Year: 2020

Budget maintains focus on strategic priorities to keep community on track for long-term progress 

Note: This is the third in a series of posts about the City of Round Rock’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget and tax rate. 

Maintaining a strategic focus yearin and yearout, in good times and bad, is one reason Round Rock is featured on so many “Best Place lists. The proposed budget continues that practice, prioritizing spending on projects that drive long-term progress on keeping Round Rock a great place to live and run a business. 

Even though the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget is $25 million less than the budget approved this time last year, it still funds key programs of the City Council’s strategic priorities. 

Financially Sound City Providing High Value Services 

The Council’s top priority is supported in our General Fund budget, with funding for maintenance and upgrades for facilities, parks and technology. Because of reduced revenues, the “buckets” for these programs are being funded at reduced levels.  

The budget also includes step increases and market adjustments for public safety staff, and cost of living increases and market adjustments, if needed, for general government staff.  


City Infrastructure: Today and for Tomorrow 

Keeping up with water, wastewater, stormwater and transportation improvements is critical to maintaining quality of life in a fast-growing community like Round Rock. 

The 2021 spending plan includes $91.7 million for road and street projects, and $77.2 million for water and wastewater improvements, including a major expansion of a regional wastewater treatment plant. 

The transportation projects slated for funding include: 

The City Council is also considering an additional $1.5 million for neighborhood street maintenance.


Sports Capital of Texas for Tourism and Residents 

Our Go Round Rock tourism program had to hit the pause button due to the significant impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, but there are bright spots and the future still holds much promise. 

The Round Rock Sports Center continues to be self-supporting through the hotel-motel venue tax. The Round Rock Multipurpose Complex has reopened, under health guidelines from the Governor and CDC, and is beginning to recover revenues lost in the current fiscal year. And City-owned Forest Creek Golf Club is on track to cover expenses again this year, following extensive renovation and a shutdown in 2018. 

The best news for the tourism program came in July, when Kalahari Resorts announced it was on track to open on Nov. 12 its hotel, indoor water park and convention center. 


Great Community to Live 

Two of the final projects from the 2013 bond election are included in this priority: a new library and major sections of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail system.  

There is $8.6 million earmarked for the Heritage Trail and Lake Creek Trail projects, which will connect neighborhoods west of I-35 to downtown. The budget also includes $1 million for the Behren’s Ranch Nature Park. 

While the new library is scheduled to break ground in FY21, it won’t be completed until November 2023.  

The budget plan includes $1.8 million for improvements to the South Mays Street commercial corridor, which will be funded with Type B sales tax revenues. 


Authentic Downtown – Exciting Community Destination 

Significant infrastructure improvements for Northeast Downtown are planned, in part to support the new library mentioned above as well as continued redevelopment in the area. A total of $6.4 million is budgeted for water, wastewater, drainage, transportation and dry utility improvements. 

The budget also includes funds for continuing the Hometown Holiday lights and displays as well as marketing initiatives for Downtown Round Rock. 


Sustainable Neighborhoods – Old and New 

The most significant expenditure for neighborhoods is $1.5 million for street maintenance. The City Council has prioritized funding for maintaining our neighborhood streets to keep them good condition based on the fact that ongoing maintenance is less expensive over time than rebuilding them. Since 2015, the City has allocated $22.3 million for neighborhood street maintenance. 

The budget continues to fund our Neighborhood Services program, which provides services for active and engaged neighborhoods to revitalize themselves using community resources. 

The FY21 budget proposal keeps Round Rock on track to achieving its long-term vision, as well as providing the basic services needed to keep the community so livable for residents and businesses.  

 

 

City Council wrestles with street maintenance funding level for FY21 

Note: This is the second in a series of blog posts about the proposed fiscal 2021 budget and tax rate. 

To fund or not to fund street maintenance, that is the question. 

And it’s a $1.5 million question that has a $2 per month impact for property taxpayers next year, as well as implications for the quality of neighborhood streets in the future 

Since 2012, the City has spent more than $37.1 million to maintain neighborhood streets. The cost is significant, but not nearly as expensive as having to completely rebuild streets that have failed or are in severe disrepair. 

