Tag Archives: Surprise Farms

July 2016 • Newsletter

Greetings to my fellow District 1 residents! I hope that you have managed to stay cool thus far this summer! Thankfully, the city has options to help with that like the two Surprise pools and splash pads at a few parks. As a friendly reminder, City Council is on recess in July so there are no City Council meetings or Workshops scheduled this month. With that being said though, I will still be attending other meetings, and I will have more time dedicated to my constituents.

The Surprise Farms Picnic that was scheduled for Saturday, June 4 was cancelled so I missed seeing and speaking to my friends there! I look forward to seeing you when it gets rescheduled.

I attended the Audit Committee meeting on June 14. The Audit Committee meetings are open to the public. I would like to extend an invitation for you to attend our next meeting which will be held on August 17 at 2:30 PM in the Council Overflow Room which is located on the 1st floor at City Hall. As most of you are likely aware, a former employee is accused of stealing city funds over a seven year period. Following a two-year long criminal investigation by the Surprise Police Department, a Maricopa County Grand Jury has handed down a 15 count indictment against her. The new Audit Committee was formed to ensure you that this will not happen again.

Our last council meeting was held on Tuesday, June 21. With a 3-3 vote, the motion to increase property taxes for fiscal year 2017 failed. It was my position that additional funding to hire public safety should be found within the current city resources and not funded by a property tax increase. City Manager Bob Wingenroth assured us that he would find financial sources and the public safety positions would be funded.

At the same meeting, City Council approved sending a $63 million General Obligation Bond initiative to the voters in November 2016. Following public input and weighing community needs, Council approved the following nine projects, which if voter-approved, would be included in the bond:

  • Two fire stations
  • Police evidence storage facility
  • Land purchase for a future southwest Surprise Fire Station/Police Substation/Park
  • Public Works maintenance facility (frees up existing city locations to meet Police and Fire-Medical storage needs)
  • Road improvements to portions of Greenway and Litchfield Roads
  • Aquatic Center Expansion
  • Land purchase for regional rec complex (sport fields, playgrounds, future rec center)

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If approved, the secondary property tax could be up to $0.50 per $100 of limited property value, which on a home with an assessed value of $200,000 would be a yearly maximum increase of $100, or $8.33 per month.

If the bond is approved, the constituents of my district will receive a permanent fire station at 163rd Avenue and Happy Valley Rd. The great firefighters at Station 304 will get the long-overdue permanent home that they deserve and also the fire station the residents deserve. We are in dire need of a permanent fire station because of the increasing construction occurring in this area.

Additional educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 8 General Election. I encourage you to attend. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward. You may also visit the website for a complete list of projects, renderings, financial impact information and public survey results.

We are proud to announce that a new emergency room recently opened in our city! The Dignity Health facility, located at 14267 W. Bell Road, hosted their ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 23. This free standing emergency room is fully staffed with necessary technology.

Members of Dignity Health and Surprise City Council at new ER facility for ribbon cutting

On Friday June 24, I attended the Northwest Valley Connect Advisory Board Meeting, of which I am a member. I saw a fantastic presentation by Jeffrey Tourdot, from Maricopa County Senior and Adult Services, demonstrating how they help the seniors and the disabled by providing meals, health care and transportation.

Police Commander John Poorte
Police Commander John Poorte

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement ceremony for Police Commander John Poorte on Thursday, June 30. Commander Poorte is retiring after almost 24 years of service to our city. Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, John!

ADOT reports that work to install girders for the Bell Road overpass at Grand Avenue resumed Tuesday, July 5.

The installation had been on hold since June 9, when a large, steel-reinforced concrete girder fell moments after it had been lifted into place by cranes. An employee of a contractor working on the project was seriously injured but is recovering.

While the Arizona Department of Transportation and the project contractor have investigated, a precise reason for the accident has not been determined.

The 29 girders in place as of June 9, as well as the remaining girders to be installed, have been found to be structurally sound. A replacement girder was manufactured. ADOT has found no evidence that materials used to manufacture the girder that fell contributed to the accident.

In all, the overpass will have 89 steel-reinforced concrete girders ranging from 67 to 158 feet in length and weighing up to 90,000 pounds each.

The project team plans to complete this stage of girder installation by Sunday, July 10. Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7, to 5 a.m. Friday, July 8, and again from 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, to noon Sunday, July 10, when girder placement is taking place on the bridge span closest to the roadway.

The Bell Road overpass, traveling over both Grand Avenue and the nearby BNSF Railway tracks, is scheduled to open to traffic by November. For project information, visit www.azdot.gov/BellAndGrand.

