by Trish Rudder
The Bath Town Council voted unanimously on March 1 to allow the town’s attorney, Richard Gay, to move forward with annexing the Olde English Cemetery into the town boundary.
A formal resolution by the council to annex the cemetery will be on the agenda at the next council meeting on April 5. It was not approved on March 15 since it was not on the agenda.
West Virginia municipalities are allowed to increase their corporate limits by a method known as minor boundary adjustments.
The cemetery “abuts and is contiguous with the Town of Bath, consisting of a parcel known as the Olde English Cemetery,” according to the draft resolution.
The plat to be annexed is 1.377 acres, according to the land survey.
Councilwoman Beth Skinner, who chairs the cemetery committee, said last week that the town assumed ownership of the Olde English Cemetery property on Whisner Avenue because the Town of Bath took care of it.
It was understood that the cemetery belonged to the town, but no deed could be found.
Nobody could contest the town’s ownership, Skinner said.
But Mayor Scott Merki was reluctant to make improvements to the cemetery until ownership was secured.
The council had the cemetery surveyed, and since no deed could be located, a quick deed was secured to ensure ownership in February 2021.
Last year, the town hired a contractor to remove some of the trees because the cemetery was unsafe.
“The town has come to the realization that this property has been neglected,” Skinner said.
“There is new interest in the cemetery to try to restore it to a respectable condition,” she said.
An American Revolution soldier is buried in the Olde English Cemetery. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) wants to help, Skinner said.