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Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — February 2024


Welcome to the month of February! This month holds the promise of new beginnings and exciting opportunities for our community. As we embark on this new chapter, let’s embrace the opportunities and experiences it brings. Whether you’re enjoying the AZ winter or looking forward to Valentine’s Day festivities, may this month be a time of warmth, connection and fulfillment for all.

Economic Development Updates

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Ribbon Cutting

We are thrilled to announce the grand opening of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill at Village at Prasada. I joined Jason Kording, Firebirds' Surprise General Manager, along with Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Nick Haney; Councilmembers Cline and Duffy; Surprise Police Department Chief Pina; and Surprise Economic Development Assistant Director Mike Hoover for the ribbon-cutting celebration and lunch. The beautiful Surprise location features a large patio and signature Firebar. Welcome to Surprise!

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Haney, Police Chief Benny Pina, and Councilmembers Cline, Duffy, and Judd phose for a phot with Firebirds Wood Fired Grill staff.

UMC Design Ribbon Cutting

On January 25, I joined owners, Mason and Christian Phillips of UMC Design, along with Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Haney and Councilmember Cline, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. UMC Design is a distinguished interior design studio, catering to both residential and commercial clientele. We are excited to welcome UMC Design to Surprise.

Mayor Hall, Vice Mayor Haney, and Councilmembers Cline and Judd pose for a photo with UMC design in their showroom.


Reems Road Closure

Reems Road has been closed at Hatcher Road since June 2023 due to significant construction work being done on Olive Avenue. The work is scheduled to be completed by March 1, 2024, and at that time, the road closure will be lifted. The current detour route for residents needing to head south is Sarival Avenue or Litchfield Road to Northern Parkway.

White Tanks Conservancy Update

As some of you may know, my involvement with the White Tank Mountains Conservancy (WTMC) began on the advisory board five years ago, with me now serving as the Chairman of the Executive Board. Since then, I have worked closely with the organization on the long-term sustainability of the White Tanks and will continue to work diligently on maintaining the natural land and wildlife. I want to provide some information on the WTMC and its mission for those who may be new to the city or not familiar with the organization.

The WTMC was formed in 2015 and has two overriding missions. The first is to conserve the cultural and ecological resources of the White Tank Mountains by enhancing the knowledge, experience, appreciation of native desert lands and protection of wildlife. The second is to create innovative approaches to integrate nature with population growth and development.

The West Valley Regional Connectivity Initiative is a long-term project focused on planning for a sustainable and resilient wildlife corridor that will preserve habitat connectivity from the White Tank Mountains to the vast public lands to the west. The success of the project hinges on education and collaborative work with a network of public, private, regional, state and federal landowners and land-use decision-makers.

For the last year, the WTMC has convened West Valley developers, planners and stakeholders to work directly with biologists, engineers and sustainability designers to draft a Wildlife Corridor Concept that leverages the West Valley’s River and wash system, utilizes wildlife linkages models from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and is based on the habitat and movement requirements of local species. This year's collaboration outcome is the finalization of a wildlife corridor concept that utilizes the natural riparian system to maximize benefits for wildlife connectivity, flood control and groundwater recharge. This concept, and the process used to design and plan for the wildlife corridor before development occurs, is truly groundbreaking.

For more information on the West Valley Regional Connectivity Initiative, please visit storymap.wtmconservancy.org.


Fishing at Surprise Lake

Did you know the Game and Fish Department keeps our community lake filled with catfish and trout most of the year? This is an excellent time to get outside and go fishing at our local lake. A fishing license is required for anyone aged 10 and up. A youth license is only $5 for the entire year and is available up to age 18. Licenses are available at azgfd.gov.

