LCRA awards $43,850 grant to Kimble Rural Fire Department

Installing new heat pumps is next step in converting former car dealership into modern emergency response center

June 5, 2023

LCRA representatives present a $43,850 grant to the Kimble Rural Fire Department for upgrades to its emergency response center. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured from left to right, in the front row, are: Dr. Sherry Hubbard, volunteer grant writer; and Carol Freeman, Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board members. Back row, from left: Scott Burton, Affordable Air & Heat owner; Tom Sullivan, Select Sales, Inc., president; Cecil Conner, fire chief; Hal A. Rose, Kimble County judge; and Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

JUNCTION, Texas – The Kimble Rural Fire Department soon will begin the second phase of a major renovation project to upgrade its emergency response center, thanks to a $43,850 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $11,706 in matching funds from the department, will enable the all-volunteer department to purchase and install three heat pump units at the center to create a more comfortable work environment and make it more practical for the center to serve as a regional staging area during emergencies. “The three heat pump units are critical to the project as a whole,” Fire Chief Cecil Conner said. “We will be able to heat and cool the center, which acts as a hub for our department and allows us to respond quickly to emergency situations.” With the new heat pumps providing improved climate control, the building will be better equipped to meet community needs and occasionally even provide housing for firefighters and other emergency response personnel during emergencies. During the 2021 ice storm, some firefighters spent several nights in sleeping bags on the concrete floor as they tried to help protect the community and respond to calls. The emergency response center is a former car dealership the department purchased in 2017. At nearly 24,000-square-feet, it is one of the largest buildings in the region. Once all renovations are complete, it will house offices, firefighting vehicles and equipment, training space, a commercial kitchen and a dispatch center. “Our firefighters will be able to comfortably stay at the center for extended periods of time, which is important when we are experiencing higher call volumes, especially during weather-related emergencies,” Conner said. “We’ll be able to respond quicker and be more efficient.” Conner said he expects the center to one day serve as a regional training hub for volunteer firefighters, as well as providing a place for both children and adults to learn about fire safety topics. LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said he applauds the Kimble Rural Fire Department’s work toward upgrading the emergency response center. “A dedicated space for first responders to train, store equipment and prepare for emergencies is important to keeping firefighters and others ready to respond to whatever need arises,” Wilson said. “It is important that first responders have a comfortable place to rest and recharge, especially during times of crisis, and LCRA is proud to support Kimble Rural Fire Department in this project.” Long term, the department plans to add bunk rooms and full bathrooms for its firefighters and first responders who travel from other parts of the state to provide assistance during emergencies. The department also plans to remodel the first and second floors and add 1,200 square feet of storage space to house rescue trailers and other gear. Conner said the entire renovation should be finished by early 2025. The fire department serves Kimble County, including Junction, Segovia, Roosevelt and London. The firefighters also provide aid to Gillespie, Kerr, Edwards, Menard and Sutton counties. “A lot of people are moving here from other states and counties, and they expect us to protect them in emergencies,” Conner said. “This project will help us keep up with the growth of the community and keep everyone safe.” The community grant is one of 34 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 July. 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. For more information, visit

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