Round Rock sees sales tax revenue bounce back, restores previous budget cuts from pandemic

Williamson County

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Round Rock reports it’s coming out of the pandemic in a strong financial position with higher than expected sales tax revenues.

City officials restored some funding to departments struggling with budget cuts, which includes the city’s public library.

10-year-old Pablo roamed the Round Rock Public Library aisles Wednesday searching for his favorite novels.

“It’s fun to imagine everything in your head, but with chapter books it’s fun to see what things look like,” Pablo said. “If you don’t know what the characters look like, then you could have imagined something completely different.”

Tim to the Rescue is featured at the Round Rock Public Library. Photo: Kaitlyn Karmout/KXAN

During the summer months, Pablo’s summer camp takes him to the public library twice a week. Since kids just finished school, the library is seeing a lot of young faces.

“We can tell we’re going to be busier this summer,” library director Michelle Cervantes said.

Cervantes and her team just recently added more books to the shelves for kids, like Pablo. They’re also grateful to have more money to.

The library had to cut $25,000 from its budget amid the city’s uncertainty about the long-term revenue losses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We went through and cut some of the other things like advertising, travel and training,” Cervantes said. “That way we wouldn’t have to reduce out book budget.”

The city’s parks and recreation, police and transportation department all took a hit as well. With more shoppers showing up, the City is injecting an extra $5.3 million. That will restore those four departments that lost funding and allow the library to start a new $40,000 homebound delivery service called Bookmobile.

This will provide delivery of library services to citizens not able to access the library facilities. 

A total of $871,000 will go toward ongoing operating costs for select departments in the City’s General Fund.

The remaining $5.3 million will be transferred to the City’s General Self Finance Fund to cover one-time projects, such as reconstruction of the Kinningham House and a replacement of software and equipment for various departments.

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