Richardson October 2020

RICHARDSON EDITION

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2  OCT. 8NOV. 5, 2020

ONLINE AT

2020Voter Guide

AHISTORIC ELECTION

Voters heading to polls in unprecedented numbers

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

A projected surge in voter turnout has admin- istrators and party leaders scrambling to prepare for an election that will look drastically dierent from those of years past. Polls open for early voting Oct. 13. Already, ocials are expecting thousands of voters to descend on Richardson City Hall, the city’s early voting location for Dallas County residents, which could result in lines that last anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours. “Dallas County expects 5,000 voters per day at City Hall,” Deputy City Manager DonMagner told City Council at a Sept. 21 meeting. “That’s two to two and a half times [more] than the 2016 presi- dential election.” Increased turnout is just one factor driving the anticipated increase in wait times at the polls. Completing a ballot will take longer due to an increased number of races, the elimination of straight-party voting and new sanitation proto- cols, Magner said. State and local leaders have taken steps to try and minimize the inconveniences posed by the pandemic. Earlier this summer, Gov. Greg Abbott CONTINUED ON 16

“THIS ELECTION IS A LOT DIFFERENT FROMANYTHING WE’VE SEEN, AND THERE ARE REALLYNOWRITTENRULES TO FOLLOW. YOU JUST HAVE TOPLAY IT BY EARAND TAKE

IT ONE DAYAT A TIME.” TONI PIPPINSPOOLE, DALLAS COUNTY ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR

League of Women Voters Richardson held a Sept. 26 drive to register Dallas County and Collin County voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election. (Makenzie w/Community Impact Newspaper)

VOTER GUIDE 2020

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

FROMOLIVIA: A crucial piece of our mission at Community Impact Newspaper is arming readers with the information they need to make informed decisions, and nowhere is that more important than in the voter’s booth. This year’s election will look quite dierent than those of years past—partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also because of changes to state law. Our cover story gives readers a heads- up on what to expect before heading to the polls. We also include a listing of candidates, data on past turnout percentages and information on when and where to vote in our Voter Guide (see Page 15).

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Leanne Libby, llibby@communityimpact.com SENIOR EDITOR Olivia Lueckemeyer REPORTERS Makenzie Plusnick, Liesbeth Powers GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chase Autin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Tracy Ruckel

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Christal Howard MANAGING EDITOR Valerie Wigglesworth ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Breanna Flores CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today, we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

Registered voters in Richardson will have the opportunity to vote in a slew of national, state and county elections. There are no City Council or school district elections in Richardson this year—those will be on the ballot in 2021. News about the upcoming election is always breaking, and there is only so much we can t in the print edition. For more information, please visit our special landing page at www.communityimpact.com/vote. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to reach out to me with any feedback. Olivia Lueckemeyer, EDITOR

GUIDE

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Regional fall events TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Information on ongoing projects CITY& COUNTY 12 Latest local news

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

VoterGuide

Local sources 23

Businesses coming soon 5

Fall events 9

151

CANDIDATE LISTINGS Who will appear on the ballot

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RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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COURTESY COTTONWOOD MARKET

COMING SOON 3 Forno Pizzeria is expected to start serving food in mid-November at 888 S. Greenville Ave., Ste. 222, Richardson, according to the owner. The restaurant will use a brick oven to make the pizzas, which will have unique topping combina- tions, such as a Mediterranean-inspired option. The restaurant does not yet have a phone number or website. 4 The Learning Experience , a nation- al academy of early education, is on track to open this fall at 528 Centennial Blvd., Richardson. The 10,000-square- foot facility will include 10 classrooms with indoor and outdoor play areas for students ages six weeks to six years. www.thelearningexperience.com 5 Staycation Coffee is expected to open in November at 201 S. Texas St., Richardson. The business will offer a full coffee menu and a small selection of

