Oct. 16, 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
City Seeks Public Feedback for Land Use Near Huffhines Park
On Thursday the Parks and Recreation Department launched a conceptual study for the use of a City-owned, 26-acre parcel of undeveloped land, and is seeking public input. The land, located just west of Huffhines Park at the southwest corner of Apollo and Plano roads, was acquired by the City in 2014 with the intent of creating a park filled with active recreational amenities for all ages. Some of the ideas being considered for the space include:
- lighted, competition-grade soccer fields
- pickleball courts
- a small playground
- a loop trail
To see a narrated Power Point presentation and share your feedback on programming for the Apollo Road property via a short five-question survey, visit www.cor.net/apolloroadproperty. While there is no money currently identified to build anything in the near future, survey answers will help Parks staff imagine what is possible on this important addition to the Parks and Recreation system. The survey will be open through Oct. 28.
Early Voting Continues
Early voting for the Nov. 3 General and Joint Election began Tuesday in Texas and continues daily through Oct. 30. The Richardson City Hall/Civic Center complex is one of more than 60 Dallas County early voting sites and welcomed 5,228 voters through Thursday of this week.
Dallas County residents may vote early at any early voting location in Dallas County, including the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center complex, which is serving as both an early voting and Election Day polling locationt. Collin County residents may vote early at the Richardson Office Complex (located near the Palisades development), 2703 N. Central Expwy., or any other early voting location in Collin County.
For dates, times and locations of all early voting sites and additional information, contact the County Elections Office for the county in which you live. Note: All early voting sites will also serve as Election Day polling locations. Election Day voting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
DART Service Changes Begin Oct. 19
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will be implementing major changes to reactivate bus, rail and GoLink services starting Monday, Oct. 19. The agency will restore service on a group of routes and improve frequencies on others to just under 90 percent of pre-COVID19 pandemic levels.
Seven higher-volume bus routes and light rail service will offer 20-minute frequency weekdays until 7 p.m. and 30-minute frequency thereafter; weekend service will remain unchanged.
A Western Carrollton GoLink service, which has been operating on a trial basis since May 11, will become permanent, and low-ridership routes 27, 42, 155, 210, 211, 385, 585, 840 and 887 will be discontinued, modified or replaced. Sixty-five routes with higher ridership and potential for social distancing concerns, plus the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), will return to pre-pandemic service levels.
Forty-eight routes in the system will remain on their current modified schedules.
Dallas County Property Tax Bills Mailed
The Dallas County Tax Office announced this week that 2020 property tax statements have been mailed. Several easy-to-use payment methods are being offered:
- Pay online with an eCheck for no additional fees
- Use credit or debit card online, subject to Chase Bank convenience fees
- Pay by phone through Chase Bank at 866-863-8323 (English) or 866-361-1741 (Español), subject to Chase Bank convenience fees
- Mail your tax payment in the envelope provided
- Pay in person at one of the Dallas County Tax Office branches
Taxpayers are encouraged to pay online to avoid standing in a line. Note that all branches are observing COVID-19 social distancing with limited lobby space, and a mask is required to enter. As a reminder, if your property has a mortgage with an escrow account, the requesting mortgage company was provided with the amount due on your account and an informational postcard was mailed to you in lieu of a duplicate tax statement.
Temporary Venue Change for City Council Meetings
Due to early voting for the Nov. 3 election taking place at the City Hall/Civic Center complex, the Richardson City Council will meet off-site for the next two weeks. The City Council work session scheduled for Oct. 19 will be held in the community room at the Richardson Police Department Administration Building, and the work session scheduled for Oct. 26 will be held in the Eisemann Center’s Bank of America Hall. Neither meeting will be televised.
The City Council will be back at the City Hall/Civic Center complex Monday, Nov. 2 for a work session and meeting.
Spring Creek Trail Segment to Reopen
A segment of the Spring Creek Nature Area trail system that was temporarily closed this week should reopen this weekend, weather permitting. Concrete was poured for two new connection points that will join the existing trail with new trails being constructed.
Drug Take Back Event Oct. 24
The Richardson Police Department (RPD) will host a Drug Take Back event Saturday, Oct. 24 as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The collection will take place at the RPD substation, 2003 E. Renner Rd., from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Bring unused and expired pharmaceuticals, both prescription and over-the-counter, for proper disposal to keep them out of the trash, where pets, children and others might acquire them, and to prevent medications from being flushed down a sink drain or toilet and contaminating the water system.
