April 9, 2021
This is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
City, UT Dallas Announce HQ for The IQ®
City staff announced this week that the City is joining with UT Dallas in establishing a “headquarters” inside the Richardson Innovation Quarter. This “HQ for The IQ®,”to be located at 1302 E. Collins Blvd. in a 27,500-square-foot, City-owned building, will better enable the two entities to work together in guiding the vision established for the area, to make The IQ® “the premier tech hub in Texas.” UT Dallas has plans to place five newly created research centers in the heart of The IQ® plus a new Center for Emergent Novel Technology (CENT-IQ).
Renovation work will commence this summer, with an opening slated for February 2022. UT Dallas will occupy approximately 10,000 square feet, and 3,000 square feet will be dedicated for programs, networking and event space. The remainder will be occupied by the City’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, with 7,000 square feet set aside for future expansion or flexible partnering opportunities. The building adjoins the area’s newly extended Duck Creek Trail.
Development Breaks Ground in Historic Main Street Area
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week for Belt + Main project. The project, currently under construction along Main Street/Belt Line Road between US 75 and Interurban Street, consists of mixed-use buildings that will be wrapped around a parking garage (shared with the adjacent Chase office building) and will include 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 350 residential units for lease and 7,000 square feet of resident amenity space.
The infrastructure portion of the City’s Main Street Redevelopment/Reinvestment Project is expected to be substantially complete by the end of this month. Improvements have included widening the sidewalks and improving crosswalks, adding public parking and creating new “open space” areas.
The Belt + Main project is expected to be complete in 2023.
City Maintains "Triple A" Credit Rating
For the 12th year in a row, both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s credit rating agencies have reaffirmed Richardson’s “Triple A” status, the highest possible rating available for credit worthiness. Richardson has held AAA status from Standard & Poor’s for 14 years now, and this is the 12th year in a row the City has received an Aaa rating from Moody’s.
In its rationale, Standard & Poor’s said Richardson’s “Triple A” rating was based on the City’s, “very strong economy, very strong management with strong financial policies and practices, very strong budgetary flexibility, strong budgetary performance, and very strong liquidity.”
In its rationale, Moody’s said, the rating reflects the City’s “large and affluent base that is anchored by a sizeable business district that supports its position as the second largest job center in the Dallas metropolitan area.” Moody’s also praised Richardson’s “solid financial management with a long and established history of strong operating performance contributing to favorable reserves.”
Model 2021 Bond Program Outlined
After several months of presentations regarding more than 60 projects to include in a possible upcoming bond program, City staff summarized the candidate projects at Monday’s City Council work session and gave an overview of what a 2021 Bond Program might look like, based on the City’s projected debt capacity and the City Council’s priorities. The City anticipates the ability to issue future debt without a tax rate increase, with a serial sale total debt capacity calculated to be $190 million over five years.
The model $190 million Bond Program put together includes 15 of the original proposed projects, with high priority given to street, alley and sidewalk improvements ($110.5 million) and public building renovations ($64 million). Alternate funding possibilities for projects not included were also discussed.
After receiving City Council feedback, staff will give a follow-up briefing later this month and continue to refine the bond scenario, with final confirmation of bond propositions scheduled for the summer.
League of Women Voters to Post Council/School Board Candidate Forums Online
The League of Women Voters of Richardson (LWV-R) is conducting five candidate forums featuring candidates in contested races in the upcoming May 1 Richardson City Council and RISD Board of Trustees elections. The forums will be available for viewing April 12 via YouTube and through the LWV-R website.
The forums include:
City of Richardson City Council Place 4 (Incumbent Kyle Kepner, Joe Corcoran)
City of Richardson City Council Place 6 (Daniel Burdette, Marilyn Frederick, Arefin Shamsul)
Richardson ISD Board of Trustees Single-Member District 1 (Vicky Suárez, Tony Casagrande, Megan Timme)
Richardson ISD Board of Trustees At-Large Place 7, ballot positions 1-3 (Nicole Foster, Amanda Clair, Blake Sawyer)
Richardson ISD Board of Trustees At-Large Place 7, ballot positions 4-7 (Eric Stengel, Christopher J. Poteet, Gavin Haynes, Nicholas Frank LaGrassa)
Temporary Drop-off Location Established for Brush and Wood After Fire at Custer Road Facility
The North Texas Municipal Water District’s Custer Road Transfer Station in Plano will be closed to drop offs until further notice due to one of Texas Pure Products compost piles catching on fire Friday morning. With the station closed, Richardson residents who wish to drop off brush and untreated/unpainted wood can do so temporarily at the Lookout Drive Transfer Station, 1601 E. Lookout Dr., Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
For more information on which items are accepted at the NTMWD transfer stations and landfill, click here.
Parks and Recreation Looking for Summer Workers
Parks and Recreation is looking for enthusiastic people to join its team this summer. Applications may be filled out online at www.cor.net/jobs. Call 972-744-7855 for information on day camp jobs, 972-744-7892 for aquatic jobs and 972-744-7860 for gymnastics jobs.
