July 2, 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
City of Richardson July Fourth Holiday Solid Waste, BABIC, Recycling and Facility Schedules
There will be NO solid waste, recycling or Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC) service provided Friday, July 3.
For the July Fourth holiday, City facilities and services will operate according to the following holiday schedule.
Public Facility Schedule for the July Fourth Holiday
| Animal Shelter, City Hall/Civic Center, Library,
Eisemann Center and Municipal Court
|Closed July 3-4|
|Recreation Centers and Gymnastics Center||Closed July 4|
|Tennis Center||9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 4|
|Sherrill Park Golf Course||Open July 4|
|City Pools||Close at 5:30 p.m. July 4|
Neighborhood Pools Now Open
Richardson’s four neighborhood pools (Canyon Creek, Cottonwood, Glenville and Terrace) opened for the summer swim season this week, with modified hours and services due to the coronavirus pandemic (Heights Family Aquatic Center will not open for 2020 due to staffing shortages). New procedures in place to ensure proper distancing and safety, include:
- Occupancy is limited to 50 percent capacity and only open to Richardson residents and their guests.
- Swim time is limited to two-hour sessions, with 30-minute cleaning breaks between each. Patrons will exit the facility after each session but their hands will be stamped so they may return for more sessions and only have to pay once per day.
- Visitors must bring their own chairs; no deck furniture is provided.
Daily admission is $2 for ages 4 and up and free for children under age 4 (season passes will not be available). Hours and days of operation vary by pool.
Sign Me Up for Paperless Billing
This week the City’s water customer service group launched a paperless billing campaign to try to increase the number of customers who have signed up for paperless billing. Among the outreach is a form included with this month’s utility bill, which also includes an online submission option. It can also be found in this month’s printed edition of the Richardson Today.
The City prints and mails about a quarter of a million utility bills annually, and part of the campaign includes videos that show how much paper all the bills add up to in a year. The videos can be viewed on the Richardson Today Facebook page and have also been posted to the GoPaperless website located below.
Fireworks Shows Available In-Person, Virtually
While Richardson canceled its annual Family 4th Celebration due to COVID-19, several other North Texas cities are having fireworks shows that people can watch either virtually or in-person from their vehicle.
These shows include:
Addison Kaboom Town is shooting off its fireworks at an out-of-town location, but the show will be streamed live on the Town’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/TownofAddison, beginning at 9:30 p.m. July 3 and will also be broadcast on CW 33 at 10 p.m. July 4.
Allen Spirit in the Sky fireworks display will take place at 9:30 p.m. July 3. The fireworks will be shot off near the intersection of Exchange Parkway and North Watters Road and the best viewing area is within a mile of that location. While listening from your vehicle you can tune into KLAK 97.5 to hear choreographed patriotic music.
Frisco is shooting off fireworks from the FC Dallas soccer complex beginning at 9:30 p.m. July 4. In-person viewing will be available from your vehicle from the parking lots surrounding Toyota Stadium. The show will also be streamed live on the City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CityOfFriscoTX/.
Plano’s All American 4th Celebration will take place at 9:30 p.m. July 4. The fireworks will be shot off near the intersection of Jupiter Road and Parker Road and people are asked to watch from their vehicles. The best viewing area is within a one-mile radius of the launch site. The display will be set to music on KLAK 97.5. The show will also be viewed online on the Plano Arts and Events Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/planoarts.
The fireworks shows in New York City and Washington, D.C. will be shown on television on NBC and PBS respectively. Both broadcasts will begin at 7 p.m. July 4 and contain musical performances in addition to fireworks.
Celebrate July Fourth Safely
Because the COVID-19 pandemic is cancelling many Fourth of July fireworks shows this year, including Richardson’s, firefighters are concerned some people may be tempted to try the “do-it-yourself” route. The Richardson Fire Department wants to remind everyone that while some fireworks are sold legally in Texas, they aren’t allowed to be sold, stored or used within Richardson city limits. The restrictions are placed with the intent to prevent injuries and fires, many of which are recorded across the country every year as a result of the mishandling of fireworks. However, there are other options to get into the patriotic spirit.
