Citizen Comments: By Meeting
Links take you to comments on this page
Caldwell Heights Elementary, Jan. 9
Stony Point 9th Grade Center, Jan. 10
Forest Creek Elementary, Jan. 17
Chamber of Commerce Board, Jan. 19
Gattis Elementary, Jan. 19
Round Rock High School, Jan. 23
Chamber Power Lunch, Jan. 24
Bluebonnet Elementary, Jan. 24
Old Town Elementary, Jan. 30
First Baptist Church, Jan. 31
Clay Madsen Recreation Center, Feb. 2
Round Rock Public Library, Feb. 4
Senior Center, Feb. 8
Jan. 9 Caldwell Heights Elementary
Thanks for giving the overviews. Very professional, helpful. Open my eyes to area of the city services that I have not thought about before.
Jan. 10 Stony Point 9th Grade Center
Raise user fees but allow lower income folks a pro-rated cost so their children are not left out.
You have put a great deal of time and effort in this project. I hope the response is better than the voter turn out.
I am quite happy with services now provided. There are areas that we could cut back such as Recreation and some library services. I would hope that our city government would look at any duplication of services critically.
Each dept could save on expenses. A program to cost cut. Employee rewards program to save. Challenge and Reward program. $100.00 for even 100.00 saved.
Parks and Recreation needs to utilize and work together with others (like YMCA)
No Comment at the time.
I am not sure I want the Lexus level in some of these things. If my taxes would go up $260.00 a year
Yes itís ok to increase some taxes but reduce the high dollar paid people who do nothing.
Cost cutting measures should be used. Look at more efficient use of the dollars we have. How can we cut waste? In 10 year many new ways will cost less.
Thank you for this eye-opening experience! I believe you get what you pay for... I'm not spend happy I just think that this cityís residents want a lot and do not want to pay for it. You can not have it both ways. Our residents need to be more open to maybe paying a little more to help us all out in the long run... We are not getting enough benefits from our county tax dollars. I'm very disgusted by some of their practices.
Jan. 17 Forest Creek Elementary
Should put burden on users of all services. This includes the library, rec centers, etc. Also need to put burden of maintaining the roads on the heavy vehicles going through the town. Safety should not be compromised.
It would be nice to lower property taxes and raise sales tax because I could control my costs by spending less (I believe most people would still spend money) and as you get older and want to pay off your mortgage you can limit your monthly expenses better.
Fire/Paramedic services need to operate under a single rule. Certified Paramedics must be able to provide care beyond the limits of an EMT. Police and Fire communications need to be up-graded. Parks needs to generate revenue from the current infrastructure in place. Cell sites as an example generate considerable dollars. Round Rock should consider going wireless for city services and selling the un-used to the community. Planning commission needs to incorporate open space and parks to the builders and make the HOA responsible for them.
Library services are very appreciated. A new branch would be most welcome in east Round Rock. A season long pass for the new aquatic center at Old Settler's would be great rather than having to pay each time or by the month. Parks and trails are also most welcome.
All of this information was well displayed and everyone I talked to was great in providing answers and/or assistance to my questions and comments.
My input would be not only to move the EMS stations to their own facilities but also require the COUNTY to build and maintain them. Qualified RRFD members should be allowed to provide paramedic services. Perhaps we need our own equivalent regulating agency!
Appreciate this opportunity to discuss these "selected" services. What other areas of services need to be reviewed?
I want our Fire Department to provide advanced life support. The Fire Department is usually the first department to arrive on scene and has trained paramedics - these paramedics should be able to provide the services they have been trained to provide. I would also support tax increases for the City to provide complete EMS services.
I am not pleased with the idea of contracting for EMS services with another agency. The City of Round Rock should be providing EMS services with qualified EMS personnel on fire rigs and transport vehicles.
Maintain order - comments based on current status w/ crime rate and protection. I believe in hiring quality personnel and understand things could change in order to meet those expectations. Fire response - I think the City should be allowed to provide Paramedic services. Open space & parks - Would like my neighborhood (Forest Creek) to be able to safely connect with trail system. Perhaps after street improvements to 122, this may be accomplished. I know water and wastewater was not discussed in detail, but those services are very important. Many people do not realize the importance of water and the environment, but it is crucial to the citizens of Round Rock. The planning takes years. I greatly appreciate the effort and hard work to put these events together. One of the reasons I moved to Round Rock almost 9 years ago was for the quality of city services. I'm glad to say our decision was the right one. Thank you.
Williamson County should seriously consider certifying city personnel to carry out life saving procedures for which the city personnel have been trained. Williamson County should relocate its ambulances from city stations to strategic sites to improve response time, especially in areas such as Forest Creek. Roads in and out of Forest Creek are not well maintained. Travel time on 122 is terrible. It takes more than 25 minutes to travel 4 miles from Forest Cree to Palm Valley Church at 8:30 in the morning during the week. It is sad to see the difference on the cost per capita between Parks and Recreation, including open spaces, and the library.
Open Space: Focus on low/zero maintenance open space. Need many more trails and green space, don't need to expand existing parks unless the users (teams, clubs, etc) can fund the improvements that they benefit from.
Urban infrastructure, I would like to see more proactive maintenance and support the current plan. I realize some tax increases are necessary to support and increased cost however I would like to see cost distributed more evenly across the individuals who use the services.
The format of this event was awesome. Thank you for putting this on. I hope it provides good data for you to use.
The information provided was nice to see but a break out comparison on the legislative expenditures compared to other communities was not made available. With this area being $16.8 million of the annual budget it deserves the detailed look at this area and definitely looks suspicious in its presentation. The city workers could not explain why this wouldnít be displayed.
Definitely think that the paramedics should be recognized by Williamson County. I am the one that suffers if they are not. Also, good people get their certification and take their skills elsewhere for more money and advancement. Concern for the improvements at the tennis courts--restrooms. I am now paying the City of Georgetown to pay on their facility and would much prefer for my dollar to go to Round Rock. I know it can't all be done at once but don't want the concerns for the courts to get looked over time and time again.
City Firefighters should be able to provide Advance Life Support (paramedic) services. Qualification standards should be set and firefighters enabled to provide this service too --- and be compensated for it. Our quality of care and quality of staff is suffering. Bathrooms at the Old Settlers tennis courts should be a top priority. Round Rock is losing an ongoing revenue stream to Georgetown both in court and league fees and restaurant fees Georgetown every day, all year long. All of the WTTA teams from Round Rock (around a dozen teams of eight people each) have to play out of Georgetown as Old Settlers does not meet WTTA rules of bathroom facilities. Lastly, recycling should be mandatory, or at least included in our regular waste management fees so people will not have the excuse to not spend the $4 a month that curbside pick up costs. This is the first community I have lived in in 15 years that does not have a recycling policy.
While not at the same level of priority as other, more essential services in the city, the construction of rest rooms at the tennis courts at Old Settler's is becoming of significant importance. One of the most important and widespread tennis leagues in the city, Women's Team Tennis Association, does not allow participation in its league without bathroom facilities provided at the home court. Currently Round Rock's tennis teams in this league must go to Georgetown Tennis Center to play home matches. We also pay the city of Georgetown for the use of these courts. I'd like to see the Round Rock Women's Soccer League honored by increased lining of their fields. They are usually lined once a season...and referees have a terrible time establishing field boundaries. These two sports are essential in the "Sports Capital" and we need to maintain the integrity of tennis courts and soccer playing fields before leagues will allow us participate in their leagues.
Really good presentation of information to the citizen. Gives them the ability to understand where there money is going and how it is going to cost them in the future. Very informative program.
Make sure that the total spending across RRISD and other RR city services are coordinated and shared to reduce the total cost across the board
The cost benefits analysis from your charts doesnít add up especially since you didn't provide anything reflective on: -How many citizens were polled or surveyed to reach the "62% citizens say city-wide services are good or excellent?" -Your police coverage for patrolling in Forest Creek may be effective, however, our block captains were told we had to hire private guards to handle the calls about car vandalism and break ins. Why are we paying double for safety coverage, seems like double taxation with less representation -- a bit like a cause for a tea party in Boston years ago wasn't it? -If you are "challenged" with your contractors as I was told to complete the work with quality on roads why not include in the contracts quality standards and milestones that match what they are paid and failure to comply penalties? Isn't there enough competition in that sector these days? -Economic Development for Round Rock has been too dependent on retail and Dell sales taxes, it appears there is still little or a lack of progress made to resolve this since the 2000 plans, why is that? -What have you done and will you do to use up-to-date technology and less people as the city's largest expense is in the people, how do you measure their effectiveness? -In the 2000 plan there were some targets that were to be reached by now where is the city on Economic Development, Beautification from the highways, Streets, etc... After spending time with that planning group and providing input there was nothing new reported on progress, or did I miss all that especially as a business owner since 1993 in this city with very little support for local businesses? I'm determining whether to expand my firm here or move to Houston's suburbs where there are clear resources. I speak with other business owners ready to start hiring people like I am and find we all have the same issues because it has taken so long for any progress to be made and we are expected to keep telling you the same things we provided you over and over and through the chamber for years. I understand the progress is planned is this the level of response Round Rock plans to keep providing? Round Rock has great potential but until there is a good, strong analysis on whether the quality is really there and until citizens provide more outcry I imagine people like me will have to just leave.
Appreciate the ability to voice opinion.
Thanks for allowing us to give our opinions.
The City should consider making consultants of certain departments like the Police Department because of Round Rock being the 8th safest city in America) so that they could teach other communities how to have a safer city and charge those other communities a consulting fee which would help offset some of these city expenditures. It would be an alternate way of bringing in money to the City other than property/sales taxes.
Jan. 19 Chamber of Commerce Board
I would open to the idea of increased taxes to help increase the quality of services that are offered.
Great process to collect resident input - very well done!
Jan. 19 Gattis Elementary
Have you looked into corporate sponsorships for some of the things needed? For example, if the library needs more space, have a local company or companies, pay for it directly and be allowed to advertise the face on the building or some such thing? Also, if the EMS, fire stations or police need specialized equipment, have a company or companies pay for it in exchange for bragging/advertising rights.
Very Interesting - Thanks for allowing input
We are new residents to the City of Round Rock. So far we like the feel of the services. I do have a few suggestions based on other cities that I have lived in. First, it would be a great thing if you would just accept utility payments online. Of course it would be nice to have an elaborate deal with viewing of bills online and all, but I would gladly just submit my information online to you for later offline processing. Second, there is a stop sign just east of AW Grimes that holds up traffic in the evening time. If you ask me you should just put a yield sign on the North (from Randallís) and south (from apts) or make it a light with preference to e/w traffic during rush hours. Third, and this may just be because we are new, but I don't hear about many city activities other than the ones that are posted outside the Clay Madsen Center. Thanks for the opportunity to present my thoughts. Rich
In making Camry level preferences, large change for Lexus level seemed to be excessive. Of course, managers and staff know better than most why the numbers jump so much, and it may be that a modest increase would not accomplish the desired level of quality. No one wants large tax increases, but some adjustment is reasonable. User fees are also reasonable when the actual users can be identified. Overall, I would agree with most that the current levels of service in most departments and functions are quite good to excellent. Most departments seem to be doing a very good job.
