Jan. 15, 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:
DFW COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is prioritizing large vaccination hubs across the state to distribute COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government. The City of Richardson and other nearby cities will assist by providing resources that may be needed to distribute the vaccinations.
Currently, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties have opened online registrations for vaccines for individuals wishing to receive a vaccination at one of the DSHS hubs. Collin County is also taking registrations but has not been identified as a DSHS hub location. Links are provided below for the online registration for each county. Due to the statewide effort, each county that is distributing the vaccine may approach the process differently and may be provided different types of vaccines. Residents DO NOT need to reside in Dallas, Denton or Tarrant county to register to receive a vaccination at one of the official hub sites. People who register will be placed on a waitlist and will be provided further guidance at a later date as to when to arrive to receive a vaccination.
The DSHS vaccination plan outlines distributing the vaccine according to need and available supply. Health care workers and high-risk populations are highest on the priority list. Currently groups 1A and 1B as defined by the state of Texas (see graphic) are being provided vaccinations. Additional groups will be added as more vaccine is made available. It will likely be several months before vaccines are available to individuals who are not in the direct-care or high-risk category as identified by the Texas DSHS.
More information for Richardson residents will be provided at www.cor.net/coronavirus as it becomes available.
City of Richardson Trash and Recycling Schedule for MLK Holiday
There will be NO trash, recycling or Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC) service provided Monday, Jan. 18. There will be NO makeup days for trash collection or BABIC. The table below shows the makeup days for recycling service.
Recycle Makeup Days
|Monday, Jan. 18||Tuesday, Jan. 19|
City of Richardson Facility Schedule for MLK Holiday
Public Facility Operating Hours
| Animal Shelter
(Contact Richardson’s Response Center at 972-744-4111 to report non-emergency animal-related issues.)
|Closed Jan. 18|
|City Hall/Civic Center, Eisemann Center, Library, Municipal Court||Closed Jan. 18|
|Gymnastics Center, Recreation Centers and Tennis Center||Open Jan. 18|
Mayor Proclaims MLK, Jr. Day in Richardson
In a proclamation signed this week, Mayor Paul Voelker officially declared Jan. 18 as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the City of Richardson. The proclamation acknowledges the positive impact Dr. King continues to have on our nation and urges citizens to honor his memory and keep his dream of equality for all people alive through service to those in need, “bringing our citizens together and strengthening our City and our Nation.”
The City is sponsoring several events related to MLK, Jr. Day and Black History Month including art and essay contests for students (see article under Events below), and reading, poetry, art and craft opportunities for children and teens at the Library.
Mayor Signs “It’s Time Texas” Pledge
Mayor Paul Voelker this week earned the City 100 points in the 2021 “It’s Time Texas” (ITT) Community Challenge by signing the ITT Mayor’s Pledge, recognizing that a healthy community is “more united, more productive, and more prosperous” and committing to the health of Richardson and to making our community a model for others to follow. Richardson is again participating in the ITT Challenge, an annual statewide health initiative that runs through Feb. 28 and encourages people to be active and live a healthier lifestyle.
Being part of the challenge is free and participants may earn prizes in addition to points for their city, after completing healthy activities (read more information under “Events” below).
Expansion of Reinvestment Zone Discussed
City staff updated the City Council Monday on the possible boundary expansion and project and financing plan amendment of the City’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #1, which currently includes the US 75 corridor from Campbell Road to south of Spring Valley Road, and Spring Valley Road from US 75 to Coit Road (see map below). The state tax code allows property tax collected in a TIRZ related to the increase in property valuations primarily from property improvements and new development to be reinvested for the zone on public infrastructure improvements and other economic development initiatives (a funding method known as Tax Increment Financing). The City is required to review and amend a TIRZ’s project and financing plan whenever its boundaries are changed.
Areas approved by the City’s TIF Board last month to be considered for addition to TIRZ #1 include:
- 7 acres near Lindale Lane/Inge Drive
- 3 acres near Floyd Road/James Drive
- 35 acres near Plano Road/Apollo Road
- 790 acres in the IQ®
A public hearing on the amended plan is scheduled for Jan. 25.
