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Bridgeport, West Milford big winners

by J.R. Brammer

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Bridgeport and West Milford are among the few local communities that increased in population since 1990, according to U.S. Census data.

Last year, Bridgeport had 7,306 residents. That figure had grown by 567 (8.4 percent) people since 1990.

West Milford had 651 residents last year. That number had grown by 132 (25.4 percent) since 1990.

Also, Lost Creek grew by 54 (13 percent) people.

Clarksburg, Buckhannon, Elkins, Glenville, Grafton, Weston and Philippi all lost residents when compared to 1990 statistics. Since 1960, Clarksburg has lost 11,369 residents (40.4 percent), while Weston lost 4,437 people (50.7 percent).

However, since 1960, West Milford has grown by 284 people (77.4 percent), and Bridgeport has increased by 3,107 residents (74 percent).

"I've watched the city grow, without a doubt," said Keith Boggs, Bridgeport finance director and city official for 28 years.

Since 1990, more than $35 million has been spent on development at the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex at Benedum Airport in Bridgeport. Companies like Lockheed Martin, Bombardier Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney Engine Services employ more than 1,200 people.

Also, the FBI opened a 986-acre complex along Interstate 79 that employs nearly 3,000 people.

The Bridgeport city budget -- $5.5 million -- has more than doubled since 1991.

Meanwhile, West Milford Mayor Don Smith points to a new, 40-plus unit housing development, a new community center, a new health clinic, an upgraded water treatment plant and growing recreational resources.

"I've been in office 10 years and we've always been working on expanding," Smith said.

Overall, since 1960, Harrison County's population has fallen by 9,204 (11.8 percent) from 77,856. Last year, the county's population was 68,652.

Staff writer J.R. Brammer can be reached at 626-1442 or by e-mail at jbrammer@exponent-telegram.com.

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