Base Rates• Water Base (5/8” meter) = $28.00• Sewer Base = $19.79• Drainage = $5.50• Trash Base (1 Trash/1 Recycle) = $17.00• Tax on Standard Trash Service = $1.65• Maintenance Fee Pavement = $3.00
Consumption RatesWater• 0 – 3,000 = $4.35 per 1,000 gallons• 3,000 – 15,000 = $5.44 per 1,000 gallons• 15,000 and Above= $6.80 per 1,000 gallons• (Commercial Rate) = $5.44 per 1,000 gallons (1 tier only)
Sewer• $4.87 per 1,000 gallons (Residential Capped at 10,000 gallons)
2. How is my water bill actually calculated?The City of Rowlett has over 19,000 accounts with each account having one or more water meters. Each water meter is electronically read once every 30 days. That reading is uploaded into the billing system, and the account is charged based on the amount of usage.
3. Are sewer charges calculated the same as water?Not exactly. Sewage is not metered at the property; therefore, the City uses the amount of water usage measured by the water meter to calculate sewer charges. However, for residential customers, the City has a cap of 10,000 gallons. Therefore, if a customer uses less than 10,000 gallons of water, the City would use the actual amount of water usage to calculate the sewer volume charges. If a customer used a higher amount, they are only charged 10,000 gallons for sewer.
4. Why is my water bill so high?We have heard two main questions/statements from numerous customers - that their bill has never been this high and/or that they have never used this much water. The answer is complicated because every customer has different personal habits and some have irrigation systems or swimming pools while others do not.
• My bill has never been this high. For many customers this is a true statement. Over the past seven years, Rowlett has increased the water and sewer charges by an average of 5.5% each year (based on 10,000 gallons of usage) to pass on increases from North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) for water purchases and the City of Garland for sewer treatment.
• My usage has never been this high. For most customers, this is not accurate. Customers can check their historical usage on both the AMI and Citizen Self Service Portals. Customers can also contact the Utility Billing office to discuss their past usage patterns.
5. Does the City of Rowlett use “estimates” in billing?The City reads each customers’ water meter every month to obtain actual usage. The only time “estimates” may be used are in situations when the customers’ water meter is pulled and tested or even rarer times when a resolution to an issue cannot be resolved during the billing period. Otherwise, we do not estimate bills.
6. What is the “pavement fee” that appears on my utility bill each month?The pavement fee assessed each month on the utility bill is for providing a funding source for pavement maintenance to alleys and streets each year. Approximately $750k is generated each year for pavement maintenance. The fee was included in the refuse collection fee previously but to improve transparency, the fee was recently broken out so customers can view what amount is assessed each month.
7. What Is AMI?New water meter reading system, AMI-Flexnet, is now online...giving water customers (YOU!) the ability to access and track water consumption online. In fact, the system reads every hour so you can get real-time usage information. Simply create an account at www.rowlett.com/AMI, set up your alerts and start tracking your daily usage. Armed with this information, customers can spot and repair potential leaks before they result in a higher bill!
Realizing that we all have to work together to reduce water use, improve the reliability and sustainability of our water system and minimize costs, over the past year the City replaced ALL of the radio antennas for this important upgrade to the water meter reading system. In fact, approximately 18,000 meter radio antennas were installed! These new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) antennas transmit water consumption data directly to the City’s Utility Billing Department, thereby eliminating the need for staff to drive by each home and business to acquire the meter readings.
8. Why doesn’t the AMI record usage when I take a shower?The AMI system registers usage in 100 gallon increments. Common household tasks alone are not enough to register while occurring: • Shower (17-32 gal); • Washing dishes by hand (8-27 gal); • Dishwasher (6-16 gal);• Washing load of clothes (25-40 gal)
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NTMWD rate increases ensure reliable, uninterrupted water delivery now and in the future by maintaining NTMWD’s existing system and funding future expansions.