I think that if you present slight increases in taxes and user fees, this will be well received. Round Rock needs to maintain its good standing as a very safe city. Use this fact as a campaign to win over the voters. As the economy improves and the key is for the city to proactively bring in higher better paying jobs and businesses that bring in high sales taxes per sq ft.
Have you considered 1 garbage pickup per week? This would perhaps require larger trucks, but might incur less costs overall.
The three choices don't give me the actual level I was looking for. For instance, Urban Infrastructure is fine the way it is now. Library inventory does not need to be increased because residents can order books to borrow from other facilities if necessary. We do not need a certain number of pieces per capita. Most people use their own computers and internet at home or work. Most people can do research online and therefore don't need all of the library capabilities that were needed in the past.
I am very happy to be living in the city or Round Rock with my family. I try to make as much use of the services provided as possible. As our family has a limited budget, it is wonderful to be able to be able to afford to take advantage of some of the amenities the city provides. Thank you so much!
I think that Round Rock is a fantastic place to live and that Lexus services are not necessary to keep it that way. If the city if able to instill a sense of ownership and pride in the community these services will do us well. The world of library services is moving to the internet and not hardcopy therefore the need to increase materials makes no sense and without materials you don't need a new branch or more space. The police and fire services have been overfunded since 9-11. No one needs to be spending time and money on "safety" that can be provided by tackling violent and serious property crime on petty crime and public relations. Officers in Round Rock do not need to be making the same salary as Austin or Dallas cops since the job and scope are not the same. Firemen do not to have several trucks per station nor do they need to be paid to sleep or have certifications they do not use. Have them go to three 8 hour shifts like all other 24 hour operations in the city and pay only the people who use their EMT certifications to have it. The rec and parks are good like they are but any extra revenue should be spent on new pools and facilities not mowing and watering and the visitors and convention bureau that wants to be the "Sports Capital of Texas" need to pitch in more too. The infrastructure is important to bring people and revenue in from outside sources through their sales tax and still make life more convenient for the persons already paying through property tax.
We need to become a pro-business city again to attract businesses that create jobs, increase tax base, and provide sales taxes. The permitting and development process takes too long and is too costly. The City Inspections department is not user friendly and makes developers and retailers spend more time and money compared to other cities with like sized projects. We cannot keep building single family homes and not attract more employers, otherwise our tax base will continue to be upside down. Finish CR 122 quickly. Traffic is affecting quality of life. City vehicle fleet is very new and it seems like I am always seeing more new cars and trucks all of the time. The city should manage the fleet and its costs better to save tax dollars.
The City of Round Rock needs to look at police and fire salaries. We need to make sure we hire good people, but make sure we do not over spend on all items in salary. We have to look at making our services more cost effective and maybe look at early retirement for our senior staff. Our parks department has enough land and we have county parks no more park land just maintain what we have. We have businesses that are not paying their fair share in impact fees, and we need to make sure every new water tap is being charged full rate. Make our city go in house with attorney and try to provide our own legal department. We need to look at selling the current police station and senior citizen building and use the money to re-locate our police department. Try and purchase land at least on our next bond package. We need to at least try and buy property or work deals with developers to keep the price down. Our current city hall should be sold when we build out the McConico project or combine all of city space into one area. The City of Round Rock needs to work real close with RRISD, ACC, WILLIAMSON COUNTY, AND ANY OTHER TAXING SO WE ALL DO NOT GET HIT A ONCE. We need to watch the DELL tax money. Our City is the best and I want it to grow but to stay in cost and not to over spend. We can work smarter and not harder. Thanks Mario
I am very happy with the services that the city offers in all aspects. I would hate to cut any programs and would be more in favor of being creative and finding new ways to create income in different areas. I would not be opposed to a tax increase as we are so low already in our property taxes. We must be financially responsible however, and find ways to better utilize facilities and the people that we already have.
Thank you very much for this opportunity! I really appreciate the information available, both in the displays and also the personnel available to answer questions. The convenience of the meeting in my neighborhood is what brought me here - I am very glad I came! One comment on the fire services - I would like to see something between the Camry and the Lexus. There is such a wide gap in the cost between the 2, while the other services had smaller ranges in cost increases between the levels of services. Oh, and the use of Corolla, Camry and Lexus was great! This computer program was easy to use, I really appreciated the "?" where we could see what the levels included. Thanks again!!!!!
Congratulations! This is a great outreach service. Great presentations, with good uniformity of content. Job well done! After the town hall meetings, the displays should be put onto the city web site, if they are not already there.
1) City Firefighters should provide Advanced Life Support services so long as the quality is the same as the EMS services and it does not detract from their fire fighting responsibilities. 2) The city should make a deal with DELL to provide low-cost computers to homes and low-cost internet access (wireless, etc) for homes to help access educational information to students who cannot afford computers and internet costs.
This was a very good program
Your displays for the rec center didn't say what % of monies went toward what. ...meaning, what do taxes pay for (utilities?) and what do user fees pay for (activities?)? I'm all for raising user fees for people who actually use those facilities.
Some money sources possible: 1. To help with the multiple house calls for false alarms, create an annual permit fee to be paid by homeowners as an insurance against a charge in the range of $100-$200 for repeated calls to the same home. 2. One year job freeze on non-essential jobs vacated by attrition. 3. Use contractors for services to save benefits payments. 4. Lastly, suspend raises to every other year for 5 years.
I believe that most of the services in which I would like to see improvements could be achieved by raising user fees and could be funded through other sources - sponsorships (aka. The Dell Diamond). Overall, our level of services is what makes Round Rock great and we should at a minimum maintain the levels that we are at. Thanks for putting this together and allowing the citizens of Round Rock to provide their input.
Provide fire response - do we have an option between the +3 and +22 cent price of level of service? What could we get for +10 cent increase? I would like to see options for that section.
THANKS FOR THE FORUM. TOUGH DECISIONS...
Urban Infrastructure - push for implementing. Do everything necessary to prevent gangs taking root in RR. Gattis School road intersection at Mays is a mess, need to figure out a way to fix the 5 or six roads meeting at that one general location - have Dell pay for it as they are a major cause of the problem. Gattis School Rd - near Randallís, stop sign to apartment complex is a sever limitation to the AW Grimes/Gattis school intersection during rush hour - eliminate the stop sign and reroute traffic to the apartment complex to prevent accidents Intelligent/timed street lights should be considered to provide flow of traffic versus unnecessary backups - people will learn where the more preferred paths are during the day and minimize need for increased road infrastructure
The idea of soliciting citizen input is excellent, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the process.
I use Clay Madsen often. I LOVE the fees and services. Please do not change those. A small increase would be ok, but I like them nice and low. I'd like to see more advanced searching capabilities there. I'd like to see homeschool classes at the Rec center. I love the library and staff and its nominal fees. I'd prefer the library to stay the same or increase in services and sites. As a homeschool mom I rely on the library even though I pay several thousand in school taxes. I don't have a problem helping the schools, they need it, but I'd like to see some return and the library, rec center and parks are high on my list. Of course I am in favor of the auto initiated work the police do. I am proud to say (and live in) the 8th safest city in America - and want to keep it that way. Parks and Rec does a good job as is, but I wouldn't mind spending an extra $50 - $100 per year for a few more services. I am glad the parks dept is putting in the water park and plan to enlarge it over time. Yippie!
I believe the "want" is overriding the "needs" in expenses growth. You need to use experienced-nonelected citizens to serve as an advisory task force. Need to "zero base" budget each year.
Whoever developed this program should be commended, as it should be a model for all cities and smaller municipalities. Likewise, the display charts were well prepared, understandable, and simple to comprehend. I don't often give 'atta boys', but you all rate number one on using this method of enlightening and educating the public. Major Stolz ret. sends-
I would be willing to pay for my library card to up the level of service-feel very strongly about the value of education provided by libraries
Round Rock Staff and Officials are doing a great job.
Whatever it takes to make sure that this city is the best to serve my kids as they grow.
Consider the affect of adding the Skateboard park as it relates to the car crossing and the safety of kids crossing. * Must focus on attracting high end homes vs. low end - i.e. Milburn. * Improve water quality - everyone says RR water tastes very bad. * Think that we are doing fine with our fire, police and amb service...however we need leave it at the level and not spend more on it. * Improve or focus maintenance of city vehicles ...thus no need to buy more. * Overall RR city services have improved their image, focus and attention - thank you!
I found everyone very helpful and knowledgeable. I thought the information was pretty clear. I took the time to read most of it. People were willing and able to answer my questions. I think the city of round rock is doing a pretty good job and I feel I have a good grasp of what the possibilities are for the future. I think you should do this again next time you have a substantial change to contemplate.
I think the City of Round Rock is smart in getting info from Round Rock Residents. I am in favor of raising taxes if we continue to improve the core services. I think someone has to look at School taxes which are out of balance with city taxes. Law enforcement, Fire, and EMS are core services that need to stay at a Camry level and not drop below that level. Library services and Urban Infrastructure need to hold at the level they are currently at. Parks and Recreation needs to increase their budget because I think its budget is extremely low compared to the other services. Thanks for the time and effort put into these information sessions.
The special children's programs used at the library, could possibly be administered at the Rec. Center. There are a lot of day programs going on at the Rec. Center and the library could share the meeting rooms there and also at the new senior center. This will enable the library to operate on 5 days with less staff and they will have more storage space. Additionally, with the new RRHEC, internet usage should be available for students. RRISD offers libraries at most if not all of the local schools, therefore, the student usage could be minimized at the City Library. Being a parent to two children who have utilized several recreational programs through the parks & rec. dept., I understand the need for the dept. to continue to grow and try to continuously meet the needs and demands of this growing population. Former President Clinton is currently campaigning about the importance of exercise and how our children are reaching a fatal level of obesity. It is very important to continue to offer all levels of parks & recreations to our children, adults and seniors so that we can conquer the dangerous health issues that we will all face without having the opportunity to exercise.
Very good information and well presented. I hope that this info will be made available on the Internet at some point as well.
Great presentation and a lot of real good information I would like to do more for the fire category but I can't go all the way to 22 cents
Jan. 23 Round Rock High School
I have lived in the State of Texas and specifically the Round Rock area for 3 years and I must say I am very impressed with the services and reputation of the Round Rock area. I feel safe in the city of Round Rock and feel our police do an outstanding job. I am also impressed with the level and qualify of park and recreation areas. Keep up the good work.
Excellent job in putting this presentation and survey together! It was very helpful.
Thank you for asking for our input at this point.
