ROSEBORO — In a special-called meeting Thursday evening, the Roseboro Town Board gave the green light for the helipad project to start construction.
The helipad project has been merely a thought for the last few years, and was recently brought to the attention of commissioners during the June monthly meeting. According to commissioners and fire chief Lee Coleman, the helipad is a greater necessity now that more traffic is proposed to come through the area thanks to the four-laning of N.C. 24.
Roseboro commissioner Cary Holland presented a design plan to other board members Thursday, stating that the proposed project should cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 to complete, which goes in line with an estimate given to the board by Barnhill Construction Company nearly three years ago. Since that time, events have been held to raise funds for the project, but nothing has been done in the way of completing the work.
“We have met with the crew at Cape Fear Valley and talked with them about what is needed (to complete the helipad project),” Holland said to commissioners. “We now have a good understanding of how we need to construct the helipad.”
The helipad will be located on the town’s property behind the dialysis center. According to Coleman, there are very strict criteria that must be met based on FAA standards.
Once complete, the helipad will be accessible from S. East Street via an asphalt driveway that measures 175 feet. A loading area made of asphalt that measures 40 feet by 40 feet will be situated next to the helipad for the use of Emergency Management Service officials. The helipad itself, Holland said, will be made of cement and measure 100 feet by 50 feet, allowing for enough space for the adequate landing of helicopters.
In all, there will be 12-18 lights that surround the helipad, which will only run when the landing area is in use. Based on information obtained from the CFV flight crew, the less lighting the better, so Holland said they would try to stick to having only 12 lights around the space.
“We want to make this the best quality and something we can be proud of 20 years down the road,” Holland stated.
In October 2013, a motorcycle ride was held to raise funds for the helipad project. According to information in a previous story in The Sampson Independent, that event raised a total of $6,200, with another donation given by Larry McPhail of Ford of Clinton.
During an earlier meeting, Coleman advised the board that there is currently $6,900 in an account to be used towards the helipad, a figure based on information and records Coleman said the town has. During Thursday’s meeting, it was said approximately $25,000 is available for the project. All money that has been given by members of the community.
“The town can afford to contribute what’s needed to make up the total cost,” commissioner Ray Clark Fisher stated. “We need to go ahead and get this finished. Let’s get this done.”
Presently, in the event of an accident or medical emergency that requires a helicopter to land nearby, the Roseboro Fire Department must set up a landing zone in preparation for that landing. However, once the helipad is constructed following the guidelines set forth by the FAA, the site would be ready for the helicopter’s landing, saving both time and effectiveness.
“The proposed location is the perfect place,” Coleman stated during the June meeting. “It’s a great location. Right now, the fire department is responsible for setting up a landing zone to prepare for a helicopter’s landing. The helipad would be an advantage to have.”
Based on Holland’s estimates, the helipad project should take approximately 45-60 days to complete.
“This will be done right,” Holland stated.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.