Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Augusta commissioners say for better ambulance service the city needs to get a binding contract with Gold Cross right away.

“What I want to do is tighten up that accountability that everybody is talking about the number of ambulances that we need the reporting mechanisms and so forth,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Last year commissioners approved recommendations for Gold Cross to improve service. 

They include a minimum number of units   during peak hours, a new tracking system to aid response times and hiring a quality control person to help with customer service.

“It has some stipulations in it that should provide much better service for Richmond County, you know currently it’s kind of a range in regards of how many ambulances are in service at any given time,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

But a new contract means a new subsidy, right now the city is paying Gold Cross 650 thousand dollars a year.

Under a new contract the subsidy is proposed to increase by $1M.

“I’m totally against giving them any additional funds, one point, whatever it is million dollars, that’s ridiculous, because service hasn’t changed,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams. 

 The city is using rescue act money to pay the subsidy, now but commissioners say those funds do not last forever.

“In about three years ARP is going to be gone, we’re going to have to be able to sustain that after ARP, so we got a lot to think about,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

Commissioners will be thinking a lot about the ambulance contract.

The plan is to have the proposed new deal back next week.