The Shiner Volunteer Fire Department will have a new brush truck to use when responding to emergencies thanks to a $50,000 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Shiner.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $100,000 in matching contributions, will allow the department to purchase a brush truck to replace a 1987 truck that has been out of service for a year.
Fire Chief Billy Petru said all the recent rain has helped create more fuel for summer fires.
“We have new tall grass and brush growth from all the rain, and when the weather turns hot and dry again, we will have a high fire danger in our service area where there is a lot of pastureland,” Petru said. “Everyone is on water wells out here, and we have to be able to run water back and forth in our trucks quickly from the city or from a collapsible tank, so more trucks mean less lag time and less stress on our firefighters.”
On multiple occasions, firefighters have been battling a fire when they receive a call about another fire, which means the department has to ask neighboring county first responders for assistance.
“The more vehicles we have, the less likely we are to need assistance from other agencies during emergencies,” Petru said. “We have good working relationships with other first responders we can call on for mutual aid when we need the extra help, but if we have enough resources we can respond ourselves, which gets help more quickly to those who need it.”
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. The City of Shiner 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 1-31, 2019. More information is available at
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 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