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October 5, 2021

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News & Press Releases

September 24, 2021

News
S&P Ratings Direct LCRA Series 2022

S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'A' rating to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Texas' $247.875 million series 2022 refunding revenue bonds and $170.65 million series 2021A transmission contract refunding revenue bonds.

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September 23, 2021

News
LCRA Series 2021 Voluntary Notice

On September 22, 2021, the Board of Directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority ("LCRA") adopted a resolution delegating the authority to an authorized representative of LCRA to approve the issuance of one or more series of bonds in a maximum aggregate principal amount not to exceed $400 million for the purposes of (i) refunding certain outstanding debt of LCRA, (ii) funding a debt service reserve fund for such any such bonds and/or (iii) paying costs of issuance for any such bonds.

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July 13, 2021

News
LCRA awards $17,087 grant to Senna Hills MUD to aid in water conservation

WEST TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority has awarded a $17,087 grant to the Senna Hills Municipal Utility District to help upgrade more than 420 smart meters so customers can monitor their real-time water use through an online portal or an app.

The Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program grant also will help the district, which is contributing matching funds of $103,078, purchase new software and install two new master smart meters to help reduce water loss within the district’s distribution system.

The district’s upgrades are expected to save 14.7 acre-feet of water – about 4.8 million gallons – annually over the next 10 years. Senna Hills MUD serves about 420 customers in western Travis County.

Chet Palesko, president of the Senna Hills MUD board of directors, said the district began considering the project about two years ago. At that time, financial constraints led the district to purchase smart meters but pass on the software needed to fully implement them.

“This year, we wanted to fully implement the smart meter project, but we needed to replace an effluent pond liner, and that’s a million-dollar project,” Palesko said. “Once this cost-share grant came along, it allowed us to do both projects. We thought, ‘Let’s start saving water now.’”

With the district’s existing meters, the delay between when a leak starts and when the district becomes aware of it can be six to eight weeks.

“As part of this project, the expected time between the start of a leak and when the district detects it will drop to two weeks as a result of weekly smart-meter monitoring and analytics,” he said.

The addition of smart master meters to monitor the district’s larger-scale infrastructure is expected to reduce water loss by about 20%.

“We will know how much water is flowing into the district, and we’ll know how much water is flowing out of the residence meters,” Palesko said. “Then it’s a simple math problem. Any difference will be a leak.”

John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to support water conservation efforts.

“The upgraded smart water meters will help Senna Hills MUD and its customers cut down on water waste and save money,” Hofmann said. “It’s a win-win. We’re especially happy to see relatively small districts like the Senna Hills MUD take advantage of our cost-share grants. You don’t have to be a large utility to make an impact with water conservation programs.”

The grant is awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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June 24, 2021

News
LCRA offering grants of up to $50,000 for community projects

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority is offering grants of up to $50,000 for community projects throughout LCRA’s wholesale power, water and transmission service territory.

Applications for this round of Community Development Partnership Program grants will be available online beginning July 1 and must be submitted by midnight on July 31. Most grants are for $25,000 or less, but several grants of up to $50,000 are awarded each cycle.

Eligible organizations include volunteer fire departments, emergency responders, local governments, schools, libraries, civic groups, museums and other nonprofit organizations. The grants are not available to individuals, for-profit entities, professional associations, social service projects or limited-use facilities.

Applicants requesting more than $5,000 in grant funding must supply matching funds of at least 20 percent of the total project cost. The projects must benefit or be available to an entire community and must improve the value of a capital asset by building, renovating or purchasing equipment.

Organizations in all or part of the following counties are eligible for CDPP grants: Aransas, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Blanco, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Callahan, Cameron, Coke, Coleman, Colorado, Comal, Concho, Coryell, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, DeWitt, Dimmit, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Fayette, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Llano, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Midland, Mills, Nolan, Nueces, Pecos, Real, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Starr, Sterling, Sutton, Taylor, Terrell, Tom Green, Travis, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Williamson and Zavala.

Grant applications and details about eligibility requirements are available at www.lcra.org/cdpp. For questions, email grants@lcra.org or call 800-776-5272, ext. 3140 or ext. 1627.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 28, 2021

News
LCRA awards nearly $550,000 in community grants

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority recently awarded close to $550,000 in Community Development Partnership Program grants for community projects within LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas.

The CDPP grants helped fund 25 projects that range from buying new vehicles and upgraded equipment for first responders to making improvements at city parks and school playgrounds to renovating much-used community buildings.

Other grants will help provide for a regional firefighter training facility in Caldwell County; electrical upgrades, a renovated kitchen and expanded bathrooms at the Mills County Civic Center in Goldthwaite; a new chassis for an aging brush truck used by the Christoval Volunteer Fire Department; and completion of the initial phase of a Veterans Honor Park in Giddings.

“As Texans move forward from the pandemic, we know that many communities and organizations are eager to resume important projects that might have been put on hold, and we want to contribute to those efforts,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said.

Wilson said LCRA is particularly proud CDPP grants are able to assist so many volunteer fire departments and other first responders.

“The new gear and equipment bought with these grants will help safeguard the first responders who help protect all of us,” Wilson said.

To date, LCRA has awarded 1,820 community grants totaling more than $47 million. When combined with more than $227 million in community-raised matching funds, the program has invested almost $275 million in local communities.

CDPP grants are awarded twice a year for capital projects for volunteer fire departments, emergency responders, cities and counties, schools, libraries, civic groups, museums and other non-profit organizations. Applications for the next round of grants will be available at lcra.org/cdpp on July 1 and are due by midnight on July 31.

The 25 grants awarded in the most recent grant cycle are:

• BANDERA COUNTY: A $25,000 grant from LCRA and Bandera Electric Cooperative to the Medina Volunteer Fire Department for new life-saving medical equipment and a digital sign that can share emergency alerts and community messages.

• BRENHAM: An $8,445 grant from LCRA and the City of Brenham to the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County for a new air-conditioning unit.

• BRONTE: A $19,690 grant from LCRA to the Bronte Volunteer Fire Department for three new self-contained breathing units that will protect firefighters from inhaling smoke and carcinogenic particles at the site of emergencies.

• CALDWELL: A $16,499 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department for new emergency gear, including self-contained breathing units and portable water tanks for use in fighting grass or brush fires.

• CALDWELL COUNTY: A $20,000 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the McMahan Volunteer Fire Department for new metal siding on its station, which houses a fire engine, three brush trucks and a rescue truck.

• CALDWELL COUNTY: A $50,000 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the Caldwell County Fire Chiefs Association for construction of a regional firefighter training facility.

• CHRISTOVAL: A $25,000 grant from LCRA to the Christoval Volunteer Fire Department for a new truck chassis that will update and improve an aging vehicle used for fighting wildfires.

• COTTONWOOD SHORES: A $22,235 grant from LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative to the City of Cottonwood Shores for new playground equipment, additional parking and other improvements at a city park.

• ELLINGER: An $18,300 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the newly incorporated City of Ellinger for a portable building that will serve as its first city hall.

• GIDDINGS: A $24,600 grant from LCRA and the City of Giddings to the Lee County Texas Veterans Association for completion of the first phase of a Veterans Honor Park.

• GOLDTHWAITE: A $50,000 grant from LCRA and the City of Goldthwaite to the Goldthwaite Consolidated Independent School District for major improvements at the Mills County Civic Center, the site of many community and school-related events.

• HIGHLAND HAVEN: An $8,000 grant from LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative to the City of Highland Haven for repairs at City Hall, including replacing the roof and installing new gutters.

• LA GRANGE: A $20,000 grant from LCRA to the City of La Grange for a canopy and fabric sails to help shade the playground at the city’s popular Randolph Park.

• LAMPASAS COUNTY: An $11,351 grant from LCRA and Hamilton County Electric Cooperative to the Adamsville Community Center for additional restrooms, barbecue pits, and outdoor seating.

