Greetings to all of my District 1 friends! I have been asked many times about WINCO. Is it going to be built on the southwest corner of Bell Road and the 303? The whole process has become very complicated due to the fact that several lawsuits have been filed both for and against the project. I believe this case will be settled in a court of law some time down the road.
At my last meeting on February 21st, a resident asked me to check into why there have been so many accidents at the corner of 165th Avenue and the Surprise Farm Loop. I am currently researching that question and as soon as I have an answer, if there is an answer, I will let you know.
Happy Trails RV Resort invited me to speak at their Town Hall meeting on February 6th. I was able to bring them up to date on the Development Code that the City has been working on. I was also asked a few questions about our Dial-A-Ride program and why the City put a cap on the amount of rides per day. The simple fact is that the program is depleting its funds for this fiscal year and if we do not do something now, rides will stop before FY14 ends on June 30th. I am going to do my best to get additional funding for this upcoming fiscal year, FY15.
The Council and staff held an all day Budget Retreat on Saturday, February 8th to work on FY15 financial forecasts and of course, every department needs some piece of the pie! The Dial-A-Ride program had a $300,000 budget for 2012-2013 plus a few federal freedom grants. We hope we can improve on that for our upcoming fiscal year.
I had the privilege to be in Desert Oasis on Friday, February 14th to take part in Operation Finally Home. Pulte Homes donated a brand new home to Army Specialist Philip Martin and his family. Mr. Martin served 2 tours in Afghanistan and he was wounded in both tours. This donation was made possible by the organization, Operation Finally Home. This was a Valentine’s Day that the Martins will never forget!
On February 18th, I was at our beautiful Surprise Stadium with our Mayor, Sharon Wolcott and the rest of our City Council to welcome back the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers for spring training as part of the Mayor’s Welcome Back lunch. A special thank you to Cactus League President and CRS Director, Mark Coronado, for all you do for Surprise!
On February 20th, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their Legacy Business Awards at the Colonnade. It was exciting to see all of the residents of Surprise and our surrounding cities receive awards. Melissa Holdaway, COO of Arizona Charter Academy, was awarded the 2013 Surprise Citizen of the Year award. Thank you, Melissa, for all you do for our City!
On Monday, February 24th, Council Members from the Valley and State Legislators celebrated Opening Day for spring training with Cactus League representatives at “Cactus League Lunch at the State Capital”. The Cactus League is especially important to the City of Surprise because of the tourism dollars it generates for our City.
In addition to all of the above, I have met with a number of developers and I am very optimistic that building in Surprise will soon begin again.
Along with these events as well as many others that have not been mentioned, one of the most important events, of course, was the Mayor’s State of the City Address that was held on February 27th. During the Address, the Mayor outlined everything this City has accomplished this past year which included our stronger financials and our increased credit rating. We are in good shape financially and that is why I am hopeful for some wonderful things to happen in Surprise this year. As our City Manager likes to say, “We are healthy, but not wealthy!”
Please know that you are always welcome to email me, call my office or call me directly at 623.594.5952. Thank you for your continued support. Please remember my next meeting will be held on March 14th.
Councilman Roland Winters Jr.