Week In Review, Sept. 13, 2019
Sept. 13, 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.
Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
City Council | City Plan Commission
City Council Approves FY 2019-20 Budget and Tax Rate
The City Council approved Richardson’s FY 2019-20 Budget Monday night, which will go into effect Oct. 1. The $298 million operating budget is an increase of 4.1 percent from 2018-19 estimated expenditures, while maintaining last year’s property tax rate of $0.62516 and including an increased senior tax exemption of $100,000. The increased budget is made possible in part due to continuation of strong property values experienced in the city associated with growth in the Richardson Telecom Corridor© and North Texas area.
Pursuant to the City Council’s goals, the budget directly applies the impact of this recent growth toward improvements in infrastructure and providing resources for replacing the City’s traffic and information technology legacy systems, as well as supporting public safety.
For more details about the 2019-20 Budget, visit www.cor.net/budget.
Local Tech Titan Winners, Finalists Honored with Proclamation
Mayor Paul Voelker proclaimed Sept. 9, 2019 as “Technology Day” in honor of individuals and programs with Richardson ties who were named among the finalists and winners in the 2019 Tech Titans Awards program. The awards are given annually by Tech Titans™, The Technology Association for North Texas, to recognize individuals and companies in North Texas that are transforming the high-tech industry, making contributions locally as well as to the industry overall.
Recognized at the Sept. 9 City Council work session were:
- Dr. Rym Zalila-Wenkstern, UT Dallas (Category: Technology Inventor Award)
- UTDesign EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service), UT Dallas (Category: Tech Titan of the Future—University Level)
- James Klein, Qorvo (Category: Corporate CEO)
- Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas (Category: Tech Titan of the Future—University Level)
The Tech Titans 2019 Awards Gala was held Aug. 23. For more information about the finalists and winners, visit www.techtitans.org.
Nomination Deadline Approaches for Community Revitalization Awards
Nominations continue to be accepted for the 2019 Community Revitalization Awards through Sept. 30. The Richardson City Council created the awards in 1994 to recognize people who have enhanced the community by making significant improvements to their properties. Residential and non-residential properties are eligible for consideration, with more than 270 properties recognized since the program’s inception.
More information and a nomination form is available online at www.cor.net/cra. For additional information, contact the program administrator, Keith Krum, Senior Planner in the Development Services Department, at 972-744-4240 or email@example.com.
Public Safety Expo is Tomorrow
The 2019 Richardson Public Safety Expo will be held Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Richardson Civic Center Fountain Plaza. The annual event is free, family-friendly and a great way to get a closer look at police and fire operations as well as learn how to make homes and neighborhoods safer.
- display of first responder vehicles
- K-9 demonstrations
- a bike rodeo for kids
- helicopter visit
- SWAT display
- Animal Services’ Mobile Adoption Trailer
- face painting, bounce house
- character visits from Nat the National Night Out Knight and McGruff the Crime Dog
- vouchers for free blue recycling bags
For more information, click here.
North Texas Giving Day is Sept. 19
Next Thursday, area residents as well as friends across the globe have the chance to build a stronger and more vibrant North Texas community through the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day. The 18-hour “giving extravaganza” sponsored by the Communities Foundation of Texas raises money for North Texas nonprofits through an easy-to-navigate website—with a few clicks of a mouse and one credit card transaction, anyone may donate to any or all of more than 2,300 nonprofits.
Several nonprofits with close ties to the City of Richardson are participants this year, including:
- Friends of the Richardson Public Library
- Eisemann Center Foundation
- Richardson Citizens Fire Academy Alumni Association
- Richardson Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
To donate, log on to www.northtexasgivingday.org and search the database for a particular nonprofit organization, or browse based on location or keywords. Donors may make single donations or designate various amounts for multiple organizations, and receipts are provided.
