allocation or its deliveries to customers. Although there will be no immediate impact to municipal water supplies, Surprise remains committed to water resource management and its water conservation measures. Shortage on the Colorado River does not mean shortage for Surprise’s customers at the tap. Being efficient with water has been part of our long-term water management strategy, and our water conservation program provides resources to assist customers.

Furthermore, Surprise is not directly delivering its Colorado River allocation, instead, we use our Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allocation to recharge the aquifer, storing water for future groundwater pumping. As always, it is important for water users to follow water efficient practices to protect our precious resource. For more information about drought and how it affects Surprise’s water customers on our Drought Resiliency and Preparedness website: surpriseaz.gov/3867/Drought-Resiliency-Preparedness.

If you would like to learn more about this or have any other questions about Surprise Water, please Join me for my Meet and Greet on May 25 at 6 p.m. at Venue Taproom, 13699 N. Litchfield Rd. Staff from the City’s Water Department will be joining me to have your questions answered about Surprise water.

You may be wondering how you can save water. Here are some water-saving tips:

  • Visit Surprise’s water conservation page surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation for water saving guides, tips, and advice.
  • Surprise customers can track their water use through a WaterSmart portal and use real-time tracking to establish a water use baseline and set leak alerts. Customers can access the WaterSmart portal through the “pay my bill” option on Surprise’s Utility Billing website surpriseaz.gov/1503/Utility-Billing-Rates.
    WaterSmart Software logo

The Boyer Bakery Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Skip Hall and I joined Jim and Liz Boyer, owners of The Boyer Bakery, for the ribbon cutting of their new bakery in Surprise. It is located at 13681 N. Litchfield Rd., Suite #136. Please join me in congratulating them on their Grand opening, and best wishes for much success!

Ranked #6

The City of Surprise is ranked the #6 safest city in Arizona according to a new SafeWise report. Congratulations to our community on this accomplishment, and a big thanks to Surprise PD for helping keep us safe! Here is a list of Arizona’s 10 Safest Cities: safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-arizona/.

Local Economic Activity

As Amazon completes construction on its 143,000 square foot last-mile delivery station in Surprise, the project is a capstone to a more than five-year run of development in the city’s two square miles suburban industrial park. The railplex is bounded to the north at Waddell Road, south at Peoria Avenue, east by Dysart Road, and west by Litchfield Road. The amenity-rich Surprise Railplex development has Arizona’s first and only BNSF Railway-certified sites totaling over 250 acres. The Surprise Railplex recently welcomed JBugs, SeaCa Packaging, Trimaco, National Indoor RV Centers, Skyway Commons, and Milam Glass, as well as the Level Crossing speculative flex industrial development – in just the past few years. In addition, IRIS USA is celebrating its upcoming 5th anniversary in Surprise! The US-headquartered operation of the Japanese-owned company located off Cactus Road along the rail, built over 400,000 square feet on 45 acres, allowing additional land to expand into the future. IRIS USA also donated more than 30,000 masks to the community in 2020. The Surprise Economic Development Department is actively marketing the BNSF certified sites for large employment-generating projects and just completed a virtual tour video being promoted across their international industry network. The video can be viewed by visiting: youtube.com/watch?v=jiK2i1gIrZg

A map of the Surprise Railplex area.

Small Business Resources

The City of Surprise Economic Development Department has teamed up with the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) to offer even more support to the Surprise small business community. In recognition of the continued small business recovery process resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Surprise small businesses can sign up for a free year of membership with ASBA. Benefits include connections to thought leaders and entrepreneurs throughout the state, business education opportunities, professional connections, mentors, marketing tools, access to data, discounted business benefits, and advocacy for a pro-business environment. Please visit asba.com/surprise before May 10 to claim your membership.

