By Carol Britton Meyer
Voters will make two important decisions at the Nov. 1 Special Town Meeting and at next year's Annual Town Meeting related to a potential $139.6 million debt exclusion to pay for a proposed new Foster School and public safety facility and an anticipated Fiscal 2024 $4.9 million operating override, respectively.
A debt exclusion is a temporary funding measure, while an override becomes part of the permanent tax base.
The decision of whether to fully fund the two projects through a debt exclusion rests with voters at this Fall's STM and the outcome of a Nov. 8 ballot vote.
A tax impact calculator will be available at a later date, which will provide taxpayers with information about how the passage of these two warrant articles would affect their tax bills.
"We realize that [approval of these two projects] would represent a significant tax increase, with many approaches to help mitigate the impacts," Town Administrator Tom Mayo said recently.
These include potential property tax exemption and relief opportunities for qualifying residents.
The next steps include finalizing the permitting for the Foster School and public safety facility projects; continued efforts to cut costs; Select Board and AdCom warrant article votes, and an October "media blitz" to educate residents about the two proposed projects and related information.
By Carol Britton Meyer
Following the recent reporting of two coyote-related incidents in neighboring Cohasset involving attacks on dogs and a dog owner, Hingham Animal Control Officer Leslie Badger reached out to the community to share information in a continuing effort to educate Hingham residents.
"We have received the normal amount of calls about coyote sightings that we get every year in Hingham," Badger said, "but I am not aware of any actual coyote attacks this summer on humans or pets that were reported officially to us at Animal Control/Hingham Police Department.
That said, "I cannot stress enough to always be aware of your surroundings -- in your yard and out on trails -- and to supervise small children and pets," Badger advised.
The ACO webpage on the town website includes a video of a panel of wildlife experts having an in-depth conversation about coyotes, a link to report sightings considered serious concerns, and other information.
MassWildlife also offers tips for keeping coyotes away from your house.
Residents are asked not to call 911 or the police station business line to report seeing
a coyote unless there is an emergency or immediate threat to humans. The Hingham Police Department and the ACO log all sightings reported in a central location to address any threats appropriately.