“Feeding Children Everywhere” Event Bags 73,000 Meals
The fifth annual Feeding Children Everywhere event was held Sunday at City Hall, where community volunteers came together to assemble approximately 73,000 nonperishable healthy meals that will make an impact on hunger in the north Dallas County area as well as internationally.
The event was co-sponsored by the City of Richardson, the Richardson Interfaith Alliance, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce and Compassionate DFW.
Main Street Area Readies for Construction
Construction work is set to begin soon on the Main Street Redevelopment/Reinvestment Project. After a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony held last month, the construction trailer was put in place this week at the intersection of Polk Street and Texas Street, where engineers and other project managers will work as they oversee the project. Electronic message boards will be up next week, giving notice to commuters that construction is about to begin and that people may want to look for alternate travel routes. The first street closure is scheduled to begin Sept. 30 (Polk Street between Texas Street and Interurban Street).
The Main Street area, now officially known as The Richardson Core District (THE core), is being renovated to create an environment where people will want to gather and interact, which in turn will attract new businesses and residential developments. Traffic is expected to be impacted until December 2020.
For more information, visit www.cor.net/mainstreet.
Huffhines Pond Dredging Project Begins; South Trail Closed Temporarily
Due to the Huffhines Park pond dredging project, the paved trail on the south side of the pond, between St. Johns Drive and Huffhines Recreation Center, will be closed at all times to facilitate construction activities and ensure public safety. The project is expected to be completed by the end of October, weather permitting.
Dorothy Drive Reconstruction to Begin
Lane closures are expected on Dorothy Drive between La Salle Drive and Polk Street due to a major road reconstruction project lasting through fall of 2020. From the week of Sept. 23 to early December, the southbound lane will be closed. The road’s reinforced concrete pavement will be replaced, curb to curb, and a new storm sewer will be installed, as well as new water mains, new wastewater mains, directional ramps, and sidewalks as needed.
Lane Closures Expected Near Richardson Animal Shelter
The right lanes of northbound and southbound Plano Road between Columbia Drive and Apollo Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through late December due to the replacement of underground cable. In addition, eastbound and westbound Columbia Drive between Glenville Drive and Plano Road may be narrowed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through mid-December, also for cable work.
North Texas Giving Day Celebration at CityLine Sept. 19
Helping Agencies Serving Richardson will host a “North Texas Giving Day Richardson Celebration” Thursday, Sept. 19, from 4:30-7 p.m. Thirty local nonprofits will have booths set up in CityLine Plaza with activities and information about volunteer opportunities, and there will also be games, live entertainment and prize drawings. Kiosks will be available where attendees can give monetary donations to the charities of their choice. (Thursday marks the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day—see above story for more information.)
Admission is free and all ages are welcome. CityLine Plaza is located at 1150 State St. For more information about the event, click here.
October FOL Book Sale Accepting Book/Music/Movie Donations
Friends of the Richardson Public Library, a nonprofit organization that supports the Library and enriches cultural opportunities available to Library users, is accepting donations for its Fall Book Sale. Items accepted for the sale, which takes place Oct. 11-13 at the Library, are as follows:
- Hardback and Paperback Books (excluding encyclopedias and out-of-date textbooks)
- Audio Books
- Record Albums
Bring items for donation to the Library’s Circulation Desk during regular business hours. For more information, visit www.richardsonfol.org.
“Eisemann Center Presents” Family Theatre Preview Party Sept. 14
Learn about upcoming shows in the Eisemann Center’s Family Theatre Series, such as “Maddi’s Fridge” and “Pete the Cat,” Saturday, Sept. 14 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Basement Program Room. Snacks, games and crafts will follow the presentation.
For ages 4 and up. Admission is free and no registration is required. For more information, call 972-744-4358.
Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day Sept. 19
All ages are invited to a jolly good time Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Basement Program Room to duel with Nerf swords and learn about the history of pirates and dueling with pirate expert Sam Nash. The fun takes place from 4-5 p.m. and admission is free. No registration is required.
For more information, call 972-744-4358.
