June 14, 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.
City Celebrates Grand Opening of Durham Park
On Saturday the City celebrated the grand opening of Durham Park, a one-acre park that will serve the Richardson Heights and Cottonwood Heights neighborhoods. Nearly 120 members of the Durham family joined City officials, residents from the surrounding neighborhoods and other guests for the ribbon cutting at the park located at 410 S. Weatherred Dr.
The new park includes a playground, pavilion, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. Four of the five columns in the pavilion include bricks from the four houses that were previously on the site. The $1.5 million project was funded through the 2010 Bond Program.
Durham Park is named in honor of W.R. Durham, his daughter, Jessie and their family. W.R. Durham began operating a farm in 1910 in the area that contains the park, and Jessie Durham inherited the farm house when her father died. She also operated a shop on Main Street, where she provided the first library in Richardson out of the back of her store.
Council Discusses Home Improvement Incentive Program
During this week’s City Council meeting, members learned that so far this year properties taking advantage of the City’s Home Improvement Incentive Program (HIIP) have increased in value by an average of $61,540.
HIIP provides an economic development incentive to homeowners who make renovations valued at $20,000 or more. This year, 56 properties are expected to be eligible for the program. Since its launch in 2007, approximately 400 properties have signed on to the program, and slightly more than $1 million in incentives have been paid out generating more than $44 million in redevelopment and neighborhood reinvestment.
Homeowners interested in applying for the HIIP must submit an application before projects begin in order to be eligible. Once construction begins, applicants have two years to complete the work in order to remain eligible for incentives. Once construction is completed the City reimburses the homeowner 10 times the amount in increased City property taxes.
Read more about the HIIP and access the application page here.
Watch the City Council discussion at http://bit.ly/12EDt0p.
Council Discusses Traffic Calming Policy
The City Council on Monday reviewed the Traffic Calming Policy, a program designed to reduce vehicle speeds or limit the number of vehicles traveling on residential streets. Eight groups have initiated a Traffic Calming Study since the program went into effect in 2008, but Dumont Drive is the only one to meet all of the criteria required to move into the trial phase of the program.
Last month the City installed temporary speed cushions on Dumont Drive in an effort to reduce vehicle speeds. The cushions will remain in place during a trial period while the City conducts and reviews a Traffic Study. If the study shows the cushions have been effective without creating other unexpected impacts and is approved by staff and city management, then ballots will be sent to property owners in the area. The policy requires 75 percent concurrence from the neighborhood for cushions to remain in place.
Learn more in the City’s Traffic Calming Policy Packet available at http://bit.ly/1a2vavK. Watch the work session discussion at http://bit.ly/11ul4Ms.
TxDOT Public Input Study June 20
The Texas Department of Transportation is inviting the public to provide input on conceptual alternatives for proposed improvements to the US 75 corridor between I-635 and State Highway 121 at a public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Civic Center. The study addresses long range corridor needs through improvements to transit, arterials, and US 75 main lane capacity.
The meeting will be conducted in an informal “open house” format, with information on display and project personnel available to answer questions and discuss possible mobility and environmental effects of the proposed project.
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/11Sr69i.
Richardson Strengthens Business Ties with France and Sweden
The Mayor’s Office of International Business Development recently hosted two visits aimed at attracting new international investment in Richardson. The most recent visit concluded earlier this week with a Swedish venture capitalist who plans to launch three to four of his 12 portfolio companies in the U.S. each year. One of his portfolio companies Appspotr, a wireless software company, is looking to set up in Richardson’s world renowned Telecom Corridor© area.
In late May, two representatives of the Provence Promotion economic development agency in the south region of France were also in town to start developing relationships with high-tech businesses in Richardson. Several industry sectors in the Richardson/Telecom Corridor© area are similar to those present in their region of France. Their focus was: semiconductors, ICT, telecommunications, wireless, software, RFID and computer gaming.
The French delegation plans to return to Richardson in October with representatives from French companies, universities and other interested parties.
The Mayor’s Office of International Business Development was created in 2011 with the purpose of promoting international business ties in the community. Richardson’s focus on international business, and the more than 50 businesses located in the community with international ties, is part of what prompted the Texas State Legislature to designate the city as the official International Business Capital of North Texas.
Council Approves Continuation of Juvenile Curfew Ordinance
The City Council on Monday approved an extension of the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance for the next three years. The curfew is from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and midnight to 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays for anyone younger than 17 years old. State law requires that the City Council review and vote on extending the ordinance every three years.
Between July 2010 and May 2013, Richardson police officers issued 91 citations for violations of the curfew ordinance and made five arrests. Those numbers – and the total number of juvenile arrests – are down about 20 percent from the previous three-year period between 2007 and 2010.
The ordinance is designed to protect juveniles from becoming victims of crime and to discourage criminal activity. Watch a presentation on the ordinance from last week’s City Council work session at http://bit.ly/11FVGHE.
Council Approves Atmos Rate Schedule
The City Council approved an ordinance Monday that renews the Rate Review Mechanism (RRM) with Atmos Energy, the city’s only gas supplier. The RRM gives the City Council the authority to review gas rates in Richardson while allowing Atmos to make rate filings through an expedited process. Atmos and the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, of which Richardson is a member, first initiated the RRM in 2007 for an initial five year period. The ordinance passed Monday initiates the RRM for another five years.