• LEE COUNTY: A $25,000 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the South Lee County Volunteer Fire Department for a new reinforced concrete parking lot and the addition of parking spots for disabled visitors.

• LULING: A $25,000 grant from LCRA and the City of Luling to the Luling Volunteer Fire Department for a standby generator and new self-contained breathing apparatuses that meet National Fire Protection Association standards.

• MANCHACA: A $3,065 grant from LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative to Manchaca United Methodist Church for new LED floodlights at a covered outdoor community basketball court.

• MARTINDALE: A $19,583 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue for a utility terrain vehicle to transport patients and aid in river rescues.

• PALACIOS: A $23,000 grant from LCRA to the City of Palacios for renovations to the storm-damaged gazebo, lighting and trellises in the city’s Main Street Park.

• RICHLAND SPRINGS: A $25,000 grant from LCRA to the Richland Springs Independent School District for new playground equipment, including wheelchair-accessible swings.

• ROUND TOP: A $19,848 grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to the town of Round Top for new energy-efficient lighting on its historic town hall and in the nearby public square.

• SAN SABA: A $10,315 grant from LCRA to Keep San Saba Beautiful for the completion of a series of terraces in Mill Pond Park to lessen erosion around the popular gazebo and make the area safer for visitors.

• SANTA ANNA: A $35,000 grant from LCRA to the Santa Anna Independent School District for new, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground equipment on the district’s elementary school campus.

• SCHULENBURG: A $19,512 grant from LCRA and the City of Schulenburg to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Champion Valley for restroom renovations, including new low-flow toilets and energy-efficient lighting.

• TRAVIS COUNTY: A $25,000 grant from LCRA to Friends of Manda School for fresh paint and exterior repairs for a historic two-room schoolhouse that now serves as a community center near Manor.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 27, 2021

News
LCRA, Pedernales Electric Co-op award $3,065 grant to light community basketball court

MANCHACA, Texas – For 20 years, the basketball court at Manchaca United Methodist Church has provided a spot for area residents and visitors to enjoy friendly competitions and a good workout. But as the lighting at the facility has deteriorated over time, players have had to rely on makeshift solutions like friends and family shining their headlights on the court to finish a game after nightfall.

A $3,065 Community Development Partnership Program Grant from LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative, along with $800 in matching funds, will change that, as it will allow Manchaca UMC to install new LED lighting at the covered community basketball court so the games can go on.

Only six bulbs from the existing 20 overhead fluorescent lights still work. The project will replace those fixtures, as well as install new security lights on the exterior of the building to better illuminate the parking areas surrounding the court.

“The new lights will make the court like new again,” said Beth Watkins, chair of the Manchaca UMC Board of Trustees. “Players and their friends and families will no longer feel the need to shine their car headlights on the court for play to continue after dark.

“Not only will the court be brighter, but new exterior floodlights will make the surrounding area with picnic tables and parking much better lit,” Watkins said. “The safety of everyone in attendance will be enhanced.”

Open and free to the public, the court’s value to the community is evident by the players’ contributions: Several have volunteered to replace broken backboards and goals and helped to repaint the striping over the years, Watkins said.

The court attracts a diverse range of players — parents teaching their children, individuals practicing their shooting, team pickup games and weekly wheelchair games. Watkins estimates you can count on at least 20 and up to about 60 players coming around each day. Participants in an early morning exercise class also will benefit from the lighted court.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Pedernales Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About PEC
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 350,000 accounts across Central Texas. An industry-recognized leader providing outstanding member service and reliable electricity, PEC conducts its business via a transparent and democratic process and highly encourages member participation.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 27, 2021

News
LCRA awards $25,000 grant to refresh Manda schoolhouse

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help pay for fresh paint and exterior repairs to a historic two-room schoolhouse that now serves as a community center near Manor.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $43,000 in matching funds, will allow the non-profit group Friends of Manda School to better preserve the building in the New Sweden area of east Travis County. Manda School was built in 1915 primarily to educate the children of Swedish immigrants who settled in the area in the 1800s, and the schoolhouse moved to its current site in eastern Travis County in the mid-1940s. It remained a school until 1963, when it was turned into a community center after its students were transferred to schools in Manor or Elgin.

The building is the only former two-room schoolhouse in Travis County still used by the public.

In 2009, a CDPP grant from LCRA helped pay for major renovations to the building, allowing the historic schoolhouse-turned-community center to become a popular site for weddings, family reunions, anniversary parties and other group gatherings. Now, the site needs work to preserve the building’s integrity and make it attractive as a venue as it reopens to the public, said David Erickson and his wife, Susan, both board members of Friends of Manda School.

“A few years ago, the paint started failing, and it became a bit rundown,” board secretary Susan Erickson said.  “We realized it needed a little bit more preservation work.”

David Erickson, the board president, attended Manda School as a child and said the building remains largely the same as it was when he was a student there.

 “We’ll make spot repairs on the building’s exterior, but the interesting thing about the school building is that most of the original material is intact,” he said. This grant really put us over the top for this project. We get it painted and we’re ready to go again.”

Once the repairs are completed, the former schoolhouse will continue to benefit the community by providing an affordable venue for family and civic events.

“The area is growing very fast, so we’re trying to get this community center up and going so people can interact and meet the other people moving here,” Susan Erickson said. “Every little community needs a gathering place.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 26, 2021

News
LCRA, Pedernales Electric Co-op award $8,000 grant to City of Highland Haven

HIGHLAND HAVEN, Texas – An $8,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will help the City of Highland Haven replace the roof and make other needed repairs at City Hall.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,000 in matching funds, will help replace the roof and other damaged wood, update paint, and install new gutters.

“City Hall is very visible to everyone that enters the city,” said Olan Kelley, mayor of Highland Haven. “The new roof and repairs will help beautify a place often visited by community members and visitors.”

Kelley said the building is critical for city business. Replacing the roof will help Highland Haven safeguard city records and provide a safe working environment for city staff. Highland Haven uses City Hall during business hours, on nights and weekends, and as the base for emergency operations when needed.

“Highland Haven prides itself on being a well-maintained community,” Kelley said. “These improvements will help City Hall set the example and create a welcoming place for everyone.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Pedernales Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About PEC
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 350,000 accounts across Central Texas. An industry-recognized leader providing outstanding member service and reliable electricity, PEC conducts its business via a transparent and democratic process and highly encourages member participation.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 26, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $19,583 grant to Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue

MARTINDALE, Texas – A $19,583 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue purchase a utility terrain vehicle to assist with river rescues and patient transports.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,896 in matching funds, will provide the department with a reliable rescue vehicle to access areas along the San Marcos River that are hard to reach with standard firetrucks or brush trucks.

“We’re in great need of this type of river rescue UTV, and it will be another great asset for our department,” said Bill Glaze, board president of Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue. “We spend about 45 days or more by the river during floating season.”

With about 15 full-time volunteers, Martindale Volunteer Fire and Rescue, formerly known as the Martindale Volunteer Fire Department Company, serves a population of more than 1,270.

The San Marcos River runs alongside the City of Martindale and attracts up to 10,000 visitors per weekend during spring and summer. Martindale Fire has seen an increase over the last three years in river-related calls.

“We use an inflatable boat to rescue people from the river, but the UTV will be used to transport physically injured persons by land to an awaiting ambulance,” Glaze said. “The hardest thing about not having this type of vehicle is first responders can’t get close to the river bottom for rescues. Their brush trucks won’t make it that close and that means patients have to be carried up from the riverbanks to an ambulance by hand.”

Glaze said the bed of the UTV will have room for a stretcher and a medical technician who will ride in the back during patient transports. The vehicle also has ample storage for medical equipment such as water rescue gear and automated external defibrillators.