In a perfect world, there would be a compromise between adjusted services and raising rates/taxes. We need what we need - how do you decide who has to make sacrifices? I've moved to RR after being away from Texas for 14 yrs. I have no complaints about the City/County or our level of services. Actually I have found it impressive. We have found the services here to be "johnny on the spot". I do find the Brushy Creek Mud confusing and since I don't have kids, school taxes do get on my nerves when people talk about raising those taxes constantly. Overall, I am supportive of the city and what it has to do to maintain a quality of life that is different from our neighboring Austin. Thanks
I drive around Round Rock quite often and am amazed at how many police vehicles I see every time. All those new vehicles and quantity must cost the city a lot of money. Are that many really necessary??
Don't cut fire and police. Raise user fees for parks and rec services.
Seek efficiencies and cost savings in Administrative and regulatory areas as well as managing city resources and infra-structure. REC FAC costs offset by Hotel/Motel revenue. Find innovative ways to do the same things. The City of Round Rock continually provides excellent Customer Service- Keep up the good work!!
One of the terms used in some areas was "Civilianizing". How could this be utilized by some of the retirees residing in RR to cost effectively enhance or meet demands of growth in various areas. It appears the biggest piece of the "Pie" in all areas is personnel and benefits. If contracted to perhaps that would reduce expenditures and still meet the needs in an effective manner.
Round Rock city taxes are not bad. I do not mind raising taxes if necessary and as long as the Round Rock tax rate is not significantly higher than comparable cities in Texas. What really needs to be addressed is the RRISD property tax rate. I would like to see RRISD hold a forum similar to this one so that tax payers can see how RRISD property tax collections are utilized. Overall, the City of Round Rock does a great job, is very organized, and I appreciate its effort to inform the public and provide the public with the opportunity to provide input.
Look into "pay as you go" programs for trash pick up (similar to Austin). I appreciate that my property taxes are lower than most in our area - perhaps they should increase slightly to cover some of these important/necessary programs and services. How is the 4b sales tax divvied up among all eligible entities? How will the increased retail development affect tax receipts? If the new hospital complexes are truly built, should we look into a hospital district that could provide some additional revenue? We have to at least maintain, and in some cases improve, the programs and services we currently enjoy. There have to be some creative financing solutions that can complement the current taxing options.
Since the majority of the fire dept calls are medical emergencies rather than actual fires, I believe that the response time is adequate for that and we don't need to raise the level of service.
Taxes are already too high. Many seniors in the RR West neighborhood have moved out because they could no longer afford the home they "retired" in. There should be something done to lower school taxes (even though not part of equation). Cutting services should be done only as a last resort. Laying off employees should be a last resort. Combining services (firefighters doing paramedic services) could help. Thank you for allowing the community to voice their opinions. Best wishes in making your tough decisions!
I would strongly suggest that we look into better paving techniques versus the seal coating that is currently in use. Is it really cost effective, the new seal coating on our street was very poorly completed. Perhaps we should look into the paving that Texas Department of Transportation is currently utilizing. Additionally, perhaps we should have better monitoring of the contractor chosen to seal coat the roads.
I seems that there is a quandary on how to best fund our future in the city of Round Rock; My opinion is that in order to maintain Round Rock as an attractive place to live and do business in requires that we compromise in both increasing property taxes (hard to swallow for most home owners) and increase sales taxes. A moderate increase in both should get us closer to where we need to be. If necessary to adjust for the difference a compromise in Police and enforcement (as they seem to be doing best) may be the thing to lower. Personally I would prefer to pay more in property taxes and even a higher amount in sales tax. Good Luck, I would not want to have to be in your shoes when you have to break the news.
I wish there were more levels for Fire Dept. The difference between Camry and Lexus is $380 increase in my tax bill. I would support raises for Police and Fire. Thanks for doing this.
I am quite impressed with the Fire Department services provided to our community and understand that we are growing quickly. I strongly support the fire stations to improve EMS response times.
The 'west side' recreation center is long overdue. I spoke with City Mgr. about possible partnership with YMCA to get project moving with maximum bang for buck. Idea sounded good, although I still favor a more western location (Deepwood near city pool). In any event, the new Rec center desperately needs to have a specific focus on providing many more Racquetball courts. The experience at Clay Madsen is that the courts are utilized to full capacity and the public would like even more. Wherever the next Rec center is located, it should provide ample Racquetball court space.
Thanks for the chance to put in my two cents!
Kudos to the entire City staff for all of the hard work in preparing this Open House forum. It is rewarding to me to live in a city that actually solicits input from its citizenry. We cannot do everything for everyone, but with input from the residents, perhaps we can prioritize. Thanks again and great job!
Locate west side recreation center on Deepwood Drive north of fire station
Inasmuch as salaries of city employees represent a significant portion of the budget, the city should more aggressively pursue a campaign of recruiting more volunteers to supplement and/or replace those employees who are engaged in work that volunteers, with little training, could accomplish. Recruiting efforts should include, wherever possible, incentives to attract volunteers, e.g., providing certain privileges to volunteers. Please call on me if you would like me to elaborate.
My understanding is that the "Change in current tax bill" is per year. Right?
It seems to me that this whole exercise ignores the critical issue of growth. It seems to me that new developments cause far more cost to the city than they pay for. Perhaps this analysis has been done, but from talking to people here tonight, I don't have the impression that it has. I'd suggest a thorough analysis of the benefits and costs of growth, and management of policy according to this analysis.
Most of our tax $ goes to another county for schools. When will all Round Rock children be able to attend Round Rock schools?
Excellent effort to communicate to citizens the concern about the budget. Thank you. I am disappointed that the planning does not include any new city golf courses. Over the 10 year period money should be set aside to fund the acquisition of one of the "private" courses, or build a new one. During an economic downturn the city could probably negotiate a good deal on one on these private courses. City owned courses can provide residents an alternative to the higher priced private courses. Also, the city should operate all city owned courses through the Parks & Recreation Department, not through a third party.
Some intermediate options between Camry and Lexus or between Camry and Corolla would have been nice. Five levels to choose from instead of 3 would have been a better survey
I think you should put fire and EMS in the SAME facilities and just put more common facilities all through out the City. Just a crude look at the whole concept of emergency medical service. Emergency Medical Services is excellent medical care and speed. You can have the best neuro and cardiac care at the hospitals but..... if you have slow EMS service...you can't do miracles with hamburger meat. I am speaking as a 48 year old female ice hockey goalie......We need to promote the Round Rock In-line Roller Hockey. Roller Hockey and Ice Hockey are GREAT sports for kids. Hockey is a FAST Sport. The players are not waiting in a field being hot and bored. There isn't a long down time between play time and sitting out. The kids play every two minutes. You can make mistakes and it is so fast that the mistakes are forgotten. It is a great sport for instant gratification. Ice hockey is very expensive. Families that play it usually have extra money as compared to other sports. Feeding the ice hockey leagues with once novice roller hockey players makes great financial sports sense. In-line is a natural progression for league roller hockey and then ice hockey. This in turn helps support other sports facilities in town. Several kids I have spoken with only like roller hockey and they have tried the other league sports. Rick Atkins and Brooks Bennett are the best. Give them both a HUGE raise. Brooks did a wonderful job setting this input system up. This needs to make National News. You really need to brag about this for a long time. Thanks for asking.
I recommend that city staff examine the operating budget for the city of Frisco, Texas. It has a baseball facility similar to our Dell Diamond. They are a fast growing community like Round Rock; yet their expenditures for services are consistently lower than Round Rock. Thank you for this workshop. Best wishes.
I appreciate the city's efforts to provide a high quality of life for the citizens. We should continue to have high quality services and spend efficiently to provide them. I hope you will also maintain the cultural quality of our community by aiding the theater (Sam Bass), choir, and other cultural events. These are relatively cheap and add a lot to the community in various ways. Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinion. This is another reason we are proud to live in Round Rock.
None of the options presented for Library and several other departments included staff reduction in order to reduce costs. As with most government proposed "self determination", staff cuts are never an area that administrators are willing to propose. It doesn't take any kind of mastermind to figure that salary and benefit expense is the primary area which must be addressed in all departments except front line fire and police. Look at the pie charts presented and the problem is clear. Middle management and non-essential staff needs to be cut in line with the anticipated shortfall. This needs to be done top down. Don't tell me if I don't give in to a Lexus tax increase that fire response will be 10+ minutes.
I would think the state needs an income tax to equally divide the costs better, maybe reduce the property tax some.
No mention of staff cuts??? I am pleased to have lived in Round Rock for the past 14 years and congratulate the city for this opportunity to learn and have our opinions heard. However, I feel recent years have produced unbridled growth and undisciplined spending in our area....can't believe what the schools asked for last time. I voted "NO" on schools for the first time in my life, and I have 4 grandchildren in town. When we are FORCED to tighten our budget belts in life, the goodies must be the first to go. The parks, open spaces, recreational activities and library staff/hours must be cut as necessary. "Take 5" program is "great" but the crew and their benefits are a luxury in the face of a budget crunch. We must have better response time for EMS and should do everything possible to accomplish that. I don't appreciate the fact that you didn't put the legislative, regulatory and support services activities on the table tonight. These are CORE SERVICES like all other categories represented here tonight and I know there are staff, salary and benefit cuts to be made here as well. Thanks again for the opportunity to express myself. I'm thinking these Dell computers are part of the Lexus model....
Now is the time for a temporary jump in park acquisition to purchase property for future parks, although the land might not require much current maintenance. We have more than enough police. Recreational facilities should be self-sufficient. I would like the city to join with the county to begin constructing rail-based mass transit between Williamson County cities. Once built, future growth would follow along the tracks. It's a long-term investment. Libraries are wonderful, but they are being supplanted by the internet. The Core Services box is a bit simplistic. In general, I want lower taxes, but city taxes are not the problem. Federal taxes are.
Unsure how to answer moving Wilco ambulances for city fire stations. It would depend on costs involved.
Fire Dept. should limit non-emergency service calls, or charge for those services. Parks Dept. does a good job at generating revenues to offset costs. This philosophy should be used with other departments.
All city owned facilities should be xeriscaped to provide models for residents and low maintenance costs. Planting annuals 2-3 times/year and then watering them is a wasteful practice. I think that overall, city services here are excellent at the current level of service, and that increases in property tax income due to increase in population will take care of most of the needs.
Great, safe city. We need to maintain our focus on law enforcement and quality of services as we grow.
Poor traffic flow due to indiscriminate stop signs needs to addressed.
Thank you for providing this very informational meeting. I think the city does a very good job. I appreciate the city getting the public input and trying not to spend more than is brought in. All of the people tonight were very helpful and informative. Thank you!
I would only want to raise taxes if there was no other way. School taxes are already exorbitant. I think user fees should be used whenever possible. As an approaching senior citizen, I do not want to be priced out of my neighborhood. I will not be using Old Settler's Park and do not feel I should have to pay for those services. I am willing to pay for the senior citizen's center when I use it. The roads in RR West are getting better, but have been a disaster. I would also like hundreds of trees planted at the back of the Duck Pond. We used to not be able to see Round Rock West Drive from our back yard. I also would like to be out of the flood plane. RR 620 needs to be updated. Thanks!!
