July 12, 2013
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.
KDC Breaks Ground on 186-Acre Master-Planned Development in Richardson
The City of Richardson, KDC and State Farm on Thursday celebrated the groundbreaking for a new 186-acre master-planned project at Bush Turnpike and US 75 (Central Expressway). State Farm will lease 1.5 million square feet in three towers currently under construction at the heart of the transit-oriented development.
In addition to the three office towers, the development surrounding the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Bush Turnpike light rail station will include retail, restaurants, multi-family residential, a hotel and other amenities.
The three towers are part of KDC’s $1.5 billion master-planned project in Richardson near the intersection of Bush Turnpike and US 75. The Class A office buildings will consist of a 13-story tower, 15-story tower and 21-story tower. Each tower is situated on a five-level parking structure along with ground floor retail space.
The new facilities will serve as a hub that will provide claims, service and sales support to State Farm customers. The site will be staffed by a combination of new hires and existing employees. With the new offices, State Farm will be the largest employer in Richardson.
The office towers are slated for early 2015 occupancy. KDC plans to achieve LEED® Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving overall performance and sustainability.
Click here to view architect renderings and a video.
Family Aquatic Center Opens
The new Heights Family Aquatic Center opened to the public this morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event included remarks from City officials and free admission for the day.
The Heights Family Aquatic Center has 8,000 square feet of surface water and features a zero-entry pool with splash playground, current channel, vortex pool, instructional water area, lap swim, and double-tube slide. It is located next door to the new Heights Recreation Center, which celebrated its grand opening in May.
Both facilities are funded through the 2010 Bond Program and are designed to fit with the surrounding neighborhoods’ midcentury modern architecture.
Learn more about the Family Aquatic Center and fees for the 2013 season at cor.net/index.aspx?page=32.
Council Discusses NTMWD Water Supply Plan
The executive director for Richardson’s water provider appeared before the City Council this week to give an update on the water supply and outline what’s being done to increase access to water resources in the future.
Jim Parks of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) said the most pressing concern right now is the start of the North Texas dry season and the low water levels in the District’s reservoirs.
The continued drought and low winter and spring rainfall has caused the level of Lavon Lake to be lower at the beginning of this summer than at the same time in each of the past two years. Lavon Lake is at its full reservoir capacity at 492 feet above mean sea level (a standard measurement used for lake levels). You can see the current levels of lakes used as reservoirs by North Texas Municipal District at ntmwd.com.
As of this week, Lavon Lake, the District’s primary water source, is down more than eight feet and is losing about a half inch of water every day due to evaporation and consumption. Water is being pumped into the lake from other sources, but because of the low water supply, the District anticipates keeping Stage 3 water restrictions, implemented June 1, in effect until conditions improve.
Lavon Lake level comparison
Parks reported the largest impact to the NTMWD’s water supply has been the loss of Lake Texoma due to a zebra mussel infestation. The lake represents about 28 percent of the NTMWD’s water supply. A pipeline to carry water directly from Lake Texoma to the District’s Wylie treatment plant is under construction to restore use of the lake. It is expected to be complete in early 2014.
NTMWD has signed an agreement to be able to purchase up to 60 million gallons of water a day from the City of Dallas for three years to help boost the water supply.
At Monday’s meeting, a long-term plan was outlined showing the process of constructing Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir to meet future water needs. The reservoir will be about the same size as Lavon Lake and is expected to be usable in 2020. Long-term plans call for using additional water from Lake Texoma by 2025 and constructing two additional reservoirs by 2060.
Watch the City Council presentation at bit.ly/12BD74M.
City Council Budget Retreat Next Week
The City Council will hold its annual budget retreat beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Richardson Woman’s Club, 2005 North Cliffe. The retreat is open to the public and will be broadcast live online at cor.net and on CITV, Time Warner Cable channel 16 and ATT U-Verse channel 99. Replay broadcasts will be aired at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 4 and will be available on-demand online.
For more information about the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Budget, visit cor.net/AnnualBudget.
City Council Discusses Wall, Bridge, Sign Maintenance
Did you know that the City maintains 16.6 miles of screening walls, 144 bridges, 18,838 signs and 400 miles of lane line buttons? The City Council discussed long-term maintenance strategies for these items at its Monday work session in preparation for its annual budget retreat, set for Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The Council will determine how much funding should be allocated for annual maintenance of these and other City properties when it approves the next budget in September.
The Community Services Department has developed a plan to address the long-term upkeep of the 129 screening walls maintained by the City. All screening walls in the City have been inventoried and assessed for damage. The plan calls for washing and painting of a third of the screening walls each year, beginning with those that need the most attention. This would ensure that all screening walls in the City are updated every three years.
The Capital Projects Department presented similar plans for ongoing maintenance of the City’s bridges. The City has identified 12 bridges that are in immediate need of aesthetic attention, with three already slated to receive updates through other projects. The plan calls for these bridges to be repaired with funds from the next budget.
The City is in the process of replacing all overhead street signs, which is expected to be complete in 2014. Plans call for the City to replace 400 to 500 small street name signs each year.
Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/1aWPq3S.
City to Dedicate Keffler Ballpark on Saturday
The City will dedicate Keffler Ballpark at 10 a.m. Saturday at Breckinridge Park, which is on North Brand Road just south of Renner Road. The ceremony will include the unveiling of a new entry sign for the ballpark, which is named in honor of former City Manager Bill Keffler, who spent his entire career in city management with the City of Richardson. He served as City Manager from 1995 to 2012.
