Category Archives: Newsletters

Councilmember Ken Remley July Newsletter

Water Conservation Do’s and Don’ts

On average, each Arizona resident uses about 145 gallons per day. About 20 percent of the State’s water supply is for municipal use, and most of this is residential. Up to 70 percent of that water is used outdoors (watering plants, swimming pools, washing cars, etc.) especially during the summer months, with the remaining used indoors (bathing, cooking, cleaning, etc.). Residents that incorporate water efficiency into everyday life help preserve water for future generations.

Some ways to conserve water outside: install a water-efficient drip, irrigation system; plant low-water use and drought-tolerant grasses; regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices; water deeply but less frequently; collect and use rain water; and water plants when necessary.

Some ways to conserve inside: check faucets and pipes for leaks; run washing machine and dishwasher when they have full loads or adjust water levels for smaller loads; do not pre-rinse dishes unless you need to; when washing dishes by hand, do not let the water run; and turn water treatment and softener units off while on vacation.

Protecting Kids, Pets and Yourself Against the Rising Temperatures

As the temperatures keep climbing, I would like to give some friendly safety reminders:

Do Not Leave Kids or Pets in Cars

Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying. When leaving your car, ALWAYS check to be sure everyone is out of the car. If you need a reminder that a child is in your car, simple tricks like leaving a stuffed animal in the front seat will help remind you.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and makes you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Make sure to always reapply sunscreen.

Stay Cool Indoors

Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible, and be sure to check on those who do not have air-conditioning.

Pace Yourself

Cut down on exercising during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slow and pace yourself up.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are.

Heat-Related Illnesses Flyer

The City of Surprise is a part of the Heat Relief Network. We provide refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the summer months. There are designated stations that offer indoor refuge from heat during the day, as well as drinking fountains or bottled water. Stations can be found here:

Surprise Resource Center: 12425 W. Bell Road, Building A, Suite 124
Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301: 16750 N. Village Drive East (FS 301)
Hollyhock Library: 15844 N. Hollyhock Street
Northwest Regional Library: 16089 N. Bullard Avenue
The Salvation Army Sun Cities Valley Corps: 17420 N. Avenue of the Arts Blvd.

You can help those in need by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either the Surprise Resource Center or Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301.

Hollyhock Pool

If you and your family are looking for something to beat the summer heat, the Hollyhock Pool, 15808 N. Hollyhock Street, is open Monday through Thursday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The pool is closed on Fridays. These hours do not change until August 3.

The pool offers a zero depth area with water play features, water spray pad with play features, three-lane lap pool, and a water slide! The pool also offers swimming lessons and is a great way to host an inexpensive party. Please call 623.222.2530 for more information.

The daily entry fee is $1 for youth, $2 for adults and $5 for non-residents. If you’re planning to be at the pool a lot this summer, you can also purchase a semi-annual pool pass. It’s $20 for youth and $40 for adults. The semi-annual pool pass is for Surprise residents only.

Surprise Community Garden

City Councilmembers are allotted a certain amount of discretionary money to spend on non-profit organizations or a one-time purchase for event costs when the event is held or conducted within their district. This year, I utilized my discretionary funds for the Surprise Community Garden, located at Benevilla. This is truly a hidden treasure in Surprise, and I was excited to be a part of it. I appreciate the hard work they do for our community, and I look forward to what the future holds for them.

Councilmember Remley at the Surprise Community Garden.

Veterans Reflection Circle

The City of Surprise hosted a groundbreaking on June 24 for the Veterans Reflection Circle. This memorial is in honor of late Surprise resident, Brian Mancini, and his sacrifices. Currently there is a scheduled grand opening on Veterans Day 2019. You can learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/vrc.

City Councilmembers break ground at Veterans Reflection Circle memorial.

Arizona State Veteran Home: Yuma, Arizona

I was excited to join the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services in Yuma on June 22 for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Arizona State Veteran Home. This home will provide skilled-nursing and rehabilitative care for Arizona’s veterans.

Meritage Homes at Marley Park

Thank you to Meritage Homes for hosting Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Winters, Councilmember Duffy, and me at the ribbon cutting for the new homes in Marley Park on June 5. We toured six new model homes, the recreation center, basketball courts, resort style pool and clubhouse. We are excited to welcome new neighbors to Surprise!

Tour of O’Dell Center for Athletics at Ottawa University

On June 21, I participated in a tour of the new O’Dell Center for Athletics. This is going to be a fascinating facility. Ottawa University students and student athletes will have state of the art equipment year-round. This facility will also offer community partnerships that will benefit City of Surprise residents. We cannot wait for the grand opening this fall!

AZ TechCelerator

In June, I invited Julie Neal from the AZ TechCelerator to my District 4 Community Meeting where she provided informative updates. The AZ TechCelerator is a 66,000 square foot business incubator where small businesses have the opportunity to grow. It provides access to mentors, training, affordable space, and so many more resources tailored for your entrepreneurship venture. The Surprise Resource Center is also located inside the AZ TechCelerator and offers many services for residents and veterans.

Membership at the TechCelerator starts at $50 per month- which includes office space, conference rooms, community meetings, education workshops, and much more. The space allows you to expand at your own pace.

The AZ TechCelerator is located at 12425 W. Bell Road. For more information, please call 623-222-8324 or visit www.aztechcelerator.com.

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.

HOA Meetings

This past month, I attended the Coyote Lakes & 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.

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 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.