Money Watchers: CCFD to stay open for now

A judge in Kent County ruled Friday about the future of the Central Coventry Fire District, and that it won't close at least not yet.

He said based upon what he heard, he believes the safety of the residents in central Coventry would be at risk if the fire department where to close its doors within the next three weeks.

So now taxpayers will need to spend some money.

"The judge in part of his order has ordered that first, second and third quarter taxes be paid by the tax payers in the Central Coventry Fire District when they are due the first quarter is past due the second quarter is just becoming due up until now the tax payers were asked to pay on a volunteer basis, now they are being ordered to pay by the court," said Gary Cote of the Coventry Town Council.

And with Gary Cote's help, a plan has been put in place which will be presented to the court and eventually voters, a plan designed to save the department and to conserve costs.

Part of that involves closing the Hill Farm Station, re-assigning some men, having the town take over the administration of tax collections and assessments in the central district and ask the union to look for ways to save some money too. They've agreed to find $250 thousand in savings this year.

"We put that on the table that was part of our offer and we firmly believe that if that's what it takes we will get them there," said David Gorman, head of the firefighters union.

The fire chief responded on Friday.

"From a professional standpoint I'm pleased with the position that we're allowed to operate in because I don't think it will compromise firefighters safety, taxpayers safety or occupant safety," Chief Andrew Baynes of the Central Coventry Fire District.