Hingham: Controversial water study lowered to $320,000; Union St water-main construction timeline set

Hingham Selectman Bruce Rabuffo announced Thursday night that after a week of numerous informal conversations with Aquarion Water, a large amount of potential litigation money included in the water company study’s cost would not be necessary.

Almost half of the $500,000 price tag was set aside as ‘what if’ money, if Aquarion didn’t hand over financial information. But Selectman Rabuffo feels confident enough in Hingham’s friendly relationship with Aquarion to drop the cost to $320,000, “We think if we get the cooperation that has been expressed that we would reduce that number to $320,000 reflective of the fact that we expect more cooperation and dialogue between us.”

However, Selectman Rabuffo stated discussions are ongoing and a formal cooperation agreement isn’t finalized. But Hingham Selectmen voted in favor of changing the water company buyout study cost and Selectman Rabuffo will amend Article 19 at town meeting on Monday.

But since the threat of a buyout by Hingham, Aquarion has loosened their tight budget. At the Selectmen’s meeting, the privately owned water company announced construction on Union Street will begin the week of April 30th and continue the following three weeks.

After six water main-breaks on Union Street in 2011, (the last break in December), aggravated Hingham residents prompted Selectmen to review water company possibilities, but Aquarion representatives assure that waterless days are long gone, “They’ll be able to get water from two directions once this new main is in which means that if the existing main breaks again these folks will still be in service because there’s a second feed to their neighborhood.”

Hingham residents were told last year the mile-long water-main wouldn’t be replaced until 2013 because Aquarion Water simply couldn’t afford the project. But details of the Union Street fix came after recent discussions between Aquarion and Selectmen.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.