July 26, 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.
Certified Tax Roll Shows Property Value Growth
This week, Richardson received its certified property values from both Collin and Dallas County. The results show the following:
- Citywide (Collin/Dallas County average): 6.2 percent
- Collin County (commercial/residential/BPP): 9.7 percent
- Dallas County (commercial/residential/BPP): 4.2 percent
The certified values will allow the Council to finalize budget priorities as it continues its 2013-14 budget process. A proposed budget will be presented to Council on Aug. 5 and two public hearings are scheduled to occur later next month with adoption of the budget in early September.
Earlier this month the City Council held its budget retreat to review priorities for the next fiscal year. You can watch the discussion on-demand, or find out more information about the City's budget, at cor.net/budget.
KDC’s State Farm Development to Benefit Local Economy
Monday the City Council received an update on how the 186-acre master-planned project is expected to benefit the local economy.
Rendering of the State Farm office towers
Over a 10-year period, the development is expected to indirectly and directly create 17,400 jobs with a total of $7.3 billion in salaries. It is estimated to generate $13.5 million in city property taxes and $7.2 million in city sales tax over a 10 year period. State Farm will lease 1.5 million square feet in three towers currently under construction near Bush Turnpike and US 75.
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.
Watch the City Council presentation at bit.ly/17BudYL.
City Amends Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance
The City Council on Monday approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance that establishes a definition of a “large scale retail store” and requires a special permit to develop or operate one of these stores in areas zoned for Local Retail and Commercial.
The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance previously allowed retail uses without distinctions based on the size or scale. Because large retail stores that tend to serve a broader geographical area – such as department, home improvement and some grocery stores – can have greater impacts on surrounding neighborhoods than smaller, neighborhood-serving stores, the Council updated the ordinance to require special permits for retail stores larger than 70,000 square feet. The amendment will provide the City Council the opportunity to review such special permit requests on a case-by-case basis, evaluate potential impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and hold public hearings.
The amendment prohibits large-scale retail stores in any district not zoned for local retail and commercial uses. It applies to new and existing stores that are 70,000 square feet in area or larger. Existing stores may continue to operate without a special permit, but would have to obtain City Council approval to expand.
Watch the City Council presentation at bit.ly/13B2xTI.
Council Awards Bid for Library RFID Tagging Services
The City Council on Monday approved a bid of nearly $72,000 from AMH & RFID Solutions to tag about 243,000 books, pamphlets, CDs, DVDs and other items with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors. The project is funded through the 2010 Bond Program and will work in conjunction with a new materials handling system the Library purchased late last year.
RFID uses tags to track and sort items as they are checked out and returned. The new system will include two self-service check-out kiosks and four staffed check-out stations that can also function as self-service stations. This system is expected to reduce lines and wait times.
The tagging of library materials is expected to be complete in late August or early September. The new materials handling system is scheduled to be installed in October.
Council Receives Legislative Update
The Texas Legislature is still in its second special session, but the City Council heard an update Monday on bills passed during the 83rd session that affect Richardson. These bills include:
- SB 1, which allows the use of a surplus of at least $15 million with the Comptroller to be distributed to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to provide park grants to local municipalities and counties. It also allocates $12.65 million to the State Library, which will increase municipal library programs and narrow the gap from last session’s library funding reduction.
- HB 4, which allows for the creation and funding of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas to assist the Texas Water Development Board in the funding of certain water-related projects.
- SJR 1, which establishes the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas to be used only to pay for water infrastructure projects included in the State Water Plan. The proposed constitutional amendment will be on the November 2013 ballot.
- HB 1025, which allocates $2 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund to the Texas Water Development Board to finance projects in the State Water Plan.
Watch a presentation on these bills and other items discussed by the state legislature at bit.ly/1bhVMMj.
Richardson Plans Mosquito Spraying Sunday and Monday
The Richardson Health Department plans to ground spray two separate areas beginning this Sunday, weather permitting, in order to help prevent the spread of the West Nile virus. The decision to spray comes after City Health Department workers were notified that traps located within the two subject spraying locations returned mosquitoes that tested positive for the disease.
For more information on Richardson's mosquito abatement program please visit cor.net/mosquito.
Richardson Hosts Delegations from Across the World
This morning the Mayor’s Office of International Business helped host a delegation of 18 international visitors, a group that included a member of parliament from Poland and dignitaries from Angola, Bahrain, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Serbia and several other countries. They learned about the North Texas economy and the efforts of local governments to promote their cities during their time in Richardson.
The delegation is visiting several cities across the country through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. On Tuesday, another delegation participating in the program will visit Richardson. The second group has representatives from France, Germany, Kosovo, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
On Friday the Mayor’s Office of International Business also hosted United Kingdom Consul General Andrew Millar. He is based in Houston and planned a stop in Richardson during a trip to the Dallas area.