“This grant has been a real blessing to us for sure and we appreciate LCRA,” he said. “Although we won’t get the truck until after the floating season begins, everyone is very excited about it and we’ll put it to work immediately.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 26, 2021

News
LCRA, City of Luling award $25,000 grant to Luling Volunteer Fire Department

LULING, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Luling will help the Luling Volunteer Fire Department purchase a standby generator and new self-contained breathing apparatuses.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $44,897 in matching funds, will replace a 25-year-old generator and five 16-year-old self-contained breathing apparatuses and accessories that do not meet current National Fire Protection Association standards. The grant will also be used to install seats to accommodate the new breathing equipment on a brush truck.

“Without the grant, the fire department would not be able to purchase this much-needed equipment,” Fire Chief Tom Harmon said. “We’ve wanted to replace the generator for the last five years because it leaks oil and you cannot find the parts to repair it.

“The fire station is manned 24 hours a day and it’s essential they have power,” he said. “Without it we can’t open the doors to get the trucks out, the radio system won’t work to communicate and you lose all ability to function at the station.”

Luling VFD serves the City of Luling, 81 square miles in the neighboring communities of Stairtown and McNeil, and rural areas within Caldwell, Gonzales and Guadalupe counties. The department is staffed with eight full-time, on-call personnel and 27 volunteer personnel.

“We’ve experienced a lot of growth in our coverage area and the call volume we received has picked up because of it,” Harmon said. “The money we’re getting to fix up the brush truck with the breathing apparatuses and accessories will be a great benefit. After the upgrade, it will replace an older model truck we’ve been using.

“It’s wonderful to get this type of help and it’s greatly appreciated,” he said.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Luling is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Read Article

May 25, 2021

News
LCRA, City of Brenham award $8,445 grant to Boys & Girls Club of Washington County

BRENHAM, Texas – Thanks to an $8,445 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Brenham, the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County will be able to replace a faltering air-conditioning unit at its building, which will help the club keep its popular summer programs available to area youth. The club also hosts a variety of other community functions at the site.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,500 in matching funds, will pay for the replacement of one of eight air-conditioning units that cool the club’s roughly 16,000-square-foot building near Brenham Junior High School. 

The club provides meals and year-round educational and recreational programs for children living in Washington County. Before the pandemic, about 275 children aged 6 to 18 participated in the club’s eight-week summer program.

The club’s building is nearly 17 years old, and several of its air-conditioning units need to be replaced in the next few years. With the help of the grant, the organization will be able to replace one unit that “we think has been through its last summer,” said Stephanie Wehring, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County.

“This grant comes at a perfect time for us,” Wehring said. “We’ll start our summer program in June, and this allows us to replace one smaller AC unit that’s in dire need of replacement. Doing this will allow us to continue to run our programs for the club and community without fear of having to cancel any of them as we move into the summer months.

“It really is a big relief, and this project means a lot to our club,” Wehring said. “We operate with a pretty tight, slim staff and budget, and we watch all of our dollars. This means some funds are freed up to be put directly toward summer programs. The summer is our most expensive time because kids are here every day, all day.”

As part of its summer program, the club serves breakfast, lunch and a snack each weekday to participating youths, who also enjoy field trips to the nearby Blue Bell Aquatic Center and other area attractions.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Brenham is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 25, 2021

News
LCRA awards $10,315 grant to help beautify popular Mill Pond Park

SAN SABA, Texas – A $10,315 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help pay for a beautification project in a beloved section of the city’s popular Mill Pond Park.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $7,494, will allow Keep San Saba Beautiful to complete a series of terraces near the park’s much-used gazebo, lessening erosion and making the area safer for visitors. As part of the project, a series of steps will be built to connect to the park’s walking trail that circles Mill Pond.

Keep San Saba Beautiful, a commission created by the city, oversees beautification efforts within the community. Sarah Saldivar, the group’s executive director, said the ongoing project at Mill Pond Park is an essential one for San Saba.

“Completion of this project will provide safer measures for visitors enjoying recreational activities in the park,” Saldivar said. “KSSB’s goal is to assist the city in making the park more beautiful, greener and a safer place to visit. The LCRA CDPP grant will make the completion of this goal a faster reality.”

Work crews will break down jagged rocks to create terraces from Mill Pond to the gazebo, a popular site for family gatherings and weddings that can hold an estimated 200 people. Mill Pond, which is created by natural springs, cascades into a waterfall that flows into Mill Creek. A small wall will be constructed to deter runoff back into the pond, aiding in the prevention of landscaping erosion.

“Children will be children and jump off rocks when they shouldn’t; the proposed modifications will lessen the urge,” Saldivar said. “The steps and railing will aid everyone in stepping safely to and from the pond and walking trail.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said the project to improve safety at a public venue such as Mill Pond Park is a good match for LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program grants, which help support communities throughout the LCRA service territory. 

“LCRA is proud to support improvements at a park the San Saba community has enjoyed for more than a century,’’ Wilson said. “It’s easy to see why people love Mill Pond Park so much – it’s beautiful, and now, it’ll be a little safer, too.”

Wilson said he applauds the city for preserving the natural springs and pond to help ensure the park is available for future generations to enjoy as well.

“This park is popular with both tourists and local residents,” he said. “Working now to prevent erosion and improving access is an important step in making sure this park continues to be a gem for years to come.” 

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of San Saba is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 25, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $18,300 grant for city hall in newly incorporated City of Ellinger

ELLINGER, Texas – An $18,300 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the newly incorporated City of Ellinger establish its first city hall.

The Community Development Partnership grant, paired with matching funds of $4,575, will allow the Fayette County community of about 200 residents to purchase a portable building to house city records and act as a hub for city-related business. The grant also will cover the costs of creating a gravel pad for the building, establishing electrical service to it and making the site accessible to disabled visitors.

“We can’t keep city records effectively in our own houses,” said City Commissioner Joseph Lamer, who was elected in November when voters approved incorporating Ellinger as a Type C municipality governed by a mayor and two commissioners. “We’ve got to keep the paperwork somewhere and have a place where people can come in and access the information. This building will function as a meeting place and a source of information for our residents. I think it gives the city a home.”

Lamer said the new city hall will include desks for him – he’s also the city secretary – and fellow commissioner Kenneth Stojanik, who also serves as the city treasurer.

“Believe me, if it wasn’t for this grant, we wouldn’t even be talking about a building,” Lamer said. “This is something that’s going to be city hall for 20 or 30 years at least. If we aren’t in there in six months, I’ll be disappointed.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 25, 2021

News
LCRA, City of Goldthwaite award $50,000 grant for upgrades at Mills County Civic Center

GOLDTHWAITE, Texas – The Goldthwaite Consolidated Independent School District will make major improvements to the Mills County Civic Center, a popular spot for community events, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Goldthwaite.

The civic center is the only venue in the area large enough to accommodate events such as the Mills County Youth Fair & Stock Show, rodeos, Artisan Guild craft fairs and an annual fall festival. The site also hosts Lions Club meetings and other community gatherings and serves as a site for students to take college entrance exams.

The grant, along with $50,000 in matching funds, will allow the school district to expand bathrooms and make them handicapped-accessible, renovate the outdated kitchen to make it capable of serving large events, and upgrade the electrical system. The building has not been renovated since it was built in 1975.

“The electricity has not been upgraded, the bathrooms are actually in a closet and backed up at the last stock show we had, and the kitchen is nonfunctional,” said Jenice Benningfield, technology director for the school district. “This is something our board has wanted to do for a long time, but when the bids came in, we thought ‘How are we ever going to do this?’”

Benningfield said the grant-funded improvements will make the center more attractive as a meeting venue and will enable it to host larger events.

“We’ve heard from groups like the Artisan Guild that they want to come and do more shows, and this could allow that,” Benningfield said. “And our ag teachers are over-the-top excited that they’ll have these improvements to help educate and show off what our students are doing.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said it’s clear how important the civic center is to the Goldthwaite area.

“One of the things that stands out about this project is the variety of people and organizations that count on the Mill County Civic Center for their events,” Wilson said. “To be able to hold large gatherings in Goldthwaite benefits local residents, as well as helps to showcase the city to visitors.”

Wilson said the renovations will enable the center to host gatherings for years to come.

