Legislation to Ensure Coventry Fire, Emergency Services Filed in General Assembly

The bill would empower the Coventry Town Council to collect fire tax and spend funds for fire and EMT services in Central Coventry.


STATE HOUSE, APR. 4 – A bill to ensure fire and emergency services in Central Coventry was introduced today by State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-Coventry, West Warwick, Warwick).

Under the bill’s provisions, fire and emergency services formerly provided by the failed Central Coventry Fire District would be contracted for by the Coventry Town Council on a temporary basis, with such authority expiring on Sept 1, 2013.

To pay for such services, the town council would be authorized to collect the balance due on fire district tax bills mailed to residents as ordered by Kent County Superior Court.

If the General Assembly approves the measure, the bill asks the Board of Canvassers in Coventry to schedule a vote on the proposal on or before June 1, 2012, with only qualified electors from Central Coventry Fire District permitted to vote.

“With the Court ordering liquidation of the Central Coventry Fire District, there is no entity currently empowered to levy and collect fire tax, or to expend fire tax revenues,” said Morgan.

“This legislation aims at correcting that, and placing with an accepted body of government, in this case the Town Council, the temporary responsibility for decision-making on fire and emergency services issues,” she said.        

“The goal here is to ensure the safety of Central Coventry residents while a long term solution for fire and emergency services is put in place," Morgan continued. "This gives the Town Council the authority to act until September, 2013, by which time a clearer picture of taxpayer’s preferences will emerge."

“There is already a citizen taskforce in Coventry organized and working on this issue, and its members are aware that there is some urgency involved. This provides a six-month window of opportunity for them to work, and gain taxpayer approval of a way forward."

Morgan pointed out that the legislation also provided residents with a level of protection over fire taxes. The bill restricts the Town Council from spending “any sums in excess of the balance due” with respect to the fire tax levy.


