March 26, 2021
This 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:
BABIC Service Experiencing Delays as Requests Increase
Richardson Public Services is asking residents to be patient when it comes to Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC), as requests for BABIC have increased due to the cleanup that continues after last month’s winter storm, and the general spring cleaning taking place across the city. City staff report that requests this month are up almost 45 percent over the same time period last year. Keep in mind that your BABIC day is the same day as your recycling day, and if the BABIC truck doesn’t show up when you expect it, it should be there the next day.
When requesting BABIC, be sure to indicate if you have compostable material to be picked up, such as tree limbs, and separate compostable materials from household items. Remember to set out only items weighing 50 pounds or more—smaller items should be disposed of through regular trash collection.
To schedule a BABIC pickup, call 972-744-4111 or visit www.cor.net/babic.
Future of City Hall/Library Discussed for Possible Bond Projects
Renovations for City Hall and the Library were the topics of discussion at Monday’s City Council work session. Neither building has seen substantial improvements since their original openings more than 30 years ago, leaving the City Council balancing whether or not to include upgrades in a possible 2021 bond program.
Options to renovate or replace the Library were presented, with remodeling costs estimated to be $33.6 million and the expected cost for new construction to be around $51 million.
Upgrades for City Hall focused on reconstruction, with the expansion of staff offices into the attached Civic Center at an estimated cost of $22.4 million. Additional proposed phases for City Hall improvements were also discussed but were not expected to be a part of a possible 2021 bond program.
Feedback from Monday’s meeting will be incorporated into a project summary and bond proposition development scheduled to take place in April. The City Council is expected to make a decision in August on whether or not to call a November 2021 bond election.
Month of Volunteerism Kicks Off April 1
April is Richardson’s officially designated Month of Volunteerism. The moniker has been in place since 2012 to encourage and recognize volunteer efforts across the community.
Each year, volunteers spend tens of thousands of hours at events, projects and programs throughout Richardson. To help match residents with volunteer opportunities that best fit them, the City’s website offers a page that highlights some of the volunteer opportunities available in Richardson and provides links and contact information for getting involved. Check with the program in which you’re interested to find out what opportunities they are currently offering.
Texas Opens Vaccines to Ages 16+ March 29
Everyone age 16 and older, regardless of occupation or health status, will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas beginning Monday, March 29.
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will launch a website next week to allow people to register for a shot through some public health providers. For those without online registration access, DSHS will launch a toll-free number to provide assistance making an appointment with a participating provider or locating another provider that has vaccine available.
To date, Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, equating to more than 6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated. Most vaccines are authorized for people 18 years old and older; the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for use in people 16 and older.
Miss Belle’s House to Temporarily Move Near Current Location
Plans are underway to temporarily relocate the historic “Miss Belle’s House” about half a mile from its current location on the northeast corner of Plano Road and Lookout Drive to a site on Lookout Drive adjacent to the Fire Training and Emergency Operations Center.
The wooden, two-story house, also known as the Hill-Robberson House, has been at its current location for more than 40 years but the current property owner has requested that the house be moved in preparation for development of the surrounding land. Relocation plans have been approved by the Texas Historical Commission and the structure is expected to be transferred as early as next week depending on weather.
Built around 1887 at 206 Sherman St., Miss Belle’s House served as a private school (run by Virginia Bell “Miss Belle” Robberson) as well as a home to several families before it was donated to the City in 1979 and moved to its current site. It was designated a Texas historic landmark in 1982.
The Parks and Recreation Commission will consider permanent location recommendations over the next year, with THC approval needed before final approval is given by the City Council. Priority will be given to locations that are centrally located and have good visibility, among other criteria.
Wildflower! Sponsors Community Rock Garden at City Hall
Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival staff are inviting the public to “rock out” and help create the City’s first WF! Rocks Community Rock Garden, which will be on display outside City Hall throughout May.
To participate, paint your favorite flower, greenery and/or bug on a river rock (using non-toxic paint) and turn it in at a designated drop-off location (see below) during regular business hours on or before April 23. “Blank” rocks are available at the drop-off locations if you need one to paint. (Please do not pick up a rock from one of our streams or parks as it may be home to one of the many creatures that live in our area.) Rocks may be up to 5 in. x 5 in. in size.
Drop-off Locations (note that City Hall is not on this list):
- Heights Recreation Center
711 W. Arapaho Rd.
- Huffhines Recreation Center
200 N. Plano Rd.
- Richardson Gymnastics Center
300 E. Arapaho Rd.
- Community Events
2100 E. Campbell Rd. Suite 100
Voter Registration Deadline for May Election is April 1
Time is running out to register to vote in the May 1 election. Voter registration applications must be postmarked by April 1 or brought in person to the county registrar’s office by end of business on that day in order to participate. The postage-paid application is available online (for printing out) at www.votetexas.gov as well as at the Richardson Library.
New registered voters will receive their voter cards by mail. Early voting is April 19-27.
Main Street Infrastructure Improvements Near Completion
The infrastructure portion of the Main Street Redevelopment/Reinvestment Project is now more than 90 percent complete, and City staff estimate that most remaining construction will be substantially complete by the end of April. Additionally, more than 80 percent of the trees and vegetation planned for the area have been planted.
