July 31, 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 pre-application period begins Aug. 1 for Richardson’s new economic assistance program for small businesses in the Collin County portion of Richardson. The City has allocated $1 million of its Collin County funds from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act to create the program, which 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 and under $10 million in revenue can receive up to $50,000 in the form of a forgivable loan.
Businesses can fill out the pre-application online Aug. 1-16; a randomized borrower selection process will take place after the pre-application period closes to identify eligible businesses that will be invited to submit a full loan application. The National Development Council (a third-party administrator) will oversee the screening and selection process.
Website (Aug. 1): www.ndconline.org/ntxsmallbiz
Loan Deadline Approaching for Small Businesses Affected by October Tornado
Small businesses affected by the straight-line winds, hail and tornado that hit Dallas County last October have until Aug. 14 to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. Loans of up to $2 million are available to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Interest rates are 3.875 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
City Council Budget Workshop Available for Viewing
On-demand video of the City Council’s budget workshop held this week is available to view online. It can be seen on City’s website (www.cor.net/CITV), and replay broadcasts will be shown on the City’s cable channel (Spectrum channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99) at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 9.
The budget workshop is held annually and is a time for the City Council to provide feedback on funding priorities to the city manager in preparation for the proposed budget that will be presented to the Council on Aug. 10.
RISD, PISD Announce Back-to-School Plans
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and based on directives and guidance from the CDC, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency and their respective counties, Richardson and Plano school districts recently announced dates, guidelines and safety procedures being implemented for the upcoming school year.
Both districts will begin the new school term with virtual learning for all students, and open campuses for face-to-face instruction after Labor Day. Current plans call for PISD to begin virtual classes Aug. 12 and on-site classes Sept. 9. RISD plans to start virtual learning Aug. 19, with on-site classes beginning Sept. 8.
Extensive lists of planned in-classroom safety procedures and campus cleaning protocols are available online at each district’s website as well as information about lunches, school supply distribution, immunizations and extracurricular activities. Information is also available in the August issue of Richardson Today, arriving in mailboxes beginning Aug. 8.
Taller Than Dallas’ Tallest Building and Other Comparisons Highlighted in Paperless Billing Campaign
The City of Richardson mails out 250,000 printed utility bills each year—which is a lot of envelopes and paper (not to mention labor and fuel) for a process that is also available entirely online. In fact, if stacked the bills would be 16 feet taller than the Bank of America Plaza building—Dallas’ tallest skyscraper. If placed end to end, the bills would encircle the entire City of Richardson and extend an additional six miles, or if laid end-to-end they would reach Fort Worth.
For the past month, a marketing campaign has been underway to urge people to get rid of the paper waste by signing up for paperless billing. Currently, more than 40 percent of Richardson residents still choose to receive a paper bill. An easy-to-fill-out, paperless billing enrollment slip was included in the July water bill, and so far, more than 500 customers have “made the switch” by filling out the form or enrolling online. The campaign also includes four videos that were posted on social media. (See links below.)
Collin County Releases New COVID-19 Online Dashboard
This week, Collin County released a new online dashboard to make it easy to track COVID-19 related infections. It includes all the same information normally released—age, gender, number of infections and recoveries, as well as location and mortality rate information. Links to both the new Collin and Dallas county COVID-19 statistical information pages can be found at the links below.
School Zone Crossing Signal Testing Aug. 3-4
The City plans to test its school zone signal lights Aug. 3-4 in preparation for the new school year. While school will not be held in person for the first few weeks, the testing is going forward in order to allow Traffic Operations staff to identify if repairs are needed to the system.
Non-response Follow-up for the 2020 Census Begins Aug. 1
Have you responded to the 2020 Census? There’s still time to complete your form before the Census Bureau begins in-person follow-up with non-responding residents in early August.
- Everyone Counts. The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once and in the right place. From newborns to grandparents, be sure to include everyone when filling out your form for your household.
- It’s in the Constitution. The U.S Constitution requires a census every 10 years.
- It’s about $675 billion. Census data determine how more than $675 billion are spent, supporting your state, country and community’s vital programs.
- It’s about redistricting. After each census, state officials use the results to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts, adapting to population shifts.
- Your privacy is protected. It’s against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics.
- Taking part is your civic duty. Completing the census is required: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”
A complete and accurate count is critical for Richardson. The results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, emergency services strategies, and more. Visit cor.net/census to find out more and 2020census.gov to fill out your form.
Current response rates as of July 31:
• Richardson – 65.2%
• Texas – 57.8%
• US – 62.8%
Sales Tax Holiday Begins Aug. 7
The annual back-to-school Tax-Free Weekend begins Friday, Aug. 7 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 9. In Texas, the 2020 event exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (priced under $100) from sales and use taxes. To promote social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Tax-Free Weekend, you can buy qualifying items online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax-free.
Some exclusions apply; go to www.TexasTaxHoliday.org for more information and a complete list of qualifying items.
Sherrill Park’s Ronny Glanton Named PGA Professional of the Year
Ronny Glanton, head professional at the City’s Sherrill Park Golf Course, was recognized nationally this week by the PGA of America as the 2020 PGA Golf Professional of the Year. This award is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf.