As an individual, my family lives on a budget - if I don't have the money, we don't but it. Most government entities do not do this, they just raise the taxes. I ask the city of Round Rock to be different. Keep what is necessary & stay away from the frills & luxury items. Thanks to the city for the opportunity to voice our opinions & concerns.
Minimum tax or user fee increases might be tolerated as long as they are used for critical city services.
Thanks for putting in your time and efforts to educate the public. You did an outstanding job publicizing this activity.
My response on fire response would be between Corolla and Camry.
The HEC/University area is the most important opportunity for increasing the quality of life in RR. Any improvements in this area will be multiplied many times.
In all areas of services it is apparent that a culture change is needed to create an atmosphere for "out of the box" thinking to maximize services and increase revenue. In some cases an outside entity is needed to look at an area and give fresh ideas to create revenue streams. The police department has areas that contract employees can be used to offset personnel expenses. The fire department can produce revenue thru repeated service calls from residence, (example, after 2 calls at same residence a charge is generated). For urban infrastructures leverage economies of this area for purchases. The city is overall doing a great job in all areas and I am proud to live here.
Growth in NE quadrant is critical to city's future. Parks and trails will be more important as RR becomes a university town.
*Raising fees answer would depend on which fees. Remember that individuals live on a budget - if we don't have the money, we can't buy it. I ask that the city use our money in the same manner.
Jan. 24 Chamber Power Lunch
Consider partnerships with county, YMCA, and private parties and entities to lower capital cost by eliminating duplicate facilities and to cover operating costs thru user fees rather than taxes
The men putting in the new road on bluff are awesome! Thanks.
Tax saving based on average new TeraVista home.
Live outside of city (Stone Canyon/Fern Bluff) Work in City (First Texas Bank)
Thank you for requesting our input
Business only, non-residential
Really haven't been here long enough to really establish the need of services of what is already in play.
Thanks for the opportunity to give input as to how and where my hard-earned tax dollars will be spent. I trust this exercise will result in maximum and best usage of these funds.
Keep Round Rock moving ahead in growth. Pay to pave the way.
* use 1/2 cent sales tax for roads
Property tax rate reduction. Raising sales taxes would be acceptable.
Jan. 24 Bluebonnet Elementary
Thanks for the opportunity to provide input to this plan.
Due to the availability of the internet and decreased demand I would drastically reduce library services or redesign them to a subscriber IP format. I would also consider making water and sewer a for profit utility to increase revenue. I would also increase Recreational Facilities user fees.
Regarding the ambulances: do it if it makes financial sense. This meeting tonight was really helpful. Well-thought-out. Give yourselves an "A" for that. Everybody was informed, personable, easily engaged. Well done.
I am proud to be a resident of Round Rock, and want it to continue to be a great city to live in. Any time I have needed a service from any department, they have been on it right away. The city has great personnel.
More work should be done, on older neighborhoods street and lighting. Traffic signals need to be modernist and road maintenance is poor in the older parts of the city.
Thank all the employees of the City of Round Rock for their hard work and dedication. I happen to be on a fixed income and it's hard to pay any more taxes.
I do not support the regional Williamson County animal shelter as proposed to city council. I think the cost to the city will be much more than has been suggested. The proposed shelter is not designed with animal adoption in mind and it is not adequately staffed. Our neighborhood streets also need some work, particularly drainage like curbs and gutters on Christopher.
The growth in our city will benefit from the road improvements that are in progress. I would like to see more walking trails and bike lanes within our city. I live on a busy road, Chisholm Valley Drive and there are too many speeding cars down this street. I understand that speed bumps, humps etc. slow down the Emergency vehicles but we have many children that are not safe when they go outdoors to ride their bikes. Please send more police officers to patrol our subdivision. My family enjoys living in this community and greatly appreciates the city of Round Rock employees
I would make sense to first allow firefighters to provide advanced life support. If that is not going to be possible, then Williamson County should be building new locations to house its ambulance services to cover more area. It would be nice to focus not so much on creating more sports fields and develop more leisure parks for families.
It's important to continue to maintain adequate parks open space and not develop all park land into sports fields. All articulated EMS goals should be accomplished. The development of the trail system is a tremendous improvement to my recreation quality of life. I hope they will be able to connect to the existing WILCO trail system.
If the fire dept provides Advanced Life Support (Paramedic) services would that imply that the firefighters become trained or maintain an ambulance at the fire station. If the later I'm opposed to fire fighters providing Paramedic services. As large industries come into Round Rock will they be provided incentives of tax forgiveness or will they be encouraged to support the quality of services we enjoy at present? Thank you for providing this education and opportunity to provide input.
Salary Fire and Police going up to much. Police limit off duty use of cars. Find some way for Vol. Firemen to take on more of fire response than now doing for staffing. Personnel cost out of line.
Willing to moderately cut "non-critical" services like garbage collection frequency, etc. (eliminate collection on holidays, etc).
Netty from parks and Thomas from infrastructure seem to have the right idea behind departments run by the city. Drive the cost down while maintaining the same service level. It is preferred that departments raise their own funds through service fees and void taxing all together. The fire department should not be responding to 78% medical calls when we have an EMS system to handle this. It is beyond me why this has continued to long....
I do not want the city library to cut any of the children's programs. Also I do not want the library to turn any of its public meeting rooms into areas of more books. They could expand the library by taking away some of the parking spaces or build another library branch. Also the city could cut back some of the parks and recreation facilities if the need for more fire/emt/police services is needed. Also mandatory recycling should be put into place.
I would like to see Lexus on law enforcement and fire without any increase in taxes. Can't you pull a rabbit out of a hat? Since none of us are magicians (although the city of RR does wonders) I'm willing to bite the bullet if need be. Regarding increased user fees to pay for certain rec services, the ones who lose out are the poor. Thank you for taking your time and giving me the opportunity to listen and respond.
Jan. 30 Old Town Elementary
I just wonder why Round Rock Police Officers do not share their vehicles for different shifts like other cities. Would it be possible for Higher Education Center to assist with the Library as other cities with colleges?
Interesting process. I hope you get the input you need.
Start charging for service and medical calls - 90% of fire department workload
We are turning a blind eye to mass transit and the infrastructure to support mass transit. I would like to be able to ride a bike to the grocery store without putting my life at risk. I would like to have a train depot in Round Rock. One that would take me to downtown Austin or to the airport. Basically what I am saying is that you are planning for more cars. But you must realize that gas is getting too expensive, jobs are being sent over seas, and eventually we will not be able to afford the gas, cars, or streets. Put a plan in place that includes bike lanes, bus routs, taxi service, and of course mono-rail or light rail. Thank you
I like the way the city is approaching its long-term plan. The extra effort should provide council with a better method to evaluate future cost in running the city. Thanks for the extra effort on city personnel to come to us.
I applaud you for seeking input from the citizens. I think a lot of us tend to take for granted the great services provided by the City and the progressiveness and responsiveness of City leaders and staff. By having a first rate city, others want to move here, start businesses here and enjoy recreation here. This in turn affects our property value, economy and quality of life! Also, I think the high quality of RRISD has an impact as well. I wonder how the leaders of each interact and if so if it is done regularly to consider matters of joint interest/concern?
This has been an incredibly useful experience, both in terms of getting to know city officials and providing a rich learning environment. Our son (8 years old) has gained a fantastic view of government. Maybe you can take a roadshow to the schools to bring our kids further into the process of government. Thank you for asking for input.
As a family with young school children (3 in elementary school), it is difficult for both parents to attend this meeting. While I appreciate being able to complete this scorecard, I would appreciate the opportunity to share how I scored with my wife. Will it be possible for us to jointly review my choices prior to the results being considered a "final" reflection of our input?
Thanks for this forum for providing input.
It's important that Round Rock maintain a high level of service.
The open house was a good idea to bring the issues to the public. At the same time, it would have been nice to know what the plans are for the next 10 years. That is actually why I came tonight.
Thanks for having us vote.
This was a very interesting session. Thanks for the opportunity.
Are we getting enough volunteers in areas that accept volunteers? Would that help reduce cost over time in some areas?
Although I do not live within the city limits, I do own property at 604 Saunders Dr. This property is within Round Rock city limits and so I am interested in how my tax dollars are allocated and spent. Thank you for giving us the opportunity for the residents to ask questions and give feedback.
If our roads were not so congested, response time for fire, EMS and police would be less. We can not continue to allow developers to build outside or inside the city limits without developing a partnership with the city and schools. When subdivisions of 400 or more homes are built it affects the infrastructure of our city. Roads, schools and park facilities must be negotiated with the city and county before these developments are approved. Please remember the growing number of homes that are being built in Behren's Ranch and the new subdivision down Sam Bass Road. We still have only one (Chisholm Trail) road that provides a north/south access. We do not have another north/south road in the Round Rock city limits. Now even trying to get to Chisholm Trail can take 10 to 20 minutes in the morning to get to even though it is less than 2 miles from my home.
I appreciate the city and staff taking the time and effort to solicit public opinion. The charts were very helpful and everyone was friendly and informative.
I live right outside the RR city limits but own rental property inside the city. I think RR is a great city but you are trying to spend money to match Austin services.
Appreciate the opportunity to make comments on this subject and the ability to meet staff. The mobile electronic reader board signs announcing the meeting time and date a week earlier was fabulous and is the reason I was aware of this open house. I hope that more entrepreneurial ideas are being looked at for maintaining our high level of services without raising taxes. The message here tonight seems to be that one must choose either to accept a higher tax rate or a reduction in quantity, type or quality of services. Possibly a more aggressive program in identifying state and federally mandated programs where funding has not been provided for will help us, the citizens, understand where all of our money must go. Also, are there other means of providing some of the services that we receive, i.e. retired specialists who can volunteer time in their respective professions? Everyone likes to keep their mind agile. Another idea - reverse auction - and my husband emphasizes it again: REVERSE AUCTION. Thank you again for the opportunity.
As any family does, the necessities are taken care of first, and the "wants" come afterward. If we need to raise taxes some, that's okay. You get what you pay for. Compared to the taxes we paid in Las Colinas in Irving, with the Carrollton/Farmers branch school taxes, our taxes here are NOT high.
I think a committee needs to look into the interrelation between Youth Sports and Crime Rate. If there are multiple choices in exemplary youth sports, parents are more likely to sign the kids up, and thus keep them out of trouble. Also the relation between Parks & Rec and Hotel/Motel tax and sales tax. By legitimately being "The Sports Capital of TX" we need to provide adequate facilities to draw youth sports teams from around the state. By improving the facilities (number of fields, quality of fields, maintenance of fields, restroom facilities etc.) the eventual outcome would be more people staying in the hotels (increase hotel/motel tax), and while here would be shopping at the new Premium Outlet mall and IKEA (sales tax increase). Ultimately, more of the $$ from Hotel tax and sales tax should be slated for Parks & Rec as a proactive measure. Thanks for the opportunity to express opinions!
