In accordance with the City Charter, Marta Gómez Frey has been appointed to fill place 5 on the City Council. Ms. Frey has lived in Richardson for 38 years and has been a champion of small business during her working career. In addition she served on the recent City Charter Review Commission and has served the City in many other capacities such as Network, Leadership Richardson and the Junior League of Richardson. She is well qualified to fill this at large seat, representing the City as a whole.
2015-2016 Budget Planning
The 2015-2016 city budget development has started. The budget will be presented to the City Council on August 10. Public hearings will be on August 17 and 24 and the final budget will be adopted on September 14.
City Management Reorganization
Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson has announced a reorganization of the city management team, effective June 1. Two new positions will be formed. Don Magner will serve as First Assistant City Manager and Kent Pfeil will serve as Chief Financial Officer. Both positions are designed to enhance managerial oversight and service of the City’s departments, projects, programs and other services
Major Employer Moving to Richardson
RealPage, Inc., a leading provider of on-demand software and software-enabled services to the rental housing industry, announced this week it has leased a new corporate headquarters facility in the former Nortel building in Richardson. It will bring 1,400 employees from its Carrollton location in September 2016.
Richardson’s Health Department has focused almost all of its workers on treating standing pools of water in area parks with larvicide to kill mosquito larvae. There will still be a higher than normal population of mosquitoes due to the recent rains. Anyone expecting to stay long periods of time outdoors is urged to wear protective clothing and/or mosquito repellent to help prevent mosquito bites.
Neighborhood Police Grant Received
This year the City will receive $7,657.71 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The City uses this money to help fund neighborhood police officers. These officers are retired, with over 25 years of experience. They address quality of life issues and assist in the detection of crime and arrest of offenders.
Bike Lanes Refreshed
The City is replacing the pavement markings and updating the bike lane on Waterview Drive between Spring Valley Road and Campbell Road. The lane is being updated to the new standard of two lines marking the bike lanes.
Library Children’s Program
The eight-week Summer Storytime at the Library has begun! This program is for Richardson residents’ children going into 1st or 2ndgrades. Children attend independently to hear stories filled with puppets, songs, and finger plays. Please register by calling 972-744-4358 or visit the Library children’s department.
Bush Turnpike Expansion
Construction is now underway by the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) to add a fourth lane to the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT). Construction for this first phase of work is anticipated to last 18 months. A second phase of construction, from State Highway 78 to Renner Road, and from the Dallas North Tollway to I-35E, will begin late in 2016.
Tax Rolls Increase
The preliminary 2015-2016 tax rolls have been received by the City. The present appraised value of Richardson taxable property in Dallas County is $7,792,576,994 and in Collin County is $4,500,000,000. Using a five-year history and including adjustments, the 2015 certified tax roll may be 7.0% greater than last year. This would be the fifth increase in the last six years. Certified rolls are due Monday, July 27.
At the annual Wildflower! Festival more than 80 acts performed on six stages including Blue October, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, 38 Special, Fuel, Zepparella – a Tribute to Led Zeppelin, Everclear, Kansas, The Joe Ely Band, Wynonna & The Big Noise, and many others. If you missed it, it will be back next year.
The City held the 46th annual Cottonwood Art Festival in Cottonwood Park during the first part of May. The featured artist was Kimber Fiegbiger, a Minnesota-based sculptor who has a piece on permanent display at the Richardson Public Library. Jurors also selected 240 artists to exhibit their museum-quality work at the event. One new feature this year was the addition of a craft beer tent.
Neighborhood Leadership Workshop
The Neighborhood Leadership Workshop, held April 21st, was attended by an estimated 150 homeowner and neighborhood representatives. City staff provided an overview of group home regulations, the water distribution system and the “new normal” water conservation plan.
The Trash Bash was a great success, involving 850 volunteers. They collected 4,200 pounds of trash and 1,700 pounds of recycled materials. The City handed out 305 rolls of recycling bags, 40 cubic yards of compost and 119 plants.
Bike Trail Review
The City Council reviewed a five-year work plan to improve bike trails in Richardson. The plans include establishing education programs for all ages regarding bicycle safety, etiquette and traffic laws.
Bike Trail Program Honored
The League of American Bicyclists recognized the City with its bronze award for being a bicycle friendly city.
Bond Program Update
In March the City Council voted to refinance old bonds. Because of positive market conditions and the City’s high credit quality, bonds were refinanced at an interest rate of 1.8 percent, saving the City approximately $7 million over the next 11 years. At the same meeting the Council also approved the sale of $9.43 million worth of bonds that will go toward the renovation of Sherrill Park Golf Course No. 1, the purchase of new fire equipment, street rehabilitation projects and other long-term capital needs. The City Council is reviewing the possibility of calling a no tax increase bond referendum for the November 3, 2015 election.
The bond proposal will not result in a tax increase and will address drainage needs and various improvement projects. It will also fund Parks and Recreation projects, as well as streets, alleys, sidewalks, and traffic improvement projects.
Special Permit for Food Truck Park
The City Council approved a special permit for a food truck park and private club to be located at 522 Bishop Avenue for up to five trucks. The permit allows for outdoor tables and a stationary structure housing an office, bar and restroom facilities. The park is scheduled to open this summer.
Revisions to the ordinance governing mobile food vendors approved by the City Council include:
- Limiting short-term mobile food vending in residential areas to 15 minutes and to 10 hours in non-residential areas.
- Requiring vendors and their patrons to have access to restroom facilities within 1000 feet of the vehicle.
- Limiting the number of short-term vendors operating on private non-residential property to two.
Senior Center Volunteer of the Year
The Senior Center has selected Jaime Ornelas Volunteer of the Year for his service to the center.
State Farm Police Grant
State Farm presented the Richardson Police Department a $25,000 grant. The money will allow the department to purchase video equipment that will be used to film public service announcements (PSA’s) including PSA’s focused on teen driving. Videos will be posted to YouTube once they are completed.
Lawn Watering Tips
The Water My Yard program was developed by Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension based on 60 years of research to alleviate the growing urban trend of “over-watering.” The program and webapp allows homeowners to use science-based methods to determine how much water to apply to their lawns. The website, www.watermyyard.org, asks a series of questions to give homeowners recommendations on the length of time to run their irrigation systems based on the type of plant and local weather, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation. Homeowners may also set up e-mail options to have recommendations sent to them weekly.
Note: residents may also purchase a soil moisture meter from the City Hall Water Customer Service Desk in Room 101 for $5.00 to help determine how much water their yard may need.