AZ TechCelerator

Surprise, AZ (February 17, 2015) IRIS USA, Inc, a subsidiary of IRIS Ohyama, Inc headquartered in Sendai, Japan, will build its new Western United States Regional Headquarters in Surprise. The new facility represents a $33-$40 million investment, 100 new jobs, and $800,000 of new city revenues in the first year of operations.

In making the announcement during her State of the City address Tuesday morning, Mayor Sharon Wolcott said, “This project is aligned with the city’s goal of attracting foreign direct investment from quality companies that want to be a part of the vision and vitality of Surprise. We could not ask for a better new neighbor. Welcome IRIS USA.”

IRIS USA’s new 280,000-square-foot building will include office, manufacturing and distribution space; located on 30 acres within the city’s Southwest Railplex Industrial District – a designated Foreign Trade Zone with convenient rail access.

“Surprise offers a premier business park that supports our global initiative,” says IRIS USA President Chet Keizer. “Equally important to us is the corporate and community connectivity due to the close proximity of the city’s civic and recreational campus to the business park.”

The recruitment of IRIS USA was a collaborative effort by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the City of Surprise.

“Arizona’s world-class infrastructure system and strategic Southwest location are key advantages supporting the distribution channel and supply chain management needs of growing manufacturers and international companies,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We welcome IRIS USA to our business community and thank them for investing in Surprise for their corporate expansion.”

GPEC President and CEO Chris Camacho adds, “The IRIS USA selection of Greater Phoenix reinforces the pro-business environment the market has cultivated in recent years. Mayor Wolcott and her team are aggressively building a robust community. The Iris USA investment is the latest achievement in growing base industry jobs in Arizona.”

In the development agreement, which the City Council approved Tuesday evening at their Regular City Council Meeting, the city will reimburse up-to $500,000 in review/permit/impact fees at time of occupancy, provide project office space at the city’s business incubator – AZ TechCelerator during construction and host a job fair.

IRIS USA’s Western United States Regional Headquarters is expected to open in December 2015. In addition to manufacturing and distributing its consumer plastics Storage Products, the Company will be dedicating space for research and development for its commercial LED (light-emitting diode), Housewares, Wire, Pet Supply and E-Commerce divisions.

IRIS USA is a consumer products company that sells to retailers throughout North America. It currently has office, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Pleasant Prairie, WI, its corporate headquarters, and Mesquite, TX.

To learn more about IRIS USA, please visit www.irisusainc.com.

To learn more about IRIS OHYAMA, please visit www.irisohyama.co.jp/english/.

.

 

 

APS POWER LINES

 

David Madrid, The Republic | azcentral.com
Surprise residents opposed to high-voltage power lines skirting their community on Friday, Feb. 13, lost their fight to move the lines when the Arizona Corporation Commission voted against them. Arizona Public Service will resume power line work in their neighborhood Monday, Feb. 16.

The commission, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, voted not to reopen the case in which residents of the Sarah Ann Ranch community sought to move the power lines 250 feet from the north side of Cactus Road to the south side.

APS held off planting the four 120- to 130-foot poles as the residents and Surprise tried to convince the Corporation Commission to allow APS to relocate the power lines away from the Sarah Ann Ranch greenbelt. The residents say the high-voltage lines will harm their health, their quality of life, their home values and the enjoyment of 161 trees in the path of the project that will be cut down.

The residents came late to the fight, because the APS transmission line route was approved by the Corporation Commission 10 years ago after extensive public outreach that included Surprise, Maricopa County, Luke Air Force Base and others. APS officials said construction must continue to meet a June 1 deadline to ensure reliability for summer electrical service in the area.

Residents should have signed a form disclosing the lines when they purchased their homes, though some claim the power lines weren’t disclosed by their developer and others say that disclosure was inadequate.

The poles, in a greenbelt area of the Sarah Ann Ranch community, are part of a $50 million, 32-mile stretch of 231 poles that are being installed between the Palm Valley, Trilby Wash and Sun Valley substations.

Joe Mansour, a spokesman for about 180 residents, said the community lost at the Corporation Commission, and that homeowners are putting their homes up for sale.

Residents filled the Surprise City Council chambers in December in opposition to the power lines, and Council members acknowledged the issue blindsided them.

Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott wrote a letter to the Corporation Commission on Feb. 10 siding with the residents.

“APS waited to begin construction of this line for more than 9 years, has itself requested an extension of its completion deadlines, and, according to APS’ own filings, a delay would not jeopardize reliability of the system or service to the area,” she wrote. “The City Council strongly urges the Commission to grant the request being made by the residents of Sarah Ann Ranch … by moving the approved corridor between the Loop 303 and 195th avenue 250 feet south.”

