LCRA, Bluebonnet award $19,740 grant for emergency generator

New gas generator will help Washington Texas Volunteer Fire Department respond to emergencies, provide emergency staging during power outages

Nov. 20, 2018

​​​​​Local Communities
LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $19,740 grant to the Washington Texas Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a generator to provide emergency services during power outages. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Pamela Jo “PJ” Ellison, LCRA Board member; John Brieden, Washington County judge; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Robert Jensen, Washington Texas VFD captain; Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community representative; Russell Borgstedte, VFD secretary; David Bledsoe, firefighter; Clyde Miller, VFD fire chief; Billy Jensen, VFD vice president; Ken Mutscher, Bluebonnet board member; and Robert Mikeska, Bluebonnet board member.

The Washington Texas Volunteer Fire Department soon will have a generator to help supply water to fight fires and provide other emergency services during a power outage, thanks to a $19,740 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,935 in matching funds, will supply Washington Texas VFD with a backup energy source to power a new 12,600-square-foot fire and EMS station. Without the generator, firefighters would not be able to access or recharge life-saving equipment during a power outage. 

The generator also will enable the department to act as an emergency staging area. Community members can come to the station to get emergency water, receive a warm meal, use showers and reach other emergency service groups such as the American Red Cross.

For the nearly 5,000 residents of Washington and surrounding areas, the generator helps provide assurances firefighters will have access to the tools they need in an emergency.

“My father-in-law, along with several other neighbors and volunteers, started the volunteer fire department in 1972,” said Clyde Miller, Washington Texas VFD fire chief. “He borrowed our first truck from the City of Navasota and dedicated his life to protecting this community. Without a generator during a power outage, our firefighters would not have access to the station, access to the water from our well or be able to use fully charged equipment.”

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 wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet 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 Jan. 1-31, 2019. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

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 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 lcra.org.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 98,000 meters, and owns and maintains 11,600 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 bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts

LCRA:

Clara Tuma 512–578–3292
clara.tuma@lcra.org


Bluebonnet:

Will Holford 512-332-7955
will.holford@bluebonnet.coop