Specific positions that Parks is looking to fill include:
- Pool Manager and Assistant Pool Manager
- Slide Attendant
- Swim Instructor/Coach
- Swim School Coordinator
- Day Camp Director
- Day Camp Counselor
- Gymnastics Coach
- Gymnastics Instructor
Utility Work May Cause Lane Closure on Arapaho Road near Bowser
The right lane of westbound Arapaho Road between Bowser Road and the railroad tracks may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m- 3:30 p.m. due to the pulling of fiber cable near Grove Road. The project is expected to be complete by late July.
Registration Open for Police Department's Summer Safety Camp
Spots are still available in some sessions for the Richardson Police Department’s annual Summer Safety Camp, open to children who have completed kindergarten and have not yet started 4th grade. Seven weekly camp sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Monday-Friday at Canyon Creek Elementary School, 2100 Copper Ridge Dr. (children may attend only one session).
Campers will learn about:
hands-on bike safety
and much more!
Sessions begin June 7 and end the week of July 26. Cost is $20 per child, per week (includes camp T-shirt). Register through the website below or at www.cor.net/parksonline. COVID protocols similar to RISD will be used during camp. Note: Children of Richardson residents who have not attended Safety Camp in the past will be given registration priority first. Non-Richardson residents may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about registration.
Youth Citizen Police Academy Accepting Applications
Applications are being accepted for the Richardson Youth Citizen Police Academy, an annual, one-week program to be held June 7-11 that provides youth ages 13-17 firsthand information about how the Richardson Police Department (RPD) functions, law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system, and promotes understanding between youth and police.
Topics include hands-on instruction in the following areas:
drone (UAS) program
crime scene investigations
drunk and distracted driving
The Academy will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon each day (until 1:30 p.m. Thursday), primarily at Richardson Police headquarters, 200 N. Greenville Ave., with some classes at the Emergency Operations Center, 1621 E. Lookout Dr. and the Richardson/Plano Police Training Academy in Plano.
Deadline to apply is Monday, May 17. To submit online, access the application here. School resource officers also have applications.
Senior Center Programming: Online “Musical Tour of Britain” April 13
Richardson Senior Center staff are promoting another free “armchair travel” experience with “A Musical Tour of Britain,” Tuesday, April 13 at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Tour guide George McFall will lead you on a fun and informative tour of Britain as told through its rich musical heritage, from the sacred and classical music composers of church and court to rural and urban folk traditions and the “British invasion” of the 60s —and up to the present day.
To register, click here.
RWC Garden Tour April 24; Lunch Reservation Deadline is April 16
The Richardson Woman’s Club Garden Tour is back with “Gardens & More,” Saturday, April 24. Get inspired with tours of five beautiful, neighborhood gardens from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and enjoy an array of activities at the RWC Club House/Founder’s Hall, 2005 N. Cliffe Dr., from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Activities include a boxed lunch catered by The Chocolate Angel, plant sale and garden gift shop. In addition, master gardeners will present seminars on relevant topics.
Tickets ($20 each) are available online and at the Clubhouse and include all garden tours and seminars; boxed lunches are $12 and must be ordered in advance by April 16. Tour maps will be available at the Club House on the day of the event. All proceeds benefit RWC’s community outreach and RISD senior scholarships.
CityLine Hosts Local Artists for “Boho Market” TonightCityLine begins a new series of free, outdoor night markets tonight from 6-9 p.m. “The Boho Market” will feature more than 25 local artists and vendors set up on CityLine Plaza, accompanied by nearby live music. Other upcoming dates for the event are May 14, June 10 and July 9.
New Book Installed in Darbey’s StoryWalk®
The Library’s outdoor Darbey’s StoryWalk® is featuring the book, “Badger’s Perfect Garden” for the month of April. The book was selected because it is seasonally appropriate and especially because the illustrated flowers are very reminiscent of our own Richardson wildflowers that bloom near the Library each year (see story in EPI, below).
Darbey’s StoryWalk® enables visitors to walk along a designated path behind the Library while reading pages of a children’s book posted at 16 different stations. By the time a visitor completes the path, they’ve read an entire book. The walk begins at the Friends Garden just north of the Library’s main entrance and continues along one side of the fountain plaza and back to the front of the Library. It is free and open to the public around the clock, seven days a week.
In beTWEEN Book Club Meets Virtually April 15
Library staff will host the “In beTWEEN” Book Club, a book club for ages 9-12, April 15 and again May 13, on Webex from 4:30-5 p.m. Tweens read the “best of the best” kids’ books and explore them via games, film excerpts and more.
Registration is required; call 972-744-4358 to register and for more information.
“Kahoot” Teen Trivia April 17
Teens ages 13-18 are invited to test their knowledge in a variety of topics and compete against fellow teens in an online Kahoot! trivia challenge Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m. on Webex.
Registration is required; call 972-744-4358 or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk to sign up. After registering, you’ll receive a link in your e-mail to join the fun.
Late Spring Virtual Storytimes
Introduce your baby to books, rhymes and music or engage preschoolers with storytelling, songs and more! For ages 6 months to 6 years.
