Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Black Hills Life Flight to locate at Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field (KSPF)

SPEARFISH — The Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field in Spearfish will soon be home to Black Hills Life Flight.

The Spearfish City Council Monday approved a lease agreement between the city and Air Methods Corporation to locate a building at the airport to serve as an office and crew quarters to support Air Methods’ Black Hills Life Flight business operations.

City Attorney Eric Davis explained that Air Methods, which is described as a Delaware corporation with a Greenwood Village, Colo., address in the agreement, approached the city about six months ago in regards to possibly locating a portion of its Life Flight operations at the Spearfish airport, and the city has since been working with the company to craft a lease agreement.

Air Methods operates Black Hills Life Flight, which maintains medevac helicopters and crews.  The base, which previously operated from Rapid City, will provide emergency air medical services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to Spearfish, as well as Northern Black Hills, eastern Wyoming and Montana, and southern North Dakota. The Life Flight base will be staffed by 13 crew members, which includes emergency medical services pilots, flight nurses, flight paramedics, and aviation maintenance technicians, and it will operate a Bell 407 at the Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field and with the support services of Eagle Aviation.

“One in every three of our flights are across state lines,” said Dave Richardson, senior vice president at Air Methods, said Tuesday. “This base move will help improve access to critical care services and interventions for more communities. We offer a flying ICU (intensive care unit), bringing experienced trauma clinicians to the patient. Air medical services serve as a bridge between rural communities and healthcare systems, and we believe that everyone deserves access to these lifesaving services.”

The agreement specifies that a 4,000-square-foot parcel would be leased to Air Methods for an initial term of five years, beginning May 21, 2018, and terminating on May 10, 2023. The rent for the parcel is set in the agreement at $600 per month, and beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, would increase 3 percent annually each January.

The agreement states that Air Methods would locate a 23-foot-8-inch-by-56-foot doublewide trailer or modular building to the site, which would be used by the Life Flight crew, and the use and occupancy of the property would comply with the airport rules, regulations, and minimum standards.

Air Methods is responsible for the maintenance of the property, and the city would provide rough grading to the parcel to prepare for the building and improve the driveway surface and parking area by applying asphalt millings to an approximately 20-by-40-foot space to accommodate four parked vehicles.

The city would also trench and install a one-inch potable water line water service to the parcel, with Air Methods responsible for completing the final connections to the building and facilities. The company would also need to install a water pressure/storage tank to suit its purposes, with a commercial water account established. It would also need to design, install, and maintain a septic system: “Upon the extension of municipal water or sewer mains to the Property, Tenant shall have the obligation to connect to any and all storm sewer, sanitary sewers, and water mains located on or about the Property at Tenant’s sole expense,” the agreement states. Air Methods would be responsible for extending and installing phone, internet, electricity, and any other dry utilities, as well, with all utilities paid for by the company. Lawn service and snow removal would also be the responsibility of Air Methods.

The agreement outlines the insurance coverage requirements for Air Methods, covenants for the tenant, lease termination, etc., and it also includes a section about future airport development, which describes that if the development of the airport requires the relocation of Air Methods’ building from the parcel, that the city would provide the company with a comparable location at no cost to Air Methods. 

“It’s been a pleasure working with Air Methods,” City Administrator Mike Harmon said. “We went back and forth and had good discussion. I think this supports what we’re doing at the airport. It will bring four to six new jobs to Spearfish. It also provides faster and quicker response for air medical transport services to the residents of our community, Lawrence County, and those that surround us, so overall, I think this is a great thing for Spearfish …”

Mayor Dana Boke echoed the sentiment.

“It’s not only good for Spearfish, it’s good for the greater community in having quicker access, so this is a very good partnership,” she said.

The council unanimously approved the lease agreement. Councilman John Lee was absent.

Air Methods has the option to renew the lease for two additional periods of two years, under the current agreement.

Original article can be found here ➤

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