May 28, 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:
Aquatic Center Opens Tomorrow
Surfs up at the Heights Family Aquatic Center, as it opens to the public tomorrow, May 29, from noon-8 p.m. The facility will operate from noon-8 p.m. daily through June 5 and Wednesday-Sunday after June 5.
Admission is $4 daily per person for residents and $8 per person for nonresidents.
Lifeguard Shortage Impacts Summer Pool Schedule
The City’s four neighborhood pools (Canyon Creek, Cottonwood, Glenville and Terrace) will open as scheduled June 5, but due to a shortage of lifeguards, days of operation have been modified until additional staff can be hired. The four pools are now scheduled to be open four days per week, with open days varying depending on pool (see chart below). In addition, Heights Family Aquatic Center, which opens daily May 29, will change to a five-days-per-week schedule beginning June 5.
Due to the staff shortage, the Fun in the Sun toddler program will be canceled until further staff can be hired.
More information about prorated refunds on swim passes will be available once the pool schedule is finalized around mid-June.
Want to be a Richardson Lifeguard?
Applications can be submitted at www.cor.net/jobs (“Seasonal”).
Memorial Day Holiday City Closure 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 31. There will be NO make-up days for trash collection or BABIC. The table below shows the makeup days for recycling service.
Recycling Make-up Days
|Monday, May 31||Tuesday, June 1|
|Tuesday, June 1||Wednesday, June 2|
Public Facility Operating Hours
|Animal Shelter, City Hall/Civic Center, Eisemann Center, Gymnastics Center, Library, Municipal Court and Recreation Centers||Closed May 31|
|Heights Aquatic Center, Sherrill Park Golf Course||Open|
|Tennis Center||Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. May 31|
Early Voting Ends June 1
Early voting continues through June 1 for the June 5 runoff elections, including the Richardson City Council runoff election.
Remaining voting dates and hours for Dallas County are as follows:
- May 28—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
- May 29—8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- May 30—1-6 p.m.
- June 1—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Remaining voting dates and hours for Collin County Richardson voters are as follows:
- May 28—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
- May 29—8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- June 1—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Polls will be closed Sunday, May 30 for Collin County voters and closed for both counties May 31 (Memorial Day). Richardson Civic Center/City Hall is an early voting location for both Dallas County and Collin County voters.
For more information including other early voting locations, visit www.cor.net/election.
Preliminary 2021-22 Tax Roll Information Reviewed
The Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) and the Collin County Appraisal District (CCAD) recently released preliminary tax roll figures, which City staff presented to the City Council Monday. Estimated property values for Richardson as of Jan. 1, 2021 were approximately $20.3 billion, compared to the near-$18.6 billion from the final 2020 certified roll, slightly more than a 9 percent increase. However, with commercial properties expected to receive valuation adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic, City staff predict that the total taxable value will drop to $19.6 billion, a 5.6 percent increase.
Last year, the tax roll certification date that normally occurs in late July was postponed several weeks, requiring cities to use “certified estimates” in budget planning, but both the DCAD and CCAD have advised they believe this year they will meet the 2021 deadline (July 25).
The Richardson City Council will meet for its annual budget workshop July 26-27.
City Council Resolution Denies Oncor Rate Increase
The City Council passed a resolution Monday denying a request made by Oncor earlier this year to increase its distribution rates within the city. Richardson is part of the Oncor Cities Steering Committee (OCSC), a coalition of 163 cities that are denying the request.
For more than a century, Texas cities have had the legal authority over electricity rates within their city limits. In the late 1980s cities joined together into coalitions such as the OCSC to share resources in reviewing rate applications and advocate for policies that support reliable electric service at a reasonable cost.
Over the next month, the OCSC will work with Oncor to reach a rate agreement. The Public Utility Commission has until the end of August to ratify the new rate or decide on a rate if an agreement is not reached.
Update Given to City Council on COVID-19 Response
City staff updated the City Council Monday on executive order GA-36 (issued by Gov. Greg Abbott May 18) and recent changes undertaken by the City related to the order and the continued decline of hospitalizations in the area.
Highlights of the changes include:
- The City is not requiring its employees or visitors to any City facility to wear a mask but is encouraging people who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
- City Hall will continue to utilize a Customer Service Center approach, with all public business taking place in the Grand Hall.
- Recreation centers will return to normal operations June 1 but maintain current hours.
- The Library has opened all four floors to both Richardson residents and nonresidents but is maintaining modified hours. In-person story times begin June 8.
- Animal Services will re-start outreach events with its mobile adoption trailer in June.
- Eisemann Center will be at 75 percent capacity for the months of June and July and will increase to 100 percent by August 1.
A vaccine status update was also given. As of May 22, almost 41 percent of Texans had been fully vaccinated (49.56 percent of Collin County residents and 39.74 percent of Dallas County residents).
