LCRA, City of Mason award $50,000 grant to renovate Mason courthouse square public facilities - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA, City of Mason award $50,000 grant to renovate Mason courthouse square public facilities - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community


LCRA, City of Mason award $50,000 grant to renovate Mason courthouse square public facilities

New ADA-compliant restroom will make the courthouse square more practical and attractive for local events

May 25, 2022

LCRA and City of Mason representatives present a $50,000 grant to the Friends of the Mason County Courthouse to renovate the public restrooms adjacent to the courthouse. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Polly McMillan, county treasurer; Robert Rayburn, city commissioner, District 1; John Palacio, city administrator; Stephen Kruso, Chamber of Commerce member; Frank Bartlett, mayor; Brent Hinckley, former mayor and grant writer; Jerry Bearden, Mason County judge; Nancy Eckert Yeary, LCRA Board member; Buddy Schuessler, county commissioner, Precinct 3; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Brandon Willis, Friends of the Mason County Courthouse member; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Randy Kruse, Friends of the Mason County Courthouse member; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Bobbie McMillan, Friends of the Mason County Courthouse president; Will Frey, county commissioner, Precinct 2; Jasmine Rodriguez, chamber president; Stephen Mutschink, county commissioner, Precinct 4; Ayla Reyes, chamber executive director; Curtis Donaldson, Friends of the Mason County Courthouse vice president; Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Reggie Loeffler, county commissioner, Precinct 1; Tom Oney, LCRA executive vice president of Public and Regulatory Affairs; Dave Stauch, CPM Texas president; and Michael Keller, city commissioner, District 3.

MASON, Texas – As the historic Mason County Courthouse is being rebuilt after a devastating fire, the adjacent public restroom facilities also will be renovated thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Mason. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $45,000 in matching funds from the Friends of the Mason County Courthouse, will not only update the facility with new fixtures and a renovated interior, it will also make it ADA-compliant. The restroom was originally built in the mid-1990s so facilities would be available to the public when the courthouse was closed. “If you saw a picture of the poor, sad restroom, you’d see it’s almost unusable,” said Bobbie McMillan, president of the Friends of the Mason County Courthouse. “This will make the courthouse square more accessible and functional.” The courthouse square restroom is the only public restroom facility available 24/7 in the city’s business district, but it has been closed since the courthouse fire in February 2021 after water utilities on the grounds were turned off. “This community is so active,” McMillan said. “This is one of the biggest needs we have other than getting the courthouse refurbished and back in action.” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said people throughout the area grieved when the Mason County Courthouse burned. “It was heartbreaking to see a courthouse with such history and beauty be turned to ashes,” Wilson said. “I knew folks in Mason would find a way to rebuild the courthouse as soon as possible, and they did. Now it’s time to work to complete other renovations on the courthouse square, and I’m delighted LCRA can play a role by providing funding to help with new public restrooms adjacent to the courthouse.” Wilson said the facilities will be used by both tourists and people who come to events and activities in downtown Mason. “This square has tremendous historic value, and it’s wonderful to see the Texas ‘can-do’ spirit in action as it is being rebuilt,” Wilson said. “We at LCRA strongly support the communities in our service area, and we’re very proud to assist with this project.” McMillan said the square is the main site for local organizations to hold annual functions such as Easter egg hunts, parades, garage sales and other fundraising events. Some events bring thousands of visitors to the square. “In the past, the restrooms kept some organizations from using the courthouse grounds,” McMillan said. “The county doesn’t want portable potties on the grounds. These updates will allow groups to use the space more easily.” Rebuilding the courthouse will cost more than $19.5 million, most of which is being covered by insurance and funding from the Texas Legislature and Texas Historical Commission. Fundraising efforts by groups like the Friends of the Mason County Courthouse will go toward projects to improve the courthouse grounds. “This is important to us locals,” McMillan said. “This grant is going to go a long way, and we appreciate it.” The community grant is one of 36 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 Mason 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.

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