Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Monday announced the state will take control of the bankrupt Central Coventry Fire District and try to save it in the face of a court-ordered shutdown.
The Providence Journal reported Chafee signed a new law last week that gives the state authority to control such fire districts. The state has previously taken over districts in Central Falls, East Providence, and Woonsocket, according to the Journal.
Earlier this year,
a judge ordered the liquidation of the Central Coventry Fire District after it went bankrupt. The order mandates that the district close by May 16. That means 44 firefighters and four administrators would lose their jobs.
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.