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Councilmember Ken Remley JUNE Newsletter

In Case You Missed It

EPCOR Interim Rates

Residents in the Agua Fria district of Surprise will see an increase in rates from EPCOR. Operating costs have changed significantly over the past 25 years and more than $150 million has been spent to repair and replace the infrastructure- pipes, meters, valves, plants, etc. On March 28, 2019, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved interim rates to recover changes in operating costs since rates were last set in each district.

Current rates for the Agua Fria district will remain in effect and will continue to appear on your bill as they do today. Interim rates will appear as a surcharge on your bill, calculated for your individual usage. Remember, you pay for as much water as you use.

The Arizona Corporation Commission has ordered EPCOR to file a new rate case by May 1, 2020. To share your comments or concerns please contact the ACC, reference Docket #WS-01303A-19-0011. You may contact the ACC Consumer Services Section at 602.542.4251.

Veterans Meeting

On Wednesday, May 15, the City of Surprise hosted a meeting with various Veteran groups to discuss the potential of bringing Veteran housing and/or a Veterans Hall to Surprise. If you are a Veteran, or have a local Veteran group, and would like to participate in future discussions, please contact Community Partnerships Manager Paul Bernardo at 623.222.1029.

The Surprise Resource Center helps Veterans out in many ways, including employment assistance and by hosting a Job Club for Veterans.  If you are a Veteran, or know a Veteran seeking assistance, please reach out to the Surprise Resource Center, located at 12425 West Bell Road, Suite 124, by calling 623.222.1600.

Valley Partnership May Morning Breakfast

On Friday May 17, I attended the Valley Partnership May Morning Breakfast meeting where I had the opportunity to connect with individuals who are innovating our Valley. The panel was led by Chris Toci (Executive Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield), Lee Mashburn (President & CEO, Pivot Development), Lorenzo Perez (Co-Founder, Venue Projects), and Stan Shafer (Principal & CEO, Holualoa Companies). The conversations focused on an exciting new trend of revamping historic buildings in the Valley.

Memorial Day Weekend

On Memorial Day, I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the Northwest Valley Veterans Association Memorial Day Ceremony at Sunland Memorial Park. It was truly an honor to speak about my service to my fellow veterans, colleagues, and friends. Thank you to George Van de Langeryt for giving me the opportunity to speak to fellow veterans about my service and connecting it to Memorial Day. Our City is grateful to the men and women who have served our country selflessly.

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Dinner

My fellow City Council members and I attended the Surprise Police Department Appreciation Dinner on May 17, where we had the opportunity to recognize the hard working men and women of Surprise Police. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to providing a safe community for us. Congratulations to all of those who were awarded at the dinner.

Officer of the Year: Corbin Claxton
Detective of the Year: Lucas Jensen
Rookie of the Year: Dillon Bleicher
Civilian Employee of the Year: Erin Rivera
Supervisor of the Year: Michael Robbins
Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Jones
Citizen Patrol Volunteer of the Year: Marylene Cayron

Lifesaving Awards:
Officer Gerald Graziosi
Officer Fredrick Cuthbertson
Officer Joshua Bucur
Officer William Bisson
Officer Shawna Ebey
Officer Tyler Johnson
Sergeant Garrick Boxberger

Unit Citation – Traffic Unit:
Sergeant Michael Robbins
Leonard Collins
Drew Persha
Richard Malone
Steven Shernicoff

National Day of Prayer

On Thursday May 2, we celebrated National Day of Prayer outside City Hall. It was warming to welcome many guests to City Hall and celebrate a Day of Prayer. The purpose of the day is to find power and unity through prayer. Thank you to Community & Recreation Advisory Commissioner Raymond Grim for hosting a terrific event.

Guests attend National Day of Prayer outside City Hall

Surprise Chamber

The Surprise Chamber hosted a great event at Ottawa University on May 28. The topic was “Arizona’s New Water Policy Landscape: Sustainable Water Solutions and How They Impact Business”. We heard from speakers Lisa Atkins, President of the Board for the Central Arizona Project; and Rory Van Pouke, Water Policy Expert and General Manger at Apache Sun Golf Club. These individuals discussed the new Drought Contingency Plan that will impact water policy for the state’s foreseeable future, along with other water policies being discussed at the state capitol. The speakers also highlighted how the drought is impacting business operations and financial performance. This was a great way for companies to learn how to leverage technologies, partnerships, and innovation to reduce impacts, mitigate risks, and protect freshwater in the state of Arizona. Thank you to the Surprise Chamber for hosting a great event!