I have witnessed the growth in Round Rock for 11 years. There is nothing wrong w/ the growth. However, I have also witnessed an influx of retail establishments...where is the revenue from this new growth going????? I think it is a question many of the citizens of Round Rock are asking. Yes, with growth comes the additional requirement for infrastructure, but I, like many people, have a hard time understanding where the $$$ are going. Round Rock has proclaimed itself the Sports Capital of Texas...If you don't continue to invest in our outdoor recreational complexes, how can you make that claim. Our own web site boasts of the "tournament class" facilities...have you taken a look at the facilities at our softball/baseball fields? I think it is a shame that we have the finest AAA ball club facility in the country (and all that comes w/ it) but we can't seem to figure out how to support the youth of our community w/ some of the revenue generated from this venue. It seems like we are missing an opportunity for some corporate support from not only from our RR Express, but the multitude of multi-million $$ retail establishments that are flourishing from the $$ spent by our citizenry. Round Rock also boasts of being one of the safest cities in the country. Again, if we don't continue to improve and update our outdoor recreational facilities, we will not be able to continue to make these claims! Not all of us can have our children playing select ball, we have to invest in our city's youth community and/or their venues for tax-supported recreational activities. I understand that all of these other city services are important, but let us not forget that we must invest in our youth!!!! Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
I am interested in learning more about the choices available for determining future income levels (a future session like this one). For example, zoning and development. Any additional fees should provide need based waivers for residents who can demonstrate need.
Open house was a great idea. The displays were easy to follow.
It is imperative that the fire department get its fair share. From the presentation I am astonished to find out that our city's beautification has had a higher priority than our medical response. As a resident of Round Rock for the past two years I have yet to see what the Parks and Recreation department has accomplished, I am not at all impressed with the "services" they provide and I don't understand why my tax money is being spent in a place where I don't see much input. Also your library here in Round Rock is not at all impressive I still go in to Austin because your library is not the best but the truth about libraries is that there is much federal grant money available for libraries and we donít need to tax the community to improve our libraries.
With the growth of the internet and access to electronic media, funding for library services should not be a top priority. It is so easy these days to buy a used book over the internet, have it shipped for free (or a low cost) and then not have to worry about bringing it back. Over the last 2 years, I have probably used the library only 2x. With regards to recreation facilities and improvements to OSP. I feel extremely passionate about this. If you look at RR's current crime rate (juvenile crime rate specifically) it is extremely low. In speaking with chief of police, this is attributable to youth recreational activities. Cutting those services, or having lack to access to these services, is going to directly impact the crime rate. We must provide access to our youth. I am extremely disappointed with the city response to the game on imitative. Isn't it time we 'put up or shut up'? Here we've declared ourselves sports capital, but have provided subpar facilities! It's time we look at our declaration of "sports capital of tx", what it means in terms of revenue for the city, opportunities for our youth, and devote more $ into the programs that are generating money for the city. This includes vamping up our facilities (including bathrooms) and providing access to the fields. One last note, did you know that from August 2004-August 2006, the girls softball community will only have access to the fields 45% of the time? That during the summer of 2006, fields are rented all but two weekends? Did you know that in the spring of 2006, that the league will only be able to host games on a weekend, 50% of the time? Shame, shame, city! Last I heard, tax payers paid for that park. Give us the opportunity to use it!
1. What effect would raising traffic ticket fees $10 each have on funding? Or adding 10% to the speeding ticket rates? 2. For debt repayment, would the city be willing to have a tax increase for only one year? 3. The presentation did not reflect the rising median home value, as well as the number of $500+K houses, and the effect on tax revenue. I would like to see this included. 4. I would like to see increased competition for utilities, which would drive down those costs, and therefore boost consumer spending. 5. As mentioned in Q2, would the city be willing to have a tax increase for one year to raise money to build new fire stations and purchase new trucks?
As is true with all budgets, it is imperative to view essential to desired. In the presentation viewed tonight, it is clear to the reader the elements the core city employeesí desire. While I am appreciative of the services Round Rock provides, i.e. low water and waste water costs I am also aware of and appreciative of the Police and Fire. While the Police presentation is clearly written almost to the point of imminent threat, the Recreational presentation grossly misstates the condition of the programs in place as well as the loss to the community should there be any cuts within the program. As a mother of two school aged children, I look to the community to provide safe and structured programs. I believe through these programs my children will grow to be strong well balanced adults, rather than say a juv. delinquent as a by product of boredom. My support is expressed through community volunteer work with our city's youth. Now to a more pointed comment. While I understand that the salary and administrative expenses are not up for discussion, as an educated individual I must beg the question: Are we spending our money wisely? While I have seen the efforts of hard work by many P&R ee's, I have witnessed gross negligence of responsibility as well. How exactly does the general fund get allocated? I understand that income from various complexes, say the Rabb house, or Girls Softball fields are recognized yet those revenues are not tied back to their source when it comes time for allocation. How can we improve upon that? I would very much like to see support from our city to help maintain, then build upon the infrastructure in place. I would like the city to recognize the open spaces here in our fine town. I would like for our city to continue to focus on what is at hand prior to venturing off to the next project. I would like the city to protect its investment in becoming the Sports Capital of Texas. I would like the city to begin with our youth.
I think the City is doing an excellent job overall. Fire and EMS expenditures need to be carefully reviewed to ensure that public safety does not bankrupt this City and/or raise taxes dramatically. I lived in a very fast growing suburb in Houston that had a total volunteer fire department and its fire protection was very satisfactory. I think the public road maintenance needs to be reviewed to determine the level of preventive maintenance based on level of use on that street, and not 8 year maintenance across the board. This should result in some kind of savings. I think we need to invest a little bit more in our parks/trails infrastructure. Parks/trails relate directly to quality of life, reduced health care costs, and a less dense community. While I voted to raise parks & open space to a Lexus, I don't think it necessarily needs to go all the way to a Lexus. I think we need to do maintenance on a use level basis (much like roads maintenance) and not 7 day maintenance across the board. I would also support a small property tax increase (maybe 1 cent) to go directly towards parks/trails improvements throughout the city. The recreation services provided should be reviewed to determine the cost effectiveness and/or subsidization of the programs and then we need to raise user fees or reduce how much we subsidize to reduce the burden on the budget while still providing these much needed programs.
I feel that we as a city at this time are meeting the needs of most of the community with the services that are being provided. We are doing a great job for those who are middle to upper class income levels. I feel that we do need to improve our Library service and extend the space and services offered to the community. The hours of operations should be extended for weekends to help accommodate the community. Now that we have a Higher Education Facility in the City this means that we will need to accommodate this population as well. Education is very important to everyone in order to have the quality of life we are wanting. It is okay to dream but less not forget the part of the city that seems to be neglected the most that is the elderly and the lower income population. We do need to make sure we always remember them. The Fire Department seems to be in desperate need of improvement. The response time should be 8 minutes or less for the safety of everyone. I am aware that we have approved the building fire stations in a certain location and ended up building in another and never let the community know that the changes were made or even why. I feel we can find ways too improve without raising taxes too much for our older population to be able to continue to live here. Finding more businesses to diversify our revenue and to not continue to give as many tax breaks for the major companies that can afford to pay would I'm sure be helpful. Remembering what is important that we would be able to save money and provide the services that are truly needed. It is okay to dream. The need to offer various programs for our low social economic and disadvantage population. We have services with the police department that are not being funded adequately such as victim services. Shelters are needed now that we need to be opening up and more assistant to the social program are important to me. I am willing to increase taxes for such services. Our children need opportunities for more culture enrichment programs with the city working close such as sharing building etc. We are fortunate to be one of the best cities to live in as well as safest and I praise the departments that have worked so hard to make this happen. The infrastructure being maintained is very important as well. Remember as we attempt to have Lexus's services in our city that it can not be at the cost of the minority people such as the homeless, disadvantage, and lower social economic members of the community.
City should consider negotiating with Williamson to allow fire fighters to be paramedics. This would expand services.
This open house is an excellent idea - please do this often! One thing I'm worried about is the high reliance on Dell for some $25M in sales tax revenue. I wasn't aware this was so high, and the city should definitely strive to wean the city budget off of Dell as the years go by. 60 years is a very long time for a hi-tech company to remain competitive and relevant - and knowing what I know about Dell internal politics I sincerely believe we don't have that long to wait!!!
I am pleased with the service levels provided by the departments listed in this survey. I think that having Wm Cty EMS stations separate from the Fire Stations is REALLY NEEDED. It will decrease response time for medical emergencies without the expense of building fire stations and buying equipment. The library is a high priority for me. One of the things I looked for in choosing where to live was access to a city library. The current library is great (I remember the little one!) and the staff is wonderful. But we need more books and therefore more space.
Great presentation tonight. It's always a positive to get the taxpayers' input. Job well done. Hope you will be able to attract more commercial to support the higher level of service without raising local taxes.
The presenters were professional and informative. I liked their honest answers, even when the answer wasn't the most positive response. The city comparisons are misleading, however. When looking at the charts, it would appear that one city (example, Cedar Park) can perform the same level of service for much less money. Perhaps a chart showing each city's performance in terms of Corolla, Camry, or Lexus as a column next to their per capita spending would be beneficial, and then rank order them according to performance (all Lexi at the top and how much the respective city spends per capita). In that manner, it would be easy to compare city costs / service. I am strongly in favor of increasing user fees for services, especially in the areas of library, parks, and recreational facilities. It doesn't have to be much, but perhaps just enough to offset the increase in costs. Thank you for this opportunity.
I think the displays are something that citizens should be made aware of on a regular basis (every 2 years or so) so that we know where our tax dollars are going, what level of services they are providing and therefore can vote accordingly for bond and other elections. After viewing all the displays and evaluating Round Rock's current service levels, I feel we are doing a great job as is and the levels of funding for what we are receiving is adequate.
Would like to see the girls softball fields improved - more bathrooms for the girls. Also make more restrooms available at the park (Rabb pavilion)
Great idea to develop this ten-year plan and give the citizens an opportunity to provide input, which I hope will be meaningful. I also appreciate the presence of key city staff and their commitment and dedication to the city.
Great trash collectors!!!!!
For several years now a shortage in EMS/Fire Response has been noted in the area west of the Railroad track and I-35. This is due to the train delay preventing response time.
I would like fire response to be more like $.12. I would like to see a road to connect from Hermitage to Woods Subdivision to connect to 3406 without having to drive on Sam Bass Road.
Some of the parks services are duplicated by the private sector. Library services need to be improved, especially in raising the number of books per capita to state standards, providing branches, and expanding programs.
This was an excellent format for communicating what is happening with our city. I applaud this progressive focus and I appreciate this staff's extra efforts and time involved.
