SHERIDAN — The dreams of North Main Association members came to fruition with the construction and quick work of the North Sheridan Interchange, and the members plan to ride the coattails of that project to accomplish more items on their to-do list.
North Main Association leaders list beautification as one of the top focuses for the nonprofit and the city of Sheridan.
“Close attention to unified aesthetics and beautification is at the center of all revitalization efforts,” the association’s Optional One-Cent Fund application letter to Sheridan City Council read.
The association started directly out of the North Main Revitalization Initiative in 2009, gathering community members interested in rehabilitating certain elements of North Main Street in Sheridan.
From that came the North Sheridan Interchange. With the interchange’s completion a year ahead of schedule, the association wanted to use that momentum to encourage the city to move forward with more projects.
“These are some very ambitious plans that we’ve put forward, but we decided that we would dream big and then narrow down the focus and get done what we could get done as the money became available,” said NMA executive director Kary Matthews.
Each board member detailed different aspects of their hopes for the North Main Street area during a Sheridan City Council study session Jan. 8. Of the requests, Thorne-Rider Park’s potential reconstruction of oxbows in the river was less popular, although Councilor Rich Bridger reminded the association the oxbows were meant to restore Goose Creek back to its original state as best they could.
Association members also raised hopes to fill the open lot in front of the Sheridan Police Department and Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, where KFC used to be located, although the land belongs to Sheridan County.
The association representatives reminded the city of the NMA’s focus for beautification efforts from First Street to Fort Road and the East Fifth Street corridor that still have not happened.
Association board members started the conversation about green areas transforming the port of entry following the vacation by WYDOT of the staging areas, as well as another property nearby.
The board continues focusing on the six key points defined by community members as important aspects of the NMA’s mission: North Main as a gateway to the city; homes and families; jobs; recreation; creeks, paths and open space; and appearance.
Previous Optional One-Cent Sales Tax allocations keep Matthews employed as a part-time executive director and help with other needs of the association. Applications for the funding are due back to the city of Sheridan by 5 p.m. Jan. 12, and presentations will go before the mayor and city council Jan. 29.
Matthews reiterated that the requests were ambitious, but the association understands the city must take on each opportunity as funds allow.