ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock city council approved the first reading of its proposed budget and is set to retain one of the lowest property tax rates in all of Central Texas. The budget puts an emphasis on traffic, water, and public safety as the city continues to grow.

Sara Bustilloz, the city’s communication director, said traffic is the main priority for Round Rock residents. The city is investing more than $100 million on road improvements to help with traffic.

More than 50% of the city’s general fund is going toward public safety. The city will hire six new firefighters this year and will finish the construction of Fire Station No. 1. The station, and two future stations, were approved by Round Rock voters during a bond election in May.

“As we continue to grow to the north, we know we are going to need more fire stations to the north,” Bustilloz explained.

The city does not have a specific location for its next two fire stations, but are looking at areas in northeast because that is where the city is growing the most. City leaders will try to find the best spot to make sure response times are low throughout the city.

Priority on water

The city is proposing $78.5 million on water and wastewater system upgrades for the next fiscal year. The system improvements and expansion at the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater plant are expected to be completed in this next year.

Part of the funding will go toward an on-going project in Lake Travis to install a deep water intake device. This will increase Round Rock’s water capacity by 40 million gallons per day, which is more than the whole city drinks in a day now, according to Bustilloz.

“With all the news going on right now with the drought, it’s so important to us to make sure that we have more capacity than we need as the city continues to grow,” Bustilloz explained.

A low tax rate

Even with the passing of the biggest bond in the city’s history back in May, residents will still have one of the lowest tax rates in central Texas. The rate is proposed to be at $0.342 for every $100 of property valuation.

The average homeowner in Round Rock is projected to spend $1,243 on their yearly tax bill.

This year’s tax rate is 2.6 cents higher than last year.

You can view the city’s budget on its website.