LCRA, Bluebonnet award large grant to St. John Colony Civic Center


Special to the LPR

The St. John Colony Civic Center soon will have a new septic system and restrooms, thanks to a $20,371 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with about $5,000 in matching funds and in-kind services, will allow St. John 19th Body to install a septic system and high-efficiency water heater, and add restrooms to its 3,600 square-foot multi-use building.
“Trying to raise nearly $10,000 for a septic system is a task,” said Marshall Hill, St. John 19th Body President. “Words don’t explain what it means to also have funds to go inside and finish out restrooms with sinks and a hot water heater. Without help it’d be years before we could make this happen.”
The civic center began as a pavilion to provide relief from the Texas sun during events, but the St. John Colony community soon realized the site could host more social and cultural events. The facility now has walls, insulation, electricity and air conditioning, and includes an open space with a stage and room for a future kitchen and meeting room.
“This community has been talking about this facility for years,” Hill said. “It has been a long time in the making. We have an air-conditioned building for people to get out of the elements. We will have indoor restrooms, with cleaner hygiene facilities for all, especially our elders so they won’t have to use portable restrooms or walk long distances across the site to go to a restroom. This facility will help our community so much.”
Hill said receiving the grant also will increase community involvement in the project as it gets closer to completion.
“Trying to raise enough money to provide the services we do and have money to build was a slow process,” Hill said. “You can only give so much. The community is getting excited again, and with this grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet, there will be even more excitement.”
Hill said he expects the septic system and restrooms to be finished in time for St. John Colony’s Harvest Festival this fall. The civic center also will be available for use on a first-come, first-served basis for celebrations and meetings, and as a voting location.
“If they come with a need to use it, it’s theirs,” Hill said.
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. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative 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


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