LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $25,000 grant to help expand Carmine fire station

New service bays will help Carmine Volunteer Fire Department meet growing demand as population increases

Dec. 9, 2019

​​​​​Local Communities
LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Carmine Volunteer Fire Department for four new service bays. The grant is part of LCRA's Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right are: Kate Holman, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Greg Cox, LCRA Chief of Staff; Jason Carmean, VFD Chief; Russell Jurk, Bluebonnet board member; Mark Johnson, Bluebonnet community development representative; Byron Balke, Bluebonnet board member; William "Daryl" Ray, VFD secretary; Robert Mikeska, Bluebonnet board member; Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet general manager; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; Fayette County Judge Joe Weber; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Luke Sternadel, Fayette County commissioner; Margaret D. "Meg" Voelter, LCRA Board member; Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community representative; State Rep. Ben Leman, who represents Fayette County; Robbie Tovey, firefighter; Johnny Sanders, Bluebonnet community and development services manager; Dennis Gerland, VFD vice president; and J.C. Pohl, VFD president.

CARMINE, Texas – The Carmine Volunteer Fire Department will build four additional service bays for firetrucks and equipment with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $107,000 in matching contributions, will expand the department’s capabilities and help the department prepare for increased demand for services.

“As the community continues to grow, the demands of the fire department follow,” said Carmine VFD Secretary Daryl Ray. “This is the right time to grow our station and be able to handle the extra equipment.”

The fire station building is at full capacity, with all service bays occupied and a tanker truck parked under the back awning.

“LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric have been very kind to us over the years,” Ray said. “This grant will take us a long way. We are very happy and appreciative of this opportunity.”

The Carmine Volunteer Fire Department provides emergency response services in the Carmine, Round Top, Ledbetter and Burton areas, as well as other parts of Fayette and Washington counties.

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is pleased to contribute to a project that will aid firefighters and the people they protect.

“We’re thankful for the dedication and bravery of these first responders,” Wilson said. “There is nothing more important than safety, and these new bays will help protect valuable assets and keep firetrucks and other equipment ready to go when needed. This will help firefighters respond to emergencies quickly, as well as extend the useful life of the equipment.”

In addition to housing the fire department, the station is used for community events such as National Night Out, Easter egg hunts and tours for school children.

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water 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 a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted from Jan. 1-31, 2020. More information is available at

About LCRA
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

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been providing power to its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 102,000 meters, and owns and maintains 11,000 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 and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

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