The city’s start-up scene makes headlines, a spotlight on new businesses & more.
The city of Surprise, in partnership with GateWay Community College, broke ground today on the future site of the Surprise-GateWay Training Center, a facility that will provide new, mission critical labs, assembly facilities and classrooms for city water professionals and individuals interested in water resource management careers.
The 13,100 square foot training center is being constructed on the grounds of the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility, located near the intersection of Cactus and Litchfield roads. SPA1 currently processes over 8 million gallons of water per day.
When completed, GateWay Community College enrollees in the West Valley will have an opportunity to train adjacent to professional staff and experience the complete water reclamation and treatment process for both groundwater and drinking water.
Mayor Sharon Wolcott is pleased with the opportunities the new facility will bring to individuals interested in water resource careers.
“This is an industry losing many to retirement and this training facility will help usher in the next generation of highly skilled water and wastewater professionals who understand the lifecycle of water in Arizona,” said Wolcott.
Construction on the Surprise-GateWay Training Center is anticipated to be completed this summer and training opportunities opening as early as this fall.
For information about the training center, call 623.222.6000.
I’d like to extend a big shout-out to all of my fellow District 1 residents. I hope this new year has started well for all of you.
This year promises to be a very busy year for the City of Surprise with lots of construction occurring throughout our growing city. The largest project, of course, is the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project. The project basically began with utility work last month and lane restrictions on Grand Avenue this past week.
To meet the needs of a growing Surprise, the city is working on several significant transportation improvement projects. The projects range from constructing additional lanes, to paving new areas, to enhancing safety through new medians. In addition, the city has created a 2016 Transportation Projects Map for easy reference. The map shows the areas where the work is happening and their expected timelines.
The following projects are currently underway:
Original Town Site (OTS) Infrastructure Improvement: This project will replace old asphalt with pulverized asphalt in the OTS. The project began in December 2015 and is scheduled to conclude February 2016.
Cactus Road (north half) from 140th Avenue to Bullard Avenue: This project includes half street improvements with a median. DMB is the project owner, with the City contributing to median costs. The project is underway and is expected to conclude in spring 2016.
Waddell Road Median (Litchfield Road to 1200 feet west): Work to add a landscaped median west of Litchfield Road began in January 2016 and is expected to run through February 2016.
Peoria Avenue (Reems Road to Sarival Avenue): Project will provide two travel lanes in the westbound direction. Lennar has started construction, which is expected to be completed in February 2016.
Greenway Road (Bullard Avenue to Litchfield Road): Project will add an additional lane in each direction. This project began in January 2016. Work is scheduled to be completed in June 2016, weather permitting.
The following are upcoming projects:
Cactus Road (south side) from Litchfield Road to Rail Road Tracks & Litchfield Road (east side) from Cactus Road to Desert Cove Road: The project will provide two travel lanes in one direction along Cactus (eastbound) and Litchfield (northbound). Construction is expected to begin in February 2016.
Landscaping Median (various locations):
The project focuses on completing medians in the following locations:
- Reems Road—Peoria to Cactus (1 mile)
- Bullard Avenue—Peoria to Cholla (1/2 mile)
- Waddell Road—175th to Citrus (1/2 mile)
- Sarival Road—Bell to Northwest Ranch Parkway (900 feet)
Construction is expected to begin in March/April 2016 with the individual sections prioritized as listed above.
Peoria Avenue (south side) from Greer Ranch Parkway to Reems Road: The project will provide two travel lanes in the eastbound direction. Construction will begin in April 2016.
Additionally, the Arizona Department of Transportation is managing several major improvement projects in and around the city. Loop 303 interchange connections at both U.S. 60 (Grand Ave.) and El Mirage Road are expected to be completed this summer. Early work on the Bell Road bridge, which will carry traffic over Grand Avenue and the adjacent railway tracks, has begun. The project is scheduled to be completed over the next 14 months (in spring 2017). The full closure of Bell Road between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway is scheduled to start April 1 and will be in place for 6 – 8 months. For more information on this project, please visit www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or call ADOT’s project hotline at 1.855.712.8530.