“This is an important meeting place for the whole area,” he said. “When this project is complete, the center will be ready to host many groups it can’t accommodate now. LCRA is very pleased to play a part in helping make the renovations a reality.’’

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Goldthwaite is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 25, 2021

News
LCRA, City of Schulenburg award $19,512 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Champion Valley

SCHULENBURG, Texas – A $19,512 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Schulenburg will help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Champion Valley, Schulenburg unit renovate its restrooms to make them handicapped accessible and more energy efficient. 

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,878 in matching funds, will help the organization modernize its restrooms to make them comply with the American with Disabilities Act, as well as add new low-flow toilets, motion-activated faucets and energy-efficient LED lighting.

“We’re an after-school enrichment program that serves all of our local youth ages 6-18,” said Jennifer Owens, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Champion Valley. “Our youth come to us and we help them with their homework, provide snacks and offer programs such as STEM and arts and crafts.”

 The renovations will also allow the organization to host more community events in the facility.

The organization serves all of Fayette County and is open Monday through Friday, and on occasional weekends for special events. The group has been in its current building since 2005.

“Our restrooms right now are outdated and not ADA compliant, and by making these renovations, we can provide safer and more accessible restrooms for our kids and visitors,” Owens said. “We’ve wanted to do this for over a year and we needed this grant to make it happen. We are so grateful and thankful to LCRA and the City of Schulenburg for granting us the funds for our remodeling project.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Schulenburg is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 24, 2021

News
LCRA, City of Giddings award $24,600 grant for park to honor local veterans

GIDDINGS, Texas – A $24,600 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Giddings will help fund the completion of the initial phase of the Veterans Honor Park in the city’s downtown.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $22,600 in matching funds, will boost the project launched in 2016 by the not-for-profit Lee County Texas Veterans Association.

The project’s first phase, which should be completed this summer, will include “honor walls” that list veterans from Lee County. A separate wall will honor the county’s veterans who were killed in action.

Designed as a tranquil setting where veterans and their families can gather to reflect, the memorial will be located within Veterans Park, on land donated by the city. The honor park also will have a 15-foot-high, gray granite monument recognizing the six branches of the U.S. military. Individual flagpoles will display the flag of each military branch along with the POW/MIA flag and the Texas flag.

“When I announced this grant at our meeting, everyone went through the roof,” said Ryan Marshall, fundraising chairman for the Lee County Texas Veterans Association. “We are so thankful. This is just huge for us that we can now complete Phase 1.”

The honor park was dedicated on Armed Forces Day on May 15. As part of the ceremony, a C-5 military transport flew over the site. Military vehicles and memorabilia also were displayed at the event. In the future, the Lee County Texas Veterans Association plans to add an amphitheater and a searchable kiosk containing the names of the honored veterans and their locations on the honor walls.

Marshall, who served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 26 years, said he knows firsthand of the respect Lee County residents have for the military. He and his wife recently moved to Lee County, where his wife, the former Dawn Christiansen, grew up. During his time as an Air Force pilot, which included flying C-5 transports and KC-135 refueling tankers, he said Lee County residents frequently sent messages of support to him and his family.

“I’ve had the opportunity to live all over this country and a few other countries during my service, and there are very few communities that support veterans as well as Lee County,” he said. “I think it means a lot to have this park as a focal point for veterans.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Giddings is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Read Article

May 24, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $16,499 grant to Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department

CALDWELL, Texas – A $16,499 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department purchase new emergency gear for its firefighters.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,123 in matching funds, will allow the department to replace aging self-contained breathing apparatus units and purchase portable 5-gallon poly fire tanks that hold water to aid in fighting grass or brush fires. The grant also will help purchase fire-resistant hoods to protect firefighters during emergencies and pagers to quickly notify first responders of an emergency call.

“We’re in desperate need of new equipment to protect our firefighters, especially the self-contained breathing apparatus,” Fire Chief Joseph Walden said. “Donations have slowed down and we are unable to make these purchases on our own.”

Walden said 80 percent of the department’s calls are brush or grass fires.

“The poly fire tanks will help us get closer to fires — beyond where a firetruck can take us, and the fire-resistant hoods will protect a firefighter’s head, neck and face from a fire,” he said.

Beaver Creek VFD supports a community of about 1,500 in Beaver Creek and an additional 10,000 in surrounding areas.

“The population is increasing,” Walden said. “I see more mobile homes moving into the community and that means more people, more calls, more emergencies and the need for more equipment.”

New pagers will replace a phone tree system to notify firefighters of calls more quickly.

“It’s a more effective and reliable way to communicate,” Walden said.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 24, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $25,000 grant to South Lee County VFD

LEE COUNTY, Texas – The South Lee County Volunteer Fire Department will repair and update its station’s parking lot, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $20,000 in matching funds, will replace the gravel parking lot with 8 inches of reinforced concrete and add handicapped-accessible parking in the front of the station.

“As is, the parking lot has problems with drainage and with water getting into the building when we have heavy rain,” said Ronald Zoch, secretary of South Lee County VFD. “The concrete will fix that problem and it will help us get the equipment in and out of the driveway safely. Our engine holds up to 2,000 gallons of water so the strength of the concrete is needed.”

Improvements also will provide easier access for visitors. The station is used as a community center by several groups, including 4-H, Texas Wendish Heritage Society, Lutheran Adult Fellowship and the Lee County Fire Fighters Association.

South Lee County VFD serves a population of about 1,200 in Lee County, and has mutual aid agreements with other fire departments in Lee, Bastrop and Fayette counties. The department has 38 members and is equipped with six emergency vehicles. It also has the only brush truck in the county that can perform water rescues.

“We’ve wanted to do these upgrades for about two years now and have been looking for funding to help,” Zoch said. “So, when this grant came through, we were very excited because it provides us with the security to go forward with the project.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contacts:
LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 21, 2021

News
LCRA awards $19,690 grant to Bronte Volunteer Fire Department

BRONTE, Texas – The Bronte Volunteer Fire Department will purchase three new breathing units to provide clean air to firefighters in emergency situations, thanks to a $19,690 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,923 in matching funds, will help the department replace outdated equipment used by firefighters when responding to fires and other emergencies. Self-contained breathing apparatuses protect firefighters from smoke and carcinogenic exposure by providing portable units of compressed air they can carry with them.

“The last couple of years we’ve been pretty busy and have had to use this equipment often,” said Capt. Kolby Lee. “During the ice storm, we had two working structure fires in one day and we’re working with current equipment that is over 10 years old. We’re in need of new SCBAs.”

Bronte VFD’s coverage area includes Bronte and the communities of Robert Lee, Blackwell and Tennyson in Coke County through mutual aid agreements. The department is supported by donations and has been unable to hold its normal fundraising events because of the pandemic, Lee said.

“We’re usually the first ones called for mutual aid for all emergencies,” Lee said. “We’re a small town and all of our members are volunteer, so it’s pretty awesome to get this grant and be able to buy new equipment. It’s good for our guys and our department to have the safest equipment available to them when responding to emergencies.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 21, 2021

News
LCRA awards $25,000 grant to Christoval Volunteer Fire Department

CHRISTOVAL, Texas – The Christoval Volunteer Fire Department will replace an aging brush truck, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $81,965 in matching funds, will allow the department to purchase a new truck chassis to replace a brush truck that has become costly to repair due to mechanical failures. 

“We’ll be up to three large brush trucks in our fleet with this new addition,” said Jimmy Barton, board president of the department. “It’s a relief to know we’ll have another reliable asset and we won’t have to worry about the truck breaking down. That’s very important.” 

Wildfires pose a high risk in the 220 square miles Christoval VFD covers. The department serves a population of about 1,500 people and provides mutual aid to Tom Green, Schleicher, Irion and Menard counties. 

“About 80 percent of our calls are fire related, especially during summer,” he said. “Wildfires or brush fires threaten development in our area, so we need to have equipment we can depend on.”  

