Augusta moves forward with new ambulance contract for now

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News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gold Cross

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta commissioners are still debating which company should run the ambulance service.

Leaders were split last week, and Tuesday wasn't much different. More than a dozen other companies showed interest in taking over.

"It's time to put the puppy to bed. We need the competition to get the best price for Augusta-Richmond County," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"I think the way the process started was wrong. They came out naming one company," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

For the last few weeks, Williams has led the way in trying to keep Gold Cross as the ambulance provider for Augusta. For the third straight week, he wasn't able to get six votes to make that happen. Even though commissioners were split 5 to 4 last week on the new ambulance contract, city leaders are still moving forward this week.

"We are continuing with the process at the moment," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

Commissioners voted months ago to do away with the 8-year-old contract. A dozen companies showed up recently for a mandatory meeting to come in and take over.

"I think that's the purpose of them asking for the contract to go out. The contract is 8 years old," said Augusta Fire Chief Chris James.

"We need to move on and get try to get the best service for Augusta," Mason said.

"What are those complaints? If there were complaints, I'd like to sit down and talk with them about it," Williams said.

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