Gold Cross subsidy request denied by Augusta commissioners

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta commission voted to deny a $1.6 million subsidy request by Gold Cross.

An extra $950,000 request was denied for Gold Cross in a split five to five vote. Commissioners in favor of the motion said it’s cheaper to support the EMS than try to break away from them.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where it’s worth talking about a dollar figure. $1.6 million is a lot of money for us to not have a contract in place,” said District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

District 10 Commissioner John Clarke said: “We determined it was going to cost taxpayers of Augusta about $20 million a year to operate it. You’ve got to have the equipment, you’ve got to have the personnel, you’ve got to have the supplies, you’ve got to have the upkeep.”

It’s those medical supplies that Gold Cross says have gone up in price by 100% since 2020, when the MOU was last re-done between Gold Cross and the city.

Gold Cross also says the rise in gas prices is costing them an extra one million dollars a year for their ambulances.

The Vice President of Gold Cross Steven Vincent said: “The last two years have really wreaked havoc on our entire industry.”

With this denial, commissioners are set on circling back to complete negotiations with Gold Cross’ contract, which has been going on for around 60 days.

City staff predicts this should not last more than another month.

District 4 Commissioner Alvin Mason said: “We’ve been talking about it, talking about it, talking about it, and we haven’t had any accountability. There’s no question about that.”

Tuesday’s meeting had an unusually packed house, many there to hear what would happen on a proposal for single-family homes on Windsor Spring Road.

The crowd burst into cheers after the reading that it was denied. The homes were set to go next to Augusta’s Cornerstone Assembly Church. During the meeting, Mason decided not to vote, instead speaking as a member of the community against the development.

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