This month: State recreation grants put the fun back in funding
Economic Development and Analysis
Region 7 – Michelle Luera
Michelle Luera joined the Comptroller’s office in November 2008, and works as a local government analyst for the division. In that capacity, she serves as the Comptroller’s representative for the 22 counties in the Southeast/Houston-Galveston (Gulf Coast)/Golden Crescent) region. The region stretches from Orange County on the Texas-Louisiana border, as far west as Lavaca County and as far south as Victoria County. Michelle serves as the coordinator for the Local Government Management Assessment program.
Prior to joining the Comptroller’s office in 2008, she had government experience working at the state and local level with a brief stint in the private sector. Michelle spent nearly six and a half years with the state’s Sunset Advisory Commission as a policy analyst and participated in the review of eight state agencies, managing two of them. She also worked as the government relations coordinator for Austin Energy, monitoring energy issues at the state and federal levels.
To find out more about the Local Government Management Assessment and other resources the Comptroller’s office has for local governments, visit TexasAhead.com.
Partnering For Impact
State funding can add muscle to local leisure facility budgets
The Texas Small Community Grant program is for communities with a population of 20,000 or fewer.
The city of Brownwood obtained a $500,000 Outdoor Recreation grant for the Camp Bowie Aquatic Center, which opened in July 2010.
The funds, issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) can be used to develop or beautify parkland, including projects such as recreation fields, hunting and fishing facilities, picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming pools, gardens and support facilities.
Outdoor and indoor recreation grants are available to municipalities, counties and municipal utility districts with a population of 500,000 or fewer. The outdoor grants allow new parkland to be acquired or existing public recreation areas to be expanded. Indoor grant funds can be used to construct recreation centers, community centers, nature centers and other facilities.
Grants require a 50 percent match from the local government, leading some communities to use their economic development corporation to help fund recreation projects. For example, voters in Brownwood approved using $6 million to build a new aquatic center, sports complex and senior citizen center.
Part of the project was funded with a $500,000 outdoor grant that was split between the new aquatic center and sports complex. The Camp Bowie Aquatic Center opened in July 2010 and includes a slide tower, water geysers, umbrellas, a pavilion, four lap lanes, a diving board, current channel and a zero-entry beach. TR
|Grant Type||Application Deadlines||Award Limit|
|Small Community||March 1||$75,000|
|Outdoor Recreation||March 1 and Aug. 1||$500,000|
|Indoor Recreation||Aug. 1||$750,000|
|Urban Indoor Recreation||Aug. 1||$1,000,000|
|Urban Outdoor Recreation||March 1||$1,000,000|
For more information, contact Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Recreation Grants Branch by calling (800) 792-1112, or visiting TPWD’s Recreation Grants web page.