The city of Round Rock began work this week to install seven new bus shelters along public transit routes throughout the city as a result of city-obtained federal grant funding.

The backstory

The city’s community development office provides services for residents and neighborhoods to improve quality of life. The department is able to fund some of those projects through its participation in the Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program.

In previous years, Round Rock has used the annual CDBG grant funds to provide housing programs, infrastructure, parks, workforce opportunities and other public services that assist low- and moderate-income residents, according to city documents.

Recent community development projects include:
  • New sidewalk construction on East Austin Avenue, in the Greenhill Subdivision and in the Chisholm Valley Neighborhood
  • An Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground and shade structure for the domestic violence shelter
  • Home rehabilitation for low-income residents
  • Funding for local programs, such as Court Appointed Special Advocates, Round Rock Area Serving Center, Meals on Wheels and the Sacred Heart Community Clinic, to continue providing public services

A portion of CDBG funds are used for other nonprofit social service organizations and are subject to an application process, according to the community development department.

Looking ahead

The city’s CDBG 2023 annual action plan, which covers the period from October 2023-September 2024, details how the city intends to spend the grant money over the next year.

Of the $629,258 awarded to the city, 20% will be allocated for administration and program oversight, and 15% will be for public service programs.

The remaining 65% of the 2023 CDBG funds will be spent on proposed improvement projects, totaling $409,019. The city also retains $97,072 from previous-year projects that had remaining balances.

The following projects have been identified for fiscal year 2023-24:
  • Community and Neighborhood Services Home Repair Program
  • The Parks Department Bowman Park
  • Phase II of Chisholm Valley Sidewalks

Any remaining funding will be used for minor home repairs—up to $25,000 per home—or other approved projects, according to the department documents.

Officials from the Round Rock Community Development Office are set to present their end-of-year report at the next council meeting Dec. 7.

Additionally, in February, the community development office will perform community outreach and hold public hearings to assess the most pressing needs of the community.

Read more about qualifying projects on the Department of Housing and Urban Development website.