The City Council is wrestling over a decision to nudge up the proposed property tax rate to fund more of the neighborhood street maintenance program in the fiscal 2021 budget, or continue to defer funding along with other spending cuts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The City Council approved a $4.3 million cut to street maintenance this spring as part of overall budget cuts due to forecast reduced revenues from the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. 

“I would think deferred maintenance would cost more to catch up than if we did it now,” Councilmember Tammy Young said at Tuesday’s City Council work session. 

Transportation Services Director Gary Hudder agreed, adding,Not only would costs continue to escalate, but also as you kick the can down the road, obviously the problem starts getting bigger again.” 

The City Council voted Thursday, Aug. 13, to set a proposed maximum tax rate of 43.9 cents. At that rate, the City would have $3.0 million for street maintenance. That rate would cost the owner of a median value home an additional $3 per month. The City Council is also considering a 42.9 cents tax rate, which would cost the owner of a median value home an additional $1 per month but include only $1.5 million for neighborhood street maintenance. 

“Even at the 43.9 cent rate we’re still in the bottom quarter of tax rates among Texas cities,Mayor Craig Morgan said. “The additional funds generated by that rate would go to core City services, and I think that’s what people want.” 

The Thursday, Aug. 13, vote isn’t the final say on the tax rate; it just establishes the maximum rate the City Council can approve. The final tax rate vote will occur on Thursday, Aug. 27. The City Council could adopt a lower tax rate. 

At the current proposed tax rate of 43.9 cents, the proposed budget reduces spending by more than $24 million from the original 2020 budget. 

You can watch the City Council’s discussion on the proposed budget and tax rate at the Tuesday, Aug. 11, work session here.

The Time is Now for Round Rock’s long-term plans to deliver results in midst of global pandemic 

Note: This is the first in a series of posts about the proposed 2021 budget and tax rate. 

With so much still unknown about the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy, planning for the fiscal 2021 City budget has been less complicated than usual. There are no new programs included in the budget, and the current proposed spending plan is $26 million less than the original 2020 budget. 

The proposed $418.7 million budget maintains the service levels our citizens have come to expect, and continues to fund our five-year transportation improvement program that will improve traffic flows on key corridors like University Boulevard and Gattis School Road.  

Because of the City’s long-term strategic planning and conservative fiscal policies, Round Rock is well-positioned to endure a slumping economy while continuing to move forward on key infrastructure projects. We are preparing to recover from the pandemic from a position of fiscal strength. 

“Lately, it seems like the only constant is change,” City Manager Laurie Hadley stated in her introduction to the proposed budget. “There is a lot going on in the world, and I am always impressed by our organization’s ability to keep things moving forward no matter the challenges we face.” 

The roadway improvements continue apace because the City Council approved a second round of funding for the Driving Progress program this April. The City took advantage of below market interest rates to keep the 5-year, $240 million program moving forward. The $30 million borrowed will require a slight property tax increase.

The spending plan will continue to drive results on the City Council’s six strategic priorities: 

  • Financially Sound City Providing High Value Services 
  • City Infrastructure: Today and Tomorrow 
  • The Sports Capital of Texas for Tourism and Residents 
  • Great Community to Live 
  • Authentic Downtown – Exciting Community Destination 
  • Sustainable Neighborhoods – Old and New 

In future posts, we’ll dive deeper into how we’re staying on track with those strategic priorities, as well as a breakdown of the proposed tax rate, the importance of sales tax and shopping local to our budget, the funding plan for transportation improvements, and major community improvement projects.  

It’s Smart Irrigation Month!

It’s that time of year again! Smart irrigation month promotes the social, economic, and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf, and agricultural irrigation. We are trying to get the word out to everyone this month to participate and do their part and conserve water this summer! Participating in Smart Irrigation Month will help you reduce your water bill, which everyone loves! Not only does participating reduce your bill, and it also helps conserve the most important natural resource- water!

As Texans, we take water conservation seriously. We experience drought quite often during the summer months. As you can see on the Texas drought map, Williamson County is already facing abnormally dry conditions. As temperatures rise and rainfall ceases to exist, July is typically the month that water consumption skyrockets due to irrigation. This is the time to make some smart changes to your irrigation practices if you haven’t already. Click on the picture for more drought info.

