June 19, 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
Pre-applications Available for Business Assistance
Pre-applications for assistance from the Dallas County Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP) began being accepted this week and will continue through June 28. EBAP is funded by federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses located in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have been unable to obtain financial assistance to meet all of their business needs. Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $15,000.
After the pre-application period closes, the nonprofit National Development Council (NDC) will use a randomized selection process to choose the eligible businesses that will be invited to submit a full application, as requests are expected to exceed available funding. (The NDC is a third-party administrator chosen by Dallas County.)
Contact: 214-845-7673 (leave a message)
Council Receives Reports in Preparation of Budget Planning
The City’s Engineering/Capital Projects and Parks and Recreation departments appeared before the City Council Monday night to report on current and future maintenance and planning strategies.
Council was informed that proposed funding for street, alley and sewer maintenance for the next fiscal year will remain about the same as this year and that water maintenance will need a slight increase for FY 2020-21 primarily due to hydrant repair/replacement that helps the City maintain its ISO-1 rating for the Fire Department.
The Council was also informed that trail construction underway at Breckinridge Park and along Duck Creek in central Richardson, are also nearing completion. Combined, both projects will add nearly three miles to the City’s network and provide key connecting points in a Six Cities Trail Plan begun in 2001, which will eventually connect Richardson, Garland, Plano, Allen, McKinney and Frisco.
Monday’s presentation by the departments was done in preparation for the Council’s Budget Workshop meeting scheduled to take place in July. Other city departments will continue to appear before council between now and next month to provide overviews of their project needs.
Juneteenth Celebrated This Week
The University of Texas at Dallas Multicultural Center held Juneteenth events all this week, using virtual events this year due to continuing concerns with the spread of COVID-19. Juneteenth commemorates Union troops arriving in Galveston June 19, 1865 and declaring that all previously enslaved people were free. The day is celebrated nationally as the day that slavery ended in the United States.
“The University of Texas at Dallas is a great community partner, and the work they do at their Multicultural Center showcases the wide range of cultural backgrounds of the people who call Richardson home,” said Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker. “This year, as Juneteenth is celebrated in Texas and around the country, I think we should all take time to reflect on not only what the date symbolizes, but also on recent events and what we can do to help end racism.”
UT Dallas’ Multicultural Center has also served as a forum for continued discussions on racial violence in America. The discussions have been facilitated by student leaders, faculty and staff. For more information on the Multicultural Center and its future events, visit www.utdallas.edu/multicultural/.
“Family 4th at Home” Celebration Announced
City staff have announced plans for a citywide virtual Independence Day celebration called “Family 4th at Home” that will involve several family-friendly activities June 30-July 4. The City’s annual Family 4th Celebration was canceled May 18, due to event logistics needs and public safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19. At that time, alternate plans for a modified event were considered, but reduced lines of sight for viewing fireworks away from Breckinridge Park and traffic issues with no shuttle bus service option this year, contributed to this difficult decision.
The celebration will include a variety of virtual events and demonstrations, as well as take-home items available for purchase including a DIY Fireworks T-shirt kit and “Celebration Bucket” filled with patriotic items. The T-shirt kit and bucket are $8 each and will be available for purchase starting June 22 on the event website.
Follow the Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page for more information.
Richardson Receives Recognition for Degree Holders
Richardson has been nationally recognized by online financial marketplace LendEDU for having one of the highest proportions of residents that hold a bachelor’s degree, ranking No. 232 in the entire country and No. 10 in Texas.
The company analyzed data for over 25,000 American cities, each ranked according to its percentage of college graduates with bachelor’s degrees relative to its current population. Richardson has 25,598 residents with bachelor’s degrees out of a population of 111,940, or 22.87 percent.
SB US 75 U-Turn Lane Closes at Campbell Road
The U-turn lane of southbound US 75 Frontage Road at Campbell Road may be closed to traffic at all times as part of Phase 1 of the Campbell Auxiliary Lane Project. The closure is expected to last through mid-July.
UT Dallas Hosts Online Coding Camps
UT Dallas has moved its annual coding camps online for Summer 2020. Open to children and teens ages 8 (rising 3rd graders)-17, the camps feature more than 100 sessions offered weekly through Aug. 7. Private online coding tutoring is also available, open to a wider range of ages.
Morning sessions are held from 9 a.m.-noon and afternoon sessions are from 1-4 p.m. Registration fee is $250 for one week of all-day camp and $150 for a week of half-day sessions. (A 50 percent discount is offered to those who qualify for reduced rate/free school meals.) Expected camp size is 3-5 campers in each Level 1 camp and 6-10 campers in a typical Level 2-4 camp, to ensure that each camper gets the necessary attention from the instructor.
