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The next chapter

 

Planning for a growing community like Round Rock isn’t just about roads and water supplies. It’s just as much about quality of life amenities like parks and trails.

Smack dab in the middle of the many things that make Round Rock such a special place is our Public Library. Located in the heart of Downtown, the library is a hub of learning for Round Rock. With programming designed for kids to adults to small business, the library stays on the cutting edge of information sharing and is an incredibly valuable part of the community.

Don’t take our word for it. The Library recently received the 2018 Texas Achievement of Library Excellence Award from the Texas Municipal Library Director’s Association. Only 51 libraries out of 548 public libraries in Texas – less than 10 percent – achieved this recognition. And the Library’s Biz.ability workshops have been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for helping local entrepreneurs.

It’s not just luck or the waving of Harry Potter’s wand that have created such a forward-focused institution. The Library follows a Strategic Master Plan and is well-prepared for Round Rock’s growth. After a longer-than-anticipated search for a site for a new, larger library, the City Council in April purchased property just north of the existing library for its new home.

The new, expanded library will offer much needed space to grow the Library’s many popular programs and growing collection. How popular? Here’s some data from the recently-released Library 2018 Annual Report.

Summer Reading Program

  • 166,055 books read
  • 51,794 hours read
  • 11,591 attended programs
  • 217 meals fed
  • 178 programs held

Adult Services

  • Adult Programs – 646
  • Attendance Adult Programs – 6,601

Reference

  • Research transactions – 34,086
  • Public Internet Computer Use – 61,728
  • Technology training – 13,130
  • E-Resources Use – 23,906

Collection

  • Print Volumes Added – 20,913
  • Number of Print Books in the collection – 225,903

Check-Outs

  • Interlibrary Loan – 3,673
  • Circulation Total Digital Formats – 96,831
  • Circulation Total – 1,229,141

Speaking of value, the community receives a return of $8 for each dollar invested in the library. If you think that’s impressive, check out the table below. It shows the retail value of the services provided by the library, based on a calculator developed by the Massachusetts Library Association. Check out that bottom line – it shows the incredible value for the many services provided by the Library based on its budget.

UseLibrary Materials, ServicesValue
324,056Adult Books, Movies, CDs Borrowed$5,939,188
782,946Childrens Books, Movies, CDs Borrowed$13,310,082
3,673Interlibrary Loan Requests$91,825
96,831Digital Books, Audiobooks Downloaded$1,452,465
21,708Music Downloaded$21,708
6,601Adult Program Attendance$99,015
1,167Young Adult Program Attendance$14,004
38,469Childrens Program Attendance$269,283
61,728Computer Use (per session)$740,736
23,906Database Searches$476,924
34,086Reference Assistance$238,602
 Total Value$22,653,832
 Total Expenditures, Fiscal 2018$2,747,477

Responding to the future

As Round Rock continues its rapid population growth, we have more citizens who want to “age in place.” While we love having these citizens in our community, the reality is that many of our older adults or disabled are left without support in their declining years. Our first responders respond to a high number of non-emergency calls for help that are misdirected, unheard and often ignored by “the system.” We are finding this small population of citizens account for a large percentage of call volume for these low-acuity calls, and cause delays to other emergency calls.

Round Rock is not alone in dealing with this issue. About one in 11 Americans age 50 and older lacks a spouse, partner or living child, census figures and other research show. What we have found in Round Rock are growing unmet needs such as lack of medical assistance and non-functional smoke alarms.

When analyzing the problem, Fire Chief Robert Isbell saw an opportunity to partner with the City’s Neighborhood Services team to reach this growing demographic though its annual Love the Rock event. At this event, the City partners with neighborhoods and dozens of churches for a single day of service to help neighborhoods. The churches supply more than 1,200 volunteers of different faiths to work on service projects. Fire Department staff are actively involved in identifying and addressing fire safety issues.

A key element of Chief Isbell’s Community Risk Reduction Program is connecting with members of our community who have the most urgent need in order to provide risk assessments of their home environment. For the 2018 version of Love the Rock, two neighborhoods were selected based on high call volume from the Fire and Police Departments.

“That area stood out when analyzing calls and overlaying disabled or veteran tax exemptions, and property age,” Isbell said. “We knew we could reduce the likelihood of having a fire through a home safety survey. With that, we can provide tools like kitchen fire extinguishers to help them deal with the most common fire and, with working smoke alarms, quickly alert anyone in the home so they can exit and call for help. We believe this combination of resources allows us the best opportunity to save a life from a fire.”

