The City of Round Rock recently accepted two national awards at the 2021 American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) conference in Glendale, Arizona for its innovative approach to addressing code compliance and enforcement.
The City’s Tool Lending Center, created in 2014, received the association’s highest honor for innovation. The program is part of an overall effort to prioritize neighborhood revitalization and protection throughout the community. Made possible via a combination of City funds and local business donations, the tool lending program provides residents the opportunity to borrow a variety of tools and other gear they need to keep their neighborhoods healthy and beautiful.
Instead of issuing fines for simple code violations such as tall grass and weeds, low hanging tree branches or other issues that can cause health or safety concerns, the City connects residents with Neighborhood Services staff to arrange for pickup or delivery of the tools necessary to address the issue. If a resident doesn’t have the ability to do the work themselves, the City works to connect them with volunteers.
Since the program’s launch, Round Rock residents have checked out thousands of tools and code compliance has increased by 37 percent.
“This program is great because it’s not the city doing the work for the resident but offering a resource for individuals and entire neighborhoods to pick themselves up to beautify their homes and their community,” Mayor Craig Morgan said.
In addition to receiving an honor for most innovative program, the City’s Code Enforcement Manager Margie Lopez was named Code Officer of the Year.
Margie Lopez assumed the role of Code Enforcement Manager in February 2020. She has served Round Rock for more than 24 years, helping residents to better understand health and safety concerns as they relate to the City’s code of ordinances and connecting them with the resources they need to come into compliance.
“Margie truly loves her job. She has a deep love for the City of Round Rock and is always looking for new ways to innovate and provide more to our residents,” said the City’s Director of Community Development Joe Brehm.
If residents see a code-related issue they feel may need to be addressed, they can make a report by contacting the City’s Code Enforcement Office at 512-341-3329 or via the City’s online Service Request Portal at roundrocktexas.gov/servicerequest.