LLANO COUNTY, Texas – The Sandy Harbor Volunteer Fire Department will soon begin construction on a new bay to relieve overcrowding at its fire station, thanks to a $23,908 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
The grant, combined with a $19,100 matching contribution from the fire department, will help address the fire department’s storage problem. The cramped station currently only has room for three of its four trucks – an engine, two brush trucks and a water tanker – with little room to store equipment.
“The grant will be used to construct a free-standing building for one of the four trucks right next to the existing station, with a covered space connecting the two buildings that will be used to house other equipment,” said Douglas Hindelang, Sandy Harbor VFD board president. “More space will make it easier and faster for crews to get in and out of the garage when responding to emergency calls.”
The additional bay will improve efficiency and help decrease response time in an area where wildfires are common, Hindelang said. The department has a coverage area of about 3,200 acres and works with neighboring fire departments during emergencies. Having a fire department that is ready to respond will have a positive impact on the growth of communities within the department’s service area, he said.
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is honored to contribute to a project that helps firefighters protect the community.
“We’re grateful for the dedication and bravery of these first responders,” Wilson said. “It’s important that emergency equipment be housed and protected properly so crews can respond safely and quickly when they are needed.
“We value safety above all else at LCRA, and we’re pleased to support the Sandy Harbor community by helping the Sandy Harbor VFD add this much-needed service bay,” Wilson said.
In addition to housing equipment, the additional bay will also benefit first responders who use the station for meetings and training sessions, and the public. The station’s fire hall is often used for social gatherings, homeowners’ association meetings and neighborhood parties.
“We are fabulously happy and very grateful that we got this grant,” Hindelang said. “This will be a really good addition to the fire station.”
This 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. Pedernales 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
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 Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Founded in 1938 by then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson, PEC is a member-owned electric cooperative serving more than 325,000 accounts across Central Texas. An industry-recognized leader providing outstanding member service and reliable electricity, PEC conducts its business via a transparent and democratic process and highly encourages member participation.