All project timelines are weather permitting. Please note, this list does not include regular (short duration) pavement preservation and maintenance or sidewalk maintenance projects.
You can find this list of improvement projects and other important city transportation information online at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.
My meeting this month is scheduled for Friday, February 19 at 7 pm in the Retreat Community Center at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive). I will have officials from ADOT present as well as representation from the city to further discuss the project, provide updates, distribute detour maps and answer any questions you may have. We will have a model of the bridge available to give you an idea of what the finished product will look like.
City Council kicked-off this year with a City Council Work Session and Regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 5. I’m excited to be part of this Council and help make Surprise the greatest city it can be.
Three of my fellow City Councilmembers – Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Skip Hall, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the Dysart Unified School District tour on Friday, January 22. I was very impressed to witness the great job these dedicated teachers are doing to get our school children ready for the challenges in life. School is very different now than it was when I went to school. There are so many more choices for our students such as career and technical education, etc.
Councilmembers from all over the West Valley took part in the 2nd West Valley Council to Council Mixer hosted by City of Peoria City Councilman Jon Edwards at Rio Vista Recreational Park on January 28. Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva initiated this event last fall to build the camaraderie amongst the elected officials in the West Valley.We can do so much more for our respective communities when we are working as a team rather than working alone to promote economic development and quality of life issues for the residents throughout the West Valley.
City Council attended the Surprise POPS band concert at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center on Saturday, January 30. I am happy to report there were over 1,000 attendees. As some of you are aware, our fine City Manager Bob Wingenroth worked with the band and arranged for them to call Surprise home. What a great performance!
If you haven’t already heard, the city launched a redesigned website, www.surpriseaz.gov, to enhance mobile functionality and make it easier for our users to connect to the information they are looking for. I encourage you to visit the website see all the changes firsthand.
I will close for now. I hope to see you at my chat on the evening of the 19th. In the meantime, please be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Best Regards to All,
Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
The 2015 National Citizen Survey (NCS) results are in and nearly 90% of residents rate Surprise as a great place to live and would recommend living here.
The NCS serves as the city’s service report card, and the collected data assists in setting future city priorities.
The survey captures residents’ opinions within three community pillars: Community Characteristics, Governance & Participation. These are broken down into eight categories: Safety, Mobility/Transportation, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation & Wellness, Education & Enrichment and Community Engagement. Across these eight categories the city’s results were similar to over 200 peer cities across the United States.
According to the survey, the areas that are most important to Surprise residents are safety, mobility/transportation and the economy.
The city rated above the national benchmark in the following categories:
(% selected excellent/good)
88% overall appearance of the city (cleanliness)
86% recommend Surprise as a place to retire
84% Street lighting
83% Street cleaning
82% Sidewalk maintenance
81% Overall built environment
76% Affordable quality housing
74% Public parking
69% Cost of living
Survey results also indicate a need for more public transportation options and local job creation- two areas that rated below the national benchmark.
Residents were asked how likely they would be to support a separate funding source to pay for new Police and Fire-Medical personnel, which would reallocate General Fund dollars towards other projects. Sixty-six percent of residents strongly/somewhat support this proposal.
Nearly three-quarters of the surveyed residents are confident in local government, and 89% are pleased with the quality of city services.
Since the 2012 NCS, residents noted significant improvements in traffic flow, crime and fire prevention, shopping opportunities/economic development, drinking water and overall national environment. Ratings fell in the number of residents who volunteered, visited a park or watched a local public meeting.
The 2015 NCS was conducted by Boulder, Colorado-based National Research Center from October-November 2015. The survey was sent to 1,400 randomly-selected Surprise households. The overall response rate was 26%, which is average for this type of survey. The margin of error is +/- 5%. Results are weighted as to not have one particular demographic (age, sex, race, etc…) skew results.
The City of Surprise would like to thank those residents who participated in the survey. The city’s next NCS is on target for 2017.
To see the complete results visit www.surpriseaz.gov/ncs.