Oct. 23, 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
TV Crew Interviews Sherill Park Head Pro
Professional golfer and sportscaster Jim Gallagher and a camera crew working for CBS television visited Sherrill Park Golf Course this week to interview Head Golf Professional Ronny Glanton for a feature story highlighting Glanton being named as the 2020 Professional Golf Association (PGA) Golf Professional of the Year. The award is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf.
Gallagher interviewed Glanton, as well as Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker and Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson for the story that will be broadcast next spring on CBS television in advance of a televised PGA golf tournament.
Richardson Ranked as a Top Foodie Destination
Richardson was named one of the “best foodie cities” in the country (and the best in Texas) in a recent study conducted by apartmentguide.com. Out of 314 cities of 100,000 people or more, the website ranked Richardson 33rd in the nation and best in Texas, with Houston coming in at No. 42. Richardson and Houston were the only two cities in Texas to break the top 50 list.
The study looked at population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and then used a database of 8 million commercially licensed business listings to find the total number of restaurants in each area. Cities’ rankings were calculated based on the number of restaurants per capita, restaurant density per square mile of land area and the percentage of non-chain restaurants. Named the official International Business Capital of North Texas by the Texas State Legislature, Richardson is one of the most diverse areas in the Metroplex for ethnic food with restaurants serving Cajun, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Ethiopian and other cuisines.
Richardson Named a “Top 100 Best Place to Live”
Livability has again named Richardson to its annual “Top 100 Best Places to Live” list. The company specializes in data-driven rankings for small- to mid-sized cities, showcasing the “unsung awesomeness” of these communities. Richardson ranked 41st in the U.S., the highest-ranked Texas city. Livability’s data analysts described Richardson as “hip” and recognized it for its schools, safe neighborhoods and access to four DART rail stations and numerous bike trails, as well as the fact that “multinational companies feel right at home in Richardson and have a tradition of choosing the city for their headquarters or regional offices.”
City Wins International Economic Development Award for IQ Block Party
Richardson received a silver award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as part of its 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program. The City was recognized in the Special Event category for the Richardson Innovation Quarter (IQ) Block Party held in June 2019. The Block Party transformed a City-owned vacant industrial site within the IQ with food trucks, live music, games, giveaways and a “pop-up park” demonstration, featuring pedestrian bridges over nearby Duck Creek. Hundreds of residents and workers attended the two-day event and provided comments to help develop the new zoning code for the area.
IEDC is a nonprofit organization serving economic developers, with more than 5,000 members. Its awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. This year, IEDC received more than 500 submissions from four countries.
Final Certified Tax Rolls Show Increase in Total Property Value
Total property values in Richardson increased by $794 million for 2020 to $17.3 billion, or 4.8 percent over 2019, according to the final certified tax rolls recently submitted by the Dallas and Collin central appraisal districts rather than the estimated $297 million decrease reported earlier this year. The increase mainly occurred in the Collin County portion of Richardson and was due primarily to new construction.
Due to COVID-19, reporting of the final certified rolls was delayed from the usual July 25 reporting date and cities were required to use certified estimated rolls in budget planning. Richardson’s 2020-21 Budget passed Aug. 24, with 33 percent of property values still in dispute.
Bond Program Planning Moves Ahead
As the 2015 Bond Program projects wrap up, plans are underway for a possible 2021 bond program to help fund new needs. At Monday’s City Council meeting, City staff outlined the debt capacity that the City is estimated to be able to encumber without a tax increase and gave an update on proposed bond-funded improvements for the Library/City Hall/Civic Center. Other areas mentioned for possible bond-funded projects, currently being studied, include:
- Streets, alleys, pavement marking, traffic signs
- Richardson IQ and The CORE developments
The City’s debt capacity for a November 2021 GO Bond is tentatively estimated to be $170 million (or between $160-$180 million). As studies complete, updates will be given to the City Council, with bond proposition refinements made through spring 2021.
City Council Work Session Temporary Venue Change Oct. 26
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 a regularly scheduled work session Monday, Oct. 26 in the Eisemann Center’s Bank of America Hall. The session will not be televised, but meeting documents will be available online.
The City Council will be back at the City Hall/Civic Center complex Monday, Nov. 2 for a work session and meeting.
