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County OKs Air Care chopper space

Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.

The Davidson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a lease agreement that will put a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Air Care helicopter at the Davidson County Airport.

The board will enter into a five-year agreement with Colorado-based Air Methods Corp., who will contract a helicopter to be used by WFUBMC starting Nov. 1.

The agreement will run through Oct. 31, 2015, and will pay the county $2,175 in monthly rent for use of a hangar. The hangar set to be used is one that was recently purchased by the county from Services Sponsorship Group, an Archdale marketing company that works closely with sports and racing leagues. The county bought the hangar for $160,000. Assistant Davidson County Manager Zeb Hanner said the hangar has a tax value of $425,000.

Commissioners hardly discussed the lease before endorsing it, in part due to the fact the lease has few drawbacks for the county. Hanner said the county will receive property tax dollars from the $4.5 million chopper, plus fuel sales as well as $2,175 in monthly rent. In addition, county residents will receive quicker response times in case of a medical emergency by stationing the helicopter at the airport. The chopper’s service area will include Davidson, Randolph, Rowan and possibly pieces of Davie County.

Timing was especially important in securing this deal, said Hanner.

“They (Baptist) approached us about one of the corporate hangars,” said Hanner. “But they needed office space, too, to house the crew.”

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 Thomasville Times:
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