The National Fire Protection Association offers these suggestions for fun without fireworks:
- Use glow sticks as a safe alternative to sparklers. Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
- Use noise makers instead of firecrackers. They can be found at local party supply stores or you can make your own.
- Have an outdoor movie night.
- Celebrate with red, white and blue silly string.
Beware of Utility Scams
Due to recent activity reported by one of the utility companies that serves Richardson, the City is helping to put out the reminder that utility company workers should NEVER ask for an in-person payment under any circumstances. Anyone who comes to your door portraying themselves as a utility worker and asking for payment should be reported to the police.
Utility service employees will typically have an ID badge and vest or work shirt with company logo, and at no time will they ask residents for any type of payment. If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.
Early Voting Continues through July 10
Early voting for the July 14 primary runoff election continues through July 10. Registered Dallas County voters may vote early at Richardson City Hall or at any of the other Dallas County early voting locations. Collin County voters may vote early at any of the Collin County early voting locations. For more information including locations, visit www.cor.net/elections. See below for early voting dates and hours.
Remaining dates and times for early voting in Dallas County:
- July 3-4—No Voting
- July 5—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
- July 6-10—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Remaining dates and times for early voting in Collin County:
- July 3-4—No Voting
- July 5—1-6 p.m.
- July 6-10—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Election Day voting will take place Tuesday, July 14 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
No City Council Meeting Monday
Due to the July Fourth holiday, there will be no City Council work session or meeting Monday, July 6. The Council will next meet Monday, July 13 for a work session and meeting beginning at 6 p.m.
Dallas County Launches New COVID Assistance Program
On Wednesday, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) announced the launch of an Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) to provide short-term, rental, mortgage and utility assistance to people facing economic hardship in the wake of COVID-19. Assistance for EHAP is eligibility based and will be processed through a lottery system.
Online applications are now available and the pre-screening application process will close Thursday, July 9 at 4 p.m. Pre-screening applications accepted by phone will be conducted Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. by calling 214-819-1968.
Submission of a pre-screening application does not guarantee eligibility or an offer of assistance. Only completed applications meeting eligibility requirements, and supported by required documentation, will be considered for assistance, based on the availability of funds. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
“Family 4th at Home” Features Several Activities
Richardson’s “Family 4th at Home” celebration began this week, with a different activity posted online each day. The activities, which are available 24/7 at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page and Family 4th website, include a “Storytime with Lady Liberty” for kids (see story below) and several patriotic-themed recipes.
In addition, a Virtual 5K and Family Fun Run is taking place through July 5 for all ages. Participants fill out a registration form here and attach a photo/screen shot of their results from an app such as RunKeeper, MapMyRun or Runtastic. The top three 5K finishers in each age category and top three finishing families for the one-mile Fun Run will be posted online.
You can share photos of your Family 4th at Home fun on social media with the hashtag, #RichardsonFamily4th—a video montage of the photos will be posted during the week of July 6.
Library Hosts “Lady Liberty” Storytime Online
The Library helped the Parks and Recreation Department kick off Richardson’s “Family 4th at Home” this week with “Storytime with Lady Liberty,” an online storytime led by “The Statue of Liberty” reading the book, “Lady Liberty’s Holiday,” by Jen Arena. The book features Lady Liberty traveling throughout the United States and is among several patriotic selections available for checkout at the Library.
View the Storytime at the Family 4th at Home website or the Richardson Parks and Recreation Facebook page. On Facebook, visitors are encouraged to leave comments about their own travels to some of the sites in the book and/or which sites they’d like to visit someday.
Art Contest to Decorate New Children’s Library Card Still Open
Children and teens ages 3-18 are invited to submit their art to be considered for the new Richardson Library children’s card. Winning artwork will be printed on the new cards, coming out in fall 2020.
Create artwork on the form found here. Make sure to print it at 100 percent, not fit to size. Use any or all of the following art supplies: colored pencils, crayons, markers and paint. Be sure to be bright and colorful!
Deadline is Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. The contest winner will be notified by Aug. 12. Submit artwork by e-mail at email@example.com or drop it off in the Children’s Department at the Library. Be sure to print the artist’s name, phone number and parent’s e-mail on the form.
