Contrary to popular belief, Athens Ambulance is no closer to leaving Brazil than it was months ago, according to County Commissioner Daryl Andrews.
Rumors have spread that the County Commissioners are very close to signing a contract with Transcare Ambulance. Andrews says that while they are in talks with the group, they are also discussing picking the Athens contract back up.
"This is just something that happens every year," Andrews said. "We renew or make new contracts when the old ones expire."
Andrews also said that Transcare has been in contact with Clay County for "several years."
"They've made proposals in the past," he said.
Athens Ambulance, Clay County's current provider, has been here for "23 or 24 years," according to Andrews, and they are certainly not out of the question for a new contract next year. He also said that the contract ordeal is "business as usual."
"We will go with one or the other when time to sign a contract rolls around," he said. "But this is nothing new.
"I don't want it getting out that we're getting rid of Athens, because we're not ready to make that decision yet," he continued.
Athens prefers a yearly contract, he said, while Transcare has contacted the county for an agreement that spans a longer amount of time. The commissioners have reviewed Transcare's proposal, but they are still waiting on Athens to come through with one to review.
"We're still in talks with both of them," Andrews said. "We're hoping to make a decision within the next 30 or so days."
The contract with Athens expires the beginning of next year. The next County Commissioners meeting will be held on Dec. 1. The public is invited.