This was great! The people standing at the signs answering the questions should have had a note pad to write suggestions down. Seems like many times they would say "THATíS A GREAT SUGGESTION" yet rely on us to remember it ítil we got to the computer to write it down for them. Then the next person would say the same and I would forget the other. Maybe I should have brought a note pad also. I hope they will make Sam Bass road easier to drive on as soon as possible as it is so congested. I also think we should have MORE toll roads and pay as we go. If you use it, you pay for it!! What a concept! I am not an advocate for outdoor parks and recreations, but I know they are needed. It seems again here that if you use it you should pay for it. There are plenty of places to pickup a game of basketball in the neighborhood if you just get off the couch, turn the tv off and go play! The daffodils on HWY 79 are nice, but NOT necessary! I didn't plant flowers this year myself because my budget was not as big as it was last year. There are SOME things which are NOT necessary and those things should be taken into consideration, and unless there is a surplus, maybe some of the watering of grass and planting of flowers should be done away with. Thanks again, this has been informative!
Sports facilities need to be maintained at higher levels. Softball complex in particular needs better field maintenance--I have seen girls injured by holes in the field and bathrooms are desperately in need of upgrades.
In general, all CORR services are excellent. There appears to be a few areas that can be improved with minimal burdens to the taxpayers.
I think our police do a good job as well as our water dept, etc. I would like to see more support for the fire department. I think we should have ALS engines.
I think our fire response needs to be improved and I'm willing to pay for it! We spend more on parks than firefighters.
All I want is a fire station close to my home and not being hindered by the railroad tracks!!! (TRAIN)
Good tool--should be done every 5 years.
Good planning tool.
Inviting or encouraging industry growth was supposed to increase revenue...instead it has drawn a huge population requiring a huge need for services which we longtime locals are now required to pay for with higher taxes. This does not make good sense. I have paid 2/3 as much in taxes on my home in the last 20 years as I originally paid for my home.
The safety and welfare of our community must come first. To meet the projected population growth and maintain a quality of living, it is evident that costs are increasing. The Fire response time is most unacceptable at present and to reduce the quality of the Police services is also unacceptable. The lack of focus on the fire response time is evident in the need for the largest increase in funding to maintain an excellent standard. I cannot imagine anything worse than a slow or substandard response time to public safety needs. There is nothing better than to see the fireman and or policeman there quickly in time of need. Every second counts to save lives. And a community and humanity need enrichment activities and a higher need to serve others. I'd pay another cent on my tax rate to know that the children will have a place to read and learn and explore things in a library that gives them an opportunity to go places they may not have a chance to go to in person. Without such a program as library, children's school performance drops; and without recreation what else can occupy their and my time after a hard days work. After school is a high crime time period for kids and teens. I don't want the community to falter, to become substandard and to lose our commitment to the betterment of humanity. The purpose of Round Rock is to be an excellent community with passion to provide for humanity. Prosperity isn't so much defined in terms of money. Safety, the welfare of others and an appreciation for the arts is prosperity.
Give my above responses, I am very much opposed to significantly raising taxes. It's too easy for leaders of any expense department to constantly lobby for increased more funding without taking prudent action to reduce expenses. I am very pleased at the example of separating fire stations from EMS centers. This indicates consideration to maintaining/improving services with a less proportional increase in funding. Need to take similar approach to legislative/regulatory, a significant budget driver. I realize you have no impact on the overall tax burden in central Texas, but you need to know that you are at a severe disadvantage to tax-wise to other areas of the country with a similar value of life. I moved 18 months ago from a suburb of Atlanta, GA. Sales tax was 6% compared to Texas 8.25%. I paid $4500 total in state and local (city & county) income tax. In Round Rock, I pay in the neighborhood of $10K for school and city tax. A 250% increase!! And I live in Behren's Ranch which does not include a MUD tax. It is difficult for me to support tax increases when I know there are communities out there doing more for less.
Since water/waste water are the largest expenditures, could we ask builders to assist more with those costs? Once a subdivision is complete doesn't the water cost expenditure decrease and eventually pay for itself?
*Seems that we only need one responder to a 911 call for health related issues. *Need to do something about the traffic on Sam Bass Rd. because of the stop sign at woods blvd. It is ridiculous and waiting until 2008 when the creek bend project goes through is TOO LONG TO WAIT!!!!! *Do we need a library with the internet???? I can't see expanding it. *Water and Wastewater do a great job. Garbage pick up is terrific.
Given appropriate training and equipment would substantially improve ALS service. Prioritized by categories: public safety fire and EMS Infrastructure Library Services Recreation Parks
We must continue to work towards improving our school systems. This is the key to Round Rock success.
I am concerned about spending in the police department. Do officers need to have their own cars? Can't things such as SWAT services be shared among communities? I am sure these are expensive (SWAT services) and not utilized that often in a community this size.
I would like the town to maintain its small town feel. If possible stop as much housing development as possible.
Jan. 31 First Baptist Church
Fire department should not go on EMS runs. This artificially raising costs. If there isn't enough demand for fire service--cut it back.
Thanks for providing the opportunity to provide input. Great exercise. And.....Round Rock is a great place to live.
Thanks for the opportunity for input! I like living here and am impressed with the apparent low level of nincompoopery.
I am not a RR resident, but very active in Round Rock s womenís soccer! Our soccer league hosts tournaments which bring in money to the city. Our women do pay a fee to the city for the privilege for being able to use these facilities. We are in need of more fields! I feel strongly that these facilities as well as rec centers etc help keep kids as well as adults off the streets. People need more structure and exercise in there lives. Thank You for this opportunity!
City staff, you have done an excellent job with all this. I appreciate your effort and the fact that you all are willing to spend so much of your own time. Thank you, you are what make Round Rock special. Without you this place would just be a wide spot on IH 35.
Would like to get the Lexus at the Camry price. Would prefer to cut a deal to get the best value for our money. Would like to see a moratorium on street construction. Would like to see an indoor tennis facility - University of Texas goes to San Antonio to play tennis matches if raining. Would cut their cost and time involved if local facility was available. Would generate revenue and possible could work out a cost share on the construction. Would need at least 3 indoor courts for college matches but there are a lots of area tennis tournaments that would take advantage of indoor courts.
Thanks for all the work put into this project to inform us citizens. Really helps us see what a tough job taking care of our city is.
I would like the City to be allowed to have qualified City Firefighters to provide Advanced Life Support. I liked the police department information. I would like to see less dependence upon Dell for our sales tax. Thanks for the great presentation.
I think the City is doing a good job currently. I would hate to see the excellent services provided go down. This would not make the City as attractive to live in or have businesses want to relocate to.
I DO NOT want the City of RR to be in the same place as City of Austin. Austin's Police Fire & EMS budgets take up 60 % of the entire City budget.
Overall the City is doing a fantastic job providing services to the residents. With a few minor adjustments the City can provide fine tuned improved services that will make living in Round Rock exceptional!
I am generally happy with the services provided for the dollar. However, Round Rock is lucky to have the money from Dell....for now. Unless we are willing to transfer a great tax burden onto our children WHEN Dell leaves, we should create a 'reserve' for those generations that will need to MAINTAIN the assets that we have created during these 'boom-years'. ALSO... we need more trails to, connect the community, promote health, and improve mobility for those without a car (children/youth/elderly/poor). Mere sidewalks on busy thoroughfares are not enough. The City also needs to think about the (1???) Library vs. the HUGE growth that is expected. Libraries become community gathering places and 'baby-sitters' for busy families. MUST have recycling too.
I think you have done a great job of presenting this to the community. Thanks for letting us participate.
Terrific process, very well done.
I feel fortunate to live in Round Rock. I would like to see Round Rock land another major employer corporation like Dell. Samsung was a big win even though its south of us. Tax incentive programs are worth it to land these companies.
I would be happy to pay more taxes for better library services and more parks. I am satisfied with all the other departments as they are. I consider my city taxes very affordable for what I'm getting. Specifics: 1. I often need to borrow from other libraries because ours doesn't have all the books I want to read. 2. I want better parks availability, especially trails along Brushy Creek. 3. Clay Madsen is over-subscribed and underfunded. (I gave up and joined a commercial club for lap-swimming.) To increase funding without closing out the people with lower incomes I suggest time-of-use rates. The at-homes Moms and retirees who use the center between 9AM & 4PM should pay the current prices. The worker bees who need to work out before 8AM or after 5PM can pay triple rates, comparable to commercial clubs. Last, I don't know enough about Paramedic service to have an informed opinion on that issue. Please post some basic info on the city website. Thanks.
The city needs to improve utilization of their aquatics assets. Revenue can be generated by better partnering with local 501c swim clubs and other programs.
Would like more bike paths for transportation. Examples connect the paths on West 3406 to downtown. Add bicycle ROW along 620 west of I-35 to Cat Hollow-ish area. Add bicycle ROW along I-35 from downtown to I-35/SH-45 intersection. Thank you for soliciting citizen input. Please keep Round Rock a nice place to live with excellent property values. I believe most people are willing to pay for this or else they would live in Pflugerville or the county. I would like information on what will happen to the ETJ area east of Wyoming Springs between 1431 and 3406, north of Cactus Ranch School. Please stop putting speed bumps in the streets. They don't slow traffic down except right at the bump and they tear up my brakes and suspension.
Willing to raise taxes, Yes. But don't go nuts. Raise fees you bet pay to play. Cut services Trick question. Yes and No it would depend on the service on the line. Fire/Police No way, garbage pickup I can live with once a week. In viewing all the pie charts it's understandable that salaries are the big ticket items. What concerned me was that Infrastructure, Rec Activities and Open Space charts have large Contractual Services and Materials & Supplies budget items. I'm wondering if the Managers over these departments have cut all the cost out or is there more left on the table? I'm a Purchasing Manager and deal with cost cutting on a daily basis thus my question. Great presentation by all
What happened to the rec center on the west side we voted approved bonds for? Utilize public pools - shared time with 501c swim clubs and other non-city sponsored programs.
Raising taxes is not my favorite way to solve the "world's problems" but I understand this is our home and community and we are responsible to care for it. I would love to be certain that all tax dollars are properly allocated in each area and that all tax payers pay up. I would also love to live in the perfect world where each family contributed to the community to help us reach these goals of a finer city without raising taxes tremendously. Thank you for the time taken to show us how our tax dollars are being spent and what we can do to improve our community.
The focus should be on user fees for as many services as possible. There are many folks that should be and are willing to "pay to play". Adequate fire and EMS service should be provided for all areas, but this should be done with true enhanced efficiency if possible. You don't need a sledgehammer to kill a house fly. The library has obviously outgrown its building, and as the city continues to expand, we may be better off trying to use satellite or branch libraries to better serve our citizens. Now the area near and dear to my heart... Parks and Recreation does have a need for some enhancements, but these should be addressed through an adequate fee structure to recapture some of the funds that are spent on, for the lack of a better word, "special interest groups". In true sense of the words, we should make more folks "pay to play". There are plenty of other fees that could enhance the programs that we will hopefully research. I will say that the Rec side should be operated as an enterprise, much like many other cities. With this mind set comes greater accountability and better responsiveness to the citizens demands. You know real fast if you are not meeting the demands and if you are providing the wrong types of programs. Overall, I think that all departments are doing a great job at providing City services and I feel that what I receive as a resident is a good value, which is very important.
