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$123M Round Rock bond to benefit libraries, fire department

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TWC News: $123M Round Rock bond to benefit libraries, fire department
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Round Rock city officials are hoping voters will approve a $123 million bond package on Election Day to fund public libraries and fire houses.

For Round Rock resident Amy Nasset, regular trips to the library are part of her routine.

"I've been coming to the library my whole life," she said. "We grew up on Main Street, and now I get to bring my babies here."

Round Rock Library Director Michelle Cervantes says they see about 300,000 visitors annually. While the number of people grows, the size of the only public library stayed the same.

"Everybody would benefit to have another location just more room,” Nasset said. “Spread it out a little bit so it's not so crowded."

The bond issue up for vote in November is the biggest in the city’s history. Some of the money would help expand this library and build a second library in Round Rock.

"We're just growing with Round Rock. It's not just about shelving and books,” Cervantes said. “It's about space for activities."

The rest of the money would help expand the city's fire department. The package would fund three more fire stations in Round Rock.

Officials say the extra stations would help reduce the fire fighters response time to emergencies.

"The overall goal of the bond package, and certainly the ones that affect the fire department, are to improve our response to our citizens, and to continue to make Round Rock a safe community," Chief David Coatney with the Round Rock Fire Department said.

The money would also renovate and modernize some fire stations to serve female firefighters.

"Stations have to be designed a certain way to accommodate multi-gender fire fighters in the station," Coatney said.

While the price may be high, people already see the benefits.

"I definitely approve of making more room and this is just one of the many things that we appreciate,” Nasset said. “They do so much for the community, and so if they're going to do even more, of course we going to appreciate anything."

If the bond issue passes, officials say residents will pay $132 more per year.

Early voting for the bond package has already started. Election Day is Nov. 5.

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