Begun in the fall of 2019, the infrastructure improvements have included:
- the burying of the Texas Channel from Phillips Street to Main Street
- widening the sidewalks and enhancing the walkable area along Main Street
- adding public parking at the northwest corner of Main Street and Greenville Avenue
- improving crosswalks and pedestrian connectivity in the Main Street area
- adding new “open space” areas and artistic features
Watch for the next major traffic change in the area in early April.
Intersection Improvements Scheduled for Shiloh/Breckinridge
In three phases, lanes at all four corners of the intersection of Breckinridge Boulevard and Shiloh Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for intersection improvements. Scheduled improvements include the installation of a new traffic signal, ADA ramps and new sidewalks. The work is expected to be complete in late June.
2021 Swimming and Camps Guide Now Online
The 2021 Swimming and Camps Recreation Guide is now available to view online, listing a variety of day camps to be held this summer for ages 5-15 and swimming classes for ages 6 months and up. Also included is information about COVID-19 safety precautions, Heights Aquatic Center, Richardson’s neighborhood pools and private pool party reservations.
Registration for camps and classes begins Monday, April 5. Pool party reservations will be accepted beginning May 3.
Free Concerts on the CityLine Plaza Return April 2
Live music returns to the outdoor plaza at CityLine this spring, each Friday and Saturday night in April and May from 6-9 p.m. Tables and chairs are provided on the one-acre plaza, located at 1150 State St., and several restaurant patios line the perimeter. Picnic blankets and personal chairs may be brought to the plaza as well.
There is no charge to attend. For a complete schedule of performers, visit the CityLine website. Note: Extra cleaning measures are in place and hand sanitizer is located around the plaza. Guests are asked to practice social distancing. In the event of inclement weather, the live music will be canceled.
“Among Us” Game Event March 27
The Library is hosting “Who Among Us is SUS?” March 27 at 3 p.m. for ages 13-18, a chance to play the unique, action mystery game called “Among Us” over Webex with others and discuss which players are “SUS,” or “suspected of being the imposter.”
Registration is required; call 972-744-4358 to register (or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk) and receive an e-mail link to join the fun.
Register Now for April 10 “Camp Write-In”
Kids and teens ages 10-17 are invited to a virtual “writer’s workshop” Saturday, April 10 with Camp Write-In, a fun and informative way to work on a writing project of your choice: short story, poetry or novel. Library staff will help participants share stories, get word prompts and play writing games beginning at 1 p.m. on Webex.
Registration is required; call 972-744-4358 to register or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk.
After registration, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to join the meeting.
- Photography Exhibit: “Crafting Cultural Hybridity” through April 24
At the SP/N Gallery (3020 Stewart Dr.); viewing available in-person by appointment and online. Admission is free. (For appointments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Sponsored by the Marilyn and Jerry Comer Collection of Photography, the exhibit features the works of renowned fine art portrait photographer Gay Block alongside a selection of photographs from the Comer Collection.A virtual walk-through and curator’s talk will be available online beginning tonight (March 26) at 7 p.m. and throughout the duration of the show; Block will give a virtual lecture Tuesday, March 30, at 7 p.m. on Zoom.
- Virtual Poetry Reading and Conversation March 31
3 p.m. via Zoom. There is no cost.
UT Dallas’ Center for Translation Studies is hosting translator and poet André Naffis-Sahely for a reading of “The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exile Literature,” which includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction that journeys through six continents, with over a hundred contributors drawn from 24 languages. For the Zoom link and more information, click here.
Richardson Civic Art Society Spring Show Online through April 10
Sixty-five original works by members of the Richardson Civic Art Society (RCAS) are currently on display online for the group’s annual juried Spring Show. The exhibit is usually displayed in the Library’s Third Floor Gallery but has been moved online due to pandemic safety concerns. It runs through April 10 and features five categories including Oils & Acrylics, Pastels & Graphics, Collage & Mixed Media, Water Media, and Photography & Digital Art.
RCAS is funded in part by the Cultural Arts Commission.
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” Closes Sunday at The Core Theatre
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is being presented through March 28 at The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Rd. Ste. 115. The play is an adaptation written by Core Theatre Artistic Director James Hansen Prince, including all of Mark Twain’s beloved characters from the classic book.
Remaining show days and times are tonight (Friday, March 26) at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10-$25 and may be purchased online.
Watering Returns to Evenings and Mornings Only Beginning April 1
The City of Richardson will implement its summer water conservation plan beginning Thursday, April 1. The plan prohibits watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Oct. 31. Watering is allowed on designated watering days (Tuesdays and Saturdays for even-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Sundays for odd-numbered addresses).
Wildlife Sightings Normal for North Texas
April-May is birthing season for many forms of wildlife, increasing the likelihood of sightings in local neighborhoods, especially those adjacent to creeks and undeveloped areas.
If a wild animal is entering a yard or neighborhood, it is for one of three reasons: food, water or shelter. Removing these attractants is vital to encouraging them to move on. Pet food left out, fallen fruit, overfilled bird feeders and overgrown landscaping that provides hiding areas for mice, rats and rabbits attracts predators.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Come and meet our Rocky! He is a neutered male, German shepherd and Lab mix we believe to be around 11 months of age. He came into the Shelter as an owner surrender back in January. Rocky is fully vaccinated and microchipped. He is very smart with an energetic personality. He knows commands like sit and plays dead and loves balls and toys! Based on his personality, he would do best in an active household with a family who will take him out for long walks or even a run. Check out more info about Rocky at our website www.cor.net/adoptme and schedule an appointment to visit him!
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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