The Board of Directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) recently announced that it had agreed to match a grant submission by the City of Brady for assistance in building an aquatic complex at Richards Park. Brady was one of five public park projects in LCRA’s service area that was awarded matching capital grants of $200,000 for the 2008 fiscal year. The grant is being funded through LCRA’s Partnerships in Parks program. “This is fantastic news for the citizens of Brady and McCulloch County,” said Brady Mayor James Stewart. “I am very thankful the council and city manager had the foresight and took the opportunity to apply for this grant that will help fund the cost of the new complex. “This grant award is a significant boon to the local effort that has been going on for several years to relocate the public swimming pool and begin the long range goal of revitalizing our public parks system. This reaffirms the commitment that LCRA has shown to our city and how fortunate we are to be included in their network of service.” The aquatic complex is the first phase of an overall master plan that was developed several years ago in a joint effort by the City of Brady and the Brady Economic Development Corporation. In May 2006, the council voted unanimously to move the pool relocation to the top of the list of the overall master plan. At that time, Tara Drake, a professional grant writer with Grant Works of Austin, submitted an application to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife for a $400,000 matching funds grant. That grant was awarded to the city which brought the project with an estimated $800,000 price tag closer to fruition. Late last year, the city also applied for the LCRA parks grant with hopes of narrowing the gap on funding the aquatic complex. “Thanks to the long-range goals and efforts of the council and the city and a lot of other involved parties, this new complex will soon become a reality,” said Stewart. “This grant from LCRA will help the city clear the final hurdle it had and we can now move forward with the project.” The LCRA Board in May awarded the grants totaling $1 million. The five projects demonstrated broad community support and committed matching funds totaling $6.7 million including donations, grants and in- kind services from other sources. Each project will receive $200,000 from LCRA. The projects include the Brady Aquatic Complex, San Marcos Springs Recharge Area and Conservation Project in Hays County, Stoney Creek Park Extension and Improvements in Travis County, Westside Park in Burnet County and Lake Pflugerville Park in Travis County. “The goal of Partnerships In Parks is to improve the quality of life and promote local economic development in LCRA’s service area by helping local governments develop quality public parks,” said LCRA representative Lori LeBlue. According to provisions set forth in the TPWD grant, there is a set time line of two years that the project must be completed. The Brady City Council has already begun the necessary paperwork and with the deficit now met, actual progress should begin in the very near future.