AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Central EMS is now in business with Augusta.  

“Everything comes at a cost and Catherine McKnight stated you get what you pay for,” said Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse.  

Augusta leaders approving a contract with Central that will pay the company $2.65 million a year with a built-in three percent increase that will raise the cost to nearly $3 million by the end of the five-year deal. 

“Three million dollars over the life of this contract more than we were going to pay Gold Cross does that concern you? Any heartburn there?”  

“No, it doesn’t concern me,” said Commissioner Stacy Pulliam. 

But Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle has concerns he was the lone no vote against the agreement.

“The money is coming out of contingency reserves SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) it’s coming from seven different places for this year only,” said the Commissioner. 

Commissioners budgeted $650 thousand for ambulance service dollars for both this year and next but to find the rest a tax increase in not in the plans, at least not now.  

“At this point, that has not been on the table. I did not include at tax increase in my proposed plan for funding, so as we know budget season is upon us and we’ll just have to wait and see what the projects look like later in the year,” said Douse.  

The contract allows Central EMS to house ambulances at 13 city fire stations and the company will pay $350 dollars a month rent at each. 

“I rent buildings myself and I’ve never rented something so low I mean we’re giving things away in that,”  

The contract does not prevent the company from coming back at any time for an increase in the subsidy but as Douse says it also does not prevent commissioners from saying no.