In 2019, PEC-area organizations received an incredible $257,069 in grant funding through the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Community Development Partnership Program. And, from July 1-31, LCRA is accepting applications for the next round of grant funding.
In the most recent cycle of awards, a $25,000 grant from PEC and LCRA is helping the East Lake Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department add a thermal imaging camera to its rescue boat, which operates on a body of water with a surface area of more than 22,000 acres.
The grant, along with matching funds of $10,761 from the fire department, also will allow the department to replace the inflatable tube that wraps around the 24-foot-long rescue boat’s rigid hull. The East Lake Buchanan VFD bought the 16-year-old boat about three years ago after it served the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Forest Service.
“We’re all happy for the support that LCRA and PEC are giving us,” said Capt. Nowell Maluski, president of the East Lake Buchanan VFD board. “With Lake Buchanan being such a big lake, we wanted a craft that we were comfortable putting rescuers in in any type of weather. Now we can replace that inflatable tube instead of having to wait and worry about a catastrophic event.”
Equally important, the addition of a thermal imaging camera will aid the department’s search-and-rescue efforts by allowing firefighters to locate someone in the water up to a half mile away.
“With these changes to our rescue boat, I feel like it will be able to deliver life-saving results over its life,” Maluski added.
“We’re proud to do our part in supporting the East Lake Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department’s mission to protect PEC members,” PEC Community Relations Coordinator Caroline Tinsley Porter said. “We were pleased to help them secure these funds, especially knowing they intended to use the money on potentially life-saving equipment.”
LCRA’s grants program distributes funds across its 42,000-square-miles semiannually. PEC works with local nonprofits to help ensure portions of LCRA’s grant dollars benefit PEC members and communities. The cooperative’s staff offers help with applications, qualifications, and budgeting.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-31. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.