The Round Rock City Council unanimously approved an amendment restoring $5.3 million in budget and cost cuts made to four city departments and other projects due to economic concerns around COVID-19.

When creating a budget for 2021, the city reduced available funds to departments such as parks and recreation, police, and transportation in anticipation of low sales tax revenue and other pandemic-related funding issues.

The amendment approved May 27 includes $871,000 in sales tax and $5.3 million in general fund monies. The additional sales tax covers the restored budgets, while the $5.3 million is going to one-time projects which the city didn’t fund the previous year. Round Rock Chief Financial Officer Susan Morgan said the $5.3 million was additional funds not spent during the 2019 fiscal year.

“In fiscal year 2020, we did the two things you need to do: Cut your operating costs, and reserve your cash,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Morgan said at the Council packet meeting May 25. “We did that again for [2021]—cut our operating costs and reserved our cash. The economy’s now strong, we’re wide open, so we need to adjust our department budgets and let them run at full speed."

Morgan said the 2020-21 operating budget had been reduced by $5.4 million. These restorations will increase the amount of funds available to some departments, but are not a complete one-to-one restoration of the previous budget. The amendment is applicable to the 2021 budget year, which the city is currently in, and the total budget amounts will be rolled into the 2022 budget, Morgan said.

Notable one-time expenditures funded by this amendment include $2 million for the city’s Kinningham House project, and $1,728,000 would remain in the general self finance construction fund balance.