April 19, 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.
Richardson Mayoral Candidates Forum Available on Internet and TV
The League of Women Voters of Richardson will hold a forum featuring the candidates running for Richardson mayor in the May 11 election. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the Grand Hall at the Civic Center. The forum will be streamed live on www.cor.net and broadcast live on the City’s cable TV channel on Time Warner Cable channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99. Taped replays will be available to view on the City’s website and cable channel. For more information, call 972-470-0584 or visit www.lwvrichardson.org.
City Website, Online Services Down for Maintenance Saturday Morning
The City’s website is scheduled to be down from about 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday for maintenance and system updates. Online services will be unavailable during that time, and internet users will not be able to pay utility bills or traffic fines or purchase tickets to Eisemann Center shows during that time. The outage is not expected to affect emergency communication systems for the Police and Fire Departments.
Richardson Neighborhood Ranked Third Best for 18- to 24-year-olds
The area surrounding UT Dallas ranked as the third best neighborhood for 18- to 24-year-olds in the Dallas Morning News’ list published Sunday. The study showed that young adults who live near UT Dallas value a short commute, good public schools and easy access to restaurants and shopping options.
The rankings considered 11 measures of livability for communities in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall and parts of Tarrant counties. The DMN findings showed that young adults value safety and living in quiet, well-maintained areas.
Read more at http://dallasne.ws/11d53ul.
Fire Station 4 Achieves LEED NC Certification
The City learned this week that the new Fire Station 4, located at 1500 Apollo Rd., achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED NC) Certification. The designation is given to new construction projects that meet certain standards and qualities set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
All of Richardson’s most recently constructed civic buildings have achieved LEED Certification from the USGBC, reflecting the City Council’s environmental goal of having all new municipal buildings achieve this standard. In addition to Fire Station 4, the City’s recently opened Richardson Gymnastics Center is designed to meet LEED certification standards, and the City is currently constructing a new Heights Recreation Center (expected to open in late May) and a new Fire Training and Emergency Operations Center, each of which is designed to meet LEED certification standards.
LEED NC buildings are designed to be efficient and have a lower impact on the environment.
Cultural Arts Master Plan
The City Council and Richardson Arts Commission held a joint meeting Monday to review and discuss the final report of the Cultural Arts Master Plan. The document, which was created with the help of a consultant from Lord Cultural Resources, is designed to serve as a guide to help strengthen the arts community in Richardson by building synergies among the various performance arts groups and enhancing existing arts facilities in the area.
The master plan lists six priorities:
- Attract new generations to ensure long-term excitement, dynamism and vitality of Richardson’s cultural arts sector
- Apply Richardson’s focus on innovation to cultural arts
- Promote Richardson through citywide cultural arts offerings
- Focus on strength in numbers through cultural clusters
- Plan an effective cultural tourism strategy
- Maximize the impact of the arts commission
The plan identifies 17 recommendations and 86 suggested strategies within the six priorities. Members of the Arts Commission will schedule a workshop and hold individual meetings with City staff members to help implement the priorities and develop funding strategies.
The Arts Commission is beginning to implement the plan by revising the criteria for its arts grants to reflect priorities identified in the master plan. It is also hoping to develop an online arts calendar in partnership with local arts organizations and is planning a joint meeting with the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss ideas on how the two commissions can collaborate.
Other Arts Commission initiatives include the creation of a Public Art Master Plan and the development of short-term and long-term funding strategies for recommendations identified in the Cultural Arts Master Plan.
Read the Cultural Arts Master Plan online and watch the work session presentation at www.cor.net/CAMP.
Durham Park/Breckinridge Park Bridge Update
The City Council heard updates on the construction of Durham Park and a pedestrian bridge in Breckinridge Park at its work session Monday. Both projects are funded through the 2010 Bond Program.
Construction of Durham Park is on schedule, with completion expected at the end of May. The City expects to hold a dedication ceremony for the $1.5 million park in early June. The City bought and demolished homes on four contiguous lots from 400 to 406 S. Weatherred Dr. to make room for the park, which will include a playground, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. A pavilion will include bricks from the houses that were torn down to make room for the park and an interpretive sign that will explain the history of the site.
Construction of a fabricated timber truss pedestrian bridge over the Beck Branch of Rowlett Creek in Breckinridge Park was completed at the end of March. The $264,000 bridge replaces a historical bridge that was damaged in a storm and removed in 2006.
Watch the City Council work session presentation at http://bit.ly/XQdWyv.
KDC Begins Construction of Bush Turnpike Station Development
Early site work has begun on property to the east of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Bush Turnpike Station, where developer KDC is building a $1.5 billion mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) anchored by a State Farm Insurance office complex. State Farm has already leased 1.5 million square feet of office space there to accommodate at least 7,000 employees.
The KDC development should help to secure a connection to the proposed Cotton Belt Rail Line at the existing Bush Turnpike Station, which would expand regional rail travel to UT Dallas in Richardson, D/FW International Airport, downtown Fort Worth and other cities in between. The development site also enjoys excellent accessibility from regional highways, as it is strategically situated near the interchange of the President George Bush Turnpike and US-75.
Click here to read story about the development in January issue of Richardson Today.