NAME CHANGES 7 Richardson Mercantile changed its name to Cottonwood Market in late August. The store, which is located at 101 S. Coit Road, Ste. 50, Richardson, also changed ownership, according to a spokesperson for the business. Cotton- wood Market houses dozens of different vendors who showcase and sell a variety of items, from gifts and home decor to clothing and furniture. 972-479-9990. www.cottonwoodmarket.com CLOSINGS 8 Wok & Grill closed its doors Sept. 9 at 1891 N. Plano Road, Richardson, according to a Facebook post. Its menu included fried rice, stir-fry and orange chicken. www.wokngrilltx.site

curated toast options in a modern, open setting. A backyard event space will host activities, such as small concerts and community movie nights. The business has also partnered with Richardson-based Lizzie Bee’s Flower Shoppe to dedicate part of the back room to a do-it-yourself floral shop. www.staycationcafe.com RELOCATIONS 6 Centre for Dance is planning to move in December to a new, larger space at 2080 N. Collins Blvd., Richardson, according to the owner. The studio, currently located at 7517 Campbell Road, Ste. 400, Dallas, offers lessons for chil- dren as young as 18 months all the way up to professional adults. The new space will include large dance spaces with sprung floors and a break room for stu- dents. A movable wall will allow two stu- dios to become one to create a space for performances, according to the owner. 972-248-1112. www.centrefordance.com

NOWOPEN 1 Hot Crab opened Sept. 11 at 714 W. Spring Valley Road, Richardson. The restaurant serves Cajun dishes, Northeast-style seafood and New American food. 972-231-8989. https:// hotcrabrichardson.kwickmenu.com REOPENING 2 Asian Mint reopened its Richardson dining room Oct. 5. The restaurant has been doing takeout, curbside pickup and delivery since it closed in March. Asian Mint offers new Bangkok-style cuisine made with fresh ingredients. It is located at 300 W. Campbell Road, Ste. 140, Richardson. 469-677-0767. https://asianmint.com COMPILED BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER & MAKENZIE PLUSNICK

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Pokeworks is one of three new restaurants joining the park. (Courtesy Pokeworks)

LOCAL HOT SPOT Richardson Restaurant Park 744 S. Central Expressway, Richardson COMING SOON 1 Adda is expected to open in November in the restaurant park. The eatery will serve Indian and Pakistani street food with global inuences. The owner also owns Jimmy’s Burgers in Plano. 2 Pokeworks expects to open its second Dallas-area location in the restaurant park in late October. The restaurant oers customizable poke bowls, burritos and salads with a choice of raw tuna or salmon, cooked chicken, scallops, shrimp and tofu. The menu includes items made in collaboration with “Top Chef” alumnus Sheldon Simeon. www.pokeworks.com RELOCATIONS 3 Texadelphia plans to relocate by November or December from its location in Richardson Heights Shopping Center to the restaurant park at 744 S. Central Expressway, Richardson. The restaurant, which is headquartered in Richardson, oers a variety of original Texas cheesesteaks, such as the Founder’s Favorite, which is a beef cheesesteak served with grilled onions, mozzarella, mushrooms and jalapeños. Texadelphia also oers a selection of salads,

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burgers and sandwiches. 214-484-9363. www.tex adelphia.com/richardson EXPANSIONS 4 Dog Haus Biergarten , located in the park at Ste. 210, has added a 23-foot food truck to its operations. The truck features a full kitchen and can be found at local events in Richardson and across the metroplex. 214-935-9121. Richardson.doghaus.com CLOSINGS 5 Hiccups & Churroholic closed in the restaurant park in August. Hiccups is a California- based concept oering Asian fusion cuisine as well as boba tea and other specialty drinks. Housed within Hiccups was its subsidiary, Churroholic, a dessert spot serving churros and avored coee drinks. www.hiccupsteahouse.com, www.churroholic.com 6 Popbar closed its restaurant park location this summer. The eatery served gourmet popsicles and other desserts. www.pop-bar.com

(214) 695-5950

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RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

GUIDE

Regional fall events

COMPILED BY LIESBETH POWERS

Christ UnitedMethodist Church PumpkinPatch Sept. 28-Oct. 31 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily 3101 Coit Road, Plano 972-596-4303 www.cumc.com/pumpkins

Autumn at theArboretum Sept. 19-Nov. 1 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily 8525 Garland Road, Dallas 214-369-0874 www.dallasarboretum.org PUMPKIN PATCHES 5 TO CHECKOUT IN THE DALLASFORTWORTHAREA

PARKER RD.

