Hingham Journal Letter

Letter to the Editor of the Hingham Journal, by Bob Hidell

Hingham is nearly 400 years old. Today it is one of the finest and well-maintained towns in New England. Throughout this nearly 400 year history, it has made decisions that got us here today as a town that has an excellent government, great schools and public safety departments and strong property values. We got here by making the right decisions that have been durable and have survived the test of time.

Today, with the vote pending before Town Meeting as to whether we should purchase Aquarion – now owned by Eversource - we are faced with one of the legacy decisions that have made this town what it is today.

I am strongly urging the town to purchase the water company and operate it to the benefit of the citizens of the town and not to corporate America.

There are only a few reasons I that make this urgent plea:

  • We have a “sole source aquifer.” We need to control as much of the recharge area as we can. If we lose this aquifer we will lose our resource and will depend on others. It might be a new regional water resource agency or the MWRA for example

  • We need to invest in the overall infrastructure as we face changes due to Global Warming. Areas of our coastal interface are coming under more vigorous attack by the sea; and our town is more prone to flooding, not only from seawater but also from storm water that cannot drain away from the town’s wetlands.

  • Aquarion will not take these actions. This has been proven already when they would not purchase some parcels that were in the recharge area and required the town to take action on its own.

On a separate matter, in coordination with the town’s effort to preserve the recharge areas we must also begin the reduction of impervious surfaces of the town. We must also begin the reduction of the town’s population based on the limited resources we have serving one that has been ever growing. We need to review our zoning by-laws to create a more environmentally sensitive body of regulations.

We are called upon, once again, to make a legacy decision. We need to make the right one. A place without adequate water will not have an economy, a civil society or peace. Climate change is making this a reality in many places. Let it not happen here.