Network Acquires New Facility
City Council members toured a 45,000-square-foot facility Monday in the IQ® that will be the future home of City partner and local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries. Network CEO Cindy Shafer led the tour and talked about the many possibilities for the currently empty building. The facility, purchased by Network in November, offers more space than Network’s current leased headquarters at 741 S. Sherman St. and will enable the nonprofit to more effectively serve clients and meet the needs of the community. The pandemic as well as the aftermath of the October 2019 tornadoes have highlighted the need for more space as both events caused requests for Network’s services to increase dramatically.
In addition to housing longtime Network programs such as Seniors’ Net, the Food Pantry and the Family Clothing Center, the facility will offer possibilities for enhanced disaster service coordination with the City such as space for a multi-agency resource center and shelter for visiting nonprofit response teams.
Network hopes to be moved in and fully operational by Labor Day, pending remodeling.
New Director of Public Services Named
Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson has appointed Eric Robison to serve as the next director of the Public Services Department. Robison is a lifelong Richardson resident who currently serves as Assistant Director of the Public Services Department and has more than 19 years of experience in the department.
Robison started working at the City of Richardson in 2001. He served as supervisor over SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and technical operations, where he managed water production, water quality and plant maintenance. Later, Robison was promoted to Street Maintenance Superintendent, a position he filled until he was promoted to Assistant Director. As an Assistant Director, he oversees street maintenance, utilities, solid waste and custodial services. He also serves as a representative on the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Water Resource Council.
Robison will begin his new duties as director Feb. 1. He succeeds current Public Services Director Darryl Fourte, who will retire Jan. 31.
No City Council Meeting Jan. 18
Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, there will be no City Council work session or meeting Monday, Jan. 18. The Council will next meet Monday, Jan. 25 for a work session and meeting beginning at 6 p.m. For future agendas and meeting dates, go to www.cor.net/CityCouncil.
Utility Work May Narrow Custer Road Near Lockwood District
Northbound and southbound Custer Road at Westwood Drive may be narrowed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. due to water line connection work. The work is expected to be complete by late January.
Lane Closures Expected with Canyon Creek Alley Project
The right lane of westbound Campbell Road 400 feet east of Nantucket Drive may be closed to traffic at all times as part of the Canyon Creek Alley Replacement project that’s expected to wrap up by early November. The project will also affect neighborhood streets north of Campbell Road; both northbound and southbound Nantucket Drive at Fairmeadow Drive may be narrowed to traffic at all times and the west entrance to Fairmeadow Drive may be closed alternately.
City Council Collaborates with UT Dallas, RISD, PISD to Sponsor Student Contests
The Richardson City Council, along with UT Dallas, RISD and PISD, is sponsoring two student contests that began accepting entries last week: a Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest and a “Black History Month: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion” Art Contest. The contests are part of a large slate of activities and events taking place in Richardson to celebrate MLK, Jr. Day and Black History Month.
Each contest is open to students who reside within the City of Richardson or attend a RISD/PISD school within Richardson, and each challenges students, in different ways, to think about and share their own personal experiences. Rules and deadlines for each may be found at www.cor.net/ArtandEssayContest. Winners will be recognized at a future City Council meeting.
Altrusa Scholarship Applications Open
Altrusa International of Richardson has announced the opening of its annual scholarship program. Applicants must reside in the City of Richardson or attend an RISD school, and recipients will be selected based on scholastic achievement, financial need, community volunteerism, extracurricular activities and a short essay. Scholarships are awarded for attendance at two-year or four-year colleges/universities and must be used for the next school year.
Applications are available here and are due Feb. 19 at 4 p.m.
“Recess!” Event for Kids at Heights Rec Center Jan. 18
The Parks and Recreation Department is offering “Recess!,” a day of play during the student holiday Jan. 18 from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. for children in grades K-5. Safety precautions are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Cost to attend is $35. Bring a sack lunch, water bottle and plenty of snacks. Register at www.cor.net/parksonline (activity #22151).