The Pumpkin Hollow drive-through event will include creepy characters, lights, fog and animatronics along the route. (Courtesy Town of Little Elm)

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FOUR HAUNTED HOUSES TOVISIT HallowFest at Six Flags over Texas Daytime activities include a trick- or-treat trail and themed photo opportunities. At night, the park will be transformed, with creepy fog, eerie lighting and Halloween props on display. Rides, such as the Titan, New Texas Giant and Superman Tower of Power, will be available for guests to enjoy in total darkness. The weekend event is held between Sept. 25-Nov. 1. Times and ticket costs vary. Pricing begins at $22.49. 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington 817-640-8900 www.sixags.com/hallowfest Haunted Shadows Lake Trail This self-guided journey takes visitors through a mile of woods and weeds along Lake Lewisville in The Colony. Small buildings and other structures line the dark path that winds through the backwoods. Tours available Fri.- Sun. between Oct. 2-31 at various times. Pricing begins at $12. 7801 Main St., The Colony 469-384-3400 www.hauntedshadowslaketrail.com

Music CityMall: Nightscape HauntedHouse and Fright Path The Parlor of Entertainment is opening the Fright Path for the month of October. The venue oers escape rooms, a sele museum and a magic parlor on the second oor of Music City Mall Lewisville. The Fright Path is child- friendly until 3 p.m.; after 3 p.m., no one under age 18 is allowed in without an adult. The event is held Friday and Saturday nights between Oct. 2-31. Prices vary. Nightscape, located on the rst oor of Music City Mall, will include a walk through of a haunted house with Luci and her nightmares. Tickets are $12. 2401 S. Stemmons Freeway, Lewisville www.mcmlewisville.com PumpkinHollowDrive-Thru Little Elm’s Pumpkin Hollow drive- through event will include creepy characters, lights, fog and animatronics along a route through Little Elm Park. Families will also have the option to reserve a limited number of spots for a $10 movie event either night. Blockbuster “Hocus Pocus” will show on Oct. 16, and “Beetlejuice” will show on Oct. 17. The drive through is open from 7-10 p.m. both nights and is free. 303 Main Street, Little Elm www.littleelm.org/1195/pumpkin-hollow

ArapahoUnited Methodist Church Oct. 5-31 Mon.-Fri. 3-7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

1400 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson 972-231-1005 | www.arapahoumc.org

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StorybookRanch Sept. 26-Nov. 1 Thu.-Sun. 10 a.m.-sundown 3701 South Custer Road, McKinney 972-369-0874 www.storybookranch.org

FlowerMoundPumpkinPatch Oct. 3-31 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily 5100 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound 817-430-4536 www.owermoundpumpkinpatch.com

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Find more or submit Richardson events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

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The Comet Cruiser is one of DART’s top performers in terms of ridership. (Courtesy DART)

DART pitches hybrid option for bus network

of the larger ridership network gaps where expanded GoLink service does not make sense and would have a 70%-75% focus on ridership and a 25%-30% focus on coverage, the presentation showed. At $12 million per year, 11 routes would ll a portion of network gaps, and about 25%-30% of the routes would operate every 20 minutes on weekdays at midday. There would be small areas left uncovered in some cities, such as Plano and Richardson, but a majority of those gaps generate few riders in the current system or are relatively undeveloped, according to the presentation. The hybrid option would also place about 65%-70% of residents within a half-mile of service and would expand GoLink in areas where it is most useful. Board members requested more information on the eects of the hybrid option on residents and work- ing riders. A recommendation will be necessary in early October for drafting and review of a bus network plan at the beginning of 2021.

BY LIESBETH POWERS

A new option for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s bus network redesign has been added to the four existing variations deliberated in recent months. A hybrid option was created after committee members expressed interest in a middle ground between ridership and coverage. About 55% of DART’s bus service currently focuses on high ridership routes, while the rest is used to provide coverage to a broader area, according to Richardson Transpor- tation Director Mark Nelson. If the transit agency focused its redesign around ridership, that share would shift to 85% ridership, 15% coverage, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper . This 85/15 variation would expand the GoLink on-demand, curb-to-curb shuttle service in ridership coverage gaps, but in a way that would not be cost-eective, according to a Sept. 22 presentation to the DART board of directors. The hybrid option would ll some