Hollyhock Library

The Hollyhock Library, located at 15844 North Hollyhock Street, has changed its Saturday hours to better serve the community. The new hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays; Tuesday and Thursday hours will remain 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, please call the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

District 4 Community Meeting

Every fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., I host a District Community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 North Hollyhock Street. This past month, we hosted the president of Gorman Construction who gave an update on the affordable housing being built in the city’s Original Town Site. At our June meeting, we will have representatives from the city’s AZ TechCelerator business innovation center give an update on the great work they are doing. Please be sure to attend if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I look forward to seeing you there.

HOA Meetings

This past month, I attended the Litchfield Manor HOA meeting. I had a productive meeting with them and provided them with city updates, took questions, and addressed their concerns. I always enjoy meeting with residents in their neighborhoods. It is my continued goal to visit every HOA in my district on a frequent basis. Please contact me at 623.222.1300 if I have not yet visited your community. I am always more than happy to attend an event or meeting.

LA Fitness

LA Fitness held a grand opening for their first Surprise location at 16635 West Bell Road. It truly was a grand celebration for such a great company. The city will benefit dearly with the addition of LA Fitness. Make sure to get a membership, and check them out! Welcome to Surprise, LA Fitness!

City of Surprise Councilmembers at LA Fitness Grand Opening

Councilmember Ken Remley May Newsletter

In Case You Missed It

Veterans Bridge Celebration

It was a pleasure to see residents and visitors at the renaming of the Grand Avenue/Bell Road Bridge on April 26. With a high veteran population in the West Valley, the renaming celebration felt appropriate to honor these heroes. We were honored to have Governor Doug Ducey and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, along with State Senators Rick Gray and Sine Kerr. A special thank you to Senator Rick Gray, for supporting the renaming efforts of Mayor Hall and myself and introducing this proposal to the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names.

Councilmembers Sanders, Duffy, Remley, Hayden, and Vice Mayor Winters
Pictured Left to Right: Councilmembers Sanders, Duffy, Remley, Hayden, and Vice Mayor Winters

If you are a Veteran and are seeking assistance, please call the AZ Department of Veteran’s Services Surprise Location: 623.583.1025 or visit their office 13985 West Grand Avenue, Suite 101.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted their Annual Taste of Surprise on April 6, and 100 percent of the proceeds from this even benefit local charities. My fellow City Council colleagues and I attended, and even participated in the dunk tank! The Taste of Surprise is always a fun, family-filled event to attend that supports a great cause. Over 40 local restaurants participated this year, providing their favorite dishes and local bands Los Gringos and TripWire provided live entertainment. The event also included a car show and cooking demonstrations. A big ‘thank you’ is warranted to the sponsors of this event who make it better every year.

HOA Meetings

This past month, I attended the Johnson Townhomes, Coyote Lakes, and Litchfield Manor HOA meetings. I had productive meetings with each community and provided them with city updates, took questions and addressed their concerns. It is always a pleasure to meet with residents in their own neighborhoods. It is my goal to attend all of the HOA meetings in my district on a fairly frequent basis. Please contact me at 623.222.1300 if I have not yet visited your community, and I will be happy to attend.

Surprise Senior Center

The Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 North Hollyhock Street in the heart of the Original Town Site, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Membership for residents is $12.00 per year and $15.00 for non-residents. The Senior Center offers countless activities, a fitness center, and a hot lunch program. For more information about the Surprise Senior Center, please call 623.222.1500.

Check out these May events at the Surprise Senior Center:

Mother’s Day Celebration: Friday, May 10 at 8:30 a.m.- Morning tea followed by a “ladies only” pool tournament!

Barter Swap: Monday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m.- Great way to take home some “new” items for FREE! You may bring up to five items to swap with other members! All items must be clean and subject to approval of the Barter Swap Volunteer Team.

