LCRA, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant for new helipad

Helipad will provide safe landing zone for medical helicopters during emergencies

May 2, 2018

Kate Holman, LCRA Governmental Affairs representative; Bruce Luedke, New Ulm VFD 2nd vice president/assistant chief; Kayble Luedke, firefighter; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Bryan Haevischer, fire department vice president; Byron Balke, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative board director; Hondo Powell, Bluebonnet chief of staff/strategic projects coordinator; Douglas Luedke, firefighter; Brent Boyce, New Ulm VFD president; and Johnny Schupak, firefighter.

The New Ulm Volunteer Fire Department will soon begin construction on a helipad that will significantly reduce patient transport time during medical emergencies, thanks to a $25,000 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $10,500 in matching funds, will eliminate the time spent looking for landing sites and conveying location information to helicopter crews and first responders. The minutes saved coordinating resources could be critical.

"Although our crews are trained to find locations free of obstacles like powerlines, busy highways and bad weather, the new helipad would mean no time lost for the patient," said Bryan Haevischer, fire department vice president. "Without the grant award we would have to continue as we have been, so we couldn't be more excited to have a safe landing spot right near the fire station."

The New Ulm Volunteer Fire Department serves mostly rural communities in northwest Austin County, northern Colorado County and northwest Fayette County.

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA's Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA's 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 July 1-July 31. 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; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40​ parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves nearly 95,000 meters and owns and maintains more than 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.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma