July 24, 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
Richardson Offers Economic Relief for Collin County Small Businesses
The City plans to allocate $1 million of its Collin County funds from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act to create a financial assistance program for small businesses in the Collin County portion of Richardson. The proposed program will utilize the same requirements as the program that is eligible to Richardson businesses in Dallas County. Individual businesses with no more than 100 employees can receive up to $50,000 in the form of a forgivable loan.
The prequalification period is planned to begin Aug. 1. A business will fill out a questionnaire online; if it meets the initial qualifications it will be placed in a lottery to determine final eligibility. The National Development Council (a third-party administrator) will oversee the screening and selection process.
Website (Aug. 1): www.ndconline.org/ntxsmallbiz
Dallas County Re-opens Emergency Housing Assistance Program
Dallas County Health and Human Services has announced the re-opening of its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) for residents of Dallas County. The program provides short-term, rental, mortgage and utility assistance to Dallas County residents living outside the City of Dallas facing economic hardship in the wake of COVID-19. Assistance for EHAP is eligibility based and will be processed through a lottery system.
Pre-screening applications are being accepted online at www.dallascounty.org/ehap and will close Thursday, Aug. 20, at 4 p.m. Applications can also be accepted by phone at 214-819-1968. Pre-screening applications accepted by phone will be conducted Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Please note that the 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.
City Council Updated on Current, Future Bond Programs
City staff updated the City Council Monday on the progress of projects funded by the 2015 Bond Program and tentative plans for a 2021 Bond Program.
More than 80 projects have been completed as part of the six-year, $115 million 2015 Bond Program, including Public Safety Campus buildings, Fire Station 3, the Canyon Creek Pool building, five playgrounds, two trails and numerous street, alley, sidewalk and traffic signal projects. Future projects to be completed include the Breckinridge Trail, the Campbell Road improvement project and enhancements to the Library and City Hall. To finish up the 2015 program, $13.3 million in GO bonds will be issued in 2021 as well as almost $10.7 million in Certificates of Obligation to pay for supplementary needs that have arisen due to construction cost inflation and other factors.
Studies to determine needs for a future bond program have been ongoing since 2019.
Sewer Line Smoke Testing Continues
Testing to look for leaks in the City’s sewer system began this week in Richardson (see map), part of a multi-year testing schedule for the City’s 410 miles of sewer lines. The testing, conducted by the RJN Group, involves the use of smoke to identify where storm water may be entering underground sewer lines. The smoke is nontoxic, with minimal odor, but it could be very visible in areas where leaks are detected.
Testing is expected to last another week, weather permitting. Testing on specific streets within the study area should only take 20-30 minutes.
Budget Workshop July 27-28
The City’s annual two-day Budget Workshop will be held Monday and Tuesday, July 27-28, at the City Hall/Civic Center complex. During the workshop, staff will give presentations on needs, proposed projects and projected costs for 2020-21 and the City Council will offer feedback.
The workshop begins at 5:30 p.m. each day in the Richardson Room, and can also be seen live on the City website at www.cor.net/budget and on the City’s cable TV station (Spectrum channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99). On-demand video will be available at the City website and replay broadcasts on the cable channel will be aired at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 9.
Library Director Susan Allison to Retire
Richardson’s Director of Library Services, Susan Allison, announced this week she will retire from the City at the end of August, completing 44 years of service. Allison started with the Library in 1976 as a part-time library page while in high school and later worked as a summer clerk while in college. She joined the full-time staff in 1983 as a Children’s Library Assistant and was named Children’s Librarian in 1987. She was promoted to Youth Services Supervisor in 1995, named Assistant Director of Library Services in 2008 and has served as the Director of Library Services since July 2014.
Allison has played a key role in the development of several innovative programs at the Library and is also the co-author of two books.
Janet Vance, Assistant Director of Library Services, has been appointed Interim Director of Library Services effective Sept. 1, and will serve in the position through January 2021, when she has announced that she plans to retire.
To read the full press release, go here.
New Main Street Lane Closure
The right lane of eastbound Main Street between Greenville Avenue and Abrams Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for the installation of utility poles, part of the Main Street Infrastructure Project. The work is expected to be completed by early August.
Lane Closure Near Richardson Heights
The right lane of westbound Belt Line Road between Inge Drive and Lindale Lane may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for a gas line replacement. The work is expected to be completed by mid-September.
New Senior Virtual Programming Begins Aug. 1
Senior Center staff have been hard at work developing new virtual programming for seniors, and a host of activities that include:
- Coffee Chat on Zoom
Thursdays at 11 a.m.