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Crews are working to improve pave- ment on Campbell Road between Coit Road and Waterview Parkway. The westbound left lane may be closed throughout the project area at all times. The westbound center lane may also be closed from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Timeline: August-late November Cost: $400,000 Funding source : city of Richardson

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UP TO DATE AS OF SEPT. 30. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT RICNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

PUBLIC SAFETY Police department prepares to launchmental health crisis team

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

their top ve problems, I can assure you that mental health will be at the top or in that list of ve,” he said. Central to Richardson’s program is the integration of follow-up visits, Tittle said. After an interaction with police, members of the Crisis Intervention Team will partner with health care professionals at Methodist Richardson Medical Center to learn more about the person. If another incident occurs, ocers will have a better understanding of their situation, Tittle said. Council Member Ken Hutchenrider, who is also the president of the hos- pital, said he felt a great deal of pride when the department approached his sta with this proposal. “The commitment, the thought- fulness and the approach that is being taken is something we should all be incredibly proud of because these people need help,” he said.

The Richardson Police Department will soon have a team of ocers ded- icated to addressing mental health issues in the community. The department has seen a high volume of calls related to mental illness, Assistant Chief Gary Tittle told City Council at a Sept. 21 meet- ing. Last year, ocers responded to 318 calls for service coded as mental health crises. Between January and June 30 of this year, the department responded to 152 calls of this nature, according to Tittle. The issue of mental health is pervasive in the United States, Tittle said. It is estimated that between 30%-40% of police interactions nationwide involve individuals aected by mental illness, he added. “If you were to talk to the top ocials in most municipal police departments and ask them to list

The goal of the initiative is to get ahead of calls to the police department that stem from a mental health issue. (Courtesy Richardson Police Department) RPD CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM The newly formed team is the result of a partnership between the police department and Methodist Richardson Medical Center. It will include the following.

School resource ocers 3 Patrol ocers 13

Sergeants 2

nurse 1

Social worker 1

Registered

SOURCE: RICHARDSON POLICE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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EDUCATION Enrollment dips inRISD could lead tomultimillion dollar decit

BY MAKENZIE PLUSNICK

have made, is very well positioned to weather this storm,” he said. Despite this, trustees could still be faced with dicult decisions in the future, Pate warned. The district hopes that ensuring adequate funding is a top priority for legislators as they head into session this January, both Superintendent Jeannie Stone and Pate said. District ocials

Enrollment in Richardson ISD is down by more than 2,000 students, which district ocials said could lead to a several million dollar decit. The district had 37,385 students enrolled Sept. 14, the 17th day of school for the fall semester, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative

Students line the hall at Brenteld Elementary School before schools were forced to shut down in March. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact Newspaper) A SHORTAGE OF STUDENTS There were 2,105 fewer students on the 17th day of school this year than there were on the same day of school last year. This could lead to a signicant funding shortage from the state.

Services Brenda Payne said at a Sept. 21 board meeting. This is 2,105 less students

“THE CONCERN IS NOT JUST FROMABUDGETARY STANDPOINT, ALTHOUGH THAT’S AGRAVE CONCERN. IT’S ALSO FROMSTUDENTS NOT BEING IN SCHOOL.” JEANNIE STONE, SUPERINTENDENT

are investigating where students no longer enrolled

than the district had enrolled on the 17th day of school in 2019, she said. The state distributes funding based on both enrollment and attendance, Chief Financial Ocer David Pate said. For each student, the district receives about $7,000 and could receive more based on special circumstances, such as if the student is economically disadvantaged or dyslexic. If the district is not able to enroll more students by the state’s ocial enrollment snapshot date Oct. 30, funding could be cut by millions, trustee and board treasurer Kim Caston said. The conservative budget approved by the board this year and in years past could soften the blow from the potential shortfall, Pate said. “This district, based on the deci- sions this board and prior boards

in RISD have gone, Payne

37,385 Students

said. If students are unable to be reached, sta will attempt to visit

5.63%

35,280 Students

them at home, she added. “We are hearing some pretty sad stories,” she said. “There are some reasons kids are sitting at home, and they need us to nd them, and they need us to bring them back and provide them resources.” Many of the students the district is trying to locate are economically disadvantaged, Payne said. These students may also need remediation to catch up with their peers, which will cost the district more money, Caston said. Decreased enrollment has been consistent in RISD for several years, with lower levels often seen in kinder- garten, fth grade and ninth grade, Payne said. Ocials speculate that the dip in kindergarten enrollment this

