Leon Valley

Staff Report

Consideration, Discussion, and Possible Action on an Ordinance Authorizing a Budget Adjustment for the General Fund in the Amount of $24,300 for the Restoration of the Huebner Cemetery


Department:Public WorksSponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. LVHS Request for Cemetery Conservation 2016
  3. Cemetery Dedication Affidavit 8-18-15
  4. Huebner Gravesite Preservation Project 2017 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  5. Ord - Budget Adjustment Huebner Cemetery 2-7-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  6. PPT Huebner Cemetery Preservation Project 2-7-17

Item Discussion



The purpose of this item is to consider authorizing a budget adjustment for the General Fund in the amount of $24,300 to fund the restoration of the Huebner Cemetery.     


In the year 2000, the City purchased the 36 acre parcel adjacent to the Huebner Onion Homestead, now known as the Leon Valley Natural Area Park. The gravesite on the property had been vandalized over many years and was in poor condition. In 2002, Boy Scout Troop 17 performed a partial restoration of the gravestones; however, the stones were put back together with concrete instead of the special mortar required, which will eventually cause the stones to deteriorate. In addition, not all of the stones were used and the remaining stones are lying inside the fenced area on the ground.


In 2005, the Leon Valley Historical Society (LVHS) leased the property from the City. In addition to applying for historical site designation for the homestead, they also worked on having the gravesite designated as a historical cemetery. In 2015, the site was officially designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery by Texas Historical Society, and it is now named “Huebner Cemetery, BX-307”. The lease with the LVHS has expired and the property is now being managed by the City.


Historic Cemetery Preservation Guidelines and more specific recommendations for this site were sent to LVHS by Texas Historical Society and by experts in the field. In addition to the gravestone restoration, the original obelisk at the site had broken in two and needs to be repaired, and there is no marker at site indicating the new designation as an historic cemetery.


In August of 2016, the LVHS came before Park Commission to explain their previously planned preservation of this site and offered to pay for the gravesite preservation with funds remaining from the front porch construction at the Huebner Homestead, which is earmarked specifically for this project. The LVHS also asked if a new wrought iron fence could be considered to replace the chain link, and if City would purchase and install a marker announcing the new designation.


Staff began researching vendors for this work. During the research, staff realized that plain wrought iron fence would not be true to period styled cemetery fencing. In November of 2016, staff explained period wrought iron cemetery fencing to both the LVHS and the Park Commission, and asked them to consider an 1800’s style, 4’ tall fence. The existing 8’ fence does not keep people from entering the site. Staff also explained the preference for a complete preservation of gravestones and obelisk. Both the LVHS and Park Commission are in agreement with the recommendations.


In January of 2017, Staff went before the LV Economic Development Corporation asking for sponsorship for the remaining funds necessary to complete the project and the request was approved.


The Huebner - Onion Homestead will be one of the many featured sites of the 2018 City of San Antonio metropolitan area’s 300 year celebration, along with this gravesite. The LVHS is planning on holding an Ice Cream Social as a part of the celebrations and will bring in tourists, which will benefit the businesses in our city limits.


It is our expectation that the tourists will tell other people about the Homestead and the gravesite, which could bring national attention, furthering the economic benefit to the City, and may put Leon Valley “on the map” as a destination historical site. If the gravesite is seen in its existing state, it will promote a negative image of the City, specifically of our commitment to honoring our deep roots and historic conservation. Regardless, if the site is not properly preserved, the stones will disintegrate where the concrete was used, and the stones on the ground may “disappear”.




The estimated project cost is $24,300. The City will receive contributions from the Leon Valley Historical Society in the amount of $9,800 and the Leon Valley Economic Development Corporation in the amount of  $ 14,500.  Therefore, there will be no cost to the City for the project.   However, a budget adjustment is needed in order to expend the funds.


General Fund Budget Adjustment Requested                            $24,300


·              Estimated costs


o              Gravesite restoration                                          $8,800

o              Fence construction                                                        $9,575 - $15,000

§              Still waiting on,1 more estimate

o              Historical marker                                                        $1,200

o              Total                                                                                    $19,575 to $24,300



S.E.E Statement


Social Equity - Provides historic education and recognition of our community roots, and enhances civic pride.


Environmental Stewardship - Using sustainable materials such as wrought iron reduces the City’s environmental footprint , as the wrought iron has lasting qualities.


Economic Development - This project may encourage historians, hobbyists, and general tourists to visit Leon Valley, which may result in national recognition and further bolster sales tax with incidental purchases from tourists traveling along our commercial corridors. 


Document Comments



Staff recommends approving an Ordinance authorizing a budget adjustment for the General Fund in the amount of $24,300 to fund the restoration of the Huebner Cemetery.

Meeting History

Feb 7, 2017 7:00 PM  City Council Regular Meeting

Public Works Director Melinda Moritz presented the item seeking City Council approval authorizing a budget adjustment for the General Fund in the amount of $24,300 to fund the restoration of the Huebner Cemetery.

Public Works Director Moritz gave a background explaining how and why this item is on this evening’s agenda. This was followed by a very brief discussion. Public Works Director Moritz concluded the presentation saying that staff recommends approving an ordinance authorizing a budget adjustment for the General Fund in the amount of $24,300 to fund the restoration of the Huebner Cemetery.

A motion was made by Council Member Monica Alcocer and seconded by Council Member David Edwards, to adopt an ordinance authorizing a budget adjustment for the General Fund in the amount of $24,300 for the restoration of the Huebner Cemetery.

MOVER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
SECONDER:David Edwards, Council Place 1
AYES:David Jordan, David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer, Benny Martinez