2. What is "Take or Pay"?Rowlett is a “Customer” City of the North Texas Municipal Water District (as opposed to one of the 13 “Member” Cities). Like many such wholesalers, the District has a “take-or-pay” provision in the contract that requires the annual purchase of a minimum amount of water based on the highest annual usage. For Rowlett, this amount is 3.2 billion gallons, which was set after the drought of 2006. Over the past 13 years, Rowlett has paid $9.9 million for water it did not sell under the “take-or-pay” agreement with NTMWD.• Requires annual purchase of a minimum amount of water (3.2 billion gal) based on highest annual usage (set back in 2006/2007)• Actual water delivered to Rowlett customers was less than 2 billion gal FY17. • City has to pay for the minimum 3.2 bil gal whether it is sold to customers or not = drives up customer cost• Expanded customer base will drive reduce effect of "take or pay" Current NTMWD Capital Projects
The City of Rowlett, like many other municipalities, provide economic development incentives to promote development in their communities. Attracting businesses or development, keeping them, or getting them to expand operations often involves a request for some sort of incentive. While this may appear to be corporate welfare to some, cities are motivated to provide such incentives to ensure higher quality growth, diversify their tax base, bring in jobs, and/or provide amenities that may not currently exist. Every city competes with other cities to attract businesses or development – every city! Sometime, cities even compete with each other for the same deal. The challenge is attracting development that provides a benefit to the community, or else why would a city provide a financial incentive? Each project has to be viable and make economic sense.
2. Why doesn't Rowlett have an Economic Development Corporation?These incentive deals are often very complex. But, not every city has the same tools in their toolbox. For example, some cities have economic development corporations that are funded by a portion of the sales tax. These cities, referred to as 4A/4B cities, utilize a portion of the second of the two cent sales tax rate that cities are allowed under the State of Texas.
Rowlett doesn’t have a second cent on the tax rate. Instead, Rowlett is a founding member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system. When Rowlett voters elected to become such a member in 1983, the City had to give up the ability to levy one of the two cent sales tax cities are allowed under the State of Texas. This means that cities like Rowlett do not have access to cash for economic development and must use other tools that are available. These include property tax rebates, waiver of roadway/water/sewer impact fees, land grants, and public/private partnerships, some of which are available under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code. The incentives granted by the City typically require performance agreements and “claw back” provisions, should the business or developer not meet the criteria.
3. What kind of projects are awarded incentives?There is an old adage in business that you have to spend money to make money. That is very true in economic development. Without providing economic development incentives, the City would be unable to attract the kind of high quality businesses and development our community wants to see in Rowlett. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.
Here are two examples, one that did not make sense and one that did.• In 2012, the City turned down a deal to bring in a Kroger’s grocery store. In order to make the deal, Kroger wanted ten years’ worth of tax rebates and a land contribution from Rowlett which was worth considering. However, Kroger also asked for a $1.8 million cash contribution which Rowlett did not have at that time. That was untenable and not economically viable. The City did not approve the deal.
• In 2014, the City approved the Terra Lago deal with no cash upfront. Instead, the City agreed to rebate 57% of the annual property taxes collected for ten years. At the time the incentive was approved, the City was collecting $4,855 annually. Once built, Rowlett will collect $160,642 per year for the next ten years or 33 times the amount of taxes it was collecting!
Please view the Policy Statement on Economic Development Incentives (link below) available on the Economic Development website, www.rowlettonthemove.com.
Policy Statement on Economic Development Incentive
1. Why isn’t my street/alley fixed? How do I find out where my street/alley ranks?The City assesses and rates each street and alley every four years. You can contact the Public Works Department at 972-412-6287 to see where your street and alley ranks. Or you can visit the link below to view the street ranking and top worst 50 alleys.
2. My street was included in the 2015 bond election. Why isn’t it completed?The City is working diligently to deliver the 2015 Bond Program. The goal is to begin all street projects by the Spring of 2018. Updates to the CIP Bond Program can be accessed at www.rowlett.com/CIPinfo. Street Ranking and Top 50 Worst Alleys
2. My street was included in the 2015 bond election. Why isn’t it completed?The City is working diligently to deliver the 2015 Bond Program. The goal is to begin all street projects by the Spring of 2018. Updates to the CIP Bond Program can be accessed at www.rowlett.com/CIPinfo. 2015 CIP Bond Projects Status
The above strategic guiding principles identified distinctive growth areas (Downtown, Bayside, Healthy Living, Signature Gateway, North Shore and Woodside Living) that are now seeing a tremendous amount of private investment including the diversification of Rowlett’s housing options to include multi-family units (apartments, townhomes, senior living, condos, etc.). The market (not just in Rowlett, but all of DFW) has recognized the need for housing options and development that creates a distinctive character and lasting value so Rowlett has been successful in attracting projects like the Village of Rowlett, Terra Lago, Evergreen @ Rowlett, Harmony and The Mansions at Bayside.
