Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Commissioners budgeted $650,000 for ambulance service in 2022, as we head to the halfway point Gold Cross saying another $950,000 is needed.

“Prior to 2016, they actually received much more than this as a subsidy but now we have a substantial increase in fuel costs,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

Company officials say Like other business Gold Cross is being hit by rising cost.

Saying the company is paying three dollars more a gallon for fuel than it was two years ago, when the current subsidy was set.

“That’s about 75 thousand dollars more a month in addition to what we were already spending on diesel which is about 900 thousand dollars a year additional,” said Gold Cross Vice President Steven Vincent.

Augusta is negotiating with Gold Cross on a new contract   with a deal expected within a month.  

So, commissioners wanting to wait on those talks before talking subsidy.  

“So, I’d be a no for the day I want them to finish I want them to finish their contract and then we can come back with some real information,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.  

I don’t see the commission giving one point six million dollars overnight to Gold Cross when we were still trying to finish these contract negotiations and get some quality service in place,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

Commissioners are divided on how much to subsidize ambulance service, but new dollars were stopped here at this meeting.