During Love the Rock, volunteers are trained to test and install smoke alarms and log any apparent needs on inspection forms, which are returned to the Fire Department for follow up. Chief Isbell says the volunteers do more to help prevent problems on that day than the entire Fire Department could do in a year.

Sharon, an older, disabled resident who lives alone, had her smoke alarms serviced and volunteers also cleaned her yard – abating a code violation. Sharon’s stress reduction was visible to the volunteers, whom she tearfully embraced.

“It’s like a gift better than money, better than jewels,” Sharon said. “As a woman trying to keep up with all the things, it can get overwhelming. It just took weight off my shoulders. I feel so blessed and I feel so honored.”

Since the 2018 Love the Rock event, Chief Isbell said there has been one home where working smoke alarms installed by volunteers alerted residents to a fire. Firefighters were able to respond to the call in a timely manner, and property damage was minimal. Most importantly, no one was injured or killed.

“As well-trained and professional as our firefighters are, we’d much rather not have to make a run to put out a fire,” Chief Isbell said. “We can’t prevent every fire, but through our Community Risk Reduction efforts we can improve the odds in favor of our residents, particularly those most at risk.”


“We knew we could reduce the likelihood of having a fire through a home safety survey. With that, we can provide tools like kitchen fire extinguishers to help them deal with the most common fire and, with working smoke alarms, quickly alert anyone in the home so they can exit and call for help.”

 

—Fire Chief Robert Isbell

 

‘Unhealthy Air Quality’ on your weather app? What it means

This blog was updated at 8:47 a.m. March 2 to reflect that the Air Quality Index is no longer in the “Unhealthy Air Quality for Sensitive Groups” range in Round Rock.

A weather app message about “Unhealthy Air Quality for Sensitive Groups” could be found on iPhones of Round Rock residents and Central Texans this morning.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) listed the Austin area’s Air Quality Index (AQI) at 115 around 7 a.m. Saturday, March 2, landing it in the 101-150 AQI range at which this alert occurs. After 8 a.m., the number had already dropped down into the “Moderate” range, which is between 51 and 100. An AQI above 150 is listed as “unhealthy” for the general public.

According to AirNow, “sensitive groups” include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers. These groups are advised to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors when an “Unhealthy Air Quality for Sensitive Groups” alert is in effect.

Other nearby cities showed similar messages in the iPhone weather app Saturday morning, including Austin, Hutto, Cedar Park, Pflugerville and Georgetown. The National Weather Service had a Dense Fog Advisory in effect for South Central Texas through 11 a.m.

“Ozone season” actually started March 1 in Central Texas, according to Air Central Texas, which is a regional initiative to reduce exposure to air pollution through voluntary actions.

High ground-level ozone concentrations in Central Texas, not to be confused with the stratosphere ozone layer, are the result of a complex interaction of emissions and meteorology. Ground-level ozone can sometimes be referred to as smog, and breathing in high concentrations of it over several hours can cause acute respiratory health effects including decreased lung function and pain with deep breaths and aggravated asthma symptoms.

Summer days in Texas are especially susceptible to ozone formation due to clear, sunny skies and stagnant winds, which allow pollutants to form and accumulate. During these times, residents are encouraged to limit driving and idling in vehicles, and ensure their vehicle and yard equipment are properly maintained, including changing the oil and replacing air filters regularly.

Learn more about air quality at roundrocktexas.gov/airquality.

Artfully planned


‘Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.’ 
—  Albert Einstein

When the City of Round Rock was developing its Arts Master Plan a little over seven years ago, there was limited appreciation – outside of existing arts groups and their dedicated patrons – of the impact arts and culture activities could have on the community. The plan’s vision called out the importance of arts to Round Rock’s quality of life, as well as “strengthening our community, inspiring more investment, and creating a sense of place.”

The plan also called for increasing programming for “hands-on” activities, additional public arts events and building an organizational infrastructure.

With those guidelines in hand, Scot Wilkinson, hired in 2012 as the City’s Arts and Culture Director, has weaved Round Rock’s fledging arts efforts into the incredible fabric of our community. Scot has helped local arts groups with training for board members, financial support through grants, and he’s also helped develop the many well-attended special events like Music on Main, Beaujolais Nights and Chalk Walk.

