AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — For commissioners it’s coming down to the $1.6 million question, that’s the subsidy Gold Cross is requesting in the proposed new contract with Augusta. 

“I’m good with that, I really am, I’m good with that, when you’re talking about one point six million, you’re talking about what price you want to pay for life,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

During the Administrative Services Committee meeting, Commissioner Sean Frantom recommended the $1.6 million subsidy for Gold Cross, but instead the committee approved $900,000, a $250,000 increase over what the city pays now.  

“When you look at the indigent care, when you look at the poverty rate that we have and what we have going on here, to only go up a few hundred thousand dollars on the subsidy with the amount of things they do for this community, it’s not right,” said Commissioner Frantom.

But others pointed out that Gold Cross sued the city eight years ago to be the state-designated ambulance zone provider, so the $900,000 subsidy is fair.   

“Once they owned the zone, the state has said on record that the city of Augusta doesn’t own anything, of course we’re not at that point,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.  

“I think they do a good job; we need to hold them more accountable. I think the contract will do that, but at the end of the day I don’t think the subsidy is where it needs to be,” said Commissioner Frantom.

But it will be up to the full commission next week to decide where the new subsidy will be.