04-LA 004

2004 -- H 7011

Enacted 02/06/04


A N  A C T



     Introduced By: Representatives Menard, and McManus

     Date Introduced: January 07, 2004



It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. The act passed at the January 1990 session of the general assembly entitled

“An Act Relating to the Incorporation of the Albion Fire District” and all amendments thereto are

hereby repealed in their entirety.

     SECTION 2. Albion Fire District Charter - - Section 1. All that property in the village of

Albion in the town of Lincoln, County of Providence, in the state of Rhode Island, beginning at a

point in the middle of the Albion Road bridge at the Cumberland-Lincoln town line, following the

Cumberland-Lincoln town line 4200 feet, more or less, in a northwesterly direction, thence

running in a southwesterly direction along the northern boundary of land owned now or formerly

by the Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates, Inc., to a point in the middle of the Old River Road,

thence turning and running in a southeasterly direction along the middle of the Old River Road,

1040 feet, more or less, to a point opposite the dividing line between the land now owned or

formerly owned by the heirs of Russell Handy and land owned or formerly owned by Arnold

Mann; thence turning and following the northern boundary of the Arnold Mann and Stafford

Mann land until the line comes to a large boulder, a corner of the land of the heirs of Stafford

Mann, turning and following the North Smithfield town line, in a southerly direction until the line

comes to the corner of the Smithfield town line, following said Smithfield town line in a

southerly direction to a point in the middle of the Washington Highway; thence turning and

continuing along the Washington Highway, in a northeasterly direction, crossing the Louisquisset

Pike and continuing along the middle of said Washington Highway to the Cumberland town line

turning and following said Cumberland town line in a northwesterly direction to the point of

beginning, is hereby incorporated into a district to be known as the “Albion Fire District”.

     Said district shall have the right to have and use a common seal; the right to sue or be

sued; the right to purchase and own property of any description in furtherance of their objective

mission of fire protection and emergency medical service for which it is incorporated, and enjoy

the other powers generally incident to corporations and shall be subject to the provisions of the

general laws and all acts in amendment thereof or in addition thereto.

     SECTION 2. Voter eligibility. - - The domiciled residents of said district registered to

vote in the town of Lincoln, henceforth referred to as “members”, shall be eligible to vote, hold

office and act at all meetings of the district as further provided in the district bylaws.

     SECTION 3. Annual Meeting. - - There shall be an annual meeting of said fire district

every year, for the purpose of electing officers, ordering taxes and providing for assessing and

collecting the same, enacting bylaws and transacting such other business or adopting such

measures, consistent with the charter which the members at said meeting shall deem beneficial to

the district. Annual meeting date and requirements for the call of nature of said meeting shall be

defined in the district bylaws.

     SECTION 4. Special meeting. - - Said members may hold special meetings. It shall be

the duty of the clerk to call a special meeting upon written application by twenty-five (25) or

more members or by a majority vote of the board of fire commissioners setting forth specifically

the whole and only purpose of the special meeting. Requirements for the notice of such meeting

shall be defined in the district bylaws.

     SECTION 5. District Officers. - - The officers of the fire district shall consist of a

moderator, a treasurer, and a board of five (5) fire commissioners whose duties and powers shall

be defined in the bylaws. Said officers shall be elected by the qualified members at the annual

meeting of the fire district. Each fire commissioner shall hold office for a term of five (5) years

and only one (1) fire commissioner shall be elected by the members of the fire district at every

annual meeting to fill the vacancy of the fire commissioner whose term shall have expired.

     All other officers shall hold office for a term of one (1) year or until their successors are

qualified and elected. Any officer who shall neglect his or her duty may be impeached by two-

thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the meeting at such vote is taken and the vacancy will

be filled by the members at this meeting. All vacancies occurring by reason of death, incapacity,

resignation or retirement shall be filled by the majority vote of the board of fire commissioners.

The term of such appointment to expire at the date of the next annual meeting at which time the

members will elect a replacement for the unexpired term of that office.

     There shall be a fire chief of the district who shall be appointed by the board of fire

commissioners, whose duties shall be defined in the district bylaws and who shall carry out such

other duties as the board of fire commissioners shall assign. The board of fire commissioners may

also contract for the service of a permanent fire chief, for a period of not more than five (5) years.

     SECTION 6. The moderator shall preside at all annual and special meetings of the fire

district which shall have been called by proper notice; and at such meetings he or she shall

conduct the proceedings, decide all discussions according to law, and have command over all the

records of the clerk, of the treasurer, and of the tax collector during such meetings. His or her

decisions as presiding officer may be appealed by those present and entitled to vote and a

majority of the voters shall be sufficient to sustain the appeal and overrule his or her decisions.

The appeal, however, must be stated simply and correctly and must not be debatable.

