Week In Review, March 1, 2019
March 1, 2019
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 Council Approves Increased Tax Exemption for Seniors, Disabled
The City Council adopted an ordinance Monday that increases the property tax exemption for disabled individuals and senior citizens (age 65 or older) from $85,000 to $100,000 due to expected increases in property values. The increase will result in a total savings of $625 for the average senior/disabled homeowner.
Under the City’s Financial Policies, the City Council regularly reviews the property tax exemption for citizens over age 65 and disabled persons with a goal to maintain a tax benefit of approximately 30 percent of the average home value. The new, increased exemption is expected to keep Richardson within the policy goal for the next two years.
The appraisal districts will incorporate the increased exemption on notices mailed to qualified residents in April.
Grant Sought to Complete Cotton Belt Hike/Bike Trail; City Pledges Matching Funds
The City Council passed a resolution Monday night to support the last unfunded segment of the 26-mile Cotton Belt Trail, a 12-foot-wide hike/bike trail which will be constructed adjacent to, and in conjunction with, the Cotton Belt Rail Line. The 0.4-mile segment to be funded runs between Waterview Parkway and the future UT Dallas DART station and will include an at-grade crossing at Waterview Parkway with a pedestrian/trail signal. It is expected to cost just under $600,000. Monday’s vote paves the way for the City to apply for grant funding from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Regional Transportation Council and to provide a 33 percent funding match, or no more than $200,000. The Transportation Council’s Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program helps build projects that construct pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly infrastructure.
Three-and-a-half miles of the Cotton Belt Trail will run through Richardson, with DART managing its design and construction. The other Richardson segments of the trail have each been fully funded by DART and/or the NCTCOG.
Grant recipients for the NCTCOG set-aside program are expected to be announced June 13.
Dallas Wireless Emergency Alert System Test Scheduled for March 4
The City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management will conduct a live test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system Monday, March 4 from 10-10:30 a.m. Though the target test area is located within the Dallas Central Business District (CBD), some individuals outside the CBD will receive the alert due to “bleed over.” Cell phones with the Emergency Alerts feature set to “on” that are in the CBD during the test should receive the following text message alert: “This is a test of City of Dallas Wireless Emergency Alerts. No action is required.”
The Wireless Emergency Alert system allows cities to target a specific area during an emergency to give incident-specific information to the public. Dallas chose to conduct the test in the CBD due to its high daytime population and the number of special events that occur there.
More information about the test is available at www.dallascityhall.com. In the event of severe weather or other significant event, the test will be rescheduled for March 8.
Richardson Today Hits Mailboxes
The March issue of Richardson Today was mailed earlier this week and should begin arriving in mailboxes as early as today. This month’s issue has a special focus on reinvestment, including information on street, sidewalk and parks construction planned to begin this summer as part of the Main Street Redevelopment Project. A full page of information on the City’s Home Improvement Incentive Program, which financially supplements homeowners who make a substantial reinvestment in their home, is also included, as well as the Summer 2019 Swimming and Camps Guide.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and is available at recreation centers, the Senior Center, City Hall and the Library. Keep up with Richardson Today stories as they happen, including video, at www.RichardsonToday.com. A digital version of the print edition of Richardson Today may also be accessed there. Ask your local mail carrier if you do not receive your copy of Richardson Today and you live within the boundaries of Richardson.
Lane Closures Near Abrams/Centennial
The right lane of eastbound Centennial Boulevard between Greenville Avenue and Abrams Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through late June due to cable/fiber optic work. In addition, the right southbound lane of Abrams Road between Maple Street and Centennial Boulevard may be closed during that time for the project, also through late June.
Registration Now Open for Summer Camps and Swim Lessons
Registration began this morning for the City’s 2019 summer camps and swim classes. To register or see a list of classes, go to www.cor.net/parksonline.
Class information is also included in a pull-out Recreation Guide available in the March issue of Richardson Today.
Lotsa LEGOs Challenge Saturday
All ages are invited to play and build with LEGOs and try out their skills in a Dr. Seuss-themed building challenge, Saturday, March 2 from 2-3 p.m. in the Basement Program Room.
Admission is free and no registration is required. For more information, call 972-744-4358.
New Lunchtime Lecture Series Begins March 5: “Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates”
Richard Cudlipp is back with a new Lunchtime Lecture series that promises to be an entertaining and informative look at how the U.S. formed its navy. Join Richard Tuesday, March 5 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. for the first installment, about how our nation, in its infancy and without a navy, paid ransom and tribute to the Barbary states to protect its commerce in the Mediterranean.
Lecture location is the Basement Program Room. For adults and teens; admission is free and no registration is required. Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch. For more information, call 972-744-4376.
LEGO Mindstorms March 7
Kids ages 8-12 are invited to take part in a LEGO Mindstorms workshop, Thursday, March 7 from 4-5 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room. Participants will work in groups to code with iPads, perform tasks and race their robot against others.
