Council OK’s First Step Of Major Annexations - Trio Of Acquisitions Would Add More Than 170 Acres To Bridgeport

The Bridgeport News

by Jeff Toquinto, NEWS EDITOR

BRIDGEPORT (Thursday, July 25, 2002)

On Monday, Bridgeport’s City Council gave its approval on a trio of annexations that would help the city’s borders grow by more than 170 acres. The largest of the annexations, however, will be put on hold.

City Manager Kim Haws said the city will wait to take the annexation of 151.7 acres of Charles Pointe property before the Harrison County Commission as part of a minor boundary adjustment. The annexation will go to the county when, and if, the city is granted a $1.3 million EDA grant needed for infrastructure at Charles Pointe.

The grant Haws is referring to is a 70-30 matching grant Bridgeport applied for in April. The $1.3 million will be used for water and sewage on the land in question at Charles Pointe.

Haws said the grant is "looking good" and anticipates approval "by the first part of September."

It may be a precursor to the first development to take place at the 2,000 acre site. While sites are currently being prepared, no businesses or residences have taken home at the $750 million development that has been in the planning stages for years and was officially announced in October of 2000.

Eventually, the developer of Charles Pointe, Genesis Partners, plans on bringing in all 2,000 acres into the city as development occurs. That would help the city’s growth tremendously.

Since 1991, and including the latest round of annexations, the city has done more than 30 annexations. The total added land mass is in excess of 3,500 acres.

The other annexations will move ahead. A resolution for a minor boundary adjustment for 14.85 acres was approved Monday and will go to the Harrison County Commission as soon as possible. That acreage will divert all of the right-of-way property surrounding Lodgeville Road to come into Bridgeport. The annexation is one of the final steps before the $7 million Lodgeville upgrade gets underway.

The smallest of the three annexations was done by petition. The petition was brought by Blue Stone Leasing, which is the same company that sold the city its soon-to-be-open city hall that formerly housed the Rish Equipment company.

Blue-Stone will be bringing in five acres of land along State Route 279 that will house the new Rish Equipment building. That annexation will require a second reading and public hearing at the Aug. 12 city council meeting.