LCRA awards $20,797 grant to Medina County for all-terrain vehicle

New vehicle will help emergency responders fight fires, perform searches and rescues over rugged terrain

Nov. 17, 2023

Lower Colorado River Authority representatives present a $20,797 grant to Medina County for a new utility task vehicle to help emergency responders travel over rough terrain. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are: Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Claudia Moore, assistant county auditor and grant administrator; Mark Chadwick, county emergency management coordinator and fire marshal; Michael L. “Mike” Allen and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Keith Lutz, county judge; and Beverly Ham, assistant county auditor and grant administrator. Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are: Jesse Esparza, Everitte Davis, Tammi Arellano, Robert Tilton and Kevin Hurst, Lone Star Kawasaki & Ag Equipment employees.

HONDO, Texas – Medina County will add a utility task vehicle and trailer to its emergency response fleet with the help of a $20,797 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with about $5,200 in matching funds from the county, will allow the county to buy a UTV to respond more quickly to sometimes life-threatening emergencies in remote areas. The Medina County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Marshal’s Office will use the trailer to transport the UTV to emergencies. The county includes rugged terrain, flood-prone areas and other features that can make it difficult to get traditional response vehicles into remote areas, said Medina County Judge Keith Lutz. He said those factors make an all-terrain vehicle critical in emergency situations. “It’s going to have multiple uses,” Lutz said. “We will be able to use this in wildfires and other types of incidents where we may have issues getting the first responders in. The pickup truck can get you there, but you need this piece of equipment to get you to difficult spots.” The UTV will help responders quickly access remote areas during wildland search and rescue operations, as well as aid in extractions of injured people, searches for lost hikers, damage assessments and other incidents in the county and mutual aid service areas. Lutz said responders often had to cross rugged terrain on foot after full-size emergency response vehicles could not access certain areas during the 2022 Das Goat fire in Medina County, which burned nearly 1,100 acres and three homes. The vehicle will help address such issues, he said. Lutz is keenly aware of the need for the new equipment and the advantages it will bring, saying, “I was the emergency manager and fire marshal, and I asked for one over 10 years ago.” He said the need for the UTV has become even more evident as the county’s population has grown.“We are one of the faster-growing counties in the state, so services can be stretched thin,” Lutz said. “Even though something can be a high need, maybe it’s not an emergency need. This allows us to address a need that’s extremely important to the health and safety of our residents and visitors.” The community grant is one of 45 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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