The poles that residents oppose will carry a 230-kilovolt line designed to move large amounts of electricity long distances at the top of the poles, and several feet below that on the same poles will be a 69-kilovolt line used to distribute electricity to customers. Residents want the poles moved from the north side of Cactus Road to the south side where there are now temporary 69-kilovolt lines on power poles.

The residents reasoned it would be no big deal for APS to replace the temporary 69-kilovolt poles with the larger poles. But APS plans to take down the temporary poles on the south side of Cactus Road after it completes the larger poles on the north side.

Paul Gilbert, an attorney with Beus Gilbert, represents SLR, the owner of the property on the south side of Cactus Road. He said if the high-voltage lines have a “deleterious effect” on the Sarah Ann Ranch community, then it will likewise have that same effect on the master-planned community that will eventually be built on SLR’s land.

Commissioner Bob Burns said his concern is the reliability of the electrical system that serves the entire area.

“I understand that area is over 20 square miles, and so that would be a significant impact on that community if there were outages,” he said.

The power line project originates at the Palm Valley Substation and generally follows the west side of Loop 303 to Cactus Road, where it turns west to about 195th Avenue then north again to the Trilby Wash Substation. From the Trilby Wash Substation, the project generally heads west along the existing transmission-line corridor before it ultimately terminates at the Sun Valley Substation northwest of the Sun City Festival development.

Photo: David Madrid/The Republic)

Story Highlights
Surprise residents opposed to high-voltage power lines skirting their community lost their fight to move the lines Friday when the Arizona Corporation Commission ruled against them
The commission, in a unanimous 5-0 decision, voted not to reopen the case in which residents of the Sarah Ann Ranch community sought to move the power lines 250 feet to the south side of Cactus Road
APS held off planting the four 120- to 130-foot poles as the residents and Surprise tried to convince the Corporation Commission to allow APS to relocate the power lines away from the Sarah Ann Ranch greenbelt north of Cactus Road

Department: Community and Recreation ………….Outlay to lure baseball teams

What the city did: Surprise approved funding for the design and development of Village 5 plan. Villages 1 and 3 plans have been completed, with a total of nine villages planned for the city.
What it cost: $222,000. Why it was needed: The villages are a big component of planning a framework for the future of Surprise.

A village is a group of neighborhoods anchored by a central activity area that includes residential and commercial as well as public facilities that could include schools, libraries and emergency services.

Each village will have a committee, made up of village residents, to make recommendations to the city on village goals, policies and long-term plans. The village committees focus on improving the long-term environmental, economical, and social health of the city, making it a more sustainable community, according to officials. The strategy is a component of the state-mandated Growth Element of the General Plan 2035.

SURPRISE DEVELOPMENT

 

Surprise development
Nick Cote
Surprise development Rick West, left, president of Carefree Partners Investments and vice president Scott Phillips stand on a parcel of land in Surprise that they have plans to develop as part of the effort to build a downtown Surprise. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (Nick Cote/Daily News-Sun)

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:07 am | Updated: 10:19 am, Thu Feb 12, 2015. By Richard Smith, DAILY NEWS-SUN

For more than a decade, the development of the area Surprise sees as its downtown has amounted to barely a trickle.

Phoenix-based Carefree Partners Investments, L.L.C., the area’s primary development company, intends to start a steady stream of activity, if not open the floodgates.

Company president and co-founder Rick West said Carefree has received letters of intent from several companies — though nothing he can disclose yet. Once finalized, these businesses will form the foundation of the tentatively named The Shops at Elm Street on 100 acres of the northern portion of the parcel, south of Bell Road and north of the general Young Street alignment.

West said if there are no snags Carefree will be drawing plans by summer and in the ground by the end of the year. The Shops at Elm Street — mixing restaurants and other entertainment destinations with retail, including a department store — should be built up in three or four years.

“Elm Street exists. You wouldn’t know it. It’s a road that nobody drives on except for me and (Carefree Vice President) Scott (Phillips) and a couple of other people,” West said.

 

West said these chains face a new reality, trying to figure out what’s a good store size. “They haven’t sorted that through so they don’t know what their square footage needs are going to be and what sort of distribution facilities they need,” West said.

Wherever it goes, this will be the next surge in Carefree’s two-decade history with the city. Like Surprise’s growth chart, it’s had plenty of fits and starts. Then known as Westcor Land Company, Carefree bought 2,000 acres in Surprise in 1994.

In addition to the city center, this land encompassed the current Surprise Farms and Arizona Traditions developments as well as Willow Canyon High School.

Downtown, it took Carefree a full decade — from 2004-2014 — to build a small restaurant row and a two-story office building. This parcel, near Bell and Litchfield roads, now includes a Paradise Bakery, Carraba’s, Red Robin, Pei Wei and now Kneaders Bakery.

 

A land exchange and settlement agreement transferred ownership to Surprise and the development company. In order to protect Luke Air Force Base, the agreement prohibited venues offering overnight stays, such as hotels, hospitals or apartments.

