Councilmember Jack Hastings and I had the opportunity to tour the Ottawa campus and meet with their president, Dennis Tyner, and new Vice President of Advancement, Todd Simpson. Ottawa University is a great partner for the City of Surprise with such a beautiful campus and facilities. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to sit down and hear from their leadership.
As of Monday, April 12, Surprise City Hall and other city administrative buildings have been re-open to the public. Additionally, City Council meetings and all board and commissions meetings are now re-open to in-person attendance.
Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise. You can read the full proclamation here.
Please note that based on the Governor's Executive Order 2021-06, there are some exceptions.
The city retains the right to set and enforce mitigation policies in our city government buildings and public transportation. Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended within city facilities, with the exception of Surprise City Court, where they are required.
Per the Governor's order, private Businesses may institute and enforce face-covering policies and retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies.
Per federal mandate, face coverings are still required while riding public transportation.
The City of Surprise hosted a Day of Service volunteer event on Wednesday, March 31, at St. Mary's Food Bank located at 13050 W. Elm Street. Not only did I have the pleasure of volunteering, but I also presented St. Mary's Food Bank with a $1,000 check. Thank you, St. Mary's Food Bank, for helping feed hungry families throughout Phoenix and nine Arizona counties.
The 2021 Surprise Retail Survey is now open! Tell us what shopping and dining establishments you want to see in Surprise - plus, vote for current favorites so we can recognize the local businesses you love! Take the survey now: surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey
Thank you to those that have submitted comments for the draft Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO). This document establishes the minimum standards for all property throughout the city. The goal of the PMO is to keep the City of Surprise safe, healthy, and blight-free. Public comment was requested and accepted from March 3 through May 2, 2021. If you would like to learn more about the document, please view the March 2 Property Maintenance Ordinance Work Session Presentation.
A presentation and vote on the item is scheduled for June 15, 2021, at Surprise City Council Meeting. If adopted, the PMO will be effective July 15, 2021.
For over a year now, the city of Surprise has been working hard to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Our city has been fortunate to receive federal, state, and county financial assistance to provide meals, rental/mortgage payments, and utility assistance through our Senior Center and Surprise Resource Center.
Here is a snapshot of how $10.88 million in federal funds has helped our community during the COVID crisis:
The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program provided billions of dollars in payroll assistance funding for businesses through two rounds of funding.
While these programs have helped, the city identified some funding gaps in meeting specific needs and, in some cases, noticed some needs were not being met at all.
On September 1, 2020, and November 2, 2020, the Surprise City Council approved resolutions to support $555,000 for Surprise COVID Community Relief Packages for addressing community and business needs because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic. Utilizing some of our AZ CARES ACT dollars, we were able to allocate $180,000 to address the following human service needs:
The remaining $375,000 supported the Surprise Small Business Relief Grant, disbursed over two rounds:
The city will continue to explore additional needs as we anticipate another round of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act in the future. We have a good plan in place to monitor where the needs are and address them as appropriate.
Small businesses are encouraged to review updated COVID business resources available on surpriseaz.gov/businesshelp or reach out to the Surprise Economic Development Department at email@example.com.
Community Resources are available at surpriseaz.gov/communitycare, or call the Surprise Resource Center at 623.222.1600.
Join me Monday, May 24 at Sun City Grand Café, 19781 N. Remington Drive, at 6 p.m. I look forward to discussing the latest city news and answering any questions you have.
The next regularly scheduled Council meetings are May 4 and 18 at 6 p.m. and are open to the public for in-person attendance. You can also watch live on surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv, the Surprise City Gov Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsurprise, or on Cox channel 11.