May 2010 Announcements!

DON’T FORGET – EARLY VOTING STARTS ON MONDAY, APRIL 26TH.

I hope you were able to participate in one of the Bond Information Open Houses that were held today, Sunday, April 25th and that your questions were answered. It’s important to know the facts about the bond package and what it means to Richardson, to you, and to our neighborhood specifically. All kinds of information has been and is being distributed – some true, some not true, and some information that doesn’t relate to the bond package at all – so please be pro-active and investigate for yourself if you haven’t already done so.

All Richardson voters (Dallas and Collin County) can vote early at the Richardson Civic Center/City Hall or at any other early voting location in Dallas County. For this election only, Richardson residents who reside in Collin County and want to vote early must vote at the Civic Center/City Hall or one of the other Dallas County early voting locations.

Early voting dates and times:
April 26 – May 1: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

May 2: 1 – 6 p.m.

May 3 – 4: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
On Election Day (May 8), polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at 23 locations throughout the City. For questions about voting locations, visit www.cor.net, call the Richardson City Secretary’s office at 972-744-4292 or the Dallas County Elections Department at 214-637-7937.

WEEK IN REVIEW

The City has recently started a new weekly news series called Week In Review.
Week In Review was created to keep people up-to-date on events, projects and services occurring in our community. It is delivered each Friday through the City’s News & Information e-mail service located atwww.cor.net. A link to the newsletter is also available on the City’s Web site home page.

Those who are interested in receiving future versions are encouraged to sign-up using the City’s News & Information e-mail service.

ANOTHER SCAM…INFORMATION FROM OFFICER JOHN CORBITT

Crimefighters– We received information from SMU Police Department describing an area “baseball trip” scam . Solicitors have been door to door in University Park,  Highland Park, and Lakewood seeking donations or selling magazine subscriptions to benefit Children’s Medical Center and support the SMU baseball team. The solicitors may mention that a portion of the proceeds will support the SMU trip to Hawaii in May for a baseball tournament. According to SMU PD, these solicitors are not affiliated with or sponsored by SMU in any way, shape, or form. While SMU does have a baseball team, they ARE NOT out soliciting funds. THIS IS A SCAM.

Coincidentally, I heard from Cottonwood Creek neighbors about someone going doing door to door just last weekend claiming to be “new to the neighborhood,” or related to someone right down the street. They were soliciting donations for the SMU baseball trip to Hawaii. It sure sounds like the scam may be in our area now.

SMU PD has asked that any city experiencing these scams make an effort to identify and/or take enforcement action since this is not a legitimate solicitation. Waiting until the next day to report will not get these scammers identified. Call RPD right away if you are solicited by anyone using this “pitch” (no pun intended), and DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY!!!!

Officer John Corbitt
Crime Prevention Officer
(972) 744-4952
john.corbitt@cor.gov
Crime Prevention Unit— West Sector
Richardson Police Department

RICHARDSON POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS

Protect Your Property with the Richardson Police Department’s free Property Marking Program. Read about this program that helps the Police Department retrieve and return stolen property to the owner. You can get started by visiting the City’s website: www.cor.net.

OTHER STUFF

I was at an HOA Presidents’ breakfast on Tuesday, April 20th where Police Chief Jim Spivey provided the City of Richardson 2009 Crime Report and Police Activities Review. I’m happy to report that overall crime for our Heights Park area has dropped this year – and Chief Spivey attributes much of the drop in crime to the activities of the Citizen Patrollers (from all over the city). He says the presence of our volunteer patrollers is a huge deterrence to crime. I’m thankful that we have residents who will step forward and volunteer their time to help us keep safe. These volunteers are the solution—they’ve identified a need and they’re doing something about it. Thank you!

The Police Department has also brought in some part-time officers, many recently retired from other police careers, who serve as Neighborhood Police Officers. Our Heights Park Neighborhood Officer is Dan White. He’ll be patrolling our area at various times – I’ve already had reports from a couple of residents who’ve seen him. If you see him, introduce yourself – he used to be a Heights resident, too.

