Town Meeting Votes To Approve Public Safety Facility Land Purchase By 12 Votes

After three hours of discussion and debate on the chilly multipurpose field at Hingham High School, Town Meeting voted by a razor-thin margin to authorize the Board of Selectmen to purchase the property at 335 Lincoln Street next to Fresh Market. A 2/3-approval was required, and in the end it was achieved but only by 12 votes. Of the 453 people who voted, 69%, or 314, said yes. The remainder of 139 said no.

Promptly at noon, Town Moderator Michael Puzo welcomed everyone in attendance and opened the Meeting with some remarks about the manner in which Town Meeting is held. Members of the Board of Selectmen, Advisory Committee and Public Safety Facility Committee spoke, and the floor was opened up to members of the public.

A handful of board and committee members spoke in favor of the purchase from the audience; several people shared their thoughts; some asked questions; and some, like Susan Garland and Priya Howell, spoke in favor of the purchase but stressed the importance of “fully funding” the schools. Howell warned that parents would be back in the spring to make sure this happened.

Attendees were regularly reminded that the vote was for the purchase of the land only and any discussion about the price of the final project was not relevant. However, the Moderator did allow one question on the price to be answered. Bob Garrity of the Public Safety Facility Building Committee revealed that the consultants had estimated a final price of $35M – stressing that it was a very rough estimate.

Among those who spoke was Tom O’Reilly who proposed a Motion to Amend the Article. The language he suggested for insertion would have prohibited the construction of a Public Safety Facility and preserve the property for the schools until the issues with Foster School were addressed. “Buy the land, but don’t do anything until Foster School is finished,” he explained. That proposal was ruled out of scope by the Moderator who did not allow it to move forward.

Christine Smith who is chair of the South Shore Country Club Committee said that she has served on various boards and committees since moving to Hingham in 1998 and encouraged people to “trust the process” and suggested that “if you have a problem, you volunteer and help address the problem.” She also reminded Town Meeting attendees that $2.5M had been allocated to Foster School in 2006 to “breathe 10 years of life” into the building. After calling for consensus-building, she added, “You don’t want to pit anyone against anyone in this town.”

Another former School Committee member approached the issue from a different angle. Andy Shafter said that the annual interest on the loan alone would equal “one teacher.” He noted that the town owns quite a bit of property already and inquired as to whether or not the study committee had explored the option of a land swap. Advisory Committee member Nancy MacDonald said that several properties in the Fottler Road area had been considered but the owners were not amenable to selling.

Danielle Erdmann who said she moved to the Shipyard a year ago from South Boston expressed concerns about the impact a public safety facility would have on traffic in the area. She then addressed a second comment to the school crowd, whose remarks had made an impression on her, by saying, “The Board of Selectmen is not listening to you.”

That prompted a response from Selectman Mary Power who asserted that “all town boards and committees work very hard to listen to all of the needs of the town’s citizenry.” However, Power did concede that the pandemic had “exposed some funding deficiencies in town.”

At 2:00 PM, Jude Miller called the question. Based on the voice vote, the Moderator said he had no doubt the motion had carried; however, a motion for reconsideration then prompted a standing vote. After the count, the final tally was revealed to be 314 votes in favor of purchasing the land and 139 opposed.

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BREAKING NEWS: State Enters Phase 1 Of Reopening

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito​ announced this morning that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now entering Phase 1 of a 4-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy.

“We said from the beginning we were going to follow best practices and data,” said Gov. Baker.  “The data we have collected has been used to incorporate and build this plan.  The process associated with these phases is a function of how we do.”

“People need to do their part,” added Lt. Gov. Polito, “and are key to unlocking the next phases of activity.”

Read full article

World’s End Scheduled To Open On May 19th

The Trustees of Reservations just announced that World’s End is one of five properties that have a planned opening date of Tuesday, May 19th Here’s what you need to know:

  • Parking lot capacity will be limited to 50%
  • No transactions for parking will occur on-site
  • Parking passes will be available to members through May 12th.
  • Passes will be available to all others starting May 13.
  • All visitors over the age of two will be required to bring and wear face coverings.
  • To obtain a parking pass, you can do so online using this link. Click here to join or renew.

“We know how difficult it has been to get outside, get exercise, and connect with nature over the past weeks,” The Trustees said in a statement, “and we are pleased and proud to be expanding access to our special places while balancing the need to slow the spread of the virus.”

Seventy other locations managed by The Trustees have already been opened in order to “allow the public more access to nature.” However others have remained closed due to “concerns about overcrowding and inability to physically distance at these sites.” In addition to World’s End, the public will be able to visit deCordova and Naumkeag by selecting an online-only parking pass for a specific window of time. Fruitlands and Crane Beach will offer online day passes for the day.

“Our property teams are working hard to reopen more sites in a safe and responsible manner,” assured The Trustees, “and we look forward to sharing news of other site openings soon.”

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Board Of Selectmen Approve Warrant And Reduce Quorum To 200 For Outdoor Town Meeting On November 21st

The Selectmen have signed and issued the Warrant for Special Town Meeting that is scheduled for Saturday, November 21st and will be held on the multipurpose field at the high school. Extreme heat was a concern at Annual Town Meeting in June, but cooling stations will be replaced with warming huts at next month’s Meeting. Backup plans have been put into place so that the Town can stay on track with a vote to approve the purchase of a parcel of land at 335 Lincoln Street in the Shipyard which will be the site of a new Public Safety Facility and will house police headquarters and the North Street Fire Station.