After the ballpark dedication, the Keffler family will be invited to play a game of whiffle ball with City of Richardson staff.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to Show Free Outdoor Movies
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will kick off its free outdoor summer series with a screening of “Dazed and Confused” Saturday in the theater’s parking lot, at the southwest corner of Belt Line Road and Central Expressway. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., with the film beginning at 8:30 p.m. The event will include food trucks, an outdoor pinball arcade, ’70s muscle car show and more.
The screenings will continue with “The Lost Boys” on July 20 and “The Goonies” on July 27. For more information, visit on.fb.me/15cOGBk.
Richardson used an economic incentive package to lure the development so it could serve as a catalyst for the Heights Shopping Center, attracting other retail to Richardson. The shopping center was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s and has been a focus of revitalization efforts by the City and property owners.
PGBT Ramps Closed This Weekend
Two President George Bush Turnpike ramps will be closed from 8 p.m. tonight (Friday) through 5 a.m. Monday for construction work. The eastbound PGBT entrance ramp from East Renner Road will be closed, and motorists will be detoured to the Campbell Road entrance ramp to get on the turnpike. The westbound PGBT exit ramp to East Renner Road will also be closed, with westbound motorists detoured to the Campbell Road exit ramp to access East Renner Road.
The closures are subject to weather and could be postponed, if necessary. For more information, visit ntta.org and click on “Scheduled Lane Closures” or call 214-224-3030.
AIR to Host First PopUP Art Exhibit
The Arts Incubator of Richardson is hosting its first PopUP Art Exhibit beginning Saturday through July 21 at SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 3251 E. President George Bush Turnpike. The temporary storefront art gallery will showcase several types of art, including acrylics, jewelry, metalwork, mixed media and much more. Gallery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday through July 20 and noon to 4 p.m. July 21.
A PopUP Opening Event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday will give attendees a chance to meet the artists, listen to live music by the Clarinet Doctors and LoveSong, enjoy snacks and participate in drawings.
For more information, visit artsincubatorrichardson.org.
RPD to Conduct VIN Etchings and H.E.A.T. Registrations
The Richardson Police Department in partnership with the North Texas Auto Theft Task Force, will offer free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etchings and conduct Help End Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.) registrations Wednesday, July 17. Bring your vehicle to the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center (411 W. Arapaho Rd., south parking lot adjacent to Belle Grove Drive), between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., to have the vehicle’s VIN etched into each window.
VIN etching is used to deter auto theft. Car thieves who steal cars for resale or for parts will tend to avoid vehicles that have the glass etched with a VIN. The etching reduces the criminal’s profit, associated with replacing a vehicle’s windows and the windows themselves becoming worthless for resale.
The H.E.A.T. registration program places a sticker on your vehicle and registers it in a statewide database used by law enforcement in Texas. The event is conducted on a first come, first served basis and only takes minutes to complete.
For more information, contact the Richardson Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 972-744-4955 or visit cor.net/index.aspx?page=335.
Learn about Composting at Free Seminar
Backyard composting expert Mary Tynes will teach a free composting seminar from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 20, at the Richardson Service Center, 1260 Columbia Dr. She is the site editor of mastercomposter.com and has spoken extensively at local and national events.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 972-744-4404. Space is limited.
Sister's Summer School Catechism Continues at Eisemann Center
Eisemann Center Presents is showcasing the world premiere of “Sister’s Summer School Catechism,” the newest show in the popular Late Nite Catechism series. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays each week through July 21.
Tickets are $38-$44 and are available at eisemanncenter.com or by calling the Eisemann Center Ticket Office at 972-744-4650. The Ticket Office is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and one hour before public events. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling Group Sales at 972-744-4657.
Kraig Parker's Symphonic Salute to Elvis at Eisemann Center
Elvis Tribute artist Kraig Parker is teaming up with conductor Bryan English and the DFW Pops Orchestra for a show that pays tribute to Elvis Presley at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Eisemann Center.
Tickets cost $25 to $60 and are available at eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650. Learn more about the show at thekinglives.com.
Richardson Community Band to Perform Sunday
The Richardson Community Band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday on the lawn of the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Rd. “Sweet Land of Liberty” will feature guest vocalist Teresa Vilfordi Korman and special guest Charles W. Eisemann.
Families are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic supper to enjoy an evening of music. For more information and to see a list of upcoming free concert dates, visit richardsoncommunityband.org.
Learn How to Sell on eBay at Library Program
Learn the basics of how to sell your stuff through eBay auctions at a Lunchtime Lecture from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Richardson Public Library. The free program will be led by eBay Educational Specialist Grenda Walton. For more information call 972-744-4376.
The Singing Zoologist to Visit Library
Lucas Miller, the Singing Zoologist, will perform two shows on Sunday at the Richardson Public Library. Miller will entertain and educate with wacky songs and stories about monarch butterfly migration and life cycles.
The shows will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. A free ticket is required to attend. Limited tickets will be available in the Youth Services Department beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, call 972-744-4358.
"Bird" is the Word at the Library
The Richardson Public Library will host “Bird” is the Word from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 to 4:14 p.m. Saturday in the Basement Program Room. The event for all ages features Woodrow, the live woodpecker, and bird eggs, nests and facts.
A free ticket is required to attend. Limited tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Youth Services Department on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call 972-744-4358.
Animal Shelter to Host Microchip and Nail Trim Clinic
The Richardson Animal Shelter will host a Microchip and Nail Trim Clinic from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Shelter, 1330 Columbia Dr. At the event, pets may be microchipped for $15, and nail trims will be offered for $5.
For more information, contact the Shelter at 972-744-4480.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Savi is a domestic short hair and is 1-3 years-old. She is up to date on all her vaccinations, is playful and good with children over the age of six.
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at facebook.com/RichardsonAnimalShelter.
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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Mayor Pro Tem