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Federal Bankruptcy an Option for Central Coventry Fire District

State receiver Steven Hartford is trying to fix the district's finances.

Federal Bankruptcy an Option for Central Coventry Fire District
Steven Hartford, who was appointed to fix the cash-strapped Central Coventry Fire District, said entering into federal bankruptcy is an option.

The Providence Journal reported Hartford was named the state receiver for the district by Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Hartford is the former town manager of Westerly.

The governor last week announced the state took control of the district to save it in the face of a court-ordered shutdown. Hartford told the Journal is district has enough money to make it through September.

"This is a critical public safety issue, and I feel strongly that Steve will act swiftly in this effort to stabilize the Central Coventry Fire District," Chafee said in a statement, according to the Journal. "He understands the issues. He is an attorney, and he recently was the manager of a large municipality. I believe he is well-suited for this task."

Earlier this year,  a judge ordered the liquidation of the Central Coventry Fire District after it went bankrupt. The order mandated that the district close by May 16. Chafee's actions will avoid that.

Town officials and the local firefighters' union has said the closure would slow firefighting operations. The Central Coventry Fire District is the largest of the town's four fire districts.

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