The VFD was awarded a contract by Llano County ESD #5 in October 2024. This will cover normal operating expenses, but your donations are still appreciated, tax deductible, and will be used to improve our capabilities. Please email email@example.com.
Yes! We are still a tax-exempt nonprofit, and there is nothing in the law or any proposed ESD contract that prohibits us from accepting donations. We still need your support for a variety of reasons described below.
As everyone probably knows, the voters approved the creation of Emergency Services District 5 which includes the territory served by the Sunrise Beach VFD. That means that taxpayer funds will now be available to provide emergency services, and the ESD board awarded SBVFD a service contract on October 1, 2023, which will cover our basic operating expenses and many of the large capital costs in the future.
Not right now because no funds will actually be available until 2024.
The VFD is – and will continue to be – an independent Texas nonprofit corporation. We own all of the facilities and equipment necessary to provide the emergency services, manned by our team of volunteers. The ESD on the other hand is a taxing entity, so the contract calls for them to pay us a negotiated set of fees and expenses to keep doing what we already do.
The Sunrise Beach VFD is operating on reserve funds for the time being. We have been good stewards of the money donated to us, and what we have saved will see us through without any impact on our ability to continue responding.
Not at all! While we will obviously have to meet the standards and criteria of our contract, it is still a deal between two independent entities, little different than a homeowner hiring a contractor to do a job.
Besides using our own funds until 2024, we will always need to maintain an operating reserve to be sure we can continue to respond no matter what circumstances may arise. But more importantly, we may find that we need things to help us serve you better that the ESD can’t or doesn’t want to provide, or we may also find ways to serve the community that are outside the limited scope of work prescribed by the ESD. In any of those cases, we would need independent resources not controlled by the ESD.
No! There are strict rules governing use of ESD (taxpayer) money, and we will have to carefully account for every dime of it. But when it comes to other money that our supporters give us directly, we can and will use it for any legal purpose that we and those supporters see fit.
No. The focus of that campaign and the associated annual letter asking for donations was primarily to cover our annual basic operating expenses. We anticipate that a new ESD contract will take care of that, so there won’t be a need for an actual organized campaign. In its place we will simply accept donations at any time, in person or online, from anyone who wants to support what we do.
In the future if we find a community project, special piece of equipment we think would be beneficial, or some other worthy goal that we want to fund outside of the ESD relationship, we may hold a special donation campaign aimed at that specific purpose. Then folks will know what they are supporting and can make an informed decision about contributing.
Yes, but with some changes. The golf tournament, Memorial Day BBQ, and the sip & stroll have already happened in 2023. Our first Open House will take place on October 21st, and we hope to make that an annual event for the VFD to meet and interact with the community. The 2023 bass tournament has been cancelled due to lack of internal resources willing to run it this year.
In July the VFD’s Board of Directors voted to retire the golf and bass tournaments and the sip & stroll, so the BBQ and the Open House are the only things remaining on the schedule for now. Our updated bylaws establish a new, permanent fundraising committee that is in the process of putting together a 2024 plan, and they have some exciting ideas.