Precinct 2 County Commissioner Betty Jean Longoria said last week a groundbreaking ceremony for a proposed veterans cemetery in South Texas could be held sometime in April or May.

Longoria made the announcement during a Feb. 17 meeting while giving an update on the project. Longoria has been spearheading the effort to get a veterans cemetery in the area since she was first elected into office, as the closest such cemeteries are hours away for local veterans.

"I just wanted to keep (the veterans) updated," she said. "This was the reason I brought it up today."

Federal officials visited the 55-acre piece of land, along Carbon Plant Road, that is being proposed as the cemetery's site. Federal officials informed Longoria, she said, that money for the cemetery would not be available until late 2010 or early 2011, but that a groundbreaking ceremony could be held sometime next summer.

The state has put the project out for bids and, once they are received, the state will approach the U.S. Bureau of Veterans Affairs for funding. That would likely take about two to three weeks after the bids are returned.

The county began looking to acquire land for a veteran's cemetery in 2004 and was originally considering a site in Agua Dulce. However, that site was turned down by the state because of the state's desire to have a location closer to a metropolitan area.

Not long after, Flint Hills Resources approached the county about donating the land.

The property is located on Carbon Plant Road, alongside Interstate 37, and has a value of $1.2 million. Flint Hills formally donated the land to the county in August 2008.