By: Carol Meyer
The recent decision by the Hingham Public Library Trustees to withdraw a Town Meeting warrant article regarding a proposed renovation project linked to a potential $9.1 million state grant was due in large part to the increased cost of construction related to inflation and other factors as well as the many other competing capital projects under consideration.
It's uncertain at this time whether the Trustees will apply again to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners when the grant program becomes available again -- likely no earlier than 2025 and possibly later -- and what the next steps will be moving forward to meet library needs without grant money.
One thing is for sure, though -- Hingham Public Library continues to be the "go-to" place for children, teens, and adults who enjoy its many offerings -- ranging from an impressive collection of books, DVDs, e-Books, and CDs, awesome programming for all ages, concerts, research and technology assistance, computer access, a quiet welcoming environment, a beautiful courtyard, friendly and helpful customer service, and much more.
Many thanks and much appreciation to the Trustees and Library Director Linda Harper for their three years of hard work on the grant to make HPL an even better place -- and in advance for their continuing efforts to maintain its high-quality and level of service.
What do you like best about HPL, and what draws you and your kids/grandchildren there? What's your favorite offering?
By: Carol Meyer
What's the biggest challenge?
Like all communities, Hingham has its challenges. While the town's stock of affordable housing (with some lower than prevailing market-rate rents and sales prices through the state comprehensive permit process) has steadily increased in recent years, there's a need for more truly affordable units. There are also between $75 and $100 million dollars' worth of potential capital projects under consideration -- including Foster School, a senior center expansion, and new fire station.
There's also the issue of increasing development and its impacts on neighborhoods and school enrollment and whether or not the town should purchase the portion of the Aquarion Water Company system serving Hingham, Hull, and part of Cohasset.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the town -- any of the above or something else? Citizen participation is an important part of town government!
By Carol Meyer
The Cleaner Greener Hingham Committee is proposing a ban on single-use plastic bags.
The overriding message is that while plastic bags are "convenient, recyclable, and part of everyday life," only seven percent of them get recycled while the rest take many years to break down, taking a toll on the environment and on wildlife.
The ban, if approved, applies to the thin plastic bags available at grocery stores and pharmacies but not produce, newspaper, or dry cleaning bags. Town Meeting would have the final say.
The next Cleaner Greener Hingham informational meeting about this issue will be held Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Whiton Room of the Hingham Public Library, 66 Leavitt St. Stop by to learn more about the proposal, to ask questions, or to air your concerns or support.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the pros outweight any minuses?
by Carol Meyer
Hingham Residents Against the Compressor Station, in addition to town officials and residents in a number of neighboring communities, is strongly opposed to the natural-gas compressor station proposed at the Fore River off Rte. 3A since it would be located about two miles from the nearest part of Hingham.
In support of HRAC's efforts, the Hingham Selectmen voted on Jan. 31 to appeal the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's recent issuance of the air quality permit for the proposed station by the Feb. 1 deadline.
"This could be a long haul for the South Shore," said Selectman Mary Power earlier.
"Given the limitations of the recent Health Impact Assessment, we simply do not know the true impacts the proposed compressor station would have on the health, safety, economy, and environment of Hingham," HRAC President Jenn Mathien stated in a letter to the Selectmen. "We do know, however, that if there is an impact on Hingham, it will be negative."
What do you think?