Scot also recruited Sculptfest, which brings artists from all over the United States to Round Rock for a weekend. This year’s event is set for April 26-28. Just as significant is the Allan Houser exhibit, on display at Centennial Plaza through this May.

We now have 50-plus arts organizations and businesses who call Round Rock home (not including our amazing Round Rock ISD visual and performing arts teachers). We have 300-plus individual arts exhibits and performances happening yearly in Round Rock with attendance exceeding 250,000 patrons.

Wondering where you can learn about the many upcoming arts events, such as a performance by Penfold Theatre Company, or a concert by the Round Rock Symphony or Community Choir? Scot has assembled an Arts and Culture Guide for just that purpose.

What folks outside the “business” of art may not be aware of is the fact there is a significant financial impact the arts has on a community. Here are few examples from Texans for the Arts:

  • Arts strengthen the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports the arts and culture sector is a $699 billion industry, which represents 4.3 percent of the nation’s GDP — a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences) that supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
  • Arts mean business. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies and theaters to for-profit film, architecture and design companies. A 2015 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 702,771 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people — representing 3.9 percent of all businesses and 1.9 percent of all employees.
  • Arts are good for local merchants. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.

How does that translate to Round Rock? Those 250,000 people who attended performances last year spend on average $31.47 per exhibit or performance, which puts $7.8 million directly back into our local economy through restaurants, baby sitters, gas and other items. (That does not include the cost of the ticket.)

Beyond the financial benefits, arts improve academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates — benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points higher on the verbal and math portions of their SATs than students with just one-half year of arts or music.

“I believe the arts can be the fundamental element to make a community whole,” Scot says. “Plus, the arts are something we all can proudly identify with as we all work together to make Round Rock fun, creative and exciting.”

Playing the long game

Known as the Sports Capital of Texas, the City of Round Rock has invested in promoting economic diversity by developing a sports-focused tourism program. With a variety of indoor and outdoor sports facilities, the City plays host to national tournaments, as well as hometown playoffs. 

Round Rock has a key advantage over other cities across the state when attracting youth and adult athletes in amateur and recreational sports: a central location within a three-hour drive from 90 percent of the state’s population. From the Dell Diamond to the Round Rock Sports Center and Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, the City’s investment in top-notch facilities pays off in a number of ways.

Total direct travel spending in Round Rock for international and domestic travelers totaled $319 million in 2017 (the most recent year for which figures are available). State and local tax revenues directly generated by travel spending were approximately $29 million in 2017.

The local tax revenue generated from visitors helps to improve infrastructure, add services and keep property taxes low. The money spent by visitors helps employ residents, pay their salaries and keep the local economy strong. Total direct employment in Round Rock for the travel industry in 2017 was 3,250 jobs and $114 million total direct earnings.

While the economic data is a little old, you may wonder what sports tourism has done for us lately. Glad you asked! We hosted five national championships in 2018, installed LED stadium lighting at Dell Diamond and celebrated the grand re-opening of Forest Creek Golf Club. More national championships are already on the calendar for 2019, including US Quidditch, USA Ultimate D-1 (college) and NIRSA Flag Football (actually January 2020 for the 2019 regular season), and new seats are being installed at Dell Diamond.

What makes all this winning even sweeter is the fact the services provided by the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau come at no expense to local taxpayers since it is funded entirely by hotel occupancy taxes.

Tourism creates a diversified economy, which lays a solid foundation for Round Rock’s future growth. It also attracts business and encourages entrepreneurial opportunities. From softball to soccer and scoreboards to stadiums, Round Rock is playing the long game to ensure a winning economy for years to come.

Mayor Morgan: Comprehensive Plan to guide future growth

Mayor Craig Morgan pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of his most recent feature.


MAYOR CRAIG MORGAN

In case you haven’t heard, Round Rock has been rapidly growing.

The population within our city limits is almost 115,000, and by 2030, our population is expected to grow to 160,000 people. That’s an increase of 45,000 over a little more than a decade.

It’s an exciting time as we continue to diversify our economic opportunities and improve our quality of life, but the growth of our city obviously doesn’t come without challenges.

One of our biggest challenges — besides traffic — will be how we maintain our uniqueness as a community.