SOURCE: RICHARDSON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

year is due to hesitation by parents to send their children to school during a pandemic, she added. These students may return next year, Caston said. “We were kind of hearing the buzz that parents were making the decision to potentially not bring their kids to school, maybe not start in this environment, and it’s proven to be true,” Payne said. The district also saw a decrease in bilingual enrollment, she said. This drop has been consistent for several years. “There are a lot of reasons we can

speculate,” Payne said. “We don’t have specic data on that, but we denitely see that as a trend in our district.” The loss of students is consistent throughout the district’s four feeder patterns, she added. Though RISD ocials are paying attention to the impact decreased enrollment could have on the budget, they are also concerned about student welfare. “The concern is not just from a budgetary standpoint, although that is a grave concern,” Stone said. “It’s also from students not being in school.”

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RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Richardson, Plano ISD & Collin County

Atmos gas rate increase on the horizon inRichardson

ATMOS IN RICHARDSON Rates are going up because of growth and improvements to the Atmos system. Here is a snapshot of the corporation’s local presence.

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

is proposing a 10-cent increase, up to 27 cents, for residents, and a 2-cent increase, up to 12 cents, for commer- cial customers. Consumption rates are based on usage, Copley said. Normally, rate changes would go into effect Oct. 1; however, Atmos has agreed to a two-month delay, resulting in the Dec. 1 effective date. This will result in systemwide savings of $9 million, which factored into the $80 million recommendation made by the committee, Copley said. Council will vote on the recom- mendation made by the steering committee at its Nov. 2 meeting.

systemwide increase of $141 million, according to a Sept. 28 presentation made by Cara Copley, the assistant director of finance for the city of Richardson. Following negotiations, an increase of roughly $80 million was recommended by the steering committee, Copley said. If approved, the change would raise the minimum residential base rate by 70 cents from $19.55 to $20.25 per month, while the commercial base rate would increase by $8 from $46.50 to $54.50 per month. Consumption rates would also increase, Copley said. The committee

RICHARDSON Residents and businesses could see a natural gas rate increase beginning Dec. 1. The change is the result of a rate review process overseen by the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, of which the city of Richardson is a founding member. Each year, Atmos Energy files a rate request with the committee. Over the course of several months, the committee reviews and negotiates the proposed rate before returning a final recommendation. Atmos originally proposed a

Atmos has added 392MILES of pipe,

repaired 5,045MILES of steel service lines

and invested $18MILLION in capital improvements.

SOURCE: CITY OF RICHARDSON/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Average Plano ISD tax bill expected to decline

TRACKING TAXES The average property tax payment in Plano ISD has increased since 2017 but is starting to decline this fiscal year.

BY MAKENZIE PLUSNICK PLANO ISD Trustees adopted a slightly lower tax rate at their Sept. 29 meeting. The adopted rate of $1.32375 is 1.27% lower than the rate passed in fiscal year 2019-20, according to Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell. The majority of the total will cover operational costs, such as teacher salaries and benefits, while the remainder will help pay down the district’s debts, McDowell said. With this new rate, the average homeowner in the district will pay $4,894 in property taxes per year, which is down from the average $5,104 paid last fiscal year, McDowell said. Lower property tax payments are driven by two factors, including the compression of state funding due to House Bill 3 and the slight decline in

appraised property value in Plano. “Those two combined is what has decreased, for the upcoming year, the taxes on the average residence within Plano ISD,” he said. The district is expecting to pay about $180 million into the state’s recapture system this school year, McDowell said. This is a $14 million increase from school year 2019-2020. Recapture redistributes property tax dollars from property-wealthy districts to those deemed proper- ty-poor by the state. Despite a trend of higher property tax revenue, the amount of funding that stays in PISD has remained flat over the past few years, McDowell said. “The trend you can see is that the amount of money that stays within the district has stagnated in the last five years, while recapture has

$4,805 $4,894

2021

2020

$5,104

2019

$4,656

2018

$4,287

2017

SOURCE: PLANO ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

grown exponentially,” McDowell said. Officials in the district hope the Legislature, which reconvenes in January, will put a cap on the amount of recapture districts are required to pay. “We are going to continue to see that recapture just grow as long as our [property] values are going up,”

McDowell said. Recapture is not the only reason the district is losing money, McDow- ell said. Millions of dollars are also at stake due to decreased enrollment, which is down by about 2,100 students compared to this year’s projections, he said. “That’s roughly $20 million that we’re losing,” he said.

