April 5, 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.
City Council Seeks Public Support for Cotton Belt Rail Project
The Richardson City Council is asking for community support in notifying state legislators of the importance of the Cotton Belt Rail Line. The Cotton Belt Rail Line is a proposed 62-mile commuter rail corridor spanning from Richardson to Fort Worth. The connection would include stops at the Bush Turnpike Station and the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, D/FW International Airport, Fort Worth, Addison, Grapevine and other Metroplex cities.
While Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) owns most of the corridor and includes the Cotton Belt Line in its long-range plans, because of other capital obligations the agency does not expect to be able to build the project for at least the next 25 years. However, a private developer has approached regional transportation officials with a proposal that would allow construction of the line to occur within the next few years.
To accelerate development of the rail line, legislation is needed to create a Special District that would be able to finance its construction. The Richardson City Council has made passage of such legislation a priority for this year's session. The public-private partnership envisioned would use revenue from this Special District to build, maintain and operate the Cotton Belt Rail Line.
Senate Bill 1333 is currently under consideration by the Texas Legislature. Input from the public is needed to demonstrate community support for the project. A sample letter of support has been created for people to send to state legislators. You can go to www.cor.net/CottonBelt to find a copy of the letter and more information.
Trash Bash is Tomorrow
Richardson residents will come together Saturday to beautify the city by picking up trash and recyclable items at parks and other public spaces at the annual Trash Bash. The event will also include electronics and plastic grocery bag recycling and document shredding. New events this year include a book drive sponsored by the Friends of the Library, a clothing drive to benefit NETWORK of Community Ministries and free compost. These services will be available starting at 9 a.m. at the City Hall/Civic Center parking lot.
The City will host an after-party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Civic Center that will feature an environmental education fair, refreshments, free plants, door prizes, Richie the Recycling Duck, Styrofoam recycling and free recycling bags courtesy of the Richardson Environmental Action League. There will be an activity area for children and families near the City Hall fountain and the area will also feature adoptable animals and pet registration from the Richardson Animal Shelter, City and DART vehicles on display, and recycle bales.
For more information and for a larger map of Trash Bash activities, visit www.cor.net/trashbash or click the map below.
Council Discusses Central Expressway/US-75 Vision Statement Guiding Principles
The City Council on Monday discussed updates to a vision statement draft for the US-75 corridor to present to the Texas Department of Transportation as it conducts a study on the corridor from I-635 to SH 121. The study is expected to be complete in September 2015, with several major milestones in 2014.
The Council identified the following seven guiding principles that Richardson supports for future development of the corridor:
- Maintain focus of Central Expressway as a commuter corridor;
- Maintain bi-directional congestion relief due to commuter traffic patterns;
- Protect neighborhood integrity through use of design features;
- Limit/eliminate vertical expansion;
- Improve east/west connectivity (automotive and trails)
- Provide access to managed lanes;
- Attractive urban design.
At the work session, the City Council requested the importance of DART and its proximity to the corridor also be included in the vision statement.
Read the draft version of the statement at http://bit.ly/10uWGfQ. Watch the City Council work session presentation at http://bit.ly/11rACEs.
Texas Water Development Board Presentation
The City Council heard a presentation at its work session Monday on the long-term water needs of the state and region and steps the Texas Water Development Board and state legislature are taking to address them. Water levels are low throughout most of the state, which is forecasted to have another dry summer in 2013.
The Texas Water Development Board creates a plan every five years to address the state’s water supply issue as its population continues to grow. The 2012 plan calls for $53 billion in projects through 2060 to increase the water supply, including the development of 26 new reservoirs, mostly in East Texas. The plan also calls for increased conservation and reuse efforts to increase the available supply by 34 percent.
The State of Texas is considering the use of money from its rainy day fund to pay for some of the projects. Funding options include using a bonding authority created by a 2011 constitutional amendment that allows the state to borrow up to $6 billion at a low interest rate and lend that money to smaller entities who would otherwise pay a higher interest rate. Richardson has the highest rating from the nation’s top credit rating agencies, however, and would not likely benefit from the program for its water supply projects.
Watch the City Council presentation at http://bit.ly/12bZHG3. Read the Texas Water Development Board’s 2012 plan at http://bit.ly/10vErpl.