Celebrating Our Military: Wednesday, May 22 at 8:00 a.m., – Join us in honoring our military members in celebration of Memorial Day & Armed Forces Day.

Surprise EGG-Stravaganza

During Easter Weekend I attended the Surprise Annual EGG-Stravaganza. Kids had the opportunity to search for thousands of eggs filled with candy and toys while Moms and Dads had the opportunity to browse through booths. This year, we had 50,000 eggs and 500,000 pieces of candy. It was great to see many residents join us at the Kansas City Royals practice fields. Kids even had the opportunity to meet Mr. & Mrs. Bunny and get their face painted! A good time was had by all.

Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast

On May 1, the City of Surprise hosted the 3rd Annual Surprise Area Interfaith & Golden Rule Community Breakfast. I joined my colleagues and the community at this year’s breakfast to hear golden rule stories from community interfaith leaders and non-profit organizations. The Arizona Interfaith Movement, the Salvation Army, the City of Surprise, and Area Ministerial Association did a great job of sponsoring this year’s event.

FY2020 Recommended Budget

This past month, at our April 16 Work Session Meeting, City Manager Michael Frazier released his recommended expenditure budget of $414 million, which includes $106.3 million for voter approved General Obligation Bond projects. City Manager Frazier focused his budget on Council’s commitment to maintain quality public services and infrastructure, while addressing the needs of a growing community.

Over the next few weeks, I will be doing my due diligence and asking questions regarding the budget to appropriate staff members. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please always feel free to contact me. A public hearing and Council’s Tentative Budget is scheduled for the May 7 Regular Council meeting, with a final budget adoption scheduled for June 4. This will be a great opportunity for the public to voice their opinion. We hope to see you there!

District 4 Community Meeting

Every fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., I host a District Community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 North Hollyhock Street. At our May meeting on May 22, we will have the President of Gorman Construction present to provide an update on the $21 million Heritage at Surprise affordable housing project, which is currently under construction. At future meetings, I will have individuals provide updates on Gaines Park. Please be sure to attend if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I look forward to seeing you there.

Councilmember Ken Remley April Newsletter

In Case You Missed It

State of the City

The city of Surprise hosted the State of the City and City Hall 10-year Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, March 28. This event brought together many residents and elected officials. I was pleased to see the Council Chambers full of residents. The courtyard offered a gathering place for residents, with music and entertainment as well as games. Various city departments hosted tables with departmental information and city updates.

The event was shown live on Facebook, but it’s not too late to view it! Watch the replay on Surprise TV or any time at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC.

Read Across America

Thank you Countryside Elementary School for giving me the opportunity to participate in Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America Event on March 1. Thank you Ms. Greer and your 3rd grade class for welcoming me.

Surprise Youth Council Meeting

I had a productive meeting on March 14 with four members of the Surprise Youth Council. We discussed projects and their ideas on the future of Surprise. It was very nice to meet them and see what issues are impacting our youth in Surprise.

Upcoming Events

Household Hazardous Waste Event

Surprise residents, make your appointment now to have your household hazardous waste picked up. All appointments must be made before April 12. To schedule an appointment, please call 623.222.1920, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent, or use your MySurprise app. Scheduled pickups will occur April 8-19.

Spring Egg-stravanganza

On April 20, the Kansas City Royals practice field, located at 15850 N Bullard Ave, will turn into an egg hunt wonderland. Children from toddler to 10 years old can join together and search for 50,000 candy and toy filled eggs. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny will be hosting the event. There will be balloon artists and face painters to add to the experience. Gates will open at 7:30 a.m.

Surprise Talent Show

The city of Surprise is showcasing its most talented residents! The Surprise Talent Show will take place on April 26 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Valley Vista High School, 15550 N. Parkview Place. The categories will include singing, instrumental, dance and theater/comedy. Ticket are $5 at the door.

District 4 Community Meeting

Every fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., I host a District community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center, located at 15832 North Hollyhock Street. Please be sure to attend if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I look forward to seeing you there.