joe April 05, 2013 at 03:36 AM
I am not a firefighter. You all assume that just because I support safety, I must have a job in that field. Wife and I are both retired, have a mortgage and student loans, and pay for our health insurance. Yeah... so we have bills too, but I still think stupidity reigned supreme a week ago. Try selling your house now with no nearby FD.
getreal April 05, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Joe, Brooks is Kettle and the other couple of names are just your average nasty teanaggers. This whole thing is a union busting mission at everyone elses expense.. B.T.W. NOT UNION, NOT FIRE, just fed up with the shallow end of gene pool tearing Coventry apart..
LifelongCoventryResident April 05, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Dear realistic voter, I am losing my job with a private company in a few months as well. That is why the voters did not want the tax increase. Everyone is losing their jobs and homes. Things are not good. We are all sick of all these taxes and simply can not afford them. Even the state taxes that some politicians are imposing are crazy. Next election, they will be out too.
disaster coming April 05, 2013 at 11:44 AM
bill g....thank you pat? for what, to pass this problem to someone else? If you went to the town council meeting the night before the lied to and misinformed central coventry tax payers voted against the budget, you would of heard how the town of coventry does not want anything to do with the fire business. And now morgan is passing it on to someone else because her plan isnt working..so now so she doesnt look bad she is handing it off to someone else. While she still has fire protection and a rescue coming to her house in west warwick. Do you think she would settle for a private ambulance from another state to come take care of her family? I doubt it! You should be saying thanks scott...since Rep Guthrie is trying to keep what we have already paid for (our fire dept) and has added accountability to his bill so no other fire district in the state will ever deal with this mess and go without protection.
Tally April 05, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Relastic voter The Republican Newspaper http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/american_medical_response_says.html
Tally April 05, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Realistic voter, you can be nasty like chainsawman, are you Gormans brother?
Concerned Taxpayer April 05, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I wouldn't say all unions are bad. We agreed to those contracts when we elected these people to the offices they hold. We gave them the right to negotiate and sign those contracts. So we are to blame as well. If you don't think so then I suggest you run for those offices when they become available and have more of a voice when the time comes, but ultimately we are to blame for these contracts getting out of control. So join the citizens committee and take back our town.
d April 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Since it is going to be a really short period of time before another Fire Company and Rescue team takes over, so not going to affect your HomeOwners - (I already called mine) and it's not going to affect the sale of your home . Expenses we were going to have to pay left over by this old Fire company would have had to have been paid anyway even if they were there. In weeks a temp plan will be in place and in 6 months one that will benefit the entire town will be also. Do you favor having 1 Fire Company ?
Princess 1 April 05, 2013 at 03:39 PM
You are not going to get one fire company unless the voters of the other districts vote to terminate their charters as well. If they are happy with their service, why would they want to change. Regarding the expenses left over that have to be paid -- liquidating the district balloons the debt by a substantial amount. The $500,000 owed to the RI pensions system just inflated to 6 million. The unions will be looking for the money owed under the remainder of their contracts, etc. etc. etci.
Donna Hogan April 05, 2013 at 05:16 PM
To all Coventry residents......I would just like to put my two cents worth of advide in. I have never in my life seen such disrespect to one human being to another. FYI, I do not live in Coventry.....But this is outrageous! There are 3 year olds who could behave better than this. I would offer this as a soution, use the "Talking Stick at your next meeting, if you are not holding the stick, then you have to listen, respectfully. This advice goes for all sides. When you listen, you learn, try it. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Gem101 April 05, 2013 at 10:16 PM
So all of you no voters to the CCFD mess get ready to PAY UP to the STATE GENERAL TREASURER FOR THE PENSIONS YOU OWE. Try $656,000.00 for starters and may go as high as $6MILLION. thanks for the NO vote and good luck with your payments.
mad hatter April 05, 2013 at 11:44 PM
$656k is a fart in the wind in this district. thats about 11% of what people were paying on an annual basis. seeing how there is no 3rd quarter payment, this will be a huge savings to the taxpayer. any other brain storms for us?? good luck with the 6 mil. it will never happen.
Taxpayer April 06, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Stupidity was trusting them with our money. Know you want to give more money to the same people.... Thats stupidity I can't afford.
chainsawman April 06, 2013 at 01:04 AM
AHHHH!! Mad Hater wrong again and again and again!! The state petitioned the court today! A guy was telling me today whose father owns an insurance business that the storm is coming. It's being formulated behind the scenes right now for ALL districts because everybody's is going up. Kind of like all for one and one for all for you who voted NO!! Great job!
Bob C April 06, 2013 at 08:31 AM
see ya at the unemployment line union thugs
Rhodeyresident0303 April 06, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Can't wait till Medtech Ambulance is responding to calls (billing to the max no matter what they respond for for example a basic run is 900 and a advanced life support run is around 1700 dollars) and a private contractor fire department comes in a handles the fire calls only if you pay your subscription fee if not you better hope your garden hose works. Does anyone know what the grand total is with the repaying of the pension, the SAFER grant, the bills for the trucks and other things, and the deficit ????
Gem101 April 06, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Hey mad hatter ever hear of the ERISA law look it p then maybe you will have FACTS. You all owe Gina money for 66 firefitters and YOU will Pay on top of your new tax bill.
mad hatter April 06, 2013 at 02:29 PM
ok, Copernicus.... you cant spell to get your point across but you are completely versed in pension law? the "firefitters" have defined benefit plans that are covered by ERISA. that means that the separate accounts are guaranteed by the fed. if the entity which was supporting the specific plan ceases to exist, then most likely PBGC kicks in. this state has never gone through a liquidation so, this is new territory. for you to proclaim what is going to happen is utter BS. dont reply to this as schooling you has become an exercise in futility for me. i would rather watch my grass grow.
sll April 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM
That was part of the problem. If they had come clean and let the taxpayers know what was really owed and what this 5 year plan to pay the debt back was the vote may have been different. I also find it funny that after all these months of telling us the ladder truck could not go back all of a sudden it can.
Delores April 06, 2013 at 03:25 PM
ok, Copernicus.... you cant spell to get your point across but you are completely versed in pension law? the "firefitters" have defined benefit plans that are covered by ERISA. that means that the separate accounts are guaranteed by the fed. if the entity which was supporting the specific plan ceases to exist, then most likely PBGC kicks in. this state has never gone through a liquidation so, this is new territory. for you to proclaim what is going to happen is utter BS. dont reply to this as schooling you has become an exercise in futility for me. i would rather watch my grass grow. Mad, Really Im shocked at you! dont - don't, do not you has - you have signed spelling, usage and grammar police.... lmao!
mad hatter April 06, 2013 at 03:32 PM
"have become"? you try to catch me and end up shooting yourself in the foot... again. bye-bye.
Delores April 06, 2013 at 04:56 PM
read the comment fast. no prob 1 for you 1 for me. want to play again I will give you a head start! ok see you later when the crap hits the fan.
mad hatter April 06, 2013 at 05:15 PM
ok, that was funny. touche!
harleyrider8272 April 07, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Wow what a brilliant comment!! Did any one in your family get past the third grade?
Chris April 07, 2013 at 08:12 PM
joe ... try selling it with millions owed and taxpayers on the hook for it. Double edged sword. We're paying either way , do it right this time !!
ernie nardolillo April 07, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I think that this is a terrible situation for all involved from the Firefighters to the Residents I personally don't believe there was ever a plan in place. I think that the root of the problem was overspending which is not because of the Firemen, it was because of mismanagement lets be realistic if you went to your boss and asked for a raise and he /she said yes is that your fault for asking or the fault of the person giving it. It is not up to the Firefighters to run checks/balances. I believe that they should be forced to operate under the last approved budget until a new one can be reached.
Chris April 07, 2013 at 08:17 PM
The problem is Donna at the meetings all they do is scare people into thinking they will die if the budget is not approved. On top of that each camp points out the bad in the opposing. It's time a solution is made for the good of EVERYONE ON BOTH SIDES !
Chris April 07, 2013 at 08:28 PM
'you owe' lol ... Thats right all us deadbeat CCFD taxpayers that haven't payed our taxes in years need to pay up now. I sure hope in this investigation the finger can be pointed at someone for something because I the taxpayer am sick of getting blamed for this.
Hally April 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
The fire union could have done more, State employees have made great sacrifices, pensions, healthcare & salaries. Everyone is going through hard times, their offers were lame at best.
harleyrider8272 April 08, 2013 at 01:36 AM
"Hally" What was they're offer?


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