City of Surprise Property Tax Rate

We’ve been receiving some question about the City tax rate. It has not increased. The primary tax rate in the City of Surprise is $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property value, plus the secondary property tax rate (from the voter-approved 2017 GO Bond) of $0.3880 per $100 of assessed property value. These rates multiplied by the assessed value of your home determine what you pay in property taxes. If the value of your home increases, you will see an increased tax bill; however, that is not due to an increase in the property tax rate but rather an increase in the assessed value of your home.

Schedule of Existing Primary and Secondary Property Tax

   Current Rate  Current Levy  Proposed Rate  Proposed Levy  
 Property Tax          
 Primary Property Tax Rate $0.7591 $9,135,500 $0.7591 $9,974,200 Per $100 assessed value
 Secondary Property Tax Rate $0.3880 $4,669,500 $0.3880 $5,098,200 Per $100 assessed value

Veteran Resources & Support Services

Veterans, service members (active duty, Guard, and Reserve), and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley. The City of Surprise is proud to offer the West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center a new home within the Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator Campus, located at 12425 W. Bell Rd., Suite 124. The center includes various military and veteran support services and resources, made possible by the generous support of partner organizations and all West Valley cities. For more information on the West Valley Military and Veteran Success Center, call 623.222.1658 or visit the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov/veterans.

Surprise Day of Service

Vice Mayor Duffy and Councilmember Judd get bags to fill with pinto beans.The City of Surprise Annual Bean Bag Day event was held during National Volunteer Week on Saturday, April 24. Volunteers helped to bag 6,000lbs of loose pinto beans for distribution to those in need through the Valley Community Food Bank. A big thank you to Seeds of Hope International Ministries for purchasing the pinto beans! If you are looking for a way to volunteer in our community, please consider helping out at the next Day of Service event scheduled for May 26. To volunteer, or for more information, contact Larry Garcia at larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov, or call 623.222.1522.

Surprise Retail Survey

Surprise retail survey thumbnailThe 2021 Surprise Retail Survey is now open! Tell us what shopping and dining establishments you want to see in Surprise – plus, vote for current favorites so we can recognize the local businesses you love! Click on the link to take our 2021 Retail Survey by May 9: surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

Passport services return to City Hall

Passport services return to Surprise City Hall by appointment only. Regular business hours for passports will be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office. To make an appointment, or for questions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/passport or call the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

District 6 Roadwork

  • Public works will begin sidewalk repair and maintenance in the Veramonte subdivision the first week in May. The project is expected to take approximately two weeks.
  • Waddell Rd. (the north half from 140th Ave. west to Bullard Ave.) was milled and re-paved in early April. Permanent pavement markings will be installed by the second week of May to complete this roadway project.

Itty Bitty Beach Party

Surprise Beach Party thumbnailThe Itty Bitty Beach Party is back! It will be on May 28 at the Surprise Aquatics Center. This party offers guests games, prizes, crafts, and more, for children ages 10 years and younger! Enjoy the slides, cool off in the water, and hang out with our resident mermaid! The cost to come party is $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents. Event registrations are accepted in-person at the Surprise Parks & Recreation Department office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave., online, and over the phone. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 623.222.2000.

Surprise FY 2022 Budget

The City of Surprise proposes a budget focused on maintaining our current level of service as the city continues to grow. The budget continues to focus on Council’s commitment to maintaining quality public services and infrastructure. A public hearing and tentative Budget adoption are scheduled for the May 4 Regular City Council Meeting, with final budget adoption planned for the June 1 meeting. To learn more about the budget process, please visit surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO)

Thank you to those who have submitted comments for the draft Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO). The goal of the PMO is to keep the City of Surprise safe, healthy, and blight-free. Public comment was requested & accepted from March 3 through May 2, 2021. If you would like to learn more about the document, please view the March 2 City Council Work Session.

A presentation and vote on the item is scheduled for June 15, 2021, at Surprise City Council Meeting. If adopted, the PMO will be effective that day.

