Oct. 19, 2012
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. A list of links for stories in this edition is available at the bottom of the page.
Early Voting Begins Oct. 22
Early voting for the Nov. 6 Charter Amendment and General Election begins Monday, Oct. 22, and runs through Nov. 2. Richardson residents who live in Dallas County may participate in early voting at Richardson City Hall, 411 W. Arapaho Rd. Richardson residents who live in Collin County may vote at one of several locations, which may be viewed at www.co.collin.tx.us/elections.
Early voting at all sites in Dallas and Collin Counties will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22-26, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27, 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. Election Day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 6.
The proposed amendment would change Richardson’s Charter to provide for the direct election of the City’s mayor.
For more information, contact the Dallas County Elections Department at 214-819-6300 or the Collin County Elections Department at 972-424-1460 ext. 1990 (Metro).
City to Receive Official “Gold Scenic City” Certification
The City of Richardson is one of nine Texas municipalities awarded Scenic City Certification recently by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas. A Scenic City board member will officially present the Gold Award to Richardson officials at a special event scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Huffhines Recreation Center.
Richardson scored high in the detailed evaluation process, receiving Gold Certification for its landscape ordinance, strict signage regulations, lighting standards and protection of landscaping during construction projects. For more information on the program, visit www.sceniccitycertification.org.
City Breaks Ground on Fire Training Center
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the City’s new Fire Training Center took place Monday, and construction has begun on the new facility.
Pictured at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Fire Training Center are from left: Council Members Mark Solomon, Amir Omar, Scott Dunn, Mayor Bob Townsend, Mayor Pro Tem Laura Maczka and Council Members Kendal Hartley and Steve Mitchell.
Richardson’s new Fire Training Center will provide firefighters a modern training facility, replacing one that is outdated and in poor condition. The new center will also include a backup emergency dispatch center and an emergency operations center, which will improve the City’s ability to respond to major incidents.
Voters approved funding for the Fire Training Center portion of the project in the 2010 Bond Program. Funding for additional elements of the facility will come from several sources, including emergency management grants.
The Fire Training Center will be used to train new recruits, for current firefighters to conduct required training exercises and to conduct multi-company drills that are required for the City to maintain its fire insurance rating.
Plans call for the Center to be complete in September 2013.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday
City officials will join Alamo Drafthouse Cinema representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the site of the new cinema-eatery in the Richardson Heights Shopping Center. Richardson will be home to the Austin-based company’s first theater in the Metroplex. It is expected to open in May 2013.
The seven-screen cinema will contain a total of 744 seats and will also house a restaurant/lounge. Alamo Drafthouse shows first-run Hollywood movies, classics and limited release films and is famous for its strict no texting and no talking policy during shows.
For more information, visit www.drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson.
Construction on Floyd Branch Watershed to Begin Next Month
Construction is set to begin in November on drainage improvements within the Floyd Branch Watershed, which collects drainage from 2.6 square miles in south central Richardson and eventually flows to White Rock Lake.
The improvements include the installation of a new right turn lane along westbound Main Street from Interurban Street to the US-75 northbound frontage road and construction of a new bridge over Floyd Creek Branch at West Phillips Street. The bulk of the work will be to install an underground concrete drainage system through portions of downtown Richardson north and south of Main Street between US-75 and the DART rail line.
The project will be constructed in several phases, with final completion expected by spring of 2014. Work on the first phase is expected to begin next month, and will impact Main Street traffic between May and July 2013.
The City is taking several steps to minimize the impact of construction, including keeping two lanes of Main Street open in each direction during peak traffic hours and performing as much work as possible at night.
In addition to improving the decades-old drainage system, improving drainage system deficiencies will also allow for the possibility of future development since current conditions have been a costly deterrent to redevelopment along the City’s Main Street and Central Expressway corridors.
Watch the work session presentation at http://bit.ly/RyE7Sq.
Update on New Park on Weatherred Drive
The City Council received an update Monday on the progress of a new neighborhood park on Weatherred Drive. Construction is expected to begin in mid-December with an estimated completion in May 2013.
The $1.5 million project is funded through the 2010 Bond Program. The new park will be located on four contiguous lots from 400 to 406 South Weatherred Drive and will include a playground, pavilion, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. Some of the features will include bricks from the four homes that will be demolished to make room for the park.
The park is designed with a mid-century modern look that honors the history of the neighborhood. The final design was selected after several community meetings to gather public input.
Watch a presentation about the new park at http://bit.ly/TuFykc.
Click HERE to view large version of park rendering.