Bell & Grand Construction progress images

Lastly, the night of my monthly meeting has been changed to the second Friday night of the month. My meetings will be held from 7 pm until 8:30 pm at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions, 18250 W. Weatherby Drive. At the gate, dial 0000 to speak with the guard. Please come and voice your concerns or ask questions about what is going on in our city.

Until next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

Regards,

Roland F. Winters Jr.

March 2015 • Newsletter

Greetings to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

February was an incredibly busy month.  I’ll provide you with a recap of some of my events and meetings.  Despite the busy schedule, I was still able to take time out and attend Second Sundays in the Park.  If you have not been to this event, I strongly urge you to go!  Retirement Rocks was the band that played in February and they were absolutely great!

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Commission hosted the “Art Encounter” at City Hall on the 11th of February.  The event had a nice turn-out with a productive discussion about the placement of public art around the City.

I was honored to be given a tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant on February 13th. We were provided a very thorough explanation of the capabilities of the plant to supply us with electricity.  This plant has strict security procedures, especially surrounding their need to protect the reactors.

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant inside 2

After the aforementioned tour, I visited the WHAM Art Association to view the newly renovated WHAM West Gallery that is located at 16560 N. Dysart Road.  The exhibit on display features the artistic interpretations of “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stephenson.  This exhibit will be on display through March 28th, 2015.

I held my regular monthly meeting on Friday, February 20 at the Retreat at Arizona Traditions.  Bob Wingenroth, City Manager, was my guest.  The attendance was very impressive!  I hope everyone gets an opportunity to attend one of my monthly meetings.  I’d love to see you there!

On Saturday, February 21st, I was invited to participate in the “Tale of Two Cities” parade and festival at Estrella Mountain Community College.  This event is partnered by the cities of Avondale and Goodyear and it highlights cultures from around the world.  I was able to be part of the parade along with more than 50 other entries.  Personally, I think our City needs a parade too!  It’s such a fantastic way to bring our residents together!

The Annual Cactus League Lunch was held at the Peoria Sports Complex.  This event is held each year and serves as the official start of the Cactus League spring training season in Arizona.

Mayor Wolcott and I attended the Surprise Farms III HOA meeting on February 26th.  We were asked several questions pertaining to the new dog park in Surprise Farms.  We tried to answer all the questions about the amenities that are going into the park.  Unfortunately, some residents do not approve.

The event that I have been waiting for arrived!  On Saturday, February 28th, the City hosted the groundbreaking for Surprise Farms Park!  I have been so excited for the residents of Surprise Farms, as well as all the folks in Surprise for the implementation of this park!  The City has budgeted over $2 million dollars for the park, with plans to include ramadas, a splash pad, restrooms, a dog park, a basketball court and the first skate park in Surprise!  This was certainly a collaborative effort with the entire City Council, Community & Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado and his entire team.  A special thank you to Mr. Coronado and his staff for their valiant efforts to make this possible!

Surprise Farms Park Groundbreaking

CM Winters at SFP Groundbreaking

I have received feedback regarding my newsletter and there seems to be a consensus that my constituents want more details.  There is only so much room in my reports but I am always happy and willing to discuss anything with any one.  You can always call me!  I will close for now.

As always, be good to yourself and be good to each other!

Council Member, Roland Winters, Jr.
District 1

January 2015 • Newsletter

Hello to all of my fellow District 1 residents!

I am looking forward to 2015.  I just know it is going to be a great year for our City.  There are many exciting economic development possibilities that are considering Surprise, and I am excited and honored to be part of it.

December was another busy month for me, but I did get a few days to relax.  The City Council held our first meeting of the month on December 2.  Mayor Wolcott hosted the Mayor’s Quarterly Business Roundtable on December 3 at the Communiversity.  Meg Saligman was a guest at the Roundtable.  The Philadelphia-based artist is serving as a consulting artist to Surprise as the City leads the discussion with ADOT and MAG to create a legacy public art project in conjunction with the future Bell/Grand intersection improvement project.  Meg Saligman is recognized worldwide for her work on murals.  That day, I also attended the Disability Advisory Commission meeting to witness the presentation of their “Above and Beyond” award to some of the Directors at Happy Trails.  Happy Trails received the award for their hard work installing automatic opening doors on their community building as well as remodeling a few of their restrooms to make them more accessible for disabled residents and visitors.  Congratulations to Happy Trails!