Barton said firefighters will outfit the new truck with the bed of the old brush truck they’re replacing and add toolboxes, new lights and a fresh coat of paint. 

“It would’ve been difficult to purchase a new truck without help,” Barton said. “It’s a blessing to receive this grant to make this purchase and have zero debt. We’re very appreciative of LCRA.” 

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. 

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 19, 2021

News
LCRA Board approves business and capital plans for fiscal year 2022

AUSTIN, Texas – The LCRA Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a business plan of more than $395 million and authorized capital investments of more than $517 million for energy, water and public service projects to support Texas in fiscal year 2022.

The Lower Colorado River Authority is the primary wholesale provider of electricity in Central Texas and manages the lower Colorado River and six Highland Lakes. LCRA Transmission Services Corporation is one of the largest electric transmission service providers in Texas.

“The projects in our fiscal year 2022 plans are investments in our state, its people and its businesses,” said Timothy Timmerman, chair of the LCRA Board of Directors. “Projects that add transmission lines, increase our water supply, and continue the safe and effective operation of our dams are investments in our future. We’re honored to add infrastructure that benefits our fellow Texans and helps our great state continue to thrive in the years ahead.”

As one of the largest public power providers in the state, LCRA is helping to meet the increasing need for power in Texas. LCRA provides power for cooperatives and small towns in Central Texas by selling wholesale electricity through long-term contracts with retail utilities.

“As we emerge from a time of extraordinary challenges at home and across the world, LCRA is proud to have continued delivering critical services in an exemplary manner for Texans,” said LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson. “We strive every day to achieve our vision of being the public utility that sets the standard for excellence.”

LCRA Transmission Services Corporation plans to invest more than $2 billion in the next five years to build new transmission facilities and improve existing ones. LCRA TSC will undertake numerous projects to increase reliability, meet existing and projected needs for electricity, and connect new electric generators to the grid.

LCRA also continues to make investments to increase regional water supplies and will continue to maintain and invest in its system of dams, which are critical for water supplies and flood management. Over the next five years, LCRA plans to invest more than $59 million in development of new water supply projects and more than $47 million in dam rehabilitation projects to help ensure the dams continue to operate safely and effectively, meeting all state regulations for dam safety.

LCRA does not receive state appropriations or have the ability to levy taxes. LCRA is funded by the revenues its businesses generate.

The LCRA 2022 fiscal year begins July 1. The FY 2022 LCRA business and capital plans are available at https://www.lcra.org/about/financial-highlights/business-plan/.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 17, 2021

News
LCRA, Bandera Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant to Medina Volunteer Fire Department

BANDERA COUNTY, Texas – The Medina Volunteer Fire Department will purchase a digital sign and new life-saving medical equipment, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $6,500 in matching funds, will allow for the installation of a digital sign for emergency alerts and the purchase of three automated external defibrillators and accessories.

“The majority of the grant will go toward an electric digital sign in front of our fire house,” said Lee Bailey, president of the Medina VFD. “It’ll be used for emergency notifications such as burn bans and red flag warnings.”

The sign also will be used for alerts about possible flooding conditions, as well as school announcements or news from non-profit groups.

Bailey said the sign will replace the department’s current notification system – a piece of plywood stationed between two fence posts in front of the station.

“Receiving this grant is huge,” he said. “We’ve wanted a digital sign for years because sometimes people aren’t aware of fire-related notices or they need to be reminded. It will save the fire department from dealing with fires that shouldn’t have been set during burn bans or red flag warnings.”

Medina VFD is one of nine fire departments in Bandera County and has a service area of about 386 square miles. The department also offers mutual aid to Kerr, Kendall, Frio and Medina counties. Most of the department’s calls are for fire and medical help, which includes responding to vehicle and motorcycle crashes.

“In the last eight years, we have made tremendous strides in adding new equipment,” Bailey said. “We run a real tight fiscal policy and are debt free, but our training and membership has gone up and without this grant it would have been a while before we could afford these critical purchases.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 14, 2021

News
LCRA awards $25,000 grant for new school playground equipment

RICHLAND SPRINGS, Texas – A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the Richland Springs Independent School District replace old, obsolete playground equipment and bring the playground into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $24,401, will allow the school district to install fall-protection surfacing and new playground equipment, including wheelchair accessible swings.

“We are a single campus that serves kindergarten through high school in our small community, so our old playground is extremely important to our kids and it gets a lot of use,” said Richland Springs ISD Superintendent Don Fowler. “My wife and I have six children who are now out of college, and they all attended school in Richland Springs and played on that same equipment.”

Residents still use many of the town’s old, well-constructed buildings, including the high school that was built in 1927 – five years before Richland Springs was incorporated. Over the years, the school and its grounds have remained a central part of the community, and the playground provides a place for families to bring children for exercise and to enjoy swings, slides and monkey bars, Fowler said.

“We host alumni events at our school gym, which has a 1939 Works Progress Administration plaque on it, and the kids who come with their parents naturally gravitate to the playground,” Fowler said. “During our football games, the younger kids run to the playground because it’s just a hop, skip and jump from the field.” He added that their football team has won nine state championships since 2004.

The small, tightly knit community provides many benefits, but Fowler said the town’s smaller population also can make it hard to raise money for things like new playground equipment.

“Our playground has gone a long time without any upgrades, and we are really excited about making it a nicer, safer place that will be accessible to everyone,” Fowler said. “We may have a small school, but we have good kids who deserve a better place to play and exercise.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 14, 2021

News
LCRA awards $35,000 grant to Santa Anna ISD for new, modern playground

SANTA ANNA, Texas – A $35,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will allow the Santa Anna Independent School District to upgrade the playground on its elementary school campus, where much of the existing dilapidated equipment dates back decades.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $22,500 in matching funds, will purchase new, safer equipment for a playground designed for 5- to 12-year-olds and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“To put it in perspective, we have teachers and school board members who played on that playground equipment when they were in elementary school,” Santa Anna Superintendent Todd White said. “We see this as an opportunity to serve our community by having a playground where you don’t have to worry about getting a splinter in your hand or a metal slide that cooks you like a sausage when you’re going down it.”

Santa Anna ISD has about 250 students in kindergarten through high school. White said the playground upgrades are part of the district’s five-year plan that calls for improving both facilities and academic instruction.

Angelia Bostick, the district’s playground project manager, said district officials have been studying options for new playscapes and swing sets, with the goal of purchasing equipment that encourages students to become fit while having fun.

“The more they move after sitting in class, the better they remember,” Bostick said. “And then there’s the community you get in playing together – learning to share and take turns. The playground has a lot of cool aspects to it that go beyond just going outside and getting fresh air, which is fantastic, too.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 13, 2021

News
LCRA TSC project to improve area transmission lines

LOCKHART, Texas – Construction is set to begin May 17 on a project to increase the reliability and capability of transmission lines that travel through the Lockhart area.

LCRA crews will upgrade more than 3 miles of high-voltage transmission line that goes through Lockhart.

LCRA Transmission Services Corporation will be replacing existing structures with higher-capacity structures to improve the resiliency of the line and allow it to deliver more electricity in the future. The new design also will make the line better able to withstand extreme conditions such as wind, ice and other weather-related issues. Upgraded lines can help minimize outages, restoration times and restoration costs.

The project will replace or rebuild more than 30 structures and the associated conductor on the line that runs from the Lockhart substation to the Clear Fork substation. Portions of the work will occur near the intersection of FM 20 (Blackjack Street) and U.S. 183 South (South Colorado Street) and west of U.S. 183 South on FM 20 (State Park Road). The project also includes work near Texas 130. Large construction equipment, bucket trucks and cranes will be used in the project, and traffic may occasionally be stopped for brief periods on roads under the lines as the work progresses.

The first phase of construction, which includes removing the existing conductor and transmission line structures, is scheduled to take place from mid-May through early June. The new line is scheduled to be constructed between June and early August.

