To the Central Coventry Fire District Voters:
There is a whirlwind of (mis)information being bandied about by voices from within and from outside the district.
Here are some truths and risks as I understand them. Hopefully these will give you food for thought for an extremely important vote, not only for CCFD but for the entire Town of Coventry on Tuesday March 26, 2013.
Fact: If the budget is passed, the tax rate will be $2.99 per thousand of assessed valuation on your home. Your services will remain the same. Your homeowners insurance will remain the same inasmuch as the ISO ratings will remain the same.
Fact: The Board of Directors that made the decisions that have placed the district in peril have resigned.
Fact: Should the budget pass, the voters will re-elect a new board which will in turn review and suggest major changes to the District’s Charter.
Fact: Should the budget not pass, the court has ordered dissolution and the control of CCFD assets will remain with the Special Master (not the taxpayers) who will then liquidate the assets to satisfy all creditors. The taxpayers are still liable for all unpaid debts (including the $3.3 million) and may receive supplemental tax bills in order to pay them as well as current tax billing from the district that services your home. (ex Coventry Fire District is at $2.80 per thousand)CCFD may or may not retain Real Estate, trucks, equipment, etc.
Fact: The “plan” that has been discussed between the remaining ﬁre districts, Coventry’s Emergency Management Team, Special Master Richard Land and Coventry’s Administration, was ordered to be put in place by the Judge as a contingency emergency plan for the safety and welfare of the residents of the district.The Fire Chiefs view this plan as a contingency and would prefer that CCFD remain in tact because of the integral part CCFD plays in each of the Districts. The “plan” is without regard to additional monies it may cost taxpayers in the event of dissolution.
Fact: Voters of the other districts will need to vote to approve of their district(s) taking part in the plan. It will also take General Assembly approval. What will happen if any or all of those votes fail?
Fact: ISO ratings will be adversely affected and may cost each and every taxpayer hundreds or even thousands of dollars more on their homeowners insurance. Taxpayers should consult with their insurance companies for details.
Fact: The judge agreed that should the voters reject the budget, it won’t necessarily mean absolution from the labor contract. A future court would decide, should any future lawsuit(s) be brought against the district.
Fact: The plan on retiring the debt includes legally implementing a 2 tiered tax system. The plan is that the higher commercial taxes will retire the debt over the next 4 or 5 years and the residential rates will remain the same. General Assembly approval is required to do this.
My question to my fellow CCFD taxpayers is:
Are we willing to risk the uncertainty and potential untold costs of rejecting this budget and dissolving the district?
Some will have you believe that we will be in control after dissolution. I don’t believe we will be.
I believe it is too risky and there are too many un-answerable questions at this time. I believe we should pass this budget (as much as such a large tax increase is undesirable) so we can return our district to solvency and make future decisions from a position of strength and determine and plan ourselves, how we are to either continue, consolidate or dissolve the district!
I know there has been much confusion but I hope I have given you additional food for thought.
Please discern and vote for what you feel to be in your family and the community’s best interest.
I support the passing of this budget!
Central Coventry Fire District Taxpayer
Coventry Town Council District 2