The answer to that will most likely include a little bit of everything. Our parks, our city services, our businesses and our neighborhoods are all part of what makes Round Rock home.

With Round Rock’s rapid growth over the past four decades, long-range planning has been an integral part of where we are today. One of the city’s most essential tools for this long-range planning is our Comprehensive Plan, a living document that helps us as leaders make policy decisions about transportation, parks, utilities, economic development, land use and more.

This year, we are embarking on a year-and-a-half journey to develop an updated Comprehensive Plan. Its name, Round Rock 2030, nods to the fact that the plan will guide our land use decisions through the 10 years following its adoption.

The plan is not meant to focus on the location of specific development; however, a large portion of this plan will be dedicated to assigning the location and intensity of future development within our city limits through general land use categories. Developers are also able to use the plan to see how their projects might fit in with our vision for the future.

The result of these planning efforts is the Round Rock we know today. The desire for a more vibrant downtown, broader housing choices and growth in health care and education have all been recognized in past comprehensive plans.

For the next plan to be successful, it must reflect the overall needs and wants of our residents and businesses. By participating in Round Rock 2030, you’ll have the chance to influence policy that guides Round Rock’s decisions regarding public facilities, commercial development, housing and more.

Some of the questions we will be looking to answer are:

What kind of development would we like to see more or less of in Round Rock?

How can we encourage different modes of transportation in our community other than by private vehicle?

Should we increase mixed-use development, similar to the Mueller development in Austin, in Round Rock?

The city will host four public meetings across the city in the coming months in order for residents to come together with ideas for our community’s future. Each meeting will take place in a different area of the city, and discussion at each of these meetings will be generally geared toward the quadrant of town where it is located:

Southeast: 6-8 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Allen R. Baca Center Grand Room, 301 W. Bagdad Ave.

Southwest: 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12 at the City Admin Training Room, 901 Round Rock Ave. Suite A100.

Northeast: 6-8 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Multipurpose Complex, 2001 Kenney Fort Blvd.

Northwest: 6-8 p.m. March 5 at the Round Rock Sports Center, 2400 Chisholm Trail.

Following the meetings, we will have an online forum available to continue the conversation about transportation, parks, utilities, economic development, land use and more. You can learn more about the process, sign up for email news and read updates by visiting roundrocktexas.gov/roundrock2030.

I encourage you to come out and give us your opinion of what you think Round Rock should look like in the year 2030. As great of a community as our city is today, I’m excited to see the vision that we can create together for our future success.

Are you missing out on important weather alerts?

Most Central Texans know firsthand how unpredictable our weather can be. With continuous new technology and numerous notification systems available, it can be difficult to know the best place to look for the most up-to-date information.

Our mobile devices make it easier than ever to receive weather alerts and emergency messages in real-time. Cell phone providers allow automated alerts to be pushed directly to our phones, and a growing number of services provide weather alerts though text messaging (SMS), email, phone calls and apps. Here’s a breakdown of alerts that you should know about:

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Most people have received automatic messages about flash flooding accompanied by a loud ringer or vibration on their phone — these are notifications through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, which automatically pushes weather alerts from the National Weather Service directly to your phone through a location-based technology. No opt-in is required for these important messages.

In addition to WEA, there are other region-specific services that allow users to create an account, opt-in, and receive alerts. Sign up for these alert systems today to receive important local updates in Round Rock:

Warn Central Texas

  • Web-based regional notification system to alert the public to emergency and non-emergency situations
  • User chooses what type(s) of alerts they want to receive and how they want to receive the alerts, such as text message, phone call and/or email
  • Alerts are sent based off the location that was used to register for an account
  • System was updated in October 2018 — learn more and update your contact information
  • To registerwarncentraltexas.org

WILCO Ready App

  • Helps citizens of Williamson County to stay prepared and protect loved ones in an emergency
  • You can create your family emergency plan
  • Live information on evacuation routes and shelters
  • Library of emergency preparedness guides
  • To registerreadydl.com/wilco-ready

Don’t forget to check tried and true methods to receive weather information such as television, broadcast radio, and NOAA All-Hazards Radio.

As you can see, there are many ways people can be alerted when it comes to severe weather. Users can utilize multiple alerting tools to ensure they are covered wherever they go. With so many methods made widely available in multiple languages, we are able to be a more prepared community. Be ready, Round Rock!

