Some commissioners support cut to ambulance contract

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Commissioner Sammie Sias says it’s Okay for Augusta to pay something for ambulance service but not as much as paying now.

“What we need to owe them as a subsidy is extremely negotiable and right now a million dollars plus a year for a subsidy no,” said Sias.

The city administrator agrees and is recommending a 700 thousand dollar cut to the little more than one million dollars the city is paying this year.

Gold Cross argues they need the city money to offset losses of transporting the poor who do not pay, but city officials say where the proof.

“Now if we’re not provided with any data to justify the payment then it should be cut,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

“If we’re going to pay for something we should know what we are buying and just to say we have some many indigent personnel and so forth we have to transport let us know show us where the money is going,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

But other commissioners say the cut would be bad for city customers.

“I don’t see us doing that you look at what they do we have a 29 percent poverty rate in Richmond County they off set indigent care,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

“It’s there responsibility but to make sure everyone gets service I’m not against negotiating with them and insure there’s a great service I’m not in the business of overpaying them,” said Sias.

gold Cross officials did not attend the committee meeting for the contract discussion but said last week they were shocked when they learned about the cut from the administrator’s budget presentation, the subsidy cut -will be a key component of this year’s budget discussions that kick off Friday.

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