Oct. 4, 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.
Cottonwood Art Festival This Weekend
More than 240 artists from around the country will be in Richardson this weekend for the Fall 2013 Cottonwood Art Festival. Now in its 44th year, the biannual event is rated as one of the top art festivals in the U.S. and generates more than $2 million in art sales each year. Exhibits will include museum-quality work in 16 categories including mixed media, sculpture, oil, watercolor, glass and photography.
The festival also includes children’s arts and crafts at the ArtStop, as well as food and live music. Prophets and Outlaws will headline the musical entertainment with a show from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday.
The City of Richardson is offering several opportunities for guests to recycle at the festival with 20 new blue recycling barrels placed throughout the park. Children can learn about recycling at ArtStop, where they can make recycled magazine bead necklaces and recycled paper hats.
Admission and parking are free, and the City will operate a free shuttle between the local parking lots and Cottonwood Park. The festival will take place 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Cottonwood Park, 1321 W. Belt Line Rd., just east of Coit Road.
Visit cottonwoodartfestival.com for more information.
City Council Discusses Dog Park
The City Council expressed support for a proposed dog park on 6 acres near the President George Bush Turnpike west of US 75. At a Monday work session Council members reviewed two possible locations for a dog park in Richardson, concurring with the Parks and Recreation Commission’s recommendation. The proposed site is centrally located within Richardson and is accessible off the US 75 southbound frontage road.
The preferred site for the proposed dog park is on right-of-way land owned by TxDOT that is occupied by President George Bush Turnpike and US 75. The proposed dog park will be constructed under the highway interchange west of US 75. In order to use the right-of-way for an additional purpose, the City must enter into a license agreement with TxDOT.
The $1.4 million project could be ready to bid as early as spring 2014 with construction complete in the fall of 2014. The dog park is expected to feature several elements, including seating, waste disposal stations, water fountains and security lighting.
A dog park was listed as a high priority for Richardson residents in the 2010 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, a system-wide plan for Richardson parks. Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission visited several Metroplex dog parks in the past three years to create a list of best practices and develop a plan for a dog park in Richardson.
Watch the City Council presentation and discussion at bit.ly/15J5qjv.
Ramps from PGBT to US 75 to close Monday and Tuesday nights
Weather permitting, the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) will close ramps from President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) to southbound US 75 (Central Expressway) Monday and Tuesday nights. The closures will take place from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following mornings.
The closures are:
• Monday, Oct. 7: Eastbound PGBT direct-connect ramp to southbound US 75.
• Tuesday, Oct. 8: Westbound PGBT direct connect ramp to southbound US 75.
The closures are for an NTTA contractor to perform pavement repair. Signage will direct motorists to available detours during the closures.
City Wins TXAPA Community of the Year Award
The City of Richardson has been named by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) as the 2013 Community of the Year. APA Texas awards this prestigious honor to a town, city or county for providing outstanding contributions to planning. The award also recognizes exceptional work by civic planners, highlights their accomplishments, and affirms the value planners provide throughout Texas.
As part of its nomination submission, City officials demonstrated how Richardson has been at the forefront of planning, development and leadership since the adoption of its first zoning ordinance in the mid-1950s. Today, the City expects more than 20,000 additional residents and 50,000 additional employees by 2035. To meet this demand, the City continues to pursue several strategies, including transportation diversity and focusing on reinvestment/urbanization, to ensure its sustainability for generations to come.
The Community of the Year award was presented today in Galveston during the APA Texas Chapter annual conference award luncheon. Richardson has been recognized multiple times previously by the Texas APA for a variety of planning projects, programs and practices, but this is the first Community of the Year honor awarded to the City.
Council Reviews Single Family Residential Garage Orientation Considerations
Homeowners who reconstruct or remodel a home may soon be required to maintain the original orientation and direction of the garage. At a work session this week the City Council discussed creating an ordinance to address this issue, as many older homes in Richardson have been rebuilt or renovated, with some projects reorienting access to the garage and changing the character of the street.
City ordinance already requires that when a garage is converted into a living space a new garage accommodating the same number of vehicles must be constructed. If a new ordinance is adopted, any new garage must be accessible from the same street or alley as the original garage.
The City Plan Commission is expected to discuss the proposed ordinance later this month, with a City Council hearing expected in November. Watch the work session discussion at bit.ly/19VpiCA.
National Night Out a Huge Success
The City of Richardson held its annual National Night Out event Tuesday, Oct. 1, and 195 registered neighborhood parties participated and helped collect 7,738 pounds of food for the NETWORK of Community Ministries food bank.
