May 21, 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:
Main Street Infrastructure Project to Wrap Up this Summer
The Main Street Infrastructure Project is nearing completion, with both lanes of traffic on Main Street expected to be open next week. Visitors to the area can now experience wider sidewalks and numerous trees lining Main Street; new lighting, benches and bike racks; traffic improvements; and “open space” plaza areas, all intended to make the area more pedestrian-friendly and be a catalyst for future development.
Remaining tasks include the installation of the public safety campus’ third public art piece, a 28-foot-tall metal sculpture entitled “Rising Star” (expected by May 28), and the creation of temporary public parking near the intersection of Kaufman and Texas streets (expected in July).
The City’s commitment to improving the downtown area with the $21 million redesign has already helped secure the $80 million Belt+Main mixed-use project, which recently began construction near the corner of Belt Line Road and Interurban Street. There are also plans for around 100 townhomes to be built just north of the development in a future phase.
Mosquito Trapping/Testing in Full Swing; Sign Up for Notifications
City Health Department staff gave the City Council an update Monday regarding the City’s Mosquito Control program. The Department continues to follow an integrated, multifaceted approach to controlling mosquito-borne disease, including:
- Source Reduction (eliminating mosquito breeding areas such as treating or draining stagnant residential swimming pools)
- Surveillance (setting out mosquito traps in 12 primary locations across the city and conducting sampling/testing for six months, beginning in April each year)
- Larviciding (reducing mosquito larvae populations by introducing “dunks,” predatory fish and other larvicide to natural and man-made areas of water)
- Adulticiding (reducing adult mosquito populations through low-volume ground-level spraying around positive trap locations)
- Public Education (outreach including direct mail, utility bill inserts and neighborhood signs)
In 2020, the Health Department set out 324 traps, tested 5,204 mosquitoes and found 13 positive West Nile test results among the mosquito samples. Only one human case of West Nile virus was reported in Richardson last year.
For an updated, interactive map of Richardson neighborhoods with information on mosquito test results and any action being taken in each area, click here. For e-mail notifications of spraying events, sign up at www.cor.net/mosquito.
City Budget on Target; Second Quarter Financial Report Given
The City’s second quarter financial report was presented to the City Council Monday by City Budget Office staff. Revenues and expenditures across most of the City’s five major operating funds (General, Water and Sewer, Solid Waste Services, Golf and Hotel/Motel Tax) are performing within budget parameters for fiscal year 2020-21. Revenues are above second quarter projections for the General Fund, but the City took a conservative approach to all revenue projections as part of the 2020-21 budget development process in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presentation also included additional insight on the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund, which is funded by revenue from hotel/motel occupancy taxes and Eisemann Center events. Current trends point to a modest boost in hotel/motel tax revenue from leisure travel in the area during the summer months, with a multi-year recovery for business travel expected through 2023. Eisemann Center rental events have increased from three total usage days from April-September 2020 to 67 total usage days from October 2020-March 2021. A multi-year recovery strategy is still anticipated for the Fund.
Click here for more details and to view Monday’s presentation.
Increased Pay New Tool To Attract Lifeguards Urgently Needed To Staff Positions
A shortage of available lifeguards has Parks and Recreation staff increasing pay and putting out urgent calls for anyone looking for a summer job that offers flexible hours and job training. The changes are hoped to help attract enough people needed to fill lifeguard positions to keep public pools operating during their normal summer schedule.
In order to attract applicants, the City is offering flexible work hours and has bumped the starting pay for lifeguards from $9.50 to $11.50 per hour. Lifeguards must be at least 15 years old and have a current lifeguard certification. For applicants who are not certified, the City is offering a certification course (see below). If you can’t make that course, additional offerings can be found through the American Red Cross website, www.redcross.org/lifeguard.
The City offers outdoor swimming at four neighborhood pools and the Heights Family Aquatic Center. The Heights Family Aquatic Center opens for the season May 29; neighborhood pools open June 5.
For more information and to fill out an application online, visit www.cor.net/jobs (click on “Seasonal”).
Lifeguard Certification Course Scheduled for May 31-June 2
For lifeguard applicants who are not already certified, the City is holding a lifeguard certification class May 31-June 2. Classroom training will take place May 31 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Huffhines Recreation Center, with in-water training taking place 8 a.m.-3 p.m. June 1-2 at Cottonwood Pool. You must attend all three days in order to complete the training. Interviews will be offered upon completion of the training.
The cost is $225 and pre-registration is required. To register, click here.
City and Chamber Host Public Richadson IQ® Update May 25
The City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce are hosting a district update for Richardson IQ® property owners, business owners and other parties who may have interest in The IQ® Tuesday, May 25 at The Drawing Board, 1900 Jay Ell Dr. The meeting will be held in-person, but a livestream of the presentation will be available (note Zoom link below).
