Rice Fire Co. Goes Down In ‘Flames’

Despite protests from an overflow capacity crowd of residents and taxpayers, Rice Township majority supervisors Miller Stella and George Venesky voted to decertify the Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company at a special meeting Tuesday June 25.

Stella and Venesky had Rice Police Chief Robert Franks post a sign stating: NO HANDBAGS, PURSES, BACKPACKS, KNIVES, GUNS OR OFFENSIVE WEAPONS PERMITTED IN BUILDING and as the public filed into the meeting room at the municipal building Rice police officers also wanded them. The sign in sheet was limited to 60 people and police turned away anyone who arrived after the cutoff, citing safety limits for the building.

Rice taxpayer Sandy Ford stayed outside the door on the small porch at the front of the meeting to keep purses for residents, who wanted to go inside. She said later than many people came to attend the meeting but left after they were not allowed admittance.

One by one Rice residents addressed the board begging them to stop the proceeding and work on another solution. Mark Taney, candidate for Rice Supervisor in the November general election, said “I can’t get it in my head, there has to be something more to this. If you have something that is sick, fix it.”

Miller Stella said he went over to the fire company a year and a half ago and tried to straighten it out. He went on that he had asked Rice Solicitor Bill Higgs to send a CPA over to the fire company to straighten out their books. “They did it to themselves.

See Flames page 10