BRADY, Texas – A $9,274 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Brady will help pay for a rainwater collection system at the McCulloch County Library, lowering the library’s irrigation costs and aiding its conservation efforts.
The grant, paired with matching funds of $2,318 provided by the McCulloch County Library Association, will allow the newly built library to funnel rainwater into a pair of 5,000-gallon barrels. From there, the water will be pumped into the existing outdoor sprinkler system.
“This grant really allows us to take a step forward and show our community what is possible, both in terms of conserving natural resources and lowering monthly outgoing funds,” said Sarah Maynard, McCulloch County Library director. “We do live in a county that’s considered economically impoverished, and we take a lot of pride in applying for grants. We want to show businesses and households how this can happen and be a leader in that regard.”
The 8,000-square-foot library opened on June 17, 2019, its construction funded largely by an approximately $1 million gift set forth in the will of Brady resident Cleta Allen. The building features the library proper, study rooms, a teen room and a genealogy room.
“We also have a conference room, a 1,100-square-foot community room and a coffee room,” Maynard said. “We’re the only place in town that does not charge for the use of our rooms.”
When the new library opened, Maynard and her staff realized quickly that irrigation costs had jumped. The building and grounds cover a city block.
“In the summer months, we were spending a lot of money to water that lawn,” she said. “We thought we could do better for our community by conserving our natural resources and our tax dollars.”
Once the rainwater collection system is in place, Maynard said the library will launch a water conservation program that mixes practical tips with tours of the library’s system. She said the money the library saves on irrigation could be reallocated to various programs, including one that allows adults to earn a general equivalency degree through Howard College.
“So saving money on water, conserving resources and helping adults with their education,’’ Maynard said. “It just sounds amazing.”
The community grant is one of 28 grants awarded recently 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. The City of Brady 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 July 1-31. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
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