UT Dallas representatives will be present to discuss the new research centers in The IQ®, and City staff will provide updates on various projects and reports from the past year.
Coffee/networking begins at 8:30 a.m.; the update is scheduled for 9-10 a.m. There is no cost to attend; sign up here.
Meeting ID: 976 5965 3337
Early Voting Begins May 24 for Runoff Election
Early voting for the June 5 School Board and City Council runoff elections is May 24-June 1, with polls closed Sunday, May 30 in Collin County and in both counties May 31, Memorial Day. Eligible voters may vote at any Early Voting polling locations designated by their county, including Richardson Civic Center/City Hall.
Below are the dates and times for early voting:
|May 24-27||8 a.m.-5 p.m.|
|May 28||7 a.m.-7 p.m.|
|May 29||8 a.m.-5 p.m.|
|May 30||1-6 p.m. (Dallas County only)|
|May 31||(Memorial Day) Polls Closed|
|June 1||7 a.m.-7 p.m.|
Bush Central Barkway Closed May 26-June 25
Bush Central Barkway will be closed May 26-June 25 to allow new turf to become established. The park’s turf has become “bare” from heavy use coupled with the effects of last winter. The closure was originally scheduled to begin this week but the date was pushed back due to weather.
Stay up-to-date on the Barkway via the dog park recorded information line, 972-744-4301 (option 9).
Richardson Named a Top Ten “Safest City in Texas”
Richardson has placed No. 6 on a statewide list of Safest Cities in Texas recently released by independent review website Safety.com. The site’s staff ranked 35 cities based on crime rates and financial safety. Crime rate analysis included several public safety factors. In addition to data on each of the cities, the site also provided safety data for the state itself, examining how each state ranks for natural disaster risks and public health ratings compared to all other states.
For more information on the report, click here.
Lane Closures Expected on Westbound Belt Line Road
The right and center lanes of westbound Belt Line Road between Plano Road and Glenville Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to the installation of a fire hydrant. The work is expected to be complete by late May.
Median Work Closes Lanes On, Near Campbell Road
The left lanes of westbound and eastbound Campbell Road between Lakeside Boulevard and West Prairie Creek Drive, and also the left lane of the northbound US 75 frontage road 300 feet south of Campbell Road, may be closed to traffic at all times for median work, part of Phase 3 of the Campbell Road Auxiliary Lane Project. The work is expected to be complete by late July.
Friends of the Library Book Sale May 22-23
The Friends of the Richardson Public Library (FOL) Book Sale is returning to the Library May 22-23 in the Library’s Basement Program Room. Hours for the sale are Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m.
It will look a little different this year, but you will find the same bargain prices for books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl records. Items will be priced to sell, with hardbound books, CDs and DVDs listed for $2, and paperbacks and vinyl records costing $1. New this year, there will be “Grab and Go” bags of 25 paperback books, sorted by genre, for $20. And Sunday is once again “Fill the Bag Day,” when shoppers can purchase everything they can fit in a bag for $10.
In order to keep everyone safe and healthy, all volunteers will be wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Proceeds from the sale will help FOL provide goods and services to the Library, such as WiFi hot spots.
IQ® Brew: Copyright Basics May 27
Attorney-Advisor Brian Yeh from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be the featured speaker at the next IQ® Brew, Thursday, May 27 from 9-10 a.m. online. Yeh will lead a discussion about copyright basics and considerations for entrepreneurs, creative freelancers and other small businesses, that are often at a disadvantage when it comes to intellectual property theft.
There is no cost to attend; attendees are encouraged to grab a coffee from a favorite local coffee shop and join the informal conversation by signing up in advance here.
IQ® Brew is a networking and educational series hosted by City Development staff that features short presentations from entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovation ecosystem builders and subject-matter experts. For more dates and speakers in the series, click here.
Free Yoga in the IQ® May 27
The City’s Development Services Department is hosting, “Networking and Yoga at The IQ®,” Thursday, May 27 from 5-6:30 p.m. behind 1302 E. Collins Blvd., overlooking the creek. The free event will offer participants the opportunity to relax, learn and meet other like-minded professionals and community leaders in a calm, outdoor environment. It will include information about the Richardson Innovation Quarter as well as a 45-minute yoga session led by Chrissy Cortez-Mathis, an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.
No yoga experience is required-dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or beach towel.
There is no cost to attend. To register, click here.
Registration Now Open for Summer Explorers Club
Registration began this week for Explorers Club: A Virtual Club for Kids Entering Grades 3-5, which starts June 8 online via Webex. Explore, investigate, design, tinker and build along with other youth and Library staff, Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m.
