June 29, 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.
Methodist Richardson Medical Center Bush/Renner Campus Expansion Plans Announced
Methodist Health System announced plans yesterday for a new regional hospital at the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Bush/Renner campus.
The $120 million acute care hospital will offer enhanced health care services to residents in the Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, Murphy, Plano, Garland and surrounding areas.
Scheduled to open in fall 2014, Methodist Richardson Medical Center Bush/Renner will include a 266,250-square-foot acute-care hospital to complement the existing physician office building, emergency room and cancer center. The 4-story hospital will initially open with 125 beds, with shell space for 50 more. The hospital will feature a women’s pavilion, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, and labor, delivery and recovery services.
The hospital also will offer advanced cardiac care, including catheterization procedures and electrophysiology as well as surgical services. A radiology department will offer the latest in imaging technology to better diagnose and treat medical conditions. The new hospital will employ almost 900 professionals, and physicians representing more than 35 specialties are expected to join the medical staff.
Plans for the Methodist Richardson Campbell campus, located at 401 W. Campbell Rd., call for continued use of the physician pavilion, a full-service emergency department, and ancillary services such as lab and radiology. Added services will include expansion of the behavioral health unit to include geriatric behavioral health, inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care.
Click the link below to read the full press release:
Family 4th of July Celebration will Feature Food, Music and Fireworks
Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m. at this year’s Family Fourth celebration at Breckinridge Park. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m., and will include live music, kids’ activities and food.
Scheduled to perform are The Tex Fletcher Band at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Richardson Community Band with its annual patriotic salute concert at 8:45 p.m. Performance times are approximate and are subject to change.
Parking is limited at Breckinridge Park, but the City will provide free shuttles between the park and the Rockwell-Collins International Campus, located at Renner and Shiloh roads. The last shuttle will depart from Rockwell-Collins at approximately 9:15 p.m. No pets will be allowed on the shuttles (service dogs are allowed).
Click the link below for more information about Richardson’s Family 4th of July Celebration:
Some Recreation Facilities Will Be Open On July 4th Holiday
Richardson’s Huffhines Tennis Center and several pools will be open during the July 4th holiday.
The Tennis Center will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, and the City’s public pools will open as scheduled, but will all close at 5 p.m.
The City Hall/Civic Center complex, the Library, Heights and Huffhines Recreation Centers, the Senior Center, Municipal Court and Animal Shelter will be closed Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.
Call the Police Department at 972-744-4800 for emergencies when the Animal Shelter is closed.
UT Dallas to Conduct Outdoor Warning System Test
UT Dallas will conduct a one-minute audible test of its outdoor warning system at 10 a.m. Monday, July 2.
The warning system is one of several methods the University uses to warn the campus community of impending or current dangerous situations and is in addition to the City’s outdoor warning system. The City of Richardson will also conduct the monthly test of the citywide outdoor warning system Wednesday, July 4 at noon.
DART to Operate Reduced Schedule for July 4th Holiday
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will operate on the following schedule Wednesday in observance of the Independence Day holiday:
- Bus and light rail services will follow a Sunday schedule.
- The Trinity Railway Express will not operate.
- DART Paratransit services for customers with disabilities will operate on a Saturday schedule.
The Paratransit Scheduling Center will be closed on Wednesday. Customers may call on Monday, July 2, to book trips through Wednesday, July 4, and Tuesday, July 3, to book trips through Thursday, July 5. Customers may call Thursday, July 5, to book trips for Friday, July 6. X-Press Booking and next day weekend voice mail booking is also available.
City Council will Discuss Redistricting Proposals Monday
The City Council will hold a work session discussion on the realignment of the City’s Council District boundaries on Monday, July 2. The discussion follows a public hearing by the Council on Monday, June 25, on the recommendations from the Council District Boundary Commission.
Federal regulations require that the population distribution among City Council districts be approximately equal and that district boundaries be nondiscriminatory. The City Charter requires that the City Council appoint a Commission every 10 years (after the U.S. Census is complete) to review the district boundaries and ensure population equality. Current district boundaries must be realigned because population growth in some areas of the City has led to an imbalance in the population distribution among districts.
On Jan. 30, the City Council appointed the City Plan Commission to serve as the Council District Boundary Commission. Over the course of seven meetings, including two public hearings, the Commission reviewed nine different options. Two options have been forwarded for City Council consideration.
New district boundaries must be approved by the City Council by ordinance no later than July 30, 2012.
Click the link below for detailed redistricting information:
Click the link below to watch Monday’s City Council public hearing:
City Conducts Mosquito Control Spraying Due to West Nile
The Richardson Health Department sprayed for mosquitos this week in an area from Main Street/Belt Line Road south to Buckingham Road and U.S. 75/Central Expressway east to Jupiter Road. The spraying was conducted based on a positive West Nile result that came from a mosquito pool collected within the spray area. It was the second spraying event to occur in Richardson in the past two weeks.
Mosquitoes from areas around the City are continuously tested to detect the presence of West Nile, and sprayings are scheduled to help control the spread of the virus. All spraying events occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.
To protect from bites, people are urged 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.
Click on the following links for more information about the West Nile virus:
City Council Appoints New City Secretary
The City Council on Monday appointed Aimee Nemer to fill the City’s vacant City Secretary post. She will begin July 30.