State of the City Video

State of the City thumbnailCOVID-19 impacted so many last year, and in this video, we highlighted the resilience of our community. It captures how our strength, effort, and strategic planning place the city’s trajectory toward future success. Watch the video here: surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/watch?v=-KGUE2MFrlc

Connect with District 6

Please check out my new District 6 Facebook page at Councilmember Chris Judd! Be sure to click the “follow” button to get District 6 news and updates. Please also visit my District 6 webpage at d6.surpriseaz.gov where you can subscribe to my Notify Me email list to receive important District 6 updates.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting will occur on Tuesday, May 18 at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public for in-person attendance. You can also watch live at surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 also carries the meetings live. 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 May 25 at 6 p.m. at Venue Taproom, 13699 N. Litchfield Rd. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have.

Please check my webpage at https://d6.surpriseaz.gov/ for updates to my meeting schedule.

Councilmember Chris Judd’s Newsletter • April 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.

Surprise’s Face Covering Mandate Lifted

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise. You can read the full proclamation here.

Please note that based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-06, there are some exceptions.

The City retains the right to set and enforce mitigation policies in our city government buildings and public transportation. Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended within city facilities, except for Surprise City Court, where they are required.

Per the Governor’s order, private businesses may institute and enforce face covering policies and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies.

Per federal mandate, face coverings are still required while riding public transportation.

Governor’s Order 2021-06

With the state of Arizona hitting several crucial public health benchmarks, Governor Doug Ducey announced several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures on March 25, including on events, businesses, and local ordinances.

Several key data points contributed to these changes:

  • Mass distribution of the vaccine: 3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
  • 10 weeks of declining cases.
  • Hospitalizations at the lowest level since the end of September/beginning of October.
  • Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans 16 years of age and older.
  • A recent evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that ranks Arizona among the best states in the nation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
  • President Biden’s recent promise that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May 1.

Under the changes announced by Governor Ducey:

  • Events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments. These events should continue to follow safe practices and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing. This includes youth sports.
  • The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Governor Ducey is providing businesses with the ability to continue requiring masks and social distancing.
  • Bars have already been allowed to operate as “dine-in” at full capacity. They will now be allowed to resume regular operations, with the ability to require social distancing and masks.
  • Unlike some other states, Arizona never issued a statewide mask mandate, and instead encouraged personal responsibility with an aggressive educational campaign — resulting in more widespread mask usage than states with mandates. Some local governments have implemented “mandates,” however, they have rarely, if ever, been enforced. Under this latest action, those local mandates will be phased out. Mask usage is still encouraged, especially in groups that are not vaccinated.

View the Governor’s Executive Order HERE.

City Hall Re-opens!

City Hall and other city administrative buildings will re-open to the public on April 12! In addition, City Council and board and commissions meetings will re-open to in-person attendance effective that date.

My Nail Spa & My Barbershop Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Hall and I had the privilege of attending the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting for My Nail Spa and My Barbershop, located at 13983 W. Waddell Rd, suite 102 & 103. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your celebration!

Mayor Hall and Councilmember Judd cut a grand opening ribbon at My Nail Spa My Barbershop.

State of the City Video

State of the City thumbnailTune in on April 13 at 6 p.m. for the 2021 State of the City Video Premiere, live online at surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. The City of Surprise 2021 State of the City will reflect on our community’s resilience and look at what’s in the future!

COVID Relief Funding

For over a year now, the City of Surprise has been working hard to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Our City has been fortunate to receive federal, state, and county financial assistance to provide meals, rental/mortgage payments, and utility assistance through our Senior Center and Surprise Resource Center.

Here is a snapshot of how $10.88 million in federal funds has helped our community during the COVID crisis:

A snapshot of the allocation of 10.88M in federal funds.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program provided billions of dollars in payroll assistance funding for businesses through two rounds of funding.

While these programs have helped, the City identified some funding gaps in meeting specific needs and, in some cases, noticed some needs were not being met at all.

