Greetings to my District 1 residents and to all the folks in Surprise! I apologize for the delay of my newsletter this month. I recently returned from the National League of Cities Congressional Conference in Washington DC which I will elaborate on next month.
I kicked-off February with a meeting with APS representatives to discuss the construction of the Sun Valley to Morgan 500/250kV power line just outside the city limits in the northern area of District 1. This new line was first announced in 2008. It will connect the Sun Valley Substation near Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye to the Morgan Substation located near SR74 in Peoria.
The city hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Surprise-Gateway Training Center on Thursday, February 11, at the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility. City Council, representatives from the city’s Water Resources Management Department and Gateway Community College celebrated this great day and our future 13,100 square foot training facility together! Surprise and Gateway Community College have partnered to provide students interested in water and wastewater careers to train at this West Valley facility where they are able to learn adjacent to the city’s professional staff in an environment that allows them to experience the complete life cycle of water in Arizona.
I was honored to be a guest at the Lennar’s grand opening in Asante on February 13. Asante is located in the northeast area of my district. Allen Jones and Tom Watkins were very proud to show me their product; as well they should be! I was particularly impressed with the Next Gen “Home within a Home” models. The Next Gen home is an excellent option for those looking for an in-law unit or a home for adult children returning home. It’s quite a concept!
Councilwoman Villanueva and I attended the Cactus League Legislative Day luncheon at the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 17. This event occurs annually to celebrate the return of spring training in our state. Spring training is such a great economic driver for our city, especially this season as the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals return home to Surprise. Ticket sales for the season have increased and I look forward to seeing the economic impact it is having once spring training concludes!
On February 18, I participated in the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission’s Public Art Bus tour. This event was part of a partnership with Benevilla and their Creative Aging Program and the Advisory Commission. Over 50 people took part in the tour so the Commission has organized a second tour on Tuesday, March 22. The bus will depart from Surprise City Hall at 8:30 am and return at 12 noon. If you are interested, please contact Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. A special thank you to Ms. De Jong for organizing both events!
As part of CTE (Career & Technical Education) month, I attended an Open House at Willow Canyon High School on February 19. I was absolutely astounded at the many opportunities available there for students, particularly those students who are interested in careers in the broadcasting field. I was impressed with the students’ ability to articulate their accomplishments and their plans for the future. Education has certainly changed since I was in school!
I was invited to participate in the annual Tale of Two Cities Parade at Estrella Mountain Community College on Saturday, February 20. The award winning multi-cultural event is a collaboration between the cities of Avondale, Goodyear and Estrella Mountain College that attracts thousands of people from all over the Valley. It is important to me that we support our surrounding neighboring cities so we can partner to collectively improve the West Valley! This event also gave me an opportunity to continue to network and engage with our state legislators.
That same evening, my wife and I attended the 2016 56th Fighter Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Wigwam Resort. I was honored to attend the banquet and honor those men and women who put their lives at risk for us.
On February 22, I attended a ribbon cutting for Simply Cremation. The ribbon cutting was held to commemorate their first year in business in Surprise. Simply Cremation is located on Bell Road, directly behind the new restaurant, Oregano’s, that is being built.
Arizona Department of Transportation Assistant Communications Director Brock Barnhart, city staff and I attended the Happy Trails HOA meeting on February 23. An update on the Bell Road/Grand Avenue intersection project was provided.
I attended the 40th Annual Cactus League lunch at our beautiful Surprise Stadium on February 24. Community and Recreation Services (CRS) Director and Cactus League President Mark Coronado welcomed guests and made key introductions. Former MLB catcher Jim Sundberg served as emcee and interviewed several former players including Fergie Jenkins and George Brett. Coaches and managers from the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers spoke to the 600-plus attendees. I’d like to thank Mark Coronado and the CRS staff for the hosting this extraordinary event!
As a member of the Advisory Board for Northwest Valley Connect, I attended the February 26th board meeting at Benevilla. Kathy Chandler serves as the Executive Director of the organization. Northwest Valley Connect improves coordination and awareness of transportation resources and assures that adequate transportation options are available to meet the community’s needs. If you ever find yourself needing this resource, please contact them at 623.282.9300.
I also attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Legacy Awards luncheon at the Grandview Terrace on February 26. The annual awards program celebrates many important businesses, community leaders and the extraordinary impact they have in our community. Winners included the Surprise Rotary Club (Small Non-Profit), Sun Health (Large Non-profit), Burns Dentistry (Small Business), Mutual of Omaha Bank (Mid-Level Business), and FirstBank (Large Business). Raymond Grim won an award for Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for your contribution to our community!
February was a full month! Please don’t forget about my monthly meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at the Community Center at the Retreat in Arizona Traditions (18250 Weatherby Drive) at 7 pm. Until next month, please be good to yourself and be good to each other!
Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.