Surprise and Phoenix struck a deal ending the restrictions in late 2013. Since then both the city and Carefree ran into tenants still a bit leery from a shaky economy.

 

Carefree’s biggest downtown contribution was giving Surprise 110 acres to build its Civic Center in the late 2000s.

The city is taking an active role in populating its downtown, particularly on its No. 1 priority — a full university campus with dorms and academic buildings.

City officials remain largely mum on the subject of downtown, in advance of Mayor Sharon Wolcott delivering her State of the City address Tuesday.

“What I can tell you is how the voter General Plan calls for a downtown to be established at Surprise Center. It is at the core of our city and encompasses plans for retail, office, four-year university and entertainment,” Surprise Communications Manager Diane Arthur stated this week in an email.

West said his company has assisted Surprise in its college search and that Phoenix-based Arizona Christian University wanted to make a big splash but had to pull the plug.

Arizona Christian had land reserved, but it didn’t have the financial heft to make its vision of a 125-acre campus that could serve 6,000 students come true.

West said most universities looking to branch out are OK with the idea of a 30- 40-acre campus.

West used his ties with the Duluth, Minn.-based College of St. Scholastica to help bring some of its classes to the Communiversity next to City Hall. He said this college or a similar small Midwestern University looking to branch out could be a future target.

Both the city and Carefree are on the same page with the university as the centerpiece of an downtown with entertainment to attract both halves of the city’s “bimodal” demographic — young families and seniors.

“The mayor has had a vision under their economic development policy to have a university there and we’ve been very supportive of that,” West said. “Our vision has always been to create a 24-hour downtown. That’s how we started with it back in 1997.”

 

OPEN

40 Bed Injury Rehab Hospital Breaks Ground in Surprise

Surprise AZ (May 13, 2014) An advanced rehabilitation hospital specializing in treating traumatic brain injuries took a step closer to opening day with a ground breaking ceremony in Surprise this morning.

The 40-bed facility, operated by Dallas-based Cobalt Medical Partners, will treat injured veterans, first responders, athletes and the general public when it opens at the northeast corner of Dysart and Bell roads late this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Fiske.

Surprise will work with Cobalt to host a job fair to help the company find new employees, Mayor Sharon Wolcott said at today’s ceremony.

“Job creation and new health-care opportunities are key elements of our Strategic Plan,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt’s $15 million investment will have an immediate and lasting impact on our growing reputation as a community of good jobs and excellent health services.”

The rehabilitation hospital is expected to employ about 125 people.

Surprise and Cobalt will collaborate in identifying job training opportunities for future health care professionals and the City will provide Cobalt guidance on federal or state grants that pertain to the company’s mission or that promote energy and water conservation, Wolcott added.

“Making things happen is what Surprise is all about and Cobalt has the same energy and drive,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt brings state of the art treatment to Surprise, which can attract high level practitioners, which in turn can attract additional health care facilities,” she said. “Our community welcomes and supports such high quality, professional development.”

The City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Cobalt in November of 2013 which calls for the City to pay $160,000 in building permit and plan review fees.

Cobalt is a private healthcare real estate development and investment company that partners with physicians and local communities in building successful healthcare facilities. Cobalt has rehabilitation hospitals in Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

City of Surprise Sharon Wolcott Mayor Bob Vukanovich Editor

Surprise residents OK General Plan 2035

Surprise AZ (November 5, 2013) According to unofficial results from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, Surprise voters have approved General Plan 2035, with 71.8% of voters saying “Yes.”

The County Recorder’s office reports 10,725 “Yes” votes (71.82%) and 4,208 “No” votes (28.18%).

Voters also approved a franchise agreement for Southwest Gas to continue operating in the city.

OLD NEWS Surprise, Arizona

11/16/2006 6:16:47 PM
The Mayor and Council Members
THE MAYOR AND SOME OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS MUST BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE THEY FEEL INVINCIBLE, THAT IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. THEIR CONSTANT SHOW OF ARROGANCE AGAINST ANYONE THAT DARES TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THEM WILL BE THEIR DOWNFALL.
DONNA WEEKLY

November 16th, 2006 at 7:17 pm e WE SHOULD CALL OUR LOCAL PAPERS AND TELL THEM THAT IN OUR OPINION THEIR COVERAGE OF SURPRISE IS POOR IF NOT NONE EXISTING.
2. anonymous Says:
November 16th, 2006 at 7:19 pm e RVUKANOVICH, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WERE VICE-MAYOR IN THE CITY OF SURPRISE, WILL YOU BE WRITING ARTICLES? OUR LOCAL NEWS BLOG IS A JOKE.
3. rvukanovich Says:
November 16th, 2006 at 7:35 pm e YES, I WILL BE WRITING ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT THE PAPERS DON’T LIKE TO TOUCH. PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO ME, TELLING ME WHETHER OR NOT TO USE YOUR NAME. I WILL BE THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE YOUR NAME AND WILL NOT USE IT IN ANY WAY OTHER THAN WHAT YOU PERMIT.

