Round Rock residents can borrow tools from city

The City of Round Rock says it has been loaning tools to residents since 2014.

It started as a mobile lending service, a decision made by Neighborhood Services to help residents avoid receiving a courtesy code enforcement door hanger for tall grass, weeds, or low-hanging branches.

"We started thinking, what if we could get a tool to the resident before code enforcement needed to get involved and now, we have the Tool Depo," says Director of Community and Neighborhood Services, Joseph Brehm.

The 40-foot shed opened to residents on Monday and was loaded with more than 100 tools.

"Everything from lawnmowers, weed eaters, we have got tillers, blowers, hedge trimmers, paint sprayers, pressure washers, anything you would need to maintain the exterior of your home," says Brehm.

Borrowing the tools is as simple as submitting an application online.

"Our staff can review it in one business day, and you have 24/7 access to come in and pick up the tool whenever it is convenient for you. The tools are accessed via a Bluetooth app on your phone that we will give you an access code to. You show up to the toll lending center, your phone unlocks the front door, your phone unlocks the tools that you have requested, and we give you authorization for it, you can borrow as much as you like," says Brehm.

According to the City, once the tool is returned it is inspected by staff. The tools do not require maintenance or fuel.

"We ask residents not to use fuel because we use a special ethanol free fuel, and we also have all the safety equipment anybody would ever need; eyes and ear protection, gloves, hardhats," says Brehm.

Neighborhood Services says city general funds dollars were used for the program and tools are also made available for volunteers that want to help others maintain their homes.

"We are just hoping to provide a tool and a resource for a resident, just that from time to time, a lawn mower goes down, a piece of equipment goes down, or to a renter that is a first time at a house, and they don't have the proper equipment," says Brehm.

According to the City of Round Rock, there are no late fees, but all tools must be returned.

"If somebody needs to extend their rental or their borrowing a little longer, they are welcome to, but if tools don't come back, we do have GPS trackers on all of them, and we’ll find a way to get them back," says Brehm.