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                                                                                                            CITY OF SURPRISE



Meeting Minutes

August 12, 2008 / 6:00 PM





  1. Roll Call

-          CRS Advisory Board: Wayne Turner-Chairman, Ron Jensen Vice-Chair, Lou Provenzano, Mary Lou Youngblood, Mike Hawkins, Mike Brown, Trent Renner (absent)

-          Teen Advisory Board Ex-Officio Member: Brian Scott (absent)

-          CRS Dept.: Mark Coronado-Director, Melissa Miller, Donna Miller, Joe Kennedy, Dana Garr, Tom McCullough                                                                   


B.    Approval of Community & Recreation Services Minutes of April 1, 2008 Meeting

-          Motion to approve the minutes of January 8, 2008

-          Motion – Mary Lou Youngblood

-          2nd – Ron Jensen

-          Approved  - (6) approved / 1 absent



A.    Chairman Report – Mr. Turner commended CRS staff on their numbers for recent sporting events and special events.  Parks Maintenance staff was complemented on the condition of the fields despite the beating they took with all the traffic.

B.    Advisory Board Member Report – The board complemented CRS for stepping up to offer the campus to displaced teams due to the hurricanes.  The Campus and its amenities were highlighted on ESPN for both the accommodations and generosity of staff.

C.    Community & Recreation Services Director Report

    1. Update Programs – Mr. Coronado presented information regarding the Sandy Koufax World Series.  The event was important in that it brings recognition to Surprise and highlights the impact the campus brings to the economy.  The American Legion Western Regional brought an occupancy rate of 80% to a local hotel that usually sees only 20% occupancy this time of year.  Our goal is to have the American Legion World Series follow the regional’s to Surprise as Koufax did.  Over 4,000 guests attended the stadium venue portion of the 4th of July celebration, and Aquatics was at capacity for most of June.  The pools are expected to report 70,000 visitors this season.  In 2009, it will be important to advocate for more recreation facilities and a new library in the GEO bond process.  Decisions will also need to be made as to who will operate.  Mike Hawkins inquired into our current relationship with the county for library operations.  Currently, there is a fee escalator in the contract in years’ 8, 9, and 10.  We are in year 7 at this time.  Mary Lou Youngblood asked for an elaboration on the benefits to Surprise for having the County operate.  Mr. Coronado advised that a savings of approximately 1million dollars is realized annually.  However, as the contract escalates, that subsidy will change as the City’s requirement to provide more support goes up.  In the next year, we will need to look at the operational costs that will be absorbed into CRS’s budget.
    2. Northwest Regional Library Counts – The library saw a 17% increase in borrowers between 2007 and 2008.  Records were shattered District wide.  At NWRL alone, over 5,500 registrations were received for the summer reading program.  The entire total for 2007 was 4,035. 






Item 1 - Upcoming Special Events / Programs

Arizona Jazz Festival – Staff directed by Council to put on a festival.  Negotiations are in process with promoters and a deposit has been provided to George Benson.  Staff will bring this item back on the September agenda to discuss trade marking the name, ticket prices, etc.  Mr. Turner asked if Jazz was broad spectrum enough.  Mr. Coronado advised bringing other genre’s and artists on different days or venues was being discussed and the festival may become the Arizona Jazz and Music Festival.

Shakespeare Festival – Free family event at little or no cost for CRS.  Negotiations in process with Renaissance group for additional festival offerings.

CTCA Championships – Mr. Coronado to visit the CTCA in progress in Newport.  Events such as kid’s day and the accommodations such as the champions club and charity events will be scrutinized.  Board should expect invitations to a gala and player hosting sometime in August or September.  Staff partnering with the Heard Museum to offer Kachina Dolls.  Surprise Tournament Roster to date is Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Todd Martin, Wayne Ferreira, and Mark Philippoussis.  Surprise is highlighted along with venues in Dubai and Grand Caman.

Farmers Market - CRS board members were enthusiastic about the long awaiting market.  Approximately 40-50 vendors can be expected on Sundays from October thru February.


Item 2 – Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Master Plan

Hobart Wingard, Planner and spokesperson for CRS on development agreements, last brought the plan before the board in May 2007.  Mr. Coronado shared current inventory and discussed what is recommended in the plan and how it ties into the City’s 2020 General Plan.  Over the course of 20 years, this could add millions to our budget.  However, it is difficult to determine the impact due to development agreements, changing priorities, and costs in today’s dollars compared to what tomorrows may be.  Ms. Youngblood asked how priorities are established.  Mr. Wingard advised it is based on when developers build and how our requirements can be incorporated.  It also depends on funding sources such as bonds and when funds are awarded.  Mr. Coronado shared that any gaps between project areas may be filled in by GEO Bond requests and public outreach.  Ms. Youngblood discussed that bigger companies are economic engines for the valley and that quality of life is a huge attractant to bringing them to Surprise.  Per Mr. Wingard, Planning & Zoning is working on a trails plan along arterials, and trailheads to connect between cities.  Mr. Provenzano inquired as to developer requirements in other cities and if there is resistance to building when the city imposes specific criteria for parks, trails, and open spaces.  Mr. Wingard has met with other cities during the development of the master plan and Surprise’s mirrors what other cities have done.  So far, developers are on board and projects such as Grand Vista, Fox Trails, and Asante speak to the spirit of cooperation between developers and the City, as there was no resistance on those projects.  Ms. Youngblood asked for the overall cost of implementation.  Mr. Wingard advised the plan is just a guideline and does not identify costs as they change.  Mr. Coronado did advise we could give an idea of what maintenance costs will be using a cost per acre matrix in today’s dollars.  Mark Brown asked about the short term goals of the plan.  The short-term goals depend on market conditions.  The first section of trails is a priority over the next ten years as is the development of two additional community parks.  Mr. Coronado shared that his Capital Improvement Plans over the next five years is thinking ahead to add the two community parks as well as another two pools.  Mr. Turner called for additional comments.  None was offered.  Motion to approve the Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces Master Plan made by Mary Lou Youngblood.  Seconded by Way Turner.  6 ayes/o opposed/1 absent.  Motion passed.


