LCRA, Luling award $50,000 grant for electric grid improvements


Representatives from LCRA and the City of Luling present a $50,000 grant to the Luling Watermelon Thump Association for updates to Luling’s downtown electric grid. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Jamie Nickells, Thump Association secretary; Rickey Foreman, association chair; Trey Bailey, association director; Mike Hendricks, Luling mayor; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; and Rick Arnic, LCRA Governmental Affairs representative.

The Luling Watermelon Thump Association soon will renovate a portion of the downtown Luling electric grid used for a number of popular festivals that draw tens of thousands of visitors to town every year, thanks to a $50,000 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Luling.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with more than $34,000 in matching funds and donated labor and equipment from the City of Luling, will allow the association to completely renovate the electric grid in the 400 and 500 blocks of East Davis in downtown Luling. Those city blocks are used year-round for numerous festivals and other events, including the annual Luling Watermelon Thump.

Over the years, the electric grid in the two-block area has become outdated and has been patched and added to in an effort to accommodate increased demand. The new grid will replace the unsafe and obsolete grid with engineered, uniform underground electric service.

“This grant will help us guarantee the continued success of the various and many events held in this two-block area each year, including the Luling Watermelon Thump, Roughneck Chili and BBQ cookoff, Ragin Cajun Festival and the Christmas Yuletrail,” said Trey Bailey, Luling Watermelon Thump Association director.

Bailey said the economic impact on Luling from these events is tremendous, by not only bringing visitors and commerce to the community, but also because the money raised during the events is invested back into the community through scholarships and the work by local organizations.

The upgrades to the electric grid will include removing the existing grid and replacing it with new transformers, LED lights, new load centers and other necessary infrastructure.

“I am excited to see this partnership from our friends and allies at LCRA and the city, as it will allow us to rejuvenate antiquated infrastructure to meet growing needs and safety concerns,” Bailey said. “This partnership project is important to the success of the many organizations that use this infrastructure each year, and we thank LCRA and the city for this opportunity.”

The Luling Watermelon Thump Association holds its annual Luling Watermelon Thump on the last full weekend in June. The association also works to generate commerce in the community and provide a vehicle for local nonprofit, civic, school and church organizations to raise funds for their individual programs.

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. The City of Luling 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 July 1-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; providing 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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