- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

COVENTRY, R.I. (AP) - Firefighters in the financially distressed Coventry Fire District will get to keep their jobs - for now.

The district’s board of directors voted 3-2 Monday not to discuss layoffs. Officials say the district won’t be able to make its payroll, which could lead them to lay off firefighters.

The district has $24,000 in cash available and Friday’s payroll will cost about $50,000. District residents voted in June to dissolve the department rather than pay more in taxes.

The contentious meeting featured a back and forth over who is making decisions for the cash-strapped district. Those in attendance called for Chairman Frank Palin to quit. Palin says he’s “marching” to taxpayers’ orders.

The board voted to negotiate with the firefighters union in closed session in the near future.

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