Council Receives Update on Central Trail
The City Council received an update Monday on the extension of the Central Trail, which runs from the Spring Creek Trail in north Richardson and currently ends at the Arapaho Road DART Station. Plans call for the trail to extend to Richardson’s southern city limit and eventually connect with Dallas’ White Rock Creek Trail.
The City expects to begin construction on the trail in January and complete the project in early 2014. The 1.9-mile extension will cost $4 million and is funded through Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program and Dallas County.
Watch the work session presentation at http://bit.ly/P8H54b.
Southbound US-75 Frontage Road at Galatyn Parkway to be Closed This Weekend
The Texas Department of Transportation plans to temporarily close the southbound US-75 frontage road at Galatyn Parkway beginning at 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, to complete bridge work on the Galatyn extension. The closure will continue through Sunday, and lanes are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.
Traffic driving south from Renner Road will be able to use one lane on the ramp leading to the Galatyn bridge, and drivers will be able to continue down the bridge to the US-75 main lanes.
Corporate Challenge Closing Ceremony Tonight
The 15th annual Richardson Corporate Challenge wraps up this evening. Corporate Challenge is a 10-week Olympic-style competition among Richardson-area businesses, and closing ceremonies are being hosted tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Galatyn Plaza, 2351 Performance Dr.
Thousands of employees from more than 50 DFW-area businesses who took part in this year’s competition will gather to celebrate, along with representatives from Special Olympics Texas, the competition’s beneficiary.
Tonight’s closing ceremonies will feature an award honoring the winning companies in each division and a check presentation to Special Olympics Texas, which has received more than $1 million from the Richardson Corporate Challenge since the competition began in 1998. This year’s competition is estimated to have raised more than $125,000 for Special Olympics Texas.
The Richardson Corporate Challenge lasts from August to October and includes contests in 23 events ranging in athletic ability from softball, basketball and flag football to darts, billiards and miniature golf.
Police Department Receives Award for Law Enforcement Explorer Program
The Circle Ten Council and the Learning for Life program recognized the Richardson Police Department on Thursday with the 2012 William H. Spurgeon III Award for its Law Enforcement Explorer program. The award is given to individuals and organizations that contribute significant leadership to the Exploring program.
The Richardson program has seen a resurgence in the past two years as the Police Department has devoted additional resources to it. Through the Explorer program, young people are able to learn about law enforcement careers as well as how to be a contributing member of the community. Richardson Explorers contributed more than 1,900 volunteer hours to the community last year, including at events such as the Wildflower! Festival, the Christmas Parade and Richardson's Family Fourth.
“Deer Camp: The Musical” Continues at Eisemann Center
The Eisemann Center is hosting the ViewPoint Bank Theatre Comedy Series production of “Deer Camp: The Musical” through Sunday, Oct. 21. Audiences will laugh as four lovable losers in hunting camouflage shoot plenty of bull, but not a single deer, on their annual guys’ weekend in the Minnesota woods.
Tickets are $37-$40 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling the Eisemann Center Ticket Office at 972-744-4650. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling Group Sales at 972-744-4657.
“Keyboard Conversations” Returns to Eisemann Center
Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations returns with a performance of “Spellbinding Bach!” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at the Eisemann Center. The show highlights the high-voltage, romantic compositions of Bach, including “Toccata in D” and “Italian Concerto.”
Tickets cost $25 to $30 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
The Oak Ridge Boys to Perform at Eisemann Center
The Oak Ridge Boys, one of the longest-running country music groups, will return to the Eisemann Center for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
Tickets cost $42 to $66 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
DART ADA Paratransit Meeting Saturday at Civic Center
DART will hold an ADA Community Meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Rd. The meeting is open to customers with disabilities who use DART’s paratransit program and fixed route services.
Attendees will have the opportunity to share feedback with officials from DART’s Mobility Management Services and MV Transportation, which became the new service provider for the paratransit program on Oct. 1. Officials will share information on plans to improve the service.
For more information, contact DART at 214-979-1111.
Water-Wise Irrigation Seminar Next Week
Richardson is one of several cities taking part in a Water-Wise seminar that will include lectures and hands-on activities to teach attendees how to work with their sprinkler systems.
The seminar will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center. It is located at 17360 Coit Rd. in Dallas.
Register for the seminar at http://bit.ly/OItp9F.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This is Neo, a neutered male, about 3 years old, up to date on all his vaccinations, and has been at the shelter since July. He is a very sweet, playful, loving cat that will brighten any day! Great with other pets and children. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Neo or other animals available for adoption.
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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Mayor Pro Tem