LCRA awards $8,832 grant to New Bielau-Content Community Center - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA awards $8,832 grant to New Bielau-Content Community Center - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community


LCRA awards $8,832 grant to New Bielau-Content Community Center

Parking lot, driveway repairs will improve access to community meeting space

Nov. 29, 2022

LCRA representatives present an $8,832 grant to the New Bielau-Content Community Center for parking lot repairs. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Gene Marx, community member; Allen Bellamy, community center director; Bernice Marx, community member; Roger Albright, community center president; Mariette Bellamy, community center treasurer and secretary; Emil Herzik, community center director; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Martin Luchak and Rory Koehn, community center directors; and Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.
COLORADO COUNTY, Texas – The New Bielau-Content Community Center will be able to repair its uneven driveway and create a new parking area, thanks to an $8,832 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,208 in matching funds from the organization, will help the center create a gravel driveway and parking lot to provide a safe way for visitors to enter the building for family events and community meetings.

“We keep filling in holes in the parking lot,” said Mariette Bellamy, the center’s treasurer and secretary. “The driveway is not level and does not provide safe access to the building.”

Standing water in the parking area occasionally prevents people from entering the building safely, causing the center to sometimes have to cancel events. As a nonprofit run by community volunteers, Bellamy said the center doesn’t have the means to afford the needed repairs.

“We just make enough to pay our bills,” Bellamy said. “The parking lot is quite an expensive undertaking and there aren’t extra funds to do that.”

The center was built in the 1920s and keeping it open and available to the community is sometimes tough.

“When it rains, it creates great problems,” she said. “Many times, our community patrons get stuck and require wreckers or trucks to pull them out.”

Like many other nonprofits, the center has been struggling financially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are just getting back on our feet,” Bellamy said. “We were shut down for two years. We didn’t have any income, but we still had to pay for electricity and gas and things like that.”

Two years later, people have slowly started coming back to the center.

“There really isn’t another place where families can go,” she said. “They can rent the civic center, but it’s considerably more expensive. A small family couldn’t really afford that.”

The center is open for reservations for family reunions, community meetings and more. The improvements to the parking area will help make the facility an even more popular and convenient choice for these events.

“This is just like a gift from heaven,” Bellamy said. “I was absolutely thrilled when I found out. I sent an email blast to the board, and then they sent out an email blast to their friends and family. It’s been a wonderful thing for the community.”

The community grant is one of 46 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 January. 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.

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