There is no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we still have many things to celebrate.
The city of Surprise has seen many positive accomplishments this year. Below is a list of just a few of the great things that happened in our community this year:
Surprise City Center is continuing to develop and bring exciting opportunities to Surprise. The “Quarter at Surprise” retail marketing plan, located in the area of Bell Road and Bullard Avenue is now available. This 78-acre site plan lays the groundwork for a vibrant entertainment, retail, restaurant, grocery, and fitness destination. Additionally, a Marriott Springhill Suites has been approved for the northwest corner of Civic Center Drive and Elm Street. Keep an eye on our City Center webpage for current updates.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan for the Town at Surprise Center project at their Dec. 17 meeting. Town at Surprise Center is a gated rental townhome community on 5.4 acres located along Bell Road near Civic Center Drive. Site improvements will include 114 units, ranging from 1,200 to 1,367 square feet, paving, sidewalks, a pool, and landscaping. The final plat for this project is anticipated to go to council on Feb. 2.
Surprise has continued to see growth in housing permits and retail sales collections. As a result, the City Council voted at the Dec. 15 meeting to fund several parks-related projects.
Included in this funding is the design for a new eight-acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place that will begin construction by the end of June 2021.
This project will provide more programmable and rental field space. Additionally, Gaines Youth Baseball Field will be completed ahead of the original timeline thanks to additional funding, and council also voted to establish a $3 million budget for enhancements to the Surprise Community Park.
Enhancements could include adding a restroom, improving dog park drainage and exploring new lighting. A final project list will be determined following design and submittal of actual costs. Keep an eye on the city’s website for updated information. All of these projects will advance the goals of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Please tune in for a recycling update at the Jan. 19 Council work session. Work sessions typically begin at 4 p.m. Please check the agenda for specific times. To watch live on Surprise TV, visit surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise. Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 also carry the meetings live.
The Surprise Small Business Relief Grant program provided grants to qualifying local businesses to help with rent, utilities, payroll expenses, and other operating costs. Through the program, 79 local businesses were supported, and 483 jobs were retained. This program was funded in two phases, using CARES Act money, to help local businesses that have been impacted by the current health crisis. While the funds for this program have been fully utilized, the city’s economic development team is always here to help support local businesses. For more information on resources available, please visit the COVID-19 Business Resources page on our website.
The city of Surprise Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration and Service is being held virtually on Jan. 16. Please tune in at 9 a.m. to Surprise TV or the city of Surprise social media channels for a virtual program featuring a variety of local musicians, performers, and speakers. Community service projects are also being scheduled throughout the day, but advanced registration is required due to COVID-19 gathering limitations. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact email@example.com or call 623.222.1522.
Vaccinations for health care workers and residents of long term care facilities, has begun. Distribution to these groups could take several months to accomplish and will likely be followed by distribution to essential workers such as police, critical infrastructure workers, and teachers. The general population could receive the vaccine sometime in the spring of 2021. The vaccine distribution is prioritized by the US Centers for Disease Control. For more information on how the vaccine distribution was prioritized, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.
A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing location has opened in Surprise at St. Clare of Assisi, located at 17111 W. Bell Road. To schedule an appointment, you can visit embrywomenshealth.com/testing-blitz.
Covid-19 Testing Locations (AZ Department of Health Services) — azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-testing.
Maricopa County has free temporary isolation housing available for individuals who are unable to isolate with a bedroom or bathroom that nobody else can use or are high-risk individuals who live with infected family or roommates.
To find out additional information, or to see if you are eligible, call 2-1-1 and dial 6 for COVID-19 assistance, or visit maricopa.gov/5565/COVID-19-Positive.
St. Mary’s Food Bank now has a home delivery option. Maricopa County residents that are unable to travel to a local food bank may be eligible for this program. For more information, call 602-242-3663, or visit St. Mary’s Food Bank – Covid Relief Home Delivery Sign-Up.
Please join me for my Monthly Meet and Greet on Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. at Chef Peter’s Bistro, 17300 N. Sun Village Pkwy. I look forward to discussing the latest city issues and answering any questions you might have.
The next regularly scheduled council meetings are Jan. 5 and 19 at 6 p.m. Please note that council meetings have been closed to in-person participation. Please tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11 and Century Link channel 8513 to watch the meetings live. Instructions for virtual public comment will be available on the meeting agendas at surpriseaz.gov/agendas.