Oct. 30, 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
Richardson, Other Cities Sign Contract Amendment with NTMWD
Representatives from Richardson and 12 other cities took part in a symbolic signing ceremony this week for an amended wholesale water services contract with the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The amended contract is the culmination of years of negotiation to reach a unanimous approval on a new rate methodology for cost sharing of the regional water system.
Under the original contract signed in 1953 and amended in 1988, each member city paid its share of costs based on its highest historic annual water demand. However, in light of conservation measures successfully implemented over the past decade, some member cities requested NTMWD change the contract structure to take into account trends in lower water use by those cities, and higher use by growing cities.
The transition to the new cost-sharing structure will be phased in over the next 13 years.
NTMWD provides water, wastewater and solid waste disposal services for approximately 1.8 million residents across 10 counties.
Network of Community Ministries In Critical Need of Volunteers
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Network of Community Ministries has seen a steep decline in volunteers. With volunteer numbers down, Network has relied on a program that connects unemployed service industry workers with nonprofits to serve and provide hunger relief to communities. As of Nov. 15, funding for that program will no longer be available so Network expects to lose volunteers, essentially leaving 36 open shifts per day needing to be filled.
The decrease in volunteers has been accompanied by an increase in demand for Network’s services. Prior to COVID, Network was serving about 150 families per week in its food pantry, a number that has grown to 700 per week due to the pandemic.
Network accepts volunteers ages 16 and up. Volunteers are needed Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m.-noon and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Safety protocols are in place with temperature checks and mask and glove requirements and background checks are required. Click here to sign up to volunteer.
Early Voting Ends Tonight
Early voting for the Nov. 3 General and Joint Election ends tonight at 7 p.m. The Richardson City Hall/Civic Center complex, one of more than 60 Dallas County early voting sites, has welcomed 26,634 total voters (through Thursday of this week) since early voting began Oct. 13.
Any registered Dallas County voter may vote early at Richardson City Hall/Civic Center or any early voting location in Dallas County; 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.
Election Day is Nov. 3
The General and Joint Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. All early voting sites will also serve as Election Day polling locations, including the Richardson Civic Center/City Hall (for Dallas County voters), in addition to many other polling sites.
Voters must show identification; click here for a list of acceptable types.
Free DART Rides on Election Day for Voters
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is once again providing free trips to voting locations across its service area on Election Day, Nov. 3. Ride at no charge on all DART bus, light rail, Dallas Streetcar, GoLink and Paratransit service, and on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) between EBJ Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. No proof of voter registration is required to ride free.
DART Conducting Survey Related to COVID-19 Service
Like many North Texas services, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has launched a short survey to gather community input on how it can better serve people during the pandemic. In addition to demographic questions, the survey asks about the level of concern for ride cleanliness, interest in attending a variety of group events and ridership safety. Visit www.dart.org/survey to take the survey.
Collin County Tax Statements Mailed
The Collin County Tax Office has announced that 2020 property tax statements have been mailed.
Several payment methods are being offered:
- Pay online with an eCheck, or a credit/debit card by visiting Certified Payments. All payments are subject to certified payments convenience fees.
- Mail your tax payment in the envelope provided with your statement
- Pay in person at one of three Collin County Tax Office branches
Taxpayers are encouraged to pay online to avoid standing in a line. For more information, click here.
Update Given on 2015 Bond-Funded Street Projects
Three “collector street” projects from the 2015 Bond Program that are under design were detailed at Monday’s City Council work session. In addition to replacing damaged street and sidewalk pavement, underground drainage, waterlines and sanitary sewer lines for each, improvements to be made include:
- Custer Road between Campbell Road and Arapaho Road
Reduces road to two lanes; adds a continuous center left turning lane, dedicated bike lanes and a raised median island with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon near Beverly Drive
(expected completion date: July 2022)
- West Prairie Creek Drive between Collins Boulevard and Campbell Road
Curb extensions at crosswalk intersections with framed on-street parking; new crosswalks and street markings
(expected completion date: August 2022)
- Glenville Road between Campbell Road and Commerce Street
Reduces road to two lanes; adds dedicated bike lanes and a buffer lane between travel lanes and bike lanes
(expected completion date: August 2023)
The improvements are part of the 2015 Bond’s Proposition 2, which includes $38.5 million for streets, alleys, traffic control and drainage. Outreach efforts to neighborhoods near the above projects will begin next month.
Cultural Arts Commission Gives “State of the Arts” Report
Members from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission (CAC) met with the City Council for a joint work session Monday and gave an update on the group’s activities over the past two fiscal years. The CAC recommends grants to the City Council from hotel-motel tax fund dollars for local arts organizations, conducts workshops for the grant recipients and provides representation on public art selection committees.