Nemer currently serves as city secretary for the City of Murphy, a position she has held since November 2004. She is past president of the Lone Star Municipal Clerks Association and is one of only 19 clerks/city secretaries in Texas to hold a master municipal clerk certificate through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
She was selected after a two-month search to fill the office, which has been vacant since Richardson’s former City Secretary retired April 30.
Click the link below to read the full press release:
New Fire Training Center will Include Emergency Operations and Backup Dispatch Centers
Richardson’s new Fire Training Center will provide firefighters a modern training facility, replacing one that is outdated and in poor condition. The new Training Center will also include a backup emergency dispatch center and an emergency operations center, which will improve the City’s ability to respond to major incidents.
Voters approved funding for the Fire Training Center portion of the project in the 2010 Bond Program. Funding for additional elements of the facility will come from several sources, including emergency management grants. The City Council reviewed plans for the project Monday night, and construction is expected to begin this September.
The existing facility, on Lookout Drive east of Plano Road, includes a training tower that was built in the early 1950s and classroom space built in the early 1970s. The new Fire Training Center will be located near the existing one, on City-owned property currently used as a storage facility.
It will include an administration building, an equipment storage building and a training tower. The administration building will include meeting rooms and offices, the backup emergency dispatch center and the emergency operations center. Most areas of the administration building will be dual-purpose, used for training day to day but also able to be used as briefing rooms and meeting rooms in the event of an emergency.
The Training Center will be used to train new recruits, for current firefighters to conduct required training exercises and to conduct multi-company drills that are required for the City to maintain its fire insurance rating.
Plans for the area also include reconstruction of East Lookout Drive as a pedestrian-friendly street that will connect to Lookout Park and nearby trails.
Rendering of New Fire Training Center
Click the links below to watch Monday’s City Council briefing:
Corporate Challenge to Celebrate 15th Year
The launch date for Richardson’s one-of-a-kind Olympic style competition for area businesses has been set. The Richardson Corporate Challenge, the only corporate competition of its kind in Texas, will kick off its opening ceremony at Richardson’s Galatyn Plaza the evening of Friday, Aug. 17. This will be the 15th year for the annual event.
Some of the largest companies in the Metroplex including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Texas Instruments participate in the competitions, and money raised in the events goes to support Special Olympics Texas. Last year Corporate Challenge surpassed $1 million in total donations raised to benefit the organization.
Click the link below for information about Corporate Challenge, including a schedule of events:
July Richardson Today Mailed
The July edition of Richardson Today began arriving in mailboxes this week. The latest edition focuses on community programs and partnerships. Other top stories include progress on the 2010 Bond Program and information about mosquito control and the West Nile virus.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the City and is also available at the Heights and Huffhines Recreation Centers, the Senior Center, City Hall and at the Richardson Public Library. A Richardson Today interactive edition is also accessible through the City’s homepage located at www.cor.net. Ask your local mail carrier if you live in the City and do not receive your copy of Richardson Today.
Click the link below to read the latest edition of Richardson Today, as well as archived editions:
Redesigned City Website Wins Top Communications Award
Richardson’s newly re-designed website has earned the top award from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for website design in a community with a population less than 100,000. The award was presented recently during TAMIO’s annual conference held in Round Rock.
Design enhancements for Richardson’s new website began in February 2011, and the new site was unveiled in March 2012. Its creation was aligned with the Richardson City Council’s Statement of Goals, which aims to improve Citywide communications, increase transparency in government operations, market community assets and encourage public involvement.
The City’s website can be found at www.cor.net.
Library is On Pace for Record-Setting Circulation This Year
Numbers came in this week showing that last Thursday the Richardson Public Library surpassed the million-mark for items checked out. That is two weeks earlier than last year, which was also a record breaking year for items checked out.
The Richardson Public Library serves the people of Richardson and the surrounding community, and has approximately 475,000 visits per year. In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, people borrowed approximately 1.35 million items from the Library.
Kiwanis Club Donates Disaster Relief Backpacks to Fire Department
The Richardson Kiwanis Club on Friday donated disaster relief backpacks to the Richardson Fire Department to distribute to children who have been displaced from their homes due to fire or other disasters.
The packs contain school supplies, a small toy, clothing items, blankets, teddy bears and toiletries. There are different packs for boys and girls, and each one is tailored to a specific age group. All the items were donated and Half Priced Books supplied all of the books.
|Members of the Richardson Kiwanis Club and the Richardson Fire Department are pictured with disaster relief backpacks that were put together by club members. Pictured left to right: Jim Hagan, RFD Asst. Chief-Operations/Fire Marshal Steve Dossett, club member and City Council Member Mark Soloman, RFD Asst. Chief-Administration Ed Hotz, Teri Jones, Ray Beall, John Laine, Scott Teagle, Bill Schaid and Scott Bell.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This is Doe! She is a chocolate labrador retriever. Doe is 1 1/2 years old and is super sweet. She came to the shelter May 29 along with her five puppies! She was a terrific mother and nursed all the puppies to a nice healthy weight. When they were old enough to adopt, they all were adopted very quickly. She has been vaccinated and is in good health. She took such good care of her pups, now its her turn to get some attention! Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Doe or other animals available for adoption.
City Council videos: http://www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=752
City Council agenda: http://www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=1006
City Council meeting documents: http://www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=1329
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Mayor Pro Tem