Mayors Quarterly Business Roundtable

On December 5, I attended the annual Surprise Party tree lighting party at the Surprise Stadium.  What a spectacular event it was to see the tree lit and the hot air balloons.  If you have not attended this event in the past, I strongly encourage you to do so in December 2015.  It was a beautiful night and not as cold as last year.

Surprise Party tree lighting

On Saturday, December 6, after attending some more events at the annual Surprise Party, I was off to the community of Royal Ranch for their block party and holiday celebration.  Councilman Todd Tande joined me there, and we were able to meet many wonderful residents.  We had a great time!

I was privileged to be invited to the Senior Center’s annual Holiday Party that was held at Arizona Traditions.  The Mayor asked if I could give the welcome to the attendees, and I was more than happy to oblige!  This luncheon has been held in the ballroom of Arizona Traditions in recent years and as a Board Member of the fine community, I want to extend my personal thanks to our Catering Committee for all of their hard work in serving that delicious lunch to everyone.  The Committee’s time and labor was provided at no cost to the City.  Thank you!

Our City Manager Bob Wingenroth continues to build a great team to lead our City into becoming an independent, sustainable city.  On December 9, we attended a dinner at the Rio Mirage restaurant to meet with Jeanine Jerkovich, the City’s new Economic Development Director.  This position is very critical to the goals of the Council, and we are confident Jeanine will lead us to them.  Welcome, Jeanine!

On Wednesday, December 10, the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsored an event in the beautiful community of Marley Park to introduce residents to our newly elected government officials and current elected officials.  The event was well attended.  I was able to speak to our State Representatives and make sure they are aware of the issues that are important to our City.

The annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting was held on December 11 at the Holiday Inn Express.  Most of our City’s Directors were in attendance.  This meeting was a fantastic opportunity for our State legislators to meet the Council and City staff and discuss the City’s priorities for the next legislative session. One of our newly elected State legislators, Representative Tony  Rivero, is a former Peoria Council Member.  Representative Rivero is a fine young man and a person of integrity.  I was very proud to endorse him during his campaign.

Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Breakfast Image 2

Legislative Breakfast Group

I was honored to be asked to deliver the opening remarks to all the attendees at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party at DreamCatcher Park on Friday, December 12.  Joe Gladieux and his team at our Community Recreation Services Department not only did a great job on the party, but throughout the year with all of the programs they put together that our residents truly enjoy.  These athletes that participate in Adaptive Recreation don’t dwell on what they can’t do; they focus and concentrate on what they can do!

CM Winters at the Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

Adaptive Recreation and Outreach Tree Party

I attended the Surprise Farms block party on Sunday, December 14.  Surprise Farms is the largest community in District 1 with 7,000 homes.  I was met with a warm welcome and enjoyed some delicious food.  I was able to distribute artist renditions of the planned amenities that will be built in Surprise Farms Park.  The ground breaking should take place this month, no later than next month.  I’d like to thank Donna Miller and Mark Coronado for those renditions and the information they continue to provide me.  I still have copies, so if you’d like one, please contact me or attend my next monthly meeting on January 16 at 7 p.m. in the Community Center at Arizona Traditions (18250 W. Weatherby Drive).  I want to thank the residents who attended my meeting in December in spite of the approaching holidays.  We had a good turn-out.

A few months ago, I attended the Bell West Ranch block party.  At that time, I was asked to judge homes in their community for the holiday decorations.  Well, I did it, and it was wonderful.  With the help of my wife and daughter, on December 18, we selected a first, second and third place winner.  It wasn’t easy as all of the decorated homes were quite beautiful.  The Board of Directors provided me with gift cards for those winners that I was able to distribute.  My deepest appreciation to Bell West Ranch for allowing me to participate!

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 1

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 2

Bell West Ranch Holiday Judging 3

On Friday, December 19, I hosted my monthly chat.  I really enjoy hosting these meetings, and I’m hoping to see you at my chat in January.

I want to close this newsletter with a bit of good news for those of you who utilize the Surprise Dial-A-Ride.  The City has temporarily increased the number of daily Dial-A-Ride trips and expanded service hours.  The daily cap for weekday trips will increase from 135 to 140 one-way trips. Saturday service will increase from 20 to 30 one-way trips per day.  The expanded services will run through June 30, 2015.  Additionally, service hours are being extended for all service days. The new service hours will be Monday – Saturday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.  As a reminder, Dial-A-Ride offers advanced reservations. Certified ADA, seniors and others with disabilities can schedule advance reservations up to 14 days prior to the trip. Same-day booking is available to all other customers based on trip availability. To make an appointment for Dial-A-Ride service, please call 602.266.8723.

