May 22, 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
Gymnastics Center, Dog Park Open; Recreation Centers to Open May 26
As per the Governor’s recent Executive Orders, the Richardson Gymnastics Center opened at 25 percent occupancy Monday and Bush Central Barkway opened Tuesday. Additional safety and social distancing measures are in place at both facilities. Heights and Huffhines recreation centers will open May 26, also serving at 25 percent capacity for areas opened. Access will be limited to users that hold annual memberships, and single-visit passes are available for purchase by Richardson residents only (proof of residency can be shown by state-issued photo identification).
Other procedures that will be in place at the facilities include:
- Patrons are limited to 50 minutes.
- The gym will be used for walking, pickleball and badminton play as well as basketball, but limited to two persons single play per goal. Equipment available by check-out, including basketballs, will not be available.
- Sauna, showers, lockers and classrooms will be closed.
Family 4th Celebration, Corporate Challenge Canceled
The Parks and Recreation Department announced this week that after careful consideration, the decision has been made to cancel Richardson’s Family 4th Celebration and Corporate Challenge events, as both involve gatherings of large groups of people in whicAll Postsh social distancing would be difficult to regulate. The Family 4th event also involves large group transportation on buses to and from parking areas, which are not within walking distance. Many venues utilized by the Corporate Challenge are temporarily closed and when they do reopen, they may not be operating at full capacity.
Summer Swim Lessons/Teams, Teen Camps Canceled
Due to social distancing and its impact on program quality, the City’s teen camp and all summer learn-to-swim and private lessons and summer recreational swim teams have been canceled for the 2020 season.
A determination on whether or not public pools and the Heights Family Aquatic Center can open is still pending and will be determined on executive orders provided by Gov. Greg Abbott. If a decision is not made by June 1 to allow pools to operate at 50 percent capacity and to allow water parks to open, then all aquatics programs will need to be canceled for the 2020 season.
Information will be published on aquatic program availability as soon as it is available.
2019-2020 Budget Update Given
City staff provided City Council with a follow-up Monday to a budget update given last month that highlighted revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic. The projected overall loss of $18 million remains about the same. The City is on track to end FY 2019-2020 with a balanced budget in the General Fund by reducing operating expenses. The Hotel Fund continues to be a challenge with Hotel/Motel Fund losses increasing by around $2 million due to a shortfall in hotel/motel taxes and Eisemann Center sales. Projected impacts to all other City funds remain the same. City staff will continue to assess revenues and expenditures throughout the remainder of the fiscal year.
City of Richardson Memorial Day Holiday Schedule
Trash/Recycling/Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC)
There will be NO solid waste, recycling or Brush and Bulky Item Collection (BABIC) service provided Monday, May 25. There will be NO make-up days for trash collection. The table below shows the make-up days for recycling service.
Recycle Make-Up Days
|Monday, May 25||Tuesday, May 26|
|Tuesday, May 26||Wednesday, May 27|
For the Memorial Day holiday May 25, City facilities and services will operate according to the following holiday schedule.
Public Facility Schedule for the Memorial Day Holiday
| Animal Shelter, City Hall/Civic Center, Eisemann Center, Senior Center,
Gymnastics Center, Recreation Centers, Library and Municipal Court
|Closed May 25|
|Sherrill Park Golf Course||Open May 25|
|Tennis Center||Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 25|
No City Council Meeting Monday
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no City Council work session or meeting Monday, May 25. The Council will next meet Monday, June 1 for a work session beginning at 6 p.m.
Assistance Available for Living, Business Expenses
The City Council was updated Monday on eviction procedure changes found in the CARES Act as well as county financial assistance that will be made available to individuals and businesses in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Several types of assistance were outlined, including:
- Collin County Housing & Living Assistance Program
- UT Dallas Emergency Aid (for Spring 2020 UT Dallas students)
- Dallas County Emergency Housing Assistance Program
- Dallas County Emergency Business Assistance Program
- Dallas County Emergency Childcare Center Assistance Grant
Applications for aid will be placed online once available.
In addition, Atmos announced this week that the company is offering payment options and financial assistance to customers who are struggling to pay their monthly natural gas bill. The company has also temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections for non-payment.
Richardson Firefighters Volunteer to Administer COVID-19 Tests
Three members of the Richardson Fire Department are joining the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force for the next two weeks to help administer coronavirus testing to regional nursing home residents and staff as part of a statewide effort.
The firefighters were trained to conduct tests, use state-mandated personal protective equipment and how to properly report testing to the state, after Gov. Greg Abbott announced a plan that 100 percent of Texas’ nursing home residents and staff members would be tested for coronavirus.