The smartest thing you can do to save water is to follow the tips on the smart irrigation page and schedule a FREE irrigation evaluation with us! Only direct water customers contact Jessica Woods via email or at 512-671-2872

If you are a direct Round Rock water customer, the Water Conservation staff can create an efficient watering schedule that is tailored to your unique landscape and environmental factors.

We take many factors that often go unnoticed into consideration when creating a great schedule for you. We determine how much time a certain zone needs to run according to plant material and shade. We determine how many start times you need according to the slope or soil in your landscape. We also determine how many times a week you should irrigate based many of these factors combined. We will also calculate the amount of water (in gallons) used in your current watering schedule. There might be a chance that we find something wrong with your system, like broken sprinkler heads or incorrect nozzles for a particular area, so we can recommend what to do in those situations. Many issues can go unnoticed for a long time since most irrigation schedules run in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep.              

 Please note staff will not make repairs

You can also participate in smart irrigation month by visiting us on each Wednesday for the next month to learn smart ways to help save water this summer—and year-round. We will have awesome free items that help you save water outdoors and indoors! (Staff will be practicing social distancing and wearing masks to be safe and help stop the spread of Covid-19)

Visit with us at the following locations:

  • Prete Plaza, Wednesday, July 8thfrom 2-4pm
  • Meadow Lake Park, Wednesday, July 15thfrom 9-11am
  • Chandler Creek Park, Wednesday, July 22ndfrom 9-11am

Remember, you do not have to have an irrigation system to participate in smart irrigation month! This includes people who water their lawns by hand or use garden hose sprinklers. There are always ways to reduce water!

Don’t forget to visit irrigation.org/swat for more tips!

Please read the blog post from last year’s Smart Irrigation Month! This blog goes in depth on ways to irrigate smart. It has great information about sunlight, sprinkler head type, and plant type.

Halley: Library’s statewide award shows dedication to service

Geeta Halley, our Round Rock Library Assistant Director, pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of her most recent feature.


As Round Rock Public Library Director Michelle Cervantes mentioned in the last month’s column, I’m honored to take over this space.

My name is Geeta Halley, and I have been with the library for 12 years in the roles of cataloger, public services manager and now assistant director. I’ve already seen the library go through many changes and have been proud of the services we offer and the dedication of the staff.

I’m excited to announce that for the second year in a row, the Round Rock Public Library’s commitment to service earned us the 2019 Achievement of Library Excellence Award from the Texas Municipal Library Director’s Association, an affiliate of the Texas Municipal League. There are 571 public libraries in Texas. Of those libraries, only 53 received this year’s award, placing the Round Rock Public Library in the top 10% of libraries in the state in terms of excellence of services, programs, marketing and staff training during the 2019 calendar year.

To receive the Achievement of Library Excellence Award, a library must exhibit excellence in the following areas: providing services to underserved and special populations; enhancing current services; marketing programs and services in innovative ways; promoting cultural, topical and educational programming; providing literacy support; providing summer reading clubs; pursuing collaborative efforts; supporting workforce development; providing for digital inclusion and comprehensively training staff.

While this is not a competitive award, applying for it allows us to benchmark with other libraries in the state. Meeting the criteria in each of the 10 categories allows us to celebrate the hard work and success of our library staff.

As we strive to maintain the highest standard of service excellence during this uniquely difficult pandemic time, one challenge we face is how to adjust our hugely popular summer reading program in response to the new COVID-19 reality. Planning for this annual program normally begins in January. Little did we know that in mid-March, we would be required to innovate.

After several discussions and consultations with other libraries across the state, we have adapted our summer reading for this new socially distanced era.

The Round Rock Public Library’s Community Reading Challenge runs June 1 through Aug. 1. In lieu of big in-person events, we have scheduled virtual programs for all ages. Visit roundrocktexas.gov/summerreading for registration, events schedule and more information.