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Richardson City Council Meets Oct. 12, 19 and 26 and Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. Locations have changed due to use of the City Hall as an early voting location Visit www.cor. net for more details. Richardson ISD Meets Oct. 19 and Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson. www.risd.org Plano ISD Meets Oct. 20 and Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Administration Center, 2700 W. 15th St., Plano. • www.pisd.edu MEETINGSWE COVER county subdivision regulations during a Sept. 28 meeting. The regulations were rewritten to correspond with House Bill 3167, which gives entities 30 calendar days to respond to plats, site plans and other development plans. TEXAS Gov. Greg Abbott issued an Oct. 1 proclamation limiting drop- off locations for mail-in ballots to one voting clerk office location “as publicly designated by a county’s early voting clerk” instead of several satellite locations. The proclamation also requires early voting clerks to observe mail-in ballot delivery. HIGHLIGHTS RICHARDSON The animal shelter saw a nearly 10% increase in adoptions in August compared to the previous year. This jump was in part due to the Clear the Shelter event, a weeklong adoption drive, shelter manager Noura Jammal said. At the end of the week, the shelter had only three available dogs and seven available cats remaining, leaving the shelter with a 94% adoption rate in August, she said. Year- over-year adoption rates have also increased, with a 20% jump in June. COLLIN COUNTY Commissioners approved updates to the existing

City awards $180,000 in cultural arts grants

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

RICHARDSON Twelve cultural arts organizations will receive grants from the city in fiscal year 2020-21. Arts grants are funded through taxes levied on the city’s hotel and motel properties, which took a sig- nificant hit in revenue when tourism dropped off earlier this spring. City Council budgeted $180,000 for arts grants in FY 2020-21, which is about half of what has been awarded in previous years. Arts groups were warned in advance that funding would be limited this year, Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish said. Only organizations that have been awarded grants in the past were considered, she added. The commission received 21 applications totaling $362,600. It was recommended that Richardson Symphony Inc. receive the largest grant, at $55,000. Other awardees include Richardson Theater Centre, Richardson Community Chorale and Arts Incubator of Richardson, among others.

Among arts grant recipients, Richardson Symphony Inc. was issued the most money from the city this year. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Orchestra)

For future years, the city is consid- ering awarding funding in install- ments rather than through a single payment in October, Sims-Bradish said. City Council approved the commis- sion’s recommendations on consent at the Sept. 14 meeting. Grant checks were scheduled to be disbursed to organizations after Oct. 1.

Council Member Kyle Kepner, who serves as a liaison to the Richardson Cultural Arts Commission, said the aftermath of the pandemic will likely result in at least two years of ham- strung finances for local cultural arts groups. “To be realistic, we are going to have a more difficult year next year,” Kepner said.

Collin County to reimburse nonprofits for some COVID-19 costs

BY WILLIAM C. WADSACK

Commissioners also talked about providing reimbursements to housing and shelter agencies for cleaning and sanitation costs they have incurred during the pandemic but did not take any action. Denton County has a similar program, so Judge Chris Hill said staff would have a conversation with officials there to discuss metrics for quantifying expenses.

The county adopted the Collin Cares recovery plan May 11 with the goal of assisting families and indi- viduals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Funding for the program comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which sent more than $171 million in federal aid to Collin County.

Collin County commissioners approved a resolution Sept. 21 to allow housing and shelter agencies to submit invoices related to acquiring personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing for reimbursement through the Collin Cares recovery plan. The resolution was approved unanimously.

