LCRA, Bandera Electric Cooperative award $16,348 grant for library improvements

LCRA and Bandera Electric Cooperative representatives present a $16,348 grant to the Friends of the Library Association of Leakey for a new HVAC system at the Real County Public Library. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Bruce Forey, BEC director of communications and marketing; Eileen Bell, Real County Public Library director; Patti Berkstresser, Friends of the Library Association president; Mary S. Forman, Friends of the Library Association treasurer; Dick Earnest, BEC director; Lauren Murley, BEC marketing specialist; and Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member.

The Friends of the Library Association of Leakey soon will replace the outdated air conditioning system at the Real County Public Library Leakey, thanks to a $16,348 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative.

The grant, along with local matching funds, will allow for the replacement of three 18-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning units with new energy-efficient units.

The Real County Public Library’s services go well beyond book borrowing now, said Patti Berkstresser, president of the Friends of the Library Association. Job hunters use the resources available to conduct employment searches and fill out applications; children do their schoolwork and receive tutoring there; students participate in online courses or study for high school equivalency tests; patrons use the internet in a rural area where it can be otherwise unreliable and expensive; and events such as author visits provide educational social opportunities.

“Obviously, living in Texas, we have to have good air conditioning for people to come in and do those things,” Berkstresser said. “It’s important to have a library that people see as a relaxing, comfortable environment in which to learn.”

Replacing the air conditioning units now will help avoid potential damage to library materials that could result from an inability to maintain the temperature within the desired range or a possible disruption of service, such as having to close during extreme hot or cold weather. Additionally, the new system will help reduce overall energy consumption and maintenance costs, Berkstresser said.

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program 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. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants are due Jan. 31. More information is available at

About LCRA
​The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40​ parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit

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Source: LCRA Business News

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