I Strongly Support This New Web/Blog
I STRONGLY SUPPORT MR. BOB VUKANOVICH’S NEW WEB/BLOG. I GREATLY APPRECIATE HIS WANTING TO ENSURE THAT ONLY RELEVENT INFORMATION AND FACTS ARE IDENTIFIED AND BROUGHT FORWARD FOR INTELLIGENT DISCUSSION, RATHER THAN ALLOWING SLANDEROUS, MALICIOUS, BIGOTED AND NON-VALID (HEARSAY) COMMUNICATION TO RESIDE ON HIS SITE. I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS, “CONSTRUCTIVE” CRITICISMS, AND LAUDATORY PRAISES WITH OTHERS. ALSO, WHILE DISCUSSIONS PERTAINING TO CITY GOVERNMENT, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, GROWTH AND THE LIKE ARE IMPORTANT, THERE ARE A VAST NUMBER OF TOPICS THAT WOULD BE ENJOYABLE TO SHARE AND CHAT ABOUT WITH OTHERS. GOOD JOB, BOB. I REALIZE YOUR WEB SITE IS STILL “UNDER CONSTRUCTION,” BUT I APPLAUD YOU FOR THE WORK YOU’VE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED.
-BILL LIPSCOMB

Stadium Funds
WE SHOULD THANK THE MAYOR, FORMER COUNCIL MEMBERS AND FORMER CITY MANAGER BECAUSE THEY WERE THE TRUE PIONEERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPRING TRAINING IN THE WEST VALLEY.
THE CITY OF SURPRISE WITH THE HELP OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF SUN CITY AND SUN CITY WEST WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR IN THE VOTE TO EXTEND THE stadium.

E-Mail to Mayor Shafer
Resolution#07-63 was an agreement between the City and the developer or the land owner that was approved by Council on May 24, 07.
Not wishing to debate this issue, I am only asking, in this agreement will the City of Surprise be reimbursed in the future for these expenditures?

As per the Project Overview: In the CIP there is $9.5 million allocated for this project.

E-Mail from Mayor Shafer…..You can be assured that the developer will have to abide by the usal agreement.

I have been informed that this will come before Council thanks for the import.
Unless I am wrong this project can cost the taxpayers anywhere from $10 to $20 million, was that the intention of the council when voting for Resolution 07-63?
As always, Bob Vukanovich

I’m convinced this will be the most important election in the city’s history. I mean, when the city manager, Jim Rumpeltes, read a statement in June that talked about a dysfunctional city and said some council members ruled by “threats and coercion,” the antennae of all voters should have shot up.

The Maricopa County Election Board said they would call our City Clerk so they could correct their web–site.
On the city web-site it said that we would have to pay the postage when we mailed our ballot in, believing this was morally wrong, I called the Maricopa County Election Board.
The Election Board assured me that the city will pay for the postage, the ballot will have a return stamp on it.

When our City Manager Jim Rumpeltes made his accusation against this sitting council, I thought and still do that the State of Arizona should have taken control of the city until we have some resemblance of order.

In 2007 I asked Council if we had a surplus of approx. $200M. In April of 2007 the council was told that they had no money, amazingly a few months later they paid cash for the construction of our new city hall.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott & Councilman Skip Hall, City of Surprise

Public invited to share thoughts on Veramonte Park Improvements June 26

Surprise, AZ (June 4, 2014) .

The Surprise City Council approved approximately $948,000 in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Veramonte. The proposed Phase II improvements conceptually include:

Restroom
Parking Lot (approximately 50 spaces)
Two (2) Ramadas 12’ x 24’ (pre-manufactured with custom columns)
Softball Field Lighting
Soccer Field Lighting

 

City of Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott

After the Special City Council held on May 27th was reconvened, Mayor Wolcott commented that upon Mr. Hilman’s resignation, council has agreed to appoint Mr. Wingenroth as interim City Manager. If the Agreement was made in the executive session, it would appear to be an open meeting law for Mayor Wolcott to comment on what was discussed in the E-Session.
7.8.4 Confidentiality of Executive Session Minutes. The minutes of an executive
session and all discussions that take place at an executive session are confidential and
may not be disclosed to anyone, A.R.S. § 38-431.03(B), except that they may be disclosed
to the following people:

A.R.S.§ 38-431.09(A). In keeping with this expressed intent, any uncertainty under the
Open Meeting Law should be resolved in favor of openness in government. Any question
whether the Open Meeting Law applies to a certain public body likewise should be resolved
in favor of applying the law.
7.5 The Actions and Activities Covered by the Open Meeting Law.
Public officials should refrain from any activities that may undermine public confidence in
the public decision making process established in the Open Meeting Law, including actions
that may appear to remove discussions and decisions from public view.
7.5.1 Generally. All meetings of a public body shall be public, and all persons
desiring to attend shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and
proceedings. A.R.S. § 38-431.01(A). All legal action of public bodies shall occur during a
public meeting. Id.
A meeting is defined as “the gathering, in person or through technological devices, of a quorum of members of a public body at which they discuss, // Propose or take legal action, including any deliberations by a quorum with respect to such action\\.

