The following press release is courtesy of LCRA.
JOHNSON CITY, Texas – Lights Spectacular soon will update the electrical infrastructure on the grounds of the Blanco County Courthouse, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $20,700 in matching funds from Johnson City Bank, Texas Regional Bank, and Lights Spectacular and its sponsors, will allow the organization to add 200 amps of power in two pedestals on two sides of the courthouse grounds. Each box will supply 100 amps of greatly needed power to support the annual Lights Spectacular event, monthly Johnson City Market Days and other community events throughout the year.
“Lights Spectacular is a much-loved annual event,” said Tricia Hartmann, Lights Spectacular grant writer and board secretary. “Each year, thousands of visitors come out to Johnson City, ‘The Twinkliest Town in Texas.’”
Hartmann said visitors who come to see the light display of more than a million lights also generate income for local restaurants, lodging, vendors, shops, museums, and educational and recreational facilities.
Lights Spectacular runs each evening for six weeks during the holiday season and includes local food and crafts, while Market Days are planned for one weekend each month. Hartmann said the current electrical infrastructure is unreliable, and vendors must use portable gasoline or diesel generators, which are noisy and produce exhaust.
“These upgrades to the electrical infrastructure will free nonprofits and food vendors from relying on diesel generators,” Hartmann said.
With the upgrades in place, more community events can be held during the year because vendors will be able to rely on the additional outlets and will no longer need to rent generators to use the grounds.
The new infrastructure is scheduled to be operational by Thanksgiving weekend.
The community grant is one of 34 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. PEC 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.