AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Augusta-Richmond County commissioners are getting closer to moving forward with giving Gold Cross a subsidy and contract. The Commission passed a memorandum of understanding to get an agreement in place that solidifies the ambulance company’s service for Richmond County residents.
Gold Cross will own the zone for the area, which has been a point of contention for years. They must charge rates approved by the Commission. The ambulance service will be granted a prorated subsidy for 2019 that will increase to $650,000 over the next few years.
District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett says, “We want to be able to provide for our indigent care patients here in Richmond County. make sure the rates that Gold Cross charges are what we want them to be and this is a way of providing that.”
“At this point, I think we can move forward between the bodies. We’ve already frameworked it through meetings with both parties and i think that we should be able to move forward,” says District 7 Commissioner Sean Frantom.
Some commissioners believe entering into a contract where the city would provide a subsidy to Gold Cross would cause more legal problems from other ambulance services - because the city didn’t go through a procurement process.
Although the city’s attorney says he didn’t want to give too much legal advice during the meeting, he believes an arrangement that doesn’t violate the law can be made.