Here is a schedule of when fish will be stocked into Surprise Lake (Bullard Ave. / Paradise Ln.):

•   February 12 - 16 Trout
•   March 4 - 8 Sunfish & Sub-legal Bass
•   March 11 - 15 Sunfish & Sub-legal Bass
•   March 18 - 22 Sunfish & Sub-legal Bass
•   March 25 - 29 Sunfish & Sub-legal Bass
•   April 1 - 5 Catfish
•   April 15 - 19 Catfish
•   April 29 - May 3 Catfish

Stockings will occur randomly Monday through Saturday during the week indicated. Grab a friend or your kids and catch a few!

2024 Mayor's Welcome Back Reception

The annual Mayor's Welcome Back Reception is at Surprise Stadium on Wednesday, February 21, from 4 - 6 p.m.; tickets are on sale now for only $30. The event is just two days before Spring Training Opening Day and features reps from the Kansas City Royals and the 2023 World Series champion Texas Rangers. Plus, you'll get to enjoy catering from Barrio Queen and a special Surprise Stadium gift! Head to SurpriseStadium.comfor more info and to grab your tickets. 

a large crowd of people at a baseball game

Mayor's Literacy Challenge

Mayor Skip Hall is inviting readers of all ages to track minutes read to earn fun prizes. Mayor's Literacy Challenge runs through March 2. Participants can register as an individual or family. There's also an option for teachers to register their classroom for a chance to win a pizza party.

During the challenge, readers will be awarded fun badges and prizes, based on minutes read. The goal is to read 700 minutes. Prizes include Spring Training tickets, books courtesy of Friends of the Surprise Libraries and raffle prizes including a Kindle Paperwhite and a Nintendo Switch!

Visit the Mayor's Literacy Challenge webpage to register and learn more about the challenge.

a man and a child sitting on a couch reading a book

Inaugural Vet Fest

Surprise is excited to announce the inaugural Vet Fest event is happening Saturday, February 10, from 5 - 8 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park. This new event, hosted by the City of Surprise Veterans, Disability & Human Services Commission, is a part of Surprise's ongoing mission to be a veteran-friendly city, offering support services and building community connections. This event will feature music, food, vendor booths, information from different veteran service providers and more for the whole family! 

If you would like to learn more, visit surpriseaz.gov/VetFest.

A patch with text reading Surprise Vet Fest Bringing Our Community and Veterans Together, Save the Date Saturday February 10, 5 - 8 pm Mark Coronado Park

Sunday in the Park

Come enjoy this fun family event on Sunday, February 18, from 3 - 7 p.m. at Mark Coronado Park with live music from N-the-Mix and delicious food. Event admission is free; food and drink are available for purchase. Also, support local vendors by shopping at the outdoor market! The next event is March 3 with live music from 8 Tracks. This was rescheduled from the rained-out January date. For our other Sunday in the Parks, head to surpriseaz.gov/SpecialEvents.

Council Meetings and Agenda

The next regularly scheduled City Council Meeting will take place on February 20 at 6 p.m. You can attend in person or watch live at surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseTV or the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/CityOfSurprise. Cox channel 11 also carries the meetings live. Agendas are always posted online a minimum of two days prior.

If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation. The best way to reach me is chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov.

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, in observance of Presidents’ Day.

Spring Training Ticket Information

Opening day is Friday, February 23, with the Kansas City Royals taking on the 2023 World Series Champions, the Texas Rangers, at Surprise Stadium.

Tickets can be purchased online at SurpriseStadium.com or by phone at 623.222.2222. Ticket prices start at just $8! The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for in-person ticket sales on Saturday, February 3, beginning at 8 a.m. AZ time. The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave.

Residents of Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage and Waddell can score two baseline tickets for $20 total to any Classic or Standard Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium. The promo runs from February 23 to March 15. Buying online? Make sure to use the promo code RESIDENT at checkout.

Stadium Tailgate Party – A World Series Celebration

The excitement of the World Series championship continues at Surprise Stadium on Sunday, February 25.

During the game, there will be a special World Series trophy appearance and Hall of Fame induction. To purchase Spring Training Tickets, go to SurpriseStadium.com.