Testing in Richardson should be completed by this weekend with firefighters spending the rest of the time at facilities in other cities.
RISD to Continue Meal Assistance
Despite today being the last day of school for Richardson Independent School District, students and their families will continue receiving food assistance over the summer.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, the need for food assistance has grown. This past week, Richardson ISD surpassed more than 600,000 meals served including breakfast and lunch to students. The district has already committed to providing meals for five days a week through June 30, and is currently working to secure staff to extended the service through the summer.
Through community partnerships with organizations that include the Network of Community Ministries, around 10,000 weekend meals have been distributed to students and their families. Visit www.risd.org/Group/Parents/Health_Services/MealDelivery.html for more information or call Child Nutrition, located at 701 W. Belt Line Rd., at 469-593-0104 or Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find out about free meals for kids.
Some Areas to Have Census Questionnaires Dropped at Front Door
Beginning the week of May 25, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin to drop off 2020 Census questionnaire packets at front doors of households in areas of Texas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their physical address. Some areas of Collin County are included in this effort. The Census Bureau began hand-delivering census materials on March 15 but suspended all fieldwork for this operation on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary field staff have been trained to observe all social distancing protocols and will wear official government-provided personal protective equipment for their safety and the safety of the public. This operation is contactless and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines.
Census response statistics as of May 21:
62.7 percent—Richardson self-response
54.6 percent—Texas self-response
59.9 percent—National self-response
Lane Closures Expected on Jupiter Road Between Belt Line, Buckingham Roads
Motorists can expect lane closures on Jupiter Road between Belt Line Road and Buckingham Road due to various projects. Recently announced, the right lane of southbound Jupiter Road between Sunrise Trail and Buckingham Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through early August due to fiber optic work. Meanwhile, manhole work continues along Jupiter Road with possible lane closures between Ponderosa (just north of Belt Line Road) and Buckingham Road during the same hours, affecting both the southbound and northbound sides. The manhole work is expected to be complete by late May.
Parks Department Offers At-Home Activities
The Parks and Recreation Department has been posting a variety of activities online to help children and adults beat boredom from staying at home. The “At-Home Activities” webpage includes virtual classes, crafts and other activities, some that require a fee and some that are free of charge. The latest additions are two craft kits: “Wildflower! Kids Butterfly Craft Kits” ($3) and “DIY Decorative Beehive” ($8), that are available for purchase online. Curbside pick-up of the kits is available each week on Thursdays and Fridays at Heights Recreation Center. Alternative plans can be made by calling 972-744-7850.
“Art & Crafts @ RPL:” Create Modern Art from Old Magazines and Books
Learn to make “cutting edge” art with a scissors, glue stick, ink pad and pages from old magazines and books in a new video created and posted on Facebook by Library staff. The video is available 24/7 so all ages and skill levels are invited to join in at any time.
Watch “Menopause the Musical®” Online
If you missed “Menopause the Musical®” when it was on stage in 2017 at the Eisemann Center, or if you’re already a fan, you can watch it via streaming through May 31 thanks to a partnership between the Eisemann Center and GFour Productions. The 90-minute show, set in a department store, centers on four women who meet while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie sale. After noticing similarities among one another, they joke about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain and much more. These women form a sisterhood as they rejoice in celebrating that menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage.” Sing along with them as they perform parodies of classic pop songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Streaming tickets are $19 and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to The Actors Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to performing arts and entertainment professionals. To purchase, click here.
Coyote Sightings Normal for North Texas
April-May is birthing season for coyotes, so the increase in coyote sightings around Richardson lately by residents may be due to the fact that male coyotes are out and about more while on the hunt for food to feed their growing families, and are not allowed in the family “den” while the babies are young.
If you see a coyote, remember:
- Coyotes, bobcats, and other wildlife are normal to see in North Texas suburbs.
- Trapping and removing coyotes or bobcats is always a temporary solution. New animals typically move in to vacated territory within a few days.
- 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 all invite coyotes and bobcats into people’s yards.
Owners of small dogs and cats should be vigilant in keeping their pets confined to their property.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Super affectionate and handsome, Kurt has all these qualities and more. This sweet boy wants to receive love and cuddles while also filling his curiosity. He is a nine-month-old, neutered male, domestic short hair and is microchipped and fully vaccinated. Even though he came to our Shelter as an abandoned cat, he has such a sweet temperament and allowed us to interact with him. He has remained affectionate to this day and is looking for someone to love and be his forever family. If you are interested in this cutie, please call 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to adopt him.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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