ROSEBORO — Construction on the helipad project is nearing completion as Board members voted Tuesday night to allocate additional funds towards the project, discuss security and safety of the facility and move funding from one account to another to pay for the project.
During Tuesday night’s regular board meeting, members initially voted to move the $33,493 from the town’s general fund to cover the cost of the helipad project. After the board made the move, commissioner Cary Holland, who has been spearheading completion of the project, asked the board for an additional $6,500 to cover the cost of security measure for the property.
According to Holland, the cost to complete the project would cost the town the additional amount.
“We are going to run over the projected amount,” Holland said.
The additional funds would cover gating to protect the entrance and fencing around the helipad landing zone and around the entire property. The fencing, Holland said, would be for safety and security reasons.
“There is no such thing as overkill when talking about safety,” Holland stressed to board members. “The fencing will serve as a protective barrier around the helipad and protect the town’s property.”
Concern about trespassing was brought up by commissioners, saying they knew the fencing wouldn’t keep all trespassers off the property, but would be a good measure.
“We’ve seen the results and it’s really nice,” commissioner Ray Clark Fisher said referring to the work that has taken place on the helipad project since the clearing of the land in August. “This is something the citizens of Roseboro spoke their minds about a long time ago. I would like to see this project finished.”
Additionally, the board voted to adopt an ordinance that will allow trespassers to be criminally cited for being on the property. When the board voted in the summer to proceed with the helipad project, commissioners expressed their desires to enforce a “no tolerance policy” when enforcing the ordinance related to trespassing on the property. Offenders will be criminally cited a fine if caught on the premises unauthorized. No trespassing signs will be posted on the fencing area around the helipad.
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. R
Funds to cover the cost of the helipad were raised through fundraisers and given as donations, and have assisted in the payment of the total costs — projected to be $33,493. Of the total cost, $14,940 actually came from the contributed monies, while the town will pulled the remaining $18,553 from town funds.
According to Lee Coleman, fire chief for the Roseboro Fire Department, 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 an earlier interview with the Sampson Independent.“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. The exact address will be 210 S. East Street, Roseboro.
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.
Lighting for the project has been complete and power for the project was turned on earlier this week. Lights will only be in operation when the helipad is being used.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.