Today In Surprise

City of Surprise News

Posted on: March 26, 2021

City Hall reopens to public 4/12; City Council & public meetings open to in-person attendance

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On Monday, April 12, Surprise City Hall and other city administrative buildings will open to the public, following a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Additionally, meetings of the City Council and all boards and commissions will open to in-person attendance effective that date. 

The reopening comes as Governor Ducey announced Thursday, March 25, that Arizona hit several important public health benchmarks, including the administration of more than 3 million vaccine doses; and as the city continues to monitor a decline in new positive COVID cases. 

The city has also implemented COVID-19 mitigation protocols consistent with CDC guidelines. These include: frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, additional hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass barriers at service counters, and physical distancing measures. 

Surprise’s Face Covering Mandate Lifted; Businesses May Implement Mitigation Policies

Executive Order 2021-06 issued by Governor Ducey on March 25 calls for any remaining local government mask mandates to be phased out and says that they cannot be enforced. 

As a result, Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise. Read it here.

The Governor’s order does make a couple of exceptions. The city retains the right to set and enforce mitigation polices in our city government buildings and on public transportation. This includes face coverings. Wearing of face coverings/masks is now recommended within city facilities, with the exception of Surprise City Court, where they are required.

For the remaining Spring Training games at Surprise Stadium, the mask mandate will remain in place, as will all other Major League Baseball COVID-19 mitigation protocols as detailed on the Surprise Stadium website, here

Private Businesses

Under the Governor’s order, businesses may institute and enforce face covering policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and they retain the right to refuse service to those who do not comply with their policies. 

Public Transportation

Per federal mandate, face coverings are also required while riding public transportation. See the Centers for Disease Control Mandate, here

Senior Center Remains Closed; Parks & Rec Office Opens; Some City Hall Service Modifications

 The Surprise Senior Center will remain closed until further notice. Meal delivery and pick-up will continue, as will virtual programming. For the schedule and information on how to sign up, visit surpriseaz.gov/seniorservices

 The Parks and Recreation administrative office will open for recreation program registration, with the online registration option still available. Recreation Center programming or facility rentals will be announced as they become available. For program information, visit surpriseaz.gov/recreation or call 623.222.2000.

Additionally, the following City Hall service modifications are in place until further notice:

  • Cashier – Preferred payment method is credit/debit card. For utility billing questions/requests (other than payments), please contact utility billing at 623.222.1900
  • Passport Services – Not available through the Clerk’s Office at this time
  • Development Services – Counters open, with online options remaining available. Information on digital applications and plan submittals, and online payments is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/devservices 

The following suspended programs are being reinstated as of April 12:

  • The Prescription Drug Take Back Kiosk in the lobby of the Police Department administrative building

Public Meetings Open to In-person Attendance 

 Meetings of the Surprise City Council will reopen to in-person public participation while maintaining online and cable viewing options and the ability to email public comments in advance of the meetings, at publiccomments@surpriseaz.gov. The first City Council Work Session and Regular meeting to re-open to in-person attendance will be April 20.  The City Council’s April 16 Budget Retreat will also be open to the public and televised and web-streamed, beginning at 9 a.m.

The same standards will be in place for our traditionally televised and web-streamed meetings, which include: Veteran, Disability & Human Services (VDHS) Commission Meetings, beginning April 14; Planning and Zoning Commission Meetings, beginning April 15; and Public Safety Retirement Commission meetings, as scheduled on or after April 12.

In-Person Public Meeting Guidelines:

  • Physical distancing is encouraged.  
  • Wearing of face coverings/masks is recommended.
  • Please stay home if you are feeling sick. 

 Non-televised Public Meetings

 City Boards and Commission meetings and City Council Subcommittee meetings that were not televised prior to the pandemic will no longer be televised on or after April 12. They will be moved to their traditional locations and be open to the public. 

Questions & More Information

For questions about public meetings, please contact the City Clerk at 623.222.1200 or clerk@surpriseaz.gov. To view meeting agendas, please visit surpriseaz.gov/agendas.

Please note, due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, meeting protocols are subject to change at any time.  For additional information related to the city’s COVID-19 response, please visit surpriseaz.gov/COVID-19.

See press release...
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