Gov: ‘There’s got to be changes’ in Cent. Coventry Fire District

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said people living in a cash-strapped fire district should expect to see changes in the future.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the Central Coventry Fire District is preparing to file for bankruptcy after negotiations between the state and the firefighters’ union proved unsuccessful.

“There’s got to be changes. That’s why we’re going to Chapter 9, and we couldn’t reach an agreement with the union to fit into the budget approved by the people,” Chafee said. “We want to have fire service and rescue service that’s set by the people, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Stephen Hartford, the state-appointed receiver overseeing the fire district’s finances, said he expects Central Coventry to formally file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in about two weeks.

On Thursday, the Target 12 Investigators also learned that neighboring Coventry Fire District is also more than $500,000 in the red. The chief of that district has come under fire in the wake of a months-long Target 12 undercover investigation that raised serious questions over a lack of accountability and public safety concerns.

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