We will track the point total for our reading community, and if we achieve 1 million points, the Friends of Round Rock Public Library will donate $500 to be split between the Round Rock Area Serving Center and the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

The Friends of the Library will also purchase gift cards to be used for individual prizes from some of our local small businesses who have been long-time supporters of the Summer Reading Program. These gift cards will be distributed through a prize drawing. And readers who earn 1,000 points will receive a Book Nook Book Buck to purchase an item in the Friends’ ongoing book sale when the library is open.

It is a strange time to celebrate our 2019 Achievement of Library Excellence Award and we will not rest on our laurels. The award reminds us that our same innovative, service-oriented and motivated staff will continue to create safe solutions in response to the needs of our community. Our summer reading program, transformed for this new era of social distancing, supports efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please join us in reading and safeguarding our community together.

Mayor Morgan: Planning puts Round Rock in solid financial position

Mayor Craig Morgan writes a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader.


Mayor Craig Morgan

Each year, the City of Round Rock puts together an annual budget that allows us to take care of our day-to-day needs — from library staffing to street maintenance — while also focusing on the road ahead with transportation projects, facility improvements and public safety. We develop long-term plans for major infrastructure like roads and water, as well as quality of life amenities like parks and recreation and library services.

This year’s budget discussions will no doubt include these same themes, but our conversation will be underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The past few months have felt like years at times, and some of our plans for the future have had unexpected obstacles placed in their path.

That said, let’s be honest — as City leaders, we are always dealing with change. Changing economic landscapes and new legislation are familiar territory for us. A pandemic is an unexpected challenge, to say the least, but we’ve created a solid foundation through many years of long-term planning and visioning.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Round Rock had seen recent business recruiting successes, an uptick in sales tax revenue overall and from Dell as well as healthy fund reserves. Round Rock has historically used sales tax to fund the largest portion of our General Fund, which pays for basic services like public safety and parks. Knowing that sales tax is a volatile funding source, we have for years been working toward a more balanced approach to funding these basic services. Currently, the General Fund is comprised of 43 percent sales tax revenue, 35 percent property tax revenue, 22 percent other taxes and fees. By 2023, we project a balance of sales tax and property tax at 40 percent.

Although our past financial planning puts us in a solid position, we have already sharpened our pencils to brace for the impacts of the past few months on our budget. Sales tax, hotel/motel occupancy tax and other revenues are expected to take a significant hit this year due to the actions taken by local and state officials to limit interaction among people to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our revised total sales tax projected for FY 2020 resulting from revenue losses from COVID-19 is $67.06 million, compared to the original adopted budget of $74.39 million. Our staff proactively worked to cut approximately $8.9 million out of department budgets for the current fiscal year in lieu of across the board reductions, and we made sweeping cuts to travel, training, non-essential overtime and other spending through a budget amendment passed by City Council last month. This gives us a balanced budget through the end of the year that tightens the purse strings while still allowing us to focus on our priorities, without having to dip into our contingency and debt reserves.

We know our local businesses need us more than ever, and it’s important to keep in mind that “Shopping the Rock” helps us fund improvements to our community that make this city such a great place to call home. The sales tax rate in Round Rock is 8.25 percent, with the state of Texas collecting 6.25 percent and the City 2 percent. Of the City’s share, half of those funds go to basic local government services like police, fire protection, parks and the library, one quarter of the funds help reduce property taxes, and the remaining portion funds economic development, primarily construction of major transportation improvements. More than $582 million in transportation projects alone have come to fruition due to this important funding source.

We are still waiting to see exactly how hard our local economy has been hit these last few months, but we maintain a focus on our strategic planning to make decisions that will continue to move us forward in the direction we need to go. The City will continue to focus on community needs and our strategic goals while working within the confines of our current financial conditions. We will do everything we can to ensure that our community continues to be one of the best places to live in the country, and by working together, we will get through this.

PLAN and PREPARE for Summer

Beach trips ✓ BBQs ✓pool days ✓ mulch? Irrigation evaluation? Sprinkler inspection? You might be ready to embrace the summer heat but is your landscape ready? As warmer weather rolls in, we go out to the garage to turn on the sprinklers and go on about our day. Before switching your system on for the season, there are a few important things to check and do!