1. Will the Rowlett market support this number of apartment communities?Relative to the number of apartments, the City engaged a market study as part of RR2020 and North Shore to analyze the potential market for land uses including multifamily units and said study indicated that the Rowlett trade area has a 20 year potential market demand of nearly 15,000 units, to date approximately 3,000 units have been proposed to be constructed in Rowlett. (http://tx-rowlett.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/8543).
2. How are we going to address all of the traffic problems from so many apartments?As part of each development, a traffic impact analysis is required to be performed at the time the development is proposed. This analysis informs the city on traffic impacts from the development and identifies areas of concern, and allows the city to make the determination on improvements to existing infrastructure that the developer would be responsible to install. For example, the signals along SH 66 will be retimed to efficiently handle the traffic along the side streets, including the increased traffic on Scenic due to the Terra Lago development. In addition, the City imposes a traffic impact fee for all development within Rowlett (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). Those impact fees are used to help fund projects that are identified on the City’s Master Thoroughfare Plan.
3. Are the schools ready for the influx in students from all this growth?The City works closely with both Independent School Districts (ISD’s) and they are regularly briefed on and involved in their own tracking of development as it occurs. On a regular basis, the ISD’s plan for growth and continuously make preparations as development occurs with their districts.
4. Is our police department able to handle the influx in crime from all this growth?As the City grows the police department will be adding additional police personnel to the department to keep up with the needs of the City. Evaluations for additional manpower is determined on number of calls for service, response times, call holding, are just a few indicators for the need of additional personnel.
This investment and the Realize Rowlett 2020 plan are key reasons downtown development has progressed. Bankhead Brewing is a great example of the type of new business that located in our downtown simply because of this plan! The Library will makes its home at the Village, and more restaurants and retail establishments will also be locating downtown as well, providing different and unique choices for dining and shopping. Many of the same features downtown (i.e. street lights, trees and sidewalks) will be carried through into the surrounding neighborhoods as well, creating a synergistic flow to our Village.
The DFW area is growing at a rapid pace, so it was imperative the City properly planned, attracting the best type of development to bring real value to our downtown. The Village project/concept was a result of many years of planning, much citizen input and finding the right developer to carry out the vision! In fact, the goal was to find a developer willing to match what was downtown and help to create the downtown our citizens have long desired. And the sign brings "identity" and character to the area (like the water tower and clock tower), and adds a flavor of nostalgia to the buildings!
The Village features live/work units. Simply put, the first floor units are designed so small businesses can occupy them and not pay commercial rents, simply put that means they’re affordable. So, if you were an accountant, attorney, therapist, or just a very small office with a few employees you can rent one of these offices essentially giving your business a "Main Street address" and not pay commercial rates. Then add accessibility to the DART rail, which will help bring clients/customers into the downtown area!
2. How will the Village of Rowlett affect downtown parking?The Village of Rowlett is just one many planned developments within downtown, the City is taking a strategic and global look at the entire 250+ acre downtown area. Parking management downtown is an ongoing concern that will continue to be addressed as development occurs through the city initiated Downtown Parking Management Plan. Currently, the Village of Rowlett has not only met parking requirements, but provided a surplus of 13 spaces in addition to pre-construction conditions. The Village of Rowlett is also providing publicly accessible, on street parking in the spaces along Main Street and north of Dennis St., as well as on a portion of Southridge north of the leasing building.
1. What changes will be made to I30 at Dalrock to accommodate Bayside?$350M expansion on I-30 between Bass Pro and Rockwall—adding inside shoulder to existing structure, new surface roads, new bridge structure at Dalrock interchange. Their current schedule is to bid in 2021, this will be a 24-28 month construction project. Please visit TxDot’s Project Tracker for more information. TxDOT Project Tracker
2. Can the City limit the amount of liquor stores we have in Rowlett? The City may NOT, according to State law, discriminate against or treat these businesses any differently than others wishing to locate here. The City CAN, and has, adopted the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulations regarding distance requirements related to churches, hospitals and schools. The City has also adopted an Ordinance allowing these businesses to request a variance from the distance requirement.
