State to take over Central Coventry Fire District

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An adviser to Gov. Lincoln Chafee will oversee the financially troubled Central Coventry Fire District.

Steven Hartford’s appointment was announced Tuesday by Chafee and state Department of Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly.

The district has been in bankruptcy receivership since October 2012 and a judge had ordered liquidation of its assets by May 16. The Providence Journal reports Chafee sent letters to state legislative leaders earlier indicating he’d agreed to help avoid the liquidation.

The announcement Tuesday said Hartford, a former town manager and solicitor for Westerly, has been working with the fire district for the past three months. He’ll remain on the governor’s payroll without additional compensation.

Lawmakers last week added local fire districts to the jurisdiction of the state Fiscal Stability Act, allowing the Revenue Department to reorganize their finances.

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