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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 â€śreckless manner,â€ť then maybe it would not have come to this.
The doors for the two stations will close May 16, 2014.
â€śThis court will take the unprecedented step for liquidation and reorganization,â€ť Stern stated, â€śand the two are not the same.â€ť
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.
â€śIn the end, the taxpayers made it clear that they didnâ€™t want to pay and each dollar spent is more than a dollar in liability,â€ť added Stern.
According to the Rhode Island Business Incorporation Act, itâ€™s not the courtâ€™s responsibility to take over the liquidation process but the townâ€™s and stateâ€™s.
According to that act and its many scenarios, two of the six apply to CCFDâ€™s situation: the districtâ€™s assets were wasted and lost and the majority of holders (in this case the taxpayers) voted down a budget.
â€śThe voters knew full well what was required of them yet they still voted the budget down,â€ť Stern said. â€śThe 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€ť
Stern said what brought this district down was the total disregard for such a huge tax error.
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