By Carol Britton Meyer
By a narrow margin, Special Town Meeting voters supported the $5.5 million purchase of a parcel of land on Lincoln Street for potential use as a combined Hingham Police and Fire Department public safety building.
This paves the way for a possible much-needed expansion of the senior center to serve the town's growing older population -- into the space currently occupied by the police station -- if the project moves to completion.
Because a borrowing is involved, a two-thirds vote was required. Of the 453 voters present, 314 supported the purchase, while 139 did not.
The socially-distanced meeting was held outside on the Hingham High School multi-purpose athletic field due to COVID-19. The weather was unseasonably mild, with temperatures in the mid- to high-50s and some sunshine.
The total cost of the proposed public safety facility project -- with the most recent estimate at about $35 million -- was not the subject of this Special Town Meeting vote -- nor were voters asked to approve or to fund the building of the facility at this time. The cost would be lower if the scope and size of the project changes.
More details will be available as the process unfolds.