New Streetlight And Signage Coming To Dark Curve On Upper Gardner Street

A dark and dangerous curve on upper Gardner Street in South Hingham will be getting a new streetlight thanks to a citizen’s request. The bend in the road, which is located near the Mormon Church and is narrower than the rest of the street, is not well lit, and it has been the site of serious accidents in recent years.

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Town Meeting Votes To Approve Public Safety Facility Land Purchase By 12 Votes

After three hours of discussion and debate on the chilly multipurpose field at Hingham High School, Town Meeting voted by a razor-thin margin to authorize the Board of Selectmen to purchase the property at 335 Lincoln Street next to Fresh Market. A 2/3-approval was required, and in the end it was achieved but only by 12 votes. Of the 453 people who voted, 69%, or 314, said yes. The remainder of 139 said no.

Promptly at noon, Town Moderator Michael Puzo welcomed everyone in attendance and opened the Meeting with some remarks about the manner in which Town Meeting is held. Members of the Board of Selectmen, Advisory Committee and Public Safety Facility Committee spoke, and the floor was opened up to members of the public.

A handful of board and committee members spoke in favor of the purchase from the audience; several people shared their thoughts; some asked questions; and some, like Susan Garland and Priya Howell, spoke in favor of the purchase but stressed the importance of “fully funding” the schools. Howell warned that parents would be back in the spring to make sure this happened.

Attendees were regularly reminded that the vote was for the purchase of the land only and any discussion about the price of the final project was not relevant. However, the Moderator did allow one question on the price to be answered. Bob Garrity of the Public Safety Facility Building Committee revealed that the consultants had estimated a final price of $35M – stressing that it was a very rough estimate.

Among those who spoke was Tom O’Reilly who proposed a Motion to Amend the Article. The language he suggested for insertion would have prohibited the construction of a Public Safety Facility and preserve the property for the schools until the issues with Foster School were addressed. “Buy the land, but don’t do anything until Foster School is finished,” he explained. That proposal was ruled out of scope by the Moderator who did not allow it to move forward.

Christine Smith who is chair of the South Shore Country Club Committee said that she has served on various boards and committees since moving to Hingham in 1998 and encouraged people to “trust the process” and suggested that “if you have a problem, you volunteer and help address the problem.” She also reminded Town Meeting attendees that $2.5M had been allocated to Foster School in 2006 to “breathe 10 years of life” into the building. After calling for consensus-building, she added, “You don’t want to pit anyone against anyone in this town.”

Another former School Committee member approached the issue from a different angle. Andy Shafter said that the annual interest on the loan alone would equal “one teacher.” He noted that the town owns quite a bit of property already and inquired as to whether or not the study committee had explored the option of a land swap. Advisory Committee member Nancy MacDonald said that several properties in the Fottler Road area had been considered but the owners were not amenable to selling.

Danielle Erdmann who said she moved to the Shipyard a year ago from South Boston expressed concerns about the impact a public safety facility would have on traffic in the area. She then addressed a second comment to the school crowd, whose remarks had made an impression on her, by saying, “The Board of Selectmen is not listening to you.”

That prompted a response from Selectman Mary Power who asserted that “all town boards and committees work very hard to listen to all of the needs of the town’s citizenry.” However, Power did concede that the pandemic had “exposed some funding deficiencies in town.”

At 2:00 PM, Jude Miller called the question. Based on the voice vote, the Moderator said he had no doubt the motion had carried; however, a motion for reconsideration then prompted a standing vote. After the count, the final tally was revealed to be 314 votes in favor of purchasing the land and 139 opposed.

BREAKING NEWS: State Enters Phase 1 Of Reopening

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito​ announced this morning that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now entering Phase 1 of a 4-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy.

“We said from the beginning we were going to follow best practices and data,” said Gov. Baker.  “The data we have collected has been used to incorporate and build this plan.  The process associated with these phases is a function of how we do.”

“People need to do their part,” added Lt. Gov. Polito, “and are key to unlocking the next phases of activity.”

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BREAKING NEWS: State Enters Phase 1 Of Reopening

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito​ announced this morning that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now entering Phase 1 of a 4-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy. “We said from the beginning we were going to follow best practices and data,” said Gov. Baker “The data we have…

World’s End Scheduled To Open On May 19th

The Trustees of Reservations just announced that World’s End is one of five properties that have a planned opening date of Tuesday, May 19th Here’s what you need to know: Parking lot capacity will be limited to 50% No transactions for parking will occur on-site…

Additional $4M to improve roadway, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on Route 3A approved by State

At the Harbor Development Committee meeting on Wednesday night, Route 3A Task Force member Deirdre Anderson announced that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved a second round of funding for the Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary Project as part of its Transportation Improvement Plan for 2021-25. The new funding amounts to $4 million.

Did you know that Accord Pond is a reservoir?

Accord Pond is a 100-acre water reservoir located at the intersection of Hingham, Norwell and Rockland. The reservoir is a source of water for the towns of Hingham and Hull as well as part of Cohasset. The outflow of the reservoir is Accord Brook, which is a tributary of the Weir River.

Additional $4M to improve infrastructure on Route 3A approved by State

At the Harbor Development Committee meeting on Wednesday night, Route 3A Task Force member Deirdre Anderson announced that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved a second round of funding for the Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary Project as part of its Transportation Improvement Plan for 2021-25.

Coronavirus Strikes Town-Owned Senior Housing

According to the Lincoln School Board of Directors, two residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the town-owned Lincoln School Apartments. Both have been hospitalized.

Hingham Executive Health Officer Susan Sarni informed the Board of Directors of a second resident testing positive for the virus last week, said Chairman Dave Ellison.

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Map of Hingham showing proposed location of new Public Safety Facility