Oct. 6, 2017
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. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
City Readies for Cottonwood Art Festival Oct. 7-8
City crews and Community Events staff have been busy at Cottonwood Park this week, preparing for the City’s semiannual Cottonwood Art Festival, which begins tomorrow morning and continues through Sunday. More than 240 artists selected from across the nation will exhibit. It is the City’s second largest community event, now in its 48th year.
In addition to the art, there will be two stages featuring live music throughout each day, a colorful interactive children’s area and a variety of food and beverage vendors. This week, Community Events staff announced three new food vendors: Satay Hut (Asian grilled kabobs); Socal Mini Donuts (warm mini donuts with choices of flavors and toppings); and The Virgin Olive (a variety of Italian selections including spaghetti and meatballs, an Italian hot dog and herb crusted chicken tacos). Other Festival highlights include the Lakeside Courtyard, with lots of shade, seating and tables for taking a break; free parking and a free shuttle. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
Hours for the Festival are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, with additional charges for food/beverages, art purchases and some children’s activities. Cottonwood Park is located at 1321 W. Belt Line Rd. For more information, visit www.cottonwoodartfestival.com.
City Earns Platinum Scenic City Certification
The City of Richardson has been re-certified as a Platinum Scenic City by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas—the highest level certification offered. Richardson previously received the Platinum Certification in 2014.
Richardson is one of only 12 Texas cities to earn the Platinum designation for demonstrating a commitment to incorporating enhanced development standards.
The Scenic City Certification Program is a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners, and is the first in the U.S. to incorporate a comprehensive set of model standards for design and development of public roadways and public spaces into one program. In granting the City of Richardson its Platinum Certification, Scenic Texas gave Richardson maximum points for the planting and upkeep of trees along roadways and in medians, for lighting standards for streetscapes and public spaces, and for being a billboard-less city. Learn more at www.sceniccitycertification.org.
Webpage Launched to Help Fund Inclusive Playground
Fundraising is underway to raise money for the City’s first inclusive playground, a place where kids (and their families) with diverse abilities can come together and participate in meaningful play! The City and Richardson East Rotary Club have teamed up to raise the funds, which will go toward building an inclusive playground at Cottonwood Park. To help with the fundraising, a new webpage, complete with promotional video and link to make online donations, was launched this week.
To watch the video, make a donation or learn more about the inclusive playground project, visit www.cor.net/inclusiveplayground.
National Night Out Held
Richardson’s celebration of National Night Out 2017, held Tuesday, was a success in spite of the rain. Though around 50 neighborhood parties were canceled, more than 100 moved to pop-up tents, garages, front porches and apartment clubhouses as neighbors gathered together to share food and conversation and children happily splashed in nearby puddles.
Richardson Police officers visited as many parties as possible and so did three state representatives, Miss Texas and a Dallas County Commissioner. The Police Department collected 4,349 pounds of food for its “Can Do” food drive.
National Night Out has been sponsored nationally for 34 years by the National Association of Town Watch. It is designed to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie, to help in crime prevention and in enhancing quality of life.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Public Safety Campus
Numerous city, county, state and federal officials were on hand Saturday for the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the City’s new public safety campus. The campus, to be located at the northeast corner of Greenville Avenue and Belt Line Road, will feature the redesign, renovation and replacement of facilities including Fire Station 1 and the Police Station, as well as the installation of public art pieces.
Mayor Paul Voelker served as Master of Ceremonies and recognized the many people involved in making the campus become a reality, including the community, who voted for the project as part of the 2015 Bond Program. He cited the City’s continued population growth as well as the need for fire and police personnel to have updated facilities, equipment and other tools as key driving factors behind the need for the new campus.
Completion date for the public safety campus is planned for fall 2019. To see a video of the ceremony, click here.
City Council Updated on Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project
The City Council was updated Monday on plans for the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project as well as the Project’s progress since last fall, when the DART Board moved up the Cotton Belt Rail Line’s completion date to 2022. DART has been developing preliminary engineering plans/project design documents and an environmental impact statement and has held several meetings for stakeholders and the public. Last month, the Board took action to authorize financing for the Cotton Belt Rail Line.
The City Council heard details about the participation and feedback at the stakeholder/public meetings, viewed an animation of the Cotton Belt Rail Line’s Richardson segment (from Waterview Drive to the CityLine/Bush Station) and learned about project design enhancements the City’s Development Services Department has determined would be beneficial, after conducting its own study. These enhancement priorities include:
In addition to providing input with design development, the City plans to work with DART in the next few months on TIF financial support commitments and right-of-way land parcel transfer. DART plans to hold public hearings in February 2018 with the goal of completing a final Environmental Impact Statement in Spring 2018. When operational at the end of 2022, the Cotton Belt Rail Line will span 26 miles, east-west from Shiloh Road in Plano to DFW Airport, and may include 12 stations.