Learn How to Maximize Your Medicare Options

Already enrolled in Medicare or looking to learn more about it? Come to a “Maximizing your Medicare Options” workshop and get information on the elements of Medicare Parts A and B; Medicare Advantage plans (Part C); Prescription Drug plans (Part D); and Medicare Supplements (Medigap).

The class will be held on Tuesday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 30 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Road, Bldg. A, Suite 124. For more information or to register for a class, please contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov.

City Opens Application Process for Community Outreach Program

The Surprise Community Outreach Program is now accepting applications. The purpose of the program is to provide funding assistance to organizations within the city of Surprise for programs, events, and activities that enhance the overall lifestyle of the community. To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The application, complete program details, and eligibility requirements are available at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Councilmember Ken Remley March Newsletter

In Case You Missed It

Utility Rate Study Approved by City Council

City Council approved the Utility Rate Study during the February 19th Regular Council Meeting, effectively adjusting the five-year rate schedule for city serviced solid waste customers at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020 which begins on July 1, 2019. Single-family solid waste customers will pay a monthly base rate of $20.70 starting July 1, 2019 and with another scheduled increase to $23.40 on July 1, 2020. The rate schedule will then increase the rate by $0.10 each fiscal year beginning in 2021, bringing the rate to $23.70 on July 1, 2024. Residential water and wastewater utility rates will remain unchanged in FY 2020-2024. This is the first significant solid waste increase since 2010; a $0.33 rate increase did go into effect in FY 2019. For information regarding the Utility Rate Study, it can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/utilityratesinfo.

Household Hazardous Waste Event

You no longer have to wait in line to drop off your household hazardous waste. Instead, they will be coming to you. Starting April 1-12, Surprise residents will now be able to schedule appointments to have their household hazardous waste picked up directly from their homes. Scheduled pick up will occur April 8-19. For more information visit www.surpriseaz.gov/hhwevent.

Events Attended

Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Center

destiny springs ribbon cutting

I enjoyed attending the ribbon cutting for Destiny Springs Behavioral Health Center right here in District 4. This is a great facility that will thrive here in Surprise. It was an honor to attend with my fellow councilmembers.

Valley Partnership February Breakfast

Councilmember David Sanders & Ken RemleyLast month, I attended the Valley Partnership Breakfast where local executives from the real estate, financing, and development markets discussed the Arizona economy and what to expect in the future.

Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon

Welcome Back Luncheon

I was excited to kick off the Surprise Spring Training season at the Spring Training Welcome Back Luncheon! A big thank you to the representatives from the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers who shared their thoughts on the upcoming season and their excitement to be playing here in Surprise. Get your tickets to watch our Spring Training home teams play at www.surprisestadium.com.

Building Homes for Heroes

homes for heroes

I was honored to be a part of a ceremony last month where a veteran received a mortgage-free home thanks to the nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank. It was amazing to join Council, the organizations and the family for this welcome home event. I truly hope the family feels at home here in Surprise.

Upcoming Events

District 4 Community Meeting

Every fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. I host a District community meeting at the Surprise Senior Center (15832 North Hollyhock Street). Please be sure to attend if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I look forward to seeing you there.

Spring Training

Spring Training is in full swing here in Surprise. Make sure you take the time to check out the awesome fan experiences and ticket promotions we have going on here at Surprise Stadium. Visit www.surprisestadium.com for tickets and promotions. I hope to see you out at the ballpark!

State of the City

On March 28th from 6-8 p.m. our city will be hosting its annual State of the City. This year, we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the opening of our City Hall. The festivities will start in the Council Chambers of City Hall where Mayor Hall will kick the event off. This will be a great event for residents to interact with their city government. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/SOTC. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Voters ok city water election

Voters have approved the May 15th Water Election, authorizing City Council to complete negotiations with the Circle City Water Company (CCW) for the possible acquisition of the utility.

According to preliminary results released by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office tonight 80% (14,676) of registered voters voted yes; 20% (3,615) voted no.

CCW is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. This acquisition, which would require City Council approval, 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.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water will help the city meet future demands and shortfalls.

The purchase of CCW would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets.

Official final results are expected from the county by Friday, May 18.

The City Council will meet to canvass the votes at a Special Council Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22.  This meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., and will be held in the Community Room of City Hall, as Council Chambers will be closed for pre-scheduled equipment upgrade work.