See specific crime statistics on the city’s website: www.cor.net/pd.

HPNA NEWSLETTER COMING SOON…

Our next issue of the HPNA Newsletter is at the printer now and will be ready for distribution next weekend (starting May 1). We’ve got lots of news for you in this issue, so please be sure to watch for it.

Things to watch for in this issue:

1.    PROGRAM INFORMATION FOR THE MAY 20TH GENERAL MEETING: A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/DEVELOPER! (mark your calendars)

2. A CONTEST!

3. BOX TOPS!

4.    YARD OF THE MONTH – judges will be choosing the May winner at the end of this month – have your yards in tip-top shape! If you want to nominate a yard, you can complete a form on our Heights Park website (www.heightspark.com); click on YOM, or send an email to sdepuy@gmail.com with your nomination. Winner will be announced the first week of May.

5. CRIME PATROL APPLICATION: contact Marsha Mayo for information

6. HPNA MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION; PLEASE PAY YOUR 2010 DUES IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY ($15/YEAR)

Enough for now – I hope to see you on Thursday, May 20th at our next General Meeting – First United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall; 7:00 p.m.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me or any of the HPNA board members.

Janet DePuy

President

HPNA

214.282.6921

Bond Election Open Houses

This Sunday, April 25 the City of Richardson will be hosting two community open houses to provide residents with the opportunity to learn more about the 32 proposed projects included in the May 8 City Bond Election.

City Staff will be on hand to share information one-on-one with residents and answer any questions about the proposed projects.

City of Richardson

Bond Election Open Houses
Sunday, April 25, 2010

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Heights Recreation Center
711 W. Arapaho Road
Richardson, Texas 75080

4 to 6 p.m.
Huffhines Recreation Center
200 North Plano Road
Richardson, Texas 75081

Early voting starts Monday, April 26.

2010 Bond Election

I wanted to pass along some information about the upcoming Bond election so you’ll have the correct information prior to the start of early voting on April 26th. You’ll also read this information in the HPNA Newsletter coming out during the first weekend of May. It’s important that you know what the bond actually provides. Please study the package so you can make an informed decision for the City of Richardson as well as for your Heights Park neighborhood. We’ve provided a very brief recap below. (Bond information provided by Stephen Springs, HPNA Civic Chair)

2010 Bond Program

2010 Bond Program

If all four propositions pass, the average cost per month would be an increase of approximately $9/month in property taxes based on the average priced home in Richardson: $182,000.

Janet DePuy
President
Heights Park N.A.
214.282.6921

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What is a municipal bond?

Quite simply, bonds are debt.  Think of them like a mortgage.  A municipal bond is basically how a city takes out a mortgage in order to build things.  There are two types of municipal bonds,revenue bonds and general obligation bonds.  Each is named for the means by which they are financed.

A revenue bond is paid for by income created by the improvements created.  Examples of projects that are typically funded by revenue bonds include toll roads, and water and wastewater infrastructure.

A general obligation (“G.O.”) bond may be paid for via any legal resource available.  Typically, G.O. bonds are repaid either through growth or property tax levy, or both.

Young cities often have the ability to take on debt without raising taxes thanks to their sheer growth.  Mature cities more often have to tie debt to property tax rates.  As recently as the late ‘90s, the City of Richardson sold bonds based on anticipated growth.  Projects funded by those bonds took a long time to realize because the economy slowed, stunting growth compared to expectation.  Since, Richardson has tied bond sales to property taxes, which is much more stable and predictable.  The 2006 bond program is now nearly complete.  The 2010 G.O. Bond Program on the ballot next month, if successful, will also be funded by a property tax increase.

Information on Richardson’s 2010 Bond Election

For the most up-to-date information available, look at the City of Richardson website (www.cor.net).  Information on the website includes detailed information on each proposition, project listings, project maps, election data and a PowerPoint being used for public meetings around town.

