Taxpayer Group Calls for Fire District to be Liquidated - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Taxpayer Group Calls for Fire District to be Liquidated

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By: Melissa Toupin

With just days to go before a special town meeting, where the new Central Coventry Fire District budget and tax rate are expected to be announced, a group of taxpayers are announcing a proposal of their own- to liquidate the station.

"I'm concerned that people are being taken advantage of. That a small department that has the right to tax and they're out of control," said Coventry business owner John Assalone.

The Central Coventry Fire District sits in receivership. Now some tax payers want to see the department dissolved. Assalone will take that message to the meeting Monday. He says the new budget along with a potential increase in taxes makes the department too costly. His proposal includes having neighboring departments fill in the gap.

"I think that a dissolution of a district like this would be a catastrophic mistake," said Central Coventry Fire Chief Andrew Baynes.

Chief Baynes says liquidating the department would put the community in danger.

"Some of the districts around us, I don't think would have the ability, relatively speaking with resources and items such as that, to handle that type of a loss," said Chief Baynes.

Central Coventry Fire District board member Marie Fisher says she wants to give the receiver time to turn things around before jumping ship.

"Liquidating at this point there's no plan in place for safety and emergency. It's just too risky," said Fishser.

But with the district teetering on bankruptcy others say it's time to call it quits.

"I will not vote for another dime increase until it's straightened out," said Assalone.

In order for a motion to liquidate to be made, a vote must first be taken on the budget.

The Special Master telling ABC6 he hasn't yet decided whether that will happen; It will depend on the mood of the meeting.

The special meeting is Monday, December 10th at 7 pm at 40 Reservoir Road (Coventry High School).


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