Liebelt Cabin restoration delayed by Lakeway City Council

Liebelt Cabin in Lakeway
Lakeway City Council voted to delay restoration of the Liebelt Cabin. (Brain Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lakeway City Council voted to delay restoration of the Liebelt Cabin. (Brain Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lakeway City Council voted unanimously Dec. 7 to delay a decision on the proposed restoration of a historic cabin that in 2011 was relocated adjacent to City Hall.

The Liebelt Cabin was built in 1869 and has fallen into a state of disrepair that threatens the safety and viability of the structure. A report from the Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department states necessary work for the cabin's roof, rafters, decking and log siding.

As a result, Lakeway council members were faced with a decision on spending a significant sum of money for restoration work to take place during financially stressful times, council members said during Monday's meeting.

“We want to preserve it,” Lakeway Council Member Steve Smith said. “But now is a pretty tough time to finance it.”

Proponents of the Liebelt preservation were seeking a minimum of $60,000 for immediate repairs to fix and restore several parts of the cabin. An additional $65,000 was requested to improve the immediate area around the cabin.


Several council members said for now they would rather spend much less money to prevent further damage to the structure without doing a full restoration. Such a measure would likely involve keeping the public away from the cabin while preventing further damage from rainwater.

Key to the discussion was the city's inability to find other sources of funding for the restoration project, such as grant money from a state agency. For example, the Lower Colorado River Authority last summer denied the city a grant request.

Finding alternative funding sources was critical to pursuing the Liebelt restoration, Lakeway Mayor Pro Tem Laurie Higginbotham said during the meeting.

"What we contemplated was a combination of funding from more sources than the city," she said.

City Manager Julie Oakley told council members the city had budgeted $14,000 as part of its unsuccessful application for the LCRA grant. LCRA's website states that its community grant program is competitive and requires matching funds.

Grants exceeding $25,000 are for "noteworthy projects with a far-reaching impact on a broad community," the website states.

Going forward, city staff can use the budget line item intended for the matching funds to explore options to temporarily protect the cabin.
By Greg Perliski
Greg edits Community Impact Newspaper's Lakeway/Lake Travis and Northwest Austin editions. During the course of his diverse career, he has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. You can reach him at gperliski@communityimpact.com


MOST RECENT

Reports surfaced Feb. 22 of dogs falling ill after swimming in Lake Travis. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Blue-green algae toxic to animals found in Hudson Bend area of Lake Travis

Solid organic material was taken for testing from the edge of Travis Landing located on the east side of Hudson Bend. Those samples indicated the presence of algae and decaying algae containing cyanotoxin, which is fatal to dogs and other animals.

A new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could help expand vaccination availability in Travis County, according to local health officials. (Courtesy Pexels)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean additional supply, easier distribution rollout in Travis County

If approved, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a valuable weapon against the ongoing pandemic, according to local health officials.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

A tree's branches fell on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri in February. With downed tree limbs and burst water lines causing property damage across Austin, the city has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with emergency home repairs. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still in crisis mode, Austin City Council initiates recovery following winter storm

With 200 to 400 apartment and condo complexes in Austin still without water, City Council is aiming to direct aid and relieve some of the financial burden felt by residents following the devastating winter storms.

Pet owners are advised to keep their dogs out of Lake Travis. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATE: Lake Travis water samples show no signs of toxic algae; dog owners still urged to keep pets out of water

An initial test of water samples from Lake Travis showed no signs of cyanotoxin or blue-green algae, a bacteria that is poisonous when consumed by dogs.

Rollingwood City Council met Feb. 24 to discuss how Winter Storm Uri impacted the city's water system. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rollingwood officials evaluate wastewater contractor following historic winter storm

“We were on the cusp of making a decision as to whether or not to cut off water service to our entire city or, alternatively, overflow our lift stations and flow raw sewage into direct channels into Lady Bird Lake,” Mayor Michael Dyson said during a Feb. 24 City Council meeting.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Photo of a snowy residential street
'Bad data is worse than no data': Austin health officials unsure how storm affected coronavirus spread

Weekly testing and hospitalization averages will not be updated by Austin Public Health until Feb. 27.

Buff City Soap will open March 4. (Courtesy Buff City Soap)
Buff City Soap is set to open in West Lake Hills

A new shop selling soaps and skin care is coming soon to West Lake Hills.