RSO String Quartet Performs at Book Discussion Sept. 19
Enjoy a performance by a string quartet from the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and
discuss the book, “The Music Shop,” by Rachel Joyce Thursday, Sept. 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Basement Program Room.
For adults and teens; admission is free and registration is not required. For more information, call 972-744-4376.
Hispanic Heritage Month Begins Sept. 15
The Center for US-Latin American Initiatives at UT Dallas, along with the UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities, helped kick off Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting the campus’ first Latin American Dance Festival Sunday at the University Theatre. Dance groups from Dallas and Panama shared several folkloric and Latin American dances, and the City’s Communications Department was there to capture their style and grace—watch the video here. Visit www.utdallas.edu/cuslai for more information on future events.
“The Foreign Student Experience” at The Core Theatre
The Core Theatre, in collaboration with several foreign student groups from UT Dallas, is presenting an original theatrical performance Sept. 13-15 about the foreign student experience in North Texas. Students from Taiwan, Kenya, Nigeria and The Democratic Republic of Congo will share their own stories as they lead the audience through the process of coming to the U.S. and petitioning to attend universities in North Texas. Learn what it’s like to leave your family to seek higher education and greater opportunity in another country and study challenging subjects in a language that is not your native tongue.
Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. For tickets, call 214-930-5338 or click here. The Core Theatre is located at 518 W. Arapaho Rd., Ste. 115. To view a video about the production created by the City’s Communications Department, click here.
Chinese/Vietnamese Cultural Festival Sept.15
Richardson’s Buddhist Light International Association will co-host a local version of the Mid-Autumn Festival, an annual Chinese and Vietnamese harvest festival, Sept. 15 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the International Buddhist Progress Society, 1111 International Pkwy. Expect a Lion Dance, activities such as lantern painting and origami, a vegetarian fair and food for sale including shaved ice, boba, soft tofu and spicy peanuts.
For more information, click here.
RCT Cast Enthralls Children, Parents at Library
Cast members from Repertory Company Theatre’s upcoming production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” visited the Library Saturday afternoon to teach children some swashbuckling moves and perform excerpts from the play. The musical play is a Peter Pan prequel based on the popular children’s book series by Dave Barry.
The City’s Communications Department was there to capture the fun—watch the video here.
At the Eisemann Center:
- “Spectacular Follies” Continues Through Sept. 15
2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday with an additional 7 p.m. show Saturday in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $22-$55.
The Spectacular Follies celebrates its 11th year with “A New Attitude,” an all-new production showcasing the talents of a professional cast of entertainers over the age of 55. The family-friendly show features singing, dancing, gorgeous sets, lavish costumes and a live orchestra.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
At UT Dallas:
- Korean-American Classical Pianist Soyeon Kate Lee Tonight
8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Tickets are $15; click here to purchase.
Praised by both The New York Times and The Washington Post, Lee will perform works by Mozart, Chin, Debussy, Chopin and Granados.
- Anlin Ku Lecture Series: “The Woman Who Could Not Forget” Sept. 19
7:30 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free.
Dr. Ying-Ying Chang discusses her daughter, the late author Iris Chang, and her works. Chang’s books documented the historical experiences of Chinese and Chinese Americans.
For parking and other information, visit www.utd.edu/ah/events/ or call 972-883-2787.
“Towards Zero” Continues at Richardson Theatre Centre
Richardson Theatre Centre, 518 W. Arapaho Rd. Ste. 113, is presenting “Towards Zero” through Sept. 22. The whodunit play, written by Agatha Christie and Gerald Verner, takes place at the seaside home of Lady Tressilian, where several guests have gathered at the end of summer for two weeks. When Lady Tressilian is killed, a maze of clues and deception is experienced by Superintendent Battle, who is investigating the case.
Show dates and times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22 and include complimentary snacks, sweets and beverages. For tickets, call 972-699-1130. To get behind the scenes, view a video about the show created by the City’s Communications Department here.