1. What is the senior tax freeze?The freeze sets a ceiling on the amount of actual taxes the person will ever pay to the City of Rowlett - the frozen amount is determined in the first year they obtain the senior exemption. They will never pay more than that amount, regardless of what happens to their assessed value and regardless of what happens to the tax rate. They may pay less - if the assessed value and/or the tax rate goes down.
2. What is the senior tax exemption?The $30,000 exemption means the year that a person becomes 65, they are given a $30,000 exemption off of their home's assessed value.
The exemption amount can be changed, but the tax freeze is forever.
In 2004, the City set the senior tax exemption at $67,000, the third highest rate in Dallas County. In addition, the City adopted the freeze (again the freeze can never be changed) and was one of only seven cities in Dallas County to provide the senior tax freeze.
3. How does this affect the City?For the FY2018 tax year - 10/1/17 through 9/30/18, the City will not receive $2.7 million in property taxes due to the senior tax exemption and freeze. That equates to 7 cents of the property tax rate.
Due to the senior exemption and freeze, property taxes paid to the City in 2014 were $3.4 million less than if the senior exemption and freeze were not in place. In 2014, the City had an across the board tax increase to fund city services and deferred maintenance that suffered tremendously from the great recession. The City also lowered the senior exemption amount from $67,000 to $30,000. Since the senior freeze was still in place, seniors that already had the exemption and freeze in place were not negatively impacted. And new seniors coming to that age still receive a great tax break in the year they turn 65 - the $30,000 exemption and the tax freeze.
A real focus of the City of Rowlett is to improve those existing parks first and ensure there are maintenance plans in place to keep them in excellent condition. Once this has been done, Council will prioritize what undeveloped parks are developed.
2. When will the City of Rowlett build a community dog park? Coming soon: Scentral Bark, Rowlett's first off-leash dog park! A $20,000+ donation from the Sachse Park Pals was gratefully approved and accepted at a December, 2017 City Council Meeting, and will fund this long-desired community amenity. The new dog park will be installed in Herfurth Park, will include both large and small dog areas, and....will open in early March, 2018!!!
3. Parks, Recreation and Trail Master Plan This plan, approved by the City Council in January 2018, outlines new goals and strategies for Parks and Open Space, Recreation and Trails.
4. When will you start working on Trails? The Parks, Recreation and Trail Master Plan will outline priority one, two and three trails. We will begin making the connections as soon as the plan is adopted by City Council. One of the first connections we will complete is the trail at Scenic Point Park – connecting the end of the trail behind Terra Lago to Scenic Dr.
Timeline:In 2012, Rowlett partnered with la terra studios to develop a Scenic Point Park Master Plan. In May 2012, City Council held a special work session to discuss this Master Plan. In August 2013, City Council approved this Master Plan.
In September 2013, City Council approved awarding a bid to York Bridge Concepts to construct the wooden bridge and lookout.
In 2014, the City partnered with Terra Lago to complete Phase II, which would include a grand staircase, parking and 660 linear feet of trail. Future expansion will complete the additional phases of the park.
Phase I: Master Planning, Boardwalk, Easements - Approximately $785,000 - Funded through Cash CIP - status: open
Phase II: Grand Staircase, partial trail completion - Approximately $500,000 - Funded through a partnership with Terra Lago - status: anticipated to open no later than March 31, 2018
Phase III: Trail & Trail Head, overlook, kayak/canoe launch, terraced seating, playground, nature trail, wetland, wetland bridge, pavilion, boardwalk, pier, parking, signage/branding. Status: future funding for Phase III will depend on partnerships, sponsorships or future CIP funding opportunities.
In 2017, in an effort to enhance the already popular offerings for our community’s senior citizens, the department hired a full time parks and recreation programmer and added seven new senior fitness programs. At the time, the programs were offered at no charge to gauge interest and allow everyone to try the classes. In order to remain sustainable, PARD has implemented fees for SOME senior programming at a rate of $1.25 per class (seniors are still receiving a discounted rate, Youth and Adult programming ranges from $4 to $8 per class). This will allow us to ensure we have great instructors and facilities. And, as participants are aware, there are already many senior programs for which a small fee is charged to support the sustainability goal. These include trips, luncheons, some instructional classes and some exercise programs such as Senior Stretch.
