County OKs Air Care chopper space
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,
“They (Baptist) approached us about one of the corporate
hangars,” said Hanner. “But they needed office space,
too, to house the crew.”
The hangar that the county will lease to WFUBMC is
equipped with attached office space. Hanner said
conversations with WFUBMC started taking shape around
the same time the county was talking with SSG about
purchasing their hangar.
“It’s wild the way the timing worked out,” said Hanner.
“This is going to be a good thing for the county.”
The county will have to install a shower and washer and
dryer hook-ups at the hangar for the staff who will
rotate 12 hour shifts at the site. A total of 14
employees will staff the hangar.
Hanner said flights could begin by the middle of
In other news, the board;
• Approved a lead remediation project to clean up soil
on land off of Tuckertown Road, which will house a
firing range of more than 20 acres for the Davidson
County Sheriff’s Office. Commissioners approved a
$53,766 quote from Marcor Environmental. The company
will treat the soil by separating it from the lead found
on site with a reagent that will seal whatever lead is
left over in the soil, making it nonhazardous. The soil
will then be used for the construction of the range.
Commissioner Sam Watford expressed his concerns over
the price of the project. The county also received a
quote from MT2 D J McNeil Cleaning for a cost of $25,900
but both Davidson County Sheriff David Grice and County
Purchasing Director Dwayne Childress both recommended
Marcor do the work because they would leave most of the
soil on site.
“This is extremely excessive,” said Watford of the
price. “This is a lot of money to spend, in what
looks like should cost $10,000.”