Proposed 70% ambulance contract cut faces opposition

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga,(WJBF) For the city administrator next year’s budget is in an emergency situation with sales revenues expected to be down more than one million dollars.

“We had about a one hundred thousand dollar decrease in sales tax revenues per month with the exception of April and we know what happens in April that really is very, very concerning,” said City Administrator Janice Jackson.

So Jackson is looking at spending cuts to balance the budget and one area is the money spent to subsidize Gold Cross for ambulance service.

“A new contract will go into effect in January so this is negotiation time anyway so we felt like it was an appropriate time to start revisiting what we found,” said Jackson.

This year the city is paying Gold Cross a little more than one million dollars for ambulance service next year Jackson is recommending cutting that by 700 thousand dollars.

“I understand the ambulance business can be pretty lucrative so we believe they will be able to withstand that type of cut,” said Jackson.

Jackson is recommending the ambulance cut but commissioners will have to approve it.

“An ambulance service is a viable part of this community I don’t know how we even talk about cutting them,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle say having a contract with gold Cross means the city can mandate things like response times.

“Let’s says out in McBean if a resident needs an ambulance they have to respond in a certain amount of time without a contract this is going to be a problem,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

“If they don’t there’s two things to do you can decrease your expenditures in other areas or you can raise your revenues those are the decisions the commission will have to make,” said Jackson.

Gold Cross owner Vince Brogdon says he’s shocked by the recommendation because he met with the City Administrator Monday and there was no mentioned of any cut in the subsidy.

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