On September 1, 2020, and November 2, 2020, the Surprise City Council approved resolutions to support $555,000 for Surprise COVID Community Relief Packages for addressing community and business needs because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic. Utilizing some of our AZ CARES ACT dollars, we were able to allocate $180,000 to address the following human service needs:

AZ CARES ACT funds allocation.

The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:

Surprise small business relief grant funds allocation.

The City will continue to explore additional needs as we anticipate another round of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act in the future. We have a good plan in place to monitor where the needs are and address as appropriate.

Small businesses are encouraged to review updated COVID business resources available on www.surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp or to reach out to the Surprise Economic Development Department at econdev@surpriseaz.gov.

Community Resources are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/communitycare, or call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.

Coming soon to Surprise

  1. Crumbl Cookies will soon be at the southwest corner of Litchfield and Waddell, at the “Marley Park” corner!
  2. Amazon now has their sign on the building. We expect the facility to start operations in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and bring over 300 jobs to Surprise!

Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO)

Would you like to learn more about the City of Surprise Property Maintenance Ordinance and have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments? If so, please join the public meeting that is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall Community Room or online. To join the public meeting online, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO. To access the public meeting or to leave a comment on the document, please visit surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

The Property Maintenance Ordinance is a guiding document that establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the City. The goal of the PMO is to keep the City safe, healthy, and blight free. Public comments are also being accepted through Sunday, May 2, 2021 via an online comment box at surpriseaz.gov/PMO.

Surprise Day of Service

The next Surprise Day of Service is on April 24, 2021 to help benefit the Valley View Food Bank. The day begins at 8 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m. with volunteers working in two-hour shifts. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Larry Garcia at 623-222-1522.

Budget Retreat

FY2022 Budget thumbnailCity Council will be participating in a budget retreat on April 16, beginning at 9 a.m. The retreat is a part of the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget. The retreat will be open to public attendance and will be televised for public viewing on surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise and Cox channel 11.

Arts & Culture Grant Program

The City is now accepting applications for a new Arts & Culture Commission-led grant program that intends to assist community organizations that are pursuing arts and cultural events or activities that benefit City of Surprise residents. To apply, you must be a 501 (c) 3 organization or partner with a 501 (c) 3 verified agency. The application, program details, and eligibility requirements are available online at surpriseaz.gov/artsgrant. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 23, 2021.

Connect with District 6

Please check out my new District 6 Facebook page at Councilmember Chris Judd! Be sure to click the “follow” button to get District 6 news and updates.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public for in-person attendance. You can also watch live at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 also carries the meetings live. 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 April 28 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 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.

Vice Mayor Chris Judd’s Newsletter • April 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.

COVID-19

The safety and well-being of our residents is our number one concern. Governor Doug Ducey issued a new Executive Order, “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected”, on March 30 to promote physical distancing while encouraging social connectedness to continue to help mitigate COVID-19 transmission. This order is in effect until April 30.

Under this Executive Order, Arizonans are asked to limit their time away from their place of residence or property except to conduct or participate in essential activities; for employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions; to utilize any services or products provided by essential services; and for employment if as a sole proprietor or family-owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to the public.

For additional information on this Executive Order (2020-18), please visit the city’s COVID-19 webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19. Additionally, the City of Surprise website has information and resources to help residents while we all adhere to social distancing guidelines. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov for links to community resources and other pertinent information.

While most city facilities are closed to the public, city business will continue to be conducted. Core services will not be effected including fire-medical, police, trash, water and other essential city services. As an additional step to help our residents during this health crisis, we are suspending all City of Surprise water customer shutoffs through May 10. By visiting our website, you can find information on ways to interact with the city online, by phone or via email.

In an effort to minimize the potential spread of illness, all city park amenities were closed as of March 24. This includes: playgrounds, water fountains, basketball courts, pickle ball courts, dog parks, skate parks, splash pads, restrooms, and volleyball courts. Ramada and field reservations are not being accepted at this time either.

