(ROCKWALL, TX – Dec. 29, 2015) The City of Rockwall celebrated its 161st birthday in 2015. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that our citizens have preserved our history while continuing to invest in the future.
When I became Mayor in December 2014, my goal was to continue attracting high quality residential development; improving roadways, parks and recreation programs; and providing our public safety departments with the equipment and programs they need to keep Rockwall citizens safe without increasing the burden to the taxpayer.
The Rockwall City Council adopted a fiscal year 2015-2016 budget based on a tax rate of 48.53 cents per $100 valuation, a decrease from the rate of 49.55 that property owners paid the previous year. The budget addresses: $260,000 for Police Department vehicles; a new 911 Dispatcher for Police / Fire; a Police Explorer Program that will mentor our youth and young adults interested in a career in law enforcement; $1.2 million for park development, trail improvements, and playground equipment; and $1,000,000 for street maintenance and repairs and $400,000 for street maintenance equipment. The City continues to benefit by having a combination paid / volunteer fire department. The Rockwall Fire Department is made up of 23 full-time firefighters and 33 volunteers, 12 that are full-time paid firefighters in neighboring cities. A total of $3,345,300 is funded for Fire Department operations to protect the lives and property of our community. If you are interested in applying to be a volunteer firefighter, please contact the Rockwall Fire Department at 972-771-7770. No prior firefighting experience is necessary.
Registration for the Rockwall Baseball & Softball League was at an all-time high with 1,715 participants in the City’s youth baseball and softball program. Improvements to Phelps Lake were completed this summer. Yellowjacket Park was redeveloped as an all-inclusive, barrier free recreational area that offers amenities designed for those with and without disabilities and special needs. The City received $800,000 in grant funds from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department that will contribute to the construction of The Park at Breezy Hill and The Park at Stone Creek. Fees and park land dedication from the developer of these two neighborhoods will fund the remaining portion of the construction.
Downtown Rockwall has become a destination for residents and visitors even while the City continues to renovate this area. The $8.625 million bond project approved by Rockwall voters will make Downtown Rockwall more visitor and pedestrian friendly. It will help existing businesses thrive while attracting new investment in dining, shopping, and professional service opportunities. The project is expected to be completed this winter.There were 80 separate events in Downtown Rockwall in 2015.
Rockwall is the Live Music Capitol of North Texas. The City offered more than 100 live music events in 2015. The San Jacinto Plaza Music Series was new this year and will continue next year. The Concerts by the Lake Series was another successful program offered by the City as well. Admission is free to all City sponsored music events.
The City continued to attract new residential and commercial growth in 2015. The City issued 350 single family home permits for an estimated $83 million in residential construction value, and 16 commercial permits for an estimated construction value of $25 million.
The City of Rockwall is positioned for continued success. Through its conservative fiscal policy, the City Council has provided the foundation for future growth and economic stability. Our beautiful City already offers a wide variety of entertainment, historical, cultural, and social opportunities, but there is more to come.
We enjoy a great volunteer base, but there is still room for you! I encourage each citizen to get involved with one of the many volunteer opportunities within the City. If you are interested, come by City Hall and get an application or apply online at www.rockwall.com/boards/ index.asp
I am so proud to serve you as Mayor of this dynamic growing community. The council remains committed to improved roadways and public safety, and it will continue to stay focused on fiscal responsibility. While growing, Rockwall remains a safe place to live, work, and play. I have open office hours each Monday from Noon to 4 P.M. at Rockwall City Hall, 385 S. Goliad Street (south of the Downtown Square). My goal is to make sure every citizen has access to the City of Rockwall. Giving the residents a central location to meet one on one lets them know that their concerns are important and this gives them an opportunity to talk about matters important to them and their families. If you need to meet another day or another time, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will individually schedule a more convenient time.
I look forward to working with each of you to continue making Rockwall the great place that it is in 2016.
Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt
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