A Commonwealth Court panel Wednesday thwarted an attempt by the state attorney general’s office to forcibly dissolve a volunteer fire company that refused to participate in a government-organized merger.
The ruling means that, for now at least, Independent Fire Company No. 1 in South Williamsport can continue to exist as a nonprofit entity and might even resume fighting fires outside the borough.
As Judge Patricia A. McCullough noted in the state court’s opinion, Independent came to be in the AG’s crosshairs after it refused to join the borough’s two other fire companies to form the South Williamsport Fire Department in 2016. Borough council then passed an ordinance barring Independent from answering emergency calls in town.