PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Acting Director of Revenue David Sullivan today announced that the Rhode Island Department of Revenue is moving to terminate the receivership of the Central Coventry Fire District (CCFD) as of October 1, 2015, while leaving CCFD with a viable plan to improve its fiscal stability.
Sullivan directed CCFD's receiver, Mark Pfeiffer, to file a Motion to Dismiss the Chapter 9 petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island, and to begin to transition governance of CCFD from the receiver back to the CCFD Board.
"While the state and receiver have improved the fiscal health of the Central Coventry Fire District, we do not have the local support we need to implement the best long-term solution," Sullivan said. "It isn't in Rhode Island taxpayers' best interest to continue spending thousands of dollars on a plan that will not be successful because it lacks the support from the leadership of the town and from the CCFD Board."
CCFD currently has $1.9 million cash-on-hand to pay its bills, but the long-term solution to CCFD's fiscal issues requires local leaders, including the union, to cooperatively work together.
"The state is not in the business of providing fire and rescue services to local communities," continued Sullivan. "Despite today's filing, the Department of Revenue remains available to offer guidance and technical support. We encourage the town and the fire district to look at best practices for streamlining services, enhancing accountability, and delivering better value to taxpayers."
The state expects the CCFD Board, the town, and other fire districts within the town to use all available resources, including mutual aid agreements, to continue to provide fire and rescue services to the residents of Coventry.
Without local support, proceeding with protracted and expensive litigation in the Bankruptcy Court could result in unnecessary monthly expenses of $120,000 for Rhode Island taxpayers.