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Llano County communities contract with Granite Shoals firefighters

Llano County communities contract with Granite Shoals firefighters

Granite Shoals Fire and Rescue firefighters were introduced during a town hall meeting Sept. 27 regarding the newly formed Llano County Emergency Services District No. 5. The Granite Shoals department will serve the district's residents starting Oct. 1. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals Fire and Rescue won the bid to provide services to residents in the newly formed Emergency Services District No. 5 in Llano County beginning Oct. 1. The area includes the communities of Comanche Rancherias, Lakewood Forest, Bridgepoint, and the ranchland south of the Llano River across the RM 2900 bridge from Kingsland.

ESD No. 5 was formed in November 2022 with approval from voters in Llano County’s Precinct 108. A Board of Commissioners was seated in January 2023. 

Granite Shoals Fire and Rescue won the job with a bid of $63,000 a year to provide services to the around 220 homes in the north part of the district. The Sunrise Beach Volunteer Fire Department covers the southern district.

ESD No. 5 levies a $0.10 per $100 property valuation tax on its residents.

“We provide an ongoing funding source for a variety of emergency services for the city of Sunrise Beach Village and the Kingsland communities of Bridgepoint, Lakewood Forest, and Comanche Rancherias,” ESD No. 5 Commissioner Karl Wolfe said. 

He gave a presentation to the district’s residents during a Sept. 27 town hall at the Granite Shoals Fire Department.

Granite Shoals Fire Chief Tim Campbell told he was initially hesitant to bid on the services but, after crunching some numbers, found it was more than doable.

Llano County ESD No. 5
A map of Llano County ESD No. 5 shows where the Granite Shoals Fire Department is expanding its services. Courtesy image

“(ESD No. 5’s north district) is only 7.4 miles from the station, so we put some numbers together and response times and came up with a solution on it,” he said. “We can handle it with the mutual aid contracts (with other local departments).”

The Granite Shoals department mainly serves the city but also contracts with ESD No. 3 in Burnet County and Highland Haven. GSFR already covers the east side of Kingsland, which lies within Burnet County’s ESD No. 3.

According to Campbell, the average annual call volume for ESD No. 5’s north district is between 20 and 30, which is more than manageable for his department. GSFR responds to 1,200-1,500 calls per year, boasts a $1.2 million budget, and has six full-time firefighters, eight part-time firefighters, and seven volunteer firefighters.