LCRA, Bluebonnet award $50,000 grant for fire station addition


LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $50,000 grant to the Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department for an addition to its fire station. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member, Hondo Powell, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative community representative; Marcy Kmiec, Chappell Hill VFD vice president; Clint Harp, LCRA chief of staff; Michael Kmiec, Chappell Hill VFD fire chief; Mat Kolajajek, Chappell Hill VFD assistant fire chief; Deb Calderone, Chappell Hill VFD secretary; Bryce Armstrong, Chappell Hill VFD captain; Joseph Fritz, Chappell Hill VFD captain; and Kate Holman, LCRA governmental affairs representative.

The Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department soon will have a sizeable addition to its fire station thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
The new 70-by-110 foot addition to the fire station in downtown Chappell Hill primarily will be used for training for area fire departments. It also will provide a venue for community meetings and events, a location for voting, a staging site for first responders, and an emergency shelter for people displaced during a disaster. The addition also will be available for private rentals such as family events, weddings and celebrations.
The new building, paid for by the grant, $154,756 in local matching funds and $43,250 of in-kind work, will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It will include a kitchen and bathrooms and will have Energy Star-certified products, said Michael Kmiec, Chappell Hill VFD fire chief.
“We are very excited to have such a wonderful contribution from LCRA and Bluebonnet, and we are excited to share our new facility and to help the community grow and stay together,” Kmiec said. “We thank all our supporters and contributors over the years, and we will continue to protect and serve our community.”
Kmiec said the facility will be the only one in eastern Washington County capable of serving public safety and community needs.

The department was founded in 1974 and serves more than 1,400 people in eastern Washington County.
The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants are due Jan. 31, 2017. More information is available at

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