LCRA awards $17,432 grant to Brookesmith Volunteer Fire Department


New generator, other improvements will equip addition to fire station to serve as community center and meeting space

LCRA representatives present a $17,432 grant to the Brookesmith Volunteer Fire Department for improvements to an addition to the fire station. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Robert Conner, VFD board member; Oretha Conner, VFD ladies auxiliary volunteer; Terry Conner, firefighter; Charlotte Conner, VFD ladies auxiliary volunteer; Gerald Conner, assistant fire chief and VFD board member; Michael L. “Mike” Allen and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Donald Krause, VFD board member; Willie Boenicke, fire chief; Pattie Boenicke and Laura Connaway, VFD ladies auxiliary volunteers; John Connaway, VFD IT and logistics; Billy Comeaux, VFD chaplain; and Lisa Rodgers, VFD ladies auxiliary volunteer.
BROWN COUNTY, Texas – Thanks to a $17,432 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Brookesmith Volunteer Fire Department will add a generator and improve accessibility to an addition to the fire station that will serve as a much-needed community center.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $6,058 in matching funds from the department, will pay for constructing ADA-compliant entry ramps and resurfacing a parking lot. As part of the project, the Brookesmith VFD also will buy a generator to provide a backup power source for the building.

Brookesmith VFD board member and firefighter Chip Rodgers said the goal is to have the building in use by the end of June.

“It will serve as everything you get in a community center,” he said. “I can see the prom and school banquets being there. It also will be a polling place for elections and be available for rent for family events, class reunions, weddings, whatever. It will be the nicest structure, other than the school, that’s publicly available and it’s needed.”

Rodgers said until recently, Brookesmith residents often used the school for community gatherings, but an emphasis on improving school security has limited community access to the campus.

The new community center, a 4,000-square-foot extension alongside the department’s four-bay vehicle barn, will give Brookesmith residents a gathering place that is available, accessible and welcoming, Rodgers said.

The addition of the generator also means the building, which will have a full kitchen, can act as an emergency shelter if needed.

The Brookesmith VFD primarily responds to calls in southern Brown County and provides mutual aid to first responders in neighboring counties.

The community grant is one of 44 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. 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.

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Clara Tuma, Public Information Officer
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