The RRM replaced the Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP), which the Texas Legislature created to establish an expedited rate review process for Atmos. Many customer cities do not like GRIP, because it limits cities’ ability to review rates and increased the customer charge, which all gas customers pay regardless of how much gas they use.
Watch the work session presentation about the RRM at http://bit.ly/1bwFmdS.
Public Input Sought on Hazard Mitigation Action Plan Update
Richardson’s Office of Emergency Management and the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are seeking public input on an update to the Dallas County Hazard Mitigation Action Plan.
Residents may complete a brief online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NC6G7ZD to provide input about the types of activities that should be considered to reduce future impacts of hazards.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires hazard mitigation plans to be updated every five years. The purpose of the plan update is to reduce the vulnerability of people and property in the planning area to the impacts of hazards. Maintaining a current plan also allows agencies to be eligible for mitigation funding programs from FEMA. Public input is a key component to the planning process.
More information about the Hazard Mitigation Action Plan Update may be found at www.cor.net/hazard. For additional information, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 972-744-4215.
City Wins Communication Awards
Richardson walked away with five awards, including a TAMI, from last week’s TAMI Awards Ceremony held in College Station. The TAMI Award program is the leading recognition program in Texas honoring excellence for municipal communication strategies. The award is presented by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) which includes members from municipal, county and other related agencies and organizations.
Richardson’s Santa from Anna, Texas, video earned the top award from TAMIO for Best Use of a Promotional Item. The video, produced by Richardson’s Citizens Information Television, features an interview with Santa Claus shortly before the opening of Santa’s Village in 2012. In the video, Santa describes his Collin County ranch and shares what it’s like to be the star of Richardson’s annual holiday event. Watch the award-winning video at http://bit.ly/17MF9pG.
The City also won an Award of Excellence (2nd place) for a Special or One-Time Program in cities with a population of 90,000 and greater for its International Business Development video. The City’s website, www.cor.net, also received an Award of Excellence.
Richardson won an Award of Honor in Marketing for Most Creative with Least Dollars for its appearance on the Anderson Cooper Show in 2012 (http://bit.ly/YGV8QD). The Richardson Today HOA Edition also won an Award of Honor.
RISD School Board Runoff Election Saturday
Election Day voting for the Richardson ISD School Board Runoff will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at designated precinct locations. View a complete list of Election Day voting locations at http://bit.ly/18s4GEB.
Richardson City Hall is not a voting location on Election Day. For more information, contact the RISD Administration Office at 469-593-0000.
Richardson Wireless Klub to Conduct 24-Hour Ham Radio Demonstration
The Richardson Wireless Klub will conduct a 24-hour Ham radio demonstration from noon to noon June 22 to 23 at the pavilion in Cottonwood Park. The demonstration will show how ham radio can be used for emergency radio communications when other methods, such as cell phones and telephone lines, are unavailable. The event is part of the American Radio Relay League’s nationwide Field Day, during which amateur radio operators will test their emergency communications skills.
Richardson Wireless Klub volunteers assist the City during the annual Christmas Parade and help out at other events throughout the year. It meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church, 1220 W. Belt Line Rd. For more information, visit www.k5rwk.org.
Summer Camps Begin
Richardson’s Summer Camp Program begins Monday, June 17, for children age 5 to 15. The City offers a Kinder Camp for children age 5 and 6, a Playground Camp and Elementary Camp for children age 7 to 11 and a Teen Camp for children age 12 to 15.
Visit www.cor.net/parksonline to learn more about the Summer Camp program or to register for a camp session.
Dance Groups to Perform at Eisemann
Several dance groups will perform at the Eisemann Center this week. Tickets are available for all shows by visiting www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
The Dance Movement will present “Glitz and Glam” at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. The group will perform “Dancing Through Disney” at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to all shows cost $7. Learn more about the show at www.thedancemovement.com.
Dove Academy of Dance Arts will perform “Disney Tribute” at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $6 to $16. Learn more at www.dancearts.com.
Royale Ballet Dance Academy will present a Junior Showcase at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Senior Showcase will be at 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $8 to $12. Learn more at www.royaleballet.com.
Academy of Dance Arts will present “Color in Motion” at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Tickets cost $10 to $25. For more information, visit www.danceada.com.
Keep Calm and Dance On at Library
The Richardson Public Library will host Keep Calm and Dance On from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the Basement Program Room. An instructor from the Melva Smith School of Dance will teach the latest moves to teens in sixth through 12th grades.
For more information, call 972-744-4358.
Dog Wash Event at Animal Shelter on Saturday
The Richardson Animal Shelter and AnimaLuv are partnering to host a dog wash and toenail clipping event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the shelter, 1330 Columbia Drive. Cost for the dog wash is $10 and toenail clipping costs $5, or both may be purchased for $12.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This is Tyra! She is a female husky mix! Black and white and full of life! She is two and a half years old and has been at the Shelter since May 19. She is a beautiful girl and would be a great addition to the family!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at www.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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