Oct. 18, 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.
Corporate Challenge Closing Ceremonies Tonight
The 16th annual Richardson Corporate Challenge wraps up this evening with the Closing Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Representatives from more than 50 DFW-area businesses, as well as Corporate Challenge beneficiary Special Olympics Texas, will be on hand to celebrate.
The closing ceremonies will feature an award honoring the winning companies in each division and a check presentation to Special Olympics Texas, which has received nearly $1.2 million from the Richardson Corporate Challenge since the competition began in 1998.
More than 10,000 employees participated in Corporate Challenge, a 10-week, Olympic-style competition that includes contests in 23 events ranging in athletic ability from softball, basketball and flag football to darts, billiards and miniature golf.
Library Book Deposit Re-Opens
The indoor and outdoor book deposits at the Richardson Public Library reopened this morning (Friday, Oct. 18). They had been closed as the Library’s new materials handling system was installed.
The Library is installing a new radio-frequency identification (RFID) system that will speed up checkout and check-in of books and other materials. The system was funded through the 2010 Bond Program and allows the Richardson Public Library to handle and sort items electronically as they are checked out and returned.
New checkout kiosks, including self-checkout stations, are scheduled to be installed at the end of October.
City Preparing for Huffhines Art Trails
Nearly 150 artists will display and sell their work during the annual Huffhines Art Trails, set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 in Huffhines Park. The City Council on Monday heard an update on plans for this year’s festival, which will also include live music, food vendors and activities for children.
A 10-foot scarecrow will be a new attraction this year and provide another fall photo op. Other first-time features will include recycling activities for kids and a hospitality area for the artists.
Terrell Powell of Austin is this year’s featured artist. He is known for creating colorful paintings of birds, but he also uses clay, wood and metal in his work.
For more information, visit huffhinesarttrails.com. Watch the City Council presentation at bit.ly/1gl1PCb.
Early Voting Begins Monday
Early voting begins Monday for the Nov. 5 Constitutional Amendment and Plano ISD tax rate election.
Qualified voters in Dallas County may vote at any of the 30 early voting locations, including City Hall, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Oct. 26 and Oct. 28 to 30, 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. View a list of early voting sites in Dallas County at dallascountyvotes.org/early-voting-information/.
Early voting hours for Collin County residents, which includes the Plano ISD vote, are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Oct. 25, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 and Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 27. Votes may be cast at any early voting site in Collin County. See a list of all sites at bit.ly/1glarJ7.
The Nov. 5 election will be the first in Texas to require voters statewide to show a photo ID at the polls. Nearly 50 Department of Public Safety driver license offices will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 2 to offer free Election Identification Certificates (EIC), an approved form of identification for those without a photo ID.
Council Reviews Glenville Land Planning Study
The City Council on Monday heard an update on plans to develop 6.1 acres of land near Glenville Drive and Belt Line Road into a park sometime in the future when funds become available. The Twin Rivers Residential Corporation, which built an independent senior living facility adjacent to the tract, donated the land to the City in 2007. City engineers have been examining ways to improve drainage in the proposed park and surrounding area.
The City hired a civil engineering and landscape architecture firm in January to help determine a concept master plan for the proposed park. At public meetings, residents have expressed support for a native/open concept with amenities that could include soft trails, a small arboretum, open space and a small pond. The City will continue to refine the concept master plan, estimate a budget and include the project in the Capital Improvements Program.
Funds are not currently available to develop the park, but the City is seeking alternate funding sources such as grants, benevolent donations and sponsorships in addition to traditional funding methods.
Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/197WlUW.
Council Discusses E-Cigarette Regulations
The City Council on Monday discussed a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would require businesses that primarily sell electronic cigarettes to obtain a special permit. The permit would allow the Council to review requests for new stores on a case-by-case basis to prevent clustering and ensure location appropriateness in keeping with the community’s retail development standards.
In recent months, Richardson has seen an increase of businesses selling electronic cigarettes with eight currently operating in the city. If the ordinance is amended, existing businesses may continue to operate, and only new businesses would be required to obtain a special permit.
