Heliport dedication set for Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Almost two years ago, several people in Butler County began working to make the possibility of a heliport at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital in Greenville a reality.

"Time means life," said Linda Horn of Pioneer Electric, who has been the driving force behind the project. "It has been a long process, but it has been well worth it."

On Tuesday, September 11, the heliport will be officially dedicated at L.V. Stabler Hospital at 2 p.m. The project has become a reality through the efforts of the Butler County Industrial Development Authority, the City of Greenville, the Butler County Commission and Pioneer Electric.

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"We saw an opportunity to put this project together when we approached the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Alabama Department of Aeronautics (ADA)," said Horn. "We have gone through several stages and run into many brick walls, but it has all paid off."

Both L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital and the Butler County Industrial Development Board have produced matching funds for the project, but according to Horn, two grants from the USDA and the ADA will return the money after the completion of the project.

Horn said that at many times she ran into points where it did not look good for the heliport, but determination kept both her and the several other organizations going. "The Department of Aeronautics officials were so impressed with our determination that they found another $5,000 for the project."

"The heliport will enable patients who have very serious, life-threatening emergencies to be transported much quicker to larger facilities such as in Dothan, Mobile and Birmingham," said Horn. "Part of the dedication will have a helicopter from Birmingham landing on the pad."

The new heliport will serve Butler and surrounding counties. "This will improve the quality of life of residents of this area and hopefully will show visiting economic developers that something really great is happening in this county."