District 5

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — August 2022

Posted 8/1/22

The City of Surprise Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is officially open for the public to enjoy.

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District 5

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — August 2022


The City of Surprise Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is officially open for the public to enjoy. The new one-acre garden is available for public viewing from sunrise to sunset seven days a week and is conveniently located on the Surprise City Hall campus at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz., just west of West Valley Arts HQ. 

The garden offers four themes along its mix of concrete and granite pathways, including: 

  • low desert native plants
  • native compatible plants that thrive in dry desert conditions
  • sensory garden space with diverse colors, smells and textures
  • year-round color display with a variety of plants with different blooming times 

The City plans to host an official ribbon cutting and community event to celebrate the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden on September 17 from 9 - 11 a.m. During this time of year, the temperatures begin to cool down and the newly planted garden will have had time to become more established.  

To learn more about water conservation, including tips, rebates and workshops, visit surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation.

Water Conservation Program

The City of Surprise Water Conservation Program is an important component of the City's water resource portfolio management strategy. Its purpose is to educate and promote the efficient use of water across sectors in the community including residential, commercial and industrial uses. Our goal is to realize reductions in per capita water use while balancing a healthy, sustainable quality of life for our residents. For more information go to surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation.

Stay connected

Want to get notifications about events, activities, City news and more? Don't miss out! Make sure you're signed up for City notifications! Head to surpriseaz.gov/subscribe now and pick which updates you want to receive via text or email. If you were previously subscribed, double-check that you are still connected with us by logging in. With the launch of our new website, an email was sent to subscribers to confirm information, but it may have ended up in spam.

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Neighborhood Grant Program

Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the City designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY23.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2023
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building or a public physical improvement
  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are ineligible

For more information about the grant, visit surpriseaz.gov/ngp or contact Jodi Tas at jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1330.

Fight the Bite

We saw high numbers of West Nile Virus spread by mosquitos last year. Mosquito bites are more than an irritation—they can cause serious illnesses that sometimes turn fatal. Check out our updated website to get informed and learn what you can do to Fight the Bite this year: FightTheBiteMaricopa.org

Fight the Bite

Performance Dashboard launched

We’ve launched an online performance dashboard that puts City data at your fingertips! The new dashboard monitors the effectiveness of City programs and services to ensure we are aligned with the City Council Strategic Plan. Our goal is to be successful within the five Council priorities: 

  • Transportation 
  • Economic & Cultural Vitality 
  • Community Livability & Life-Long Learning 
  • Stewardship 
  • Safe & Environmentally Healthy Community

There are 60 metrics within the dashboard that support those priorities. This data will be updated online monthly and includes such things as: number of new business permits, tourism tax revenues, recreation program participants, Fire-Medical call volume, Police calls for service and more! 

Check out the City of Surprise Performance Dashboard at surpriseaz.gov/dashboards.

City of Surprise performance dashboard

New City pool in planning stages; help design it!

The City of Surprise is asking residents for help designing our third City pool. City Council has earmarked funding to build a pool that will support all levels of competitive swimming in our community and provide a place to relax and cool off. The location and design have yet to be determined, so we want your input! There are a couple of ways you can weigh in.

  • Online: Take the New Pool Survey now! Available through August 26, this survey will take less than 5 minutes and gives you the option to enter a drawing to win a Family Pool Pass for 2023. The survey asks a variety of questions regarding location, if you currently use City pools, what features you’d like to see, etc.
  • In Person: Join us for a meeting with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission where you can discuss and give ideas on the design and functionality of the new pool. 

Monday, August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council Chambers
16000 N. Civic Center Plz.

Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool are currently open for swimming! Head to surpriseaz.gov/aquatics for more information.

Hydrant Hysteria 2022

Jessica Quintero (Water Operator II) and Amy Peterson (Water Resource Analyst) placed 3rd in the women’s division of a national water competition called Hydrant Hysteria. Hydrant Hysteria is a timed competition in which a team of two water utility operators assembles a fire hydrant from all of its parts as quickly as possible. A team of judges then inspects the hydrant for penalties such as crookedness and loose parts. The competition was held in San Antonio at the American Water Works Association’s annual conference and featured a Kennedy K81 Hydrant. Nine teams from around the country competed in the women’s division, and Surprise was one of only three teams that made it to the final round. Surprise’s 3rd place finishing time was 2 minutes, 11 seconds.

Two women from Water Resource Management wearing hard hats and holding flags a group of people from Water Resource Management posing for a photo

Online crime reporting option for property crimes

The Surprise Police Department has partnered with LexisNexis® Coplogic to provide an online crime reporting option for victims of property crimes. The online option allows someone to make a report about certain property crimes, such as stolen items, much quicker than requesting an officer to take a report in-person. It also allows officers to stay on patrol and respond to emergencies.

The new online reporting system can be easily accessed from the Surprise Police Department webpage or directly at surpriseaz.gov/ReportACrime. The website offers a short video overview of the new system and the reporting portal offers an easy step-by-step process to submit the report by answering several questions. Users can also attach documents associated with the crime. Once completed, a victim is provided with a temporary report number and can print the report for their records or file a claim.

Each report filed through the online system is reviewed by a member of the Surprise Police Department within five business days. Victims are updated about their reports via email and will be informed if follow-up on their case is necessary. There are some circumstances where the online system cannot be used to file a property crime report, such as those involving an active crime or when the victim has suspect information. In these cases, or if the victim wishes to file a report in person, they are encouraged to call the Surprise Police Department’s non-emergency number at 623.222.4000.

Day of Service volunteers needed

The City of Surprise is currently seeking volunteers for upcoming Days of Service. Volunteers will assist with food sorting and packing at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Surprise. Event dates are:

  • Wednesday, August 17
  • Wednesday, September 14

There are two shifts available 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. To register please contact Larry Garcia at 623.222.1522 or larry.garcia@surpriseaz.gov

Meet and Greet

Please join me for my next Meet and Greet on Thursday, August 18, at 6 p.m. at State 48 Brewery, 13823 W. Bell Rd. I look forward to discussing the latest City issues and answering any questions you might have. You can also subscribe to my ‘Notifications’ list on my City webpage at surpriseaz.gov/district5 so you never miss any important District 5 news.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is on August 16 at 6 p.m. in the City of Surprise Council Chambers, located at 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. City Council meetings are open to in-person attendance, or you may tune in on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise or on Cox channel 11 to watch the meetings live.

Jack Hastings, Surprise, City Council, newsletter, District 5