Legislation that would allow the troubled Central Coventry Fire District to collect taxes through September 1st of this year is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Rhode Island Senate passed the bill 29 to seven last night. It would give the district a little more breathing room to come up with a plan to raise funds. But it doesn’t provide a final solution to the town’s problems. State leaders have been reluctant to provide permanent relief to the town’s fire district, which has been operating in the red since last year.
For several months we’ve been hearing news about the cash-strapped Central Coventry Fire District, fighting to stay open during liquidation.
These financial woes seem like a case study for the challenges many cities and towns face, as they try to provide services through a patchwork of municipal agencies.
The Town Council has loaned the district $300,000 to stay open for a few more weeks. The debate surrounding the fire district is complicated, so we sat down with Gary Cote, President of the Coventry Town Council, to get the details.
Legislative leaders signaled Monday that local officials in Coventry should be the ones responsible for addressing the future of a troubled fire district in the town. A Superior Court judge has ordered the Central Coventry Fire District to close April 11th.