LCRA awards $17,920 grant to Pontotoc Ranch Fire Association

New helipad will provide a designated zone for helicopter landings

LCRA representatives present a $17,920 grant to the Pontotoc Ranch Fire Association for a new helipad. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Cody Farmer, fire association director; TJ Webster, fire association president; John Palacio, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Fred R. Estes, Mason County commissioner, Precinct 2; Michael L. “Mike” Allen and Carol Freeman, LCRA Board members; Patrick Weber, firefighter; Demetra Johns, fire association volunteer; Lonnie Johns, fire association secretary and treasurer; Jody Webster, fire chief; Clay Bode, firefighter; Thain Martin, Mason County EMS director; Adan Orona, firefighter; and Billy Dale Polk, fire association director.
MASON COUNTY, Texas – A $17,920 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the Pontotoc Ranch Fire Association build a helipad on the fire station grounds.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,480 in matching funds from the fire association, will enable the association to build a 40-by-40-foot concrete landing zone for helicopters responding to medical and other emergencies.

“The nearest helipad is currently 30 miles away,” Fire Chief Jody Webster said. “Right now, we have to land on the grass field next to the fire station.”

The fire association is seeing a rise in the need for helicopter landings in the growing community, highlighting the need for a designated landing zone.

Given the community’s rural setting, traditional ground transportation is not always a reasonable option when someone needs urgent medical care, Webster said. Helicopter services to the area have been a lifeline in emergencies and resulted in quicker response times.

The new landing zone will be installed on the fire station property and available for emergency access 24/7.

“Having a designated helipad will give comfort to our community and create a safer environment for patients, fire association personnel and the helicopter medical team,” Webster said.

The new helipad will serve a population of about 1,200 residents in Mason, Llano, McCulloch and San Saba 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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