More Dates Added for Blue Bag Giveaways
The Public Services Department has added additional dates and locations for blue recycling bag giveaways this month. Remaining giveaways scheduled for September are as follows:
- Sept. 14—Public Safety Expo, City Hall/Civic Center Fountain Plaza—9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sept. 16, 23, 30—Walgreens, 2140 E. Campbell Rd.—1-2:30 p.m.
- Sept. 18, 25—Dollar Tree, 1750 E. Belt Line Rd.—2-3:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19, 26—Richardson Public Library—1-2:30 p.m.
Stop by during these times to receive free recycling information—Richardson residents will receive one free roll of recycling bags. For more information about Richardson’s recycling program, visit www.cor.net/recycling.
Start New Driving Habits on World Ozone Day Sept. 16
World Ozone Day is Sept. 16, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to raise public awareness of the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere and encourage solutions to preserve it. Since the ozone layer is stripped away by pollutants in the air (such as auto exhaust and gasoline vapors) that also create harmful ground level ozone on hot, sunny days, Air North Texas (a division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments) offers advice at its website on how individual drivers can reduce emissions, including:
- Plan your commute around traffic, to avoid increased driving time. A free app called 511 DFW allows users to access real-time traffic and construction reports in the DFW area. (To learn more, click here.)
- Check out Air North Texas’ “Try Parking It” rewards program, which offers resources and rewards for people who use options such as carpooling, public transportation and even telecommuting as alternatives to driving to work (www.tryparkingit.com).
- Reduce idling, i.e. keeping your vehicle engine running when it’s not moving. It is a myth that restarting your car uses more fuel than keeping it idling!
For more information, visit www.airnorthtexas.org.
One More Week to Order “UPlantIt” Garden-in-a-Box
There’s still time to order a “UPlantIt” boxed garden, a collection of plants and garden designs created by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Water University that make it easy for gardeners (and non-gardeners) to plant perennial flower gardens. Each box includes three “plant-by-number” garden design layout options and 32 starter plants (with 14 different varieties) that are tagged and numbered to correspond with the designs. The plants are water-saving, native and adaptive plants that attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators and are proven to flourish in North Texas’ soils and unpredictable climate.
The boxed gardens may be ordered online through Sept. 20 and must be picked up Sept. 28 between 8 a.m.-noon at one of four designated pick-up locations in the DFW area. Cost is $95 per box. To order or for more information, click here.
Register Now for Sept. 21 DIY Rain Barrel Class
Lower water bills and give your lawn, landscape and/or garden the best kind of watering by learning how to collect and use rainwater. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Center is hosting, “Saving FROM a Rainy Day: DIY Rain Barrel Class,” Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9-11 a.m. at the Center’s Dallas location, 17360 Coit Rd. The class will teach the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting, and each participant will build and take home a 55-gallon rain barrel.
Cost is $50. To register and for more information, click here.
Combination Inspector ($3,963-$5,732 monthly)
Building Inspection is seeking individuals interested in inspecting buildings, construction sites and construction components for compliance with Building, Plumbing and Mechanical codes and laws.
Driver/Loader ($2,603-$3,749 monthly)
Solid Waste-Residential is seeking individuals interested in driving and operating residential refuse and/or recycling collection equipment. This position requires outdoor work in all weather conditions.
Part-Time School Crossing Guard ($9.74-$15.46 hourly)
The Police Department is seeking individuals interested in assisting children and adults with crossing traffic crosswalks.
Animal Shelter Pets of the Week
Meet besties Max and Nala! They came in together back in April and they are hoping to find a home together! Max is a neutered male about 2 years old and Nala is a spayed female about 5 years old. Both are All-American mutt mixes, house trained, fully vaccinated, microchipped and heartworm negative. They love each other’s company, playing fetch, going for walks and just plain goofing around. Please help these bonded buddies find a forever family!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,