Tag Archives: budget

Councilmember Ken Remley May Newsletter

Thank you for signing up to receive my notifications and monthly newsletters. I am always available for any questions or concerns via email at ken.remley@surpriseaz.gov. Please also join my monthly community meetings on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Surprise Community Center, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Please check the calendar at surpriseaz.gov to check for cancelations during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also find me on Facebook for regular updates.

COVID-19 Financial Relief Information for Individuals & Families

During this difficult time, there are many resources available to help individuals and their families. Resources available to Surprise residents can be found on the City of Surprise COVID-19 Community Care Resources webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/3804/COVID-19-Community-Care-Resources, the COVID-19 Financial Relief Resources webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/3805/COVID-19-Financial-Relief-Information, or by calling the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600. Listed below are some of the resources that are available to residents.

Salvation Army Meals – The Salvation Army, located at 17420 N. Ave of the Arts, in Surprise, is offering drive thru pick-up of hot breakfast and a sack lunch between 7a.m.-9a.m. daily. This program is open to all seniors, or anyone who is food insecure. For more information, please call 623.977.1084.

Electric & Gas Utility Assistance – Surprise & El Mirage families can seek assistance with their utility bills by calling the Surprise Resource Center HOPE line Monday mornings at 8 a.m. The HOPE Line phone number is 623.222.4673. Callers must leave a voicemail. If you cannot leave a voicemail, that means that the limit of assistance for that week has been met.

Surprise Senior Center Hot Lunch Program – If you would like to participate in this program, please call 623.222.1500 two days in advance to order your meal for pickup Monday through Friday at noon.

Benevilla HOME Services Program – FREE program for all seniors who could use help with groceries, errands, etc. For more information please visit www.benevilla.org or call 623.584.4999.

Additionally, the City of Surprise has suspended all water service shutoffs through May 10.

Veteran Aid & Attendance Benefits

The Reveille Foundation in partnership with the American Patriot Service Corporation is now offering online information and registration workshops on Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefits. These workshops are held bi-weekly and will assist veterans in filing out the necessary paperwork to file for the benefits. The first session was offered on April 29, but additional workshops will be offered every other week thereafter. To register or for more information, please contact Pamela Cameron at 602-592-9461 or pamela@reveillefoundation.org.

Budget Summary

City Council was presented with the City Manager’s Recommended Budget during our Work Session on April 21. If you weren’t able to view the meeting live, a video of the meeting, including the budget presentation can be viewed on https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov/. Council and staff are working hard to ensure there is a balanced budget in the midst of economic conditions caused by COVID-19. Steps have already been taken to reduce expenses and prepare for a budget with flexibility to meet the on-going challenges. The tentative budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular City Council Meeting on May 5 at 6 p.m., and the final budget adoption is scheduled for the Regular City Council Meeting on June 2 at 6 p.m.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have. The best way to reach me is ken.remley@surpriseaz.gov

Traffic Improvements

A flashing yellow left-turn signal has been installed at the intersection of Litchfield and Waddell roads. A flashing yellow arrow traffic signal allows motorists to make a left-hand turn after yielding to oncoming traffic. Flashing yellow arrow signals have been shown to help drivers make fewer mistakes, and reduce delays when traffic is light, allowing more opportunities to make a left-turn with the flashing yellow left-turn arrow.

A flashing yellow left-turn signal will also be installed at the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads overnight on May 1st/2nd.

Development in District 4

Below is a list of permits under review, construction, or recently completed in District 4.

Permits Under Review:
U-Haul, 13420 W. Bell Road-Tenant Improvement

Permits Under Construction:
Arizona Charter Academy, 16011 N. Dysart -New Construction

Permits Completed:
Heritage at Surprise-Building A-F, 13669 W. Rimrock St. -New Construction

District 4 Community Meeting

My monthly Community Meetings are generally held on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. I have decided to cancel my next meeting on May 27 to comply with guidance on social distancing and protect the health of our community. I look forward to meeting with you again when we can. Please call or email me in the meantime with any questions or concerns you may have.

Upcoming Events

Please check www.surpriseaz.gov for updates on cancelled and postponed events.

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.

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 oks FY18 budget that maintains services & property tax rate

The Surprise City Council approved a $275.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, at a Special Meeting Tuesday night.

The budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands.  Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

This budget maintains the city’s current property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money. The primary property tax levy is set to support the uses of the General Fund and provides a more diversified revenue system that protects city services.

The budget also dedicates $49.8 million to support the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also a number of financial policy revisions regarding the level at which Council adopts the budget, who can amend the budget, minimum fund balances for the new Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds, and clearer definition of the reserves and their potential uses in the General Fund to strengthen the city’s financial position.

Council will vote to set the property tax levy and revise the financial policies at their June 20 Council Meeting.

The FY18 Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

FY18 Recommended Budget released

City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented a $336.5 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Recommended Budget to City Council at Tuesday’s Work Session.

The Recommended Budget maintains existing city services and identifies creative options to maximize some resources.

That includes securing outside revenue sources and reallocating the operating budget to provide new positions that address public safety, water and inspection demands. Two public safety grants (SAFER Grant and COPS Hiring Program) will partially fund a five-member Fire-Medical Peak Time Response Unit and two police officers, focused on community policing, through 2019.

The Recommended Budget also includes $49.8 million to support the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which is used to maintain, preserve, and/or replace city infrastructure. This includes funding for pavement preservation of city streets, vehicle replacement and aging communications, information technology, recreation and utility infrastructure.

There are also two recommended financial policy revisions regarding the Minimum Fund Balance Policy for the General fund and the Stormwater and Workers’ Compensation funds that will provide clearer definition for the reserves to strengthen the city’s financial position.

The FY18 Recommended Budget will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.

Council is scheduled to vote on the final budget in June.

City begins FY18 budget discussions Feb 7

The City of Surprise Fiscal Year 2018 budget-building process begins at the City Council’s Work Session, 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 7.

This is the first in a series of presentations regarding the overall development of the budget. This presentation will give a general overview of the city’s budget and review the calendar for the upcoming process. Emphasis will be placed on the areas of policy making that the City Council has available to impact the FY2018 budget.

The presentation will also discuss outside issues that will influence the outcomes of the budget process.

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.

This process will result in the adoption of a balanced FY2018 budget in June. FY2018 begins July 1, 2017.

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.