About LCRA and LCRA TSC
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

In 2002, LCRA created LCRA Transmission Services Corporation as a nonprofit corporation for transmission operations. LCRA TSC has invested more than $3.6 billion in transmission projects to meet the growing demand for electricity, improve reliability, connect new generating capacity, address congestion problems that affect the competitive market and help move renewable energy to the market. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-578-3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 10, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $50,000 grant for new regional fire training center

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas – With the support of a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, the Caldwell County Fire Chiefs Association will construct a new fire training facility that can be used by fire departments throughout the area.

With generous support from the community, the association has raised an additional $60,000 in matching funds for the new facility, which can be used by departments in Caldwell County and neighboring counties.

“Our community understands the role of what our volunteer firefighters do,’’ said Linda Haden, who helped organize local fundraising efforts for the project. “They give 24/7. There’s no prediction and no schedule, and most don’t receive any salary. A lot of people in our outlying areas have watched these teams in action save their pastures or save their homes, and they appreciate what firefighters do and realize the impact that they have.”

The new facility will include movable walls and windows designed to withstand repeated fires. Hands-on, live-fire training provides valuable opportunities for firefighters to improve and maintain their skills in real-life fire conditions.

Without a local burn facility, Caldwell County firefighters have had to travel to places such as Kyle or College Station for training, temporarily reducing resources at their stations while they are away and increasing travel costs. Once the new facility is established, area departments can train together close to home, creating better regional coordination in emergency situations.

“The new facility offers the ability to create a county enforcement team where everybody works together,” Haden said. “It becomes more efficient and safer for our firefighters and leads to better protection for our community. Not only do they start learning to work as a unit, there is no duplication of efforts. If there is a major fire like Bastrop had, the team can come together and already know they are responsible for this or that activity.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson praised the community efforts that helped create the fire training center.

“To see a community come together to support an important resource like this is something special, and I’m proud that LCRA is able to play a role in making this facility a reality,” Wilson said. “It is inspiring to work with organizations like the Caldwell County Fire Chiefs Association that are dedicated to serving others.”

He said training received at the center will benefit the entire community and will likely help save lives.

“It’s one thing to learn how to fight fires,” Wilson said. “It’s another to have the experience of fighting real fires and have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes in a controlled setting.”

Haden agreed the center will have a long-lasting impact for both firefighters and residents, with additional fundraising planned to add more training props and a community classroom in the future.

“This facility will touch a lot of different lives on a lot of different levels,” Haden said. “This grant will be a catalyst to grow something really phenomenal for this county.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts
LCRA: Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford
512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 10, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $20,000 grant to McMahan Volunteer Fire Department

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas – A $20,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the McMahan Volunteer Fire Department replace the deteriorating 30-year-old metal siding on its fire station.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,000 in matching funds, will allow the department to re-side the fire station and get rid of openings in the existing siding that are leading to energy waste and higher heating and cooling bills. The holes also expose valuable equipment to weather damage, wildlife and theft.

“It sorely needs to be done,” Capt. Reid Davidson said. “It is rotten down the whole southside of the building and the other side is getting there. Re-siding is essential to protecting our station and everything in it.”

New insulation will be added after the metal siding is installed.

The station houses three brush trucks, a fire engine and a rescue truck, plus other equipment and tools. The 22-member McMahan fire department serves a population of 4,000 and covers Caldwell County and portions of Bastrop County.

Davidson said the repairs have been needed for years, but because they’re in a rural area, funding for projects like this isn’t always available.

“We try to be good stewards of the community, but there’s not a lot of money out there, so we try to be diligent about taking care of what we do have,” Davidson said. “Right now, we’ve been using wood to block the exposed area, but there is really not a whole lot we can do, and the problems would get worse if not addressed.

“The grant is a godsend,” he said. “This is going to go a long way to protect our assets and ensure we’ll have them in the future.”

Through the CDPP grant program, LCRA assists first responders throughout the LCRA service area to help keep emergency responders and the public safe.

“Safety is our top priority at LCRA, and we’re excited to help upgrade the McMahan fire station to better protect vital life-saving equipment,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said.

“These firefighters risk their lives day in and day out to help protect our fellow Texans, and it’s only right they have a safe, secure fire station to return to after a call,” he said. “Protecting equipment and keeping it in top condition helps protect firefighters as they work to keep the rest of us safe.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts
LCRA: Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford
512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

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May 7, 2021

News
LCRA, Hamilton County Electric Co-op award $11,351 grant to upgrade Adamsville Community Center

LAMPASAS COUNTY, Texas – An $11,351 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Hamilton County Electric Cooperative will allow the Adamsville Community Center to install additional restrooms and outdoor covered areas.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,838 in matching funds, also will enable the center to add barbecue pits and additional seating in new covered areas outdoors.

The center, built in the 1940s as a venue for community activities, has been the site of parties, wedding showers, family reunions and memorials through the years. A one-room house on the property will house the new restroom facilities.

“The gentleman who donated the property to the community center lived in the one-room house,” said Sharon Watson, treasurer for the Adamsville Community Center. “It’s been vacant since he passed away. The house already has the foundation for us to build on, so it will be easy to convert it into a restroom area.”

The center is popular with both residents and people from surrounding communities. It is the only donation-based public meeting hall available in the area.

“We host an annual barbecue that brings in people from several of the communities nearby,” Watson said. “Some years, there have been more than 100 people in attendance. Having new restroom facilities will cut down on wait times.”

Watson said the grant also will make it possible for the center to host larger events in the future.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Hamilton County Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512-944-6719
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Read Article

May 4, 2021

News
LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $19,848 grant to brighten Round Top’s town square

ROUND TOP, Texas – A $19,848 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will allow Round Top to install energy-efficient outdoor lighting on its historic town hall and the public square that surrounds it.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,000 in matching funds, will pay for eight vintage-style fixtures that will house LED bulbs. Four of the fixtures will be placed above entrances to the town hall, and four will be attached to poles to light sections of the square. All eight fixtures will fit with the design of Round Top’s mid-1920s town hall and be dark sky compliant, directing their light downward.

“Round Top is a dark sky community, and we have deliberated about how to accomplish this project and meet the dark sky requirements for about five years now,” said David Stall, a special assistant to Round Top’s mayor. “This was not really driven by the city council, but by community organizations. Those groups selected the poles and the fixtures and made their recommendations to the town.

“Our population is about 90 people, so funding is always a challenge,” Stall added. “We looked out and saw this grant opportunity – so this was very, very welcome and allows us to get this project completed in a timely matter.”

Stall said the new lighting will boost the daytime and nighttime look of the public square while also improving security for civic meetings at the town hall or outdoor events on the square. Located in Fayette County, Round Top draws visitors annually to its series of Antique Weeks, during which many vendors set up on the public square. The square also is central to Round Top’s annual Fourth of July celebration, which began in 1851.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts
LCRA: Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Bluebonnet: Will Holford
512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop

Read Article

May 4, 2021

News
LCRA awards $20,000 grant for park shade structures

LA GRANGE, Texas – A $20,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help pay for new shade structures at one of the city’s most popular playgrounds.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $31,000 in matching funds from the City of La Grange, will cover the cost of installing a fabric shade canopy above the playground at Randolph Park. Fabric sails on one side of the canopy will provide additional shade to the playground, which is fully accessible to disabled children and adjacent to a much-used splash pad.

“Our kids love the playscape, especially our little ones, but it just gets so bloomin’ hot out there,” said Janet Rangel, recreation director for the City of La Grange. “We have a lot of people who come to this park, and not just from the La Grange area. People walk to it and people travel to it. Part of it is the splash pad, but it’s also because of the safety features for the little ones.”

Those safety features include a rubberized, porous base instead of mulch or gravel.

“It’s very safe, but it gets mighty hot,” Rangel said. “If you step on it barefoot, it feels like a tar-topped road. These shaded areas will help the little ones move from one activity to another a lot easier. The kids will be able to flow freely back and forth between the splash pad and the playground instead of stopping, putting on shoes and worrying about how hot it is.”