I am more than happy with current fire protection in the City of Round Rock, and based on surveys, they are one of the highest rated services in the City. Hopefully, pursuing a deal with Williamson County on EMS services will be enough of a cost controller to make up a significant difference in the downgrade I chose. The impetus of this exercise at the outset was to take a look at expanding police and fire salary costs, so I feel that it was my duty as a citizen to find a way to handle this problem. My downgrade reflects the hope that we can control our costs, and keep our fire coverage in its current excellent condition. I opted for a Recreation upgrade because as the City grows, we need to offer more 'urbanized' recreation activities. Clay Madsen and the new waterpark are great examples of the type of facilities that people really enjoy and care about having in their community. Oh, and I can't wait to thrash the new skatepark.
Feb. 2 Clay Madsen Recreation Center
Recreation should be "pay as you go". Coordinate with charity and community groups to provide scholarships for needy citizens. City employees could pay reduced rates rather than no rates at all.
Property taxes should come down. It is especially difficult for those on fixed incomes and social security. There should at least be a greater cut-back in property taxes for citizens over 65.
It is absolutely essential that property taxes be lowered. Many baby boomers are retiring and many will be living on fixed incomes. More and more companies are stopping the old pension plans and people are not saving enough to retire in comfort. Older people are having to make a decision on whether to buy groceries or medicine. All department heads should meet with their managers and tell them they must reduce costs by 10 to 30% across the board. The city of Round Rock should look at what has happened to major companies like Ford Motor Company and many others. We hear frequently that Dell has had another layoff. However, this is a company that is trying to maintain a profit and the way they do this is to keep cost low. Round Rock must do the same thing.
I am very glad to see the improved relationship between fire and ems services. I fully support the relocation of EMS stations and the development of the ESD for the ETJ areas surrounding Round Rock. Way to Go Jim Nuse Larry Hodge
I am so tired of sharing resources with the schools and having them do NOTHING in return for the city. I would like to see the school system and the city share the school facilities that we as taxpayers have paid so much for to be available to ALL of our citizens.
I chose my house in Round Rock instead of Georgetown or Austin (other places we looked) for one reason - Round Rock's Park and Rec facilities, specifically the Clay Madsen Center and the indoor pool. I believe quality park and rec facilities make a city an attractive place to live and would be an incentive to choose Round Rock over Austin, Cedar Park, and Georgetown. The current Rec and Parks system is underdeveloped and needs to be improved. Therefore, I would like to see more tax dollars allocated there. With that said, I firmly believe that as a tax payer, more should be done by the City to partner with other organizations such as RRISD, the HEC, and YMCA to build and share facilities. This would also include the Library. My taxes also support high quality school libraries and facilities that are closed in the summer. Could we not partner and share facilities? Could the schools be used as meeting places instead of building more meeting rooms at the library? Could the RR City Rec and Parks operate rec facilities that are shared or built by the YMCA or HEC and RRISD instead of trying to have each entity to build their own? I would also support changes to the current accounting system that would allow the city to offer more programming, especially more programming that pays for itself. It appears to me that a lot of the focus is on the COST of providing a program and not the NET COST once revenue is considered. This seems unfortunate and may reduce the incentive to offer programs that could pay for themselves. For example, letting the Library charge for storytime or summer reading programs or computer classes. I would also support higher fees charged to developers to build in Round Rock. I would like to see them share more in bringing new people to Round Rock which of course increases the load on city services - police, fire, library, EMS, road work, etc. Thank you for asking for my input. I want to close with the comment that I am not focused on the total dollar amount of the taxes I pay. I am more concerned about what VALUE I get from the taxes I pay.
The library and the gym are key to quality of life here in Round Rock. The library is especially valuable to young children, and we visit it at least twice a week. Increased spending on that facility is sure to reap rewards in the future. My children go through 20 books a week, along with educational DVD's or Videos and I know there are several young families that make the library a vital part of their weekly and daily lives. Parking can be a problem during key times such as story time. Further, crossing the street can be dangerous with small young children if one has to park in the attendant lots. My husband and I also spend a great deal of our recreational time reading the books from the library and listening to the musical CDs. Sometimes, when a book is a new release, however, we have to wait 1 or 2 months before we can get the book. Increased spending to the Lexus model is well worth it. The recreational facilities are also deserved of the Lexus model. The gym doesn't have several programs that I believe are important to the development of the city's population. For example, there is not a year round Master's swim league here for adults, and the pool is generally quite full no matter what time a swimmer arrives. There also is no year round stroke and turn clinic or swim team for children, apparently because there is no room in the schedule, and parent tot time is also so very limited (just one hour a day during the week). Let's make our minds and bodies a priority and drive confidently and proudly in the Lexus with a better library and gym!
The city could increase funding by requiring recycling and charging fees to those people who do not recycle. If people would required to do so the amount of money that recycling would be more than the cost of doing so. I also think that 2x a week for garbage may be excessive. I don't fully understand the need for 2 days a week so I don't know if it could be dropped to once a week. Also what are we doing to bring in more big business/infrastructure to help with raising costs of a bigger community and to help pay to keep our city the 8th safest. I would also like to see Round Rock/Williamson County provide in district pricing for ACC or create their own community college.
The city could generate some revenue by requiring citizens to recycle. Citizens would not pay to recycle, but would pay if they did not recycle. The recycled materials could be sold to generate revenue. The city should consider initiatives which would allow regulated gaming in the city. The gaming industry generates millions of revenues for various municipalities throughout the country. I understand that this would require some changes in gaming law within from the State legislature, but a city which is committed to bringing about those changes would likely be the first to realize its benefits when the time comes. Users of rec and park services could subsidize the costs by becoming a member of the park and rec "club", which would help reduce the costs of operating. Fire and Rescue should be housed in the same stations. To increase response time, the city should build new stations providing better coverage. Increases in operating costs will most likely have to be paid for by increases in taxes. However, it is a small price to pay to receive better coverage of our homes and businesses.
The last item on the Key Financial decisions needs more defining and clarification in terms of cost/benefit analysis for feasibility and liability practices. This valued effort is a very informative approach to the way we do business and to the City's vision. Thank you all.
Nice charts, I learned some new things.
E-mail did not come out concerning this meeting until late this morning... How about letting us know a little ahead of time... My other concern is the lack of activities and such for the teen and young adults in this area... Everything seems to be geared to children, which is fine but our young adults really do need more facilities and things to keep them busy, with nothing to do is usually where they get into trouble... Letís also get our SPORTS CAPITOL OF TEXAS a good look at, with what we have it will never happen except in our own minds. I know what it would take, just ask me sometime...
Most of the previous yearís budgets have been directed toward the growing city with the exception of Clay Madsen. Almost none to the south side. Roads (S Mays, Logan McNeil) recreation (Lake Creek Clay Madsen, one at end of Logan) has no play equipment for 7 to 12 yrs) i.e. 1 1/2 story spiral slides. Most at Old Settlers.
Feb. 4 Round Rock Public Library
I understand trying to balance a budget. Hard choices and tradeoffs have to be made all the time. I do not believe in raising taxes. If raising our taxes becomes a way of solving our problem here, it will become very counterproductive, running business away and eventually result in reducing revenue. Thanks for the work you have done to bring this info to us. I appreciate your service.
Please do not spend a lot of time on police force diversity.
Too much fire department resources are used on non critical issues.
Recreational activities should include much higher fees - programs should approach being self-supporting. Quality programs (along with adequate publicity of those programs) will generate interest and excitement that citizens are willing to pay for. Example: CMRC and the Senior Center should not be as tax-dependent ... high class facilities should have programs that people are willing to pay for. If the centers are not generating the interest that is accompanied by enough income to support themselves, then they should receive critical examination to determine whether they are really valuable enough to the community to spend this much tax money on them as opposed to raising the fees to the people who use them. Classes in these facilities should cover the cost of the instructor and materials required, in addition to having some portion going to support the facility where the class is held. Can the library provide more programs that generate revenue to help support itself? Publicize the need for capital for new books, expanded facilities? Do some sort of fundraisers? Is there a way to generate some income with the annual Christmas Celebration to help support it - allow more local companies to advertise, have a few activities which require the purchase of a ticket?
I am generally very pleased with City services, and specifically purchased a home in RR to take advantage of it services and enjoy the revenue from Dell. I understand it will not last forever, and at some point services will need to be cut if there is a down turn in their business. I appreciate the city's efforts to find economic development to reduce this dependency and keep taxes low. This is such a family oriented community, it would be a shame to not push the Park and Rec facility to be a bit better. It is good now, but I think we can do better. And of course I must point out that the aquatics community, need an indoor Olympic size aquatics center. It could be shared between the City, County, RR Higher Education, and school districts. It will provide year round competitive swim meets. Filling hotels and restaurants with many out of town visitors.
I was advised to contribute my input on the importance of making sure that public swimming pools are made available for competitive swim teams as well as recreational use. There are several swim teams that are filled to capacity due to lack of swimming pools. It is an excellent sport that creates good children (well disciplined and responsible). The city could actually make money by charging other swim teams for the use of the pool - especially at larger swim meets.
Need more water/pool facilities to provide year round swim programs available to children - many of the new neighborhoods are not permitting swim teams -Swimming is an excellent sport for all ages. The parks department and their staff are wonderful to work with. Expanding the EMS is also an excellent idea. Thank You
I appreciated all of the city leaders coming out and helping with the presentations and answering questions. It was a good informative time. Thank you so much.
Would you be able to utilize Old Settler's Park for more sports oriented activities? (i.e. Ice Bats or basketball league)
Dear Round Rock City Officials: Our family is proud of the 8th safest city recognition that Round Rock received. We would like to do our part to maintain the city as a safe and desirable place for families, including strong support of our law enforcement efforts. We note that the department is not involved in the same level of complaints that the Austin police department seems to experience. Perhaps this is due in part to the officers' positive presence in our neighborhoods. Congratulations to the Round Rock police! We have enjoyed the library so much! Whether it is the summer book club, suggestions for new books, children's activities, or research, the library exceeds our expectations. We are quite interested in keeping a high level of operation for the library. Maybe they could add Disney movie nights in the summertime for a small fee? We would also like to have some weekend storytime or puppet shows. We work when the majority of these programs are offered during the week. The Christmas night is one of the events we look forward to every season. Parks and Recreation has done an excellent job in keeping this event entertaining (and free)! We would be willing to pay a fee to keep this event. We love the parks, and we are looking forward to the new waterpark near Old Settler's park. My husband would like to see some covered basketball facility in the future. We work in Austin, but we choose to live in Round Rock because it is a wonderful place for families. Thank you for this innovative opportunity to offer input and give some long-overdue kudos to our city departments and personnel.