Richardson Community Band Offers Online Audio of Past Concerts
The Richardson Community Band is helping the community get in a patriotic spirit for the Fourth of July holiday with online audio of past performances. The music is now available 24/7 on the group’s Facebook page and website. The 45-minute concert is a series of recordings from RCB’s past performances at the Eisemann Center and includes “America the Beautiful” and other patriotic songs, as well as a segment that includes quotes from the Gettysburg Address.
Art on Display at Rec Centers
The Richardson Civic Art Society (RCAS) recently hung two art exhibits at Huffhines and Heights recreation centers, which will be on display to the public through the middle of August. The exhibit at Huffhines Rec Center includes a variety of RCAS members’ oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, as well as pastels and collages. The Heights Rec Center exhibit features a one-person show, 15 pastel paintings created by RCAS member Wendy Koehrsen.
RCAS is a nonprofit organization begun 54 years ago and welcomes members who are professional artists as well as beginners. Members have the opportunity to display their work at a variety of City venues including the Library, Eisemann Center, City Hall/Civic Center complex and the recreation centers.
RCT’s “Broadway Bootcamps” begin July 13
Children and teens ages 8-18 are invited to Repertory Company Theatre’s summer camp series, entitled “Broadway Bootcamp,” July 13-17 and July 20-24. The camps are held from 12:30-5 p.m. and include dance, voice and performance instruction with a final performance in front of an audience on the Saturday following camp at 1 p.m.
Students may enroll by phone or mail; cost is $295 per week, with a $35 RCT annual membership fee required. Space is limited. Several CDC protocols will be in place and are listed at the RCT website.
Asleep at the Wheel Concert Canceled at Eisemann Center
Asleep at the Wheel’s 50th Anniversary Tour concert, scheduled to be performed at the Eisemann Center later this month, has been canceled due to ongoing concerns related to the spread of COVID-19. All ticketholders are being notified by e-mail and phone of the cancellation and given all options available to them, including a full refund of their ticket price and service fees. Or, they may choose to donate the value of their tickets to the Eisemann Educates program in support of new and creative virtual outreach initiatives.
Ticket Office hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more information, patrons may call the Ticket Office at 972-744-4650 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org. The Eisemann Center staff sincerely regret any inconvenience to their valued patrons and wish to express gratitude for their business.
2020 “Texas Superstar” Plant Guide Now Available
The “Texas Superstar” plant guide, a free, go-to guide for gardeners, landscapers and retailers featuring the best plants for Texas, has been updated and is now available online here as well as in printed form. The 40-page brochure, created by experts from Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Tech University and the Texas Department of Agriculture, features almost 80 plants that have been chosen for their beauty and ability to perform well for consumers and growers throughout the state. “Superstars” are also easy to propagate, which ensures the plants are not only widely available but also reasonably priced.
The brochure, which is typically updated every 2-4 years, provides information about each plant and recommendations on how to create the best environment for the plants to perform.
Eco-friendly Picnic Tips
If you’re getting outside on the Fourth of July for a picnic, here are some tips to keep it eco-friendly:
- Several of Richardson’s parks contain blue recycling bins. Visit www.cor.net/recycle for the latest list of what can be recycled (it can change due to fluctuations in the international recycling market). Better yet, bring along reusable containers and picnic ware and refillable water bottles.
- Grilling? Try a portable, reusable charcoal chimney to heat the coals, available for around $15 at most hardware stores. It’s placed on the grill bed and avoids the use of petroleum-based lighter fluid, which releases toxins into the air.
- Don’t feed leftovers to ducks and geese. The feeding of “people food” to waterfowl causes nutritional deficits and birth defects and can result in too many waterfowl living in one area. Instead, bring a camera or journal and teach children how to engage with wildlife in a safe and healthy way. Visit www.cor.net/waterfowl for more information.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Come and meet Bailey! Our little sweetheart is about 8 months old and she is a ball of energy. She is a whippet mix, fully vaccinated, spayed and microchipped. She is looking for a forever home with someone who is possibly a runner or an active adult. Due to her high energy personality, and since she is a little shy and still learning, children and/or individuals in a walker or wheelchair can be intimidating to her and would be best avoided at this time. Remember that she is still young and will need at-home training and would love to learn how to work with your personality and schedule. If you are interested, please call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to come and see her.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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