Commission split on providing additional money to Gold Cross
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - A motion that would have given the city of Augusta's EMS provider Gold Cross an immediate increase to its subsidy failed five to five at Tuesday's Commission meeting.
Vice President of Gold Cross Steven Vincent sent a letter to Commissioners and spoke at Tuesday's meeting about their request.
“The last two years have really wreaked havoc on our entire industry with the pandemic, inflation, with supply chain disruptions,” he says.
Vincent says the provider's main concern is the increase in fuel costs.
“If you did the math from when we did that MOU in 2020, that’s about $75,000 more a month, in addition to what we were already spending, on diesel.”
Commissioners split on whether now is the time to increase the payment to Gold Cross.
"Lives are at stake, ambulatory care is extremely important. We’re talking quality of service here. Whenever you’re waiting more than 45 minutes to an hour to get ambulatory care, that concerns me," says Commissioner Jordan Johnson says. "I don’t think we’re at a point right now to be talking a dollar figure.”
He says while the city works to negotiate a new contract with the ambulance provider, he does not want to talk about increasing the subsidy amount, before finalizing that new contract.
Commissioner John Clarke disagrees.
“We’re not giving them the full subsidy today. We’re paying them along the way. The only thing they’re asking is that the money be brought up to speed,” Clarke says.
Although the motion to give Gold Cross an increase to $1.6 million a year failed, contract negotiations continue with interim city administrator Takiyah Douse who says we could see a new contract soon.
“Staff will meet again internally on this coming Friday to give gold cross back some additional information. I think negotiations are going well and they are well underway,” she says.
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