Mayor Morgan: Popular routes start 2019 with improved services

Mayor Craig Morgan pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of his most recent feature.


MAYOR CRAIG MORGAN

The end of the year always brings a chance to reflect and consider the effectiveness of our ways. In our personal lives, this often means creating a few New Year’s Resolutions to start the next year off on the right foot.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2019 for the City of Round Rock, and we’re kicking our year off with some exciting news: Starting Jan. 7, our two most popular bus routes will add stops and service hours.

The City launched its first fixed route bus service through Capital Metro on Aug. 21, 2017. Although our contract runs for five years, we looked to the first year as a pilot program to gauge ridership and work with the community to ensure we are truly meeting our transit needs. These additional stops and service hours were a direct result of feedback and ridership data from our first year. We engaged the public through an open house as well as in-person and online surveys earlier this year.

Route 50 will extend its schedule to run between 6:30 a.m. and 8:17 p.m. Monday through Friday. This change creates two hours of additional operation in the evening on what is easily our highest performing route, with an average of 2,954 passengers per month last fiscal year.

Route 50 runs between Howard Station in Austin and the Austin Community College campus in Round Rock. The changes to this schedule will give people in our community more opportunity to stay later on campus for studying or using the library after class and have more flexibility for their work schedules.

The MetroExpress Route 980 express service will add one additional time in the morning and evening. Morning departures to Austin will be 5:44, 6:46 and 7:51 a.m., and evening returns at Round Rock Transit Center will be 5:10, 6:40 and 7:25 p.m. This route, which started in November 2018, gives Round Rock riders access to an express bus route into downtown Austin by traveling from the Round Rock Transit Center to the New Life Park & Ride, downtown and The University of Texas, traveling on the MoPac managed lanes.

We believe these changes will help us move closer to our ultimate goal of providing a network that provides simplified routes, increased frequency, connections to more places and service to more jobs.

These were our goals outlined in Round Rock’s Transit Master Plan, which was developed in 2015 to start a framework for improving connectivity locally and regionally over the next decade. Public outreach during the planning process showed us there was strong support for transit services in our community. The plan also recognized that a quality transportation network is essential for economic development.

Development of our current route alignments were based on Census data, low-income areas and households with limited mobility options, popular destinations from the Demand Response Bus Service that was previously operating in our community, and data obtained from the “Drive a Senior” program.

The other two routes currently operating in Round Rock are Routes 51 and 52.

Route 51 travels between St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and Dell’s Round Rock Campus, serving destinations such as Round Rock High School, Success High School and downtown. Service operates weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Route 52 travels from the Tech Ridge Park and Ride to the Round Rock Transit Center, with limited stops. Destinations include the Art Institute of Austin and several employment centers. Service operates weekdays with two morning trips and two afternoon trips.

We also provide paratransit service, which is a requirement under federal law for the disabled community who cannot use our other bus routes. Due to demand for this service, we’ve added an additional paratransit vehicle to our fleet in the past year. There are reduced fare options for seniors 65 and older, and for people with disabilities, members of the military, students and people on Medicare.

We will sometimes hear feedback that residents see “empty” buses driving around town, but it’s not always cause to discontinue a route. Most of what our Transportation Department does is geared toward rush hour, and our transit system is no different. Consider this: You may drive along the freeway, and not see drivers across all four lanes of the roadway at certain times of day. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is not a need for all four lanes. However, the benefit of transit is that we can make some shifts to routes, schedules and public education campaigns to fine tune these services for our community, as we are looking to do in the coming year and those in the future.

Still, we can already see that our budding transit system is encouraging mobility through public transportation. In its first complete fiscal year, 52,383 trips were taken across our four routes in Round Rock. We expect the upcoming year will provide even more insight to show us what we can do to make our bus service more effective for our residents and continue this important regional partnership with our friends at CapMetro.

To learn more about transit in Round Rock, visit roundrocktransit.com.

Growing together, one neighborhood at a time

Round Rock is only as strong as our neighborhoods. That’s why one of our strategic priorities focuses on sustaining them all — old and new. We have programs that encourage connectivity and outreach, so as our population grows, we won’t grow apart.
 

