Bluebonnet, LCRA award $25,000 grant to Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department


Pictured, from left to right, are Lori A. Berger, LCRA board member, Mat Kolajajak, Chappell Hill VFD assistant chief, Mary Kmiec, Chappell Hill VFD vice president, and Robert Mikeska, Bluebonnet Board secretary/treasurer. (Sarah Beal photo)

A $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help the Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department purchase an emergency generator.

The grant will be paired with $36,802 in matching funds from the Chappell Hill VFD to purchase a generator to help provide uninterrupted fire protection and emergency services even during natural disasters or regional power outages.

“A generator will make us better prepared for emergencies such as evacuations or power outages, especially since our area is experiencing rapid growth,” said Marcy Kmiec, vice president of the Chappell Hill fire department. “This generator will not only help our department, but also will benefit our community by reducing our response times during emergency rescues.”

Chappell Hill VFD serves a population of 35,500 in Washington County and provides back-up response for all other volunteer fire departments within the county and in the western part of Waller County. The department also serves the U.S. Highway 290 corridor, a major evacuation route from Houston and Galveston during regional disasters.

“We’re a nonprofit, and because of COVID-19, we’ve missed out on our normal fundraising efforts that keep us operating,” Kmiec said. “The grant from LCRA and Bluebonnet is greatly appreciated, and we’re very pleased and honored for their support.”

The community grant is one of 27 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.

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