Highlights of the report included:
- $735,000 in grants were awarded to 29 different arts organizations in FY 18-19 and FY 19-20
- From 2018-20, more than 273,000 audience members in Richardson were enriched as a result of arts grant funding
- Five pieces of public art were installed in the past two years, including “Flow” at Fire Station 3 and “Sylvan Portals” at Spring Creek Nature Area, and two are expected in 2021
For 2020-21, $180,000 has been granted to 12 arts nonprofits, lower numbers than usual because of lower tax revenue related to the coronavirus pandemic.
City Council Reviews Richardson’s Legislative Agenda
In preparation for the upcoming 2021 state and federal legislative sessions, City staff presented the City Council Monday with priorities for a proposed legislative agenda for Richardson. This is in line with the City Council’s 2019-21 Strategy, “Leverage our regional leadership position to positively impact county, state and federal issues.”
Three priorities are planned to guide the City’s efforts in engaging with legislators:
- Preserve the ability for locally elected officials to govern and respond effectively and efficiently to the individual and market driven needs of its stakeholders
- Oppose any legislative action that would erode home rule authority of municipalities or establish unfunded mandates that constrain the ability of cities to allocate scarce resources to locally determined priorities
- Support legislation seeking to restore local control/home rule authority eroded by prior legislation
After providing feedback at Monday’s work session, the City Council will vote on a resolution to adopt a legislative agenda at a future City Council meeting.
Daylight Saving Time Ends Nov. 1; Time to Turn Clocks Back
Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour Saturday night since Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2 a.m. Nov. 1. As part of the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign, the Richardson Fire Department encourages everyone to also change smoke alarm/carbon monoxide (CO) detector batteries at this time. Having a working smoke alarm/CO alarm doubles the chances of escaping and surviving a home fire or carbon monoxide leak.
Fire Station 1 Receives National Design Award
Firehouse magazine has announced the winners of its 2020 Station Design Awards, and Richardson’s Fire Station 1 is on the list, capturing the Gold award in the category of Career 1 Fire Station (stations 15,000 square feet and larger). The station, which is combined with the Fire Administration Building and is part of Richardson’s new Public Safety Campus, was designed by BRW Architects, Inc. of Dallas and features public art as well as 31,000 square feet of space for existing and future staff, and numerous operational enhancements.
Firehouse annually recognizes outstanding architecture and design from fire departments nationwide. For 2020, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were issued across seven categories, and winners were selected by a panel of six judges. Information about all 74 participating entries will be published in the November issue and online.
Richardson Today Mailed
The November issue of Richardson Today has been mailed and should have started appearing in mailboxes this week. The issue focuses on Richardson’s Animal Services, including a heartwarming story about the rescue of an elderly dog and updates about pet adoptions at the Animal Shelter. Also included is information about the upcoming holiday grease collection.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at www.cor.net/RichardsonToday. 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 Closures Expected Near Arapaho/West Shore
The right lane of westbound Arapaho Road at West Shore Drive and the right lane of southbound West Shore Drive, 300 feet north of Arapaho Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for fiber optic work. The work is expected to be complete in late December.
Lane Closure Expected on Campbell Road Near UT Dallas
The right lane of eastbound Campbell Road between Waterview Drive and West Shore Drive may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for a cable install. The work is expected to be completed in late January.
“Recess!” Day of Play Nov. 3 at Heights Recreation Center
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.
Cost is $35 per child. Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch, water bottle and plenty of snacks. Register at www.cor.net/parksonline (activity #22149).
Community Day Nov. 4 Benefits Network, Kicks Off Food Drive
Network of Community Ministries and Shady’s Burgers are partnering to host a Community Day Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the Richardson Shady’s location, 2701 Custer Pkwy. Ten percent of all receipts that day will be donated to Network. In addition, the event will kick off a food drive that will run through Nov. 25, with food donations collected at Shady’s.
Suggested items include:
- canned or boxed meals
- other canned items such as vegetables
- pasta sauce
- canned tuna or chicken
- peanut butter, jellies, sugar
- pancake mix
- cooking oil
Shady’s will give a “pickle card” to any customer that brings a grocery bag full of non-perishable items. The card can be used any time at Shady’s to receive one order of free fried pickles.
RISD Virtual Spirit Run Nov. 1-8
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 support excellence in teaching.
Cost to participate is $32.50 for the 5K and $27.50 for the Fun Run. 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.
