MARBLE FALLS, Texas – Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the Marble Falls rodeo grounds soon will have new restroom facilities to help serve the public and first responders who use the grounds as a rest and staging area during emergencies.
The grant, along with an additional $5,000 from PEC and $126,275 in matching funds, will allow the Marble Falls Rodeo Association to replace dilapidated restrooms with new facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new restrooms will have air conditioning, showers and water-saving features such as low-flow toilets.
The rodeo grounds are centrally located in the Hill Country and are easy to reach off Highway 281, so they regularly serve as a staging area for large emergency response equipment, said Steve Rogers, Marble Falls Rodeo Association president. An on-site fire hydrant allows firefighters to fill up water tankers, and equipment can be fenced in when not in use. The next closest staging area is in Fredericksburg.
“The most important thing about the new facilities is that first responders will have a place to freshen up and stay on their toes,” Rogers said.
First responders such as firefighters use the site as a place to rest, sometimes overnight, before returning to work, and as an Emergency Operations Center to coordinate and plan emergency responses.
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is pleased to help support first responders, which in turn helps the people they protect.
“First responders work long hours in tough, stressful conditions, and this project will help as they rest and prepare to head back out to continue protecting people and property,” Wilson said. “During emergencies, crews come in from other departments and sometimes don’t have time to go home between shifts, so they get what rest they can at the arena. We hope this project will help make that rehab time a little better as firefighters and others gear up for another day.”
Burnet County Commissioner Joe Don Dockery said the Texas Forest Service staged equipment on the rodeo grounds during most of the 2019 summer.
“The fire danger has been at critical levels, and having these resources at the ready means the local volunteer and paid fire departments have professional support close at hand,” Dockery said. “In the event of wildland fires, response time is of the utmost importance in protecting life and property.”
In addition to hosting the Marble Falls Rodeo every July, the rodeo grounds and facilities also are used throughout the year for events such as fundraisers, family reunions and weddings.
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. Pedernales 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
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
About Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, PEC is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 325,000 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.