AUGUSTA Ga, ( WJBF) Augusta Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle says with more city money for Gold Cross service to residents needing rides to the hospital will suffer.
“What we have to do is to look out for each and every citizen when it comes to their safety and welfare,” said Guilfoyle.
In the 2017 budget commissioners approved a 380 thousand dollar subsidy for Gold Cross. A 700 thousand dollar cut
That had Commission Guilfoyle calling for an update from the administrator on the negotiations with the company, an action some city leaders were questioning.
“It’s unconventional for sure don’t no exact what his motives are when I heard I guess I can speak as to whether it was appropriate or not but looking on the face of it doesn’t look to be appropriate,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
“I think with the administrator and he staff couple with our law department I think they should be doing the negotiating,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett.
Gold Cross officials attending the meeting and say they are negotiating and have counter offered saying they’ll take a one hundred thousand dollar cut and the right to change a response fee.
“900 thousand with a 100 dollar response fee for people who don’t go to the hospital to help make up some of the difference,” said Vince Brogdon, Gold Cross CEO.
But as some commissioners pointed out Gold Cross fought the city to be designated by the state the ambulance provider for Augusta so the city is under no obligation to offer the company any subsidy.
“That’s there take on it as Frank our Chief Financial Officer stated it’s a history in this county to help take care of the indigent patients and that’s what we’re asking,” said Brogdon.
Now Gold Cross has said the company responses to about 40 thousand calls a year but the administrator telling commissioners there records show there were a total of 31 thousand calls for 2015 and so far in 16 combined.
Administrator Jackson telling commissions she will have a response to gold crosses counter offer next week, again the city’s contract ends this month.