ASHVILLE - A life-saving heliport will be installed adjacent to the Ashville Fire Department by the end of summer.
The town of North Harmony Zoning Board approved the construction of a heliport for the Ashville Fire Department on Wednesday night. Now that the heliport is approved, the Ashville Fire Department will begin advertising for construction bids.
"We want to get construction started right at the beginning of the summer, so we're going to be sending out for bids very soon," said Bob Frederickson, assistant first chief. "We'd like to see this completed by the end of summer or the beginning of fall."
The proposed site of a heliport for the Ashville Fire Department, located adjacent to the fire hall.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
According to Frederickson, enough fundraising has been accomplished to begin construction on the heliport once a bid is selected. Many private donations have contributed toward making the heliport a possibility.
"The (zoning board) was extraordinarily cooperative in helping to make the (heliport) a reality," said Fredrickson. "There is a real need for it in this area. It's not just for Ashville or North Harmony, either, because it could potentially help to save the lives of residents from all over."
The heliport will be built on the vacant land behind the Ashville Fire Department. The heliport is projected to have lighting installed around it as well for nighttime use. However, how much lighting will be determined once the department begins to receive bids.
The department has yet to select a deadline for bid submissions, but Frederickson said that date is likely to be somewhere in the middle of May.
"The department is so appreciative that the North Harmony Town and Zoning boards did everything they could to help get this project started," said Frederickson. "There were plans to begin construction on (the heliport) last year, but the pieces just didn't fall into place. We're excited to make this happen and look forward to how it will help the surround community."