Aug. 17, 2012
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. A list of links for stories in this edition is available at the bottom of the page.
Dallas County Aerial Spraying Scheduled to Complete Richardson Tonight
Dallas County reports aerial spraying to be conducted tonight Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 should include parts of Richardson not sprayed during Thursday night’s mosquito control operations. Though planes were operating over the area, western Richardson was not included in the spraying, and eastern parts of Richardson were not completed due to unfavorable weather conditions.
The portion of Richardson that was sprayed is located between the northern and southern city limits east of US 75, between Central Expressway and approximately Plano Road (see map). Dallas County emergency management officials report the portions of Richardson not sprayed last night should be completed in an aerial mosquito spraying operation scheduled to begin this evening. Planes are set to begin operations at 9 p.m., but it is unknown exactly when they may arrive to spray over Richardson.
All mosquito control spraying operations are dependent on weather conditions and could be cancelled without notice.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bob Townsend sent a letter formally requesting Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to include Richardson in Dallas County’s aerial mosquito control program. The request was made in response to recommendations from federal, state and local health officials who have identified an immediate public health threat in Dallas County due to the spread of the West Nile virus.
Dallas County is at the epicenter of an outbreak of the West Nile virus. The area accounts for nearly half of the human cases of West Nile virus in Texas and nearly a quarter of all human cases currently recorded in the United States. The North Dallas County area, which includes parts of Richardson, holds approximately 76% of those cases.
The insecticide used in the aerial spraying contained the same active ingredient Richardson uses in its trucks; however, aerial application is more efficient and allows more uniform dispersion in areas where vehicle spraying cannot reach.
Spraying by air or ground is just a measure used to help decrease mosquito populations and decrease the chances someone will be bitten by a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus. Health workers say people still need to be diligent in protecting themselves.
To protect from mosquito bites, people are asked to follow the Four D’s of protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home,
- Use insect repellent containing DEET,
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitoes are most active,
- And DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants to reduce skin exposure.
Update on Algal Bloom
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) reports that an algal bloom continues to impact the odor and taste of its public water supply. The NTMWD supplies water to the City of Richardson.
An algal bloom occurs naturally when high temperatures and dry weather provide good conditions for the Nostoc and Anabaena species of blue green algae to reproduce. The phenomenon typically occurs in the region in late July and August and does not pose any health risks.
NTMWD employees monitor algae levels in the water and take steps to minimize the changes in taste and odor.
For more information visit www.ntmwd.com.
City Council Awards Bid for New Fire Training Center
The City Council approved a contract Monday for the City’s new Fire Training Center, Emergency Operations Center and backup emergency dispatch center. Construction is expected to begin next month.
The new Fire Training Center is part of the 2010 Bond Program and will replace existing facilities that are outdated and in poor condition. A backup emergency dispatch center and an emergency operations center were added to the project to improve the City’s ability to respond to major incidents. The Center will be located on City-owned property near the existing facility on Lookout Drive east of Plano Road.
The new Center is expected to open in early fall 2013.
Neighborhood Vitality Program Implementation
The City of Richardson will accept bids later this month to construct the first projects in the Neighborhood Vitality portion of the 2010 Bond Program. The first phase includes bridge enhancements in the Duck Creek, Mark Twain and North College Park neighborhoods.
The bridge updates include railing, stone fascia and end columns at three locations in the Duck Creek and Mark Twain neighborhoods and adding several columns to the existing railing in the North College Park neighborhood.
Construction on the bridges is expected to begin in October and be complete early next year. Other 2010 Bond Program Neighborhood Vitality projects nearing construction are bridge updates in the Cottonwood Heights and Canyon Creek neighborhoods.
City Council Public Hearing for 2012-2013 Budget and Tax Rate
The City Council’s first public hearing on the proposed 2012-2013 budget will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, with a second hearing scheduled for Monday, Aug. 27.
The proposed budget maintains the current tax rate of $0.63516 per $100 of assessed valuation, and for the first time includes $1 million dollars as part of the City Council’s commitment to maintain one penny of the tax rate to be used for road improvements.
