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Fairmont Looks at Raising Rent For Gold Cross

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Since 2002, Gold Cross Ambulance has only needed to pay a dollar a year to lease from the Fairmont fire department.
However, some on the Fairmont City Council think it's time for that to end.  
Kristofer Keltgen says, "Gold Cross Ambulance is a not for profit ambulance service. We have not made a profit in Fairmont since we've been operating there in 1997, but we continue to provide high-level care to the community - not only through high quality life support care, but also direct and in-kind donations that we've made to the city, totaling over $93,000 since 2002."

But it's that aspect of not-for-profit status, and the relationship Gold Cross has to its parent company, the Mayo Clinic, and its hospital in Fairmont, that are driving the doubts in the city council.
Council member Terry D. Anderson says, "Want it in one word? Joke. It's a fabrication. You can take any non-profit corporation - if you and I were in that corporation and we decided that we didn't want to show a profit, I give you a bonus and you can give me a bonus, we could buy ourselves new cars at the end of the year that we're going to use for company purposes... as long as the money doesn't go back in to stockholders... it's a shell game."

Anderson insists that residents he's hearing from back his position, and that it's unfair to other companies that may be willing to pay rent for the spot at the fire department.

And while the issue is still up in the air, he's confident that the nearly free rent Gold Cross has enjoyed will soon be coming to an end.

Anderson says, "When everything's said and done - we'll give them a very short period of time. They will pay a rent, they will pay utilities and then they'll be gone, hopefully. And I hope they find a really good spot. Hopefully at their own hospital."