AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Gold Cross ambulance is wanting more gold from the city of Augusta, and commissioners are unable to agree on a new subsidy for a new ambulance service contract.

“I hate to be sarcastic, [but] are we getting the best that we could possibly get right now? I’m not sure,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

Commissioners held several votes, but each failed to get the needed six votes to pass. The proposals ranged from $1.6 million to $900,000. 

“Richmond County, being as big as it is, 900, is lowballing it,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

Commissioners did approve $3.5 million in Rescue Act funds for new fire trucks, but the department’s request was nearly $7 million.

“We got to start somewhere on the fire trucks, I’m not willing to go in on the entire amount yet. I think we know we’re going to have a surplus at the end of the year with sales tax revenue, I think there’s another avenue for us to look at,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.  

But some commissioners believe with the two votes, public safety in Augusta is being shortchanged. 

“This was actually shameful today, it showed that certain commissioners do not give a damn about the citizens of Augusta, and what’s best for the citizens of Augusta,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

Both issues are not going away, the commissioners were presented with the proposed 2023 budget where the fire department and the Gold Cross subsidy are being called ‘budget challenges.’