” A.R.S. § 38-431(4). The definition of meeting was modified by the Arizona
Legislature in 2000 to prohibit a quorum of a public body from secretly communicating
through technological devices, including, for example, facsimile machines, telephones,
texting, and e-mail.

 

Surprise Independent

By Rusty Bradshaw
Independent Newsmedia, Inc. USA
Updated June 11, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Choosing to forego a drawn out search, the SurpriseCity Council appointed Bob Wingenroth, currently the city’s assistant city manager and chief financial officer, to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Wingenroth assumed his new duties today, releasing Chris Hillman to start his new job as Irving, Texas, city manager. Mr. Hillman will be paid $20,760, representing wages at his current rate through July 20.

Mr. Hillman informed the council June 5 he had been accepted for the Irving job and resigned with a 45-day notice.

The council cited a desire to move forward on some time-sensitive projects as the main reason for appointing Mr. Wingenroth.

“These projects include establishing new citywide village plans, which will set the course for future development in the community, and the hiring of a new economic development director and community development director,” Mayor Sharon Wolcott and council members said in a joint statement.

Mr. Wingenroth is the former Anaheim, Calif. city manager and spent 28 years with the city of Phoenix, then serving as chief financial officer in Huntington Beach, Calif. He was the CFO in Anaheim before accepting the city manager position there. He assumed the ACM/CFO position in Surprise in June of last year.

City officials have known for weeks Mr. Hillman was a top candidate for the Irving job. The council May 27 unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Wingenroth as interim city manager should Mr. Hillman be offered and accept the Irving position
——————————————————————-
The article above; The council did not vote to appoint Mr.Wingenroth as the interim city manager, unless it was done in the executive session. Unable to contact the Surprise Independent to have them make a correction.

 

 

ADOT

Arizona and Nevada to hold public and virtual meetings for the Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study
Meetings focus on draft Corridor Concept Report as study nears completion

The City Council has approved approximately $1.68 million in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Surprise Farms. The proposed improvements conceptually include:

Restroom-Basketball court (double court type)-Drinking Fountains-Paved Parking Lots, lighted-Tot lot playground with proposed shade-5-12 playground with proposed shade-Two large ramadas (12 x 24) and three small ramadas (12 x 12)-Dog park (3 proposed areas)-Fitness Stations-Skate park-Alternates: Triangular area west of Westpark Boulevard (fencing)-Splash pad
Community and Recreation Services staff will assist in engaging the community to identify viable options for the use of these city-owned properties and do a presentation discussing the site designs. Public input is welcome and encouraged as the City moves forward in finalizing the proposed park design and preparing to call for construction bids in early fall.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but have an idea or a thought that you want to share, please email recreation@surpriseaz.gov.

YF 15 Budget

Surprise Council: FY15 budget good to go, Surprise OKs FY15 budget page 2 06/03/14
The Mayor and Council also thanked city employees, who will receive merit raises in FY15 for the first time since 2007. “Our employees have been fantastic and deserve support,” Wolcott said.

Among other highlights, the Council budgeted improvements at Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks that total more than $2.5 million. The City’s Recreation Advisory Commission has already set a June 18 joint meeting with the Surprise Farms HOA to consider specific improvements at Surprise Farms.

The Council plans to fund a $15 million expansion of team clubhouses and public facilities at Surprise Stadium in FY15, after staff reported the expansion could be financed without adding to the budget, due in part to the City’s improved credit ratings.

The Council approved a lower primary property tax levy rate of 75.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The current rate is 77.8 cents. Primary property taxes will generate the same amount as in previous years, roughly $6.5 million, according to the City’s Finance Department.

There are no tax increases in the FY15 budget.

The budget projects a $29 million General Fund balance by June 30, 2014. $14.9 million of the surplus will constitute the two-month General Fund reserve, fulfilling a Council goal to have the reserve restored by June 30 of this year.

Even after budgeting for long-overdue civic improvements in FY15, the budget projects a balance of $27 million by June 30, 2015.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott said the Council has kept its promise to restore the City’s finances and is pursuing an aggressive agenda of civic improvements and job creation. “This budget represents the Surprise of today: a successful city with a community-supported vision for the future,” she said. “Now, it’s full speed ahead.”

Economic Development and employee increases

Economic development efforts will receive assistance ranging from additional ED personnel to improvements at the City’s showcase AZTechCelerator program, an award-winning business incubator near Bell and El Mirage roads. “Creating white-collar jobs in Surprise will continue to be our top priority,” Wolcott said.