April Edition of "Richardson Today" Has Been Mailed
The April edition of Richardson Today began arriving in mailboxes this week. The latest edition focuses on the Month of Volunteerism and includes stories on service opportunities, the Cottonwood Art Festival and Trash Bash.
Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and is also available at Huffhines Recreation Center, the Senior Center, City Hall and the Richardson Public Library. A Richardson Today interactive edition, which includes links to CITV videos, is also accessible through the link below. Ask your local mail carrier if you live in the city and do not receive your copy of Richardson Today.
Click the link below to read the latest edition of Richardson Today, as well as archived editions: http://bit.ly/115dA8L.
“Elton and Me” Contest Entries Due April 12
The City of Richardson has announced a contest to find a singer to perform the 1976 hit song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” alongside the Elton John tribute act, Rocket Man, at Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts & Music Festival, set for May 17 to 19 at Galatyn Park. People who wish to enter the “Elton and Kiki Dee? Why Not Elton and Me?” contest are asked to submit a video or link of their rendition of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Wildflower! Elton and Me, 2100 E. Campbell Rd., Ste. 100, Richardson, Texas 75081.
All applicants must be older than 16 years of age and submit an application along with the recorded performance. Entries must be received by April 12. Contestants must sing a solo or duet of any portion of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” in a clip that is up to 1.5 minutes in length.
Live auditions for selected finalists will take place at Huffhines Recreation Center April 21. For more information about the contest, call 972-744-4587 or e-mail email@example.com.
The 2013 festival’s three-day pass goes on sale for $30 Monday, April 15, at any Metroplex Tom Thumb store or online through www.wildflowerfestival.com. Single-day adult tickets will be available at the gate for $20 as well as through the festival's website beginning April 15. Kids age 5-12 will be admitted for $3, and admission for kids 4 and under is free.
Richardson residents can purchase up to six individual adult tickets per each day of the festival per household for only $10 each. Kids 12 and under get in free on Sunday with a paid adult courtesy of Bank of America, and adult tickets are $10 on Sunday courtesy of Cisco.
To learn more about the festival, visit www.wildflowerfestival.com, call 972-744-4580 or follow Wildflower! on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildflowerfestival.
City Hosts Realtors Workshop
The City of Richardson hosted more than 190 Realtors and real estate professionals at its annual Realtors workshop Friday morning at City Hall. The event is designed to give Realtors an up-close look at the City and its partners and provide resources to expand their knowledge about economic development, education opportunities, the cultural arts, social services and more.
City Manager Dan Johnson presented an address on the State of the City, including information on State Farm Insurance’s new headquarters, which is expected to bring 7,000 jobs to Richardson. Most of the new workers will come from out of state, which has increased interest in Richardson for employees looking to relocate.
Also, UT Dallas President Dr. David Daniel presented an overview of the university. The event also included breakfast, networking opportunities and door prizes.
For the first time this year, attendees were able to submit questions for the speakers throughout their presentations through a mobile device. The City also for the first time encouraged Realtors to bring clients to the workshop.
Richardson Symphony Orchestra to Perform Sunday
The Richardson Symphony Orchestra will perform Classical Fire! at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Eisemann Center. The show will include pieces by Richard Wagner, W.A. Mozart and Manuel de Falla.
Tickets cost $15 to $80 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650. For more information about the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, visit www.richardsonsymphony.org.
"Seussical" at Eisemann Center this Weekend
Seussical, a musical based on Dr. Seuss’ best-loved stories, will be performed at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Eisemann Center. The show is adapted from the Broadway version and features 13 actors and enhanced production elements.
Tickets cost $12 to $22 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650. There will be a Story Time at 7 p.m. tonight at Barnes & Noble, 801 W. 15th Street in Plano.
"Say Goodnight Gracie" Continues at Eisemann Center
Say Goodnight Gracie will continue at the Eisemann Center with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hit Broadway play features a hilarious, heart-warming evening in the company of the world’s funniest centenarian. Tickets cost $37 to $40 and are available at www.eisemanncenter.com or by calling 972-744-4650.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Rozi is a petite female, about 10 months old, DMH, with big beautiful green eyes! She came to the Shelter in January as a stray and very pregnant. She had 4 kittens, all spitting images of their mama, who have now been adopted. Rozi is now ready to make a permanent move to a forever home. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Rozi 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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