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County set to take off on landing pad
Commissioners OK bid for work to bring in Omniflight air ambulance
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Work on the long-awaited landing site and building for the LifeStar air ambulance could start by the end of the month.

County commissioners have awarded the bid to build the joint EMS/Omniflight facility to R.L. Construction of Thunderbolt.  

The contract to bring in the air ambulance, which was finished in February, ended negotiations with Omniflight that began in October. Omniflight purchased LifeStar last October.

County commissioners took the unusual step of approving the contract right after awarding the bid to expedite the planning and permitting process, county project manager Adam Kobek said.

The contractor will have 60 days to finish the work, which consists of a 5,000 square foot building, a 50 feet by 50 feet maintenance facility and a similarly-sized landing pad. The county’s emergency medical services, currently housed in the administrative complex, will occupy 3,000 square feet in the new building. Omniflight will occupy the remaining 2,000 square feet.

In addition to getting the plans approved and the building permits, the site must be cleared and water and sewer lines have to be put in, Kobek said, before the notice to proceed is given. County staff anticipates having all that done by July 21, which is the date of the next commissioners’ meeting.

“This allows us to get the engineering plans and those permits done,” he said.

There were seven qualified bids, with R.L. Construction providing the lowest bid of $128,431. The average bid was $163,000. The company also has completed the renovation of the Thunderbolt Town Hall and an air freight center at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Aside from insulation, there is no interior work to be done, according to Kobek.

“It’s merely a building shell,” he said.

Interior work will be handled through separate bids.

LifeStar, which had been operated by Memorial University Medical Center, has been operating out of the Savannah Airport since it was relocated from the hospital.