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Representatives from LCRA present a $9,885 grant to Hays County for a new emergency trailer and upgrades to a second trailer. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Ashton Pecina, Hays County grant coordinator; Alex Villalobos, Hays County chief of staff; Simone Corprew, Hays County grant coordinator; Mike Jones, Hays County director of emergency services; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board members; and Ruben Becerra, Hays County judge.
Photo courtesy of LCRA

LCRA, city grant to help county get new emergency trailer

Friday, June 14, 2024

Hays County will purchase a new emergency trailer and upgrade another trailer, thanks to a $9,885 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the city of San Marcos.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,472 in matching funds from the county, will pay for an emergency trailer for the Buda Community Emergency Response Team. The grant also will allow the county to add new heating and cooling equipment to an existing trailer.

“Our Community Emergency Response Teams are volunteers who expand the capacity of our first responders for any event,” Hays County Director of Emergency Services Mike Jones said. “Any time our firefighters or law enforcement officers are on scene for an extended period of time, our CERT members provide rehab services, such as snacks, drinks, and heating or cooling components, so those first responders can have a chance to get a quick reset and get back outside to continue the mission. CERT teams saved the county more than $300,000 in man hours with the work they did in the last year.”

Hays County uses the trailers for both emergency response and training, Jones said.

“Every year, we do community outreach where we take our CERT trailers out in public and talk about what we do, how we do it and how people need to prepare for and take care of themselves during different emergencies,” Jones said. “We also have a minimum of four trainings a year where we train people to become CERT members. The trailers are used in that training process, so members know how to do things before they deploy in real events.”

Jones said the impact CERT teams have on the community is very special.

“These are Hays County residents helping other Hays County residents,” he said. “And we don’t just help Hays County. We use the trailers regionally and statewide if the need occurs.'

The Buda and Kyle CERT teams have been sharing an emergency trailer, and the grant will allow Buda to form its own branch and expand the coverage area, Jones said.

“It has been our goal since 2013 to have five branches of CERT throughout the county,” he said. “Our branches will now include Dripping Springs, Wimberley, San Marcos, Kyle and Buda. LCRA has been instrumental in helping us achieve our goal.”

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. The City of San Marcos 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 July. More information is available at lcra. org/cdpp.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666