July 10, 2020
Here 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 Council | City Plan Commission
TEA Issues Guidelines for 2020-21 School Year
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released guidelines this week for the 2020-21 school year, addressing on-campus vs. online activities, attendance requirements and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at schools as the coronavirus continues. In line with these guidelines, RISD and PISD will be releasing formalized plans later this month. RISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone shared RISD’s tentative plans in a video released this week, and PISD released its draft policy this week as well.
Both districts plan to offer online and in-person instruction, requiring face masks and daily health screenings for those on campus. Other precautions, such as offering lunch in the classrooms, are still being considered.
In a recent survey, 67 percent of RISD parents indicated they will send their students to school in-person.
Click here for the complete list of TEA guidelines. Look for details about the RISD and PISD plans in the August issue of Richardson Today.
Governor’s Order Requires Facial Coverings
Last Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide executive order mandating the use of facial coverings. The order was made due to a surge in coronavirus cases being reported across the state.
The order says that every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public. The order also applies to outdoor public spaces wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person that is not from the same household.
A list of exceptions includes:
- Any person younger than 10 years of age;
- Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
- Any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
- Any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
- Any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water; or
- Any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship.
Early Voting Ends Today; Primary Runoff Election Day is July 14
Election Day for the Primary Runoff Elections is Tuesday, July 14, and early voting ends tonight at 7 p.m. Dallas County is holding a Democratic Primary runoff and Collin County is holding both Democratic and Republican Primary runoffs. Dallas County voters may vote early at Richardson City Hall; to find more early voting locations in both Dallas County and Collin County, visit www.cor.net/elections.
On Election Day, Dallas County voters may vote at any Dallas County Vote Center shown here, including Richardson City Hall; voters in Collin County may vote at any Collin County Vote Center listed here.
Election Day voting hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Network has New Hours, Still in Need of Volunteers
Network of Community Ministries is changing its hours of operation to help it better serve its clients. Effective Monday, July 13, Network will be open:
- Monday-Wednesday—8 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Thursday—noon-8 p.m.
- Saturday—9 a.m.-noon
In addition to the new hours, Network continues to need volunteers as only about 30 percent of the regular volunteers have been able to return due to COVID-19. Network accepts volunteers ages 16 and up as well as ages 13-15 who volunteer with an adult friend/family member. Click here to sign up to volunteer.
Dallas County Tax Offices Closed to the Public Until Further Notice
In the interest of public health, all Dallas County Tax Office locations are closed to the public for face-to-face transactions until further notice. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of processing their vehicle registrations and property tax payments online from the convenience of their own home or mobile devices.
Motor Vehicle Services
Dallas County residents can renew their motor vehicle registrations online at www.dallascounty.org/tax. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has temporarily waived certain requirements for vehicle registration, vehicle titling and disabled parking placards. For more information, visit www.txdmv.gov.
Property Tax Payments
Dallas County residents can pay property taxes online with an eCheck, for no additional fee, at www.dallascounty.org/tax. They can also use MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit and debit cards at the same website or pay by phone through JP Morgan Chase Bank at 866-863-8323 (English) or 866-361-1741 (Español). All credit and debit card transactions are subject to Chase Bank convenience fees.
Property tax payments can also be mailed to:
P.O. Box 139066
Dallas, TX 75313-9066.
The Dallas County Tax Office’s Customer Care Center is available to assist taxpayers with questions regarding property taxes, motor vehicle registrations and title concerns Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at 214-653-7811.
Main Street Traffic Switches to North Side of Street; One Lane Remains Open Each Direction
Traffic along Main Street switched to the new paving on the north side this week so that work can commence on the south side of the street, all part of the Main Street Redevelopment Project. One lane will remain open for eastbound and westbound traffic on the north side. The work is expected to be complete in March 2021. Motorists are advised to avoid the Main Street area if possible.
Single Lane of SB Frontage Road, US 75 On Ramp to Close Briefly Near US 75, Bush Turnpike
The left lane of southbound US 75 frontage road, south of the Bush Turnpike, and the on ramp to southbound US 75 will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, July 13. Storm drainage survey work is being done as part of the DART Silver Line project. The lane and on ramp are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 14.
Heights Recreation Center Hosts Outdoor Evening Yoga
Heights Recreation Center is hosting outdoor hatha yoga on the Center’s back patio Tuesdays at 6 p.m. The class is co-ed and designed for participants of all levels.