There is no cost to attend but registration is required; call Youth Services at 972-744-4358 to register.
Learn MS PowerPoint 2016 March 8
A free, beginner-level class in MS PowerPoint 2016 will be held Friday, March 8 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Basement Training Room. Adults and teens will discover how to create their own professional presentations and learn to:
- navigate Microsoft PowerPoint’s resources and tools,
- create and edit slides,
- fashion personalized PowerPoint designs and themes,
- insert and edit text boxes, pictures, charts and video content and incorporate slide transitions and animations.
Registration is required as well as a valid Richardson Public Library Card; call 972-744-4359 to register. Laptops will be provided.
At the Eisemann Center:
- “The Best of Second City” Continues Tonight, Saturday
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, in the Bank of America Theatre. Tickets are $30 for the matinee and $35 for all other performances.
Second City is back with a show that features the best sketches and songs from the comedic group’s history, as well as their trademark improvisation. Presented in partnership with the UT Dallas School of Arts & Humanities—UTD Improv students will be performing during the Friday evening show. Note: These shows contain mature content.
- RSO with Young Artists Winner March 2
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $15-$70.
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra presents a program that includes Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn” and a piano concerto performed by Simon Karakulidi, the winner of the Ann and Charles Eisemann International Young Artists Competition.
- Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra March 3
2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $12-$17.
Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra will present two distinct concerts—a matinee featuring the orchestra’s three younger string groups, and an evening concert featuring the orchestra’s most advanced student groups along with soprano Dr. Jennifer Glidden, assistant professor of Music, Voice and Opera at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets/registration for Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
At UT Dallas:
- Holocaust Scholars Lecture March 3: “The Texas Liberator: Witness to the Holocaust”
7:30 p.m. in the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center. Admission is free.
As part of the 49th annual Holocaust Scholars Conference taking place on campus March 2-4, this public lecture features Dr. Aliza S. Wong, associate dean of the Honors College at Texas Tech University and director of European Studies. Dr. Wong will speak about The Texas Liberator Project and the narratives provided by Texas veterans of WW II, and her college’s work with the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission to support Holocaust and genocide education in schools. For more information, see www.utdallas.edu/ackerman/asc/.
- Technology Lecture Series March 6: “Big Data, AI, and Civic Virtue”
7:30 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free.
UT Dallas’ Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology presents Don Howard, philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame and co-director of Notre Dame’s focus area on the ethics of emerging technologies. Howard will discuss the ethical impacts of big data and artificial intelligence, and how they affect the well-being of communities. For more information, click here.
- Guitar Competition and Festival Begins March 7
7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. Admission is free.
UT Dallas’ 18th annual Guitar Competition and Festival kicks off with a performance by Nicolas Emilfork Diaz, winner of the 2018 competition. Concerts by various artists continue through March 9; click here for a complete schedule.
Chlorine Maintenance Begins in City Water System March 4
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), Richardson’s water supplier, will conduct is annual 28-day chlorine maintenance on its water transmission system and member cities’ distribution systems March 4-April 1. The treatment is both a water system maintenance function as well as a water conservation measure that helps optimize drinking water quality and reduce the amount of hydrant flushing necessary during the warm weather months. The maintenance also meets guidelines set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Though water customers may notice a stronger taster or smell of chlorine in tap water during the maintenance period, the water is still safe for use and consumption. The NTMWD and its 13 member cities continuously test and monitor water quality throughout the year to ensure the water is safe to drink.
For more information, visit www.cor.net/chlorine.
Blue Recycling Bags Delivered to City Warehouse
In preparation for the annual Blue Bag Letter being mailed this month, thousands of blue recycling bags have been received at the City Service Center. The boxes are stored in the warehouse and will soon be delivered to City facilities for distribution The City orders more than 27,000 rolls every year around this time to be ready for everyone who redeems their letter sent by the Mayor and City Council that is good for two free rolls of the bags. The letters should be mailed around March 15.
For more information about the City’s recycling program, visit www.cor.net/recycling.
Assistant House Manager ($2,727-$4,055 monthly)
Eisemann Center is seeking individuals interested in managing all front-of-house operations associated with events and activities scheduled in the Eisemann Center.
Custodian ($2,052-$3,019 monthly)
Custodial Services is seeking individuals interested in cleaning facilities, performing event set ups and break downs and performing minor maintenance tasks in buildings.
School Crossing Guard-part time ($9.74-$15.46 hourly)
The Police Department is seeking individuals interested in assisting children and adults with crossing traffic crosswalks.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Marvel! She is a spayed female, about 5 years old, Lab Great Pyrenees mix. Marvel has a heart of gold, is a bit shy, calm, does well with both cats and dogs, great on a leash and possibly house trained. Please help this sweet girl find a forever home!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
To read previous Week in Reviews, visit www.cor.net/WIR.