Round Rock gives first OK to reduce downtown bar count

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The Round Rock City Council on Thursday passed an ordinance to reduce the number of downtown bars from 12 until 11

Reducing bars would encourage a greater diversity of downtown businesses, Brad Wiseman, director of planning and development services, said. said during a June 7 briefing meeting.

According to city documents, there are currently 11 downtown bars, two of which are in the same location.

The council on Thursday voted unanimously to amend the Urban Development Act, Councilor Michelle Ly abstained as she owns three downtown businesses.

The regulation defines a bar as an establishment that “sells alcoholic beverages for consumption on-site, does not have a commercial kitchen and does not meet the definition of a restaurant/bar”. Facilities with a frontage of 100 feet or more count as two bars, Wiseman said.

New SWAT robot

City officials also approved a $67,004 purchase of a new SWAT robot for the police department.

SWAT robots are deployed to assist law enforcement in critical incidents, including when a suspect who may be armed is inside a building. It will also allow to have officers righttime Video.

(The robot) protects the officers, it protects the citizens,” said Police Commissioner Allen Banks.

The purchase of the robot will be paid for by the city’s law enforcement fund. In this case, the robot has a two-year guarantee of failures.

The city’s SWAT robot has been out of service for the past two years and the department has had to borrow the SWAT robot from Cedar Park police when needed, Allen said during a June 7 package briefing.

“I am very supportive of this (purchase),” Mayor Craig Morgan said Thursday.

$1 million for mental health

The council also approved the request for a million dollars Federal grant to fund the city’s Crisis Response Unit, which focuses on responding to behavioral health issues.

The funds would be used for the team’s payroll, public education and training, Fire Chief Shane Glaiser said during a package briefing June 7.

The team would submit the application to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency. The grant must be used within one year of being awarded.

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