I would like to improve to the highest the community services and mostly the safety of our community.
Some of this I am doing I am trying to think of what my husband would want. Please do not send anything to our home. Will just keep up with what is put in the paper or our water bill. Thanks for letting me see everything.
What a great program-thanks for giving us this opportunity. To some extent, I think the low turnout in this program is reflective of RR's lack of a sense of community, and I think we will get a greater buy-in to community participation (which I would guess leads to greater use of services, but also more cooperation with law and fire services) if we had more communal places like the library and parks that lend themselves to gathering spots. We travel to spots like that in Georgetown and Austin to recreate on the weekends. The new park along Harry Mann Road is a start, but not in RR. We have such amazing weather here (except for July, August, and September), and we call ourselves the sports capital, so why not make this place not a car-friendly suburb, but a place where we can walk or bike safely to common gathering spots. The library is an important gathering place, and as we geographically spread, I think we will need the additional branches. Perhaps we can partner with the colleges and RRISD a bit more, though. I'm a swimmer, and I think the swimming community is one that serves this area well, so I would like more facilities for swimming, both competitive and non-competitive. I'm looking forward to the new rec center opening on the east side of I-35. Be good to our firefighters--we love the guys at Deep Wood who really are part of our neighborhood. I think the EMS relocation is an excellent use of resources. I've had need to call on the police a few times in the last few weeks, and have been heartened by their willingness to take their time to help, and by the follow up I've seen in my neighborhood.
Feb. 8 Senior Center
Not a citizen of Round Rock. Excellent display.
I have reviewed the online presentation and was unable to input through the URL, but here are my comments:
1. As more people are computer literate the requirements for the library are decreasing, I suggest that we cut funding for the library and do not expand facilities but focus on making access to more internet capabilities of other libraries, i.e. Univ of Texas.
2. While I enjoy being in a City ranked 8, I also believe that we need to place more burden on the city occupants. Why not provide a discount for communities that have a crime watch program and volunteer services. Too many calls are unnecessary and could be avoided with such a support network.
3. Fire dept and emergency response need our support. I have relocated from a volunteer EMC community and while I do not advocate that convert to that, perhaps we can see where volunteers could help reduce costs
4. I believe that we are spending too much on open spaces. While we have plenty, we do not need to expand as the population grows. We could increase the resident to park ratio as population increases. We should also charge people that want to use these services.
5. While I appreciate the services provided by city of Round Rock, I believe that we are spending too much for the facilities. I believe that Georgetown has set a good example on facilities that they use for state licenses and property taxes. We do not need first rate facilities for all services.
6. I believe that RR should take a page from the state of Texas on incentives provide to contracts on street maintenance. I am convinced that Red Bud widening would have been completed if we had had contractor incentives. It is taking longer to complete than 130 and 45 combined.
From the available charts we can see that most of the budget expenses go to salary and healthcare. To cut expense, you need to do something with that big demand. Maybe not salary, but asking the personnel to share some of the healthcare responsibilities. Most business are doing it these days. Of course, this applies if they are not doing it already.
I like having a high level of city services and I'm willing to pay for it. For parks and library in particular I'd like to pay more and get more. All the other city departments seem about right, but I have less contact with them. THANK YOU for asking for citizen input. I appreciate the hard work city employees have done to educate us all about the city's financial realities.
I strongly support recreational services. I think that is a much needed avenue for children. I think the city should be more supportive of swim teams such as LSAC.
I think charging a bit more for recreational services would be fine. I think businesses should pitch in more to provide for local amenities. (IKEA, retail mall, new franchises or businesses should pay more) The machine bumped me off in the middle of filling this out. (I accidentally hit enter instead of tab) so I think my vote didn't get counted.
I note that no reference is made to Large-scale disasters; such as a suitcase nuke, a bio-weapon attack, a Category 5-7 Hurricane/Tornado, and so on. Where are the funds put aside for those situations? We are very close to a likely target, the Austin Capitol and, we are within a nuke ring of fire from Crawford Tx. Do we have a Disaster Plan such as Austin has ... Do we participate in ANY Central Texas warning system... etc.? This is a dangerous world and Round Rock is not immune to such dangers as above...
Let's stick to the basics here--library, law enforcement, fire protection, infrastructure are all necessary services. Parks and recreation services are great, if we can afford them; we do not need to offer these services at "Lexus" levels at the expense of the basics!
As much as I appreciate the work our city does. I feel that Clay Madsen Rec Center focuses on the area of the city is located in. It is not convenient for MANY residents therefore I use a private gym. User fees should fund the increased activities here and not the tax payer.
City Water and Wastewater and Trash pickup services could charge slightly more in order to provide additional money to city coffers. The electric utility in San Antonio does this.
Public safety is paramount. Libraries will be obsolete in 10 years. Failure by past Round Rock administrations to exercise vision has resulted in a "country" road system that is now forced to handle "city" traffic. Only hicksville cities still have trains running through their city centers that bring traffic to a halt several times a day. A fix at this point in time would most likely be cost prohibitive without Federal money. So the best we can probably hope for is continued maintenance of what we have now. Parks are nice, but it is much more important to be able to raise your family in a safe neighborhood and send your children to safe schools.
I believe that Round Rock can use some caution in automatically accepting "any developer planned growth" that increases the city's physical size and population without some compensation from the developer and new citizens with an intent to reduce the burden of providing the essential services the city offers. If there is no "compensation" then the "developer planned growth" should not be incorporated into Round Rock. One last question: Why should Round Rock grow to the size of Austin?
Relocating EMS ambulances outside of City Fire Stations, won't improve the City of Round Rock's response time. It could potentially get an ambulance quicker to the outskirts of Round Rock. But in turn, it could leave a Fire Truck on scene longer, with no ability to provide ALS. So really, you are just robbing Peter to pay Paul. The City of Round Rock is a "big city", and it needs to act like it. The City needs to step up to the plate, and provide the citizens with an appropriate level of Fire Protection and EMS services. The City needs to stop looking for ways to "short change" the citizens, and just step up to the plate.
With the internet, you don't need for more library services.
I would like to see the city provide more swimming pools for competitive purposes. An indoor natatorium is needed.
The Library should cut back its hours of operation to try and save money. Look for volunteers from the community to work so you can reduce staff numbers. I think that Clay Madsen Center could charge higher usage fees. Also the pool there is being under utilized and I think renting it out to a swim team could bring in more funds as well.
Though I do not currently live in RR, I spend much of my time there. Work & recreational center member. I strongly recommend a sales tax because I feel the city will benefit from the huge population of non-residents, like me, that spend so much time there eating out, playing, working and also putting wear on your city's facilities.
This community could really use a superb swimming facility like that in Circle C or even an indoor facility. If done right, it would attract a high caliber of competitive swim competitions which would be good for the hotel and restaurant business. Another recreational facility that we would love to see is an ice hockey facility. Again, it must be done right (not like Chaparral). It would need to have 2 ice surfaces in order to attract tournaments which, again, are good for the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry.
Great communication process. Thanks for the effort to solicit input. Good job!
Do we really need twice a week trash pickup?
Do not raise my taxes! Just maintain law and order and focus on providing an outstanding customer experience in that area. It will have a positive impact on all other areas. Let the market work in the other areas. You are not private industry. You rely on tax money for revenue. Don't try to be all things. Focus on what you can improve upon that brings real value to the entire community, not just a few.
Round Rock provides quality services. I have found that all my requests have been fulfilled. I have been here since 1992 and hope if we have to (as home owners) spend more it won't be too much. We have gotten a lot of taxes from Dell, and they may make a change in Round Rocks tax income. I like the idea that I got from the talk I had a Bluebonnet, that most of Dell taxes will be used for a one time expenditure and not a financed item for Round Rock.
I am not sure of what most of this all means but, if it is betterment for our city then I guess I am for some changes. We could use an inner-city youth program. I am not aware of any place the inner city kids can go other then Clay Madsen. It should be a no charge for the kids. Something the Latch Key kids can go and just hang out. Guess this is my input such as it is.
I think we are a Lexus society in a Camry world. I think we need to mostly keep our needs and services at the present level. Even a 13 year old Lexus LS400 with 115000 miles on it (I have one) is better "in my opinion" than new Camry. I would have also liked to seen a halfway between each model, I know it would be more work for you, but I would have modified my choices on a few services.
How many Fire/Paramedic want to actually run ALS Paramedic calls? When the Fire/Paramedics were hired was there an evaluation of their Paramedic Skills and Knowledge included? Why should I also have to raise my County Taxes to pay for new EMS stations when they already have a place to be stationed? I pay City and County Taxes for EMS Service (Response Time?) If the space is available then let them use it. Your Question is also one sided, what person is going to mark yes on your question when you have it worded biased...No we want increased response time.
I feel our core services could become more efficient in their operations before taxes should be raised. Also some things could be contracted out.
I strongly support the library. It is a pre-eminent asset to the community that touches all of the citizens of Round Rock in a positive manner. The staff is excellent, well lead and provide friendly service that expresses the warmth of Round Rock. To reduce services would limit access by hard working individuals who can only make it to the Library at night or on the weekends. I have lived in Round Rock for well over twenty years and would be willing to support a tax increase, yes a tax on my home, to support the library.
We are being taxed to death. The city must find revenue from sources other than sales tax from Dell. It's time to slow or stop residential growth in Round Rock. Get rid of those lame fire and police unions. Not only is public safety quality down, their salaries are ridiculously high.
Unable to determine effect of advice do to error on page. Might change my decision based on cost. Who would pay for relocation of WC ambulances?
Two comments: #1 Your "Effect of Your Advice" section above never changed (stayed 0) regardless of my choices in "Core Services". I expected a change that reflected my +5 increase to core services. (Is that part of this webpage broken?) #2 Please time the traffic lights better! Reducing commute time is bound to reduce some infrastructure costs. By comparison, average time at a red light in Plano seems significantly shorter than time spent at lights in Round Rock. I also seem to hit less red lights in Plano/Frisco than I do in the RoundRock/Austin area.
Not a resident but heard about this model and wanted to see how it works, good idea
I personally don't see what difference the value of your home makes in this survey. Does someone who's home is valued at 300,000 pull more weight than someone who's home is only valued at 90,000?
With regard to "are you willing to cut services?" above, I answered no in that I feel generally speaking that service levels shouldn't be cut. There may be specific services offered that are prudent to cut because so few people use them. If the fire services were not upgraded to a Camry level, what does it mean for the typical citizen? Are our fire insurance rates significantly affected by not having an 8-minute response time? To most I believe it would be more important to save a life rather than a building. I would like to see EMS services at the level that the experts say is required.
The City has also set up an email box, email@example.com, where you can ask questions or make comments.