The helipad was first designed on the ground near the corner of Montgomery and Wolford streets and has since been moved to the site where the current hospital will be razed. Montgomery said he supports the new hospital and realizes it has to be built on the current site.
He thinks the helicopter landing area could be hazardous to neighbors as well as students at Liberty Elementary School less than 100 feet away. He said the current landing site behind Farmers Deposit Bank off the bypass works fine now and suggested it remain there.
The city polled residents in the area, and 24 opposed the helipad, Montgomery said.
"It's a big deal if you live there," he said. "I'm looking out for myself," he said, adding, "if you don't, no one else will."
Will talk to board
Montgomery and other neighbors attended a hospital board meeting in April where they were told that Judge-Executive Ronald Wright had "demanded a helipad be located near the hospital."
"I did not demand the helipad there," said Wright. "I suggested it be there."
He said his suggestion was to build the helipad under the right guidelines and that it be safe for the public. "I'd like to check with the aviation people and know myself what they say."
Wright said he would talk to the hospital board about the matter.
"As a citizen and taxpayer, I have every right to question the actions of elected and appointed officials that spend the public money," Montgomery said in a written statement to the court. "As the elected county surveyor by statute, I am a member of any board or commission that spends the public money on public projects.
"I don't force myself into these situations but merely listen, read and ask questions. Sometimes the answers to my questions differ from official to official."
Montgomery said the hospital board members are recommended by the judge-executive and approved by Fiscal Court, which makes it responsible for actions of the board. "It is time for the people of the city of Liberty to know where the magistrates stand."
Magistrates agreed to study the matter until the next meeting, May 21. Montgomery said "if the professionals will look me in the eye and say it (helipad) is safe, I'll never say anything about it."