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132

RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

UTILITIES Water district keeps rates at for rst time inmore than a decade

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

summer that the water district did not intend to raise its wholesale rate in FY 2020-21, Director of Communica- tions Greg Sowell said. This allowed Richardson to adopt a budget that did not include an increase for residents for the rst time since FY 2010-11. NTMWD Interim Executive Director Rodney Rhoades cited the COVID-19 crisis as the reason behind keeping the rate at. Rather than relying on revenue frommember cities, the district is opting to use reserves and debt to fund capital projects and is also cutting costs related to existing facilities, according to the release. It will reschedule bond sales for some capital projects and has scaled back on hiring. “I appreciate how hard our sta worked to adjust plans, projects and programs to decrease spending and minimize impacts on our cities,” Rhoades said in the release.

For the rst time in nearly 15 years, the North Texas Municipal Water District has adopted a budget that includes no increase to its wholesale water rate. The scal year 2020-21 budget keeps the rate at at $2.99 per 1,000 gallons of treated water for its member cities, which include Richardson, according to a Sept. 25 news release. The district raises water and sewer rates primarily to pay for capital investments, NTMWD spokesperson Janet Rummel said. In previous years, Richardson has passed those rate increases onto resi- dents. In FY 2019-20, the city imple- mented a 7.5% rate increase, resulting in an additional $7.90 being tacked onto the average residential monthly bill, according to previous reporting by Community Impact Newspaper . City ocials were notied this

RICHARDSONWATER RATES Residents pay for water based on usage. Volume charges (per 1,000 gallons) Monthly minimum charges: $8 per meter

$6.61 $7.16 $7.46 $8.69 $9.08

0-11,000 gallons 11,001-20,000 gallons 20,001-40,000 gallons 40,001-60,000 gallons 60,001 gallons and more

SOURCE: CITY OF RICHARDSONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Richardson’s water rate will stay at this year after 10 years of steady increases. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Candidates and information for November election

COMPILED BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER AND MAKENZIE PLUSNICK

VOTER GUIDE 2020

DATES TOKNOW

WHERE TOVOTE Dallas County and Collin County residents can vote at any polling location within their respective counties during early voting or on Election Day. For a list of polling locations, visit www.dallascountyvotes.org or www.collincountytx.gov.

OCT. 13 First day of early voting OCT. 23 Last day to apply for ballot by mail* OCT. 30 Last day of early voting NOV. 3 Election Day *DATE RECEIVED, NOT POSTMARKED

SAMPLE BALLOT

*Incumbent

D Democrat G Green I Independent L Libertarian R Republican

Supreme Court, Place 6 R Jane Bland* D Kathy Cheng Supreme Court, Place 7 R Je Boyd* D Staci Williams L William Bryan Strange III Supreme Court, Place 8 R Brett Busby* D Gisela D. Triana L Tom Oxford Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3 R Bert Richardson* D Elizabeth Davis Frizell Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4 R Kevin Patrick Yeary* D Tina Clinton Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9 R David Newell* D Brandon Birmingham

416th District judge R Andrea Thompson* D Theresa Bul Creevy 468th District judge R Lindsey Wynne* D Christy Albano 469th District judge

254th District judge R Ashley Wysocki D Kim Brown Dallas County sheri R Chad Prda D Marian Brown* Dallas County commissioner, Precinct 1

NATIONAL

TEXAS LEGISLATURE State representative, District 67 R Je Leach* D Lorenzo Sanchez State representative, District 102 R Linda Koop D Ana-Maria Ramos* State representative, District 112

President R Donald J. Trump* D Joseph R. Biden L Jo Jorgensen G Howie Hawkins U.S. Senate R John Cornyn* D Mary “MJ” Hegar L Kerry Douglas McKennon G David B. Collins U.S. Representative, District 32 R Genevieve Collins D Colin Allred* L Christy Mowrey Peterson I Jason Sigmon STATEWIDE Texas Railroad Commission R James “Jim” Wright D Chrysta Castañeda L Matt Sterett G Katija “Kat” Gruene Supreme Court, chief justice R Nathan Hecht* D Amy Clark Meachum L Mark Ash

R Piper McCraw* D Dana Human

R Patrick L. Harden D Theresa Daniel* DALLAS AND

471st District judge R Andrea Bouressa* D Michael D. Payma Tax assessor-collector R Kenneth L. Maun* D John Turner-McClelland DALLAS COUNTY 14th District judge R Jessica Voyce Lewis D Eric V. Moye* 95th District judge R Mike Lee D Monica Purdy 162nd District judge R Jordan Montgomery Lewis D Maricela Moore*