Some of the public improvements in the tentative budget include:

Surprise Stadium team and public improvements $15,000,000
(app; financed)
In-Ground Skate Park $500,000
Boys and Girls Club in east Surprise $2,000,000
Improved Drainage to 107th Avenue/Union Hills $2,428,000
Linking Mt. View Blvd. to Grand Avenue $300,000
Competitive youth Sports Programs $250,000
Median and ROW landscaping $300,000
Park ‘N Ride enhancements $1,686,300
Surprise Farms Park improvements $1,686,300
Veramonte Park Improvements $948,000
Dial a Ride Expansion $75,000

The Council funded Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Police and Fire represented employees, retaining the current Fire pay plan.

The budget includes a 1.3% cost of living increase for all general employees and a merit increase for employees effective July 1, 2014.

The total cost of employee pay increases is approximately $6 million.

Surprise Stadium Improvements

The proposed $15 million improvement at Surprise Stadium helped the City reach agreement with the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, who told the Council in April they would extend their lease through the 8-10 year refinance period as a way of demonstrating commitment to Surprise.

 

Bob Wingenroth, No participation of the citizens of the City of Surprise

THIS WAS THE RESOLUTING PASSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL which is different from the resolution presented on the councils agenda in their June 10th meeting
#2014-69
RESOLUTION #2014-69
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SURPRISE, ARIZONA, SETTING THE EFFECTIVE SEPERATION DATE OF THE RESIGNED CITY MANAGER AND APPOINTING BOB WINGENROTH AS CITY MANAGER.
WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Surprise are vested with the power to appoint the City Manager pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Surprise City Code;
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2014 the Irving Texas City Council approved a written contract of employment with Chris Hillman, the current City Manager for the City of Surprise;
WHEREAS, Mr. Hillman, on June 5, 2014 delivered a written notice 45 days in advance of his requested termination date in accordance with Section VI(B) of his contract of employment; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain continuity, the Mayor and Council deem it appropriate to immediately appoint the next City Manager pending approval of a contract of appointment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Surprise, Arizona, as follows.
Section 1. The separation date of the current City Manager is hereby established as June 10, 2014, and he will be paid $20,760 representing wages at his current rate through July 20, 2014.
Section 2. Bob Wingenroth is hereby appointed City Manager commencing June 11, 2014.
Section 3. The City Manager is vested with all power and authority, and must perform the duties and responsibilities of the office, as set forth under Arizona State Law and the Surprise City Code.
Section 4. The City Manager will be paid a bi-weekly salary of $7,115.38 bi-weekly ($185,000 annually) until a contract of appointment is approved by council. All other benefits will be consistent with the Employee Policy Manual.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 10th day of June, 2014.
Sharon Walcott, Mayor
Attest: Approved as to form:
THIS WAS THE AGENDA AGENDA RESOLUTING
#2014-69
RESOLUTION #2014-69
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY
OF SURPRISE, ARIZONA, SETTING THE EFFECTIVE
SEPERATION DATE OF THE RESIGNED CITY MANAGER AND
APPOINTING AN INTERIM CITY MANAGER.
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Surprise are vested with the
power to appoint the City Manager pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Surprise City Code;
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2014 the Irving Texas City Council approved a written
contract of employment with Chris Hillman, the current City Manager for the City of
Surprise;
WHEREAS, Mr. Hillman, on June 5, 2014 delivered a written notice 45 days in
advance of his requested termination date in accordance with Section VI(B) of his
contract of employment; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain continuity, the Mayor and Council deem it
appropriate to appoint an Interim City Manager until such time as the position is
permanently filled by contract appointment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of
Surprise, Arizona, as follows.
Section 1. The separation date of the current City Manager is hereby
established as _________________.
Section 2. Bob Wingenroth is hereby appointed Interim City Manager
commencing _________________ and will continue as such until a duly appointed City
Manager is selected by the City Council and commences employment with the City.
Section 4. The Interim City Manager is vested with all power and authority, and
must perform the duties and responsibilities of the office, as set forth under Arizona
State Law and the Surprise City Code.
Section 6. The Interim City Manager will be paid a bi-weekly salary of $7,115.38
bi-weekly ($185,000 annually) until termination of the interim appointment. All other
benefits will be consistent with the Employee Policy Manual.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 10th day of June, 2014.
Sharon Walcott, Mayor
Attest: Approved as to form:

 

Mayor Sharon Wolcott & Bob Vukanovich City Surprise News

Surprise, AZ (June 4, 2014) The City of Surprise Recreation Advisory Commission will hold a joint public input meeting with the Veramonte HOA to discuss the Veramonte Park site developments, design plans and provide a Master Plan Update Presentation.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 26, 5:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Express, at 16540 N. Bullard Avenue.

