Round Rock stands out among cities
City of Round Rock employees are dedicated to providing the best service to our citizens. Their dedication can be seen in the many honors and awards the City has received in the last several years.
Parks and Recreation wins National Gold Medal Award
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded the 2013 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in the Class II (population 100,001 – 250,000) category. The NRPA Gold Medal Award is the highest national honor in the park and recreation industry. The award was announced today at the NRPA Congress and Exposition National Convention opening general session in Houston.
“We’ve felt for years that Round Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department is one of the best in the business, and it is an important element of what makes us such a special community,” Mayor Alan McGraw said. “This award not only recognizes that the management of our system is the best in the nation, but it also recognizes our citizens’ involvement and investment in our quality parks system.”
Austin-Round Rock area ranks in top 10 for volunteers in 2012
The Corporation for National and Community Service found that the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area ranked 9th among the 51 largest cities in the country for its volunteer rate of 31.7 percent. The research for 2012 shows that Round Rock citizens are investing their time to address their community's challenges.
TMUA Outstanding Municipal Utility Award
In January 2012, the Texas Municipal Utility Association (TMUA) presented the City of Round Rock with its Outstanding Municipal Utility Award at the TMUA Annual Conference. This award honors municipal utility systems that are leaders in the industry. Round Rock was selected as a recipient of the TMUA Outstanding Municipal Utility Award because of two projects that developed innovative solutions within the City’s utility: the pre-chlorinated pipe busting project and the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority.
Municipal Excellence Awards
The City of Round Rock has won the following Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Awards.
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.
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.
The City of Round Rock has received multiple awards for its communications and marketing efforts from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA), the Texas Association of Information Officers (TAMIO) and the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (TATOA).
Round Rock won first place honors for the City’s web site, roundrocktexas.gov, its video newsmagazine, City Focus, and a marketing brochure, Game On!, produced by the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau from TAMIO in June 2009.
Earning third place awards at TAMIO were the City’s employee newsletter, Rock Beats, and a video produced to communicate issues related to the proposed 2009 budget.
Round Rock won the 3CMA Savvy Award for first place in the promotional video category for its 2007 Summer Reading Program video, “Sail Away with Books!”
Round Rock won two Silver Circle Awards for second place, one for the City’s web site, roundrocktexas.gov, and one for a public service announcement by our Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. The CVB also won an Award of Excellence for third place for another in its “Be a Fan” series of PSAs. This is the second year in row our web site has placed second in this national competition.
The City’s “Budget Video” won for special or one-time programming at the TAMI Awards from TAMIO. The award for the budget video marks the third consecutive year it has won first place in its category.
The Round Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau took first and second place in the Cable Public Service Announcement (population 95,000-under) for two of its “Be a Fan” PSAs. Round Rock also won first place in this category last year with its electronic recycling PSA.
Rock Beats, the City’s employee newsletter, placed third in the Print Internal Newsletter category (all populations) and Round Rock News, the City’s e-newsletter, placed third for Electronic Newsletter.
The Round Rock Public Library’s Summer Reading Video, “Sail Away with Books,” won first place for Special Audience Programming in the 2008 TATOA Programming Awards.
The City’s web site won the Silver Circle Award from 3CMA.
The “Top 10 Events of 2006” took home third place in the 2007 TATOA Programming Awards.
The City’s “Budget Video” won for special or one-time programming at the TAMI Awards for TAMIO. Round Rock News won for electronic newsletter and an electronic recycling PSA won the public service announcement category. The “Top 10 Events of 2006” was a finalist for special or one-time programming as well.
Round Rock honored 2010 Mentor of the Year
C.D. Fulkes Middle School has named the City of Round Rock as its 2010 Mentor of the Year. The City has nine outstanding men and women who consistently encourage and support their "mentees." They were honored at the school’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on April 16.
Budget earns distinguished honor
The 2008-2009 Budget Book was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award with Special Performance Measure Recognition in May 2009 by the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA). This national organization sets the standards for government budget publications. The City traditionally receives the Distinguished Budget Award but this is only the second time in recent years that it has received special recognition.