PRESS RELEASE - August 14, 2003
BRIDGEPORT – Major announcements were made during a Harrison County Commission hearing on the application of Charles Pointe, a 2,000 acre model community project being planned along I-79. Charles Pointe has applied for designation as a development district under the tax increment financing plan adopted by West Virginia.
Don Nehlen, former West Virginia University football coach, who is a youth and recreation advisor for Charles Pointe, said, "Tonight I point out major news for Charles Pointe. The "Palmer Course Design Company" has agreed to work with this Master Planned Community to develop an 18-hole Championship Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, and an 18-hole Executive First Tee golf facility. Additionally, TourTurf, a nationally known synthetic golf turf company, has agreed to partner with Charles Pointe in providing a modern surface for their proposed multi-purpose sports complex. These folks are excited about Charles Pointe and their vision to enhance opportunities for young people of Harrison County."
From the beginning, Charles Pointe has promised to foster youth, education and development in Harrison County. "Charles Pointe will create a place where technology and commerce can come together by combining efforts of various governmental, commercial and educational entities," Jamie Corton, Managing Partner of Genesis Partners, developer of Charles Pointe said, "We applaud the state of West Virginia for thinking outside the box to create tax increment financing as a very effective economic development stimulus tool."
Nehlen said, "I am involved with Charles Pointe because I am interested in young people. They are our future." He said that TIF designation will help launch youth-related projects, as will involvement from the Palmer Course Development Company and TourTurf. "Recreation plays a major role in creating jobs. The Palmer Company believes that we will be able to attract major junior, collegiate and regional events to Harrison County through the creation of a Palmer-guided golf route."
He said that youth of the area will benefit from mentor leadership training through the First Tee Program as well as multi-purpose facilities for football, soccer, baseball and basketball.
Nehlen’s enthusiasm about Charles Pointe was equaled by Kenneth Parkington, chairman of the Harrison County YMCA. "Our facility currently has 4,000 members; our optimum capacity is 3,200. I am interested in partnering with Charles Pointe to expand YMCA activities."
"We support the TIF designation for Charles Pointe. We see it as a location to continue the development of our youth, families and communities - we need it."
Also on hand to support TIF designation was Jim Mayfield, Chief Financial Officer of Salem International University. "Just days ago, Salem announced an expansion concept – a Bioscience Technology Center – to be located at Charles Pointe. It would become the first educational component at the development."
Tax increment financing captures the projected increase in property tax revenue gained by developing a discrete geographic area and uses that to assist in paying for the project. To qualify, the county commission must find that the project would develop the economy through an increase in jobs, enhancement of the tax base, and further encourage commerce, industry or manufacturing or tourism development. Once approved by the county commission, the application is presented on a state level.
James Christie, former director of the West Virginia Development Authority, spoke on behalf of Charles Pointe, saying, "This has all the key components of a successful development project. Making the most of their master plan through a TIF designation is a unique opportunity for Harrison County."
Corton said, "Our master plan reflects our commitment to economic development, our youth and education.
"TIF designation will speed our vision – and all its benefits – to reality