LCRA, Bellville Award $23,370 Grant for New Air Conditioning Units at Convention and Expo Center

LCRA and the City of Bellville present a $23,370 grant to the Austin County Fair Association for new air conditioning units at the Convention and Expo Center. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, front row from left to right, are: Kate Holman, LCRA Governmental and Regional Affairs representative; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Kathy Ignasiak, Austin County Fair Association 3rd vice president; Shawn Jackson, Bellville city administrator; and Kathy Mewis, association retired director. Back row, from left to right: Allen Kaminski, association president; Tim Lapham, Austin County judge; John Harrison, association director; Megan Bartay, association director; Clayton Sowa, association director; Anita Kramer, association director; and Steven Jackson, association 1st vice president.

The Austin County Fair Association will be able to upgrade two air conditioning units at the Convention and Expo Center thanks to a $23,370 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Bellville.

The grant, part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, will allow the organization to replace two of four air conditioning units with energy-efficient, 15-ton units. The upgrade also includes Wi-Fi thermostats and control wiring.

At 17,000 square-feet, the Convention and Expo Center is the largest building in Austin and surrounding counties. It’s rented by groups from as far away as Houston and Katy for weddings, fundraisers, school functions and 4-H and FFA groups. The fair association also provides free or discounted facility rental to nonprofits, farm groups and schools. The grant will allow the fair association to continue supporting the community and youth with a comfortable space.  

“People from these regions depend on the Austin County Fair Association to provide them with a facility large enough to support their event, and a place that is comfortable for all seasons,” said Kathy Mewis of the Austin County Fair Association. “This is a huge impact on our community because these visitors shop in our local stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations. They stay at the local bed and breakfasts and hotels.”

The air conditioning units that will be replaced are about 20 years old and are costly to operate. The new, high-efficiency units will help the fair association save on electric bills.

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 electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Bellville is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.​

Applications for the next round of grants are due July 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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