Sustainable neighborhoods has been a strategic priority since 2012, when the City created a Neighborhood Services Program. The City Council’s goals for sustainable neighborhoods include:

  • Increase curb appeal for existing residents and enticing prospective residents
  • Maintain or increase property values for ad valorem tax
  • Help foster a sense of community between neighbors
  • Help elderly and disabled residents remain in their homes
  • Reduce code violations
  • Reduce negative communication from residents such as calls, emails and residents attending council meetings to discuss neighborhood quality of life issues
  • Make neighborhoods that are older, lower income or ethnically diverse feel included in the City’s resources
  • Creating a one-stop shop for all neighborhood quality of life issues for residents and neighborhood leaders. No more phone tree transfer for questions and issues.

To achieve these goals, the Community Development Division developed and implemented programs for neighborhoods to utilize in partnership with the City. 

Programs

  • The Tool Lending Center is designed to be deployed for organized projects such as neighborhood cleanups or other beautification projects where volunteers (scouts, church groups, school groups, etc.) are organized and available.  For neighborhood cleanups, tools will be available for residents of that neighborhood to checkout. During cleanups volunteers borrow tools from the TLC and work on homes whose residents are elderly, disabled, etc. Round Rock’s TLC was the first of its kind in the State of Texas. To date over 3,400 tools have been checked out and 4,500 volunteers have contributed 18,000 hours of volunteer service with the TLC.
  • The Neighborhood Movie Chest is available to Neighborhoods and HOAs that are organizing a community movie night. In today’s digital world, opportunities for neighbors to interact and get to know one another are becoming few and far between. The neighborhood movie kit allows neighborhoods to host a fun, easy event to bring neighbors together. The secret to the program is not the movie itself, but rather the opportunity to encourage neighborhoods to have ancillary events with the movie night designed to get residents to interact with one another. Neighborhoods can do a pot-luck dinner, or pot-luck desert, ice-cream social, beer or wine tasting and even a BBQ competition.
  • The Curb Painting Program was initiated to improve safety in Round Rock neighborhoods by making sure that the Fire Department, EMS, and Police can quickly locate homes in an emergency. Neighborhood volunteers can borrow the all-inclusive kit at no cost to begin painting addresses within their neighborhood. Keep Neighborhood Watch teams active and engaged with this easy to maintain program.
  • Round Rock UniverCity is a 10-week program designed to engage and educate residents on the operations of the City.  UniverCity participants get to experience firsthand the work it takes to run a city department. Each City department hosts a presentation, tour or break out session each week, and provide valuable information about day to day operations of the City and future projects. Residents will receive an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into City operations within each of its departments.
  • The Lawn Care Foster Program is designed to supply neighborhood leaders with lawn maintenance equipment that their neighbors can borrow in the event of code enforcement violations. The City supplies a lawn mower, weed edger and safety equipment to a neighborhood leader who then becomes the “foster” of the equipment and lends it to neighbors in need who receive a code violation for tall grass. The City supplies a resource for the resident, alleviates a code case quicker and helps to provide a resource to keep neighborhood organizations active for a minimal investment.
  • The Fence Staining Kit — Staining and sealing a wood fence can protect the beauty and value of homes. Even if a fence is weathered and covered by gray oxidation and mold, it can be restored it to its original finish and then stained and seal it, making it look beautiful for years to come. The average cost to clean and stain can be between $800 and $1,000. Residents can borrow a pressure washer and professional grade paint sprayer at no cost from the City to clean and stain their own fence. Homes along major traffic corridors are eligible for rebates.
  • Block Party Trailer — Block Parties are a great way to meet neighbors.  They provide a casual relaxed setting where residents can meet, play, eat, and hopefully, find similarities that bring them closer together.  With a little effort a neighborhood of strangers can be transformed into a connected community of families that care for each other and the overall health and vibrancy of their neighborhood.
By working together, we’re creating a welcome mat not just for our homes, but for our entire community.

Shop the Rock to give back to your community

Improve your community by shopping the Rock this holiday season! By choosing to spend your money at businesses in Round Rock, you help build our community through sales tax.

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:

  • 1 percent funds basic local government services like police, fire protection, parks and the library
  • .5 percent helps reduce property taxes
  • .5 percent funds economic development, primarily construction of major transportation improvements

The half-cent economic development portion of sales tax has allowed the City to leverage $293 million into $535 million worth of projects since it was approved by voters in 1997.

Whether you’re shopping, dining or running errands, be sure to keep it local. Your city will thank you!