Surprise City Council to eye police drones, utility rate hike at Dec. 18 regular meeting

City leaders will, among other items, consider adopting an intergovernmental agreement to continue and reduce the cost of transit services in Surprise at the panel’s regular meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. [file photo/Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia]

If you go

What: Surprise City Council regular meeting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18

Where: Council Chambers at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza


By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia

City leaders will consider a variety of measures next week, including use of aerial drones for public safety, distribution of grant funding, adoption of utility rate increases and an intergovernmental agreement for transit services.

The presentations and potential action items appear on the agenda, published this morning by city officials, for the Surprise City Council regular meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

Surprise Police Department officials will present information for discussion on proposed use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, to help with traffic collision and crime scene reconstruction, critical incidents, special event security and search-and-rescue operations.

Purchase of the drone equipment – a remote, battery-operated drone with photo and video, live feed and forward-looking infrared night vision capabilities – would be funded through the department’s existing asset forfeiture fund.

Human Service & Community Vitality Department Director Seth Dyson will outline staff recommendations for dispersing $10,000 through the Neighborhood Grant Program for fiscal year 2019-20.

The program, approved as a pilot program in 2016, provides grant opportunities for applicants seeking to host neighborhood events and improvement projects.

This year, seven applications were received totaling $40,476 and staffers have recommended approval of $10,000 to be divided among four of them, including:

  • Legacy Park for a community playground;
  • Marley Park for landscaping changes to the Veteran Commemorative Plaza;
  • WHAM for a recycled art festival in the Original Town Site;
  • and Sarah Ann Ranch to install permanent corn hole boards.

Council will also consider adopting a public notice of intent to adjust water, wastewater and solid waste fees to establish rates for the next five-year cycle.

Approval of the measure will trigger a public hearing on the proposed increases to be hosted in February 2019.

And finally, council members will consider approving an intergovernmental agreement with Valley Metro Regional Transportation Authority for the city’s fiscal year 2019 transit services, including express bus service, regional services provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act, senior shuttle and demand transit services for Surprise residents.

The presentation will detail how adopting the policy will allow the city to tap into federal funding to save more than $500,000 delivering transit services in FY19.

No council work session was scheduled for next week; but there will be a special meeting to interview nine applicants to fill the vacant District 5 council seat 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 in Council Chambers at City Hall.



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