Fee is $20 for residents and $22 for nonresidents; participants are asked to bring a mat or towel. To register, visit www.cor.net/parksonline and search for code #19403 or call 972-744-7850.
Virtual Summer Sizzler Duathlon Begins July 18
The public is invited to participate in the City’s first “Virtual Summer Sizzler Duathlon” beginning July 18. The event will consist of a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, with each participant given three weeks to complete the miles at their own pace. Winners, awarded per division and gender, will be determined by how soon both tasks are completed after the 6 a.m. start time July 18. Participants keep track of mileage via any type of running/biking app tracker and submit results online.
Registration is $20 per person and includes a T-shirt. Registration deadline is July 17. For more information and to register, click here.
“Family 4th at Home” Montage Posted
Parks and Recreation/Community Events has put together an online “slideshow” of photographs of individuals and families partaking in the City's “Family 4th at Home” activities. Participants were asked to post photos to social media and include a unique hashtag for the event in order to be part of the montage. Check it out at the Family 4th website and Parks and Recreation Facebook page.
Free Take-Home Craft Kits for Families Now Offered
To help kids beat summer “stay-home” boredom, Children’s Librarians are putting together “Just Add Imagination” craft kits for families to take home and enjoy. The free kits are bagged up and ready to go in the Children’s Department while supplies last. A different kit is available each Monday.
UT Dallas Presents “Encore Performances” Online
To keep the community entertained throughout the summer, UT Dallas’ Arts and Humanities Department is sharing past performances online via YouTube and Facebook. Past performances posted include:
- Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra and University Orchestra concert from May 5, 2019 and Dec. 8, 2019
- Musica Nova (Advanced Orchestra and Chamber Music ensemble) concert from Dec. 7, 2019
Richardson Theatre Centre Posts Second Episode of “Theatre of the Imagination”
“Lights Out! Grave Dancers” is the title of the latest episode in Richardson Theatre Centre’s (RTC) online “Theatre of the Imagination” audio series. RTC has debuted the series as part of an extensive “makeover” which also includes a major renovation of the theater’s auditorium.
“Theatre of the Imagination” features local talent performing music, songs, and short vignettes ranging from classic radio mysteries (“Buck Rogers,” “The Adventures of Sam Spade”) to original dramas, comedies and supernatural thrillers, each complete with authentic commercials. Episodes are posted to YouTube and Facebook and are available 24/7, free of charge.
Help Clean Up Parks, Waterways through CCECP
Looking for a socially distanced, outdoor group activity for your family or friends? Consider picking up trash and recyclables in one of Richardson’s many parks or green spaces as part of the Health Department’s Community & Corporate Environmental Cleanup Program. It’s good exercise plus you help beautify the environment and keep harmful debris from our local waterways. Any size group is welcome—recently, this group of four friends filled five large bags of trash at the Spring Creek Nature Area.
The City provides all supplies including bags, gloves and tongs, and picks up the filled bags when a group is finished. To schedule a cleanup, call Janice Tower at 972-744-4078.
Shade Gardening Class Online July 16
Learn about the many native and adapted plants that not only survive but thrive in shadier spots during “Made for the Shade: Shade Gardening,” a free online class being offered July 16 by Texas AgriLife Extension’s Water University. You’ll learn tips and tricks to create beautiful shade gardens that beat the Texas heat, including how to garden under mature trees as well as turf alternatives and hardscape options for low light areas.
The class will be held via Microsoft Teams from 6-8 p.m. Register online here and a link to the class will be e-mailed to you.
“WaterMyYard” Now Offered as an App
“WaterMyYard,” a free, customized program that sends alerts each week on when and how much to water your lawn and landscaping, is now available as an app. The app allows users to access up-to-date watering recommendations in a mobile friendly environment while incorporating new and advanced features and tools to maximize landscape water conservation. Advanced features include the option for push notifications in addition to text and e-mail. Users can also enter onsite measured rainfall and adjust run times for landscape conditions.
The app is free and available on the App Store and Google Play.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This handsome guy is Ace! He came to the Shelter back in mid-June as a stray. Since that time he has been fully vaccinated, microchipped and neutered. Ace is only a year old and is still a puppy. He warms up fast and loves to go outside. We believe him to be a boxer mix with a brown coat and a bit of white on chest. Ace seems good natured in his pen around other dogs and could do well with another dog in the home. He would love to have a forever home! Call and set up and appointment to meet him today!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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