AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Commissioners have been talking about a new ambulance contract for months, and now the city is proposing giving Gold Cross a lot more gold to provide service.  

“What we can’t afford to happen is for this company to pull out their services out of Augusta-Richmond County,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason. 

The contract proposal has the city offering a $1.9 million initial payment to Gold Cross, and then a $1.95 million annual subsidy, three times the $650,000 the city has budgeted.

“We really need to make sure that our citizens are protected and provide the adequate service levels we demand which is going to require some money,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett.

“I believe 1.9 is ridiculous, I think they are asking for another two million on top of that,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.

Gold Cross says if the contract is approved, it will immediately go to the state and surrender the ambulance zone to allow Augusta to gain control.

Supporters say it is about service.

“In order to get them there on time and do, we’ve got to be able to pay the money we pay for other things in the city that cost more than this,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight. 

After the contract vote failed, commissioners agreed to hold a special meeting on Gold Cross next week. Company officials say they are disappointed and said they will have to reassess where they go from here.