- A Cotton Belt Trail for biking, jogging and walking that would run adjacent to the rail line (“trail by rail”) in cooperation with the North Central Texas Council of Governments and cities within the rail project
- At-grade crossings at Rutford Avenue (UT Dallas Station) to enhance circulation between the north and south sides of the rail line as well as with the trail
- Wide sidewalks, trail connections and “Z” crossings at all street crossings
- Addressing noise concerns in the residential areas adjacent to the rail corridor
- Incorporating enhanced design into the proposed US 75 rail bridge crossing
- Keeping in mind the City’s Public Art Master Plan for public art at rail stations and in the station plazas
To view Monday’s presentation, click here.
Mosquito Spraying Continues Tonight
The Richardson Health Department sprayed an area last night (see map) and will spray the area again tonight, 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 a trap located within the subject spraying location returned mosquitoes that tested positive for carrying the disease. Spraying begins at 9 p.m. and ends by 4:30 a.m.
For more information on Richardson's mosquito abatement program, please visit www.cor.net/mosquito.
Voter Registration Deadline is Oct. 10
Time is running out to register to vote in the Nov. 7 Constitutional Amendment election—voter registration applications must be postmarked by Oct. 10 or brought in person to the county registrar’s office by end of business on that day in order to participate. The postage-paid application is available online at www.votetexas.gov as well as at the Richardson Library.
New registered voters will receive their voter cards by mail. Early voting begins Oct. 23.
For eligibility requirements and more information, visit www.votetexas.gov. For a list of county registrar locations, click here.
RISD Tax Office Moves to New Location
Richardson Independent School District (RISD) has announced their tax office has moved. The new location is 420 S. Greenville Ave. in Richardson, near the RISD Administration Building in the one-story Annex Building. There is a drop box for payments located just to the left of the building’s entrance.
Property tax statements are arriving in Richardson mailboxes this month for taxes due Jan. 31, 2018, based on values set by the county appraisal districts as of Jan. 1, 2017. Property owners will receive a statement from the county tax office in which the property is located.
Collin County residents can make City, Collin County and Plano Independent School District tax payments at the Collin County tax office branch located at 920 E. Park Blvd., Plano. For Dallas County residents, City and county taxes are paid to the Dallas County Tax Office at 516 Twilight Trail, Richardson, and RISD taxes are paid to the school tax office listed above.
Blue Bags at Fire Station 6 Saturday
Fire Station 6 will offer blue recycling bags from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7. The 30-gallon bags are sold in rolls for $3.50 for residents or $4 for nonresidents. Blue bag letters, redeemable for free rolls, are honored at this location.
Fire Station 6 is located at 3591 Park Vista Rd. The bags are also available at City rec centers, the Senior Center, Service Center and City Hall during normal business hours. For more information, call 972-744-4111.
FOL Fall Book Sale Continues Through Sunday
Head to the Library’s Basement Program Room for the annual Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale, which began this morning and continues through Sunday, Oct. 8. More than 30,000 books, CDs and other media are available, most priced $2 or less.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Friends of the Library is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reading, supporting the Richardson Public Library and enriching the cultural opportunities available to Library users.
Fall Urban Naturalist Walks Kick Off Oct. 7
Explore the Spring Creek Nature Area tomorrow from 8:30-10:30 a.m. with Texas Master Naturalist Rich Jaynes. He will identify and discuss plant community ecology and related topics.
Cost is $5 for adults 18 and older plus $2 for nonresidents. Children may attend for free but must be accompanied by a paying adult. Space is limited to 25 participants; for more information and to register, call Heights Recreation Center (972-744-7850) or Huffhines Recreation Center (972-744-7881) or visit www.cor.net/parksonline (Course #97786).
Disability Employment Awareness Seminar Oct. 10
To coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, UT Dallas and Raytheon invite the public to an “AccessAbility Summit” seminar entitled, “Inclusion Drives Innovation” Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 2-5 p.m. in UT Dallas’ Davidson Auditorium (Jindal School of Management Room 1.118). Keynote speakers are Tracy Jordan, assistant vice president with Bank of America’s Global Delivery Center of Expertise, and Kristy Mandigo, CMDM section manager, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.