This was the 24th year of NNO participation by the City of Richardson, facilitated by the Richardson Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit. The event promotes awareness, safety and neighborhood unity and showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement.
Fire Training Center Opens
The City of Richardson and the Richardson Fire Department on Thursday celebrated the opening of the City’s new Fire Training Center and Emergency Operations Center. The facility, which replaces existing buildings, was partially funded through the 2010 Bond Program.
The new 11,500-square-foot emergency training complex, located at 1601 E. Lookout Dr., includes a backup emergency dispatch center and an emergency operations center that will improve the City’s ability to respond to major incidents.
It also features a communications tower, an equipment storage building, three fire training offices and two emergency management offices. The training facility will be used to instruct new firefighter recruits, and for current firefighters to conduct required training exercises and multi-company drills.
October Edition of Richardson Today Mailed
The October edition of Richardson Today began arriving in mailboxes this week. This edition focuses on fiscal responsibility and the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Budget. The edition also includes stories about 2010 Bond Program progress and the Telecom Corridor earning "Area of Innovation" status.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and is also available at recreation centers, the Senior Center, City Hall and at the Richardson Public Library. A Richardson Today interactive edition, which includes links to CITV videos, is accessible at bit.ly/115dA8L.
Ask your local mail carrier if you live in the city and do not receive your copy of Richardson Today.
Skinny the Cat Hoping to Live Up to His Name
It’s been more than a year since Skinny made international headlines as a 41-pound stray cat brought to the Richardson Animal Shelter. Skinny has lost more than 13 pounds but is still working to shed fat and reach his goal weight. His morning routine includes sessions on a water treadmill, which his vet said he “tolerates.” Watch a video chronicling Skinny’s progress over the past year at bit.ly/16eiCkf.
The October edition of Richardson Today also includes a story on Skinny’s progress.
You can read the online edition at bit.ly/115dA8L.
Monday Final Day to Register to Vote
Monday is the final day to register to vote in the Nov. 5 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election. To be eligible to vote, applications must be turned in at the Voter Registrar’s office during regular office hours or postmarked at least 30 days before an election. In Texas, voters may download an application online at votetexas.gov that may be filled out, printed and mailed to your county’s voter registrar. Voter registration applications are also available at City Hall in the City Secretary's Office.
The Nov. 5 election will be the first in Texas to require voters statewide to show a photo ID at the polls. Nearly 50 Department of Public Safety driver license offices will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 2 to offer free Election Identification Certificates (EIC), an approved form of identification for those without a photo ID.
EIC applicants must present proof of citizenship and identity. They may also obtain an EIC during regular license office hours. Nearby offices offering Saturday hours include the Garland Mega Center at 4445-A Saturn Rd., and the Plano Office at 2109 W. Parker Rd., #224.
For more information on registering to vote, contact the Dallas County Elections Office at 214-819-6389 or the Collin County Elections Administrator at 972-424-1460 ext. 1990. You may also contact the Richardson City Secretary's Office at 972-744-4290 or visit cor.net/Elections.
Keyboard Conversations® Returns to Eisemann Center
Keyboard Conversations®, featuring concert pianist Jeffrey Siegel, will open the 2013-2014 Eisemann Center Presents Season with “Popular Piano Classics” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7. In addition to performing pieces written by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and others, Siegel will provide commentary about the composers and their work.
Single tickets range from $27 to $32 and are available online at eisemanncenter.com or by phone through the Eisemann Center Ticket Office at 972-744-4650.
Richardson Symphony Orchestra Opening Night at Eisemann Center
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra will open its 2013-2014 season with a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Eisemann Center. The orchestra will perform three orchestra showpieces, including Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with special guest pianist Chu-Fang Huang.
Tickets cost $10 to $87 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
Gracias Christmas Cantata to Perform at Eisemann Center Next Week
The Gracias Christmas Cantata will perform a free show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Eisemann Center. The performance features three stages representing birth, happiness and glory.
Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a seat, call 972-898-4345 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Library Book Sale
The Friends of the Richardson Library will host a book sale with more than 50,000 books, CDs, DVDs and other media available for purchase in the basement of the Richardson Public Library. The members’ preview will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and the sale will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12. Shoppers can purchase everything they can fit into an FOL-supplied bag for $10 from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.
Cash and check will be the only payment methods accepted. For more information, visit richardsonfol.org.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Willa is a spayed female, about 2 years old, and is up to date on all her vaccinations. She was surrendered by her owners after having kittens and they could not care for them. Willa cared for her babies until they were old enough to be adopted. She is a great girl, playful and is good with other pets.
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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