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A look back at this week in Surprise history

Posted 7/13/22

Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week, compiled from archives of Independent Newsmedia, Newspapers.com and the city of Surprise historical records.

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A look back at this week in Surprise history

Posted

Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week, compiled from archives of Independent Newsmedia, Newspapers.com and the city of Surprise historical records:

1961

The town approves its first budget of $30,000. Police costs of $7,825 take up most of the budget. The biggest revenue source is $18,000 from state sales taxes.

1962

The Surprise Town Council passes a budget of $33,175. It’s $3,175 higher than the previous year. It includes no property taxes.

1963

The Maricopa County Health Department began an investigation into garbage collection problems in the town. The city has been without service for nearly a month after the Arizona Corporation Commission shut down Gould Garbage Service. Gould was operating without a permit after Arizona Garbage Service stopped serving the town in 1961 after too many residents couldn’t afford to pay them.

1974

Surprise creates the position of town manager and hires former El Mirage Town Manager Nelson Payne as its first leader.

1976

Water shortages in Surprise and El Mirage force the Surprise Town Council to meet to consider enacting an emergency ordinance to ban watering outside of homes and businesses from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

1980

Town officials claim the U.S. Census undercounted Surprise’s population by 1,000 during the decennial count. The official 1980 count has Surprise’s population at 3,228, which is actually less than the 3,322 people the Census estimated in 1975. Town manger Harold Yingling says Surprise’s population is at least 4,500, which could cost the city $75,000 in federal funding. Surprise now has 919 homes, up from 768 five years ago.

1981

Ground is broken on Surprise’s first shopping center, the Village at Surprise, on 40 acres on the southwest corner of Bell and El Mirage roads. It’s expected to open sometime in 1982.

1987

Concerned Citizens for a Better Town Government begins a recall drive against Surprise Mayor George Cumbie for making personal phone calls at the town’s expense.

1989

The Surprise Town Council makes its first major changes to how it does business, allowing for an invocation, introduction of a call to the public for comment on non-agenda items and second readings of ordinances

1994

City makes attempt to revitalize parts of the Original Town Site, which consists of homes mostly built from the 1930s to 1950s. Six dilapidated houses are torn down for new ones.

1998

Mayor Joan Shafer offers Luke Air Force base five acres of land at Litchfield and Bell roads for an Air Force museum. Even though the price is only $1, Luke isn’t interested.

Surprise Almanac, history