There were was an interesting turn of events at Thursday's meeting of the Sheridan County Fair Association Board of Trustees. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy has the story.
It was a packed house at Thursday's meeting of the fair board as representatives with the Sheridan County Sportsman’s Association presented their final proposal for creating an additional long rifle range adjacent to its current facility off of Keystone Road, northwest of Sheridan.
After more than an hour of public comment, gun club president Bob Prill said they were withdrawing their proposal. The proposed range would have been adjacent to land Prill said he'd rather see used by the entire community – not just 20 or so members of the gun club.
During that public comment period, the fair board heard from adjacent landowners who expressed their worries that a new rifle range nearby would sharply decrease property values and could increase the chance of a potentially deadly accident because the land is frequented by families, hikers, hunters and those on horseback. These were some of their comments.
Members of the local equestrian club also expressed concerns that they would not feel safe riding even remotely close to an outdoor rifle range. They also announced their intention of drafting a proposal for that same plot of land.
But prior to the withdrawal, gun club vice president Bruce Yates described a meeting with executive director of the Sheridan Community Land Trust, Colin Betzler, who toured the area to see if it would be a suitable place for expansion of the trail system. According to Yates, Betzler concluded that it would not be a suitable location due to it proximity to the firing range – even though the chances of an accidental round hitting someone, as he put it, were slim.
Members of the Sheridan County Fair Association Board of Trustees said they would welcome a new proposal from the equestrian club.