Since last Tuesday, Hingham Selectmen have privately spoke with Aquarion Water Company’s President and attorney in-person and over the phone a handful of times to reach a compromise before Hingham’s April 23rd annual town meeting.
Fearful that a potential water company study may result in litigation over the buyout price–about half of the cost of the proposed $500,000 study is just for legal fees.
However, Aquarion Water Vice President Harry Hibbard explained they want to keep a friendly, cooperative relationship with Hingham and keep the word ‘litigation’ out of Article 19, “We have from day one objected to that word and hopefully [we’ll] continue discussions with the town who can address our objections.”
Aquarion representatives also noted that asking Hingham voters to approve litigation before a buyout decision has been made would put too much power in the hands of Selectmen.
According to Selectman Bruce Rabuffo, Aquarion has been very responsive to their article proposal, agreeing to cooperate with the study and repair infrastructure, including one Hingham street that had six water main breaks last year.
“We were told at the time that there was no money to fix Union Street. They have since amended that and they came before us last Thursday to open the street, get the work done, and we certainly gave it to them,” said Rabuffo
He further stated a strong outcry by Union Street residents was a large factor in their decision to question buyout possibilities.
Discussions between Hingham Selectmen and Aquarion Water are still ongoing.
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