COLLIN COUNTIES Fifth Court of Appeals, Place 3 R David Evans* D Bonnie Lee Goldstein Fifth Court of Appeals, Place 6 R John Browning D Craig Smith Fifth Court of Appeals, Place 8 R Bill Whitehill* D Dennise Garcia

R Angie Chen Button* D Brandy K. Chambers L Shane D. Newsom COLLIN COUNTY 366th District judge R Tom Nowak* D Sam Johnson 380th District judge R Ben Smith* D Penny Robe 401st District judge R George Flint D Tonya Holt

VOTER TURNOUT

A look at how many registered voters in both Dallas and Collin counties cast ballots in previous elections.

Dallas County

Collin County

Turnout

Turnout

Registered voters

Registered voters

2012 presidential election

2012 presidential election

714,387

1.18 million

224,374

462,102

2014 gubernatorial election

2014 gubernatorial election

410,529

1.21 million

106,198

489,032

2016 presidential election

2016 presidential election

770,590

1.3 million

366,483

540,084

2018 gubernatorial election

2018 gubernatorial election

731,576

1.34 million

289,007

581,684

2020 primary election

2020 primary election

327,347

1.34 million

154,159

602,791

SOURCES: TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICE’S WEBSITE, DALLAS COUNTY, COLLIN COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

For more election information, visit communityimpact.com/vote .

15

RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

CONTINUED FROM 1

announced that early voting would be extended by six days. Collin and Dal- las counties have both increased the size and number of polling locations and will allow residents who are phys- ically disabled or have compromised immune systems to vote curbside. “This election is a lot dierent from anything [we’ve seen], and there are really no written rules to follow,” Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole said. “You just have to play it by ear and take it one day at a time.”

Despite these allowances, some party leaders believe not enough has been done to encourage participation in the November election. In Texas, only certain voters are eligible to vote by mail. Texas is also one of only six states where having COVID-19 is not an acceptable reason to vote absen- tee, said Ellen Steger, president of League of Women Voters Richardson. “Mail-in voting for everybody really would have been the smart way to do all of this,” said Joel Montfort, founder and president of Richardson Area

Pippins-Poole said. Logistical chal- lenges associated with social dis- tancing and sanitation are driving up costs and forcing ocials to rethink the layout of the typical polling location. Dallas County will end up spend- ing between $3 million to $4 million on ballots, new machines, additional training for sta and volunteers, clean- ing supplies and personal protective equipment, Pippins-Poole said. “That’s about a 40% increase of what it normally would cost,” she said.

Democrats. In-person voters are advised to come prepared with who they plan to vote for, to vote during o-peak hours and, above all, to give the process some grace. “Everyone is just going to have to be patient and take a breath because it’s not elections as usual,” Pippins-Poole said. “It’s not going to be that way.” Takingeveryprecaution The eect of the pandemic on the election cannot be understated,

Here is how voters in Richardson turned out by precinct during the 2016 presidential election. This year, Collin and Dallas counties both expect an increase in ballots cast. VOTER TURNOUT

PGBT TOLL

B

COLLIN COUNTY DALLAS COUNTY

THIS YEAR’S PROJECTIONS FROMDALLAS COUNTY

Percent of voters who turned out in 2016

<60% 60%-65% 66%-70% 71%-75% 75%+

COST OF ELECTION: Up to

W. ARAPAHO RD.

since 2016 presidential 40%

$4MILLION

WHENANDWHERE TOVOTE Each county is oering a vote center within Richardson city limits where voters can go during early voting and on Election Day. Here the dates and times those locations are open. DALLAS COUNTY RESIDENTS: A City Hall , 411 W. Arapaho Road Oct. 13-30: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m. Nov. 3: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. COLLIN COUNTY RESIDENTS: B Oce complex lobby, 2703 N. Central Expressway Oct. 13-16: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 17-30: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m. Nov. 3: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

A

BELT LINE RD.

75

MAIL INBALLOTS:

2X the record-amount in previous elections

100,000 applications received as of mid-September

N

VOTER TURNOUT

60%65% Up from

75% Estimated to be

Lowest turnout 57.81%

Highest turnout 78.92%

SOURCE: CITY OF RICHARDSONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SOURCES: COLLIN COUNTY, DALLAS COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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