News 12 First at Five / Monday, Jan. 28, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The future of the Patch golf course is still in the balance. A company from Virginia wants to take control of the course, but commissioners aren't so sure.
City leaders voted against allowing the Virginia Beach management group to go straight to next week's consent agenda.
Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson says he wants the city to wait until a new Parks and Recreation director is hired before making a permanent decision on the patch.
Commissioner Bill Lockett says he's concerned about member fees.
The owner of Virgina Beach golf management was in town for Monday's hearing and promised if his firm gets the deal, the fees would stay low.
"The rates are not going to go up high. In order to get play out there, you need to maintain a certain level. You have to look at your property and see what condition it's in. It will only make so much, so that's as much as you can charge," said Beach Golf Management Mike Fontress.
Another hot-button issue was discussing opening the bid process for ambulance service. Gold Cross currently has that contract and it's coming up for renewal in March. If the city decides to go in a different direction, they must give a 9-month notice to Gold Cross.
Augusta-Richmond County Fire Chief Christopher James says the company has met the contract guidelines.
The minimum amount of ambulances available is a problem in 2013.
"If the contract provider or a contract provider doesn't have any ambulances available and we have another that's within our city that can respond, that we're sitting there available, then that unit should be called," James said.
He also wants other emergency service vehicles in the area given a chance to respond if Gold Cross has no more cars ready. The patch and the bidding for ambulance service will go before the commission next Monday.