Richardson mayor presents future development, infrastructure plans in annual State of the City

Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker
Mayor Paul Voelker shared his vision for Richardson at the annual State of the City address Jan. 26. (Jackson King/Community Impact Newspaper)

Mayor Paul Voelker shared his vision for Richardson at the annual State of the City address Jan. 26. (Jackson King/Community Impact Newspaper)

Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker shared the city’s accomplishments in 2021 and visions for the future during the annual State of the City address.

Voelker’s presentation on Jan. 26 at the Eisemann Center centered on “making Richardson home,” reiterating the city’s efforts to turn the area into a great place for businesses and residents.

“What makes a place home is fairly basic: it's where you feel safe,” Voelker said. “It's where you feel connected to others and where you gather to raise family and spend time with friends. What we are going to present to you is the work being done that makes Richardson a great place for all of these things.”

One of the city's major accomplishments was the reactivation of community events, according to the presentation. After the cancellation of many concerts and celebrations in 2020 because of the pandemic, several events returned in fiscal year 2021-22, starting with the Public Safety Expo in September and including Santa’s Village and Christmas Parade in December.

Officials expect to restart the annual Cottonwood and Wildflower festivals and the Family Fourth Event on Independence Day as well.

Voelker said the city’s biggest focus in 2022 will be to complete the infrastructure projects that were part of the $190 million bond approved in 2021. Each of the five bond propositions were detailed during the event. As part of the bond, $102 million will be committed to street improvements, while $64 million will be allocated to public buildings, including Richardson Public Library and Richardson City Hall. More information on the bond projects is available here.

Another focus is continued development of both the Richardson Innovation Quarter and the Richardson Core District.

The city is working on building a new headquarters in The IQ and continuing to promote innovation and tech business in the 1,200-acre area east of Central Expressway, the mayor said.

Voelkner said the recent rebuilding of Main Street will help facilitate business into the Richardson Core District, which includes Downtown, Lockwood, Heights, Interurban and Chinatown.

To watch the address in full, visit here.
By Jackson King
Jackson joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in January of 2022. He graduated in 2020 from Texas A&M with a degree in journalism. Jackson covers education, local government, business, development, real estate, transportation and nonprofits in the Richardson community. Prior to CI, he covered sports for the Wylie News, interned at Maroon Weekly and Insite Brazos Valley Magazine in College Station, Texas, and wrote freelance for the Dallas Morning News.