All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in tightly sealed consumer containers will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to the potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.
Contact: 972-744-4955 (Richardson Police Department Crime Prevention Unit)
Richardson FOP Auxiliary is Collecting Donations for Animal Shelter
The Richardson Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary is sponsoring a supply drive for the Richardson Animal Shelter through Nov. 15. Donations may be placed in collection boxes located inside the main entrance of the Police Department’s administration building (200 N. Greenville Ave.) and at Fire Station 1 (300 N. Greenville Ave.), Fire Station 3 (2519 Custer Parkway) and outside the west entrance to City Hall (walk-up donations only).
Items needed by the Shelter include:
- Blankets (not insulated or stuffed)
- Stainless steel bowls
- Collars and leashes
- Shampoo, brushes, clippers
- Heating pads
- Lint/pet hair remover rollers
- Pet beds
- Dog food (Pedigree Puppy or Adult)
- Cat food (Purina Kitten or Adult)
“Friday Night Fun” Returns at Gymnastics Center
The Richardson Gymnastics Center’s popular Friday Night Fun event, an open-to-the-public time of gym play for children ages 4-14, is returning to the Center after being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. New guidelines are now in place, including:
- attendees will be in groups of 10 or less
- temperature is taken and hand sanitizer is provided upon arrival
- all staff will have a face mask or shield on at all times
- drop off and pick up is done at the door
- all adults entering the facility are required to wear a mask.
Upcoming dates include Oct. 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4. Register online at www.cor.net/parksonline; fee is $10 per resident and $15 per nonresident.
Register Now for City’s Virtual “Monster Mask” 5K
The Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a fun way for families to exercise together. Registration is now open for the first-ever Monster Mask Virtual Family 5K Dash, an untimed event where each participant will have one week (Oct. 25-31) to run or walk 3.1 miles. Miles may be completed anywhere, including on Richardson’s more than 90 miles of off-road paved trails.
Register at www.cor.net/parksonline. It is free to participate (activity #22438) or $20 per person to participate with a Finishers T-shirt included (activity #22441).
Participants are encouraged to wear a costume and share photos of enjoying the Dash on social media with the hashtag #RichardsonMonsterMask5k.
Free Outdoor Yoga Moves to Wednesday Afternoons
Due to cooler morning temperatures, the all-ages, all-abilities yoga instruction that has been offered outside Huffhines Recreation Center on Saturday mornings has been switched to Wednesday afternoons. The classes are still free, and still under the trees near the bridge, beginning at 1 p.m.
No registration is necessary. Bring a mat, props (if desired) and water. Event is held weather permitting. Parking is available both at the Recreation Center and at the park.
Senior Halloween Donut Drive-thru is Oct. 29
A drive-thru “Treats No Tricks” Halloween Donut Party for ages 55 and up will be held Thursday, Oct. 29 from 9-10 a.m. in the Heights Recreation Center parking lot. Senior Center staff will be on hand to help you “scare up some fun” and receive a Halloween donut and juice (one per person). Registration is required; call 972-744-7800.
Registration Open for “Recess!” Day of Play Nov. 3 (RISD Student Holiday)
The Richardson Parks and Recreation Department is offering “Recess,” a day of play during the upcoming RISD student holiday Nov. 3. Children in grades K-5 will have fun at Heights Park and then retreat to Heights Recreation Center for indoor activities. The event lasts from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed, including social distancing. Masks are required inside Heights Recreation Center, and heightened cleaning procedures are in place.
The fee is $25 per child for early registration (ends Oct. 27) and $35 after the deadline. Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch, water bottle and plenty of snacks. Register at www.cor.net/parksonline (activity #22149).
Darbey’s StoryWalk® Temporarily Closed
Darbey’s StoryWalk®, the Library’s outdoor, 16-station children’s book experience, is closed through Nov. 3 due to early voting and Election Day voting. The fountain plaza behind the Library, in which much of the StoryWalk® is located, is being utilized as a waiting area for voters.
Enjoy a new children’s story on the StoryWalk® Nov. 4, once stanchions, signs and other equipment are removed.
Library Celebrates “Star Wars Reads” Day Oct. 17
Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and read your way across the universe when the Library hosts Star Wars Reads Day, Saturday, Oct. 17. Kids ages 2-18 are invited to pick up a Galaxy Grab Bag (featuring Star Wars swag) and a DIY craft kit between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Youth Services area. The celebration is part of an international month-long focus on reading that has been recognized by Star Wars fans every October for the past nine years.