Glanton has spent the past 35 years as head professional at Sherrill Park, consistently ranked among the top municipal golf facilities in Texas. He manages golf operations including rounds, food and beverage, teaching, property renovations and course maintenance. The current honorary president of the Northern Texas PGA (NTPGA) Section, Glanton served as Section president from 2018-19 and 2006-07. He became the first three-time recipient of the NTPGA’s Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2019.
For more about Glanton and the award, click here.
Renner Road Lane Closure Expected East of CityLine
The right lane of eastbound Renner Road between Foxboro Drive and Jupiter Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to a sidewalk repair project. The work is expected to be completed by late September.
Parks and Recreation Presents “Summer Games” Family Challenge
Beginning Aug. 3 and continuing every Monday throughout August, the Parks and Recreation Department will post family video challenges on its Facebook page. One winner will be chosen each week, with prizes provided by local cake franchise Nothing Bundt Cakes. Winners will receive 12 “Bundtinis®” delivered to their home and all participants will be eligible for a buy-one-get-one “Bundtlet” offer when they visit the shop.
Each week’s challenge videos must be posted by Thursday either on Facebook or Instagram to be eligible. Visit the Parks and Recreation Facebook page for more information.
Virtual Ballet Camp Offered Next Week
Young dancers are invited to attend the Parks and Recreation Department’s Virtual Ballet Camp. The camp will take place Aug. 3-7, with participants attending live Zoom sessions from 10-11 a.m. daily. Dancers will learn basic ballet skills in this camp designed for children between the ages of 4-7. Ballet themed crafts will also be part of the virtual camp experience. Cost is $25. Registration is available online or by calling 972-744-7850.
Website: www.cor.net/parksonline (class code #21946)
Book, Video Show How to Make Cat Toys
Library staff have created and posted a how-to video on the Library’s Facebook page featuring a simple, pet friendly craft project from the book, “Cat Castles,” by Carin Oliver. The video shows how to make a cat toy using just a cardboard toilet paper roll, scissors and twine. Make one for your own pet or make a bunch and drop them off at the Richardson Animal Shelter, where cat toys are always welcome (place in a bag marked “Cat Toys” and drop just outside the front door of the Shelter).
Oliver’s book, which includes instructions for more toys, plus cat habitats and other “cat-tastic” projects, is available for checkout at the Library.
At the Eisemann Center: Miss Dallas/Miss Dallas Teen Pageants Aug. 2
The Eisemann Center hosts its first event in several months with the Miss Dallas/Miss Dallas Teen Pageants Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $38. Part of the Miss Texas USA/Miss Texas Teen USA scholarship program, the event will include 23 contestants vying for the title of Miss Dallas and 14 vying for the title of Miss Dallas Teen.
Increased safety features are in place at the Eisemann Center including adjusted seating in performance venues and CDC-specified measures to clean and sanitize the building. Signs placed throughout the facility encourage patrons to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance of the event. All tickets will be scanned through a plexiglass shield, and color coding on tickets and near doorways will direct people to their assigned door and section to limit interaction. In addition, there will be no intermission, valet parking, concessions or merchandise sales.
New Podcast Episode Posted by RSO
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra’s new podcast, “Portraits in Music,” released its second episode this week. Hosted by Ross Silvertsen and RSO Maestro Clay Couturiaux, “Episode 102” features conversations with Linda Proch, first violinist and assistant concertmaster for the RSO; long-time RSO supporters Ann and Chuck Eisemann; and former Richardson Mayor and former RSO Board Chair Ray Noah.
To listen, click here.
RTC Presents Third Installment of “Theatre of the Imagination”
“The Adventures of Sam Spade—The Lipstick Lover Case” is the title of the latest episode in Richardson Theatre Centre’s online “Theatre of the Imagination” audio series. The series features local talent performing music, songs and short vignettes ranging from classic radio mysteries 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.
Nature Area Phase II Trails Project Begins Aug. 3
Construction is scheduled to begin Aug. 3 on Phase II of the trail development for the City’s Spring Creek Nature Area (SCNA), which involves the creation of two separate sections of 10-foot-wide concrete hike and bike trails. The new trails will run on the east and west sides of the nature area.
The east side segment will be approximately 800 feet long and the west side segment will be approximately 1,300 feet long. Both will provide connections from the recently completed trailhead portals down into the existing concrete hike and bike trail that transects the Nature Area near its geographic center. The west segment will include a raised concrete “boardwalk” that keeps the trail up and away from delicate vegetation in an area identified as wetland.
Also included in the scope of work will be the replacement of damaged sections of the existing concrete main trail in various locations within the SCNA. Work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Say hello and fall in love with our current LONGEST resident at the Richardson Animal Shelter. Peanut is a 10 years young boxer mix who is looking for someone to play tug of war with and give kisses. This sweetheart is great with kids and adults, loves to play and eat treats. Peanut would do BEST and thrive in a single pet household as she is not good with other animals. She is spayed, fully vaccinated and microchipped. She is the whole package from knowing basic commands to being healthy to becoming your new best friend. What more can you ask for? Help us show her that she is loved and deserves a loving home by scheduling an appointment to come and see her. Call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to make a difference for Peanut!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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