Drive-thru Pie and Tea for Seniors Jan. 21
Seniors are invited to celebrate National Pie Day a couple days early with staff from the Richardson Senior Center. Stop by the Heights Recreation Center parking lot Thursday, Jan. 21 from 1-2 p.m. to pick up a mini pie, and a tea bag for brewing tea at home to enjoy with your pie.
Register by calling 972-744-7811; there is no charge to participate.
Annual City Photo Contest Underway
The City’s annual photo contest is open and will accept entries through Jan. 23. Students (high school age and younger) and adults (amateur and proficient photographers), both Richardson residents and nonresidents, are invited to participate. Categories include Abstract, Anything Goes, Cityscape/Architecture, Experimental/Enhanced, Fabulous Flora, Furry Friends, It’s a Small World, People, Scenic/Landscapes, Sports and Action, Still Life, Wildlife and Wonderful Waterscapes.
Entry fees are $5 per entry for ages under 18 and $10 per entry for ages 18 and up. Photos must be mounted; see contest page for more rules and information.
“It’s Time Texas” Challenge Continues
The annual “It’s Time Texas” Community Fitness Challenge is in full swing, and the City of Richardson is again participating. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to sign up for the free, 8-week challenge that takes place through Feb. 28 and earn points and prizes for completing individual actions such as working out, logging water intake and eating healthy meals. People who sign up on behalf of their city also earn points for their community with every action they submit.
For the third week of the challenge (Jan. 18-24), the Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging Richardson participants to:
- Try out a virtual workout class or attend a class at the Heights or Huffhines rec centers
- Keep tracking water intake
- Try cooking a healthy meal
You can track up to two physical activities a day and up to four “healthy activities,” and earn your community up to 600 points a day. This year’s event features a free app that participants can download to easily track activities.
To sign up and for more information, click here.
DREAM Display Begins
Library users, especially children, are sharing their thoughts about equality, freedom and many other topics in the Library’s DREAM exhibit, currently displayed on windows in the Youth Services department. Write your thoughts about Dr. King’s legacy on die cuts of clouds and doves and tape them to the windows around the letters D-R-E-A-M. All supplies are provided at the Youth Services desk. The display will remain up through the remainder of January and February and interested Library visitors can continue to add to the display throughout that time.
Curbside Pick-up Enhanced through App Beginning Jan. 20
Starting Jan. 20, Richardson residents will be able to use the myRPL app when picking up curbside Library items they have already reserved. Use the following simple instructions:
- Open the myRPL app
- Click the My Account > Holds > Curbside Delivery button.
- (You’ll only see the button if you have a Hold ready to check out.)
- When you arrive, park in a numbered Curbside spot.
Residents without the app as well as nonresidents can call 972-744-4350 when picking up curbside items. Curbside pick-up is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:30-5 p.m.
MLK, Jr. Bookmark Contest Continues through Jan. 25
Kids and teens ages 3-18 are invited to participate in the Library’s MLK, Jr. Bookmark Art Contest. Pick up a contest sheet at the Youth Services desk or print one here, and create your art on the sheet, focusing on Dr. King and his legacy. The winning designs (one for children, one for teens) will be featured on new bookmarks that will be available in Youth Services during February.
Submit artwork to email@example.com or drop it off at the Youth Services Desk, by Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.
Virtual Hour of Code Begins Jan. 22
Children ages 9-12 meet on Webex to explore coding online with the Library’s Virtual Hour of Code activity, held once a month on select Fridays from 4-5 p.m. It’s free to participate but registration is required; call 972-744-4358 to register. Upcoming dates include Jan. 22, Feb. 26 and March 26.
- Pegasus Theatre’s “A Trifle Dead: The Movie” Streams Fridays in January
8 p.m. Fridays Jan. 15 and 22. Tickets are $18.