Updated information on COVIC-19 can also be found on the Maricopa County Department of Health website https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019, the Center for Disease Control cdc.gov/COVID19, and the Arizona Department of Health Services https://www.azdhs.gov/.

Public Participation Changes at Council Meetings

Taking into account the current CDC recommendations, the City Council Chambers are closed to the public until further notice. You are always able to watch City Council Meetings live via, www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofsurprise, Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513. If you would like to submit a public comment during a meeting, your comment can be taken by email or phone. For specific instructions on how to interact during the Council meeting, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4802.

As a reminder, there will be two City Council Regular Meetings this month. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m.; and the second meeting on Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior.

I always look forward to hearing from my constituents. 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.

Census 2020

Be counted! If you have not already responded to the Census, you can take your Census now, by visiting www.my2020census.gov.

Having an accurate Census count allows cities, organizations, and businesses to better evaluate what services or programs residents need, and aids in redistricting to ensure equal representation to our residents. It also affects the number of representatives each state has in Congress. Census data is also used to determine federal funding for programs like the National School Lunch Program and federal student loans. It’s important to be counted!

For additional information visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/Census2020.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campaign

Are you looking for a way to help others during this current health crisis? The City of Surprise is starting a Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campaign to collect items such as baby formula, diapers, toilet paper, baby wipes, soap, feminine hygiene products, gloves and canned meat. If you have any of these items, and would like to donate them, they can be dropped off in bins at the locations listed below. For additional information about the campaign, or if you are in need of any of these items, please check our website at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=4785 for additional information.

  • Salvation Army: 17420 Ave of the Arts, 623-977-1084
    Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Radiant Church: 15522 W. Paradise Ln., 623-975-2662
    Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Surprise Senior Center: 15832 N. Hollyhock St., 623-222-1500
    Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Road Work Update

Litchfield and Cactus Roads
In March, the City added flashing yellow left-turn signals at Litchfield and Cactus Roads. 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.

Flashing yellow arrow traffic signals feature a flashing yellow arrow in addition to the standard red, yellow and green arrows. When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow allows waiting motorists to make a left-hand turn after yielding to oncoming traffic. Otherwise, the new traffic signals work the same as traditional signals.

These upgrades are being made to enhance safety while allowing more traffic to move through the intersection in a shorter period of time. Flashing yellow arrow signals have been shown to help drivers make fewer mistakes. They reduce delays when traffic is light, because there are more opportunities to make a left turn with the flashing yellow left-turn arrow.

What the arrows mean:

Red arrow

Solid red arrow: Drivers intending to turn left must stop and wait. Do not enter an intersection to turn when a solid red arrow is being displayed.

Yellow arrow

Solid yellow arrow: The left-turn signal is about to change to red and drivers should prepare to stop or prepare to complete a left turn if they are legally within the intersection and there is no conflicting traffic present.

Dashed yellow arrow

Flashing yellow arrow: Drivers are allowed to turn left after yielding to all oncoming traffic and to any pedestrians in the crosswalk. Oncoming traffic has a green light. Drivers must wait for a safe gap in oncoming traffic before turning.

Green arrow

Solid green arrow: Left turns have the right of way. Oncoming traffic has a red light.

The city is working closely with contractors and project managers to keep roadway project timelines on track. For the latest information, please check the City of Surprise website, at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/.

State of the City

Mayor Skip Hall’s State of the City Address will be released virtually on April 15 at 6 p.m. I hope you get the chance to watch and hear about Surprise’s accomplishments and vision for the future. Residents can watch the State of the City address video on Surprise TV Channel 11 or online at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. Don’t worry if you miss it, the video will be rebroadcast on Surprise TV and available to view on https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/ after April 15.

Upcoming Events

Updates on cancelled and postponed events can be found on the city website at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/.

What’s happening on that lot?

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!

Meet and Greet

To be compliant with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order, my monthly Meet and Greet scheduled for April 22, will be cancelled. Please check the calendar at www.surpriseaz.gov for updates to my meeting schedule.