Craft kits and grab bags are free and are for Richardson residents only, while supplies last.
Cottonwood Art Festival Offers Past and Present Merch Online
Though the Cottonwood Art Festival was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Festival merchandise, that traditionally highlights the work of the event’s featured artist, was not canceled, and is now available for purchase at the Festival’s new online store. Festival fans can find T-shirts imprinted with the art of 2020 featured artist Richard Lorenz as well as a variety of Cottonwood-logoed caps, visors, bandanas and koozies, with prices ranging from $1-$25. Tees and tank tops from past Cottonwood Art Festivals are also available, at a discount.
The merchandise is mailed to purchasers and flat rate shipping costs apply.
RSO Mobile Concert Saturday, Oct. 17
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra’s brass quintet and percussion trio will give a “mobile concert” Saturday, Oct. 17 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Collins Boulevard and West Prairie Creek Drive. The musicians will be performing on two flatbed trucks as they travel along the west side of Prairie Creek Park and through the Canyon Creek neighborhood. The event is free and open to the public.
The mobile concert will end in the II Creeks Shopping Center (northwest of the intersection of Lookout Drive and Custer Parkway) around noon. For a map of the concert’s complete route, click here.
AIRTime Continues Online
Arts Incubator of Richardson (AIR) is presenting its 10th season of AIRTime via Facebook Live for 2020-21. It kicked things off in September with an interview with bronze sculptor Angela De La Vega and continues the series Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. with special guest Michael Granberry, the arts and feature writer for The Dallas Morning News.
AIRTime is a live interview series featuring artists and professionals who use creative problem solving, innovative thinking and artistic talent to enhance and serve their community.
Learn more about AIRTime in a new video.
Richardson Theatre Centre Continues “Theatre of the Imagination”
“Lights Out—122 Maple Street” is the title of the seventh episode in Richardson Theatre Centre’s online “Theatre of the Imagination” audio series, now posted on YouTube, Facebook and the RTC website. Each episode in the “old-time radio-style” series features local talent performing a musical selection followed by a short theatrical vignette, complete with authentic commercials. Episodes are available 24/7, free of charge.
“Dracula” Opens Tonight at Repertory Company Theatre
Repertory Company Theatre (RCT), 770 N. Coit Rd., is presenting “Dracula!” tonight (Oct. 16)-Oct. 25. Written by Philip Grecian and based on the novel by Bram Stoker, the classic story is being performed in Gothic style by nine actors on RCT’s new radio show set.
Tickets are $28 for adults and $17 for teens. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Complete CDC safety protocols will be followed.
Say No to Junk Mail
Though Richardson’s recycling program accepts paper of all kinds, residents might want to consider the following ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary or junk mail to keep from needing to recycle it in the first place (and leave room in those blue bags for other items!):
- Try going paperless for the statements you want—most organizations have online options. For example, if you’re still being mailed a paper Richardson water bill, consider signing up at www.cor.net/gopaperless to receive it via e-mail.
- Return “high-end” junk mail. For First Class mail and mail marked “Address Correction Requested” or “Return Postage Guaranteed,” cross out the barcode and write “Return to Sender/Refused by Addressee” on the front. You can also write “Please remove my name from your mailing list.”
- Call or write. Open the mail and look for an 800 number or reply envelope, and then contact the sender and ask to be removed from the mailing list.
Fireflies Light Up Parks, Green Spaces in Fall Appearance
Texas is one of the lucky states in the U.S. when it comes to lightning bugs (a.k.a. fireflies), as the flashing insects appear in the evening in both spring and fall here due to our climate (they thrive in warm and humid conditions). This fall they’re more noticeable because their populations are bigger than usual, due to higher than average rainfall in 2020.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 36 of the approximately 175 firefly species in the U.S. are found in Texas. Since they typically love grassy areas near bodies of water, some of the best places to spot them are at Richardson parks that include lakes or streams and areas with minimal “spillover” from bright streetlights—try Breckinridge Park, Prairie Creek Park and inside the Spring Creek Nature Area.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This colorful kitty is Esmay. She is a 5-year-old domestic short hair who is spayed and up to date on all of her shots. She is good with everyone in the family and likes other cats. Her family just had a new baby and can no longer care for her. Please contact us at 972-744-4480 to schedule a meet and greet.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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