The Surprise City Council approved approximately $948,000 in the FY14/15 capital budget for facility improvements at Veramonte. The proposed Phase II improvements conceptually include:

Restroom
Parking Lot (approximately 50 spaces)
Two (2) Ramadas 12’ x 24’ (pre-manufactured with custom columns)
Softball Field Lighting
Soccer Field Lighting

Community and Recreation Services staff will assist in engaging the community to identify viable options for the use of these City owned properties and do a presentation discussing the site designs. Public input is welcome and encouraged as the City moves forward in finalizing the proposed park design and preparing to call for construction bids in early fall.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but have an idea or a thought that you want to share, please email recreation@surpriseaz.gov.

City of Surprise Sharon Wolcott, Bob Vukanovich

40 Bed Injury Rehab Hospital Breaks Ground in Surprise

Surprise AZ (May 13, 2014) An advanced rehabilitation hospital specializing in treating traumatic brain injuries took a step closer to opening day with a ground breaking ceremony in Surprise this morning.

The 40-bed facility, operated by Dallas-based Cobalt Medical Partners, will treat injured veterans, first responders, athletes and the general public when it opens at the northeast corner of Dysart and Bell roads late this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Fiske.

Surprise will work with Cobalt to host a job fair to help the company find new employees, Mayor Sharon Wolcott said at today’s ceremony.

“Job creation and new health-care opportunities are key elements of our Strategic Plan,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt’s $15 million investment will have an immediate and lasting impact on our growing reputation as a community of good jobs and excellent health services.”

The rehabilitation hospital is expected to employ about 125 people.

Surprise and Cobalt will collaborate in identifying job training opportunities for future health care professionals and the City will provide Cobalt guidance on federal or state grants that pertain to the company’s mission or that promote energy and water conservation, Wolcott added.

“Making things happen is what Surprise is all about and Cobalt has the same energy and drive,” Wolcott said. “Cobalt brings state of the art treatment to Surprise, which can attract high level practitioners, which in turn can attract additional health care facilities,” she said. “Our community welcomes and supports such high quality, professional development.”

The City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Cobalt in November of 2013 which calls for the City to pay $160,000 in building permit and plan review fees.

Cobalt is a private healthcare real estate development and investment company that partners with physicians and local communities in building successful healthcare facilities. Cobalt has rehabilitation hospitals in Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

Arizona voters may see pension-overhaul plan
PHOENIX — A major pension-overhaul proposal floated by police and fire unions could make it to the Arizona Legislature during a special sessio…

Tapping into the growing Hispanic market
Southern Arizona used to be part of Mexico before the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

City of Surprise Sharon Wolcott

MARKETING and COMMUNICATIONS
KEN LYNCH, DIRECTOR
16000 North Civic Center Plaza • Surprise, AZ. 85374
ken.lynch@surpriseaz.gov • 623.222.1420
www.surpriseaz.gov

For Immediate Release

Sun rising on Surprise Center
Proposed agreement with Phoenix gives Surprise authority to lift development restrictions at Surprise Center
agreement transferred ownership to Surprise and SCDC. In order to protect Luke Air Force Base, whose planes overfly the property, the agreement prohibited venues offering overnight stays, such as hotels, hospitals or apartments, a restriction Phoenix has enforced.

In December of 2012, Luke officials expressed understanding of Surprise’s interest in moving forward with talks to lift the restrictions.

The agreement approved by Surprise tonight gives the city authority to remove restrictions and when it does so, to collect and remit to Phoenix an agreed upon per-acre amount by which the land value is increased when the restrictions are lifted. That amount is set in the agreement at $30,000 per acre, subject to regular review and revision.

Surprise OKs IGA pg. 2
“This gives us the flexibility to encourage the type of development our General Plan and our residents are calling for at Surprise Center,” said Wolcott, “It also assures that Phoenix is compensated for the value created when restrictions are lifted.”

Surprise and Phoenix also agree that Surprise will work to acquire releases and easements permitting the Air Force to operate unimpeded in the skies above the property in perpetuity, and removing the Air Force from liability for any damages related to over flight, except damage caused by a falling plane or dropped objects. “That is our rock solid guarantee that these skies will always welcome our Air Force friends, who are such an important part of our community,” Wolcott added.

The agreement also allows Surprise to secure easements or pay for an initial release of acreage by the city of Phoenix.

Another provision states that a property owner seeking to have restrictions lifted on Surprise Center property can convey land to Phoenix adjacent to Luke or in the crash zone north of the base, and if Phoenix accepts the land, the owner will be excused from paying the per-acre fee at Surprise Center. Improving the buffer around Luke is a “priority” for Phoenix, according to the agreement.

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(December 17, 2013) A landmark agreement striking a balance between protecting Luke Air Force Base and encouraging the development of Surprise Center was approved unanimously by the Surprise City Council Tuesday.

