Tag Archives: Bell & Grand

January 2017 • Newsletter

A big shout-out to all my neighbors and friends in District 1 and throughout this beautiful city that we are blessed to call home. Happy New Year to you! If you are like me, I can’t believe that 2016 was here and gone in the blink of an eye and now we begin 2017.

While December was slightly slower than most months, I was able to attend a few events and meetings as well as meet with some of my constituents. I began the month at the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Commission meeting on December 2 followed by the Christmas tree lighting at the Annual Surprise Party. City Council Members and their families were joined on stage to welcome residents and light the tree. Despite the cold, there was a great crowd of residents that attended the two-day event.

Mayor and Council at Surprise Party 2016

Councilman Skip Hall and I, as Committee Members, attended the Audit Committee meeting on Wednesday, December 7. In addition, this Committee is comprised of residents, employees, and the City’s auditor. Meetings are open to the public and posted on our website. The next meeting is scheduled for March 22 at 3:30 pm in the Council Overflow Room at City Hall.

I attended the “Tech the Halls” Holiday Open House at the AZ TechCelerator on December 8. This event was an opportunity to look at the latest advancements from Surprise’s technology start-ups, including electric vehicle conversions, water desalination and electric skateboards. Since 2009, the TechCelerator has fostered local start-ups resulting in 16 businesses, over 200 jobs graduated and a local Google corporate office. This year, the TechCelerator reached worldwide with its Global Concierge Services program which helps international businesses establish local operations in Surprise and has thus far generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Councilmember Winters at Tech the Halls event

On December 9, most of City Council and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission visited the new Mattamy Homes Rhythm development in Tempe to look at their new models. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the project to see if it would be a possible future “good-fit” development in Surprise.

The Human Service and Community Vitality Department hosted their Annual Holiday Party for senior services at the Arizona Traditions Ballroom, December 14. Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Skip Hall and Todd Tande also attended with staff.

The Arizona State Transportation Board, which is responsible for establishing a complete system of state highway routes in Arizona, hosted their December meeting at City Hall on Friday, December 16. I attended the meeting which included discussion on future transportation projects and a summarization of projects that were recently completed including the Bell Road bridge project which was mentioned several times. While Bell Road opened for commuters in November, the entire project, including the ramps connecting Bell to Grande Avenue, is scheduled for completion in February.

On December 28, I attended an outreach meeting at Desert Oasis where we discussed future development north of Jomax Road. Additionally, this year, there will be some new home building along Bell Pointe and immediately outside the AZ Traditions gate along the dam.

New businesses and restaurants have recently opened or will soon open in Surprise including a new car wash near Winco, a new Wendy’s restaurant, Panda Express, Red Line Grill, a new self-storage facility located near the Sam’s Club shopping center, a new Verizon Wireless store, Denny’s restaurant and a new Popeye’s. At a Council meeting late last month, it was announced that Raising Cane’s has plans to build a restaurant near the corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Plaza.

Until next time, please be good to yourselves and be good to each other.

Best,

Roland F. Winters Jr.
Councilman, District 1

December 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my District 1 neighbors and all the residents of Surprise! I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and paused to give thanks for all of our blessings. It doesn’t seem possible that we are in the last month of 2016.

My first meeting of November brought exciting news! Popeye’s will soon be built near Sam’s Club on Bell Road in District 1. I am very appreciative of the investment many restaurants are making by coming to Surprise!

On Thursday, November 3, I was invited to speak at the Asante HOA Annual Meeting. Since the community is not built-out yet, the community only meets once a year. I’d like to thank Brad Shaeffer and his team for the invitation and the conversation.

I visited Gateway Park in El Mirage on November 4 to see the Vietnam traveling memorial wall and it was a moving experience for me. Approximately two years ago, the wall was in Goodyear. I am hoping to work with the city to bring the wall to Surprise!

My family and I attended the Fire Station 302 Open House. This marked the last open house of the year. For a few months, each station hosted an open house for the public. I hope you took advantage of the opportunity to visit the station and our fire personnel. It was a great opportunity for me, as well, to let our fire staff know how much I appreciate all they do for our residents!

Canyon Ridge Elementary School held their Annual Veterans Day Celebration on November 10. It was a fantastic event and a wonderful opportunity to see all of the students participating. These students are so fortunate to have the dedicated teachers, personnel and volunteers that they do, and the leadership of their principal, Dr. Shelly Isai. I wasn’t allowed to leave empty handed, as a student in Ms. Taylor’s class gave me a painting that now hangs in my office.

That same evening, I attended WESTMARC’s Best of the West Awards at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Best of the West Awards has been a signature event for over 20 years that is designed to celebrate the best of the best in the West Valley. This annual event recognizes outstanding contributions to the quality of life, economic development and innovation in the West Valley. The Surprise Resource Center, a center focused on social services, took first place in the Quality of Life Award category and the AZ TechCelerator, the city’s business incubator, was runner-up in the West Valley Economic Engine Award category.