The City Plan Commission is expected to discuss the amendment at its Nov. 5 meeting, followed later by a City Council public hearing on the amendment.
Watch the work session presentation at bit.ly/16eIhpn.
Council Awards Bids for Street, Alley and Bridge Projects
The City Council on Monday awarded bids to enhance and repair several streets and alleys, projects included in the 2010 Bond Program.
The Alley Rehabilitation Phase V projects include reconstruction of alleys on Cardinal Lane, Coit Road, Comanche Drive and Chippewa Drive. The $438,000 project includes 10-foot wide reinforced concrete alley pavement, curbs, sidewalks and driveways. Construction is expected to begin this month and be complete in February 2014.
The council awarded a bid of nearly $1.3 million to remove and replace street paving, sidewalks, drainage, sanitary sewer and water lines on Gentle Drive, Lockwood Drive and North Weatherred Drive. Construction is expected to begin in November with completion by July 2014.
Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, EMBA Students Visit
The Mayor’s Office of International Business welcomed a delegation of more than 20 business owners and professionals from China and several representatives from the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce to Richardson on Thursday afternoon. The delegation met with Mayor Laura Maczka at City Hall, watched an economic development video about Richardson that has been translated into Chinese and received certificates naming the international visitors as honorary Richardson citizens for a day.
The delegation’s two-day tour of the Metroplex also included stops in Dallas, Garland, Frisco and Grand Prairie. The visitors are all part of an Executive MBA program at a Chinese university.
Helicopter To Assist This Weekend For Maintenance Work On UT Dallas Campus
On Sunday a helicopter will be used to install a new air handling unit and exhaust fan to the roof of Founders Building on the UT Dallas Campus in northwest Richardson. Normally a crane would be used for such an activity, but the University reports that is not possible due to the limited space and terrain around Founders Building. The lift will happen between 7 to 10 a.m. and should be completed quickly.
Two Eisemann Center Presents Shows Set for This Weekend
The Eisemann Center Presents Theatre Comedy Series opened this week with “Blame it on Valentine, Texas.” Follow Jaston Williams as he single-handedly destroys a dance concert in one of the smallest towns in Texas and laugh at several other hilarious anecdotes. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $35 to $42.
“Angelina Ballerina the Musical” will kick off the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Family Theatre Series with a performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Children are invited to come dressed as their favorite character from the story or their favorite dance performance costume. Tickets cost $12 to $22.
Tickets for both shows are available online at eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
Spook-a-licious Halloween Party at the Library Saturday
The Richardson Public Library will host a Spook-a-licious Halloween Happening from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Basement Program Room. The free event will include stories, crafts, puppets and treats. The program is open to people of all ages, and participants are encouraged to come dressed in a Halloween costume.
For more information, contact the Library at 972-744-4350.
Clean Out Medicine Cabinets Oct. 26
The Richardson Police Department and the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association will host a free prescription and over-the-counter drug disposal day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in the south parking lot of the City Hall/Civic Center Complex. The program is part of a nationwide effort to promote safe disposal of unwanted or unused medications.
Participants remain anonymous and may drop off medications without exiting their vehicles. Solid dose medications such as pills or capsules may be dropped off in their original containers or dumped into the disposal box. Pharmaceutical liquids will be accepted in tightly sealed original containers. Intravenous solutions, syringes and illicit substances will not be accepted.
For more information, contact the RPD Crime Prevention Unit at 972-744-4955.
Waterwise Landscape Class on Saturday
Learn how to create and install a sustainable landscape or garden at a free Waterwise class from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Richardson Service Center, 1260 Columbia Dr. The class is provided through the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center. Participants must register for the class online at dallas.tamu.edu/courses.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Meet Paprika! She a sweet little medium hair kitty, about 5 months old. Paprika came to the Shelter back in July as a scrawny little kitten and has grown into a beautiful and sweet young kitty. She is up to date on all her vaccinations and gets along great with kids and with other cats. Please help her find a fur-ever home!
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
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