Carmine EDC receives grant


LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Carmine Economic Development Corporation for improvements to Muehlbrad-Albers City Park. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Byron Balke, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative board member; Kate Holman, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Mark Johnson, Bluebonnet community development representative; Robert "Bob" Springer, Carmine Economic Development Corporation former board member; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Kelli Sanford, Carmine EDC board member; Susan Bathe, Carmine EDC president; Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community development representative; and Vicki LaRue, Carmine EDC secretary.

A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Carmine Economic Development Corporation fund the construction of handicap-accessible pathways and a new basketball court at Muehlbrad-Albers City Park.

The grant, augmented by $10,000 from EDC reserve funds, will further efforts to expand activities and recreational opportunities at Muehlbrad-Albers City Park, which sits on the south side of U.S. 290 between Loop 458 and Hauptstrasse Street.  Future plans call for adding attractions along the new pathways to help provide more activities for area children and teens.

“In the absence of a town square, the city park provides a centralized gathering spot for Carmine residents,” said Carmine EDC President Susan Bathe. “It’s really a jewel in the city. It’s so used and so appreciated by the community. This grant is going to be a blessing to us. It will allow us to begin doing the things we want to do down there.”

The park was seriously damaged by flooding in 2016, with many of the park’s activity areas, the pavilion, swings and landscaping damaged or destroyed. The park was closed for several months, but the economic development corporation and local donors have slowly restored or replaced much of the damaged equipment and facilities.
In recent months, Bathe said, city officials have held public meetings and surveyed students at Round Top-Carmine High School to gain input about how to improve the city park. Future improvements could include the addition of fitness stations and possibly a butterfly garden.

Once work at the park gets underway, Bathe says, she hopes Carmine residents also will jump in to help with the renovations.

“With this grant getting us started, it may be where individuals say, ‘Oh, I could do something to benefit the park,’” Bathe said.

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water 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 a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted from Jan. 1-31, 2020. More information is available at

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