City of Surprise award winners

The Surprise Resource Center opened in December 2015 as a means to strengthen the community by supporting and serving its people. The center began with one program- the Community Action Program (CAP). Through a partnership with Maricopa County and El Mirage, CAP assists with utility and mortgage/rent payments. To date, CAP has served more than 600 families, totaling $370,455 in assistance. Today, the center houses 13 partnerships that offer a range of services from employment assistance to food resources. The center also offers veteran services. About 12% of the city’s population is comprised of veterans; now, employment assistance from Veterans Affairs, Department of Economic Security and the city’s new Veteran Job Club can be accessed from one location.

The AZ TechCelerator continues to offer affordable rent and a collaborative environment that helps young companies build up their business plans, creating new products, services and jobs in Surprise. The TechCelerator has 16 client start-ups, two onsite service providers, a track record of over 200 jobs graduated, and the only Google corporate office presence in the State of Arizona, following Google’s purchase of AZ TechCelerator-grown Athena Wireless. The program has also been able to offer temporary corporate office space for new international company locations to Surprise, such as IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical, RioGlass Solar and Gestamp Solar Steel, which combined have generated more than 300 additional community jobs.

Congratulations to all of our staff involved with both outlets. The recognitions could not have happened without your hard work and dedication to the programs. This was a team effort led by the continued leadership of City Manager Bob Wingenroth. Thank you!

Surprise hosted the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade on Friday, November 11. The number of entries increased significantly over last year, requiring our parade route to also increase. We had 102 entries this year. Thank you to Mark Coronado, Director of Community and Recreation Services, and his team for putting this event together and to the residents who came to the parade to honor our veterans.

2nd Annual Veterans Day Parade

On the evening of November 11, I hosted my monthly meeting at the Community Center in the Retreat of Arizona Traditions. I continue to host my meetings the second Friday of each month at 7 pm at the Community Center located at 18250 W. Weatherby.

I attended a Public Hearing on the Draft Annual Report on the Status of the Implementation of Proposition 400 at MAG (Maricopa Association of Governments) and that same evening, I attended the Art of Craft Beer & Cuisine event at State 48 Brewery hosted by the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. The event included a tour of the brewery and an explanation of the brewing process from their Brew Master. The head chef also discussed some of his dishes and how the restaurant believes in using fresh local ingredients. Thank you to owner, Mario Rana, for his hospitality and the delicious pizza!

My family and I visited the Surprise Swap Meet at the Surprise Aquatic Center on November 19. It was a beautiful morning to visit with residents and see the items for sale.

On Sunday, November 20, Councilman Jim Hayden and I were invited to Arizona Traditions 20th Anniversary celebration at their ballroom. We had the pleasure of visiting with residents of the community, listening to the stories of those that have lived there from the beginning of Arizona Traditions and enjoying the wonderful food and entertainment.

Councilman Jim Hayden and Roland F. Winters at Arizona Traditions 20th Anniversary celebration

The city hosted a fantastic pre-celebration of the re-opening of Bell Road on Monday, November 21 to thank our residents, businesses, partners, etc. for their patience during the closure. I know all of our residents and businesses were excited for the actual opening of Bell Road the following day. The intersection certainly looks different now. The entire project, including the ramps connecting Grand Avenue to Bell Road, is scheduled for completion prior to Spring Training 2017 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. In the meantime, your Bell to Grand Avenue access remains on Dysart Road, east of the intersection and Bell to Reems to Grand, west of the intersection.

reopening of Bell Road

November 28 was an exceptionally sad day as I found myself at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix to attend the memorial service for a Surprise resident and active community veteran, Bill Lipscomb. Mr. Lipscomb served in the US Air Force and served in Vietnam. He will be sorely missed!

As this year quickly comes to a close, please remember to be good to yourself and be good to each other. I wish you a blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year!

Best Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

City celebrates reopening of Bell Road

Commuters were able to cruise over the new Bell Road Bridge at Grand Avenue on their way to work this morning, as the Arizona Department of Transportation officially opened the road at 12:15 a.m.

The city of Surprise hosted a pre-celebration on Monday in the Surprise Marketplace parking lot to officially kick-off the 2016 Holiday Season and to thank the area businesses, residents and drivers for their patience during the seven-month closure of Bell Road.

“To the customers that continued to shop these businesses, thank you for realizing that they were ALWAYS open and for supporting them,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “And to those that took a different commute during the closure, I invite you to come back to this area. No more stopping for the train and three new businesses have opened since the closure began in April, with two others opening this fall. Come check them out!”

Representatives from the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce also spoke at the event that was attended by neighboring elected officials, residents and local businesses.

As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection attendees received Surprise shopping bags, filled with vendor coupons and promotional items. A perfect reminder to Shop Surprise this holiday season!

The Bell Road closure was part of the ADOT US 60 (Grand Ave) and Bell Road Interchange project which began in January 2016. By closing Bell for 7 months, construction delays were avoided during two Spring Training Seasons and this year’s holiday shopping season.

The entire Bell-Grand project, including the ramps connecting Grand Avenue to Bell Road, is scheduled to be complete prior to Spring Training 2017 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. In the meantime, your Bell to Grand Avenue access remains on Dysart Road, east of the intersection and Bell to Reems to Grand, west of the intersection.

February 2016 • Newsletter

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.

2016 Transportation Projects Map

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.
District 1