City facilities begin phased reopening
In conjunction with Phase II of Gov. Abbott’s plan to Open Texas, the City of Round Rock began to reopen some of its offices and facilities on Monday, May 18.

The reopened buildings have signs reminding visitors to follow social distancing and hygiene protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. The reopenings will follow the health protocols for employers and employees provided by the State of Texas.

Wilco offers COVID-19 asymptomatic testing
Beginning Wednesday, May 13, Williamson County and Family Emergency Room started allowing individuals who wish to be tested for COVID-19, but are not experiencing symptoms, to be tested.

Family Emergency Room is conducting COVID-19 tests by appointment free of charge at its facilities in Round Rock and Cedar Park.

Spring Clean Up bulk item pickup scheduled for June
Do away with old furniture or other bulk items without the hassle and expense of hauling it off. It’s easy and it’s free. Simply place acceptable bulk items neatly at the curb by 7 a.m. on your scheduled Spring Clean Up Collection Day. The program, which was delayed to June this year due to COVID-19, is free for City of Round Rock utilities customers.

Lawn and Garden Tax Holiday
Save money on products to help you reduce your water use at your home or business. This Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25, consumers can purchase water saving items without paying sales tax. These items can include any plant product, any product with a WaterSense label, mulch, rainwater collection systems and more.

New Library to feature outdoor spaces, expanded space and 300-stall parking garage
The City of Round Rock unveiled the design for its new public library at the City Council meeting on Thursday, May 14.

The new building, which was designed by PGAL, Inc., is expected to be approximately 65,000 square feet and three stories, with an adjacent 300-stall parking garage. With additional space, the library will expand its core services to children, teens and adults, as well as technology and more types of meeting spaces and program rooms.

The new library will feature an area for quiet work/study on the third floor, classrooms on the first floor, outdoor spaces on each level, study rooms on the second and third floors, technology areas, dedicated children’s story time rooms, early learning areas, space for activities and crafts, space for collaboration and flexible spaces for programs and collections.

Outdoor areas are an integral feature of the new design. A public courtyard on the first level features a flexible artificial turf lawn with lounge furniture, outdoor tables, chairs and benches for visitors to enjoy year-round. Festive lighting will be strung between the library and garage, adding to the feeling of a vibrant and accessible space that will be equally beautiful in the evenings. The rooftop will feature a discovery garden that features masonry tiles, modular sustainably harvested wood decking modules, rubberized play surface tiles and artificial turf featuring a labyrinth patterning of grasses. The rooftop garden will be used for scheduled programs, passive activities and community events. A screen on the parking garage will accommodate movie nights or community gatherings.

Mayor: In COVID-19, our city finds the helpers
You may be preparing for a return to working in person, reopening a business, ordering masks before leaving your home or planning a visit to see family or friends for the first time in a while. Even as we move forward, many in our community continue to face hardships caused by COVID-19. As Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan discusses in his most recent monthly column, several organizations and groups have come together to help those in need.

Gov. Abbott announces Phase II of Open Texas
On Monday, May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the second phase of the State of Texas' ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50 percent and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

City passes budget amendment
Round Rock City Council Members passed an amendment at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 14, making cuts to the current fiscal year’s budget.

Sales tax, hotel/motel occupancy tax and other revenues are expected to take a significant hit this year due to the actions taken by local and state officials to limit interaction among people to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

County launches Wilco Forward program
Williamson County has launched a program called Wilco Forward, which aims to provide grants for local business owners who have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commissioners Court unanimously voted to allocate $25 million, from the more than $93 million CARES Act funds it received, to launch the grant program. Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and sole proprietors can receive up to $30,000. The deadline for applications for Phase 1 is June 30.

Summer Reading Challenge

The Round Rock Public Library invites readers of all ages to participate in the Community Reading Challenge, June 1 through August 1.
Read and complete community-building missions to unlock donations from Friends of the Round Rock Public Library to two local service organizations: the Round Rock Area Serving Center and the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. Visit roundrocktexas.gov/summerreading to sign up for a reminder to register and learn more.

Upcoming board, commission meetings

Thursday, May 28, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 3, 6 p.m.

Thursday, June 11, 6 p.m.