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WARWICK â Superior Court Judge Bryan Stern made his final ruling to liquidate the Central Coventry Fire District Wednesday after stating in a very clear-cut manner that had the former board not left such a gaping hole in the budget to large to repair and acted in what he called a âreckless manner,â then maybe it would not have come to this.
The doors for the two stations will close May 16, 2014.
âThis court will take the unprecedented step for liquidation and reorganization,â Stern stated, âand the two are not the same.â
Stern said liquidation is just one step in the process and make it clear that no one was going to be out of a job tomorrow nor would anything be closing automatically.
âIn the end, the taxpayers made it clear that they didnât want to pay and each dollar spent is more than a dollar in liability,â added Stern.
According to the Rhode Island Business Incorporation Act, itâs not the courtâs responsibility to take over the liquidation process but the townâs and stateâs.
According to that act and its many scenarios, two of the six apply to CCFDâs situation: the districtâs assets were wasted and lost and the majority of holders (in this case the taxpayers) voted down a budget.
âThe voters knew full well what was required of them yet they still voted the budget down,â Stern said. âThe judicial branch is not charged with public safety. The town and the state created the district; now that it has failed, they can decide what the next steps are.â
Stern said what brought this district down was the total disregard for such a huge tax error.
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