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CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas – A $20,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the McMahan Volunteer Fire Department replace the deteriorating 30-year-old metal siding on its fire station.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,000 in matching funds, will allow the department to re-side the fire station and get rid of openings in the existing siding that are leading to energy waste and higher heating and cooling bills. The holes also expose valuable equipment to weather damage, wildlife and theft.
“It sorely needs to be done,” Capt. Reid Davidson said. “It is rotten down the whole southside of the building and the other side is getting there. Re-siding is essential to protecting our station and everything in it.”
New insulation will be added after the metal siding is installed.
The station houses three brush trucks, a fire engine and a rescue truck, plus other equipment and tools. The 22-member McMahan fire department serves a population of 4,000 and covers Caldwell County and portions of Bastrop County.
Davidson said the repairs have been needed for years, but because they’re in a rural area, funding for projects like this isn’t always available.
“We try to be good stewards of the community, but there’s not a lot of money out there, so we try to be diligent about taking care of what we do have,” Davidson said. “Right now, we’ve been using wood to block the exposed area, but there is really not a whole lot we can do, and the problems would get worse if not addressed.
“The grant is a godsend,” he said. “This is going to go a long way to protect our assets and ensure we’ll have them in the future.”
Through the CDPP grant program, LCRA assists first responders throughout the LCRA service area to help keep emergency responders and the public safe.
“Safety is our top priority at LCRA, and we’re excited to help upgrade the McMahan fire station to better protect vital life-saving equipment,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said.
“These firefighters risk their lives day in and day out to help protect our fellow Texans, and it’s only right they have a safe, secure fire station to return to after a call,” he said. “Protecting equipment and keeping it in top condition helps protect firefighters as they work to keep the rest of us safe.”
The community grant is one of 25 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 lcra.org/cdpp.
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 lcra.org.
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 111,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.
LCRA: Clara Tuma
Bluebonnet: Will Holford