Early Voting Times:

April 26 to April 30 (Mon-Fri)

8 AM TO 5 PM
MAY 1 (SATURDAY) 8 AM TO 5 PM

MAY 2 (SUNDAY) 1 PM TO 6 PM
MAY 3 (MONDAY AND TUESDAY)

MAY 4 – 7 AM TO 7 PM                                                     

Early Voting Location:

Richardson Civic Center

411 Arapaho Road

Election Day / Location for Heights Park:

Saturday, May 8

Richardson Heights Elementary (Precinct 1707)

101 N. Floyd Road

The basic rundown:

City staff and Council started with more than half a billion dollars of identified needs, more than $150M of which were identified as “Priority A”, or urgent needs.  This list was pared down to $66M to take to voters.  As has been typical for past Richardson bond issues, the election is broken down into 4 propositions:

Proposition 1                        Streets and Drainage                          $24.7 Million
Proposition 2                        Parks and Recreation                          $22.6 Million
Proposition 3                        Public Buildings                              $10.5 Million
Proposition 4                        Neighborhood Vitality                         $8.1 Million
Total                                                                              $66 Million

Proposition 1 Description-

A city-wide comprehensive street and alley inventory has been performed which grades all roadways in town on a scale of 1 to 100.  Using this data and logical grouping strategies for contracting, this proposal essentially replaces or rehabilitates all residential streets scoring below 50 and all alleys scoring below 55.  There are also scattered improvements to various intersections, traffic control devices, culverts and the like.

What’s in it for Heights Park?  (see project list of streets and alleys below in addition to sidewalk repair)

6 blocks of alleys

5 blocks of residential streets

Proposition 2 Description-

The Completion of a city-wide Parks and Open Space Masterplan in 2009 and Heights Park Masterplan in 2008 informed this proposition.  It includes numerous improvements and additions to city trails, playgrounds, irrigation systems and sets aside funding for park acquisition in underserved areas of town.  Most significantly…

What’s in it for Heights Park?

Replacement of the Heights Recreation Center and pool!

Proposition 3 Description-

The bulk of this proposition has to do with replacing the next-in-line substandard fire station and constructing a long-awaited fire training center.  Also included are technological advancements to the Library and an upgrade to the Animal Shelter.

What’s in it for Heights Park?

Nothing directly, though improvements for the Fire Department will allow for redistricting of city fire districts, which improves response times for everyone.  If you use the library, it will get you in and out faster.

Proposition 4 Description-

The smallest of the proposals actually could have one of the largest impacts for residential areas.  $8.1M buys a lot of sidewalk repairs and aesthetic improvements.

What’s in it for Heights Park?

A lot of sidewalks.  Drive around the Heights area south of Beltline to see what was done in the previous bond program.

SPECIFIC HEIGHTS PARK PROJECT LIST

ALLEYS

STREETS

700-826 Ridgedale (north alley from Floyd to “T”)

100-300 N. Weatherred Dr Residential Street Rehabilitation

804-830 Westwood Dr (north alley) &

301-307 N. Weatherred

100 N. Gentle Dr Residential Street Rehabilitation

201-205 N. Weatherred Dr. (west alley)

800 Lockwood Residential Street Rehabilitation

600 block Lockwood Ln (north alley)

700-800 Ridgedale Dr Residential Street Rehabilitation

600 block Greenleaf (north alley)

700 Northill Dr. Residential Street Rehabilitation

600 block Ridgedale (north alley)

Neighborhood Vitality Sidewalk Repair Program

Have questions?  Feel free to contact any of your HPNA board members or City Hall.  To contact the city, pick up your phone (972-744-4141) or keyboard (www.cor.net).

WHO’S READY FOR A CONTEST?

How competitive are YOU?

Lisa Richards, our new Membership Chair, has come up with a great idea to start a series of contests. We’re going to start with an easy one! And, yes, you’ll win a prize! Our first contest will be announced at the May 20th General Meeting – but just a heads up

….IT INVOLVES PETS….

You’ll get more details at the meeting and we’ll post the contest rules on HPNA website as well. We’re just giving you a hint of what’s coming. Get your camera out and pose your pet!

– Janet DePuy