By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Officials for the town of Sherman plan to state their case in Lee County Chancery Court today for plans to nearly double the municipality’s size, an effort to increase residential, commercial and industrial activity near the Toyota plant.
Sherman, a town of about 650 residents and a roughly $750,000 annual operating budget, intends to increase in size by nearly a square mile, a move that will add 36 residents.
Ben Logan, Sherman mayor for 13 years, said no nearby municipality or county impacted by the proposed annexation currently opposes it. He said people living in the proposed annexed areas haven’t protested the effort.
“Just about everybody that we know of has either asked to come in or has not objected,” Logan said on Monday.
Logan said the community located along Highways 78, 178 and 9 wants to prepare for the growth likely to come with proximity to the auto manufacturing plant. The town is already home to a tier-one Toyota supplier and hopes to pick up more growth.
“If Sherman gets a McDonald’s, that’s a big thing,” Logan said.
Annexation plans include promoting commercial and light industrial activity in the southern area and residential development in northern and northeastern areas.
“It will give us room to grow and attract some businesses from the standpoint of restaurants and perhaps hotels,” Logan said.
The town already provides water and sewer to parts of the proposed annexed areas. A key part of annexations is municipalities identifying services that annexed areas will receive and a time frame to receive them.
The city of Tupelo previously objected to the annexation plan but dropped opposition after Sherman leaders agreed to tweak plans to expand.
Logan said current plans will keep a 1.8 mile buffer between Sherman and Tupelo.
Sherman’s neighbor to the west, Blue Springs, a town of about 228 residents, will directly connect if the annexation is approved.
No court decision on the proposed annexation is expected today.