News in Three Minutes
Election and Early Voting
Early voting starts: October 24
Election: November 8
Remember, there are many key positions on the ballot beyond the Presidential race.
Take the time to learn about these and cast your vote.
As always, the League of Women Voters® of Richardson has provided excellent election information on their website at: http://lwvrichardson.org/nov2016.html
Note: The Richardson Coalition is not affiliated with the League of Women Voters®. We provide the above for information purposes only.
- Richardson maintains bridge railings at 135 locations. Neighborhood Vitality projects have upgraded bridges at 31 locations. Eight more are currently underway. Rails and guard walls have been enhanced aesthetically at 72 locations and 10 additional locations are in progress.
- There are 16,395 traffic control signs that are replaced about every 12 years with newer high intensity sign sheeting, now required by Feds for regulatory signs. There are 507 overhead street name signs on signal mast arms and all of these have been replaced in the past three years with high reflectivity sheeting and block numbers. There are 4,560 small street name signs, and 64% of them are 13+ years old and need replacement. The City is replacing 400 to 500 street name signs per year.
- Richardson owns and maintains more than 60 facilities, totaling more than 1,000,000 square feet, supporting a wide variety of operations such as Police and Fire, Recreational, Civic Center, Library, Performing Arts, residential homes and a historic farmhouse. These facilities were constructed from 1887 to 2013, with an average age of 31 years. Plans are in place to update many of these facilities in the next two years.
2016-2017 City Budget Approved
The City Council approved the 2016-17 budget and lowering the property tax rate by one cent. Key themes of budget continue to be increased funding dedicated to street maintenance, enhanced infrastructure maintenance, maintenance initiative, public safety facilities and staff enhancements, economic development funding, and enhanced customer and city experiences.
highlights of the 2016-2017 Budget include:
- Certified Tax Roll increase of 14.2 percent
- One cent reduction in the tax rate for a tax rate of $0.62516
- Increases the Senior Exemption from $60,000 to $70,000
- A $939,896 increase in the funds dedicated to street maintenance for a total of approximately $3.26 million
- The acceleration of the 2015 G.O. Public Safety Complex project and addition of the Fire Station 1/Administration building reconstruction
- A new annual alley maintenance initiative of $652,000
- 8.25 percent rate adjustment in water and sewer services
- An increase in the residential solid waste rate by $3 and related commercial rate adjustments to help offset the increasing costs of recycling services
- Sales Tax forecast of 3 percent over estimated “base to base” year-end 2015-2016 collections
- Up to 5 percent step increases – for the 54 percent of employees eligible and who merit the increase
- 2 percent merit-based increase for all public safety employees
- Funding of $2.9 million of 4-year debt financing for general equipment, vehicles and projects
For more information, refer to: www.cor.net/budget
Cotton Belt Rail Update
Currently the planned completion date of the Cotton Belt Rail Corridor is 2035, but the project is being reworked for a new proposed completion date of 2022. Richardson plans to contribute a portion of revenues from two CityLine TIF (Tax Increment Financing) zones directly to the Cotton Belt Rail Project. The project will stretch east-west from Plano to the DFW Airport using primarily existing track, through northern Richardson.
Real Estate Market Third best in USA
Richardson was named third best real estate market in the nation by WalletHub. Frisco was listed as number one and McKinney as number two.
Campbell Road Improvements
The proposed improvements to Campbell Road between US 75 and Collins Boulevard included in the 2015 bond program will begin soon and are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018.
Network of Community Ministries Children’s Meal Program Update
Richardson Chamber of Commerce and Richardson Interfaith Alliance gathered over 800 volunteers to assemble 65,000 bagged meals. The “Feeding Children Everywhere” meal-bagging event will distribute 43,000 bags to Richardson’s Network of Community Ministries, 2,000 to Care Ministries in the South Dallas area, 1,000 to Richardson East Church of Christ food pantry, and 20,000 to Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
Fire Department Leadership Update
Richardson’s Assistant Fire Chief of Administration, Ed Hotz, has been named Interim Fire Chief of the Richardson Fire Department. Fire Chief Alan Palomba retired at the end of August after almost 29 years of service with the department. Hotz will fill the role until a successor is selected to fill the position.
Spring Creek Nature Area Help Signs Installed
More than 30 trail location signs have been installed in the Spring Creek Nature Area so users needing help can tell the 911 operator where they are in the area.
The city’s first Water Wise Landscape Tour will be on Saturday, October 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Meet at the city’s Service Center to pick up a tour map, home information and plant lists, as well as meet with experts and vendors. The tour is self-guided. Homeowners and master gardeners will be on site to answer questions.
Learn more about the North Texas Municipal Water District’s wetland project by going to their website at http://www.wetlandcenter.com/waterreuse/default.html or watching the PBS documentary about the project, Texas Perspective: Water which can be found at http://www.pbs.org/video/2365345995/