ROSEBORO — Recent rains may have delayed the helipad project, but work is underway on the site, with hopes of having construction complete soon.
Clearing of the site began following a late July meeting, when board members voted to give the green light for the helipad project to begin construction. Roseboro Volunteer Fire Department chief, Lee Coleman, said the ground has been leveled at the site and the grading process has been started, as of Thursday afternoon.
Spell Electrical is scheduled to come and do the wiring before Monday, when the county will inspect the site prior to the pouring of the cement Tuesday.
All this, Coleman stressed, is contingent upon the weather.
Funds that have been raised through fundraisers and given as donations, will assist in the payment of the total costs — projected to be $33,493. Of the total cost, $14,940 is coming from the contributed monies, while the town will pull the remaining $18,553 from the fund balance.
“We have a healthy fund balance,” commissioner Ray Clark Fisher said. “We can afford to do this project.”
According to Coleman, having the helipad located in Roseboro will be a huge asset to the emergency personnel working in and around Sampson County. With the projected traffic on the new four-lane N.C. 24 expected to increase, Coleman said the helipad is a greater necessity now.
“This gives us one more option that will cut down on the time it takes to get someone to the proper facility to help with their emergency needs,” Coleman said during a telephone interview from the site Thursday. “The helipad certainly helps the citizens of Roseboro, and Sampson County, by being a space to land a helicopter.”
In the event of an accident or medical emergency that requires a helicopter to land nearby, as it currently stands, the Roseboro Fire Department must set up a landing zone in preparation for that landing. However, with the completion of the helipad, Coleman added, the site would be ready for the helicopter’s landing, saving both time and effectiveness.
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, and the Roseboro helipad will meet all the requirements.
“The proposed location is the perfect place,” the fire chief stressed during an earlier 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.”
Once complete, the helipad will be accessible from South 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 will be made of cement and measure 100 feet by 50 feet, allowing for enough space for the adequate landing of helicopters.
Earlier reports indicated there will be 12-18 lights that surround the helipad, which will only run when the landing area is in use.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.