The agreement between Surprise and the City of Phoenix must also be approved by the Phoenix City Council, which is set to vote Wednesday.

The agreement will transfer from Phoenix to Surprise the authority to lift development restrictions on more than 500 acres around the City Hall campus, a square mile bounded by Greenway and Bell, Litchfield and Bullard roads known as Surprise Center. Ownership of the land is divided among Surprise and private owners, mainly Surprise Center Development Corporation (SCDC).

“We have struck a crucial balance that will benefit our community and our regional partners for years to come,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “This agreement helps protect and preserve Luke Air Force Base while boosting our development of Surprise Center as a true downtown core.”

In 1999, Phoenix owned the property, then an unused Luke Air Force Base emergency airfield known as Aux 3. That year, a land exchange and settlement

Web site March 2007

As you all know, I recently started a news and political web site. It was, and is, my intention to inform the citizens of Surprise of current events, decisions made by the Surprise City Council and the happenings within our city government.

 Citizens call for accountability Donna Weekley, surprise As presented at the City Council meeting last night, 3/08/07

With all of the money we have collected on fee’s and taxation, this council has spent our money, starting with the stadium without any input from the citizens.This city council is now preparing to borrow money for their pet projects and delaying the repairing of Bell Rd.

Read the audit The city’s chief financial officer, Scott McCarty, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

A citizen wanted to comment on expenditures but was not allowed to .

Stadium Parking

When I was on the City Council I tried to convince other council members, city manager and staff that we had to save enough parking space for the stadium. I was told that they had checked it out, that we had more then enough and if not, we could always park on the grass. I told them we should save the corner of Parkview and Greenway for parking, but was over-ruled. I hope they are proven correct and that I was wrong.

Honorable Mayor Mayor Joan Shafer

It seems highly unusual that the court can now hire high paid, associate and pro-tem judges without the approval of the City Council. I understand they do not work under a contract, even our part time lawyers have a contract. When I was on the Council the court had to get our approval to hire security officers. Thank you….Bob 3/13/07 no reply

 I have had discussions with both the City manager and AC manager, about my concerns about the engineering department.

, I know that to have an effective engineering department you must have a qualified staff, such as engineers and inspectors that are employed by the city on a permanent basis.

Do any of us know what we have payed, in engineering consultants? We now pay what they call pre-construction consultants. Who I am told by staff verifies that what we receive from the architect is viable, one contract recently was for almost $700,000. A council member took this off the consent items but did not receive the right answer

 Tennis Court At the council meeting last night, March 22,2007 I made the point that the city started this project with $4,710,000. After the first contract that was for $1,247,656 they had a balance of $3,051,524.17. Where did $410,829,17 go. Councilman Joe Johnson told me “MONEY IS GONE”. City official told me that the money is accountable for, I cannot verify this.

 Original Townsite 1/18/07

The 10% slush fund can now be used for the revitalization in any part of the city.

COUNCIL MEETING BEING HELD ON DEC.28,2006 AT 6:00 P.M.  ITEM #17 CONSIDERATION AND ACTION ON DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION TO CLASSIFY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AS HAVING FULL TIME STATUS. FULL TIME STATUS WILL NOT BE CLEARLY DEFINED.

OPEN

20 hours ago • Ronald J. Hansen The Arizona Republic

New Fort Collins Deputy City Manager/Chief Operating Officer Announced Released on Friday, March 7, 2014 City Manager Darin Atteberry has named Jeff Mihelich as Fort Collins’ new Deputy City Manager and Chief Operating Officer. Mihelich begins on April 2, with a starting salary of $170,000.

OPEN

B.3  says, The following officers appointed by the mayor and city council.

Must these officers be appointed by them or can they, under common council law delegate this authority to the city manager by ordinance?

As I read the statute, the operative work is shall, so it seems as though it must be the mayor and city council. I will consult with staff attorneys on Monday to confirm.

Our staff attorney who specializes in cities and counties has confirmed that my original interpretation was correct and the appointments must bemade by the mayor and city council.

01/31/2008  5:42:00 PM

Bill Pupo, By Doug Cook, Special to the Review Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Contact the reporter at dcook@prescottaz.com

The 54-year-old Pupo, who has spent 31 years in city and/or town management, including stops in Spokane, Wash., and Surprise, Ariz., announced his decision to the CV Town Council during a Thursday night executive session.

Pupo leaves Chino Valley after four years as manager. He started his government career in Spokane,  In March 2000, the Surprise City Council appointed Pupo as its city manager. In June 2003, the Surprise City Council voted against renewing Pupo’s contract and he left for Chino Valley shortly thereafter.

In October, Pupo signed a new annual contract with Chino Valley. He was to earn $139,205 – one of the higher salaries for a town manager in Arizona towns of 10,000 to 49,999 residents.