Rangel said the city hopes to install the shade structures by mid-summer.

“We discussed having a splash pad and an ADA-compliant playground for years before we put it in,” she said. “Now, a lot of the families we see there are having a good time – from the 8-month-olds crawling around to the 85-year-old grandparents sitting on the side. I love that aspect of it.”

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of La Grange is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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May 3, 2021

News
LCRA awards $23,000 grant to renovate Main Street Park in Palacios

PALACIOS, Texas – A $23,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the City of Palacios renovate the gazebo, lighting and trellises in Main Street Park.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,875 in matching funds, will help the city repair structures that have fallen into disrepair and replace damaged lights with energy-efficient bulbs and new fixtures, increasing both day and evening recreational opportunities.

“People used to come and take wedding and family photos at the park before the gazebo and trellises were damaged by strong winds and hurricanes,” said Tammy McDonald, treasurer for the City of Palacios. “These places are the last to be addressed when you live on the coast and face constant hurricane damage.”

The City of Palacios has seen a recent influx of visitors, many of whom are interested in the outdoor activities the coastal community has to offer.

“Because we are a small town in a secluded area, we have had a lot of visitors wanting to get away from large city crowds during the pandemic,” McDonald said. “We’re also updating our downtown area. We hope these repairs will bring more visitors in the coming years.”

Main Street Park is located next to the city’s historic downtown, and is open to residents and visitors alike.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

Read Article

April 27, 2021

News
LCRA, PEC award $22,235 grant to upgrade Cottonwood Shores park

COTTONWOOD SHORES, Texas – A $22,235 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will help the City of Cottonwood Shores replace playground equipment and make other improvements at a city park.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,405 in matching funds, will pay for much-needed improvements at Aspen Park in Cottonwood Shores.

Andrea Stephens, chairman of the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, said the park’s playground equipment will be replaced and moved farther from an existing road, making the playground safer for visitors.

Other improvements will include adding new mulch to the playground, repairing a fence and picnic tables, enlarging a parking lot and reworking a sidewalk to make it accessible to people with disabilities. Since Aspen Park also has a basketball court and outdoor fitness equipment, the new playground equipment for 5- to 12-year-olds will make the park appeal to a wider age range of people, Stephens said.

“This grant gives us a huge start on this project,” Stephens said. “Without the grant, I don’t think there was a chance for us to bring it to fruition. I think it’s just a catalyst for what can be done with Aspen Park. This project gives us the potential to add to the park in the years ahead.

“These changes will make a much more beautiful Cottonwood Shores,” she said.

The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Pedernales Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

About PEC
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 350,000 accounts across Central Texas. An industry-recognized leader providing outstanding member service and reliable electricity, PEC conducts its business via a transparent and democratic process and highly encourages member participation.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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April 9, 2021

News
LCRA ‘steps forward’ to work on dozens of community projects

“Steps Forward Day is dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve across Texas,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said. “We know the pandemic has slowed or sidelined many projects, but through Steps Forward Day we’re able to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to help get these projects completed in a single day. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve these communities on Steps Forward Day and every day during the year.”

This year, hundreds of employees volunteered on more than 30 projects throughout LCRA’s service territory by:

  • Austin – Sprucing up the River City Youth Foundation center by spreading mulch, planting flowers and herbs, cleaning and painting picnic tables, repairing fencing, painting flower boxes, removing leaves and painting a mural on play equipment.
  • Brenham – Constructing a bench around an oak tree at Jerry Wilson Park.
  • Burnet – Painting metal fence posts at ballfields at Galloway Hammond Park.
  • Fredericksburg – Painting trash barrels at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.
  • Goldthwaite – Organizing the Chamber of Commerce storage building and distributing crushed granite at the Texas Botanical Gardens.
  • Gonzales – Cleaning up tree trimming debris at the Disc Golf Course.
  • Hempstead – Painting fire hydrants.
  • Jonestown – Planting trees at Jones Brothers Park.
  • Kempner – Painting a pavilion, restroom and railings at Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park.
  • La Grange – Painting the restroom, and sanding and painting picnic tables and barbeque pits at Northside Park.
  • Lampasas – Spreading mulch and installing sod at W.M. Brooks Park.
  • Lexington – Painting the exterior of the Police Department building.
  • Llano – Replacing landscaping, painting an entryway gate and repairing a fence at the Llano River Golf Course.
  • Lockhart – Creating a walkway, improving a fence and replacing landscaping at the animal shelter.
  • Luling – Installing landscaping and painting picnic tables at Blanche Square Park.
  • Marble Falls – Painting bleachers, a concession stand and a restroom at the Johnson Park softball field; painting outdoor pavilions and an amphitheater at Johnson Park; painting a retaining wall at Falls Creek Park Skatepark; and planting and mulching 10 downtown flower beds.
  • Pflugerville – Removing tree posts and spreading mulch around trees at 1849 Park.
  • Rockne – Painting bleachers and metal posts at the ballfields at the Rockne Community Recreation Center.
  • Round Rock – Planting bushes and trees, spreading mulch and laying sod at Yonders Point in Old Settlers Park.
  • San Angelo – Clearing landscaping at the entrance to the San Angelo Regional Airport.
  • San Marcos – Installing landscaping, removing a fence and painting a city-owned pavilion in downtown.
  • San Saba – Laying sod at Mill Pond Park.
  • Schulenburg – Painting pipe fencing at the Schulenburg Expo Center.
  • Smithville – Painting the exterior of the Smithville Community Gardens building.
  • Waelder – Painting the exterior of the Waelder Public Library.
  • Weimar – Painting buildings at the Weimar Farmers Market.
  • Wharton – Refurbishing signs and planting landscaping at City Hall.

LCRA launched its Steps Forward employee volunteer program in 2015 and has held a Steps Forward Day every year since then but 2020, when the event had to be canceled because of the pandemic. LCRA works with its customers to identify service projects in their communities and supplies the labor and materials needed to complete the projects. For more information, visit lcra.org/stepsforward.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contacts
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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March 10, 2021

News
LCRA awards $13,050 grant to SJWTX, Inc. for water system upgrades

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas – SJWTX, Inc. will enhance its water conservation efforts  in the Deer Creek Water System with help from a $13,050 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The cost-share grant will help SJWTX, a privately held water utility, install new meter-reading software in the Deer Creek system north of Dripping Springs, making water use information available to the utility hourly instead of monthly. The Deer Creek system includes customers in northern Hays and southern Travis counties.

“SJWTX is excited to implement a new state-of-the-art water measuring technology in our Deer Creek service area in 2021,” said Larry Jackson, SJWTX’s director of customer service and communications. “Funded in part with a partnership with LCRA, this new technology will provide near-real time water usage information from each water meter that will allow better water usage forecasting and distribution, ultimately resulting in cost savings to our customers.”

In addition, the utility can use the information to notify customers of unusually high water usage, which can help customers detect leaks early, optimize irrigation and better manage their own water use.

The project is part of the second phase of a three-phase plan to improve water conservation and management efforts in the Deer Creek system. This phase includes the installation of two data collection towers and the transition to a new data management system.

“We are proud to work with LCRA to align our priorities to better manage water supply and consumption in order to preserve this precious resource,” Jackson said.

SJWTX anticipates the project will save about 11.25 acre-feet of water annually, or roughly 3.66 million gallons, from the Highland Lakes. The total project cost is $204,623.

John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to support SJWTX, Inc.’s water conservation plans.

“Projects like this play an important role in our region’s water conservation efforts,” Hofmann said. “Even in a relatively small water system, you can make a big difference by finding ways to use water efficiently and decrease water waste. New technology can support water conservation efforts in ways that weren’t available even a few years ago, and we’re pleased to support these efforts.”

The grant is awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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March 3, 2021

News
LOWER COLORADO RIVER AUTHORITY Voluntary Disclosure Statement dated March 2, 2021

From February 14, 2021 through February 19, 2021, the State of Texas (the "State") experienced a historically severe winter storm in terms of scope and duration statewide with record breaking below freezing temperatures over prolonged periods of time (the "Weather Event").

