LCRA, City of San Saba award $25,000 grant to help with emergency responses
New off-road utility vehicle for the San Saba Economic Development Corporation will improve law enforcement response time, expand coverage area
Jan. 4, 2023
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $7,000 in matching funds from the EDC, will provide a new way for law enforcement to respond to emergencies in areas that full-size vehicles may have difficulty reaching.
“We have elevations that are really steep,” Police Chief John Bauer said. “We have creeks. We have rivers. We have lakes that border us. So for us, it is very hard to get from one location to the next without going through some off-road type of situation.”
San Saba sees a surge in population each deer hunting season, when emergency calls in remote areas of the county test the capabilities of the department’s vehicles or require assistance from community members and neighboring agencies.
“In the past, we’d have to borrow ranchers’ ATVs,” Bauer said. “If we call on another county for an ATV, you’re looking at an hour, maybe an hour-and-a-half response time. When something major has happened to you and your life is on the line, the last thing you want to be told is we’re getting somebody from another county.”
The vehicle will be available to the police department, as well as the volunteer fire department, emergency medical services and the justice of the peace.
“We recently had a call way out in the country, and one of the ambulances that went out there hit a rock and had a blowout,” Bauer said. “It was so far off the grid that really the only way to get there was with an ATV.”
The new Polaris will be specially equipped for emergency responses.
“It’s going to be outfitted with LED lights and sirens, and will have police markings on it and a radio so we can be in contact with dispatch,” Bauer said. “It will be a tremendous asset for not only the city here, but for the county and surrounding counties for any type of emergency use.”
With numerous outdoor attractions in the area, including a state park, Bauer said having an all-terrain vehicle is critical in the department’s readiness to address the needs of both residents and visitors.
“I can’t reiterate enough our thanks to LCRA,” Bauer said. “This is a small town, and LCRA provides so many opportunities to these citizens. It’s not just what they do for San Saba or San Saba County, it’s all the surrounding counties and for the Hill Country.”
The community grant is one of 46 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. The City of San Saba is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
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 lcra.org.