City begins FY19 budget discussions

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2019 budget-building process kicked off at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 6.

This was the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. The first presentation provided a general overview of the city’s budget, including revenue sources, city funds and expenditures.

The presentation also highlighted outside issues that influence the outcomes of the budget process. View presentation.

Future Council Work Sessions and Regular Meetings will include additional presentations related to budget development, including topics on Capital Improvement Projects and continued operating budget discussions. The Recommended Budget is scheduled for release in April, followed by months of Council and public review that will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2019 budget in June. FY2019 begins July 1, 2018.

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

Council Conversations: OTS Development Project

Council Conversations with District 4 Councilmember Ken Remley. In this episode he speaks with Eric Fitzer with the City of Surprise Economic Development Department, Kevin Kellogg Housing with the Maricopa County Housing Authority and Cecil Yates, with Property Management at Commercial Properties Inc. all to discuss the Development project in the City of Surprise’s Original Town Site.

View the Episode…

City sets meetings to discuss future development in the Original Town Site

As a follow-up to the successful implementation of the Heritage Overlay District in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS), the City of Surprise will host public engagement meetings in January and February to discuss new development opportunities in the area.

Most meetings will be held in the Roy Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street, at 6 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, January 17
  • Monday, January 22 (CRS Advisory Board Meeting, City Hall- Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza)
  • Wednesday, February 7
  • Wednesday, February 28

City staff and development partners will present information about future housing, recreation and retail amenities that are being considered for the OTS, in the general area bounded by Santa Fe Drive, Rimrock, Hollyhock and Nash streets.

For more information please call 623.222.3134.

Holiday house wins District 4 Home Beautification Award

A home in the Roseview neighborhood has won the District 4 Home Beautification Award for its impressive holiday display.

The home, located at 13439 W. Maui Lane, features choreographed lights and video set to a variety of holiday songs. The owners have posted a variety of videos to YouTube showcasing their impressive display.

The resident award winners receive a framed professional photo of their home, a certificate of appreciation and gift certificates to Home Depot and Moon Valley Nursery.

Earlier this year, District 4 Councilmember Ken Remley launched this award program to recognize residents in his district who show pride in their home through decorating, renovation and maintenance activities.

To learn more about the program, please contact Councilmember Remley at ken.remley@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1300.

D4 meeting open to all residents for discussion on future OTS projects

Residents from across the city are invited to attend the next District 4 Community Meeting to discuss proposed improvement projects in the city’s Original Town Site (OTS).

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, 6 p.m., at the Roy Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street.

This meeting is the next step following last year’s successful Heritage Overlay discussion in which residents engaged with the city to create positive zoning changes for the OTS.

Through these discussions, the city learned residents wanted new amenities to support youth, employment, retail and quality affordable housing.

The public is encouraged to attend this event to meet with city staff and other partners to discuss the potential for new public-private partnerships to stimulate improvement projects in the area around the city’s existing facilities on Hollyhock Street.


Reunión del distrito D4 será disponible a todos los residentes de Surprise para discusión sobre futuros proyectos de sitio original de Surprise

Se invita a los residentes de toda la ciudad a asistir a la próxima reunión comunitaria del Distrito 4 para discutir proyectos propuestos de mejoramiento en el sitio original de la ciudad (OTS).

La reunión está programada para el Miércoles 15 de Noviembre a las 6 p.m. en el Roy Villanueva Recreation Center, 15660 N. Hollyhock Street.

Esta reunión es el siguiente paso después de la exitosa discusión de Heritage Overlay del año pasado en la que los residentes se comprometieron con la ciudad para crear cambios de zonificación positivos para el OTS.

A través de estas discusiones, la ciudad aprendió que los residentes querían nuevas comodidades para apoyar a los jóvenes, el empleo, el comercio minorista y la vivienda asequible de calidad.

Se pide que el público asista a este evento para reunirse con el personal de la ciudad y otros socios para discutir la potencial de nuevas asociaciones público-privadas para estimular proyectos de mejora en el área alrededor de las instalaciones existentes de la ciudad en la calle Hollyhock.