“Spookilicious” Halloween Happening Oct. 31
Celebrate Halloween virtually and join Library staff for “Spookilicious, a Halloween Happening!” Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook. It will feature a spooky puppet show, “The Three Little Fishies and the Big Bad Shark,” for all ages. In addition, take home a Halloween craft from the Youth Services department through Nov. 1.
Craft is for Richardson residents only, while supplies last.
“Day of the Dead” Sugar Skull Workshop Now Available on Facebook
Learn how to decorate Sugar Skulls in a new video created by Library staff and posted on Facebook.
Note: This is not a live class. The video will remain on the Library’s Facebook page 24/7.
Kids’ Writing Challenge Begins Nov. 1
A Kids’ Writing Challenge, entitled, “And to Think That I Saw It at the Library!” will be held Nov. 1-Jan. 2. Kids in grades 1-6 may join online through Beanstack or Facebook, or in person at the Library, and then:
- Step 1: Look at the five items in the display case or posted on Beanstack and Facebook
- Step 2: Write a story incorporating all five items as part of the plot
- Step 3: Complete an entry form and submit the story to the Youth Services area in person or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Writers will be divided into three categories (grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6), and winners from each category will receive a popular hardcover book. The winner will be announced by Jan. 15, 2021.
Virtual “Camp Write-in” Begins Nov. 6
Young writers ages 10-17 will be equipped to write a novel in 30 days thanks to the Library’s virtual Camp Write-in, which meets Fridays, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, from 4-4:50 p.m. Participants will set a personal goal and work with each other and Library staff in sharing stories, word prompts and playing writing games, all online.
The program is free but registration is required. Call 972-744-4358 to register and for instructions on how to join through WebEx.
- RSO Nov. 7
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$60.
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra presents the second concert of its new season. It features “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” by Villa-Lobos, featuring soprano Molly Fillmore; Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” with Celil Refik Kaya on guitar; Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin;” and “Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra,” by Stravinsky. Numerous safety measures are in place for audience and orchestra; check the Eisemann Center’s website (www.eisemanncenter.com) for tickets and more information.
- “Chicken Dance” Online
Eisemann Educates is offering families a unique opportunity to view an encore presentation of a musical that has graced the stage of the Eisemann Center’s Hill Performance Hall, but this time it’s online: “Chicken Dance,” for ages 4-8. The show centers on Marge and Lola, two fun-loving chickens on a mission to win the Barnyard Talent Contest and the coveted first prize: two tickets to see Elvis Poultry in concert.Price is $15 per family for the 50-minute musical plus bonus videos and literature-based activities, including an animated book read-along. Click here for more information and to order; use the promo code EISEMANN10 for a discount.
UTDance Ensemble presents “Falling Into the Unknown” Oct. 31
The Fall 2020 UTDance Ensemble program, ”Falling Into The Unknown,” will be presented online Saturday, Oct. 31 beginning at 10 a.m. The program features the Ensemble performing in the outdoor setting of TI Plaza on the UT Dallas campus. Included are new choreographic works by UT Dallas faculty members, including “COVID Reflections,” a collaborative work inspired by the thoughts and emotions of students in the Dance for PD® Dallas virtual dance classes—a group of people with Parkinson’s disease who were brought together through their common interest in dance. The dancers with Parkinson’s will join in remotely from Dallas, New York, Florida and Canada.
There is no cost to view the program—find the link to watch it here.
Winter Watering Schedule Begins Nov. 1
Winter water conservation in Richardson begins Sunday, Nov. 1, allowing residents to water their yards at any time on their twice-per-week designated watering days to avoid watering when temperatures may drop below freezing. If water sprinklers run overnight during freezing weather, they can cause dangerous conditions on roads and sidewalks.
To receive weekly, personalized recommendations on how much water your yard needs, visit www.watermyyard.org.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
With his gorgeous eyes and a little meow that could melt your heart, Benny would make the perfect new addition to your household. Benny is a 6-month-old domestic medium hair, fully vaccinated and neutered. He was brought to the Shelter Oct. 23 as an owner surrender because the owner noticed that he is too hyper for their older cats at home. Benny has been around dogs and cats, although we always recommend slowly introducing a new pet into your household. The owner mentioned that Benny will play with anything that moves. Come give this cutie a new home to play in and share his love! If you would like to adopt, please call the Shelter at 972-744-4480 to schedule an appointment!
The Richardson Police Department has joined the Richardson Animal Shelter in promoting our wonderful pets and supporting our efforts to find each pet their forever home! Officer Harrington is our first officer from the RPD to join our efforts! Please support the Richardson Police Department by checking out their Instagram (www.instagram.com/richardsontx_pd/) and leaving a kind and supportive comment.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
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