Health Department Reports Traps Test Negative for Presence of West Nile Virus
The Richardson Health Department reports its weekly round of West Nile virus testing has returned negative results for all mosquito traps located in the city. Due to the findings, no ground spraying operations are being planned.
The Richardson Health Department schedules mosquito spraying based on positive findings of West Nile virus in mosquito traps placed around the city or if a human case is confirmed. Once located, the area around the positive finding is targeted for spraying in an attempt to help limit the spread of the disease.
In an effort to decrease the incidence of West Nile virus infection, targeted neighborhoods are being sprayed twice as part of enhancements to the City’s comprehensive mosquito management plan implemented in early 2013 to help deter the spread of the disease. This week the Health Department was able to conduct one ground spraying operation, but the second was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Spraying is only a measure to help limit exposure, and health workers urge people to maintain vigilance in protecting themselves when going outside.
To protect from mosquito bites, people are asked to follow the Four D’s of protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home,
- Use insect repellent containing DEET,
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitoes are most active,
- And DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants to reduce skin exposure.
Go to www.cor.net/mosquito to view weekly test results and to sign up for electronic notification when ground spraying will be conducted if necessary.
Public Meeting Tuesday for Twin Rivers/Glenville Land Study
The Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the Civic Center’s Richardson Room to discuss the future of 6.1 acres of land near Glenville Drive and Belt Line Road that is expected to be developed as 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 2009.
City engineers are 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. The City will gather input from residents and nearby business owners at the public meeting to help guide planners as they develop the park.
The City does not currently have funds to develop the park, but a concept master plan to be developed later this year will include a cost estimate. The project is expected to become part of the City’s Capital Improvement Program.
For more information, call 972-744-4300.
PGBT Ramps Closed This Weekend
The eastbound entrance ramp to the President George Bush Turnpike from Coit Road and the westbound exit ramp from the Turnpike to Coit Road will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday as the North Texas Tollway Authority makes modifications to its electronic toll collection system.
Eastbound drivers will be detoured to access the Turnpike from the entrance ramp past Independence Parkway, and westbound motorists will be detoured to the Independence Parkway exit ramp to access Coit Road.
To learn more, visit www.ntta.org and click on “Scheduled Lane Closures” or call 214-224-3030.
Wildflower! Passes on Sale
Three-day passes for the 2013 Wildflower! Richardson’s Arts & Music Festival are on sale for $30 at any Metroplex Tom Thumb store or online at www.wildflowerfestival.com. Single-day adult tickets will be available at the gate for $20 as well as through the festival's website beginning Monday. Kids age 5-12 will be admitted for $3, and admission for kids 4 and under is free. The festival will take place May 17-19.
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.
Friends of the Library to Hold Book Sale
The Richardson Friends of the Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 and 27 and from 2 to 5 p.m. April 28 in the Library’s Basement Program Room. For more information, visit www.richardsonfol.org or call 972-744-4350.
The Vocal Majority Chorus to Perform at Eisemann Center
The Vocal Majority Chorus will perform a spring concert called That 70s Show at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $10 to $43 and are available by calling 972-744-4650 or online at www.eisemanncenter.com. For more information about the show, visit www.vocalmajority.com.
Wild, Wild West Mother & Son Dance
The Wild, Wild West Mother & Son Dance will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Huffhines Recreation Center, 200 N. Plano Rd. The event will feature a live DJ, buffet-style refreshments, soft drinks and more.
Cost is $10 per person and $5 for each additional child. Sign up online at www.cor.net/parksonline and use registration #72004.
Crepe Crazy Joins Cottonwood Art Festival Food Vendors
Austin-based Crepe Crazy is the newest food vendor to join Cottonwood Art Festival, set for May 4 and 5 at Cottonwood Park. The business is owned by Vladimir and Inna Giterman, who are deaf, and it features a large picture menu on the counter to make ordering sweet or savory crepes easy.
Crepe Crazy offers selections that include Vegetarian Pesto, Sausage and Caramelized Onion, Greek Chicken and Peanut Butter Heaven. Customers can point to what they want on the menu, use gestures, write on a piece of paper or even use American Sign Language to communicate.
Learn more about Crepe Crazy at www.crepecrazy.com. For more information on Cottonwood Art Festival, visit www.cottonwoodartfestival.com.
DART to Offer Saturday Family Fun Pass
DART will begin offering a Family Fun Pass starting Saturday that will allow a family of up to two adults and four children to travel from Richardson to Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton for $10. The pass provides access to DART, the Trinity Railway Express, DCTA and The T on Saturdays through Aug. 17.
Popular destinations and upcoming Saturday events along the rail lines include Fort Worth’s Main Street Arts Festival April 20, the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival April 27, the Perot Museum and Fair Park. For more information, visit www.dart.org/specialevents.
Richwood Spring Fling Set for Saturday
The Southeast Richardson Spring Fling will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Richwood Shopping Center at the northwest corner of Buckingham and Jupiter roads. The free event will include food samples, a bounce house, face painting, music, prizes, the Richardson Animal Shelter petting zoo and visits from Richardson police officers and firefighters. The Spring Fling will also conduct a food drive to benefit NETWORK of Community Ministries.
For more information, call 214-909-3448.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Tabitha is a beautiful tortoiseshell short-haired female kitty. She is a very calm, shy girl and up to date on all her vaccinations. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Tabitha 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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