Rock Beats

Tool Lending Center gets Innovations Award

The Tool Lending Center Team recieved an Innovations Award: (l to r) Marshall Reynolds, Joe Brehm, Sidac Nguyen and Scott Blakely.

The Tool Lending Center Team received an Innovations Award: (l to r) Marshall Reynolds, Joe Brehm, Sidac Nguyen and Scott Blakely.

In March, the Innovations Team presented staff from Administration and General Services with the Innovations Award for the Tool Lending Center, a trailer containing tools and equipment that the City provides for neighborhood clean up efforts.

Neighborhood revitalization is a top priority of the City Council and the Tool Lending Center was conceived to forward that goal. Designed to be used at organized volunteer projects such as neighborhood cleanups, the Tool Lending Center provides new, well-maintained tools and equipment to make the projects more efficient and safer. Residents often don’t have the right tools — or enough of them — on their own when doing large-scale clean up projects. The Tool Lending Center provides easy access to what they need, and it can be available for Police Department community projects as well.

“I got the idea for the Center from some cities in Arizona that were doing something similar,” says Neighborhood Services Coordinator Joe Brehm. “I was able to get the local Home Depot on board but it was really the guys at Fleet that made it happen.”

To  create the Center, the City purchased a trailer and Round Rock’s Home Depot donated $6,250 worth of tools to stock it. Fleet Operations Manager Marshall Reynolds selected the right trailer to suit the City’s needs. Mechanic Scott Blakely modified the interior to accommodate the equipment. Mechanic Sidac Nguyen refurbished the used weed trimmers and blowers provided by Home Depot.

“The Lending Center is a great resource for community policing,” Patrol Commander Jim Stuart said. “We used them last year when we helped an elderly lady clear some brush on her property.”

Since its launch in April 2014, the Center has been used at 12 neighborhood clean up events. Volunteers can used the tools during the events and then return them to the Center. General Services staff keep them in good repair. The Center has helped volunteers embark on major clean-up projects like renovating a house.  It has helped residents remove debris and garbage, improve the appearance of home exteriors and bring together volunteers and neighborhood residents.

“I was so impressed with the amazing initiative and skill of the Fleet staff,” says Joe. “I merely had an idea, these guys made it a reality.”