Is your landscape prepared?

  • Check your irrigation system for flaws or broken parts.
  • Sign up for a FREE irrigation system evaluation!
  • Adjust the amount of water needed for your landscape.
  • Make your landscape independent by adding native drought-tolerant plants and use tools to enrich your landscape.

Irrigation system check up

Inspect your system for broken or missing sprinkler heads. Adjust sprinkler heads that are facing the wrong direction or watering concrete. You can also find an irrigation professional licensed by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to do the work for you. This is an important step for your summer preparation because problems can go unnoticed since most irrigation happens in the middle of the night. This can lead to costly leaks and broken sprinkler heads which can waste water and money.

 

 

Schedule a Free Irrigation System Evaluation

Irrigation evaluations are a great way to learn how to reduce your outdoor water usage! You will receive great advice and recommendations tailored to your unique landscape and environmental factors.

If you’re a direct City water customer, schedule a free irrigation system evaluation by contacting Jessica Woods via email or at 512-671-2872.  During the evaluation, staff will:

  • Determine how many gallons are used with your current watering schedule.
  • Provide a recommended watering schedule.
  • Make recommendations if any system upgrades are needed.

Please note staff will not make repairs

Adjust the amount of water needed for your landscape

Not all parts of your yard are the same, they might differ in water needs! An area with shade should be watered less than an area with full sun. Change your watering times to accommodate for the differences in sunlight, plant and turf types.

Some might think all grass types require the same conditions. In fact, some drought tolerant grasses like Bermuda are often over watered.  Use this chart from the Texas ArgiLife Extension to determine what conditions your turf-grass thrives in. If you have no idea where to start, sigh up for an irrigation evaluation and we can help you identify your grass and recommend a watering schedule for it.

∗Click on the chart for in depth info about grasses∗

Is your landscape independent?

Add native plants to your landscape! These types of plants require much less water and are adapted to our climate. Imagine having an entire garden bed dedicated to native plants! You may be able to turn off that entire zone and save so much water!

Don’t forget to add mulch to garden beds, trees, and yes grass! As you may know, mulch helps reduce water loss due to evaporation, adds nutrients, and prevents weeds. It’s possible to reduce watering times on areas that are mulched since they will retain water longer. Mulch is one of the most important steps to prepare for the heat! As a Round Rock water customer, you can get FREE hardwood mulch at our brush recycling center!

Headed over to the billing office? Don’t forget to pick up a free native plant guide at the front desk or just click on the picture to view it virtually!

 

More information

Native Plant Resources

 

Don’t forget to add these steps to your summer checklist!

Lawn & Garden Tax Holiday

This holiday weekend, you can save money on products to help you reduce your water use at your home or business.  This is the 4th annual Lawn and Garden Water Smart Tax Holiday!

This Memorial Day Weekend, May 23rd-25th, consumers can purchase water saving items without paying sales tax.  Water saving items, as defined by the Texas Comptroller, can include any plant product, any product with a WaterSense label, mulch, rainwater collection systems, and much more!  There is no limit to how many items you can purchase.

WaterSense Products

Retailers do not charge sales tax on any product that displays a WaterSense label or logo. These items can be bought for either personal or business purposes.

The categories of products are broad; you can buy items tax free during the holiday that are used or planted for:

  • conserving or retaining groundwater;
  • recharging water tables; or
  • decreasing ambient air temperature, and so limiting water evaporation

 

Examples of items that qualify for the exemption include:

  • a soaker or drip-irrigation hose
  • a moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system
  • mulch
  • a rain barrel or an alternative rain and moisture collection system
  • a permeable ground cover surface that allows water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points
  • plants, trees and grasses
  • water-saving surfactants
  • soil and compost

If you’d like more information on the products and plants you can purchase tax-free this weekend, visit landscapetexas.org or the Texas Comptroller’s website.

Remember, the City’s Water Conservation program offers rebates on many water-saving and WaterSense labeled items.  And residents can always pick up free mulch from the brush recycling center.