UT Dallas Presents Virtual “State of the University”
UT Dallas President Richard Benson presented the annual State of the University presentation virtually this week, featuring additional remarks by the University’s Speaker of the Academic Senate, the Student Government president and the immediate past president of the Staff Council.
- UT Dallas is among the top three public universities in Texas for graduation rates
- Total fall 2020 enrollment is 28,670, with undergraduate enrollment slightly up due to returning students, and graduate student enrollment slightly down
- Five instructional modalities are being offered this fall including online and in-person learning
- Annual federal research expenditures are on pace to reach the school’s 2023 target of $60 million/year
- New facility construction is on pace to reach the 2023 target of 2.3 million square feet
Videos including Dr. Benson’s address, a brief look at the University’s Strategic Plan (narrated by Dr. Benson) and remarks by the guest speakers are available here.
Early Voting Continues
Early voting for the Nov. 3 General and Joint Election continues daily through Oct. 30. The Richardson City Hall/Civic Center complex is one of more than 60 Dallas County early voting sites and has welcomed 17,358 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 location. 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.
Lane Closure Expected on Coit Road near Cherrywood Drive
The right lane of southbound Coit Road between Roundrock Road and Cherrywood Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for cable installation. The work is also expected to affect Cherrywood Drive east of Coit Road, with Cherrywood Drive becoming a one lane road between Coit Road and Oxford Drive. Flaggers will be present to alternate traffic direction. The work is expected to be complete in late December.
Water Main Improvement Project to Close Lanes on Campbell Road, Floyd Road and Bunker Hill
The Bunker Hill water main improvement project has begun and will involve the closure of several lanes through various phases of the project, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. In Phase 1, the southbound lane of Bunker Hill between Floyd Road and Campbell Road will be closed to traffic; during Phase 2, the right lane of westbound Campbell Road at Nantucket Drive will be closed and Phases 3 and 4 involve the closure of first northbound and then southbound Floyd Road at Bunker Hill, with flaggers present for alternative movement of traffic. The work is expected to be complete by early December.
City’s “Monster Mask” 5K Begins Oct. 25
The Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the City’s 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.
Senior Center Programming: Live, Virtual Tour of Arboretum Oct. 30
Seniors wanting a more socially distanced way of experiencing the Dallas Arboretum will get just that in a new program announced recently by Richardson Senior Center staff. Three online, live and interactive tours of the Arboretum are being offered, with the first scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Participants will go behind the scenes of “Autumn at the Arboretum” in the comfort of their own homes for a one-of-a-kind look hosted by Arboretum Vice President Dave Forehand.
Cost is $20 for a three-tour package. The second virtual tour will take place in December featuring the Arboretum’s “The 12 Days of Christmas;” the third tour is scheduled for February and will feature a hands-on demonstration.
To register, call 972-744-7800.
Registration Open for RISD Virtual 5K Spirit Run
The annual RISD 5K Spirit Run and Fun Run/Walk is going virtual for 2020—participants can walk or run on a course of their own choosing (including a treadmill) Nov. 1-8, submit their times and compete on a live leaderboard. Participants will keep track using free phone apps such as Strava or MapMyRun. Funds raised benefit the Excellence in Education Foundation for Richardson ISD Schools, which provides funding for programs that enrich all RISD students and supports excellence in teaching.
Cost to participate is $27.50 for the 5K and $22.50 for the Fun Run (price increases after Oct. 30).
Register online here and pick up a race packet at the RISD Administration Building (400 S. Greenville Ave., Suite 101) Oct. 31 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. or choose “virtual run with shipping” during registration to have the packet mailed. Race packet includes custom race bib, medal and shirt.
“Read for the Record Day” Oct. 29
Join Library staff on Read for the Record Day Oct. 29 for a reading of “Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away” by Meg Medina. The reading will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the Library’s Facebook page. In addition, kids can pick up a take-home craft Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in the Youth Services area of the Library. Crafts are for Richardson residents only, while supplies last.
Read for the Record is an annual event sponsored by national early education organization Jumpstart that brings together millions of adults and children around the world to read the same book on the same day. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the critical importance of early literacy and access to high-quality books.
“Spookilicious” Fun Oct. 30-31
Stop by the Library beginning Friday, Oct. 30 for Halloween take-home crafts, then “stop by” Facebook beginning Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. for a read-aloud Halloween story and puppet show.
The event is for all ages; there is no cost for the crafts or storytime. Craft kits are available while supplies last.