Item 3 – Public Safety Park Development Scope/Location

Items 3 and 4 were discussed jointly as they pertain to one another.  Mr. Coronado opened by advising the board this item was discussed members of the Police family.  Staff requested the advisory board’s approval to suspend the Public Safety Park Development project until the FY09-10 budget cycle and utilized the dollars to complete the Surprise Community Park.


Call for motion to temporarily suspend the Public Safety Park and reallocate funds to the linear portion of the Surprise Farms Park with the stipulation to discuss scope, location, and funding in the 09-10 budget cycle by Mr. Turner.  Ms. Youngblood motioned to accept and commented that they park was not the proper place for the memorial.  Mr. Turner and Mr. Hawkins agreed.  Motion seconded by Mr. Turner.  6 ayes/0 opposed/1 absent.  Motion passed.


Mr. Coronado shared that we will bring this item back to the board in approximately 60-90days to begin the planning process.  City management will make recommendation to council at the September 11 meeting.


Item 4 – Surprise Farms Community Park, Phase 2 – Linear Portion Construction/project program options.

The Community and Recreation Services Department is requesting a modification of the current CIP budget.  Due to a required MWD water line extension located at Willow Canyon High School, an additional $150,000 - $200,000 will be required to offset this unexpected project cost, as the current water provider, Arizona American, cannot meet the demands of the area.  The Community and Recreation Services Advisory Board was asked to consider two options:

1.     Replace Concrete Pathway with Granite - Savings:  $140,000 - $160,000

2.     Delay Public Safety Park Development until FY2010 and transfer funds to Surprise Farms Project - Savings:  $180,000


Mr. Provenzano asked about the waterline route that is partly responsible for the parks budget issues.  Mr. McCullough shared the temporary water line need for the park is 1,142 feet long.  We are two wells short of what the developer was required to provide.  Regardless, Arizona American cannot provide enough water to meet the needs of the park.  Ms. Youngblood asked if we could recoup our losses with the developer to which Mr. McCullough replied the developer is most likely bankrupt.  A temporary construction pond will store the irrigation water from the temporary water line until a permanent solution and storage tanks can be implemented in a year or two.  Mr. Provenzano further inquired as to how Surprise Farms if funding their HOA water bills.  Mr. Kennedy shared they are struggling but effluent water is not available in that area.  Staff will further research options and follow-up with Mr. Provenzano as a later date.


Due to the circumstances discussed, CRS staff respectfully requested the transfer of $180,000 to the Surprise Farms Project (20606), from the Public Safety Park Development CIP Project (20635) to complete the linear portion of the park.  Upon approval of this item, it is anticipated that all funds will be expended for the Public Safety Park Development. 


Motion to approve called for by Mr. Turner.  Mr. Hawkins made motion to pass, seconded by Lou Provenzano. 

6 ayes/0 opposed/1 absent.  Motion passed.


Item 5 – Park Permits & Policies – Permits update, Policy/Rules update, Concession Park Vending

Mr. Coronado shared that Ramada rental process is going well and public pleased that they no longer have to stake a claim hours before their event to try to find Ramada space.  A proposed fee breakdown for the Ramada, beer, and special event permits was presented and depicted a comparison to what other valley cities charge.  Ms. Youngblood commented that fees should have been implemented a long time ago.  She also inquired as to how we will management health code and licensing permits and background checks.  Mr. Coronado shared that staff is developing policies and will be moving forward with issuing the RFP shortly.


New Park rules were shared to include limiting park hours in unlit parks from dusk until dawn, and changing current hours to reflect lit parks closing at 10pm.


Mr. Turner called for motion to approve all policies, permit fees, and code changes.  Motion by Ms. Youngblood seconded by Mr. Provenzano.  6 ayes/0 opposed/1 absent.  Motion passed.


Item 6 - Dysart Unified School District Intergovernmental Agreement, Sports Programming, Outside Organizations – Third Party City Sponsor

Mr. Coronado discussed the history of the IGA with the school district and explained without it, neither of our programs would thrive.  The IGA outlines the general guidelines for sharing the costs and uses of facilities jointly between the district and the City.  This agenda items was brought simply as a discussion and will be brought back again as a standalone item if action is required at another time.  City management is meeting with the District next week to provide a positive presentation of how the IGA can work as it was intended.  Mr. Provenzano shared that he had wanted to distribute flyers regarding upcoming foreclosure forum but had heard that CRS staff was denied distributing flyers on their programs.  Staff affirmed that was the case and is looking further into the matter as there have been no denials in the past for this practice.  This item may require a future joint Council and CRS Advisory Board meeting.


OPEN CALL TO THE PUBLIC – No one from the public was present



DISCUSSION – No further discussion


ADJOURNMENT – Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be September 9, 2008 at 6pm.