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District 2 Update – June 2021

Greetings, District 2 residents! Welcome to June! Please take a moment to read the information below, which contains important city updates and information on upcoming events. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me anytime at aly.cline@surpriseaz.gov, or by calling 623.222.1322. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications.

Veterans Services

The U.S. flagVeterans, service members, and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley. The City of Surprise is proud to offer the West Valley Veteran Success Center a new home within the Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator Campus, located at 12425 W. Bell Rd., Suite 124. The center includes various military and veteran support services and resources, made possible by the generous support of partner organizations and all West Valley cities. For more information on the West Valley Veteran Success Center, call 623.222.1658 or visit the City of Surprise website at surpriseaz.gov/veterans.

Rent and Utility Assistance

The Surprise and El Mirage Community Action Program (CAP) has a new online portal to apply for rental and utility assistance. Please visit http://hsdclientportal.maricopa.gov/ to complete a pre-screening assessment. Those needing assistance with the online process can call 623.222.4673. Eligibility restrictions apply. https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3549/Community-Action-Program-CAP.

Prescription Drop-off Box

The City of Surprise Police Department has a prescription drug collection bin in its lobby for easy disposal of unwanted drugs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The focus of this program is to provide a safe location for individuals to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications and ultimately reduce the likelihood of these medications falling into the hands of children and teens. Visit the link below for more information:
https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3359/RX-Drug-Drop-off

We Care Program

We Care is an automated system designed to call a senior or homebound person once a day to check on their welfare. If the daily call is not answered, an automatic alert is sent, and officers from Surprise Police or Citizens Patrol will be sent to the home to check on the individual. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, you can submit an online application at https://www.surpriseaz.gov/WeCare, and Surprise Citizen Patrol will contact you to schedule a required home visit and interview.

Lock Box Program & Vial of Life

The Lock Box program allows first responders to have quick and safe access to your home in the event of an emergency. Using a lockbox on the exterior of your home, the fire department can use a unique key to open the lockbox and access your house key. Having a lockbox can add precious lifesaving minutes during an emergency and also saves on property damage. To find out more about this program, please visit surpriseaz.gov/fire or call 623.222.5000.

In addition, if you stop by our Surprise Fire Medical Administration office, located at 14250 W. Statler Plz., Suite 101, you can pick up a Vial of Life. The Vial of Life contains a medical emergency information form that should be filled out, put back in the vial, and stored in your refrigerator for safekeeping. A sticker that comes in the vial can be placed on your refrigerator to alert first responders that you have this information available. The Vial of Life is designed to provide important medical and emergency information to first responders when you cannot. While you are there, you can also pick up a Pet Finder window sticker that alerts first responders to the pets in your home!

Free Hot Showers

Free showers are available every 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month at the Salvation Army in Surprise, 17420 N. Ave of the Arts, between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Food, medical care, haircutting, and pet care resources are also available. This program is made possible by Church of the Palms, Salvation Army, and the City of Surprise. Call 623.222.1600 for more information.

EPCOR Water

Customer Assistance Programs graphicEPCOR Water offers customer assistance programs for low-income customers, deployed military and disabled military veterans. If you or someone you know can benefit from this program, you can read more at https://www.epcor.com/products-services/water/rate-cases-usa/water-rate-review/Pages/customer-assistance-programs.aspx

Water Wise

Surprise Water Resource Management logoYou may have heard talk in the news media recently about the Colorado River and a potential shortage declaration. The Western United States, including Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area, has been experiencing a drought for more than 20 years, with an official drought declaration in June 1999. Drought is a normal occurrence in the southwest desert. However, as the drought in the Colorado River Basin continues to extend, the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Nevada along with Mexico may face reductions in their Colorado River water deliveries through a “Tier 1” declaration by the Bureau of Reclamation.

What does this mean for Surprise water customers? A Tier 1 shortage declaration will not affect Surprise’s water allocation or its deliveries to customers. Although there will be no immediate impact on municipal water supplies, Surprise remains committed to water resource management and water conservation measures. Shortage on the Colorado River does not mean shortage for Surprise’s customers at the tap. Being efficient with water has been part of our long-term water management strategy, and our water conservation program provides resources to assist customers.

Furthermore, Surprise is not directly delivering its Colorado River allocation. Instead, we use our Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allocation to recharge the aquifer, storing water for future groundwater pumping. As always, water users must follow water-efficient practices to protect our precious resources. Learn more about drought and how it affects Surprise water customers on our Drought Resiliency and Preparedness website: surpriseaz.gov/droughtmgmt

You may be wondering how you can save water. Here are some water-saving tips:

  • Visit Surprise’s water conservation page surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation for water-saving guides, tips, and advice.
  • Surprise customers can track their water use through a WaterSmart portal and use real-time tracking to establish a water use baseline and set leak alerts. Customers can access the WaterSmart portal through the “pay my bill” option on Surprise’s Utility Billing website surpriseaz.gov/WaterBill.
    WaterSmart logo

Passport Services Resume

United States passports.Passport services return to Surprise City Hall by appointment only. Regular business hours for passports will be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office. City staff can accept applications for first-time passport books and passport cards and review paperwork for renewals. They do not offer passport photos, so be sure to have your photos with you at your appointment. To make an appointment or for questions, please visit surpriseaz.gov/passport or call the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.

Surprise Property Tax Rate

A PowerPoint slide displaying primary property taxes for Surprise.We’ve been receiving some questions about the City of Surprise tax rate. It has not increased. The primary tax rate in the City of Surprise is $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property value, plus the secondary property tax rate (from the voter-approved 2017 GO Bond) of $0.3880 per $100 of assessed property value. These rates multiplied by the assessed value of your home determine what you pay in property taxes. If the value of your home increases, you will see an increased tax bill; however, that is not due to a rise in the property tax rate but rather an increase in the assessed value of your home.

Schedule of Existing Primary and Secondary Property Tax

   Current Rate  Current Levy  Proposed Rate  Proposed Levy  
 Property Tax          
 Primary Property Tax Rate $0.7591 $9,135,500 $0.7591 $9,974,200 Per $100 assessed value
 Secondary Property Tax Rate $0.3880 $4,669,500 $0.3880 $5,098,200 Per $100 assessed value

Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched its annual Surprise Retail Survey on April 5, and more than 5,100 responses later, we have the results! The City uses the survey data to identify the City’s retail strengths and opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home. Select survey insights are listed below. The full results are available at surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey.

2021 Retail Survey Results summary

Meet & Greet

Join me Wednesday, June 9 for a virtual meeting or June 28 at Sun City Grand Café, 19781 N. Remington Dr., at 6 p.m. I look forward to discussing the latest city news and answering any questions you have.

City Council Meetings

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is June 15 at 6 p.m., and City Hall is 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.