     SECTION 7. The fire chief, the deputy chief, or the officer in charge of the fire

department when on duty at a fire, the fire, district where the fire headquarters or station of said

company is located or in response to an alarm for such a fire shall, in the absence of the police,

have the power to suppress any tumult or disorder and to command from the inhabitants of the

fire district all needful assistance for the suppression of fire and in the preservation of property

exposed to fire. The officers above numerated shall have the authority to go onto and enter any

property or premises and to do whatever may reasonably be necessary in the performance of their

duties while engaged in the work of extinguishing any fire or performing any duties incidental


     SECTION 8. No member of the fire department of Albion fire district who, while on

duty, performing the duties of a firefighter, and in the performance of said duty voluntarily and

gratuitously renders emergency assistance to a person in need thereof, shall be liable for civil

damages for any personal injuries which result from acts or omissions by such persons rendering

the emergency care which may constitute ordinary negligence. This immunity does not apply to

acts or omissions constituting gross, willful or wanton negligence.

     The fire chief, deputy chief and all members of this fire department shall not render

themselves liable personally and they are hereby relieved from all personal liability for any

damage that may occur to persons or property as a result of an act required or permitted in the

discharge of their official duties and any fire chief, deputy chief, and all members acting in good

faith and without malice, shall be free from liability for acts performed or by reason of their

failure to act in the performance of their official duties.

     SECTION 9. Powers. - - The qualified members of said fire district shall at any legal

meeting, have the power to enact bylaws consistent with this charter, prescribing the duties and

powers of the officers of the district.

     The engine companies, ladder companies and rescue companies together shall constitute

the fire department under the direction of the chief fire marshal, and shall be governed by the

board of fire commissioners of the fire district. Such companies shall be subject to any provisions

contained in the general laws of the state of Rhode Island and all acts in amendment thereof, and

to the exemptions, privileges and remedies therein provided.

     SECTION 10. Authorization. - - The qualified members of said fire district at their legal

meetings shall have power to order taxes and provide for assessing and collecting the same, on

the taxable inhabitants and property in said district as they shall deem necessary for purchasing

and procuring real estate, buildings and implements, apparatus, other equipment, for the payment

of the current expenses of said district and any indebtedness that has been or may be incurred by

said district, and also for the payment of such emergency medical services as they deem

necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants; provided, however, that the taxes

assessed and payable in any one (1) year under the provisions of this section shall not exceed

three dollars ($3.00) on each one thousand dollars ($1,000) of said valuation; and provided

further, however, the minimum charge for any fire tax bill rendered shall be not less than twenty

dollars ($20.00).

     Such taxes so ordered, shall be assessed by the commissioners of said district on the

taxable inhabitants and property therein according to the last valuation made by the assessors of

taxes of the town of Lincoln next previous to said assessment adding, however, any taxable

property which may have been omitted by said town assessors or which may have been

afterwards since acquired; and in all cases where the town assessors have included property

within said district and property without said district in one (1) valuation, the commissioners of

said district shall make an equitable valuation of that portion of the same lying within said

district, and in the assessing and collecting of said taxes such proceedings shall be had by the

officers of said district, as near as may be, as are required to be had by the corresponding offices

of towns in this state in assessing and collecting town taxes; and the collector of taxes for said

district shall for purposes of collecting taxes assessed for said district have the same powers and

authorities as are now by law conferred upon collectors of taxes for towns of this state. Said

district may provide such deduction from the tax assessed against any person if paid by an

appointed time, or for such penalty by way of percentage on the tax if not paid at an appointed

time, not exceeding the maximum rate of percentage allowed by law per annum upon said unpaid


     Said district is hereby authorized and empowered to raise money through the issuance of

its bonds or notes, signed by its treasurer, in such sum or sums, as said district may, by majority

vote, at any regular or special meeting, determine; and the vote authorizing and empowering the

treasurer to raise money upon the issuance of bonds or notes of the district shall be construed as

authority for the renewal of any such bonds or notes from time to time; and said bonds or notes,

so issued, shall be payable from all taxes that may be levied by said district without limit as to

rate or amount, and shall otherwise be obligatory upon said district in the same manner and to the

same extent as other debts lawfully contracted by said district.

     SECTION 11. Personnel. (1) The board of fire commissioners may contract for the

services of the fire chief and any other employee the board of fire commissioners deems

necessary to carry out the mission of the fire district. (2) There shall be established a board of

review for the purpose of determining qualifications required for all full-time positions in the

district. This same board shall be charged with administering the exams and tests required to

classify candidates. The board of fire commissioners will appoint the board of review. (3) The

board of fire commissioners will appoint personnel to all full-time positions from reports given to

them by the board of review.

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.