“A Trifle Dead: The Movie” is another hilarious whodunit from Pegasus Theatre, featuring beloved Pegasus characters Harry Hunsacker, Nigel Grouse and Lt. Foster trying to find a murderer in a mansion full of suspects, on a cold night in 1938. For cost and safety reasons, this show does not employ Pegasus’ special trade-secret Living Black and White® technique, but it was taped in black and white to give the performance a similar look.
- PSO with Violinist Charles Yang Jan. 16 (Livestream)
8 p.m. livestreamed from the Eisemann Center. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by phone at 972-473-7262 or online at www.planosymphony.org.
The Plano Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Hector Guzman, performs with “genre-defying virtuoso violinist” Charles Yang, a member of the world-renowned string trio, “Time for Three.” The program includes works by Dvorak, Brahms, Ravel, Piazzolla, Freddie Mercury/Queen, Lennon/McCartney and more.
- “TapN2Tap” Professional Tap Show Jan. 17
7 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $39-$59. Stream the performance for $20.
The RIFF Dallas tap festival, a multi-day workshop/learning event being held this weekend in Richardson for tap professionals, hosts an open-to-the-public show featuring tap pros from across the U.S. as well as select tap ensembles from California and Washington, D.C. (more info at www.riffdallas.org)
- Enneagram Art Exhibit Ends Jan. 24
Noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and during all public performances, in the Green Mezzanine Gallery. Admission is free.
The nine Enneagram personality types come to life in “By the Numbers: An Enneagram Series,” featuring paintings by Michelle B Noah.
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.
DART Student Art Contest Open
The annual Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Student Art Contest has begun accepting individual entries from North Texas students in grades K-12, including more eligible grades than in the past. The theme of this year’s contest is “Everyday Heroes Ride DART,” giving young artists the chance to salute the hometown heroes that have kept our community going during the pandemic. Winning artwork will be featured on DART rail stations, buses and inside trains, as well as at the Dallas Museum of Art, Love Field Airport and on DART’s website. Prizes will be awarded to first place winners and runners-up in different grade-level categories.
For additional information, as well as complete rules, prize information and additional entry forms, visit www.dart.org/artcontest.
“Don’t Mess with Texas” Scholarship Contest Open
Applications are now available for the 2021 “Don’t Mess with Texas” Scholarship Contest. The contest recognizes Texas high school seniors who are taking an active role in litter prevention in their school or community. It is open to any Texas high school senior currently attending public, private or home school and planning to attend an accredited college or university in fall 2021. A total of $9,000 in scholarships to three winners will be awarded in May.
To enter, visit www.dontmesswithtexas.org/. Applications must be received via online submission by 5 p.m. March 31.
Tree Cycling Continues
Christmas trees are still being accepted for the City’s Tree Cycling program, which turns natural Christmas trees into mulch and compost. Trees may be dropped off through Feb. 1 at the Municipal Service Center, 1260 Columbia Dr., or set out at the curb and picked up as part of the City’s Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC).
Tree cycling guidelines:
- Trees must be natural (not artificial) and unflocked.
- All ornaments, tinsel, tree stands, nails, lights, etc., must be removed.
- Calls for BABIC must be received before the designated collection day (your BABIC day is the same as your recycling day).
The mulch and compost are created thanks to a regional partnership between Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco and Texas Pure; it is used in landscaping by the cities and offered to the public for purchase. Residents of the five member cities receive a discount.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Tripp is waiting to “trip” you in his spell of love! This lovebug is a ball of energy who gets the zoomies even at 6 years old. He came into the Shelter as a stray in December. He is a neutered male, Labrador retriever mix, fully vaccinated and microchipped. He is a big goofball who loves attention and playing outside. He is waiting for a family to play with and spoil with kisses. Tripp is only $25 to adopt, which is such a small price for a lifetime of love from this cutie! Come fall in love and give Tripp his wish of having a forever home! If you want more information, please check out our website at www.cor.net/adoptme and schedule an appointment to come adopt him.
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,