Graveyards And Golf Courses Head Agenda At Monday’s Council Meeting

The Bridgeport News

by Jeff Toquinto, News Editor

BRIDGEPORT (Tuesday, October 24, 2001)

A new memorial garden for a prominent Bridgeport family at the Bridgeport Cemetery will set the stage for more than 7,000 new burial sites there, city officials said Monday.

Bridgeport City Council gave its approval for an agreement to allow for the creation of the C. E. Compton Memorial Garden at Monday’s meeting. The garden will be home to 42 sites for use by the Compton family.

In exchange for the site to house the garden, the Compton family will be giving the cemetery 41 additional sites it owns throughout the current cemetery. The Compton family will also be installing a road to the memorial garden that will benefit the city for perhaps centuries to come.

"The Compton family will come in and bring in heavy equipment and install, survey and stake out the grade for a new road to the site where the family memorial will be," said Parks and Recreation Director Don Burton. "The family will gravel the road and the city will come in at a later date and pave the road."

The road, said Burton will open up nine acres at the cemetery the city currently doesn’t have access to. The acreage, said Burton, will potentially open up 7,200 grave sites.

Of that total, 800 sites will be within the confines of the new circular road the Compton family, which will be using the equipment of its Grafton Coal Company, is installing.

Burton said the city averages between 110 to 130 burials per year at the cemetery. The availability of the new sites will last Bridgeport for hundreds of years.

"You’re talking a long time down the road before that area will be filled," said Burton.

The land in question is owned by the city. However, roughly 10 years ago the Compton family cleared the nine acres now open for development free of charge.

Also Monday, the city announced it is in the running to be included in a string of North Central West Virginia golf courses. According to Bridgeport City Manager Kim Haws, promoters of the Charles Pointe development are working with an Arnold Palmer golf company – believed to be Arnold Palmer Golf Management – about opening as many as eight golf courses along the I-79 corridor.

Haws said the city of Bridgeport became involved with the discussion of the course when Governor Bob Wise’s administration dropped financial backing of the project. Because of that, the cities involved with the courses would likely be involved with some sort of funding for the project.

The course at the Charles Pointe site is estimated to cost between $8 and $10 million. All the sites – six of which have definitely been identified – would be in the same price range, said Haws.

The idea, Haws told council, is to have golfers visit all of the courses on one trip. The trips would require the golfers to spend the night in the area and also to spend money.

An 18-hole public golf course was part of the Charles Pointe master plan. This, however, is the first public indication of a golf project moving toward fruition.