Call 972-744-4358 for the link to join the virtual storytimes on Webex, for Richardson residents only.
- “Late Night Catechism 3” April 10
7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $38-$46.
Rescheduled from an earlier 2021 performance date, “‘Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3” is the latest “class” to be unveiled in the “Late Nite Catechism” comedy series. After teaching countless students about the saints, venial sins, limbo and more, Sister is now offering up hilarious lessons on the Sacraments of Marriage and the Last Rites, including her own wacky version of the Newlywed Game. “Classroom participation” is a must, so bring along your sweetie and a sense of humor for a session with the country’s feistiest couples’ counselor!
RSO Season Finale April 17
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$75. A streaming option is available for $30.
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra presents Saint-Saëns’ “Second Piano Concerto” featuring Daniel Hsu, 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Bronze Medalist; Mozart’s “Symphony No. 31 in D Major, K. 297 ‘Paris’;” and Tchaikovsky’s “Suite No. 4 ‘Mozartiana’.”
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office (credit card only), 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com. Click here for more information about the Eisemann Center’s COVID-19 safety procedures.
At UT Dallas:
Photoworks 2021 Exhibit through April 24
By appointment Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays from 1–6 p.m. at the SP/N Gallery, 3020 Stewart Dr. Admission is free. To make an appointment, e-mail email@example.com or visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4ea5a62baaf8c61-spngallery to schedule preferred date and time. The exhibit features diverse explorations of photography created by students in UT Dallas’ Advanced Photography course, curated by faculty member Marilyn Waligore. More information may be found here.
Free Online Lecture features Metropolitan Museum of Art Publisher April 16
2 p.m. via Zoom. Admission is free. (For Zoom link and more information, click here.
The School of Arts and Humanities, along with UT Dallas’ Center for Translation studies, is hosting award-winning translator, author and Metropolitan Museum of Art Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Mark Polizzotti for the latest installment of its lecture series, “The Future of the Arts and Humanities in Times of Crisis.” Polizzotti’s talk is entitled “Whom Shocks Who—Humanity and Humanities in an Age of Fear” and aims to interrogate the line between acceptable and unacceptable challenge in the arts, looking at questions such as, “What does it mean when a work of art or literature is deemed offensive, and is there a positive value to offense? Should art be a safe space, or is its primary role to disrupt our certainties and comfort levels? What role can the humanities play in a world increasingly averse to the challenges that art and literature often pose?
RCT’s “Broadway’s Best” Begins April 16
Repertory Company Theatre, 770 N. Coit Rd., is presenting a musical celebration of Broadway from the Golden Age to contemporary musicals April 16-25. “Broadway’s Best: Then and Now” will feature two different casts of performers, a different cast each weekend. Proceeds from the event will support RCT’s summer programming.
Show days and times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35. CDC safety protocols will be followed.
Contact: 972-690-5029 (box office)
Richardson Wildflowers in Bloom
Richardson’s wildflowers have started to make their annual appearance in the City’s medians, parks, along roadsides and near municipal buildings. Luckily, the February winter weather event didn’t wipe out the flowers—experts from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service say that the majority of bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers were minimally affected by the freeze because they were still in the rosette stage of growth and very close to the ground at the time, with the snow blanketing and actually insulating the plants. Those few that had stalks already coming out will recover, possibly coming back more prolific than before.
If you plan to get outside to take some wildflower photos, please do not pick or damage the wildflowers (it’s a City Ordinance) and if you’re taking photos in a City park, follow the City’s photography guidelines found at www.cor.net/photography.
What to Do About Tree “Tassels”
It’s that time of year when spring winds blow oak tree “tassels,” or “catkins,” around North Texas, causing them to sometimes pile up in yards, streets and on cars, like snow. The yellowish-brown wormlike “strings” are technically known as aments, the male flower parts of the oak trees, and they fall to the ground once their pollen is released. Depending on the location of the tree, the aments can create a yard nuisance, but experts with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service say they can serve a useful purpose as a nutrient-rich, short-term mulch in flower beds, vegetable gardens or mowed into the lawn, where they quickly break down. They can also be added to a compost pile.
Lifeguard ($9.50-$12.72 hourly)
This position is for Summer 2021. Must be at least 15 years of age with current certification in Lifeguard Training (YMCA or American Red Cross, CPRPR and First Aid.)
Day Camp Counselor ($8-$10 hourly)
Must have reliable transportation. CPR and First Aid certification required, or must obtain during job orientation. Must be at least 16 years of age. Experience working with children is required. Knowledge or skills in sports, games, arts and crafts, music and/or other recreational activities preferred.
Gymnastics Coach ($12-$37.50 hourly)
Must have a high school diploma or GED. USA Gymnastics Professional membership and USA Gymnastics Safety Certification required.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Come say hi to Miss Lya! She is a spayed female gray and white domestic short hair that is around 11 months old. She came into the shelter April 5 as an owner surrender because the owners said she was too active. She is familiar with adults, children and other cats. She is a fully vaccinated cat with a sweet temperament that is waiting for you to come to adopt her! If you are interested in adopting, schedule an appointment by clicking here.
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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