Admission is free but registration is required; click here to register.
Richardson Chamber Co-Hosts Legislative Wrap-Up and Appreciation Lunch Oct. 10
The Richardson Chamber of Commerce, along with the chambers from Plano, Allen, McKinney and Frisco, will host a Legislative Wrap-up and Appreciation Lunch with special guest Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus Tuesday, Oct. 10. The event will be held at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel, 1900 Gateway Blvd. in McKinney, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person or $750 for a table of 10.
To register, click here.
At the Eisemann Center:
- Richardson Symphony Orchestra Oct. 7
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$70.
The RSO opens its 2017-18 season with a program including “Bach’s Preludium in E Major from Partita No. 3,” “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92” and Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30.”
A pre-show dinner buffet at the Eisemann Center’s Prelude Café is available for this event, beginning two hours prior to the performance. For dinner reservations, call the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel at 972-367-2000.
- MRMC Family Theatre Series: “The Amazing Max” Oct. 8
2:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $12-$22.
Max Darwin, aka The Amazing Max, combines magic and comedy to make objects appear and disappear and generally defy the laws of physics inches from theatergoers’ faces. This interactive and all-around silly show is appropriate for audiences of all ages.
- “Keyboard Conversations” Oct. 9
7:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $30-$36.
Eisemann Center favorite and internationally renowned concert pianist Jeffrey Siegel is back with a new season of concerts-plus-commentary, where he speaks briefly and informally to the audience before performing each composition. The Oct. 9 concert features “Festive French Fare,” including Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” Ravel’s “The Fountain,” Satie’s “Rag Time Prelude,” and more.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
- Pastoral Reflections Institute Lecture Oct. 11
8 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $35.
Dallas-based nonprofit Pastoral Reflections Institute presents its third annual lecture series, featuring Monsignor Don Fischer speaking on “Original Sin: Freeing Us from Shame.”
At UT Dallas:
- SOLI Chamber Ensemble Oct. 6
8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Tickets are $15.
The renowned and award-winning SOLI chamber ensemble presents “On the Verge: An Evening of Jazz-inspired New Music,” featuring John Williams’ “Air and Simple Gifts,” Sebastian Currier’s “Verge,” Daniel Schnyder’s “A Friday Night in August,” George Tsontakis’ “Eclipse,” and Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s “Lull-A-Bear” for cello and piano. Click here.
- Free Film Screening Oct. 11
7 p.m. in the Jonsson Academic Center room 3.516. Admission is free.
The Center for U.S.-Latin American Initiatives presents, in conjunction with the School of Arts & Humanities, a screening of the film, “Juarez: The City Where Women Are Disposable” by award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Flores. Flores will be on hand for a panel discussion and Q&A after the screening. For more information, click here.
Richardson Civic Art Society Show Opens Oct. 7
The Richardson Civic Art Society’s annual juried membership show begins Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 4 at the Richardson Public Library’s Third Floor Gallery. It features the work of RCAS members (ages 18 and older) in four categories: Oil/Acrylic on Canvas or Hard Surface; Water Media on Paper; Collage/Mixed Media; and Pastels/Graphics. The show is open during regular Library hours, and most work is for sale.
Admission is free. Click here for Library hours of operation.
MoneySmart Small Business Workshops CANCELED
The Library’s free monthly MoneySmart for Small Business workshop series has been canceled until further notice, including the Saturday, Oct. 7 workshop.
For more information, call 972-744-4376.
LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Oct. 12
Ages 8-12 are invited to learn how to use LEGO Mindstorms to build a “Track3r” robot, then race it against challengers. Beginners are welcome! The action takes place Thursday, Oct. 12 from 4-5 p.m. in the Basement Program Room.
Admission is free but registration is required. Call 972-744-4358 or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk to register.
Free Beginner MS Excel 2016 Oct. 13
Learn MS Excel 2016 (Beginner Level) Friday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Basement Training Room. Admission is free but registration is required; call 972-744-4359 for more information and to register. Laptops provided.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pets of the Week
Meet Aimee! This is her third, yes, third time being highlighted as Pet of the Week! How she has not found a home after five months is just unbelievable! Third times a charm we hope! This happy girl hasn’t met a person she doesn’t like, and will be glad to give you a face full of kisses if you don’t believe her. Aimee is great with kids, house and leash trained and would be a wonderful family pet. She is an all American mutt mix, spayed female, 8 years young and up to date on all her vaccinations. Please come by and meet her today!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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Mayor Pro Tem
Marta Gómez Frey