Richardson May 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Richardson

QUOTEOFNOTE “IT’S NOT ABOUT WHATWE ARE ALLOWED TODO. IT’SWHAT DALLAS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTHAND THE CDC TELL USWE SHOULDDO. IF ENOUGHOF US FOLLOWTHAT, THAT’S ENOUGH TOGET OUR ECONOMYMOVING.” DALLAS COUNTY JUDGE CLAY JENKINS ON WHETHER RESIDENTS SHOULD CONTINUE TO SHELTER IN PLACE CITY HIGHLIGHTS RICHARDSON ISD Nominations are sought for community members who can help plan for an upcoming bond, tentatively scheduled for May 2021. RISD trustees, employees and residents are encouraged to nominate potential members of the committee through a link on the district’s website. COLLINCOUNTY Commissioners voted April 27 to authorize the purchase of more personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing supplies and sanitization supplies. The authorization allows the county to purchase the equipment and supplies related to COVID-19 with a $2 million cap. RICHARDSON ISD Trustees saw the rst draft of the upcoming school year budget at a May 4 meeting. After paying $364.5 million in recurring expenses, the district will have $12.8 million left to spend on new budget requests, including additional funding for special education, literacy intervention and an expansion of its pre-K program. Richardson City Council Meets June 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 6 p.m. Council has encouraged citizens to watch meetings online at www.cor.net. Richardson ISD Meets June 8 and 15 at 6 p.m. The board is holding virtual meetings via Zoom until further notice. Links to the livestream can be found at www.risd.org. Plano ISD Meets June 23 at 7 p.m. The board has been holding meetings via video conference, which can be viewed at www.pisd.edu/pisdlive. MEETINGSWE COVER

UTDallas research advances infectious disease testing

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

be sent to a lab for further testing, Qin said. In Qin’s method, a patient’s sam- ple is mixed with a gold nanoparticle reagent that can detect the presence of a virus within 15-30 minutes. Doc- tors are able to accurately diagnose an infection without ever leaving their oce, he said. Much of the cost associated with currently available tests is tied to labor and equipment used in the lab, Qin said. The reagent needed to conduct Qin’s test can be made at a reasonable cost, he said. Qin’s method can also be used to test for COVID-19 and its antibodies, he said. The next step for Qin is to nd a startup, licensing or a nonprot organization to help get the test approved by the Federal Drug Administration and into the hands of doctors.

RICHARDSON A researcher at The University of Texas at Dallas is behind the development of a test that is up to 100 times more accurate in diagnosing infectious diseases. Associate professor of mechanical engineering Zhenpeng Qin’s project stands to not only improve disease detection but also cut down on health care costs by eliminating the need for costly lab visits. “The goal is to make a rapid assay that doctors can use and can tell with great condence whether their patient has the infection or not without needing to refer to a lab to

do a backup test,” he said. Rapid u tests available at doctor’s oces misdiagnose

anywhere between 30%-50% of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To get an accurate result, samples must

Gold nanoparticles are synthesized through a process that involves boiling the materials in a ask placed on a stirring hot plate. (Courtesy UT Dallas)

Richardson sales tax revenue up inMarch

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

RICHARDSON Newly released data shows Richardson’s sales tax revenue was up in March despite statewide orders that forced many retailers to close their doors. Sales tax collection increased by $202,539 to $3.7 million in March, representing a 5.71% increase year over year, according to the Texas Comptroller’s Oce. This bump in revenue could lessen the budgetary strain brought on by COVID-19. In late April, the city projected its budget would take an $18 million hit, $6.8 million of which was tied to a projected loss of sales tax revenue. AN INITIAL LOOK The city of Richardson got its rst look at how the coronavirus pandemic may have aected sales tax revenue.

The committeemet several times beforemaking its recommendation. (Courtesy RISD)

RISDgroup asks board to adopt middle school model

according to a committee presenta- tion at the May 4 board meeting. Statewide curriculum is bundled for grades 6-8, so keeping those students together makes sense academically, presenters said. The committee also found that sixth-graders are more developmen- tally aligned with middle schoolers than with elementary-age children. The move would also free up space at elementary schools. That in turn could make room that is needed as part of the district’s goal of providing universal pre-K some- time in the future, the committee stated. If the recommendation moves forward, a phase-in plan would be developed, and funding for addi- tional classroom construction and associated space would be included in an upcoming bond package tentatively set for 2021.

BY MAKENZIE PLUSNICK

RICHARDSON ISD A committee has recommended the district adopt a middle school model by moving sixth-graders to junior high campuses. The group spent months studying data and weighing the pros and cons of the option before making a recommendation. If implemented, the change would not occur until school year 2024-25 at the earliest, according to the district. RISD is part of only 5% of Texas school districts that do not oer a middle school conguration,

+5.7%

March 2019 sales tax revenue: March 2020 sales tax revenue: $3.5M $3.7M

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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