We usually don’t think about budgets telling a story, but they do. And the City of Round Rock’s proposed fiscal year 2020 budget tells the story of an organization focused on the future.
Of course, the budget will fund the daily activities needed to successfully run our city — with a population of 116,120 and growing — from October 2019 to September 2020. But the FY20 budget is particularly shaped by the City Council’s strategic priorities, which include ensuring we have infrastructure in place to effectively manage our growth.
In addition to infrastructure, those priorities include maintaining a family-friendly community that’s safe, with high value services and great neighborhoods, and that draws visitors through our tourism program and an authentic Downtown.
The proposed $444.7 million budget includes $214 million for capital projects like roads and utility infrastructure, $125 million for daily expenses – including 11 new employees – and $106 million for utility and drainage operations and our sports tourism program and facilities. The City Council is scheduled to make its final budget vote on Sept. 12.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s budget:
- Total capital spending for transportation is proposed to be $69.3 million
- Annual funding for neighborhood street maintenance of $4.3 million. The City has invested $12.5 million in street maintenance projects recently completed or currently in progress
- McNeil (East Bagdad) Extension will extend McNeil Road east to Georgetown Street in Downtown
- Significant engineering and staff work to prepare for a five-year, $240 million transportation improvement program – including Kenney Fort Boulevard, Gattis School Road, Red Bud Lane and University Boulevard
- Construction of a new Fire Station No. 3, needed to improve response times in south Round Rock, estimated to be completed in November 2020
- A new truck for the Fire Department’s fleet
- Hiring an additional Fire Code Inspector to help the Fire Prevention division keep up with the City’s commercial and residential growth
- Two additional police officers and two additional victims’ assistants to support efforts to keep Round Rock one of safest cities in nation, along with an additional assistant for public safety vehicle maintenance
- Continued work on the expansion of our trail system – including the Brushy Creek, Heritage and Lake Creek trails – funded by bonds approved by voters in 2013
- Design of our new library facility to be built in Downtown, just north of its existing location
- Construction of Behrens Ranch Park and updates to Mesa Village Park and Bradford Park
- Downtown parklets, landscaping, lighting and sidewalk improvements to make our one-of-a-kind historic district more accessible and inviting for dining, shopping and socializing
- Rehabilitation and new lighting solutions for the historic Downtown water tower, which will make one of the City’s most iconic landmarks look amazing year-round
- Transportation and utility infrastructure improvements for the northeast part of downtown, including planning and design of a future parking garage
The General Fund, which pays for core services like Police, Fire, Library, Transportation and Parks, is funded through sales taxes, property taxes and other fees and services. The charts below show where the money comes from for the General Fund, and where it is spent.
That’s it for Chapter 1 of the budget story. In future FY20 budget blog posts, we’ll dig deeper into transportation funding and the tax rate proposal. We hope you’ll follow along, as we tell the story of a city focused on delivering needed services in a fiscally responsible way with a sharp eye on the future.