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Bluebonnet, LCRA award $20,000 grant to McMahan Volunteer Fire Department

0510
 2021


Pictured, from left to right, are: Hoppy Haden, Caldwell County judge; Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative Board member; Stramer White, McMahan VFD treasurer; Joyce Buckner, Bluebonnet community representative; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; and Lori A. Berger, LCRA board member.

A $20,000 grant from Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and the Lower Colorado River Authority 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.”

“Keeping the firefighters in our service area strong and safe is of tremendous importance to the cooperative,” Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s General Manager and CEO, said. “It is essential that their facilities and equipment are in top condition. By helping with that, we also help protect the lives of both firefighters and those who live in the community.” 
 
Through the CDPP grant program, Bluebonnet and LCRA assist first responders throughout the service area to help keep emergency responders and the public safe.
 
The community grant is one of seven grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and the LCRA 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.

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