- “Just Go With It” Improv Hour on Zoom
Tuesdays at 1 p.m.
- Free Take Home Activity Bag
Pick up an activity bag with games, puzzles, etc. curbside at Heights Rec Center the first Monday of the month from 10-11 a.m.
- Thinking Things on Zoom
Challenging brain exercises the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m.
- Facebook Bingo
Aug. 7 and 21 at 2 p.m.
- “Tell Me Something Good” (sharing the positives) on Zoom
Aug. 12 from 10-11 a.m.
- “Drop Everything and Read” Book Club on Zoom
Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. (book for August is “Karolina’s Twins” by Ronald Balson)
To register and/or for questions: 972-744-7800
Kinder and Elementary Camps end Next Week; Still time to Register for Aug. 3-7 Playground Camp
Enrollment is still open for the last week of City’s Kinder Camp, ages 5-6; and Elementary, Camp, ages 7-11 (you must have completed a prescreening form a minimum of 10 days prior to attending camp). There is still time to register and to submit the prescreening form for the Aug. 3-7 extended week of Playground Camp, ages 7-11. All camps run from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (with extended care available) and include arts and crafts, games and more (swimming at Kinder and Elementary camps only through July 31).
For more information, a printable copy of the prescreening form and to register, visit www.cor.net/corcamps.
Darbey’s StoryWalk® Features Shade, “Goats”
The Library’s resident billy goat (a fuzzy puppet) recently checked out Darbey’s StoryWalk® and posted video of his adventures on the Library’s Facebook page, reminding followers that it’s a great way to get outdoors, read a children’s book and experience some shade. The StoryWalk®, which begins at the Reading Garden on the north side of the Library, enables visitors to walk along a designated path while reading pages of a children’s book at 16 different stations. Each station displays two pages and by the end of the path, you’ve read an entire book. The books change each month; “Once Upon a Goat” by Dan Richards is the featured story for July.
New Make-and-Take Kits Offered each Monday
Free make-and-take kits continue to be offered for children in the Children’s Department, with new kits available each Monday. The “Just Add Imagination” kits provide items needed to make a fun craft, like a paper frog or cardboard bug. Stop by the Children’s Desk to take one home, while supplies last.
One Week Left to see “MotherBoard” at the Eisemann Center’s Green Gallery
Beat the heat and see amazing, colorful, “electrifying” art in the Eisemann Center’s Forrest and Virginia Green Mezzanine Gallery through Aug. 2. “MotherBoard,” a multimedia sculpture created by students and staff from UT Dallas’ Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication program, features 30-foot long steel panels, LED lighting, and projection elements that tell the story of Richardson’s past, present and future as a tech hub. It is made possible by the Eisemann Edge Endowment Fund.
Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m., Monday-Friday and admission is free.
Check out the City’s 8-acre Galatyn Woodland Preserve, located directly behind the Eisemann Center. It features a shaded, loop trail that includes stone sculptures and is part of the City’s Art Walk.
DART Seeking Community Feedback on Bus Network Redesign
DART is currently in the process of redesigning its bus network. Called DARTZoom, the redesign aims to improve bus frequency, efficiency and connections throughout DART’s 13-city service area, and ultimately boost ridership. Increased transit use can reduce auto congestion, and thus air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
To gather public feedback from both DART users and non-users, the organization is offering an online survey at www.dartzoom.org/survey. Everyone that completes the survey may choose to be entered into a drawing for a $100 DART GoPASS Tap Card. The survey is brief and takes 10 minutes or less to complete.
Water Conservation Tips Offered for Pool Owners
Pool owners are reminded that there are several tips on the City’s Environmental Partnership Initiative web page for conserving pool water, helping to lessen “water bill surprise.”
Here are a few of the tips:
- Cover the pool when not in use to control evaporation—up to 95 percent of water loss from evaporation can be saved through the use of a pool cover. For the typical pool, a cover can save an average of 16,000 gallons of water per year!
- Lower the pool’s water level as much as possible to reduce the amount of water that can be splashed out.
- Where feasible, use filter backwash for irrigating lawns or plants, or for a cooling tower.
- Utilize a pool vacuum that recycles water when cleaning the pool.
Website: www.cor.net/epi, click on “Richardson Informs.”
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Tori, a little shy cat who has been looking for someone to be her forever family since April 29. When she first arrived at the Shelter, she was a very scared cat who hid from everybody and now she is starting to gain a little confidence in her surroundings. She enjoys head rubs and will be affectionate once she can trust you. She is a year old, spayed, fully vaccinated and microchipped. Come adopt Tori and show her what having a family and a home of her own can be like. Call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to visit her as soon as possible.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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