All campers will need a Windows laptop or MacBook. (ChromeBook will also be acceptable for most camps.)
Food Drive for Network at Richardson Restaurant Park June 20
A food drive benefiting local nonprofit Network of Community Ministries will be held Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Richardson Restaurant Park, 744 S. Central Expressway. Food items should be brought to Dog Haus Biergarten; requested items include:
- canned proteins
- canned vegetables
- canned soups
- dry pasta and rice
Donors will receive a free burger slider for each grocery sack of food they donate. Items donated will benefit Network’s Food Pantry and Emergency Services program, which have seen dramatically increased usage during the coronavirus pandemic.
Network CEO Cindy Shafer recently held “virtual Town Halls” to update the community on the state of Network; Communications staff got their own update from her this week, with highlights of their conversation featured in a new video.
Library Offers Online DIY Videos for Father’s Day Gifts and Cards
Got a music-loving dad? Recycle old music cassette tapes into two cool Father’s Day gifts by following easy instructions found in a new video at the Library’s Facebook page. First, the cassette tapes are used (with paint) to stamp their image onto a plain T-shirt; then the painted cassettes are fashioned into a pencil cup! Supplies needed are a T-shirt, some cardboard, acrylic paints, a brush, water, a hot glue gun and some cassette tapes. If you want to get even more creative, scroll down further on the Facebook page to learn how to create watercolor art in the style of illustrator Brian Pinkney, perfect for the front of a nice Father’s Day card.
All “Arts & Crafts@RPL” videos remain posted 24/7 and there is no cost to watch.
“MotherBoard” Art Exhibit Continues at Eisemann Center
“MotherBoard,” a multimedia sculpture installation created by the ATEC LightSquad from UT Dallas, is on display at the Eisemann Center’s Forrest & Virginia Green Mezzanine Gallery through Aug. 2. The large display highlights the past, present and future of Richardson as a tech hub.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Repertory Company Theatre Reopens with “Shake, Rattle ‘n Roll” June 26-27
Repertory Company Theatre (RCT), 770 N. Coit Rd., is reopening with two performances of “Shake Rattle ‘n Roll Cabaret,” a lighthearted, nostalgia-filled musical revue that pays homage to the heyday of rock and roll. Performance dates and times are June 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth.
“Mojave” Continues at The Core Theatre
The Core Theatre (518 W. Arapaho Rd. Ste. 115) is presenting “Mojave” through June 28, featuring performers from Theatre Rocks of Ennis. Inspired by a true story from American history, the play focuses on a young woman, kidnapped by Indians as a girl, who confronts her own fears and others’ hostility as she prepares to rejoin society.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be no show June 26. Tickets are $10 for students, $25 for adults and $15 for seniors.
“Pots in Small Spots:” Free Online Container Gardening Class June 23
Texas A&M AgriLife Dallas’ Water University division is presenting “Pots in Small Spots,” live on Facebook Tuesday, June 23 from 5-6 p.m. Staff horticulturalists and water resource professionals will be online with instruction in container gardening and answering questions typed in the comments section. If you have a small yard or patio that needs a pop of ornamental color, are frustrated with poor soils on your property or don’t have the space to grow fruits and veggies, this class is for you.
Cost to participate is free; no registration required. Past virtual classes may be viewed 24/7 on Facebook or at the Water University website.
Reminder: Picking Up Pet Waste Helps Waterways
With more people outside walking pets as they stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic, the City would like to remind pet owners that a Richardson ordinance prohibits leaving pet waste on public or private property (not owned by the pet owner). Leaving pet waste on lawns creates an environmental hazard—as rainwater flows through lawns and over paved streets, it eventually collects the waste, carrying it into storm drains and then into streams, creeks and rivers.
Not only does decaying pet waste feed weeds and algae in lakes and streams, it creates ammonia, which can kill fish and other wildlife, and creates harmful bacteria that pose a health hazard for people who enjoy swimming and other water sports in natural waterways.
Be sure to carry disposable bags on walks to dispose of pet waste in the trash. For more acceptable ways to dispose of pet waste, click here.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Toby is an exceptionally gorgeous brown tabby cat with a big heart. This love bug is 10 years old and fully vaccinated. He was surrendered to us in late May because he is not used to being around a baby. We believe he would do amazing in an adult household. He is an affectionate boy who loves to receive head pets. Toby is looking for someone to spend time on the couch or bed with while watching a show. If this sounds like the perfect match, please call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to come and see him.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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