All budget meetings are open to the public. In addition, as part of the City Council’s Transparency Initiative goals, the meetings are also broadcast live on CITV (Channel 16 on Time Warner and Channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse) and on the City website, www.cor.net. City Council videos and documents are also available on-demand on the City’s website.
West Spring Valley Road Rehab Project
The City Council gave the green light to an updated bridge design as part of the West Spring Valley Road Rehab Project at its Monday work session. The new plans add a window feature made of stainless steel and limestone at each end of two bridges along Spring Valley Road that cross Cottonwood Creek and Hunt Branch.
The updated Spring Valley bridges will include similar construction materials and design themes as several nearby neighborhood bridges, which are also being redesigned as part of the Neighborhood Vitality projects in the 2010 Bond Program. The council expects the new bridges to help bring a consistent look to the Spring Valley Corridor.
The Spring Valley Road Rehab Project is a joint effort of the cities of Richardson and Dallas, Dallas County and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
Rendering of Cottonwood Creek Bridge feature
View the City Council discussion at www.bit.ly/NDMqgK.
Chamber of Commerce Israel Tour
The Richardson Chamber of Commerce is accepting reservations through Aug. 24 for a tour of Israel scheduled for Dec. 2-10. The trip will include guided tours of several historical sites and coincides with The Globes Israel Business Conference, a prestigious event attended by delegates from the Chamber and the State of Texas.
The tour includes stops at the Mount of Olives, Garden Tomb, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth and many other historic and religious sites.
Cost is $3,369 per person and includes round-trip airfare, airport transfers, breakfast and dinner daily, hotel accommodations and admission to tours and attractions. Registration for the business conference is additional and is not mandatory. A non-refundable deposit is due Aug. 24 with balance due in full by Sept. 30.
For more information, contact Jonie Walters at 972-792-2822 or email@example.com.
Dog Splash Day
The annual Dog Splash Day will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Terrace Pool, 300 N. Lois Lane.
Admission is $5 per dog. No pre-registration is required, and dogs must have a current rabies vaccination to enter. The event is sponsored by Richardson AnimaLuv, which supports the Richardson Animal Shelter.
Sales Tax Shopping Holiday Aug. 17-19
The 13th annual tax-free shopping weekend is Aug. 17-19 on clothing, footwear and school-related backpacks that sell for less than $100. School supplies for students in elementary and secondary schools that cost less than $100 per item are also tax free.
The exemption applies to each article of clothing, footwear, backpack or supply selling for less than $100, regardless of how many items are sold on the same invoice. The sales tax holiday does not include sales of clothing and footwear worn exclusively for an athletic activity, accessories, handbags, luggage, watches and similar items.
For more information, contact the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts at 1-800-252-5555 or visit www.window.state.tx.us.
ESL Tutor Training Workshop is Saturday
A training workshop will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 for English as a Second Language tutors. The class, presented by the Richardson Adult Literacy Center, is designed to train volunteer tutors who can then help others learn to speak English.
For more information visit www.ralc.org.
Streets closed for Corporate Challenge Opening Ceremony
Because of the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Corporate Challenge this evening, the following streets will be closed until 9:30 p.m.: Performance Court west of Performance Drive and Plaza Boulevard north and south of Performance Court. All streets should be open back to traffic after 9:30 p.m.
Canyon Creek and Glenville Pools Open on Weekends through Labor Day
The City pools officially closed for the season Aug. 12, but Canyon Creek and Glenville pools will be open on weekends through Labor Day (Aug. 18-19, 25-26 and Sept. 1-3).
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This is Sandy! She is a spayed, female boxer mix about a year old. She is up to date on all vaccinations, is very playful and has been at the Shelter since June. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Sandy or other animals available for adoption.
Animal Shelter Facebook Page
City Council videos: http://bit.ly/LSHJzE
City Council agenda: http://bit.ly/QoOWF4
City Council meeting documents: http://bit.ly/OrSIQ2
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