This does not mean every senior program will have a fee – for example, Bingo, Coffee and Donuts, Bridge, Texas Hold ‘Em, Senior Health Checks and Table Games will continue to be offered at no charge. Core fitness programming will still be offered at no charge – PACE, Senior Fitness Fun, SAIL and Get Energized with Jill. Due to extremely high enrollment numbers, participants will now need to pre-register for these programs though!
Going forward, fees will be assigned to senior programming based on the type of program and the expenses related to the program. This structure is outlined in the Master Fee Schedule approved by City Council. All areas of programming follow the same structure including preschool to adult programming and athletic programming.
2. When will we get a Senior Center in Rowlett?During Fiscal Year 2017 the City of Rowlett conducted a Senior Center Feasibility Study at the request of the Senior Advisory Board. It was decided the best location for a senior center facility was as an attachment to the Rowlett Community Centre. The price tag for the facility is approximately $7 million dollars. The Community Investment Advisory Board will request funding for the design of the facility as part of the 2018 CIP Bond election.
Initial funding for the project will come from the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards $250,000 grant, awarded to Keep Rowlett Beautiful in 2014 by Keep Texas Beautiful. Subsequent funding will be provided through TxDOT’s Green Ribbon program. Together, the Governor's Community Achievement Award and Green Ribbon Project will provide over $2.1 million in funding to Rowlett. No matching funds are required from the City of Rowlett with this project, and TxDOT provides the administration and management.
Phase 1 of the project began at the far west city limit and extends to Applebee’s. Phase 2 runs from Chiesa to Heritage Parkway on the east end of SH66 and is anticipated to begin in February 2018. The areas specifically over Lake Ray Hubbard are not included due to necessary environmental approvals, but will be part of future projects. Plant selections include Liriope, Pennisetium Grass, Gulf Muhly, Flame Acanthus, Russian Sage, Coreopsis, Blue Grama, Upright Rosemary, Autumn Sage and similar plantings. Trees include High Rise Live Oaks, Texas Redbuds and Crape Myrtles.
Entryway features will be placed on SH66 at Dexham on the west end of Rowlett and at Heritage Parkway to the east. The features have been designed by la terra studio and will encompass a large wall with a “ROWLETT” designation on one side. There are additional environmental approvals the entryway features must go through, so their installation will be the final components of the project.
View the TXDOT (funding and managing the project) and la terra studios (landscape architects) City Council Work Session presentation from April 18, 2017, Item 3C on the Agenda at the link below. TxDot/la terra studios presentation
2. What’s the City going to do with the 5702 Rowlett Road facility?As owner of the building, the City has options. Council has not made a decision at this time.
3. Why can’t it stay open as a library branch?The building’s proximity to downtown makes this less feasible, as it would require additional staffing and operational costs to do so. Branch libraries are more frequently seen in larger population centers that are further spread out geographically.
Prior to this adoption, outside of the 1997 Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, the City did not have a means to address certain property maintenance issues/concerns. As the City continues to age and progress with continued growth and development, we needed a means to address these aging and deteriorating properties. The adoption of the IPMC will now allow all properties (residential- owner occupied and rental, multi family, and commercial) to be held to specified property maintenance standards all across Rowlett.
Subsequently, we have implemented a Rental Housing Standards Program to ensure minimum housing standards for the protection and safety of the occupants of all rental homes, both single family and multifamily.
All single-family and duplex homes are required to be registered annually and multi-family complexes are required to be licensed annually. Single family registration fees are $50 per year and multi-family is $12/unit/year. Forms are available on the Rental Housing web page or at the Community Development Office located at 3901 Main St. Rowlett, TX 75088. Forms may be mailed in or brought in person. There is no "online" option at this time.
To report a complaint concerning a rental residence, please call Environmental Health at 972 412 6125 option #9 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More Info...
Rowlett City Council voted to approve incorporation of the Rowlett HFC on July 11, 2017. The Rowlett HFC promotes residential ownership and development through the financing of projects and programs that are of long term economic benefit to the city and its residents.
HFC’s are standalone corporations. Although they perform essential governmental functions, they are not directly funded through the city’s coffers. HFC’s may issue debt (through the sale of bonds), but the debt is not directly tied to the city and does not affect the city’s bond capacity or rating.