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LCRA Awards $25,000 to City of Brenham for New Mobile Message Boards

The City of Brenham will purchase two mobile electronic message boards thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership grant, along with $11,000 in matching funds from the city, will enable Brenham to purchase two mobile message boards that can be used during emergencies, disasters, bad weather and community events.

Dane Rau, Public Works director for the City of Brenham, says the city currently works with other local agencies to share mobile message boards when needed.

“We use the message boards throughout all our special events to let people know about route changes and detours,” Rau said. “We have to share message boards from other local agencies to help direct traffic for big events like the Blue Bell Fun Run, which brings in about 5,000 visitors. Many times, we are short on these signs, especially when multiple events are going on at the same time.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said message boards can be a critical source of information during emergencies.

“A message board can tell you the road is flooded or a hard freeze is expected so you can take the proper precautions,” Wilson said. “The boards also help during large events by providing traffic or parking directions. We’re pleased to assist the City of Brenham in providing a new way to share information and emergency messages with residents and visitors.”

Brenham hosts over 15 community events and parades that draw in thousands of visitors each year.

“Our Hot Nights, Cool Tunes event, held on Saturdays in July, shuts down our downtown area,” Rau said. “We have to warn pedestrians about the traffic and tell people to slow down when driving.”

The city currently has one aging mobile message board that is beyond repair.

“The LED screens have panels that don’t work and you can’t find parts for them anymore,” Rau said. “It’s kind of embarrassing to put it out there with two letters missing because the LED panels are out.”

The mobile electronic message boards can be used by all city departments, including the fire and police departments.

“These signs will also be used to notify people about natural events, like storms and floods, when roadways can be flooded and bridges can get washed out,” Rau said.

“Without this grant, I don’t know if we would have been able to purchase new signs,” he said. “We have a tight budget and a lot of needs and it’s nice to have relief from a grant to make sure we can focus on getting things like this.”

The community grant is one of 44 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 Brenham 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 www.lcra.org.