Following are the themes/topics for each session:
|June 8||Global Design Squad Challenge|
|June 15||Create Cardboard Creatures|
|June 22||Explore Galaxy Zoo|
|June 29||Discover Differences in Perspective|
|July 13||Design, Make and Fly Your Own Kite|
|July 20||Amazing Animals|
There will be no class July 6. For more information and to register, call Youth Services at 972-744-4358. Funded by the Friends of the Richardson Public Library.
Animal Art Contest Continues
Children and teens ages 4-17 are invited to create an animal-themed design on poster board, based on a book, and enter it in the Library’s “Tails and Tales” art contest. Winning artwork will be displayed on the Animal Services trailer outside the Library June 19 and later displayed inside the Library.
Winners will be chosen in two age groups (Ages 4-9 and 10-17). Entries are being accepted at the Youth Services Help Desk in the Library; deadline is noon June 14. Original work only.
- Texas Ballet Theatre School May 22
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$25. A livestream option is available for $18.The matinee features Creative Ballet- Level 3 students in their annual Junior Spring Performance, and the evening show features students from the Level 4-Professional Training Division performing classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary and tap.
- Royale Ballet Dance Academy May 23
2:30 p.m. live streamed from the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $25.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office (credit card only), 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com. Click here for more information about the Eisemann Center’s COVID-19 safety procedures.
At UT Dallas:
- Last Weekend for Juried Student Art Exhibition
Online through May 22. Admission is free.
The public is invited to experience UT Dallas’ 9th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, featuring undergraduate student works from the recent 2020-21 school year, nominated by their professors. Over 50 works created in COVID lockdown times reveal a wide range of both mediums and personal expressions.
Explore the exhibition in 3D on Matterport here.
Water Users Advised to Set Sprinklers to “Manual”
With all the rain our area has experienced in the past week and more expected next week, water customers can save money and help prevent needless water waste/runoff (not to mention oversaturation of their landscapes) by setting water sprinkler systems to “manual.” Sometimes customers forget or don’t notice their sprinklers are on amidst heavy rain. On average, more than 50 percent of all landscape water is wasted due to overwatering, inefficient watering practices and broken or poorly maintained irrigation systems. Watering during periods of precipitation is prohibited by City ordinance and citations and fines can result.
Even when conditions are drier, a healthy yard needs less water than you may think. To help water customers know exactly how much and when to water, the City’s Water Department recommends the use of “Water My Yard,” an e-mail (and app) system developed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension that provides free weekly, personalized watering recommendations based on type of sprinkler system, geographic location and rainfall amounts. www.watermyyard.org.
Community Gardens Helped by City Program
Local churches and other nonprofit organizations that provide gardening opportunities for Richardson residents through community gardens can receive a water subsidy thanks to the City’s Community Gardens Partnership Program. Through the program, the City provides a 95 percent water subsidy to organizations who meet certain criteria, including donating 25 percent of the garden’s usable produce to local food banks or other charitable organizations, and designating at least 50 percent of their garden plots for Richardson residents.
In addition to providing nutritious food, community gardens provide a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections and opportunities for recreation, therapy and education.
Lifeguard ($11.50-$14.72 hourly)
This position is for summer 2021. Must be at least 15 years of age with current certification in Lifeguard Training (YMCA or American Red Cross, CPR and First Aid.)
Recreation Customer Service Representative ($8-$13.75 hourly)
This position will assist in supervising Recreation Center instructors, programs and activities. Work days and hours will vary.
Swim Instructor/Coach ($12-$35.70 hourly)
Must hold current certifications in CPR, and First Aid. Must present evidence of experience and background/references. Must be able to demonstrate required ability.
Volunteering and Community Service Resumes By Appointment
Volunteer and community service opportunities are back at the Animal Shelter, available for registered volunteers (those who have already completed an orientation class). Volunteers can come any day of the week as long as they contact the Shelter and set an appointment time. There will be a limit of three volunteers per hour; volunteers must wear a volunteer/community service name badge.
Activities to be done:
- Cleaning dog and cat kennels, exotic cages
- Feeding all animals
- Washing and putting away bowls and litter boxes
- Other random jobs such as helping with wildlife, etc.
If you would like to volunteer but haven’t completed an orientation, watch for future orientations by checking the Shelter’s website or social media.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Senior cats make some of the best cats! Socks is a 15-year-old spayed female domestic short hair that will meow at you if she wants attention so prepare to be wooed. She came in as an owner surrender in March after her owner passed away and the next of kin was allergic. Socks needs to live in a single cat home where she can stare out the window and receive head scratches. She is fully vaccinated and just waiting for a home to call her own. If you are interested, make an appointment with the shelter at https://richardsonanimalshelter.setmore.com/.
Schedule an appointment at this link to see her and adopt.
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,