At the end of the fiscal year, I will do everything I can to continue the above Dial-A-Ride service within the City’s budget.  We will address this topic when our budget discussion for 2016 begins.  I would like to thank the City staff for making this expanded service possible for now.

Until next time, be good to yourself and be good to each other.

My best,

Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr.
District 1

May 2014 • Newsletter

Greetings, fellow District One residents,

A warm hello to all of you. I hope this month’s newsletter finds you and your family healthy and happy in our beautiful city.

I will try and recap all events in April and bring you up to date on things to come in May.  We are already saying goodbye to a fast-fleeing spring so get ready for our warm weather!

Crime Prevention
We attended the crime prevention day at the Aquatics Center on Bullard Road on Saturday, April 5, and a big thank you to the folks that volunteered to help. Our firefighters and police officers put on a number of great demonstrations, including what happens in an auto accident, demonstrations by K-9 police and the crisis response unit, and Del Webb Medical Center held CPR classes.

SurpriseSafeetyDay_WaterMacGruff.jpeg

Monthly Coffee at Arizona Traditions
Councilman Biundo (Dist 2) and I held our monthly meet-and-greet on Tuesday, April 8 at 10 AM in the neighborhood center in Arizona Traditions, as we do every second Tuesday of the month. Each of us represent a part of the Arizona Traditions community. I hope you will join us in the future.

Swap Meet a Big Hit
I attended the citywide swap meet Saturday, April 12, at the Aquatic Center and there was a great turnout of residents selling almost everything you could imagine. I was pleased to meet and talk to a couple of folks who are brand new to our city and live in Surprise Farms. They already love Surprise!

Apostolic Church
The same day I was invited to attend a community event at Surprise Apostolic Church on Paradise Lane in our Original Town Site. What a good time everyone had and a great job by all those volunteers. This was their first community day event and they hope to have one every year. Lunch was provided to all who attended and and there was no charge for admission.

Kingswood Parke Block Party
Finally, to close out a busy Saturday, I attended the Kingswood Parke Block Party at the beautiful park they have. There were bouncy houses for kids, the Surprise Fire-Medical Department was there, as well as the Police Department. They had a great country band and delicious hamburgers. A good time was had by all.

Town Hall with Flake, Bennett
I was very privileged to be at a Town Hall meeting where I got to talk with Senator Jeff Flake and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is running for Governor. This event was put together by Tony Rivero, who serving his last term as a member of Peoria City Council. Councilman Rivero is running for Debbie Lesko’s legislative seat.

Art at City Hall
The West Valley Arts Council along with the Surprise Arts and Advisory Commission put on a very well done art exhibit at City Hall Wednesday night, April 23, unveiling some new pieces that are on display throughout the ground floor of City Hall. We had some great food catered by our very own City Hall Café. Sue and Dave did a great job and we had a good turnout. Come visit City Hall to view all the great artwork. This is your City Hall. Come and enjoy it!

City Budget In the Works
Probably the most important thing going on right now is the City Council, Mayor, City Manager and our CFO are working on our FY15 budget.  We have had a few four-hour meetings and an all day budget meeting on Saturday, April 26, and a Special City Council meeting on the budget Tuesday, April 29th.  This will go on until the Council votes on the final budget in June.

All these meetings are open to our residents and I urge you to attend so you can be better informed. When all is said and done, there will be some good things for the residents of Surprise and also our employees. I ask all my fellow residents of Surprise: please do not be upset as our employees get a small raise. After all, they have not had a raise in seven years!

Surprise Farms Park is close to getting some things built, too.

On Sunday, April 27, I attended the Canyon Ridge Community block party with Councilmembers Todd Tande (Dist 6) and Rachel Villanueva (Dist 4). That community is halfway to being built out with 85 homes.

GPEC meeting in Phoenix
I was at the GPEC meeting April 30 in the GPEC  (Greater Phoenix Economic Council) Offices in Phoenix  for a discussion about our water situation and what can be done to sustain our supply of water for the future.

Let’s Keep Surprise Beautiful!
Before I close my newsletter this month, there is a concern that I’ll share with you. As I travel the streets of our beautiful city, I am seeing some trash discarded along our sidewalks and roadways. Please join me and put your soda cups and paper trash in the proper receptacle. Let’s take pride in our clean city and keep it that way.

I will end my newsletter for May now. Take care of yourselves and each other!

Councilman Roland Winters