Then, outside the ballpark from 3 - 7 p.m., enjoy a free post-game Stadium Tailgate Party with activities for all ages! It’s an all-star celebration you won’t want to miss! Food trucks and craft vendors available for purchase of food and drink. (No ticket necessary.)

World Series Celebration logo

Surprise City Academy

The 2024 Surprise City Academy offers residents, business leaders and students the opportunity to interact with City leaders while learning about the structure of city government and getting updates on local issues. During this nine-session academy, participants will learn about the City of Surprise directly from the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager and upper-level City staff. Surprise City Academy begins Monday, February 26, in the Surprise Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plz. For more information or to register, please visit surpriseaz.gov/CityAcademy.

an image of City Hall with the City Academy logo

Arts & Culture Events

Are you ready to discover arts and culture events in Surprise? From theater performances, gallery tours, poetry readings and more, the City offers a number of events throughout the year. Here's what's coming up:

Lunchtime Theater* | We3: Jazz and Blues Trio
February 22 • Noon - 1 p.m.

Family Gallery Tour*
February 24 • 9 a.m. - noon

*Registration required. Find details and sign-up information at surpriseaz.gov/ArtEvents.

Community Meeting

Join me for my next D6 Community Meeting on February 21 at 6 p.m. at Tap House Sports Grill, located at 13699 N. Litchfield Rd. Let's discuss the latest City issues and answer any questions you may have.

Please check my webpage at surpriseaz.gov/District6 for updates to my meeting schedule.


Spring Training 5K & 1K

Surprise is excited to run home at Surprise Stadium on Friday, March 3, with the 5th Annual Surprise Spring Training 5K and 1K Fun Run presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. This 5K & 1K fun run will begin at 7 p.m. at Surprise Stadium and take you on a scenic evening run through the City of Surprise before heading back to the ballpark to cross the finish line at the field! 

Register now to take advantage of the discounted rates - 5K: $30 and 1K: $15. Early registration ends on March 2, then prices increase to 5K: $40 and 1K: $20. Registration is now open at SurpriseStadium.com/Events.

Curbside Recycling is Returning to Surprise

The City of Surprise, in partnership with Waste Management, is preparing to reintroduce a curbside recycling program. Starting Monday, March 4, recycling trucks will begin picking up blue curbside recycle bins and taking approved items to a recycling center for processing.

You can find more information on Surprise's curbside recycling program and tips on how to "Recycle Wise" at surpriseaz.gov/Recycle.

a person pulling a blue recycle bin and posing with a thumbs up. Curbside recycling returns March 4. Recycle Wise in Surprise.

Out of the Park Music Festival

The City of Surprise is hosting a mixed-genre music festival the last weekend of Spring Training on Saturday, March 23. It’s a one-day event at Mark Coronado Park, from 2 - 10 p.m. More details will be available soon at OutoftheParkMusicFest.com.

Out of the Park Music Festival logo

2024 State of the City

Mayor Hall is looking forward to presenting the 2024 State of the City alongside City Council on March 28, from 6 - 8 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plz. We're sharing the legacy of Surprise – from what’s already built to what we strive to leave generations to come! The event includes a video presentation sharing the story of Surprise and a celebration with refreshments, entertainment and a showcase of the City's programs and services.

Want to look back at 2023?
Click to watch the 2023 State of the City video
Click to view 2023 event photos 

Vendor Opportunities Available at Eggstravaganza

The City of Surprise invites interested outreach organizations, promotional vendors and local businesses to participate in our Eggstravaganza event this spring! Eggstravaganza takes place Saturday, March 30, from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus located at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. 

The event is free and features fun for the whole family. Residents will enjoy inflatables, face painting, a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Bunny and a series of egg hunts filled with fun toys and treats. The annual event is expected to draw 12,000 - 15,000 participants.

To reserve your spot, go to surpriseaz.gov/SurpriseRec and create an account for your organization, if you haven't already, then click the 'Special Events' tab to register. You can also register by calling 623.222.2000.