 

UDPATED: What you can do to make Open Texas safe, successful

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, April 27, released his report to Open Texas, a guide to gradually bring state businesses back to life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, May 6, Gov. Abbott announced his intention to expand openings of certain businesses and activities in upcoming phases of the plan. On May 18, Gov. Abbott announced new phases of business and activity openings. 

PROTOCOL CHECKLISTS: View protocol checklists for restaurants, theaters, churches, nail salons, cosmetology/hair salons, gyms and more.

While most of the early attention has been on what businesses can reopen — and which can’t — there is a lot of emphasis in the report about what we as individuals can do to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

Flattening the curve isn’t about stopping the spread of the virus — that’s pretty much impossible with a virus like this one — it’s about slowing the spread so our healthcare facilities don’t get overwhelmed by those hardest hit by COVID-19. So far, so good on that strategy here in Williamson County. Of the 279 confirmed cases as of April 28, only 35 have ever been hospitalized, according to data from the Williamson County and Cities Health District, the public health authority.

It helps, no doubt, that we are generally healthier than most — Williamson County is ranked No. 6 in health outcomes and No. 4 in health factors in Texas — so residents here are less likely to have comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease and asthma.

So we need to keep ourselves healthy by following the protocols in the Open Texas report. Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the list below. We all need to be familiar with symptoms of COVID-19 so we are less likely catch or spread the virus as we begin to resume life in the new normal.

Health protocols for individuals

  • Maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals not within the same household. If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.
  • Self-screen before going into a business for any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Wash or disinfect hands upon entering a business and after any interaction with employees, other customers, or items in the business
  • Consider wearing cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth when entering a business, or when within 6 feet of another person who is not a member of your household. If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks. 

Testing, contact tracing

It’s important to remember that as we adhere to these protocols, it is likely case counts will increase as more testing becomes available. Stepping up testing and contact tracing are integral parts of the Open Texas plan. Gov. Abbott said increased positive tests are less of a factor than healthcare system capacity and fatality rates in deciding whether to move on to Phase II of Open Texas, currently scheduled for May 18.

COVID 19 testing tracing graphic

The report emphasizes the need to protect the most vulnerable population to COVID-19: Texans over 65. They make up 76 percent of COVID-19 fatalities in Texas, through April 26. In fact, the first set of protocols listed in the report are to protect this segment of the population.

Special guidance for Texans over 65

  1. Stay Home If You Can
  • Minimize face-to-face contact with others. Avoid young children.
  • If someone is assisting you, you and your family members or caretaker should wear cloth face masks. Remember a family member or caretaker can give you the virus even if they don’t appear to have symptoms.
  • Try grocery or restaurant delivery, mail order prescriptions, and phone appointments with your doctor. Call 2-1-1 if you need help with essentials.
  • Reach out to friends, family, or neighbors who can deliver essential items.
  1. Help Save Lives
  • If you must go out, wear a cloth face mask, and stay six feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils with others
  • If you have mild symptoms (difficulty breathing, or a rapidly worsening cough or fever), call your healthcare provider. If symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1.
  1. Check In
  • Check in regularly with neighbors, friends, and family by calling, texting, emailing, video chatting, or even writing letters.
  • Walking, gardening, digital books, games, and online religious services are great ways to stay active and connected.

Protocol checklists

The Open Texas Plan features a series for checklists for individuals and organizations to follow to allow the state to open back up in phases and slow the spread of COVID-19.

New, In Effect May 31, 2020

New, In Effect May 22, 2020

New, Now in Effect as of May 18, 2020

Effective May 18, 2020

Effective May 8, 2020

Effective May 5, 2020

From the Texas Education Agency

DELAYED: Air Force Thunderbirds to fly over Round Rock, salute of frontline responders

UPDATE: The flight has been delayed until 3:40 p.m., Wednesday, May 13.


The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over Austin and surrounding areas, including Round Rock, on Wednesday, May 13.

A formation of 6 F-16C/D Fighting Falcons will conduct these flyovers as a salute to healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flyovers in Austin will start at 2:40 P.M. (CDT) and last approximately 25 minutes. The date and times are subject to change due to weather and operational requirements.

Residents along the flight path can expect a few moments of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead and are asked to avoid gathering in large groups to view the salute.