SHERIDAN - If you happen to be strolling through the quaint, little town of Sheridan, you might encounter some distinctive blue signs. They were put up by people who are concerned about a proposed subdivision that they say is too big for this small town.
“One big issue is a development this size would increase our population by 25 percent and that’s a big gain in this small little town,” said Sheridan resident Gary Hilliker.
Three Rivers Development out of Bozeman wants to build a subdivision with more than 50 lots on an 18.5-acre plot of land on Sheridan’s west end. Many in this community of about 700 people believe the town’s infrastructure and water supply can’t handle the added growth.
Residents also fear it will hurt their small-town lifestyle.
“Sheridan is a very nice little town where people know each other and the traffic is light, the crime rate is very low,” said Sheridan resident Wes Chisholm.
Mike Brush of Sheridan added, “Everybody loves the life that we have here, and we could easily outgrow that.”
Chisholm said, “And look at that beautiful deer over there in that backfield. They’re all over the place, but guess what, even that is going to be gone.”
The city’s mayor says the town has a lack of homes and rental properties and it’s preventing professionals from living and working in the town.
“My opinion is: You grow, or you die. And, right now, there’s no place to grow,” said Mayor Bob Stump.
The mayor said the town’s wastewater system can handle a new subdivision, but the city will have to dig a new well to bring the water supply up to capacity. Some residents want the city to concentrate on improving its services and infrastructure before adding a subdivision.
“We’re not against growth, we just think it needs to be managed and done properly,” said Hilliker.
Stump said there’s plenty of misinformation about the subdivision.
“Don’t believe everything that you hear on the rumor mill. Review this document. Don’t go by what Joe said on the corner,” the mayor said.
The subdivision proposal is still being reviewed by the Madison County Planning Board.