The City of Round Rock has won the following Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Awards.
2017 – City Spirit
The City was honored for the Love the Rock program, a day of service made possible by the coordination of more than 35 churches of numerous denominations, the City of Round Rock, neighborhood associations, and the solid waste collection company. Together, they assembled 1,200 volunteers to work on more than 200 homes of those in need, including the elderly, disabled, people recovering from surgery or illness, and single parents. During the 2016 event, a record-breaking 555 tons of garbage along with 93 tons of brush were removed. Using tools from the City’s Tool Lending Center, volunteers mowed and weeded lawns, trimmed trees and bushes, hauled heavy items, and much more. The clean-up event alleviated 37 standing code violations and prevented numerous more. Love the Rock did more than beautify a neighborhood; it truly changed residents’ quality of life.
2015 – Communications
The Texas Municipal League selected Round Rock as a winner of a Municipal Excellence Award for the City’s Fire Safety Videos: Rock Solid Safety Program. The City won in the Communications category for cities over 25,000 population.
The vignettes use humor to deliver serious safety messages about summer safety, fireworks and the like.
2012 – City Spirit
The City of Round Rock was presented the 2012 Municipal Excellence Award in the City Spirit category for cities of more than 15,000 population at the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Exhibition, held in Grapevine on Nov. 13-16. The award recognized the city for its Play for All Abilities Park.
The Play for All Abilities Park has been a community-wide effort and a dream come true for Round Rock and surrounding communities. Through the Play for all Foundation, the City’s Park and Recreation Department, local civic clubs, city staff, and professionals and parents who have worked with children with special needs, Round Rock was able to design a beautiful park to serve the children of Williamson County, including its 7,945 children with a disability. The mission of the park is to provide a safe, fun place to play and develop new skills for children of all abilities. The park is distinguished from other parks because it features equipment and playscapes that easily accommodate children with special needs. Used for therapy and learning, as well as play, the park includes all ability swings, an all abilities playscape, a sensory pod, and even a village with mini-versions of Round Rock businesses to help children learn life skills.
2010 – Public Works
In many cities, maintenance of the water system’s valves is not performed regularly. However, the City of Round Rock recognized that the best time to locate, repair, or exercise a valve is not during an emergency. So the city developed a valve maintenance program to annually inspect and exercise the water system’s valves and to create a data file with the repair records of each valve. The program features an online site that allows the city to manage maintenance progress, graph performance, highlight problem areas, and view valve and water line records before going into the field.
Overall, the program saves the city time and money and improves services to customers by ensuring that valves are accessible in emergencies, increasing the life span of valves, providing detailed repair records, improving isolation in water systems, locating missing and closed valves, and ensuring that valves are in the correct position.
2008 – Public Safety
Two Round Rock police officers, Marc Gray and Larry Hayes, assigned as school resource officers at the local high school, took the call of duty a step further by obtaining teaching certificates so they could actually teach Criminal Justice classes at the school. They developed a curriculum that would teach students about law enforcement and increase public safety through education while building a bond among police, students, parents, and the community.
The officers, who are the first in Texas to be certified teachers actively teaching while on duty as police officers, created three sections of course work: Introduction to Criminal Justice, Fundamentals of Criminal Law, and Criminal Investigations. This program saves the school district the cost of a teacher’s salary, and the additional courses offer more elective options for students.
Since the officers began teaching, their class rosters have doubled and their classes routinely fill up quickly.
2006 – Communications
Unlike many employee orientations, Round Rock’s New Employee Orientation Program is educational, fun, and a celebration of new faces in the organization. Orientation is divided into three separate days of activities, including an explanation of the city’s benefit package, a discussion of Round Rock’s philosophies and objectives, and a city tour. Two additional features are the New Employee Buddy Program, in which a current employee is paired with a new one to serve as a mentor and a friendly face, and the Orientation Graduation to honor employees who have successfully completed their six-month probationary period. New employees quickly feel like they are an important part of the city organization, and current employees are eager to become involved as buddies.
2005 – Public Works
In the City of Round Rock, the Brush Recycling and Mulch Management Program provides brush recycling, produces mulch, and reduces landfill space. The program not only saves the city more than the $90,000 a year previously allocated for brush and disposal services, but also now produces a profit of $32,000 a year. Citizens either bring in trees and brush to the Recycling Center or receive curbside recycling for a nominal fee that is added to their water bill. The city then uses this refuse to produce organic mulch, which is available at no charge to city residents and is used by city departments for landscaping and to protect existing plants and trees. This successful program has long-term value to Round Rock because it is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, beneficial to both residents and city departments, and an efficient use of city resources.
2005 – Public Safety
The Round Rock Police Department implemented a program to help citizens who have a high probability of needing emergency assistance. The program prevents the damage and expense associated with forced entry to their homes when they need help. The police install a real estate-style lock box, which holds a key to the residence and requires a code to open, at the homes of the elderly, bed-ridden, and those with disabilities or serious medical conditions. Thanks to this program, emergency personnel can enter a home quickly without resorting to breaking a door or window. Thirty lock boxes were initially donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Center and Supra Product, the manufacturer of the boxes, and by April 2005, the program had expanded to forty-five lock boxes in the field. They have saved time, money, and lives.
2004 – Communications
The City of Round Rock has found video presentations to be a successful tool in marketing the city as a tourist destination and as a location for sporting events. One such effort that proved to be beneficial is to bid on the hosting amateur athletic events coordinated by the Texas Amateur Athletic Foundation, the sports organization involved in coordinating bids for amateur athletic competitions across the state. Used to entice the voting members of the TAAF, the video proved to be successful in demonstrating the ability of the city to host tournaments. The return on investment in producing high-quality video presentations is offset by the economic benefit to the city, estimated to be in the millions. As an added benefit, the video is used on the city’s monthly cable access television show, Take Five, to inform and educate the residents on the upcoming events and the importance of these events to the city. Making the residents aware of the events has led to increased involvement by some residents in parks and recreation programs offered by the city – making Round Rock the Sports Capital of Texas.
2000 – City Spirit
The third time was the charm for Round Rock’s recruitment of minor league baseball. Two previous attempts to bring minor league baseball to the city had failed. But, the third time the city’s can-do spirit and family-friendly atmosphere proved to be the winning combination. A record turnout of 12,179 voters – four times the previous high for a city election – passed a referendum allowing the city to finance the stadium with $8.65 million in revenue bonds backed by hotel-motel taxes and $16 million in cash from team owner Nolan Ryan and others. The first-class stadium saw record attendance in its first year of operation and has become a tremendous source of pride for the city.