Bluebonnet, LCRA award $49,565 grant to Blue Volunteer Fire Department

The Blue Volunteer Fire Department will soon construct a new building and renovate the existing fire station, thanks to a $49,565 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $13,150 in matching funds from the department, will allow BVFD to expand its resources to continue to meet the needs of the community. The new building will assist in housing the department’s growing fleet of emergency response vehicles, while a renovation to the existing station will create a space for training and community meetings.

“We service a little over 100 square miles of mostly rural farmland, but we are seeing an influx of people coming from the Austin area and our population is growing,” Fire Chief Rick Isaacks said. “There are plans for developing new RV plots and tract housing, and our call volume is increasing.” 

The department is committed to anticipating and preparing for a rise in the demand of its services.

“As we have more people move out here, we’re seeing different types of emergencies,” Isaacks said. “In the last several years, we’ve brought the department to another level as far as equipment, training and response capability goes.”

Currently, the area lacks a community events center. The grant will help the department create a meeting space for operations and fire safety trainings that will also be available to local groups.

“This will open up opportunities for nonprofits to have a meeting place,” Isaacks said. “They’ll have a bathroom and kitchen area, too. It helps us give back to the community.

“We are very appreciative for LCRA and Bluebonnet granting this to us,” he said. “This is a big need that we’ve been trying to accomplish for many years. We’re trying to stay ahead of the growth in the area so we can maintain the high level of response that our people deserve. Our volunteers just want to help the community. That’s what it is all about for us.”

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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