Eisemann Center: “The Choir of Man” Virtual Performance is Nov. 19
Tickets are on sale for the first virtual performance of the Eisemann Center’s 2020-21 performance season, “The Choir of Man: Virtually Live from London,” presented via live streaming Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The show will air one time with no viewing options afterward.
Known as “the ultimate feel-good show,” The Choir of Man traditionally features a cast of nine men singing everything from pub tunes to Broadway to classic rock, all while dancing, playing instruments, hurling themselves into the air and jumping over the tables and bars of the onstage “pub” set. The live-streamed performance will take place in an actual London pub and be more intimate than the traditional stage show, featuring at least five cast members and an emphasis on the guys’ vocals and personal journeys. Each will sing and dance to some of their favorite songs and share stories about their favorite memories from their U.S. tours (including their time in Richardson as they were about to perform at the Eisemann Center just as the shutdown occurred).
“Eisemann Educates Online” Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
Hispanic Heritage Month ended earlier this month but the Eisemann Center continues to celebrate with several new activities posted at the Eisemann Center’s Facebook page. The videotaped activities, hosted by Eisemann Center staff, have included how to make Latin instruments (such as a guiro and an Andean panpipe) using household materials; a storytime with the book, “Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México,” and how to make a “coffee filter ballerina.”
Upcoming videos include making a Día de los Muertos mask Oct. 29 and Candy Corn Stained Glass Oct. 30.
Eisemann Educates began in 2004 as an education and outreach component of the Eisemann Center and has given access to the performing arts to more than 11,000 children, youth and adults.
UT Dallas: Online Art Exhibit Spotlights Women of Southern Italy
UT Dallas is inviting the public to view a free, online art exhibition through Oct. 31 entitled “Post-terrona,” featuring the drawings of Ph.D candidate Francesca Brunetti. The drawing project is an “imaginative reconfiguration of the southern Italian woman” (often referred to in Italian culture as “terrona,” or “hayseed”) and a challenge to the conventional representations of the terrona in order to “shift the dialogue.”
Find more information and a link to view the exhibition here.
Last Weekend for “Dracula” at Repertory Company Theatre
Repertory Company Theatre (RCT), 770 N. Coit Rd., is presenting “Dracula!” through 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 Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Complete CDC safety protocols will be followed.
Drug Take Back Oct. 24 Helps Waterways
Prevent medications from contaminating our water system/waterways by taking part in the Richardson Police Department’s (RPD) Drug Take Back Saturday, Oct. 24, 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. The event keeps medications from being flushed down a sink drain or toilet and potentially entering our waterways, and also helps keep drugs out of the trash, where pets, children and others might acquire them.
Clean out your medicine cabinet and bring unused and expired pharmaceuticals, both prescription and over-the-counter, for proper disposal. 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)
NCTCOG Offers Eco-Friendly “Halloween at Home” Tips
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is offering several ideas for celebrating Halloween at home in an eco-friendly way on its Air North Texas blog. Some of the ideas include:
- Watch your favorite Halloween movies. Staying at home will reduce the number of cars on the road and allow you time to make and enjoy some homemade Halloween treats to eat while you watch.
- Make your own eco-friendly decorations. Ditch the inflatables and plastic skeletons and replace them with reusable and recyclable options.
- Don’t let pumpkins go to waste. Halloween pumpkins can be used for cooking as long they haven’t been painted, which makes them unsafe for consumption.
- Make your Halloween costume out of recyclable materials or old clothes, an easy way to help the environment by avoiding a trip to the store and reducing the dangerous type of ozone in our atmosphere.
For links to ideas for eco-friendly decorations and costumes, as well as ways to use pumpkins after Halloween, click here.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Trixie, a sweetheart with a shy temperament at times. This beautiful 5-year-old German Shepherd mix never fails to make us smile here at the Shelter. She originally came to us in June as a stray and has slowly opened up to us over time. She loves to give kisses and give paw to us now. Trixie was adopted from us and returned from the adopter due to her pulling on the leash and they wanted a dog that was already trained. Trixie is very trainable; she just needs someone who will be very kind and patient with her. She is happy to learn and loves to play. She is very reserved around men so she needs to have more time to be comfortable around them. Trixie is fully vaccinated and waiting for a BEST friend to play fetch with and spoil with kisses. Call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment to come and see her.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,