No City Council Meeting May 31
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no City Council work session or meeting Monday, May 31. The Council will next meet Monday, June 7 for a work session beginning at 6 p.m.
Police Department Offers Crime Prevention Tips Re: Catalytic Converters
As catalytic converter thefts are on the rise nationwide, including in Richardson, the Richardson Police Department is getting the word out to increase awareness and help residents prevent this costly crime. Catalytic converters are sought by criminals for the precious metals they contain, and their position under a vehicle makes them vulnerable to theft. Every gas or diesel-powered vehicle is likely to contain at least one catalytic converter, and replacing the device can cost more than $3,000.
There are several things drivers can do to help prevent catalytic converter theft, including:
- parking close to a building or street with lots of foot traffic
- parking in a closed garage
- spray painting the catalytic converter with a bright colored high-temp automotive spray paint and etching your license plate number or VIN into the paint
A loud, roaring sound after starting your car may indicate that the catalytic converter has been stolen. If this happens, see if witnesses are nearby and if security cameras are in operation around the area and report the theft to police. If you hear drilling, grinding or cutting sounds in a parking lot, or you see anyone under a vehicle, do not hesitate to call 911.
Senior Center Opens June 1, Public Gets Sneak Peek
The newly expanded and remodeled Richardson Senior Center will officially open Tuesday, June 1. The long-awaited opening comes after a year of construction work, with senior events and classes first moved to other locations and then going online (or drive-through) amidst the pandemic. The public was invited in for “Sneak Peek” tours this week.
The “new” Senior Center features many changes that make the space more user-friendly and inviting, with all new finishes, floor coverings and furniture; a designated welcome area; more classrooms/event rooms with retractable room dividers; increased space for fitness and dining; expanded parking; and an at-grade entrance featuring a porte cochère. A theme of “bringing the outside in” is evident throughout, with wood accents and nature-themed art in colors of blue and green, and glass walls that maximize the natural light from the Center’s many windows.
Funding for the renovations came from the 2015 G.O. Bond Program, in which voters approved $4,895,000 for the Senior Center.
Memberships are open to residents and nonresidents ages 50 and up; yearly fees range from $5-$50, depending on age and residency. All current Richardson resident lifetime memberships will be honored.
New Public Art Installed in Main Street Area
The City added to its collection of public art today as the 28-foot-tall metal sculpture, “Rising Star,” was erected near the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Main Street. The piece, created by Texas-based art firm RE:site, features intermeshed metal layers that form a tubular, vertical “Texas star.” The new art piece is part of the Main Street Redevelopment project and the Public Safety Campus. Plans are for the plaza surrounding the sculpture to be lit.
Richardson Today Hits Mailboxes Next Week
The June 2021 issue of Richardson Today has been printed and should begin arriving in mailboxes early next week. The issue provides information about the state’s newest reservoir, Bois d’Arc Lake, which will serve North Texas, and an entire page focused on the newly revamped Senior Center.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at www.RichardsonToday.com. A digital version of the print edition of Richardson Today may also be accessed there. Ask your local mail carrier if you do not receive your copy of Richardson Today and you live within the boundaries of Richardson.
Lane Closed as Sidewalk Repair Program Progresses Along Jupiter Road
Various locations in the right lane of southbound Jupiter Road between Bluebonnet Drive and Lookout Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. as sidewalk repair takes place along Jupiter. The work is expected to be finished in early June.
Last Weekend for Bike Parking Scavenger Hunt
This month the City has been hosting a Bike Parking Scavenger Hunt to engage with cyclists and locate where there are secure bike racks throughout the community. Eligible submissions for challenge prizes ends May 31 but the map will remain open for users to submit bike parking locations as they continue to ride this summer. Next, the City will compile the submissions and release an online map to help Richardson cyclists know where they can conveniently park their bicycles around the city. This information will also help identify areas without adequate bike parking where future investment could be directed.
To participate, use the online map (compatible with both computers and smart phones), and submit the locations where bike racks and other bike parking exists in Richardson. The more locations you submit, the more likely to win some great prizes, including gift cards to local businesses and a Bike Mart cyclist prize package valued at more than $100.
For the map, a list of prizes and more information, click here.
Wetlands Center Hosts Summer Family Fun Days
The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, which helps naturally purify the water supply for Richardson and other members of the North Texas Municipal Water District, is hosting several Family Fun Days this summer. Join Wetlands Center staff in learning about water, birds, fish, insects, plants, nature journaling and basic outdoor survival skills—sessions take place on select Wednesdays beginning June 16 from 10 a.m.-noon. Cost is $7 per person.
Click here for specific dates/session topics and to register. The Center is located at 655 Martin Ln. in Combine, about 40 minutes from Richardson.