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February 24, 2021

News
LCRA adopts moratorium on commercial dredging on the Highland Lakes

AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday adopted a one-year moratorium prohibiting commercial dredging on the Highland Lakes.

LCRA’s Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance, which is designed to protect water quality, addresses non-commercial dredging related to projects such as retaining walls, shore stabilization and boat docks and marinas, but does not address large-scale commercial dredging activities that take sand and gravel from a lake for processing and sale. The Board determined that new rules are necessary to address commercial dredging projects and their potential impact on water quality, aquatic life and public safety on the lakes.

During the moratorium, LCRA will not accept new applications, review pending applications or issue permits for commercial dredging.

LCRA has canceled a March 10 public meeting on a permit application for a commercial dredging operation filed by Collier Materials, Inc. The application, which requested permission to dredge and remove sand from Lake LBJ, has been returned to the applicant.

Over the next year, LCRA will review potential water quality impacts of commercial dredging, coordinate with other entities, and conduct a robust public and stakeholder input process. Before the end of the moratorium, LCRA staff will report to the LCRA Board of Directors and either make a recommendation related to regulations on commercial dredging, or request additional time to propose an effective recommendation.

The moratorium does not apply to non-commercial dredging projects.

The resolution adopted by the LCRA Board of Directors is available at lcra.org/hlwo.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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February 3, 2021

News
LCRA sets March 10 public meeting on application for commercial dredging operation on Lake LBJ

KINGSLAND, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority has set a public meeting for Wednesday, March 10, to hear comments on an application under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance for a commercial dredging operation on Lake LBJ. The business, to be located west of the RR 2900 bridge over Lake LBJ, has requested a permit to dredge sand and gravel from the lake for processing and sale.

The public meeting on the development/dredge and fill application from Collier Materials, Inc., will be at 6 p.m. on March 10 at the Kingsland Community Center, 3451 Rose Hill Drive, in Kingsland. LCRA will provide additional details on how to participate in the meeting, including the COVID-19 protocols that will be in place, in the coming weeks.

LCRA also has extended the deadline for submission of written comments on the application to Thursday, Feb. 18. Comments may be submitted to HLWO@lcra.org or mailed to LCRA Watershed Management, Mail Stop L106, P.O. Box 220, Austin, TX 78767.

The Collier application and related materials are available at lcra.org/hlwo.

About LCRA and LCRA TSC
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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January 29, 2021

News
LCRA awards $17,632 grant for improvements to Lago Vista’s water supply system

LAGO VISTA, Texas – A $17,632 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the City of Lago Vista continue a project to locate and repair leaks in its water supply system to conserve water and save money.

The grant, along with a matching contribution of $53,468 from the city, will allow Lago Vista to carry out a leak-detection survey of more than 30 miles of water delivery pipes. The grant also will help pay for the materials and labor needed to repair leaks once they are found.

Director of Public Works Eric Belaj said he expects the survey to uncover about 50 leaks in Lago Vista’s water supply system, which was constructed in the 1960s and early 1970s. Fixing the leaks is expected to result in annual water savings of more than 15 acre-feet, or roughly 5 million gallons, and save the city about $220,000 over a 10-year period.

Lago Vista, which is just east of the Colorado River in Travis County, had an estimated population of about 8,000 residents as of 2019 and is growing quickly. Belaj said the city approved 138 residential building permits in the past three months, putting it on pace to add more than 500 new homes over a year’s time.

“Our city’s growing at a rapid pace, and summertime heat and rapid growth are taxing the water system,” Belaj said. “This improvement project reduces the need to upsize or upgrade our water treatment plant, because we would not need to treat as much water if we resolve some of the leaky pipe issues we’re facing.”

John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to back Lago Vista’s efforts to further conserve water.

“As Texans, we appreciate the need to use water efficiently and not waste it,” Hofmann said. “Undetected leaks can waste water before anyone even knows they exist. This project in Lago Vista will not only help stop those kinds of leaks, it will also save the city money and help the city use its current water supply system to meet growing demands. Those are great outcomes.”

Belaj said Lago Vista is getting close to concluding a multi-year effort to improve the city’s water infrastructure. In 2019, a grant from LCRA helped the city pay for a $150,000 project that included a large-scale leak-detection survey and resulting repairs. That project has saved Lago Vista’s water system about 45 million gallons per year.

“Once LCRA partnered with us, it made it so much easier for us to move forward and capture these costly water losses,” Belaj said.

The grant is awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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January 28, 2021

News
LCRA TSC projects will “storm harden” area transmission lines

LLANO AND BURNET COUNTIES, Texas – Construction is set to begin in February on projects to increase the reliability and resiliency of transmission lines that travel through Horseshoe Bay and Granite Shoals.

The $11.6 million projects by the LCRA Transmission Services Corporation will storm harden more than 7.5 miles of high-voltage transmission lines to make them better able to withstand extreme conditions such as wind, ice and other weather-related issues. Upgraded lines can help minimize outages, restoration times and restoration costs.

Large construction equipment, bucket trucks and cranes will be used in the project, and traffic may occasionally be stopped for brief periods on roads under the lines as the work progresses. Construction will take place from early February through mid-May.

The project will replace or rebuild more than two dozen structures and the associated conductor on lines that run from the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant substation to the Wirtz Dam substation, and from the Sherwood Shores substation to the Wirtz Dam substation. The work will help ensure the lines meet infrastructure protection requirements from the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

About LCRA and LCRA TSC
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

In 2002, LCRA created LCRA Transmission Services Corporation as a nonprofit corporation for transmission operations. LCRA TSC has invested more than $3.6 billion in transmission projects to meet the growing demand for electricity, improve reliability, connect new generating capacity, address congestion problems that affect the competitive market and help move renewable energy to the market. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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January 26, 2021

News
LCRA awards $100,000 grant for upgrades to Pflugerville’s water system

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas – The City of Pflugerville will update its water metering infrastructure and create a customer portal with help from a $100,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The cost-share grant will help replace the city’s current meters with advanced metering infrastructure and create an easy way for customers to monitor their water use in real time. The total project cost is $8 million.

“As a utility, the grant will allow us to automate a lot of our meters that currently require staff to drive around for readings,” said Brandon Pritchett, Pflugerville’s public utility director. “The new automated system will free them up to assist customers and will alert us to any red flags and help us better address our water conservation measures.”

He said customers would benefit by being able to monitor their water use throughout the billing cycle, which could help them cut back during high-use times and provide an early alert of any water leaks.

The project is expected to decrease potable water use and conserve water from the Highland Lakes. Pflugerville anticipates the project will save 92.7 acre-feet, or roughly 30.2 million gallons, of water annually.

“It means a lot to have LCRA partner with us and approve our grant application for the full amount,” Pritchett said. “LCRA’s trust in us will help us do the right thing for our customers.”

John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to support Pflugerville’s water conservation efforts.

“Installing efficient, water-saving infrastructure and technology helps decrease water waste and conserve water from the Highland Lakes,’’ Hofmann said. “Large projects like this can make a real difference in water conservation efforts.”

The grants are awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries, irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water.

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org

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January 19, 2021

News
LCRA protects 934 acres of Matagorda wetlands from future development

The Lower Colorado River Authority has donated a conservation easement on 934 acres of critical Matagorda wetlands to permanently protect the land from future development.

The conserved wetlands are part of LCRA’s Matagorda Bay Nature Park along the mid-Texas Gulf Coast. The conservation easement held by the Colorado River Land Trust will allow LCRA to retain ownership of the property while ensuring the land will be protected as natural open space forever.
For the full story - https://lnkd.in/dV35EaB

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July 10, 2019

News
Fitch Upgrades LCRA

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the rating on Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) refunding revenue bonds and bank note rating (CP series B) to 'A+' from 'A'.

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