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Tarpley VFD receives $45K for park improvements

Special to the Courier

Pictured: Courtesy photo
In conjunction with Bandera Electric Cooperative, officials with Lower Colorado River Authority officials presented a $45,253 grant to the Tarpley Volunteer Fire Department for community park improvements. The grant is part of the LCRA's Community Development Partnership Program. Attending the presentation were, from left, BEC Director Rob Sandidge, BEC General Manager Bill Heatherington, Tarpley VFD President Curtis Kosub, former Fire Chief Anton Haner, Tarpley VFD Fire Chief Adam Jenschke, former Tarpley VFD Director Georgia May Erfurt, BEC Representative Debbie Anderson and LCRA Director Lori Berger.

The Tarpley Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) will make significant improvements to a community park thanks to a $45,253 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative. The grant will enable the department to expand the park pavilion, remove unsafe, dead trees and replace the existing concession building.
"While the number of folks we serve may seem small, our service area is large," said Curtis Kosub, treasurer of the Tarpley Volunteer Fire Department, which serves about 350 people in a 146-mile area.
The community has outgrown the existing pavilion. The work will add about 1,200 square feet to the 2,920-square-foot covered pavilion, providing more covered seating and much-needed shade on hot summer days. The extension will accommodate an additional 200 people.
Many of the large oak trees at the park have succumbed to oak wilt and no longer provide shade for picnic tables near the pavilion.
"Not only is the Tarpley VFD excited about receiving this grant, the Tarpley area is also excited," Kosub said.
Located on more than five acres of land owned by the Tarpley VFD, the park serves as an important gathering place for the community. The main fire station, community center, pavilion, concession building and paved parking lot are located on the property.
This community park improvement project includes constructing a new concession building and adding a large cooler to provide more safe storage for food and concession items. The new building will be closer to the pavilion, providing better traffic flow during events.
"The Tarpley VFD does not receive any tax dollars,'' Kosub said. "All income for the department comes from donations, our fundraisers and grants such as this one." The Tarpley VFD annual barbecue fundraiser and auction takes place the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
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. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA's wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.