Library Closed Memorial Day; Online Library Services Available 24/7
Though the Richardson Public Library is closed May 31, many services are available online. Here are some things you can do 24/7 online at no charge, with a valid Richardson Library card:
- Renew a book
- Download thousands of audiobooks, eBooks, music, movies, television shows and digital magazines
- Take an online class
- Learn a new language
- Get test prep help for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, GED, GRE, LSAT and many more
- Download up-to-date legal forms, including personalized forms and state-specific legal information
- Enhance your business or learn how to start a business
- Prepare for a new job
Summer Reading Club Begins June 1
The Richardson Public Library, along with the Texas State Library and the Friends of the Richardson Library, are presenting the annual Summer Reading Club June 1-Aug. 1, this year entitled, “Tails and Tales.” Children and teens who sign up for the program earn a free book and enter a grand prize raffle after completing their first 10 books. Continued reading gets an entry into the raffle each time another 10 books are completed. Raffle prizes vary depending on reader category (Read to Me, Independent Reader or Teen Reader).
Sign-up begins June 1, through Beanstack (online here) or in person at the Youth Services Desk. Books are then logged online or through a paper log; online participants may earn “virtual badges” along the way.
For a list of prizes and more information, click here https://www.cor.net/departments/public-library/youth/summer-reading-club.
- Hathaway Academy of Ballet May 29-30
7 p.m. Saturday in the Hill Performance Hall and 6 p.m. Sunday in the
Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $20. A streaming option is available for Saturday’s performance for $20.
- Last Weekend to View “A Celebration of Friendship” Art Exhibit
Noon-5 p.m. weekdays and during all public events, through May 30 in the Green Mezzanine Gallery. Admission is free.
Dallas artist Melanie M. Brannan presents a series of more than 20 paintings that chronicle a deep friendship and explores her emotions as her friend struggled with a diagnosis of nodular melanoma. Brannan is donating 100 percent of the net proceeds from the show to the AIM at Melanoma Foundation.
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.
Lone Star Wind Orchestra Begins Summer Virtual Performances
The Lone Star Wind Orchestra virtual performance series has returned, with a host of new chamber music performances to enjoy from the comforts of home. Virtual performances are released on Facebook and YouTube on select Fridays at noon. The series began Friday, May 21 with a trombone quartet performance and continues through mid-July. Following is the upcoming schedule, subject to change:
- May 28 Low Brass Quartet
- June 4 Clarinet Quartet
- June 11 Percussion Quartet
- June 18 Trombone Quartet
- June 25 Flute Trio
- July 2 Low Brass Quartet
- July 9 Bassoon Duo
The Lone Star Wind Orchestra is funded in part by the Richardson Cultural Arts Commission.
Richardson Community Chorale Virtual Spring Concert Now Online
The Richardson Community Chorale has released its 2021 Virtual Spring Concert online. Entitled “We Are One,” the concert features the Chorale singing Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” and Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.”
Click here to view/listen to both selections. They can also be viewed at the group’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Time to Try Composting
In conjunction with National Learn About Composting Day (Saturday, May 29), the North Texas Council of Government’s (NCTCOG) Air North Texas blog has posted information to help North Texans reduce their carbon footprint through composting. Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable, nutrient-rich natural fertilizer called compost (that looks a lot like garden soil) that can be used for gardening, horticulture and agriculture.
S-s-stay Aware When it Comes to Snakes
Since snake encounters rise as temperatures rise, and can also increase after heavy rains/flooding, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recently published information online to help prevent encounters with snakes and avoid snake bites. While many people may view them as a dangerous pest, they are an important predator of insects and small mammals.
Top tips from the article include:
- Know where to expect them—generally in shady spots during the heat of the day and in sunny spots during cooler hours. Heavy rains and flooding can wash debris onto properties that can become good places for displaced snakes to shelter, so people need to take special care during cleanup.
- Reduce snake hiding spots around the outside of your home—such as cutting the grass and trimming the lower branches on bushes and trees
- Avoid contact with any snake, even if you think they’re non-venomous
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.)
Day Camp Counselor ($8-$10 hourly)
Must have reliable transportation. CPR and First Aid certification required, or must obtain during job orientation. Must be at least 16 years of age. Experience working with children is required. Knowledge or skills in sports, games, arts and crafts, music and/or other recreational activities preferred.
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.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Come spend your days and embark on a new journey in your life with Alex, a 5-year-old Labrador retriever/border collie mix. Alex is the Shelter’s second longest resident. He came to the shelter in January and is fully vetted and microchipped. He is very friendly and playful and has a goofy personality. If there is another dog in the household Alex will need a slow introduction to see if he likes your dog. If Alex’s handsome face is winning your over, come to the shelter to see him and adopt by making an appointment here: https://richardsonanimalshelter.setmore.com/
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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