View Budget Retreat Online
The City Council held an in-depth discussion of the 2013-14 budget at its annual budget retreat last week at the Richardson Woman’s Club. The retreat is available to view on-demand at cor.net, and replays will be broadcast at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 4 on CITV, Time Warner Cable channel 16 and ATT U-Verse channel 99.
The City Manager will file the proposed budget for public review by Aug. 2. The City Council is expected to meet on Aug. 5 to set public hearings on the tax rate and budget.
For more information about the 2013-14 Fiscal Year Budget, visit cor.net/budget.
Lanes, Ramps Closed this Weekend for I-635 Construction
Construction work this weekend will result in the closure of several lanes and ramps on westbound I-635 near US 75. From 6 p.m. to noon Sunday, the following lanes will be closed:
- Westbound I-635 on-ramp from northbound and southbound US 75 will be closed. Traffic will be detoured to Greenville Ave. and make U-turn to access westbound I-635
- Westbound I-635 main lanes will be reduced to one lane between Coit Road and Park Central
- Westbound Coit on-ramp will be closed
Message boards and signs along the roadway will advise motorists of all closures and detours. For more information, visit lbjexpress.com and click on “Lane Closures.”
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Special Guests/Movie Screening
Moviegoers got a first glimpse into the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Thursday as the cinema eatery premiered “The World’s End” for fans who won tickets through an online contest. After the indoor screening, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema held a free outdoor screening of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” the other two films in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. Writer/director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost held a Q&A session with fans at the indoor screening and introduced the films at the outdoor showing.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will conclude its free outdoor summer series with a screening of “The Goonies” on Saturday in the theater’s parking lot, at the southwest corner of Belt Line Road and Central Expressway. Gates will open at 7 p.m., with the film beginning at sunset. The event will include food trucks, a pirate ship bounce house, Truffle Shuffle Dance Party and a Baby Ruth eating contest.
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. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expected to open Aug. 9.
For more information, visit on.fb.me/11e9rNK.
Movie Matinee at Library
The Richardson Public Library will host a matinee showing of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days” from 2 to 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, in the Basement Program Room. A free ticket is required to attend. Limited tickets will be available in the Youth Services Department beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the show on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, call 972-744-4358.
Library Hosts Lunchtime Lectures
To mark the 10th Anniversary of Richardson Reads One Book and the selection of the World War II modern classic “The Book Thief” for Richardson’s community-wide read, the Richardson Library will offer special programming about World War II.
A four-part series on Winston Churchill presented by Richard Cudlipp will continue on Tuesday with “World War I and Beyond.” The free Lunchtime Lectures series will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. every Tuesday through Aug. 13. Attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch.
For more information, call Janet Vance at 972-744-4376.
Gregg the Balloon Guy at Library
Gregg the Balloon guy will perform a balloon and magic show from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Saturday at the Richardson Public Library in the Basement Program Room. A free ticket is required to attend. Limited tickets will be available in the Youth Services Department beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, call 972-744-4358.
Registration Begins for TOEFL Class
Registration is open throughout July for a preparation class for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Classes will be held 2 to 5 p.m. on 16 Saturdays from Aug. 3 through Nov. 16.
To register you must:
- Pass a level 5 English test (by appointment only)
- Purchase a study guide
- Commit to attending all 16 sessions
Call Yolanda Medina at 972-744-4368 to sign up for this free class.
RPD Explorers Bring Home Trophies from State Competition
The Richardson Police Department Explorer Post #761 won seven team trophies and two individual awards at the 2013 Texas State Explorer Competition held July 18 to 21 at the University of Texas at Arlington. Two teams from Richardson competed against Explorers from across the state in 16 categories.
Explorer Post #761 Team #1 won first place in the Crisis Negotiations, Intoxicated Driver, Robbery in Progress, Felony Traffic Stop and Unknown Call for Police categories. Team #2 won second place in the Gang Activity category and finished third in Accident Investigations. Explorer Lt. Joshua Gonzalez earned second place in Police Driving and third place on the Written Exam.
Explorer Posts help young men and women who are interested in careers in law enforcement gain insight into a variety of programs that offer hands-on career activities. Learn more about the program, including how to sign up, at cor.net/index.aspx?page=573.
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. “Music for a Summer Night” will feature tuba soloist Jason Wallace.
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.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Mr. Cuddles is a happy, sweet and cuddly older guy. He was found as a stray and we think he's about 8 years old. Mr. Cuddles is neutered, has his basic vaccinations and is litterbox trained. He seems to get along with everyone and we would love to see him find a home soon.
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
Find Richardson Today on Facebook and Twitter.